Monday, June 29, 2009

City Living

After spending 18 years living in the woods, we made a 2 mile move back into town. Our little house sits on the corner of your typical neighborhood street and what is known here as "The Highway."

The highway is Route 2, a meandering road that hug's the Rock River and when followed, guides one through a scenic and peaceful section of Northern Illinois from the state line to the Rock Falls. Long sections of the highway follow the river providing breathtaking scenery; bluffs, trees and wildlife before delivering you into the next small midwestern town along the way.

Byron, my town, is actually and legally a city. It has been called the smallest city in Illinois. It was once known as, "The City with a Smile," and is now called, "The Gateway to the Rock River Valley." The city designation cracks me up. Before the new library was built, the tallest building in the city was 2 stories with the exception of the fire station's practice tower which might be 3 or 4 stories.

Our business district is 1 block. We have 2 grocery stores, 1 pharmacy, 11 restaurants ( and only 1 fast food chain where the service is always a crap shoot - casting doubt on the fast part) and 8 bars.

There are now ( and this is HUGE) 3 stoplights in the city. They are all lined up along the highway in 1 block increments to control the massive flow of traffic the occurs at 7:40 a.m. when everyone is dropping their children off at school and heading to work and then again at 4-5ish when the nuclear power plant's day shift is heading home. Thank Heavens for the lights! You don't know road rage until you try to turn left out of the Clean and Shine Car Wash and end up doing the old around the block move. . .here, 3 rights do equal a left and can get you to the light where you can finally REALLY turn left. Makes me wonder what we did before the added lights!

And so I live on the corner of a quiet tree-lined street and the highway that is the life vein into this nutshell of a town. Because, what happens here does not stay here. . . it is discussed, whispered and gossiped about ad nauseum in any one of those above described establishments at any time. The good part is, you at least know that someone else will move the spotlight in a small amount of time. It is inevitable. And it travels down the highway at breakneck speeds.

Sometimes I miss the woods!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Skinny On My Reflection

A long time ago, I saw Elizabeth Taylor being interviewed after losing a massive amount of weight. I believe it was just after her split from Virginia Govenor John Warner. She was looking fabulous in a sequined evening gown, violet eyes and dangling diamond earrings. Elizabeth Taylor ruled that interview until she was asked about her weight and recent weight loss. The question was, what made you decide to drop all of those pounds. Her answer caught me off guard. "Because, I caught an accidental and unfortunate glimpse of myself in the mirror." I understood what she was saying completely. A reflection of ones self when you least expect it can be frightening to say the least. I know because it happened to me.

I mean, I am aware of exactly what I should be wearing, what angle I should look at and when it should be done ( upon leaving the house, the ladies room and the locker room.) It's those moments when you aren't looking that you really see. And so it was when I was walking through the ice cream section ( sale on Edy's Slow Churned!!) I went to open the freezer case door and saw a large neck, 2 chins and a frown looking back. A longer survey elicted me to gasp outloud, "My God! Who put that ass on my butt?" It was a mortifying moment. It was also a motivating moment. It was October 6 of 2008.

Today, I had to run to the bank. I entered through the main doors and approached the desk that sits right in front of the glass doors that block the safe deposit box's. I signed in, looked up and saw someone looking back from the glass door reflection. I was mesmerized. This person had a defined jaw line, a slender neck, and a smile. I was so taken with the reflection that I was a little miffed that the lady at the desk stood up and blocked my view. Dang! That reflection was me and it didn't look so bad. I even liked it.

I still wonder how in the world that ass attached itself to my butt, but I am more amazed my reflection didn't trigger shame. Maybe I should get a job at the bank, afterall, they do have good reflective glass and that is as good a reason as any to seek employment there, no?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Life In My Nutshell

It's time. I've finally bowed to the digital age. I have an ipod. I own 2 laptops ( one is a netbook for travel), I use a digital camera and a cell phone. I know how to text. I have my own Facebook page and an online shop to sell my wares. I am connected in ways I never imagined were possible. But the final move, the one thing I had not attempted, the step I never thought about taking. . . until now, was blogging.Quite frankly, I don't care for the word. I know it has morphed from the phrase "web log" ergo, "Blog" but it sounds so, well, dull. Blog. Blah. And it makes me wonder who would ever read such a thing. I know the next step is to announce my blog to all of my personal and business world ( and I will) in hopes that they will take a peek, get a chuckle, and tell a friend. And so on, and so on - just like that old hair color commercial whose product name I don't remember but slogan I apparently do. So, here we go. The life in my nutshell will offer respite from your busy world. A moment to laugh and realize that perhaps we are all a little nuts.I could not end this without a shameless plug. My passion is writing, but when the words do not come easily, my outlet is art. I recently opened an online shop at should you be in the market for a unique gift. Check it out when you have a moment. And please, feel free to leave me a comment at any time.