Spousal Unit. Bless his heart. And I mean that in a good way. He is patiently allowing me to have my little mid-life crisis, or whatever I’m having right now. In the past five months, I’ve bought a 1959 canned ham camper, Girl Child’s first pony and a behemoth roll-top desk that is as BIG as the 1959 canned ham camper.
Each purchase made sense as I made it. After all, a vintage camper? What a riot! We’ll name her Daisy, fix her up, travel the states, write stories and Spousal Unit can build mandolins. That she isn’t road worthy, doesn’t have bathroom facilities and a mandolin can barely fit into her means nothing.
Girl Child’s first pony was a tougher sell. She had disappeared from sight, having been sold by the folks we originally sold her to. I had fretted for about a year, hoping that Callie was all right and that the people who bought her knew she is as amazing as we know she is. (Spoiler alert: they did.)
When a good friend found her – for sale – in East Tennessee, I knew I had to get her back. This did not please Spousal Unit. He is watching his retirement years loom closer and the retirement fund stagnate like the icemaker runoff spewed into a bog under our boxwoods. It sits there and stinks until the dog rolls in it and then the dog sits there and stinks. Like the bog and the dog, our retirement fund makes us wrinkle our nose in protest and moan that it needs to have something done with it.
Still, I persisted. We needed to get Callie back. We owed it to her. Ponies risk a hard life when they reach middle age. That life is called lesson pony. Just as Spousal Unit and I don’t want to retire with minimal funding, forcing us to push a Kroger cart with all of our earthly goods and the cats in it, through alleys while we we drink cheap gin and eat cat food, I don’t want Callie to spend her middle age and retirement as a lesson pony.
An amazing friend donated her Sunday and her horse trailer, driving six hours so she could trailer Callie and me to another amazing friend’s farm that is close to us. Callie is noshing on nubs of winter grass right now. She seems contented. After she puts on a little weight and gets back into shape, she will earn her keep by teaching a couple of young girls how to ride. It doesn’t sound different from being a lesson pony, but it is. Not only will she teach a couple of young ladies how to ride, but she will also teach them how to love unconditionally, how to be responsible, and how to be respectful, yet strong and assertive in the face of a stubborn force that might want to hurt them. I’ve always said if a girl can show a thousand pound animal who’s boss, ain’t no boy gonna push her around.
That leads me to the final part of the trifecta of my MLC (Mid Life Crisis). The desk. Boy Child is working at his alma mater as a sort of tech support, workshop leader for the school’s new 3-D printer. He is having a blast and is surrounded by people who love, support and basically adore him. It’s disgusting, but I love, support and basically adore these people, so it’s tolerable. I went to his office one snowy school-is-closed day to see what had been 3-D printed recently. They have plastic replicas of buildings, boats and the tech director’s head.
I stepped into my good-friend-the-school-publicist’s office so I could place happy stick-it notes all over her computer and was greeted by a great behemoth of a roll-top desk. This thing grabbed me and wouldn’t let go, the swirls and etchings of its oak patterns mesmerizing me into the heartbeat thump of “I want it. I want it.”
The desk, guarding its corner of my friend’s small office like a gargoyle guarding a building, let me know that it kept everything within its confines safe. I want a safe place to write. I bought I camper and some day I will write within her walls. The desk beckoned me write upon it at this moment.
My friend wanted to sell the desk; she’s downsizing. Much like we did with Callie, though, she wanted it to go to someone she chose. She wanted it to go to someone who would appreciate its antiquity, its beginnings as a newspaper desk in Indiana in the early 1910s. My friend is also a writer. She wanted somebody who would understand that the ink and coffee stains are stories. That deadlines were met and deadlines were missed at this desk. That written words made a difference after they left the hidden compartment that held the typewriter.
The desk looks good in my tiny office. She’s settled in nicely and I’m waiting for her name to come to me. My friend who had her before has come up with a few. Noting that she seems to be leaning toward names that could be in a Wagner opera, she suggested Gert, Gota, Mathilde and Britta. She also recommended Alona because it means strong as an oak and also there is the thought, “I like to be Alona when I write.” I like that.
Then she suggested Yolanda. What does Deb know about this desk that I don’t? Yolandas are sassy and they don’t take no crap. I’ve never met a Yolanda who was afraid to tell it like it is. Yolanda don’t need to learn how to ride a horse because ain’t nobody pushing Yolanda around. Is this desk a Yolanda?
I’ll check with Daisy and Callie and let you know.