Middle Aged Treehouse

I'm only mature in years.

Friday, July 28, 2006

This Also Just In

Rejoice, stamp nerds, theater geeks and gay gentlemen: The Judy Garland stamps are here. They're self-adhesive and waiting for you at your local post office!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

This Just In

Updates to previous entries:

Rex the female Border Collie got her manly moniker because my cowboy neighbor Jeff bought her at such a tender age, they couldn't quite tell her gender. They thought she was a male. So much for the biology smarts you learn on a farm.

The Mystery of the TP Incident is revealed! The perpetrators were Kate's friends: Mindy, a recent grad who is soon off to college to major in music and little Jon from Kindergarten, now the social chairman of the high school choir. Who would have thought choristers could be so naughty and out so late? And throw so well — little white bits are STILL escaping from the highest branches.


Kate is suddenly really into the Rocky Horror Picture Show. But it really annoys her that I already know each and every word. Ha, young one. Tim Curry is mine, and I have the age spots to prove it!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Saving David

Perhaps out of habit, I never delete a voice mail from my husband.

When Dave was deployed to Iraq the year before last, our communiciations were pretty sketchy at best. We were fortunate to get a static-filled overseas phone call from him about once a week. I knew that in order for him to call me, he had likely hiked nearly a mile in the 100-plus desert heat and stood in line an MWR tent (that's the department of Morale/Welfare/Recreation; the Army does love its acronyms!) for the chance to spend 15 timed minutes at a working — or, sometimes working — telephone.

I hated missing his calls, but it frequently happened. He'd leave a tired but cheery message on my work or cell phone, attempting to sound like he was just calling from the corner market.

The hard, cold truth was, I was so afraid that in case the unthinkable happened, this fuzzy bit of digital connection might be the last piece of interchange between us. With a silent prayer, I would hit the "save" button to preserve my own little audio greeting card. I've always loved David's vocal quality, with his deep laugh; I think it's one of his very best features. I would save the messages so I could listen to them again and again, privately, just to hear the sound of his voice.

A year and a half later after he's safely home, I still do that.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Blue Sky Reflection

Another broiling Texas day. Just before dark, I was out having my "hose time" where I stand reviving the wilting flowers with my thumb squishing the water coming out of the hose, my mind idling in neutral. I noticed a puddle of water on the sidewalk, and on its surface was the reflection of the sky above. I had a sudden flashback to when I was about 4 or 5 years old, before I could read.

When I was small, the reflecting puddles in our driveway after a rain would fascinate me. I thought they looked like openings to heaven — magical secret gateways from the boring old earthly world. I would stand at the edge of the shimmering portals with their enticing puffy white clouds and imagine myself jumping in, vanishing to another dimension. I would fantasize about making the leap, perhaps catching a ride on a unicorn. My parents would eventually realize I was missing, and then Rod Serling would appear, cigarette in hand, and tell them I had gone to a place called The Twlight Zone.

I loved peering into those inviting "heaven holes." I don't know why it took me another forty-some-odd years to notice them again. Surely they've been around this whole time.

Here's something else that happened today, while I'm on the subject of mid-life and flashbacks.

Half-watching The Today Show while getting ready for work, I heard one of my favorite Allman Brothers music riffs on a TV commercial. While Dickie Betts' guitar wailed the delicious opening notes of "Blue Sky", I looked up at the screen to see an attractive, grey-haired woman smile about the merits of a menopause medication.


Like Travis Bickle in the film Taxi Driver, my brain twitched and sneered, "Are you talkin' to me?"

When did I fall into this demographic territory for Madison Avenue?

It's not that I'm unhappy about the Allmans "selling out." Having spent nearly half my life in an advertising career, I have no problem with ensnaring the attention and the money of John Q. Public by using a killer tune as bait. (I came to terms years ago that I was the woman in that old joke where the punch line is "Madam, we've established what you are, we're just haggling over price.")

But now the sensible shoe is on the other foot. While I would have been delighted and proud to have been the one who created this spot, I have decidedly mixed feelings about being its target.

Incidentally, ladies, isn't it funny that it's called MEN-o-pause?

And is it just me, or is it hot in here?