Monday, September 21, 2009

BACK DOWN ROADS I'VE WALKED BEFORE

How many refrigerators have I bought in my life? And stoves?

Should I hold up one hand and start counting on my fingers -- remembering my first rented apartment -- cold water flat, 5th floor walk up, smell of cabbage and roach spray in the hallways?

NO refrigerator. The stove -- cleaner with a skull and cross bones label, scrubbing, chiseling with a knife at the embedded grease -- giving up and buying a second-hand, two-burner hot- plate. And a tiny, half-height ice-box, so we didn't have to keep milk, butter, and meat outside, on the window sill.

I've been down the "new-appliances" road. Right now we're speeding down a super highway -- inundated, a bit bewildered with online pictures, prices, and specs.

And now, as of yesterday, I've started back down the "exercise" road -- new aches are telling me to change the route that gets me where I'm heading, and avoid turnout stretches.

Ahh, that's a pathway -- one I travel every day to keep myself capable of full-out dancing -- the dancing to music that I do after my warm-ups, when I perform for no one but me, and the pleasure it gives me to feel free, light, committed, concentrated ... how to describe it -- the transcendental feeling of becoming the music.

Of course, like most women, I've got the "what-to-wear" road -- what is my cold weather uniform going to be this year? (Uniform? Yep, that's what I call the outfit I tend to wear every day.)

I evolve a uniform every year -- some color, a right fabric, a combination of top and bottom -- pants or skirt, blouse, shirt, sweater, or jacket. It's usually something I happen to wear on a day that turns into an exciting, productive day. And whatever it is, it's my destination when I approach my closet.

Then, there's the "road to the holidays"-- the road I get on that intersects with people who are near, dear, and connected to me -- sort of a jogging trail through my own private "Central Park" where I observe nature, the seasons changing, the faces of those special people changing, with mine.

My map? It's my gift list -- employees, postman, parking lot guys, and loved ones -- I circle the important names, with specifics in parentheses.

Your roads are yours.

JC's roads are his. I wouldn't be able to find my way down his roads even if he showed me, unless he held my hand and led me. My roads are mine. I made them -- almost every hill, every valley, every nook and cranny is familiar. Ambling, hurrying, skipping or marching down my roads, I may get temporarily lost, but I always end up finding my way.

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