Internet Explorer users may need to widen their browser windows to span all three columns. Or download Firefox.


Monday, August 02, 2010

Thanks for visiting. I am no longer updating Notes to Self. I hope you'll join me on my current website, PlantingDandelions.com

Room at the top of the world tonight

We took a little trip to Memphis last week, to renew my green card (so Patrick can't threaten to have me deported anymore). We used to make that run all the time, back when I was a brand new immigrant, just another bra-less Canadian hippie chick, coming to take all the good two-dollar-an-hour waitressing jobs from decently underwired Americans.

I'm not the stranger to these-here parts that I was then, but crossing the Mississippi river still feels mythic to me, every time. My passing fling with America has turned out to be the enduring romance of my life.

DSC01049

I had to report to the immigration office bright and early Thursday morning for my biometrics, a word that means fingerprinting and leads me to believe that there are Trekkies working high up within the Department of Homeland Security. What do you think the probability was that the guy in line next to me would be from the same New Brunswick town that I was born in? As it happened, one hundred per cent. If my life were a movie, I swear, no one would buy it. It's just too far-fetched in places.

I walked out 30 minutes later, a shiny new extension sticker on my card, and we headed straight to the zoo. I brought the kids there once, in 2006.

450423623107

The years are going so fast.

DSC01120

That time, we stayed at a Super 8 motel on the sketchy side of Memphis. This time we stayed at a very chic downtown loft apartment, belonging to one of Patrick's clients. People are incredibly nice to us. If we measured our net worth by dollars alone, it's hardly been a skyrocketing climb over the years. But we've accumulated other kinds of wealth: children, friends, careers, history. I felt very rich that night, watching the boys swim in the rooftop pool, the mighty Mississippi shining beside us in the moonlight.

DSC01065

DSC01061

When I looked down from skygazing, I realized that Patrick had been taking my picture. I pantomimed sucking in my tummy, and smiled at my once-upon-a-time gypsy lover, thinking of the free-wheeling vagabonds we used to be. You'd never know it, to look at us. I'm sure in the eyes of the few twentysomethings who shared the rooftop garden with us, we were profoundly middle aged. A mom with her hair in a bun, sitting on the edge of the pool, watching the children, a dad wearing reading glasses, reclining in a chair, holding up his iPhone.

"Lord of all you survey," I teased.

He smiled back. Sometimes it feels like we are kids in a game of make-believe together, only pretending to be grown ups, the kind of people who are on top of things, whose papers are all in order. But sometimes it feels like the wishing star fairy came down while we were sleeping and made us real.

DSC01074

Labels: ,

13 Comments:

Blogger Susan said...

Talk the boys into going back to that spot for a picture every decade or so. What a great family document.

And, as always, a great post.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Gerbera Daisy Mom said...

Do you think Cammack Village could get a cool pool like that?

5:08 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

"Sometimes it feels like we are kids in a game of make-believe together, only pretending to be grown ups, the kind of people who are on top of things, whose papers are all in order. But sometimes it feels like the wishing star fairy came down while we were sleeping and made us real."
You have a way with words and it is why I love reading your blog.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Janie B said...

Such a beautiful, well-written post. You have a real talent. Lovely thoughts.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Spacebooke said...

I want to feel like kids forever. Love this post.

10:10 PM  
Blogger Joan said...

Beautiful post.

10:41 PM  
Blogger Mariellen said...

That is one awesome picture Patrick took of you. And I think many of us will be waiting to grow up until the day we die...it's a good thing.

2:26 AM  
Blogger La'Tonya Richardson said...

Great post, you do have a way with words.

I so understand feeling like kids, playing make believe. The years have gone by so fast, it feels like I was just 16 yesterday.

Looking forward to meeting you on Sat.

10:53 AM  
Blogger panamamama said...

So true. I've been thinking those same thoughts lately. Didn't know you were Canadian, girl! I'm a 1/4! :) Thanks for the party tonight.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Kate The Great said...

And that picture of you at the end is gorgeous.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

You are so beautiful, really you are, your reflections, your words, your picture.

What a cool trip. It's not quite that hot up here but that pool still looks like a great place to hang out.

(Missed you this weekend.)

3:49 PM  
Blogger Jomama said...

As always, lovely to read your thoughts so well pulled together. Tell me they hang out in their underwear sometimes before you get them dressed for the html page.

1:06 AM  
Blogger Katherine Gray said...

Hard to believe anyone would think of you as "middle aged" in that dress. ;)

2:23 PM  

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

<< Home