It’s been only five years since I took the Small Large Smelly Boy to his first opera? It’s already been a whole five years?
During that time I’ve thought frequently about the post I wrote after I took him to Portland Opera’s double bill of Pagliacci and Carmina Burana in fall 2010, when he was 12 years old. At least a few times every year I think about writing an update: What’s he doing now? Did it take? What’s happened since then? How old is he now? Did that first opera change his life like all the ta-DUM-ing in the post?
That whole event back then seemed like just life. A night out on the town with my lad after he took out the trash. A quick documentation of a special occasion. But I had no idea how much it would resonate and grow long-long legs and, well, if not change the course of history, then at least skew its trajectory just a bit.
I’ve been blog quiet much too long. I can’t explain these things, but just accept them. My writer brain has languished. I’ve seen glimpses of it, fragments, but capturing a cohesive sense has been a struggle.
For me, poetry often serves as a toddling way back to recovery, a voice for the broken. Not broken as in destroyed, or sad, though sometimes that can be the case, too, but in this instance, I consider it more a voice for the misshapen. It’s a bunch of puzzle pieces that need realigning. Again, I don’t question these things, I’m just grateful.
I thought I lost my poetry touch a few years ago. I never realized it was leaving, it just wasn’t there anymore and it took me a while to notice it was gone, but by then it was too late. So I’m surprised now by its sudden return, unannounced and unbidden, like a shadowed figure seeking shelter from a storm who shows up wet on my doorstep smelling of the natural order of things. Irresistible, really. But why?
… I like to drop in every now and again on a show for kids. No audience experiences the give-and-take between stage and seats more directly or honestly. If an audience of kids tunes out, it doesnâ€™t necessarily mean you have a bad show: It might just not be right for kids. But if youâ€™re an actor or director itâ€™s a good idea to pay attention to where the kids zone out, because maybe youâ€™ve got a problem on your hands. And if the kids are with you, theyâ€™re gonna let you know. Loudly.
Above: Tyler Andrew Jones and Andrea White in “Locomotion” at OTC. Photo: Owen Carey.
You do realize, right, that while you sped away to have a raucous dinner party at the assisted-living facility, you left me here to 1. make my own coffee. 2. fetch my own newspaper. 3. share my bed with more beasts than usual and 4. somehow end up with less bed space.
Ah, but the co-opted bed comes with a bonus. When I got home late last night The Small Large Smelly Boy was already ensconced on your side of the bed half-asleep and half-watching House Hunters International on HGTV (I can’t make this stuff up). We attempted to continue the family tradition that you claim to be a medicinal practice: Eat a dark Dove chocolate every night. But this morning, after I unpretzeled myself to get up, The SLSB said, “Oh, look out for a chocolate somewhere in the bed.” Apparently, his half-asleepness last night got the better of him.
I didn’t think much of it, except to remind myself to carefully look over the bed when I got around to making it. But I didn’t get that far …
More than a year ago Mr. Scatter’s parents moved to an assisted-living facility.
By then, the seven children were making choices for them and the parents weren’t sure where they were. The little cottage they had lived in was cleaned out.
A very few favorite items went with the folks, a few basic kitchen items and furniture pieces stayed, and the rest was spread out in the garage to sell. I’m not sure what because I wasn’t there.
All I know is that when I arrived a few weeks later by myself in the middle of the hot summer the place was an eerie ghost of its old self, empty and echoey. The familiar pictures were gone and the walls were a fresh new color. I immediately checked my feelings at the front door, knowing this had been a long time coming.
A little-known blog fact: The Scatter family has a hand-made recipe book.
Nearly a decade ago, we started collecting our favorite recipes that went with some of our favorite food stories. We loaded them up in notebooks and gave them to our close family and friends for Christmas. It’s called Star Pie: A Galaxy of Recipes and Remembrances.
It got its name because exactly 10 years ago today I wrote down a conversation I had with the Small Large Smelly Boy, who was not so large and not so smelly at the time. In fact, he was downright adorable. He was 4.
We back up our meat-centric blog for a little backstory. Mom’s coming for Thanksgiving and we got meat multiplying in the vegetarian-family freezer, but before I move on to the concussion blast and the traumatic brain injury these circumstances cause the Scatter Family, I first must explain our license plate.
We recently had to buy a new Large Smelly Boymobile.
Actually, let’s first back up to July 31, 2011. It was a gorgeous summer day. The Small Large Smelly Boy and I were driving our beloved van, LSBmobile1, from Port Angeles, Wash., where my mom lives, to Portland, Ore., where we live. Just to clarify, I was driving. The Small LSB isn’t even in high school yet.
If you’re wondering about Mr. Scatter, he’s been busy with paying gigs so we can afford all this meat we’re cooking for Thanksgiving. If you read the last post, you know by now that even though most of us in the family are vegetarians, somehow we’re cooking both a whole chicken and a turkey breast.
OK. OK. No somehow about it. I’ll admit it. It’s all because I’m an advice column failure.
But forget that for a moment because we have an emergency. The meat in our freezer is multiplying. And we don’t even have the whole chicken or the turkey breast yet.
The freezer already contains several kinds of elk meat and antelope sausage (which Mr. Scatter fondly keeps calling “gazelle”), which we got in exchange for pickles. And now — hold your breath — we have a giant turkey. More precisely, we have 21.12 pounds of bird, or $35.69 worth. It was FREE.