cellar door

9 11 2009


Cellar door.  Cellar door.  Cellar door.

How apropo that  J.R.R. Tolken was the first to draw our attention to the beauty of those two words and how they sound (phonaesthetics).  If he were still alive today, I’d beg him to invent a new word or two in those wonderful fantasy languages he created that combined good phonaesthetics and functionality.

Cellar door.  Cellar door.  Cellar door.  Grandma.  Granny.  It’s the G-R combo that gets me.  My skin doesn’t even crawl as much hearing abuelita.

I am not reacting to the idea – just the sound.  It grates on me.  I fully embrace and am proud of my gray hair and the age it represents. What’s not to love about having enough experience to handle whatever an 8 lb. wonder can throw at me?  I can easily tuck him under my arm and still make lunch.  Changing diapers, regardless of how frightening they may seem…I’ve seen it ALL.  But the name thing?  In our family all the best ones are already taken…these roll easily off the tongue.  Yaya.  Nana.

Shop Girl and I have deliberated long and hard behind closed doors over this one.  It has to sound right.  It has to feel right.  If the Kid could call me Cellar Door – I’d let him.  Fact is, he can’t call me anything at this point.  But we are going with Momo.

It just so happens that one of Shop Girl’s favorite books by Michael Ende is Momo.  Widely read by school children in Europe (wanna get me started again on another rant??), it seems be scarce in these parts.  Maybe that is all part of it too.  There are hundreds of variations and nicknames for my new role…but how many Momo’s do you know?

p.s.  The photo is as close as I could come today for the theme.  Truth is, it’s the door to a lighthouse in Sagres, Portugal (if I remember correctly)…but we can all imagine that somewhere in the world – there might be a cellar door with such a great looking latch, right?

water baby

2 10 2008

Just north of the border there is a section of the highway that runs close enough to the Lake that dune grass and sand line the side of the road.  Every time I pass that area, something inside me resonates in a big way.  They say that there is something inside each of us that harmonizes with certain aspects of nature.  

I had a good friend in college that had been raised in the Pacific Northwest and if he didn’t go snow camping and climbing on Mount Rainier once a year, it was not a good thing.  I do love mountains but I wasn’t raised in them so I don’t automatically think of them as being peaceful.  But give me a body of water with waves (no still lakes or babbling streams, please) and that is where I want to be. It is an instant zen for me. Is that because I was raised less than 15 miles from the beach?  

It’s not like we lived on the water.  We didn’t have sailboats – another friend tried in vain to make me a sailor but not being able to swim impeded the process.  No waterskiing.  No sunbathing (anymore).  Actually, my favorite times to be at beaches is when no one else is there – like during the late fall and winter.  Mine is just a love of the vista.  

I dream of winning the lottery so that I can walk up to someone who has one of those beachfront properties and hand them so much cash that they hand me their keys and drive off.  Floor to ceiling windows that would look out on waves and flowing dune grass is my idea of heaven.  I’d settle for the Big Lake but would be in the seventh heaven if it were a rocky seascape with crashing waves and pounding surf at all hours of the day and night.

Two Octobers ago we were back in Spain for a few weeks and had the good fortune of being housed with some friend that live in a lighthouse on the northern coast.  








The setting was gorgeous but the reality was something else.                                                     Hiking up god-knows-how-many-stairs to get to the front door with luggage was the first clue.  They do that all the time with groceries.  I could only dream about watching huge storms roll in but they had generators and stock piles of food and water for when their world goes black.  

But I don’t want to live in a real world right now – I want to live in my dream world.  The one that remembers as a little girl wedged in between my parents in the front seat of a car cresting a hill and seeing the gorgeous cerulean sparkle laid out vast before my eyes.  And at the end of the day, smelling like sun and gritty to match,  getting carted down to the basement upon returning home to be rinsed off in the “set tubs” so the sand didn’t muck up the bathtub.  

I don’t remember the in-between…just the blue image burned on my brain and it never fails to take my breath away when I drive up over one of those hills that leads to the Lake.  So even though my reality today is laundry, dust and dog hair – I’m actually in a sun-drenched room overlooking the waves reading a book in a perfectly manicured house.