Pickles and Gravy

I’ve always wanted to name a cat “Pickles.” Don’t ask me why.

Well, okay, here’s why: It’s such a funny word and would be a funny name, don’t you think? It would be a tongue-twister to say quickly, though. “Heeeeere, Pickles, Pickles, Pickles…” Anyway, speaking of funny names…then came the day that I had a cat named “Gravy.” He had long, cream-colored fur, just the color of chicken-fried steak gravy. Very appropriate name, and I was reasonably sure that no one would copy me when naming their cat.

…And as I was petting Gravy, the weirdest thing happened that I’ve kept a secret until now: I was an undercover p.i. with all of Magnum’s buddies, scuba diving to find clues and solving all kinds of crimes. But it came to a sudden end when the tour we were taking halted abruptly in front of Sanford & Son’s house.

Then (you guessed it) I woke up. What? You mean that didn’t sound believable?

All of the above are parts of several weird dreams I’ve had. All, except for the fact that I want to name a cat “Pickles.” And I will someday, mark my words. In the meantime I’ll just enjoy my odd trips to Dreamland. …But surely some of you would also like to share your weird/funny dreams, right?

I can almost guarantee that tomorrow I’ll have another funny dream to share from tonight.

Taking notice in Cloudcroft

Yesterday David and I took a day trip to Cloudcroft, NM, to see David’s parents. They were there for a few days of relaxation. They chose a great place to do just that; many of us know that Cloudcroft is a beautiful mountain village surrounded by towering pines–a perfect escape from the summer heat.

While there they took us to a nearby campground to see something in particular. The day before, a big thunderstorm unleashed on the area, bringing lots of rain and hail. …And lightning, evidently. We stopped our car nearby what they wanted us to see: In the middle of the campground stood the thick trunk of what used to be a huge pine tree. I say “used to be” because during the storm a lightning bolt whiplashed it, felling the tree and exposing the pale, fleshy lumber inside. A car was also its victim; in that same split second, the same bolt flung an arc to a nearby car and incapacitated it. The aftermath was a pretty impressive sight. Thankfully no one was hurt.

As we drove away it struck me (pun partially intended) how powerful God really is. He is God. His power and glory can be seen all around us, especially in nature. We left that campsite and went about our day. But other things kept catching my notice, from the fragrant wildflower bouquets decorating the edges of the highway, to a photo of a double rainbow my mother-in-law showed me on her camera, to the perfectly round, pea-sized hail cascading outside while visiting The Lodge hotel. Each reminded me of His awesomeness, creativity, and love (yes, somehow the hail even reminded me of His love!). I knew He was there.

Have you noticed that sometimes He wows us with a mighty display of His majesty? Often also it’s the smaller, everyday things we see that He uses to invite us to gaze at Him. I’d love to hear from you: When was a time that God used something–maybe in nature, big or small–to remind you of who He is?

Poet, Interrupted

Have you ever been on the verge of something brilliant when you were suddenly interrupted? In a different vein, have you ever read a story and felt like, between the lines, you gained insight into current events in the writer’s life?

A few weeks ago my mom was here. With her she brought a small box which held random papers and things from long ago that belonged to me. To be honest, I’ll get rid of most of it, but I did happen upon something a little different than the other forgotten-significance artifacts. My highly-honed handwriting analysis skills tell me that I penned this around age five or six. I’ve had a request for more poetry; I hope this gives some intellectual satisfaction.
(Translation: A Poem Written by Alison Raymond
The world so beautiful
and the flowers are growing
when-I-go-2-bed-I-don’t-like-2
The End.)

Can’t a writer catch a break? Speaking of breaks, I hope everyone has a good weekend.

The Eyes Have It

This is what you’ve been waiting for: After a much-debated contest, (drumroll) “The Eye of the Tiger” has emerged as the champ of the Best 80s Song poll. Rest assured that I will notify and congratulate Survivor immediately.

Some disagreement did surface during this intense debate, however. Some of you suggested that perhaps the best 80s songs didn’t have a chance because they weren’t listed. Well, here’s your chance!

Tell me what songs you DO think should’ve been on the list. …And as much as you might be tempted, don’t try to suggest anything by Menudo, please. While you’re thinking please check out the new poll, below and left.

There was some poetry

Good morning, all! To start off the week, here is some poetry from a very young, teenage Alison Raymond. The assignment in class (Kasey and Courtney, remember Mrs. Hamilton?) was to pattern a free-verse poem after Walt Whitman’s “There was a Child went Forth.” Walt Whitman’s personal life doesn’t make me a fan, but his writing style wasn’t too shabby. Anyway, the first four lines had to be verbatim from his; the rest is mine. Our class was told that the poem was intended to reflect the writer’s memories/images/influences up until that point in life.

There was a child went forth every day,

And the first object she look’d upon, that object she became,

And that object became a part of her for the day or a certain part of the day,

Or for many years or stretching cycles of years.

Curious kittens catching butterflies,

Fingers feeling the cool grass while cloud-gazing,

The tender lullaby with the hand stroking the hair,

Carefree shouts bouncing off pavement,

The Pop! of the baseball as it sails up to the sun,

The scrape of tar-chalk on sun-baked sidewalks,

And big people and big pews,

Friendly greetings weaving a warm cocoon of security,

These things became a part of her.

The groans of pain emitted from workers moving furniture,

The tape that screeches as it seals boxes shut,

And the sad tears that fall during the last glance around the barren house;

Each was saved and treasured in her heart.

Shy glances around rooms full of strangers,

The first bashful conversations,

Then secrets gigglingly whispered among friends,

The sporadic crackle of the campfire piercing the cool night’s silence,

The myriad of voices singing praise skyward,

The melodic jibber of the Hispanic children,

And the dusty, bumpy roads,

The winkling of stars against the spread of black velvet,

And the rhythmic, whispering lap of the waves tickling the shore,

The cool water over their feet as their toes sink cozily in the sand,

All these things became part of her when she closed her eyes and

determined to absorb every magnificent, minute detail.