Monday, August 18, 2008

alice's weekend...LAST weekend!

we went on a road trip this weekend after the high long distance adventure of Kyla Jade's emersion into the world as we know it...Friday was exciting...we'd waited for SO LONG! we loaded up Tony ('member? the red wagon's name was TONY) who although he willingly took on the stroller, our lawn chairs, various piles of blankets, Pookamoo's (Syreeta) travel bag, Alice's travel bag, Biko's clothes (tossed in, not in a bag), My travel bag (by the way please let me interject here that this was a SMALL PINK bag instead of my usual "just in case" large suitcase), Mr. Man's travel bag (and another small digression - his bag was packed with DIRTY clothes because he hadn't had time to do the mundane laundry chore:-)). Daisy aka Fairy watched us pack with kind of a doubtful expression on her face but didn't say much except to try and help us pack "hey, can I grab this and bring it for you? do you know how much I love water? hey hey HEY are you listening? here, let me help you, I'll jump up and put my paws in your biz and you can CUSS at me K????? yeah, that's funny! did I tell ya the one about the ant and the spider? HAHAHAHAHAHA it's FUNNY here I'll jump up on you again...." and that WAS the manner of her helpfulness so let me tell you the air whilst packing was peppered with many colorful euphemisms!

Ahhhhh on our way with Mr. Man, Biko, me, Pookamoo (aka Syreeta), Skinny (aka Wesley, our nephew) and Alice - the Important Baby of Wisdom and Many Songs...all loaded up on Tony the Regal Red Wagon.

Perhaps I should have prefaced this little novella with the opening phrase "it was HOT THAT DAY" because truly, it was hellatiously hot - and I say that with all the awe and reverence due the heat of the sun that day!

We got a few miles from town...oh, maybe 60...Mr. Man and I had our fingers crossed already because we KNEW that Tony was a tired boy...Tony decided we'd pushed him just about far enough and right before an off-ramp to an underpass with YAY shade, he pooped out. We sat under the shade for a bit then tried the ramp back on to the freeway...nope...back down the hill - waited awhile longer and tried again...NOPE back down the hill - Skinny was wondering just what Uncle Mr Man was up to driving the car halfway up the hill and then backing down again but he didn't quite want to bring it up just yet.

Finally he just went and took the bull by the horns "uncle, are we still going to Portland? why are we doing THIS?" and everyone laughed.

We tried taking Tony in small increments and even babied him until finally we gave up on Tony and the machinations therein occurred (LAUGHING OUT LOUD - machinations therein means we called for HELP!!!!) Help arrived and took Biko, Pookamoo and Alice back home to go get Biko's car during which we all kind of tried to amuse ourselves and not be too antsy. Saw a really nice sunset though. Finally got Biko's car and off we went again on our happy trip to Portland although it has to be told that Mr. Man was a tiny bit cranky by now.
The Big City of Bright Lights finally showed itself in the distance - YAY! Jollifications for Mr. Man & Missy Ma'am - which turned out to be quite the occasion:-)

Saturday and its BBQ day for the whole tribe...preparations began and even though it was hot because certain people wanted to have MEATLOAF this was made - and frybread because really...what kind of Indian gathering is it without frybread? People began to gather and there was much laughter and lots of hugs! It's at this point that Alice decided to adopt a new Daddy...John - you'll see him pictured with her quite often and as the story is told, Alice adopted him but when she saw her mama - Pookamoo - being "butt hurt" about it, she took her mama back...although she kept the title of "Daddy John" to use at a later date.

finally after all the laughter and hugging and EATING was done several of us migrated to Lee's house where we all FINALLY MET KYLA JADE GAVIN!!!! YAY!!!!! She was adorable of course...she graciously invited us to have some water because she knew it was hot outside...she asked me, her grandma to please look at the AC unit her dad had installed because it didn't seem to be putting out cold air. Upon inspection it was decided that Lee must have made a mistake - which he tried to deny but couldn't:-) he had it on fan and not cool...

Friday, August 15, 2008

stickgamez at home

okay, i've uploaded the picture you see about six times and i can't for the life of me figure out why the color issue but hey...we're OBVIOUSLY having fun there, Mr Man and I...
Stickgame is so amazing...we were asked by Trish to play stickgame for the Community Picnic and of course we said yes, my brother has played since he was quite young and he knows songs from the old OLD days as well as stories that the songs came of my favorite songs is one he talks about learning from Atway Nellie that was brought by the prairie the song goes you can just see the little dogs with their cute little paws hiding the bones...there's another song we picked up from a coastal tribe and as you sing it you can almost smell the salty sea air and feel the roll of waves beneath you...
on this day I sang a song we call "Jilly's song" because my daughter Jilly sings it when we get down to very few sticks and it looks kinda bleak - to my surprise and joy our friend Myrna, one of the tribal grandmas joined in with me and her voice was strong and amazing - we got a few sticks from that one!
it's fun to play stickgame and see people walking by - people never fail to smile because our songs are playful and joyous...
okay well, I could talk about stickgame all day so I won't - hope you all have a really fun weekend!

Kyla Jade Gavin

When I told my friend that grand daughter 3 had arrived she replied back by email..."it doesn't seem right that Baby Lee (the dad) is old enough to have a baby! and here you are grandma 3 times...where did the years go?"

The years went HERE and how amazing is THAT?

Monday, August 11, 2008

huckleberry feast

to preface this blog i'd like to share with you an anecdote...i've been home now since july 4, 2004. since coming home life has been so multi-faceted there's just really no words to describe...but before i go on:

while working at an unnamed Indian organization in portland, oregon, i was once at a staff party in which the game "Indian Pictionary" was being played. it was fun and the words and pictures were got to be my turn and the word was "Culture" Now today, if you gave me that word there are a plethora of pictures i might draw for you but that day? i drew a picture of a yogurt cup...even had the words "nancy's" on the front...that's what "Culture" was to me, acidopholus culture:-)

i now scoff at such naivete and yet in the daily living of this "home" life i find that if one finds the necessity of describing our lifestyle and the word "culture" comes up it's usually by someone who doesn't really have a clue:-) but enough said on THAT issue.

yesterday was huckleberry feast...(now the DAY before yesterday)

i was ready to declare huckleberry feast as my favorite feast of the year but i just can't...that' sa different blog altogether...
So friday was picking day - i wasn't able to go out this year due to having been out of the office already a LOT so i offered to help cook for the gatherers which is a necessary part of the gathering. i met over at the longhouse kitchen with tut and dee and we cooked with all our good feelings and laughter for the gatherers. they got back and it's time to sing in the berries - this IS one of my favorite parts - we all stand in the longhouse on our sides and as the gatherers bring the berries in there is the bell ringing - it's amazing really, and to us, the huckleberries are our Big Sister. the gatherers stand in the wash beside the berries and we sing one song over them - it's a particular song but that's all i will say about that - each gatherer is given a chance to say a few words and some of them do yet another part of the deep richness of this feast. the berries are taken out with the ringing of the bell and then its time to eat - we gather in the annex for this, eating and talking and laughing and singing...where moments ago was awe and majesty you'll find the humorous going from bawdy to simple at our table. we are family.
a few chores are done and then everyone goes home...saturday preparations continue and sometimes a service in the evening then SUNDAY comes around and everyone shows up wearing their best longhouse gear; first the service while we ladies cook the dinner - by now the smells are beyond expression - rich buffalo broth intermingled with sweet cakes and pies; watery rivery (yes those ARE words!) salmon and pungent roots and chokecherries are all laid out - a colorful array of delicous adoration - we sing over the food as it's served, giving thanks to Creator for the salmon and deer and buffalo, the men serve these foods, then the women serve the roots and chokecherries and THEN it's time to serve the huckleberries! i couldn't help it, my knees were hurting, i was tired and hot but i HAD to do a little happy dance when i picked up my bowls to go serve...i do love the huckleberries!

dinner is served and on with huckleberry feast - one more song and we all have a "taste" of each of our Indian foods...i'm called on at my table to show the visitors how to take their taste and i turn to my sister Pam who started going to the longhouse at about the same time as i did in 2004..."look at us...we didn't used to know ANY of these things, had to be told how to do everything, now we know the words to the songs and how to show the taste!"
happy sigh....

Friday, August 8, 2008

maybe you don't know this?

We look at our world as inorganic, you know, the objects utilized so frivolously, our car, our computer, the dwellings we inhabit? Often the smallest detail escapes us and that's the whispered jokes at our expense - the car smirks at us from the driveway "I know what you did last night" and we blithely slam the door without a second thought...

This is not so in our universe, our car has a name, he told us himself, that his name is Tony - sometimes I call him Anthony when he's acting a little fractious, but for the most part his name is Tony. Our last car's name was Gracie Lou Freebush, yes, she DID win Miss Congeniality...before that a plethora of autombilians...Daria, Selma, Jess's truck Kenneth, Skye, Marianne, Bob...all of these faithfully carried us about in our whirlwind lives and don't tell anyone but they really DO know what we did last night:-)

I share this with you because today when my brother and I went to lunch we pulled into the parking lot and there he was: Tony's cousin...just as grouchy and dinged up as Tony and tapping his wheels waiting because they'd actually made this appointment long ago!

Here's a picture of the two of them and if you look closely, you'll see they're chuckling:

summer storm

yesterday was one of those hellatiously hot days - oh really - not hellatiously hot like in iraq for instance where it's like 120 by 10 am, or even hellatiously hot like in vegas where it was 110 by 8 am - nope, this was eastern oregon hellatiously hot and the thing is, it smelled so good: heat, wheat, rain, clouds (yes, it's true you CAN smell clouds) and the pure hope of storm relief...

this storm built and the wind was awesome blowing dramatically through the prairie...kicking tumbleweeds around and even ferociously pulling at tall thistles until THEY went flying...a cloud of dust enveloped our dancers the hills and lightning struck with infinite precision...was it a tornado like the Dorothy and Toto adventures? No, but oh the sheer power of these winds were awesome.

What I LOVE about summer storms is this: it gets hellatiously hot and heavy - muggy and miserable - the clouds gather in dramatic force and then the storm happens - wind, lightning, rain, more wind, dust, a plethora of hot miserable moments and WHAM

The sun comes out and it's just beautiful and CLEAR and the air has been cleansed...


Thursday, August 7, 2008

:-) all things new? yes!

one thing that's new about me: i love dolly parton - if you had asked me ten or even TWO years ago I'd have said "Dolly who?"

:-) all things new? yes!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

did i miss the BUS??????

it's funny really, when I was young my biggest fantasy was that the "martian" bus had forgotten me and would one day pull up and off I'd go to my real home: Mars.
We forget our dreams, you and I, in the midst of our grown up struggles to survive in this jungle of adulthood. I think we should remember our dreams, our fantasies, our sheer delight in the intricacies of a dandelion (yes, please DO go look right now!) the miniscule puff of yellow joy that a dandelion will emit when you giggle at his bright yellow audacity!
life is rough. you and I both know that. We have our daily struggles, those moments we have to stop and cry in the restroom because we just can't take one more moment of this intensity, the pain we watch our loved ones endure and often the magnitude of issues our own bodies carry...this is why we had those dreams, something to look back on and smile in the midst of our daily grind because otherwise life is just that...a daily grind and we both KNOW that's not what was intended!
so take a moment, pause and just look around you. in some crack in the sidewalk you'll see a stalwart dandelion struggling to bring joyous green to the hot cement; in some unknown face you'll see the sparkle of smile that is there just for YOU to enjoy; you might take joy in the smell of that fresh pot of coffee made for the last employee working late - breathe in that strong nutty fragrance mingled with hazelnut creamer (YUMMY); giggle to yourself at the inanity of your long lost dream of one day becoming Royal Anne (yes, I did) or perhaps you thought you might one day wake up and KNOW the reason for the ocean waves OR perhaps you might have dreamt of being that ONE person who might discover human flight? and maybe if you look just right you'll be seeing the moon at the same second as I am tonight!
we'll have joy TOGETHER for just one moment!