Before Cape Cod (could that be the most irritating thing I’ve ever written?? MAYBE), summer days were spent “building” backyard forts, floating to the middle of Lake Calhoun in an orange rubber raft (sans life jackets), stubbing big toes while walking to the beach, and selling Kool-Aid in front of our neighbor’s house to thirsty-passersby.
I don’t remember seeing a nickel of the profit, but I didn’t even care because I didn’t even know what money was for anyway and I looked like this:
Fast-forward 40 years to these kids selling LEMONADE across the street from our house and I’m pretty sure their parents were a part of the whole thing. I mean, look at that professional signage.
I bet none of these girls even wears a neighbor’s hand-me-down unitard for a swimsuit! I’m going to give this birthday card to one of them so they really understand life before it’s too late.
I’m sure their parents will thank me.
Should I care how hot it is outside?? I could feign concern but you and I both know that ever since those worker-guys filled part of my attic with snake-like, foil-wrapped, pre-insulated tubes built to deliver cool and conditioned air through little holes drilled in every ceiling in every room in my house, anything I say would just be platitudes and could you hand me my sweatshirt because, brrr, this mini-duct central AC is almost too cold!
After I wrapped myself in a summer-blanket and watched Les Stroud brave the wilderness in Survivorman, I created two versions of an empathy card. See how I IMAGINED my fellow comrades suffering through tropical temperatures?! (OR, DID I?? Shhhh.)
Independence day in Minneapolis is kind of ho-hum compared to Barnstable. Sure, there ARE fireworks to watch,
but there are zero parades followed by egg-tossing/potato-sack-racing/pie-eating contests. And definitely no shimmying up poles greased with crisco.
Some call that boring. I call it unAmerican. We ended up buying our own patriotism this year from Menards. (FYI: $2/2 flags.)
And I loudly wept as each flag was plunged into the lawn. Between my tears, I created a belated-birthday card for #oldestintern using an image from a VINTAGE newspaper she gave me.
I took German (DEUTSCH) in high school (why was I in the same class as my little brother and why did I quack like a duck with Tourette’s every time he spoke?? I’M SORRY, ANDY.) Our teacher was a Russian ballerina who hated being there as much as we did. I DID use my language-skills to translate a movie – here’s a scene:
Ohh, THAT’S what he was saying!!
I (obsessively) read the entire Black Stallion series under the watchful eye of my molded-plastic mini-Arabian Stallion
and my best, inanimate, friend Raggedy Ann. (Who my mom called Raggedy Baggedy and my older brother reminded me that I could not bring to the first day of Kindergarten. I said I KNOW THAT. But I was lying and couldn’t imagine being separated from her. She was filthy but I didn’t care because underneath her clothes was a secret stitched heart that professed her love to me.
As if I didn’t have enough blessings bestowed upon my busy-body, I was also honored with a sticker collection album… I don’t think my parents even knew how much it meant to me… I heard my little sister took it over when I had grown “too old” for it. I paged through “her” pages and held back my disappointment! Did she understand that stickers were meant to be saved between the clear plastic pages by cutting them out with their backing and a border that preserves the stickability and ease of future use??instead of just STICKING THEM TO THE CLEAR PLASTIC PAGES NEVER TO BE USED AGAIN??
I’m thinking about stickers again (did I ever really stop??) Because Zeichen Press is gonna stuff these 2″ x 2″ stickers in every order (for all of the big $30 spenders)!
I obviously read the Black Stallion series AGAIN to get into character.
Maybe Mr. Bo (doesn’t every grade schooler have a Vietnam War vet/gym teacher/recess monitor who relays stories about soldiers stringing human-ear trophies like Hawaiian leis and giant spiders perched on webs making passage of densely packed jungle-trails impossible without a machete??) or a passionate parent painted the four square court and kickball field in white paint on our asphalt parking lot/playground. The important thing is that the sand used to provide traction on the ice was only embedded in knees if a girl-student was bold enough to slide home in her uniform skirt.
Speaking of playground antics, here’s a photo of my friend Steph and I playing tug-o-war with my scarf while our friend Kate observes:
And here we are not playing tug-o-war while Steph’s cat observes.
Aren’t we cute??
If only someone would spray paint a clown riding a unicycle on the Washburn Water Tower.
Wait, someone did that in 1989 and I spied it on my bicycle while I wasn’t procrastinating writing a paper on the Shroud of Turin!
Here is an an artist’s rendering (mine) because I didn’t have my fanny-pak (Franny-pak) filled with an iPhone/camera and, sadly, only had the image seared into my brain via synaptic plasticity:
The only difference between the artist-rendering and the real graffiti is that the clown’s legs didn’t end with feet and were just magically stuffed into the wheel-hub. Did this give me nightmares?? Why would it??
I haven’t even thought of it for the past 30 years.
ALLEGEDLY, 9.5″ of snow fell “Up North” but I was too selfish to care because it feels like Spring here in Minneapolis. It’s finally safe to peel off and burn my Smartwool™ socks! (Just in time for Mother’s Day!)
Speaking of Mother’s Day… I wrote a birthday card!
That balanced out a card about traveling via greyhound bus.
But here’s what I’m REALLY excited about/wondering why 217,912 people watched this before I had even heard of it:
Now, thanks to Carolyn Swiszcz, I know where I need to go.
Oh, and ANOTHER thing/how I know it’s Spring: Our Spring cards are being RELEASED as I write this! I created a supplement sheet for our reps and because I am so dedicated, I even learned how to make drop shadows in Adobe InDesign:
The original Aunt Fran
sounded just like Katherine Hepburn.
And my older sister told me I sounded just like a banana with hair. (Don’t act like you don’t know what that sounds like.)
DESPITE that voice, and (let’s be real) a face that only a mother could
use to test bathwater temperature and was also later mutilated with a nose-ring and surrounded by a bad perm and self-cut bangs, I have somehow prevailed! My evidence of this is best expressed through Lifetime Movie monologues
OR our latest release!
BEHOLD! (Here is a teaser/1 of 12 soon to be added to the shop!)
Aww! Look at our deck covered in Millie and sunshine!
Spring is here!
Wait… what is that falling from the sky??
Oh, Minnesota… YOU TRICKSTER! You get me every year!
I tried to escape Minnesota’s clutches for one of my birthdays years ago… The cabin-pressure reminded my uterine lining that it should exit via my lady-parts posthaste. As I tied a sweatshirt around my waist, I reminded myself that I should have known better.
I know Winter is almost over because I’ve watched everything on Netflix and am now forced to look at my neighbor’s roof because their house is so close that when windows are open on quiet Summer nights, I’ve heard a stream of urine meeting a toilet-bowl full of water.
Oh, and another reason I know Winter is almost over is that Jen and I (and #oldestintern) are picking cards for the Spring release! It only took me two hours of meditation and four Xanax to kill my darlings! And by darlings, I don’t mean house pets or 4th trimester babies. I mean designs that I have birthed and cherished as if they were a sliver of my soul. As the kids say, #NBD. Maybe someday, my little friend.
Oh, this one DID make the cut!