As we were on our way to Disneyland on Friday morning I had an epiphany. Have you ever had one of those moments where things suddenly become so clear? During our drive to Anaheim I noted how the highway twists and turns through the moments.
It made me wonder: who were these men who blasted their way through these mountains that have stood here since the beginning of time? did men die while trying to pave the way for a new freeway? who painted those perfect yellow and white lines that separate each lane?
While the sky above was looming ominously I watched trees, bushes, flowers, grass sweep by. You’d hardly believe that just five months ago there was very hot and destructive wildfires that consumed every bit of brush that the embers could possibly get to. The hills were so lush and beautiful. So much green. And yet there still stood the blackened stumps where trees used to stand so tall. Off to the left of the highway stood a decrepit chimney. You wouldn’t have known that there once stood a very mysterious log cabin.
The further into Los Angeles we drove the more decrepit the building became. Signs posted everywhere: “For Sale”, “For Lease”, “Only $375 a Month”, “Liquidation”, “Going Out of Business”. Buildings marked by grafitti and patches of paint. How some of these businesses continue to linger in such a horrible economy is beyond me. Many buildings have been abandoned. There were more men and women pushing grocery carts, collecting cans, bottles, wire. Anything their greasy hands could hold onto. They were marked, by the weather, by their new “careers”, by hard times.
I took this all in as we drove. I thought to myself how very lucky I am that I have Shawn. That he takes care of me. I thought to myself how very easily it could be us living on the streets if he suddenly lost his job. I’m thankful for what we have even if sometimes I complain that it’s not enough. We always make do.
And we did. We arrived at Disneyland at 8:10 in the morning. We were full from hot chocolate and coffee. Full from the saturated sweetness of the doughnuts we’d purchased: soft, fluffy dough with chocolate, maple, plain glazes. And to our suprise we escaped the crowds. As the day continued we went on the rides. Shawn held me close and I could smell the manly scent of his cologne and sweat. We surmised that Walt Disney would surely be disappointed that they now charge $69 a ticket for admission. Or how people continually purchased $8 slickers that were no more than thin garbage bags. We had steak sandwiches under red and white striped canopies while the drizzle turned into rain. We smelled the sweet scent of just-made-right-this-minute fudge and waffle cones for the ice cream shop. We drooled over all the delicious candies: gummy Goofy’s, chocolate covered Mickey Mouse pretzels, 12 inch lollipops, chocolate dipped strawberries, salt water taffy…We laughed and held hands. We braved the longest line of all- the tram that takes us to the parking lots. We were drenched. I shed my jeans and sweater in the car and thanked God for the heat that the car provided. We talked for the three hours it took for us to get home.
Scout was sick by the time we got home. She held onto a temperature of 102 for three days. But she sucked on the gummy Goofy’s and cradled her new pair of shoes. She pet the soft pink of the insoles but she waited to put them on.
She was even more drawn in by my souvenir, by the softness and the newness:
Somehow her illness brought us closer together. We held her, cradled her, babied her. How I miss the smell of her when she was just six pounds. Her hair is long now. A mess of curls atop her head. She asks you, “What are you doing?” She tells you, “Love you”. We drove her around. We tried to cool her down, heat her up. We bought her a special cup and straw to sip juice from.
And then this morning all was well. It seems that the downpour of rain washed away her illness. She is back to being a funny little two year old who sometimes tells her brother to “shut up” when he talks too much. She runs around the house in her diaper, this is her playground.
In the midst of Disneyland and illness, my illness had gotten worse: laryngitis. But I braved it and decided to knit with a friend at the local coffee shop yesterday. I needed to do the one thing that makes me feel better when nothing else seems to work. I knit. I purled. And I managed to finish something that I’d been working on for a while.
Foggy Seas Scarf
Malabrigo Sock: Cote d’Azure
US 4 needles
6.25″ x 72″
And today? Today I’m enjoying the onslaught of rain. I’m wearing the sweats I stole from Shawn when we first started dating. My hair is wet, but not for long. All the blinds are open to let in what light the clouds will provide. Scout is playing with Jem, they make tents out of the extra blankets and sheets in the linen closet. Sometimes they take a break, but never for very long. I await Shawn coming home so that I can breathe him in and remember that this has all been worth it.