Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tranquillity Rd.

I had a lovely visit with my mother, and got back last night. The day rushed by. My mother is about to turn 93, and she'd doing better than I guessed from recent phone conversations.

I told her she needed to picture that she was pushing her walker down Tranquillity Road, and as long as she avoided certain swamp pits that set her off, she'd do just fine.

(I hope the un-named relatives never see this cartoon!) These are the main four things that set her off, but they can really do their thing.

I bought her a snazzy red calico cane as a back-up, in case she misplaces cane number one.

When I got back to Lake Balboa at dawn this morning, the two roosters saw me from a distance and came running. I took another direction because I wasn't ready to feed them their baggy of chicken mash yet. When I came back to the parking lot they were standing by my car! In fact one was trying to fly onto my hood! These roosters are exceptionally smart. They must recognize my silhouette, but the car??? I am not exaggerating about this!

I also saw what at first I thought was a raccoon with two tails. I stopped and stared. They were mating in the bushes. Molly didn't see them. When you leave the sidewalk at Lake Balboa it is a pretty wild world!

Jon met me at the airport with Molly. Sort of. My plane got in early, so I sat down outside Southwest to wait for him. After 45 minutes I was getting in a panic, because we're both very punctual people, and neither of us has a cel phone. Just then I saw Molly and him coming towards me- he hadn't seen me yet. He'd been sitting on a bench 100 feet away, obscured by a giant column. We were both big dopes. He'd been there 45 minutes too!


sally g said...

Glad you're back and that you had such a good visit with your mother! Sometimes a cell phone is handy.... Love the cartoon!

Linda said...

The cartoon is priceless!! I want to do a Tranquillity Road cartoon for myself now. It's good you got your mom a back-up cane, because my mom dropped hers down the elevator shaft while she was trying to hold the door open for someone. The story about you and Jon is too hilarious. Isn't it great to be home? I just got back and I'm giddy.

Jesse said...

Ohh, ohh, Let me make one! :)

sal said...

Let's all make one!

Namowal said...

Yes, Tranquility Roads all around!

I'm impressed with the chicken intellect. Even more so considering I occasionally can't find my own car in the parking lot.
Classic story about you and Jon outside Terminal One. Someone should coin a word for such events- unnerving experiences that blossom into funny stories.

Mean Jean said...

Jon should have brought the chickens to the airport. They would have found you right away.

Sally said...

Sal, without the cel phone we were like an O.Henry story. I'm sure chickens would have made one of us easier to spot, Mean Jean!

It is great to be home. You should all do your own tranquillity roads.

I love the one you posted, Jesse.
I ran into a big Vista headache trying to connect my laptop to the wireless network at the retirement community. For everyone with XP the connection is right there, but Vista insists on the unknown password. My nephew said that's the nanny aspect of Vista.

Namowal, those roosters ran after me today even after I'd dumped their chicken mash baggy. Wish I could bring them home but it wouldn't work.

Jesse said...

/me writes up a business plan centered around marketing roosters trained to help their owners find things: their cars, each other, corn ..

I like the sounds made by pretty much all birds. chickens too. You get a bunch of chickens together all "caaaaw.. cluck cluck cluck"ing together out of sync, it's quite a stress reducing sound.

My grandmother puts out feed for quail at her house (ranch in Powell Butte) and some seasons she'll get 100-200 quail all kicking it in the yard.

Quail by themselves make some cute, and quiet warbly sounds. But when you get together big groups of them they play off one another and get competitive. They harmonize and antiharmonize like wolves and coyotes (which we also have). So you'll wind up with some shockingly convincing sci-fi sound effects, like energy weapons screaming from the left to the right, changing pitch, and screaming back again in return fire. I close my eyes, imagine layering over an orchestral score and dialog, instant flash parody of starwars. :)

Sally said...

We used to have bobwhite quail- they were strange and interesting birds, and the sounds they made were unworldly. Funny how many species like to roll in the dirt.

In the warm weather we're having the last two days, our chickens are making all kinds of "let me out" noises in the aviary. I let them out twice today. I can't leave them out because silky chickens can't fly.

Greta said...

Sally, I love the Tranquility Road cartoon! Roz Chast, move over. I think you're brave not to have cell phones (really another swamp along TR in many cases). Mean Jean cracks me up.

Sally said...

Thanks Greta. Glad you stopped by!