Once upon a black-haired baby
Once upon a time there were three little bears living in our Little House in the Big Woods in Aura, Michigan. Mama Bear, Daddy Bear and Baby Bear. One day Mama Bear told Daddy Bear that there was another bear who wanted to come live with them.
Daddy Bear didn’t believe it at first, but it was true. Mama Bear started getting bigger and bigger, even though she didn’t eat any more porridge each morning.
It became obvious that Baby Bear would soon have a new brother or sister. Mama Bear was sure it would be another boy because she had visions of two boys running helter-skelter in the ravine behind the house. (She also really secretly wanted a girl-baby, but didn’t want to be disappointed, you know how it is.)
As the darkest days of December approached in 1985 (see, it wasn’t THAT long ago) Mama Bear suddenly switched allegiances It now felt like a girl nesting inside, preparing to join the family. (She still didn’t want to be disappointed, so she reminded herself of the vision.)
Once upon a New Year’s Eve those long, long years ago a baby girl came squalling into the world, a bright brand new spanking baby girl, a delight, a joy, a new addition to the Bear family, a black-haired red-faced angel we named Kiah Michelle.
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Tagged birthday, daughter, fairy tale, family, fun, humor, life, memories, motherhood, New Year's Eve, photography, photos, thoughts
It’s spitting snow today with our thermometer shivering at 27 degrees (-2.8 C). It’s hard to ponder going outside. North wind cuts through flimsy autumn jackets, demanding winter garb.
My friend Emma recommended The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. Just started lapping up the words and paragraphs last night, mesmerized by stark white descriptions of an aging couple living in Alaska in the 1920′s.
Here’s the book description: Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart–he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone–but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.
This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.
I haven’t read beyond Page 80, so can’t determine if I’ll like the book or if it shall end “happily ever after” but am fascinated by the Fairy Tale child-fox sprinting in the trees of imagination, in the landscape of hope and possibility.
Speaking of magical, would you like to listen to one of my all-time favorite songs? Prepare to be transported into this White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes. The video is pure delight!
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Tagged Alaska, Eowyn Ivey, fairy tale, Fleet Foxes, nature, reading, The Snow child, video, White Winter Hymnal, winter, woods
Once upon a time I had an enemy. It’s hard to believe when enemies appear in our lives, isn’t it? I mean, congenitally don’t-rock-the-boat smiling people shouldn’t have enemies, right?
However, in this fairy tale called life we sometimes meet an enemy, such as the evil witch in Hansel and Gretel, or the evil stepmother in Cinderella, or perhaps even Attila the Hun (although I know nothing about Attila the Hun, it just popped out of these typing fairy tale fingers.)
Back to the story, which is 100% true, except for minor fabrications, such as the name of our Villain.
In real life he has a nickname which is completely absurd, so I shall call him Goosey. (Ha ha, private joke, wish I could tell you his real name but I am congenitally nice and that would simply be mean because he’s no longer my enemy, but we are getting ahead of the story.)
Goosey hated me. I am a two-bit rural politician serving as township treasurer for this teeny-weeny township in the middle of the woods. I collect taxes. Try to make informed political decisions. Have never yet made a full-fledged enemy of an ordinary taxpayer because I don’t care if people pay their taxes or not. (You know why not? Because if they don’t pay, they have to deal with the county treasurer. It is her duty to deal with delinquent taxes. I will commiserate with anyone about our crazy society where we have to pay taxes, and our crazy economy where folks can’t afford ‘em, but that’s another story for another day when we’re not pondering enemies.)
Back to My Enemy. Goosey would come to the meetings just to find weak spots in our board policies and mannerisms. He was one of those citizens who keep politicians on the ball. You daren’t decide to let the sexton keep the township shovel in his truck because Goosey would write a Letter to the Editor. He’s that sort. We politicians need to be kept in line, you know.
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Tagged Attorney General, dreams, enemies, fairy tale, humor, life, politicians, politics, tax collector, taxes, thoughts