Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cheese Plate

I wondered around my house for a good 40 minutes deciding how I was going to start doing it: send Christmas off and take everything down. And then I said to myself, giving myself a little sass, "I don't have to take it down today. Who says? I'm not taking it down. There."

There was a knock on the door. Good, something to instigate my procrastination. Who could it be?
And two big white men with white hair and beards stood at my door. Santa? Times two? Could it be? They are here to tell me not to take down Christmas. Santa twins. I can't believe it. Why, Santa Clauses, did you bring any gifts for me? You're actually a little late but whatever.

The Santa brothers did bring us something. They point to a huge construction machine and some big, huge, steel black thing they were also hauling. They tell me they are here to install a tornado shelter. Dang, Santas, you did it big this year.

Last spring, WT and I were caught in a twister about 5 minutes from where we live. He was taking me to the airport for a bachelorette party (in the airport? why not?). We were just driving along, not much going on weather-wise but a few drizzles. Then all of a sudden, weird-looking clouds. Then sideways winds and strong gusts. In the next seconds, we can't see a few feet around the car with hail and unbelievable amounts of rain. We were not really that calm until we felt the winds nudging and playing with my car. Both of us turned as white as pearls, and he was giving his best effort at staying on the road.

The drama queen within gripped his hand and told him she loved him. And then said about 3 Our Father prayers. His phone rang. His brother was calling to say there was a tornado close to our house. Correct.

We pulled off the road and drove up into the old cotton gin. But by the time we had gotten to it, we saw the storm moving away towards the east, one big gray and green blob of disaster. Then the sun came out. Like nothing ever happened. Crazy.

Oh and then we ran into another one outside of Jackson. It, also, made me tremble with fear and pray that I may keep my life please.

However, I used to not tremble with fear when it came to twisters. Whenever there was a tornado in Oxford, when we were in college, my friend SV and I used to chase it like Helen Hunt. Stupidly and with some kind of idiotic bravery, we would load up in her white Volvo station wagon (shout out to Pearl--the first lady of vehicle personality) and chase the funnel clouds. I know you're thinking that we are so smart and really should receive a Nobel Prize in Science for our efforts with the many storms we followed around, but we were in it for the thrill. And maybe we had watched Twister one too many times. I think maybe we did because we still sometimes recite the lines back and forth to each other: "When are you going to stop living in the past and look at what you got right in front of you." "What are you saying?" "Me, Joe!" SV and I are proud to say that we know that whole movie by heart. Totally proud of it.

So now that I know I am not invincible anymore because of a couple of close calls, I told WT to get a storm shelter because I am positive that we live in the new tornado ally.

So here it is. That white thing is the door to the underground chamber that could some day, potentially save my life and that of my husband and future children. I hope we will never have to use it. They made me try it out, and now I have figured out that I need to start lifting weights in case a bad storm comes. I had a panic attack when I was inside the darkness trying to open it from the inside. "Okay, just take a deep breath and feel for the huge lever and pull it toward you," the men said calmly to me from the outside. When I got out, I embraced them both for saving my life.

Now that I live out here, I am super duper friendly with people who are sent out here to do something for us. They are probably a little weirded out when I go in for the hug, while they have stuck a hand. But when you don't live in a city, where you used to see hundreds of people a day, the people who end up coming to your house are like gold. I treat all of them as if they were my long-lost aunt or uncle. I want to know how their kids are, if they are afraid of heights, their family history, blood type, and the longest they've ever held breath under water.

These men were so jolly and sweet, I wanted them to stay for supper. But I'm glad they didn't because I really didn't feel like cooking. The man with the blue shirt you see in the first photo was so nice. He pulled me aside and gave me something:

How did he know I like Grey Goose Vodka? Somehow he meshed this Grey Goose bottle into a cheese plate. Then he gave me that cute little fancy cheese knife. See how the knife fits perfectly into the hole of the bottle?

I just thought it was the neatest thing. He told me he does all type of wine art and showed me pictures of some of his art using recycled bottles and corks. I thought he was so nice and so passionate about his art that I felt I should get his info out there: is the name of the website. Tom Root is the name of the man.

It goes to show you that you never know who is going to show up and be an artist in your life. From looking at a person, you really can't tell how talented they are. You have see the art and the sparkle in their eyes, and know that maybe everyone is called to some type of art. I love little surprises like this. I love people who surprise and are happy to share their gifts and art.

Speaking of which, I am thankful to my close friend, Caroline Reehl, my main artist, who has recommended me on her own beautiful blog. Her work is pure loveliness. I hope one day to be able to buy tons of her ceramics and have a whole room full (my future library with huge windows--I've got it all planned).

And thank you to other friends and family who have given words of encouragement and praise. It takes a lot of b*lls to blog, in my opinion. So I am going to need all the bells I can get, and you probably know that. So thanks.

Have a creative afternoon!

Liza Jane

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