Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hedwig goes to Hogwarts

Meet Hedwig.
"Owl selfie!"
Hedwig lives a quiet life on my book shelf. We've had a very comfortable arrangement since 2002, when we met in a bookstore at the mall.
"It's not much, but it's home."
Other than some additions in 2003, 2005, and 2007, nothing much changes for Hedwig.
"These weren't here when I arrived."
But then, last week, Hedwig had a wild idea: Hedwig decided to go to Hogwarts. She kindly permitted me to accompany her, as she didn't precisely know the way.
"If you drove a Ford Anglia, we'd be there by now."
Matt and I drove her to the airport.
"Am I doing this right?"
"So this is how muggles 'fly'?"
We stayed with Matt's grandparents in Florida. Hedwig spent a lot of time lounging by the pool.

We visited a museum exhibit about Da Vinci.
"This painting doesn't talk much..."
"I take back everything I said about the other muggle flying device..."
Finally, we made it to Hogwarts.
"I knew it was real!"
She bought a few postcards...
"I shall send it to myself!"
...chatted up the other owls...
"This is the best day ever!"
...and saw the sights.
"Are you seeing this?"
"They're singing my song!"
We picked up a few Universal Studios souvenir pennies on our way out.
"You'll have to help me with the crank..."
We spent a day at the beach...

...where Hedwig built a Hogwarts sand castle.
"I'm an owl, not an architect."
Finally, it was time to come home. I'm sure Hedwig will remember her trip fondly.
Say, what have you got there, Hedwig?
I suppose it was time for a change, after all.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

St. Pat's Greeting Card

This is what happens when I send greeting cards:

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Collectors' Items

I collect many things. I don’t have triple deadbolts on my doors or guard griffins in my yard, so you’d never know that my home is actually full of very valuable collections. I don’t suppose it could hurt to tell you about them though…

To ward off the cold, I have a very fine collection of blankets. I have big ones and baby ones, old ones and new ones, fuzzy throws, patchwork quilts, colorful tapestries, and a few with seasonal designs. I have extra blankets on my bed and under it, and draped across every sofa and chair. They’re tucked in every corner, filling the top of the closet, the linen cupboard, a cedar chest, and two storage ottomans.

In the front closet, I’ve arrayed my collection of hats and scarves like the shining weapons in an armory, bright and ready to conquer the day. Which shall serve me best? The blue fish hat that looks like it’s eating my head as the tail flops about jauntily, or perhaps the pink knitted number with the kitty cat ears that I insist I’m not too old to wear? Shall I pair them with the softest ever purple scarf that was a gift from a friend, or the long pastel rainbow that Matt’s aunt knitted for me? Words like “subdued” and “color coordination” are not uttered here.

I’ve collected enough books to outlast the winter, and perhaps the apocalypse. There are childhood favorites, and childish favorites, and favorites that would probably offend my mother. I’ve paperbacks picked up for pocket change at used book sales and hardcovers picked up for cover price on long-awaited release days, books I haven’t got around to yet and books I’ve read more than once, and if all else fails, Amazon has my credit card number and I’m not afraid to use it.

I collect tea things. I consume a steady supply of herbal tea and black tea and white chai, loose or bagged, in decorative tins and little boxes (stacked against the wall in the pantry like a layer of insulating bricks), and I prepare the tea with my collection of tea things: pots and kettles and infusers and strainers. There’s a pot shaped liked a pumpkin and a creamer shaped like an elephant and a mug with an octopus on it.

I collect other things as well: I have an ever-changing collection of good chocolate, scented candles, and fancy soaps. I don't like to clean, so my corners collect dust. I collect friends, but only good ones, mind you: quality over quantity. I collect conversations, pressed like preserved leaves between the pages of journals. I collect letters and photos and texts and emails. Like a squirrel storing up supplies to see myself through the seasons, I collect memories of good days spent reading in front of the fire, of family dinners, of lazy mornings, and of heartfelt hugs.

Of course, I don’t have insurance policies on my 37 throw blankets or my 23 teapots. I don’t fear thieves or natural disasters or the like. Because most people wouldn’t consider these collections to be “valuable”, I don’t need an elaborate alarm system or magical wards or soldiers patrolling my (high and nonexistent) walls.

Though if there really were such things as guard griffins, I’d collect those as well.