Thursday, June 09, 2005

Feeling a might water-logged

It's my favorite kind of day -- for staying inside with a cup of cocoa.

It's rainy, with heavy gray clouds that look like they will cry all day long. This weather reminds me so much of rainy summer days when I was a kid, when Mama would pop a pan of popcorn on the stove after she finished ironing Dad's shirts.

I'd be sacked out on the couch, watching "The Price Is Right" and "Jeopardy!" on TV, occasionally stealing a handful of popcorn from Mama. Brother Bob would be watching the TV from his chair or he'd be in his room listening to Swap Shop on the radio. Sometimes he'd hear something he just couldn't live without, and he'd write down a phone number and excitedly try to get Mama to call. As often as not she would divert him; one day he bypassed her entirely and made the phone call himself. I'm not sure now what it was he committed to buy, but Mama had to make a second call to renegotiate the deal, I remember.

Later in the day I'd steal away to my room where I always had a stack of library books to keep me company. Sometimes I'd get on a real reading tear and go through four books in a day. Such a day was June 5, 1968, a day permanently engraved in my memory.

That morning I had walked to the public library with a friend, getting home just as the rain started. I had a new pile of books -- a mix of Edna Ferber, Pearl S. Buck and Nancy Drew. Much of the day I spent sprawled across my parents' bed, surrounded by these new friends. I had to clear out when Dad came home and we had supper. After I had done the dishes, Dad was sitting in his recliner, Mama in her rocker and Bob in his chair. I'd returned to the spacious parents' bed, from which I could clearly watch the TV, which was in the living room.

Between chapters of "The Good Earth" I was following the news of Robert Kennedy's victory in the California presidential primary election.

And then, the world changed, again. Another chapter in the history of U.S. political chapters was written. Bobby Kennedy was killed in a Los Angeles hotel.

Just months before, Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot. A few years earlier, JFK had been assassinated in Dallas.

These were the events that shaped my political outlook and formation. Three visionaries, leading the country into the future, gunned down.

We just passed the 37th anniversary of Robert Kennedy's death this week. Many of my blogbuddies weren't born yet then, or were babies. I was 13 and the memory is permanently imprinted on me.

Ah, but today's memories are of rainy days, not assassinations and politics.

I was out on a work assignment this morning and got a good soaking in the rain. It's not the end of the earth, but made for a miserable drive home in clinging, cold wet clothes. I corrected that situation as soon as I walked in the door, peeling off the soggy attire and wrapping up in a fluffy towel, then putting on my robe and favorite slippers. Ahh, that's the big perk that comes with working at home, alone!

I may have a cup of cocoa, then a short snooze with a pile of books stacked on the bed around me. Later, I'll return to the grown-up me of 2005 and get busy writing. For now, though, I think I'll turn back the clock to May 1968.

5 comments:

jeannie diane said...

Sounds like you had a great day.
I love being home when it rains.
Good memories of a good day, thanks
for sharing them with us.

Erudite Redneck said...

One of these days I'll open up about why I'll probably always be a Dem. In short, it has to do with the last few years of the Cold War.

Einar said...

Although I don't remember the date - 1960, 1961, I do remember reading on one just such rainy a day. I was in boarding school and my roommate and I copped a stack of Hardy Boy books and some greasy stuff to eat, and just read and read. We finished our books within minutes of each other, switched, and were off again. And the rain just fell and fell and fell.

Trixie said...

Wonderful! And so glad to see you posting here, Einar.

By the way, as an aside -- Lydie Marland remains an enigma to just about everyone who knows her story, which makes the tale of her statue all the more interesting. Hope you get to see it!

night-rider said...

Great story. It sounds so 'down -home-typical American' to my Aussie ears that it comes across as almost satirical...but where ever we live, we can all relate to grey, rainy days and a good book.