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Archive for April, 2011

Last Friday the 7 year old got “lost” while visiting my brother. I say “lost” because it was for such a brief period of time that she was the only one that knew she was lost. Does that even count?  To her, it does, I’m sure.  Poor baby had run out of my brother’s backyard to chase the dog [who was chasing a squirrel, who swallowed a cat to catch the bird…oh, wait…] wound up on the street behind Uncle Mikey’s house and got disoriented. So she approached a safe-looking lady and said “My name is Katie and I am visiting my uncle who lives near here but now I am lost. Can you help me find my Mommy?” So the nice lady called the police…  and 30 seconds later, three of us come flying out of the yard, shouting for kid and dog…and see them both 50 yards up the street… The neighbor explained what happened (minus the phoning the police part) and we said thank you, thank you, and started to walk home. So I was pretty surprised when a police car pulled up next to me to see if everything was ok. I said it was. You’ll be happy to know he didn’t just take my word for it, he asked my sister-in-law — who was standing next to me — if the child I was carrying really belonged to me. Anyway — crisis averted…yay for my nephew who came inside to tell us that Miss Dog had escaped and Miss Thing had run after her. Yay for Miss Thing for asking a safe-looking grown up for help. Yay for Miss Dog for coming back when she was called. Yay for Miss Thing for figuring out that next time she should get a grownup before chasing after Miss Dog [Because KC has tags with our phone number on it…but I don’t have any tags, right, Mommy?”]

It made a good story to share with DH later that night when we called to say goodnight (he had to work and couldn’t leave The ‘Shire.)   A few hours later I got an email from DH… it seems that he, too, is vying for the title of Poet Laureate of the family. He said:

Just in case our young Poet hasn’t yet begun to reflect on another weekend adventure…

Running running into the street
after the dog with fleet feet
Turn around and house is gone
Mommy?

It says a lot about my family that my brother, SIL and I all burst out laughing while my mom was appropriately horrified and said “That’s SICK.”

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I am a writer who lost her muse. I am muse-less. In need of Muse.

I have spent the last several weeks looking forward to getting back to writing again. Writing for me, not writing for work — which I have been doing nonstop, to the point where it has sucked my life force away. On my blog, no one cares about whether I use Chicago style or not, or whether my comma usage is up to par, or whether I use words on the Naughty List [all of which appear in Webster’s, for the record.]

So when I finally found time to write, I have…nothing to say? Not possible. Me, who cannot shut up, ever, has nothing to say? How is this possible?

I look at my list of Blogs I Heart for inspiration. Nothing. I think about the days and weeks of “bloggable moments” — I know I had them but I can’t remember what they were. Ugh. Uninspired.

And then it occurs to me that he most inspired person I know lately is my daughter. What inspired her?  A tragic house and barn fire that we witnessed last Saturday. What did she do with her inspiration? She wrote a poem.  She is all of 7 and her way of processing scary shit is POETRY.  Awesome.

For background, here’s what happened…

On Saturday night we were at our friends’ house a few towns over for dinner. Just before dinner, the guys look out the window and say — about the house across the street —  “ummmmmmm, that house is on FIRE!”  HUGE flames were everywhere — I call 911, we instruct the kids to stay inside with the dogs, and the 4 adults ran across the street to see what was going on…the barn was totally engulfed in flames and it was moving to the house, quickly. The owners weren’t home but the guy who rents the back apartment had just come back from dinner with his two pre-teen kids… the kids were hysterical; we took them back to my girlfriend’s house to calm down and watch Harry Potter with our kids.  We went back across the street to help move cars out of the driveway, get the dogs to safety, move propane tanks and other things that could explode, save a baby goat, etc.  I attempt to move a dump truck.  [Go ahead, take a moment and picture that…and yes, I was as clueless as you’d think a suburban kid from Long Island would be. But I moved the stick shift car without stalling out.] It was a big deal (the fire – not me driving stick shift) —  very scary and lasted about 4 hours. There were easily 10-15 fire trucks from all of the surrounding towns in the Mutual Aid District. No one was hurt…most of the animals made it out of the house and barn  — they lost 2 goats but the cows, 2 dogs, and 1 baby goat made it. Half the house was saved but the barn and the back half of the house — including the poor renter’s apartment — were lost.

I’ve never seen anything like it — it was surreal, movie-like. The kids were fantastic and they are all processing through it in their own ways.  Katie had trouble sleeping that night and came into our room for the rest of the night, which she hardly ever does anymore.  The next night she had a nightmare but she says she can’t remember what it was about.

Her class has been doing a poetry unit since last week. I picked her up from school on Monday and she told me she wrote a new poem. She recited it for me in the car.

Fire

Blazing hot fire
Burning up my barn.
Run away, run away.
Burning up my house.
Run to the neighbors
Until it’s all out.

She made up new poems off the cuff all the way home, about the most random of objects — whatever we drove past on the way home, she was Miss Slam Poet of the Century. Trucks and Ducks (yeah, I was concerned for a minute for where that one was headed;) icy lakes and glittery rocks; barns; puppies…they just flew out of her, effortlessly.

I guess you find inspiration in the simplest of places.

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