2010. Tomorrow is my brother Adam’s birthday. I wish I had money to get him something great– actually I wish I had cash laying around that I could send him for his tattoo fund. The boy has so many already, however. Tattoos really are addictive; I have one on my ankle which is fading. I need more! Robyn and I have decided to wait until after our respective weddings, whenever those are.
Picked up a copy a few days ago at the PTA thrift of the Annotated Innocence of Father Brown, by G.K. Chesterton. If you don’t already know him, go out right now and buy anything, anything of his. Chesterton is way underrated and seems quite unknown in this country. Actually no one who’s read him underrates him. I suppose I mean not enough people have read him. The tales of Father Brown are my favorites. Father Brown is a little Catholic priest, short-sighted, mild-mannered, but with a thorough knowledge of the inner workings of man. And he’s practical. From his years at confession he’s heard so much about crime that he proves a big help to the local police whenever there’s an unsolved crime. I like him far better than Sherlock (WHICH!, by the way, amazingly few of my friends have read!) This needs to be addressed. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle makes delicious bedtime/rainy day reading. He’s very accessible. There is absolutely no excuse. (While you’re at the bookstore, also pick up some case histories of Holmes.)
Enough about my reading material. It’s snowing!! Lots of soft white morsels (what an awful image, where have my efforts in creative writing gone?!– morsels??); let’s try that again: an abundance of cold manna, the Saturday night special of the Israelites, now I’m just making fun of myself. When our family came back from Africa in 96, I waited for snow. I’d never seen it falling in memory. In the village we had Highlights, the children’s magazine. Every picture of snow was decorated with intricate lacy flakes. I read with absorbing interest of the patterns of a snowflake, their structure, their incomparable beauty. Lies. Every magazine failed to mention that you can only see this with the help of a microscope. I thought large flakes the size of my palm would float gracefully down from the sky, glittering white. Palm-sized would be the most numerous, but there would be some flakes the size of my skull and of course, some as tiny and perfect as my little fingernail. But each would look like it had been snipped carefully out of paper. What a lousy disappointment.
(Snow accumulation, however, has not been overrated.)
I’ve concluded that North Carolinians are like children when it comes to snow. We just get it so seldom that when it happens, everyone turns out to play. Old people just get out their umbrellas and boots, while everyone younger stomps, tramples, kicks, and scoops it. Every few houses there’s someone scraping up the half inch of accumulation dutifully, making a small snowman out of all of the snow in the neighboring yards. But I guess if we got snow a lot more, we’d all just get tired of it. Like the Canadians.
It’s stopped snowing for now. Annie’s awake and happy on her playmat. She’s examining her faux fur coat, which is leopard print. A present from Cath. Later we’re going to Chapel Hill Town Hall for lunch, to visit Xtina. (Christina.) She’ll get off precisely at noon, we’ll go eat our packed lunches, and I will bring her back precisely at five till one. I will even bring a check to pay Ashley’s car tax while I’m there, because I try to be organized, functional, of some purpose to society. Clearly I suffer from an inferiority complex. Everyone says I do have a job, the greatest job of all (motherhood) and I know it, but my Protestant work ethic is protesting loudly. That’s the purpose of this online journal. This counts as writing.. right?