Monthly Archives: July 2007

the night we arrived in new york story:

ok, so my brother and i began our 3 hour journey late one evening… was only going to take 3 hours, mind you. the highway leads straight from point A to destination B.

i printed directions from the computer… and he told me they were wrong. (he doesn’t drive, by the way). so we’re going like gangbusters towards NY city.

it’s taking much too long – we get lost in Philadelphia, PA. why? because he said my directions were wrong, and i was driving blind (i’m one of those people who sets the mileage counter on her car so she’ll know when to look for the next exit)

so the 3 hours is stretching…

then we pay lots of $ for tolls as we finally near our destination. and as we enter NY City proper, there’s a bit of construction. there are lots of trucks nearby, so I wish to pass them. at the exact same moment i choose to pass a big truck, HE chooses to pass someone on his other side… therefore, we were almost squoosed between big truck and pretty concrete wall. needless to say, my reaction time was impeccable…otherwise, i wouldn’t be writing to you here.

that woke me up.

so, hours after we began, we near his apartment. being this is new york city, one cannot leave anything “of interest” in the car – so as not to attract any unwanted interest (especially with out of state license plates). so we unload 1/2 of his belongings into his apartment… then head to the art studio (which is 5 minutes away by car, 20 by subway).

i miss a turn, we end up in a very shady part of town. *click* i make sure the doors are locked… i’ve never driven here… he realizes we can’t get my car into the lot unless we have a key. who has a key? where does he get one? i’m driving in places unknown, he’s on the phone & occasionally gestures re: which direction to head. meanwhile, i notice that NY city cabs and cars and pedestrians are rather irritated with out of town cars – as i wasn’t driving 20 miles over the speed limit.

finally we find the studio, he gets us inside the tall fenced parking area, and we enter. now, i must tell you that i have terrible stomach cramps at this time. instead of helping him unload the car, i request to use the washroom.

as we walk up the stairs to the studio space, it’s dark, dreary… i can hear water dripping somewhere. it’s so very dark. no lights. i try to stay near, as horrible bad-horror-tv-movie-images flash in my head.

he opens a great door… enter the studio space. it sounds and smells like new york. the bathroom has no light. it’s more of a washroom for artists, with two stalls. very unclean, especially in the dark. he finds a flashlight, leaves me alone in this large empty building while he empties the car. the light goes out after 3 minutes, of course. i anticipate a rat will come nibble at my toes any moment. i’m sill very sick & cramp-y… and i keep thinking “welcome to new york”

so eventually i find soap in the dark, dry my hands on my shirt, and find my brother… it’s so empty and dark and dreary in the middle of the night. he takes me on a “tour” in the darkness, lit by a small fading light. i liked the little i saw, but the Survival Of The Fittest part of me wanted to get out of there as fast as humanly possible. i had images of my car being stripped and stolen while we were looking at art in the darkness.

we leave, get lost finding his apartment, and we’re both bleary-eyed and exhausted. eventually we get to his place, park the car as close as possible, and trudge to his domicile.

we enter, and i realize i’ve just entered the *guy zone*. i realize my brother is a young man with roommates, living in a flat in ny city… but it just dawned on me that i’m a girl, and our standards of living and cleanliness are very different.

there is stuff everywhere… i’m sure it’s an organized chaos, but there is grit and grime all over the floor, on nearly every surface. piles of stuff everywhere. (i’m all for a creative mind friendly clutter, but this was waaaaaay beyond that)

i had asked before we left mom’s if i needed to bring sheets or a towel? he said he couldn’t guarantee a clean towel, but he had sheets. great – i brought a towel. no problem.

he unfolds the couch bed (it’s a futon, i think) and starts rummaging through some of the gross piles on the floor … i wonder why? he tells me he’s not sure where the couch came from – they found it on the street. (oh. hmmm.)

then he picks up a rumpled sheet, sniffs it, and starts to lay it on the couch-bed. i’m wondering what he’s doing… it takes a minute for my brain to catch up with my eyes…

i’m silent as he picks up some curtains, sniffs them as well, and says ‘only one person has slept in these – they’ll be ok, right?’ and then the meaning of everything comes together. i don’t respond right away (remember, i’m tired and exhausted, it’s very late, and i still feel stomach cramps – very unwell, especially at that time of night)

i’m on the verge of tears.

i muster all of the possible grace i can find, and say “…can i please have clean sheets?”

it takes him a moment – he’s processing the request (the need for it, i think – as he already has sheets in his hand) then mumbles something and comes back with two clean sheets (wrong size, much smaller than mattress, but i didn’t care)


six hours after we began, it was time to rest.


the next morning we went out early for breakfast, as i had to move my car for street cleaning – there was no parking spot to be found, so we went to a nearby diner. by the time we got back, we had excellent parking just outside his apartment.

later in the visit we used my car to get a few supplies from the hardware store, adn of course i lost my nice parking spot. i had to park a block away. guess what? someone keyed my car. they wrote a little, friendly message on the side of my car, which i will now share with you. i hope it warms your heart as much as it did mine: DK WAS HERE in big, capital letters.

thank you, thank you –
welcome to new york :)


hello friends, and welcome back to grace, earth, and life. i have returned from a long journey, lengthened in part by not wanting to leave… thus i stayed a few days longer. (although it’s always nice to come home). i’ll try to catch up with you, but since that also seems very overwhelming, perhaps you could catch me up in the comments below.

so much happened, so many stories, so much fun, it’s difficult to summarize. but here’s my grand attempt to be brief – a taste if you will :)

– actually went whitewater rafting in the Potomac River… it was very fun and eventful. i got several delightful little bruises, and a gorgeous deep cut from the slippery rocks. at one point i had to crawl across a HUGE rock formation, then scale a 3-story rock face barefoot! (while still wearing a life jacket, wondering how the emergency personnel would get me out of the river should i fall and crack my head open)

– saw horses at the beach …they live on a small island just off the coast of Maryland, not far from Washington DC. also saw my first sand crab – that was exciting. the beaches and water were gorgeous!

– was an audience member for a nationally broadcast late night program – interesting to see the behind-the-scenes stuff

– you’ll have to ask me to share the “night of arrival in new york” story.

– was totally immersed in Chinatown in new york city, NY …so many people in such small spaces. after recovering from claustrophobia, i had a nice time (and bought several purses from street vendors…)

– the Broadway show was delightful! summary to follow if interested… was a charming murder mystery with lots of bright singing and dancing – made me smile.

– speaking of purses, one lady whispered ‘coach’ into my ear when i walked by… i turned around, and followed her two blocks down and one block over to a “secret room” …she led me into a long narrow hallway that led to a very narrow closet filled floor to ceiling with purses. …when it was time for me to leave, she had to check to make sure there were no police. not until that moment did i realize perhaps i contributed to illegal activity?!?!? oh well – the purse is very cute :)

– so enjoyed time with dear friends and family… and realize i miss them very much. perhaps i need to make some changes. stay tuned.

– upon arriving home, found two of the four flowerpots were still alive. hallelujah! hooray! yippee! spent a majority of today deadheading & watering… perhaps that will be the name of my next poem.

– was totally non-productive today. but after yesterday’s long drive (approx 15 hours…thought it was less, but forgot about the time change) i decided it was ok to do absolutely nothing. then take a nap. then continue to do nothing.

– i started crocheting an afghan. it’s very cute – kindof a light mossy green, but not too light, but not dark. just right. i have a long way to go, but it’s fun.

– am planning a luncheon with friends on tuesday – will serve a Build Your Own Salad (as “yummy salad fixings” are subject to each individual salad eater)

– this upcoming week is my last before returning to work. i better enjoy it.

smile when it rains, er, hails!

yes, ladies and gentlemen …rain observed a hail storm today. came in with a fury. not sure how her car held up during the process – perhaps we’ll hold off looking for a while yet. (some of the beautiful flowers on her front porch were broken… she stuck them back in the dirt – hopefully they’ll bounce back)
i should be packing. but i’m not. i want to leave in less than 10 hours. laundry is done, just not packed. i’ve had all day to pack. just haven’t yet. perhaps in a little while.

there are two loaves of banana bread in the oven. one for me, one as a housewarming gift (although it won’t still be warm when i arrive tomorrow night – ha!)

things i have accomplished today:
*arrived on time for a morning meeting with my boss
*found my friend’s sister-in-law’s house to drop off the baby shower gift (as i’m unable to attend…gonna be tubing!)
*went to the drug store to pick up a few last minute things
*spoke to someone one the phone who gave me some bad news, but i’m not going to dwell on that now
*got water and a few snacks at the grocery in preparation for a long drive
*went to the bank and got small bills
*had a nice long talk with an old friend
*went to the library to borrow some books on tape (and I got an old tape of Bill Cosby – gotta love Bill!)
*mowed my lawn (front & back)
*took out trash
*moved recycling outside
*threw last load of laundry in
*showered (one must shower when it’s hot & sticky and she’s just mowed the lawn)
*reviewed previous furnace replacement bids
*thought about making banana bread
*ate some chips & salsa (with fresh cilantro!!!!! a.k.a. “coriander” – for you, Yorkshireman!)
*decided to make banana bread
*answered a few phone calls when furnace guy was lost
*met with furnace guy – liked him, decided to hire him on the spot
*just got two loaves of banana bread out of oven, put last loaf in (perhaps this one will go in my freezer for when i come back home)

…perhaps the list above is why i haven’t packed yet. i may pack while the last loaf is in the oven. it’s still daylight – perhaps i can actually pack my car up, too!!! then all i have to do is roll out of bed, brush hair/teeth, grab some grub and GO in the morning… wouldn’t that be fun :) take care!

the garden ridge – happy packing

i just bought tickets to see this when i’m in new york, ny next week. very exciting. david hyde pierce is best known as the brother on the tv show “frasier” with kelsea grammar.

also will do a little flatwater tubing (love the name!) and plan to head to the beachs, too. (got a wide brim hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a great big smile for the ride… can’t wait!)

lots of opportunities to catch up with old friends and family… sooooo looking forward to it :)

wish me luck on my morning meeting with my boss – should be a very fruitful conversation. then i pack the car, grab some dinner and a nap, and plan to head out early tuesday morning. whoooo-hoo! i’ll be quiet on the wib for a while – feel free to write lots of nice comments below for me to read upon my return :)

and if i say ‘bye now, i’m bound to post again, so i won’t say goodbye but see you again soon…

take care,

hide and seek

ok, so i can’t find all of my estimates for the furnace… it’s gotta be ’round here someplace. under this? no… over here? nada. i have most of them in one place… just can’t find the one i’m looking for. *humph* perhaps i’ll just close my eyes and wish for it to magically appear (interestingly enough, this works on a relatively frequent basis)


rain’s living room now has a chocolate brown leather sofa… a beautiful chocolate brown chair… and a bistro dining set – black paint with cherry top. i’ve finally moved in! whoooo-hoo! …should get me one of those flickr things to show you… but alas, i’ve got a lot of sitting to do :)

in other news, the sky is blue-grey with both white clouds and yellow sunshine.