4 Sentient Memories: The Things We Treasure

lfDP Writing 101 Day 20: Possessions & Long-form writing

I’m not going to lie to you this time. My mind feels like a revolver with somebody else’s finger on the trigger. Writing this will be difficult. Why? I have been asked to write the story of my “prized possession” and to write a fairly “long” story, rather than a short riff about it. This feels difficult for a number of reasons.

First, I’m not a collector of possessions: no house, no band saw, no ‘65 Porsche. Most of my life has been a man in motion—moving from one town to another, moving from one job to another, moving from one country to another, one hobby to another, one life to another, one woman to another (okay that’s a story for another day). Even these days when I’m in my own country, I live in a motorhome and park in some lovely spot in the mountains or some other lovely spot by the sea. For most of my life, I was pretty much the poster child for minimalist living. Just recently, I purchased my first TV (and I’m not a young man), and, get this, I don’t even own a smartphone. I’m not a dinosaur, I just never wanted a phone that was smarter than me. Okay, I’m a dinosaur.

Second, the items that I have purchased during my travels in various places around the world are all loved pretty much equally. I mean, take the broken tile from Delft (Holland) mounted on a faux-antique frame painted gold. Such kitsch, but for some reason I have not changed the frame—the combination seems to work in some appealing way for my eye, and senses, (or should we call it procrastination?). During an unusually-sunny summer a few years ago, I was holed up in a quaint canal house in Amsterdam, and met up with Nina T, one of my favorite travel buddies. After downing the requisite afternoon Heineken at an outdoor table of a pub alongside the Prinsengracht, we hopped a train and traveled to Delft, a picturesque little town right out of a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. Lying just north of Amsterdam, Delft is famous for a couple of things: its pottery, its Nieuwe Kerk (new church) dating from the 14th century, its history of breweries, and the famous painter, Johannes Vermeer. Vermeer painted mostly inside domestic scenes, and usually in his studio located inside his house, in Delft. He’s the guy who painted “The Milkmaid” pouring milk from a clay pitcher into a clay bowl, and “The Girl with the Pearl Earring” that Scarlett Johansson played in the movie.

Vermeer's Milkmaid
Vermeer’s Milkmaid
Windmill in Delft, Netherlands
Windmill in Delft, Netherlands
Nieuwe Kerk courtyard
Nieuwe Kerk courtyard

On another adventure, Nina T and I had once visited Jane Austen‘s house, located in the little burg of Chawton, about an hour southwest of London. Fine, Jane Austen was a good writer, but I’ve never been a big fan—no car chases, nobody gets blown up, no sex. What I remember most about Chawton, besides the fact that nothing’s there (no, literally), is the fine little pastry shop just across the street from Jane Austen’s house. If you like scones, drive on down to Chawton and view Jane Austen’s house from the shop across the street.

Ceiling of Nieuwe Kerk
Ceiling of Nieuwe Kerk
Nina BEFORE afternoon beer
BEFORE: afternoon beer
AFTER: afternoon beer
AFTER: afternoon beer

Nina T and I—lovers of the insides of other people’s houses—wanted to check out the inside of Vermeer’s home, but it was closed for renovations. It was easy, however, to see how the inside would brighten from the natural light pouring through the large windows.

Canal house spanning canal, Delft
Canal house spanning canal, Delft
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Steps leading to canal with floating algae, Delft

In an effort to create pottery that looked like Chinese porcelain, Delft craftsmen from that era typically used a combination of three different clays: a local calcium-rich marl, a clay from France, another from Germany. They covered the finished piece in a white tin glaze, then coated it with a clear glaze. They painted designs in cobalt blue, and ultimately, other colors and ended up with a fairly good imitation of Chinese porcelain. I’ve never been a big fan of Chinese porcelain, the designs are too busy. Dutch wall tiles are much less busy. Some may have only one flower, a sea shell, a dog, or a man wielding a scythe.

Therapy: Holland Style
Therapy: Holland Style

I purchased my tile from an antique purveyor in Delft. It was made centuries ago, by Delft craftsmen. It is actually half a tile, split pretty much right down the middle. In the center you see a piece of a flower, a tulip, and a fleur-de-lis at each corner. The tile had the date of its approximate production taped to the back. The tape loosened, got lost. I have a bad memory, but I remember something like 1658.

The antique shop where I bought the tile
The antique shop where I bought the tile
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My circa 1658 Delft tile fragment in gaudy frame

This would have been about the time Vermeer was painting “The Milkmaid” in natural light in the studio of his home. I keep imagining how this tile got broken, the room where it lived, the people, their clothes. I would love to listen to its long tale, the saga of lives it witnessed through history. Because of all that is happening in the world these days, I keep telling my friends that I’m glad I was born at the time I was, when life was simple, and I grew up wearing no damn helmet while riding my bike, could walk the three miles to school in complete safety, and never once worried about a dead phone battery. I’m not sure I like where civilization is headed, I’m not sure I want to be living here in another 50 or 100 years (a cell phone embedded in my ear, computer screen in my retina, mandatory yoga classes in kindergarten). However, I would truly love to be on the planet when they invent a time machine and travel back centuries to a time when life was even more simple, yet hard. But then, can’t you just imagine the bookies of the future taking bets on just what Noah’s ark was made of. My bet would be reeds.

Noah's Ark
My concept for Noah’s Ark

SULAWESI SUN HAT

How does one love a broken Delft tile more than, say, the straw hat from Sulawesi. The hat is shaped like one of those conical affairs you see in every airline ad for Asia. This one comes from the island of Sulawesi, which lies in the Indian Ocean between Borneo and the Maluku Islands.

Straw hat from Sulawesi
Straw hat from Sulawesi

This hat, though, is not your average pointy hat, nor one made to be sold in tourist shops and airports. The hat is worn only by noblewomen from the Sada’an area of Toraja, generally worn for special occasions—funerals, weddings, the like. The hat is woven from the outer sheath of bamboo and interwoven with rattan. Easily recognizable as a finely-crafted piece of high-quality goods. The woman who owned this important ceremonial hat would have given special thought as to what kind of tie she would use to hold it on during various ceremonies. The tie on this hat is made from natural dies from berries, and a tablet-weaving method called palawa.

I’ve driven a car around the Big Island of Hawaii, and it took quite a while. I always thought it was a pretty big island. But Hawaii is only the 73rd largest island in the world if you can believe what some people say, and harbors something like 190,000 inhabitants. Sulawesi is the 11th largest island in the world. It’s shaped like a drunken crocodile dancing upright on its hind legs. Over 17 million people live there. In the Toraja area, they build houses, called tongkonan, using tongue-and-groove joinery (no nails), with saddle-back roofs that are maybe 30-40 feet high at the peaks, creating automatic air conditioning. Lovely designs in hand-carved wood. Built on stilts high enough to corral water buffalo and pot-bellied pigs below.

Sulawesi (photo credit Wikipedia)
Sulawesi (photo credit Wikipedia)

Maybe you’ve heard of the funerals they perform in this part of the world? Torajans are rather obsessed with death, but not in a grim way; their funerals appear more like going away parties for the dead. To an outsider’s eye, the funerals seem to be fairly gruesome affairs, where numerous water buffalo and pigs are slaughtered in a rather unseemly, inhumane, and bloody, fashion. Not for the squeamish. And when people die, their bodies are placed in a tomb in the face of a high, vertical cliff wall. Effigies, called tau tau, are placed at the entrance and represent the dead. The effigies line up side by side, dressed in traditional clothes, and stand before the tomb as if on a balcony overlooking the land below. I’m pretty sure the genesis of the latest fad word “awesome” appeared when some young Westerners, probably backpackers from the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles, first saw this part of the world. You can hear them now:

“Wow, look at that house, what do ya call that thing, dude?”
“Gawd, dude, I don’t know. It’s…it’s…awesome, dude.”
“Yeah, awesome.”
“Dude.”
“No other word for it, man. Just …..awesome.”

Before these guys arrived, these houses were “far out.” And a little further back in time, they were “heavy.” Before that, they were “cool.” Before that, they were “bitchin.” At some point, they were probably “the cat’s pajamas,” but that was before my time.

Hat in situ on my wall
Hat in situ on my wall
Brim of hat and tie
Brim of hat and tie
Outside rim
Outside rim
Inside rim of hat
Inside rim of hat

KATMANDU KITCHEN KNIFE

And really, how does one love a piece of art like that immaculate hat any more than the atavistic kitchen knife from Katmandu? The knife is old and well used, small, made for the hand of a small woman. The blade is not stainless steel, so it’s a bit rusty, yet sturdy and holds a sharp edge well. It will easily slice through your finger to the bone if you (no…we’ll leave that little ditty for another time).

Antique Kitchen knife from Katmandu
Antique Kitchen knife from Katmandu

The handle of the kitchen knife is made from water buffalo bone and brass. The sheath is an amalgam of intricately hand-carved metals, with a small ribbon of water buffalo tongue embedded in the carving (yeah, me too, I want to know that story—water buffalo tongue on your kitchen paring knife?). When you hold this knife in your hand and measure its heft, you want to talk to this knife, you want to ask it questions. Maybe it speaks the same language as the broken Delft tile?

Ornately carved sheath, with water buffalo tongue
Ornately carved sheath, with water buffalo tongue
Close-up of water buffalo tongue in sheath
Close-up of water buffalo tongue in sheath
Underside of sheath
Underside of sheath and reflection

When I finally arrived in Katmandu, I almost wanted to kick myself for not getting there sooner. Twenty years before, I was traveling in Malaysia and toting a Smith-Corona journalist’s typewriter. Small for a typewriter. But, yeah, still as heavy as a small typewriter. It weighed almost as much as the few items I carried in my small pack. And I was having too much fun to actually sit and write anything on the thing. Talk about dead weight in your life. I left Malaysia by a small, longtail motorboat. I was the only foreigner onboard. Everyone else was Thai, going home, nobody spoke English. The passenger area was covered with a tarp over bent metal, looked like a Conestoga wagon on top. We couldn’t see where we were going. I remember at one point, feeling a little uneasy about that. But this was a time in my life when I simply allowed myself to be taken care of by the universe. And the universe did a damn good job of taking care of me. I landed in Crabbe, and got another longtail, one with open sides to enjoy the view, headed to Phra Nang. We passed James Bond Island and other limestone islands right out of your average tourist brochure. I ended up in a very poetic grass hut overlooking Phra Nang Bay, and never left. I lived through a typhoon, I lived through searing heat, I lived through “the time of bad girls and criminals.” I completely over stayed my visit in Thailand and never quite got to Katmandu or Burma on that trip, as I had planned. I hooked up with a group of people in Phra Nang, became close friends immediately, and we made a pact to meet up again in Zanzibar for New Years Eve, 2000. I didn’t make it, and I’ve been wanting to get to Zanzibar ever since. Lesson learned: go when you can.

 LAGO SANDOVAL COTTON BATIK

Amazon jungle river boat
Amazon jungle river boat

At one time in my life, I thought I would become an artist. During grade school I’d get in trouble for drawing during class and not paying attention. This may account for my being so terrible at math. And a slow reader. A little later in life after thinking about it a bit, I decided I didn’t want to be a starving artist. So I got a degree in business, did business, owned a couple of my own businesses. One was an import business from Mexico…wipe that knowing grin off your face.

Then, after discovering the toll of what one must do to keep making money, I sold my business in Aspen (forfeited half the profit, lost half my Jeep, all of my cat, and pot-bellied stove to my most-recent-ex-wife) and spent the rest of my life starving but minus the making of art. Okay, not starving, but un-rich. I don’t like a lot of art that I run across. Something about the piece has to strike my eye, and spirit, in just the right way for me to like it. I very rarely buy art because I’d prefer to hang my own art on my walls. Or artifacts, like pointy straw hats and sarongs, from distant lands. A number of years ago, one of my favorite travel buddies, Lisa G, and I washed up in the Amazon River basin (I told you…moving on—woman to woman, travel buddy to travel buddy, country to country).

One place we stayed in was a lodge of sorts on Lake Sandoval deep in the jungle, and when we say deep, we mean hours-by-motorboat upriver. And then slugging down a water-logged, mud path with muck so deep and thick, it sucks your boots off your feet. You don’t want to fall down in that stuff. Some people did. And when we say jungle here, we mean heavy jungle, deadly jungle, make-sure-you-have-a-guide-along jungle. Lake Sandoval is now a lake, but was once part of the serpentine river that undulates, like a snake, through the land. But somehow the river blocked off the two ends of one of its U-shaped undulations and formed a land-locked lake, which is now the home of some unique, giant sea otters. And a bunch of other critters, like colorful scarlet macaws and snarly, over-sized albino scorpions. And malaria-toting mosquitos strong enough to carry off a Volkswagen.

Rubber boots on, about to begin the 3km trek through big mud
Rubber boots on, about to begin the 3km trek through big mud
Sandoval Lake Lodge: note walking sticks and boots, and batik
Sandoval Lake Lodge: note walking sticks and boots, and batik
Lisa in full-body mosquito net--it worked, we were the only ones never bitten
Lisa in full-body mosquito net. We looked goofy, but the net worked, we were the only ones never bitten

On the wall of the lodge, the owners had hung a piece of batik cotton, in tan and brown, made by a local tribe. As soon as I saw that batik, I knew I wanted a piece of art from that tribe. I think the art somehow depicts the way my brain feels most of the time: a jumble of unrecognizable stuff, but somehow, an unorganized flowing of organization. Maybe? Through the process of moving and traveling several times since leaving Peru, I have misplaced my notes with the name of that tribe. I think it is the Ese-eja Indians, but can’t be sure. But whatever tribe, you just know the artist was high on peyote, or some other Amazon medicinal herb, when he created this piece, and was possibly capable of visiting other dimensions where he could converse with the dead and also with objects like broken Delft tiles and kitchen knives from Katmandu.

Jogan, our guide on Lago Sandoval, early morning
Jogan, our guide on Lago Sandoval, early morning
Looking for gators and otters
Looking for gators and otters
Amazon batik
Amazon batik

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Close-up
Close-up

I don’t see how I could love one of these pieces, and therefore, one memory or experience more than the other. Each piece has its own spice, its own flavor, its own comfortable chair inside my mind. I could not choose one as “most-prized.” And that’s why today, I feel like a pistol ready to fire. And it’s funny, because I guess I did lie to you after all—apparently, I am a collector. You will notice that they are small, light weight, and easily transported while traveling. But I now believe I am attached to them all in a way that I was not consciously aware of before.

However, I believe I have never really looked at them as “possessions” or even “objects.” I view them as extensions of myself because when I see one of them hanging on my wall or sitting on a bookshelf, I’m transported back in time, and I relive the time and space, the emotion or drama, the heat or chill, or inhale the pungent or sweet aroma, from where it came. So “technically” one could argue that I did not lie—because to me, these pieces are sentient memories that speak to me in a common language, and are not merely inanimate prized possessions.

Also submitted to Photo Rehab, view other photos here: REHAB

111 comments

  1. Great job on the long form writing. I love the constant theme but broken into very different stories. Like you it are the wee thing we arrive back home from our travels with that are the treasures.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Right…the wee things. Size matters when you travel. And weight. And beauty…in the eye of the beholder. The long form wasn’t difficult, really, just took soooo much time. Thanks again for tuning in.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I really enjoyed your stories and how beautifully you wove it all together at the end. I understand well the concept of reliving the time and space. I too look around my home and see memories rather than possessions.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks. You’re right…I always like to see pictures of places and things, then I really know what’s what. Words sometimes are only words. And thanks for visiting and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This was a very good long read to get to know you more.
    What an incredible and fascinating life you have. When I was imagining that your DNA story had revealed everything about your nomad life, now you tell us that you followed a business track as well, and even own some of them.
    Is anyone writing your biography? Or yourself?
    I see a book in the making. A best seller.
    And another surprise…a nomad who is attached to some possessions. Beautiful by the way. And your narrative is enticing.
    That’s a superb post.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Lucile, um…tell me again, how much did we agree on for you to write this comment?? And I’m hoping it’ll be me writing my story. But if someone else does it, that will mean I became somebody. So, I guess it’ll be me. Glad you liked to post.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I agree totally with Lucile. Your writing style and voice are brilliant. And yes, a novel, memoir, traveloir. Superb. Long form, short form, you are hilarious, deeply observant, honest, and beautifully engaged with life, people, and the planet. Not to mention your self-deprecating humour. It’s an inspiration to us all and wonderful to read…

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kim, what a cool name: Kim Coull. A writer’s name. Did Lucile share her remuneration with you? I’m not very good at accepting praise. And worse at accepting criticism. But thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I’m new to blogging, a couple months now, but I’m addicted. And I find it is the best discipline for sitting and doing the writing. Your words make me feel…I don’t know, like continuing.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks A.prompt!! You’ve made my day. From what I read about your life, you have nothing to be jealous of. And right…the memories are the jewels in the crown (so to speak).

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The pictures are cool, but frankly, I loved the writing more. The subtle glints of humor and wit have made it a joyful read for me. You have a fascinating life, undoubtedly!

    I’ve a smartphone, but I don’t use it. No whatsApp or skype for me. My friends rebuked me on a daily basis but who cares! Yes, don’t like a device which acts smarter than me…auto-correct..Huh! I know how to spell even words like floxinoxinihilipilification…! 😀 😛

    P.S. The knife from Kathmandu is pretty awesome… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I just dreamed a dream, of the most scintillating journey a mind could want to take. I think I shall never need to travel, for I am front row center on the Bad Fish Out of Water Cruise Line. The thoughts swirl, for this journey has meandered near and far, and further than that, as if sliding through a worm hole, to places beyond the stars, for their time has come, and their time has gone, brought to us by an archeologist who has stood at a podium and fed us the nourishing tales of time, out of time, of a love affair with the very essence of a place, brushing off the dust of millennia to find the gems which have been buried, hidden away. For an instant, in each word, and through each photograph, we have met the painter, the craft folk, the weavers, the tribesmen. We have felt the mist of a serpentine river, as it morphed, through an age of shifting and change, to become whispers of lives well lived. Finally we were given the sense of the kind of ‘choice’ that cannot be made, because these are not simple artifacts, relics and possessions, but moments that become connections to irreplaceable memories, not only of the finder, but of the creator.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wait. I’m confused. Am I supposed to respond to this? Fim, you can’t just waltz in here dancing to your own music in your two feet of private space and drop off lines of poetry masked as comments, dude. You should save this stuff for your posts. But OK, my ego (now awash in…well, ego) seems to have heard your music and is dancing some sort of jig.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I love this post! You have great stories about your travels, and I hope someday to be as widely traveled as you. I particularly liked your section on Delft and Vermeer, and was sad to read that his home was closed when you were there. My goal is to see all of his paintings. Thank you for letting me live vicariously through you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome aboard. Glad to have another Vermeer fan along for the ride! Yeah, I really did want to see inside his house. But…now that I think of it, I’ll be in Amsterdam this summer, so I’ll make a point of popping back up to Delft! Are you aware of any Vermeer “happenings” this summer?

      Liked by 1 person

      • If you make it to Delft again and see his home, take plenty of pictures and write a post all about it. I’m trying really hard to talk my husband into going to Amsterdam next year and somehow weaving in Frankfurt, Brunswick, and Vienna. Not a tall order, eh? Right now the deYoung in SF is having an exhibit from the Scottish National Gallery and it features “Christ in the a house of Mary and Martha” (an oddity for him because of its subject and size). A good website to check out is http://www.essentialvermeer.com/vermeer_events.html#.VUg1CoFHaK0. It looks like I should be headed off to San Diego to the Timken Gallery.

        Liked by 1 person

          • My summer dance card is darn near filled, and seeing some of these will be impossible. I’m miffed since I was just in Boston and was in Minneapolis last November. Why couldn’t these shows been there then?!

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  7. This comment was inspired by you, thus, it belongs to you. It is that part of me that is part of the greater Universe, responding to that with which you have gifted us.

    I am reminded of something my father said to me often. He always said, he needed to be fed, in order to write. I seem to have a better understanding of that now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OMG…I’m starting to feel the pressure now. I’m going to start having nightmares about my being this giant breast, overflowing with words that won’t form sentences. Your father was a writer??

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Fimnora, your father’s words strike home to me so much…that is incredibly wise. Thank you so much for posting it. Writing is such a lonely task, I think we forget we need nourishment from others.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Don. And it’s funny because one of the “books” I have on my To Write list is the stories of my little collection of pieces from different places. Maybe this is the beginning?

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    • Ha! Thanks so much for that. I’m not sure I know how to live. I’m sure I’ve miffed some others while doing the “get up and go” part of my life. But yeah, my life has been blessed, and I’m thankful every day.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I am really glad that I was able to read this post of yours from earlier this month – excellent read – and in my opinion, this is the way folks should collect possessions – in ways that speak to them – and your artsy taste is nice – oh and I love the before and after of Nina – ha!
    and this was my favorite line:
    a man in motion….

    Liked by 1 person

    • hi again – well I also think it is super cool that you were able to visit Vermeer’s house – even if not able to go inside – oh and – here is your mock book cover…. just for fun – but when you do actually get your book written who knows the options you will have for the cover – but I think your books will be great reads – especially if they are like this post – you are good with words.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much (is it Yvette, or Prior?). Did you change your name, wasn’t it something like pbh-something? And yeah, I usually never even walk into those tourist gift shops, nothing speaks to me in there. Except, OK, postcards, which I still buy…but never send. I guess I collect postcards, too. Light weight!

      Nina was slightly miffed that the whole world now might think of her as a lush. She’s not, and she has a marvelous sense of humor. So all is good. But I laughed at the two photos of her, just had to insert them. It was a good trip, and well, we did down more beer than either of us usually do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • post cards sound like a nice keepsake too – and regarding the perception of a lush – I am sure it was “all good” especially because Nina looks healthy and strong (and not to stereotype – but alcoholics and major lushes have a certain wiped out look ha) – but you know – perceptions can be so funny at time – and you know that photo of the gluten free beer I recently posted – well I actually almost left it out because of the perceptions that people make – as they fill in the gaps with their own info and all that – however, I decided to post it because it was what I wanted and all that – but I did ponder lightly about that – (just fyi)
        and yeah, I changed my handle and email a few times (long story)

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautifully written ❤ Love the picture of the steps going down with the shop in the background in Delft! Regarding Jane Austen, I was first shocked I had missed the pastry shop, then stunned because I was standing oposite the very house and there was definetly no shop… I then remembered that alas, I have only seen the last house she'd been living in, where she died. So thanks for the tip – I'll try to check out the pastry shop if I ever get to see the house she lived in:) And – where did you get that full-body moskito net?! That would have saved my life in the jungle big time…!!! What a great idea!!! 🙂 Very nice post 🙂 And btw – I don't have a smartphone either 😉

    Like

    • How cool! Let me know if you get there, and tried a scone! We got the mosquito nets online (Lisa found them), some camping site, I’d guess. Smartphones are highly over rated!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh I won’t be around that corner for a while! No plans to visit England again for the next few years alas! But for my next jungle trip I’ll make sure I’ll check out those mosquito nets, they seem to be awesome 😀 Yeah I find that too with smartphones…^^

        Liked by 1 person

          • Hell yeah you’d rather look stupid a thousand times rather than being bitten if you’ve ever been to places where those monster-like-looking bugs come and devour you altogether…!!! Thanks for the google hint. I’m sure I’ll keep it in mind if we ever go back to the jungle 🙂

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  11. I really enjoyed reading this post. You have a very interesting life style. It seems that you discovered a few things about yourself as you wrote this and that was beautiful to see unfold. I look forward to checking back. I thought all of your mementos were really lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are absolutely right…I learned something about myself, but really only after some commenters commented on it! Welcome, thanks for visiting and commenting, and stop back when you can.

      Like

  12. Very late to THIS party but thoroughly enjoyed the read. Hard to think of any additional compliments (and certainly no criticism) but I did so love what Fimnora Westcaw wrote and also your book cover, designed by Prior! Thanks for the late night, completely out of my body travels. Now maybe I can finally go to sleep. And I will dream of knives and mosquitos and cobalt blue on tiles….

    Liked by 1 person

          • YIKES! Uh oh. I was about to suggest emailing to clear up any “fears” but how
            stalker-ish does THAT sound??
            The dream I had involved frantically shopping in small, colorful foreign bazaars for that mosquito netting getup, while being pursued by giant Mississippi-sized mosquitos!!
            I dreamed about the yellow penguins a while back also.
            Shall I cease and desist or do you need an affidavit from my husband?
            Sincerely,

            your overly enthusiastic fan

            Smiley, winking face here!!
            (Man, I wish I had some of those dang things!)

            Like

          • Hahaha!! Funny. I’m actually kind of glad to have you tailing me, you know. I’m honored. And now that we’re talking about it, I’m actually pretty safe, because you are there and I am here, and cyberspace is actually a pretty good space to be stalked in, if you think abou it. All the good stuff, none of the bad. So no medical slips or affidavits from no spouces is necessary, eh. I don’t know where they get them, but Calensariel and Gradmama both use face thingys, ask one of them, it’s probably just a push of a button.

            Liked by 1 person

  13. Hmm, I kinda liked the idea of having been scary for just a second….so completely out of my normal range of effects on others.
    I learned a great new word yesterday and thought of you again…well, about ME with you.
    The word is sphallolalia. Definition is ‘flirtatious talk that leads nowhere.’ I had never heard that one before.
    Back to your post…since we are downsizing like crazy in my house, I am having to really consider (and remember) each and every treasure I come across. My best friend says I am a Memorabilia Hoarder!
    I think you have inspired me to write a post about some of these things, you know, tell their stories like you did. It might help me let go of some of the material representations of a life filled with amazing adventures! There is so much more storage room in cyberspace!

    Anyway, big sphallolalia hugs and kisses,

    Kathie

    Like

    • Kathie,
      sphallolalia…good word!! never heard it before. it sounds weird when you listen to it spoken by a word site that speaks words. tongue twister. But maybe I’ll have to use it in a post just because it’s a weird word. Maybe I’ll do a post on weird words?
      And cool…glad I inspired something in the world, can’t wait to read your post on your stuff and your adventures.
      sphallolalia hugs back at you, girl! And just so you know…you’re still scary

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      • I spotted the word in a Stumble Upon bit about exactly that…words that sound like they should mean something else. I can’t remember what this one was supposed to sound like. I’ll go back and try to find it.
        And yesterday I responded to a WP challenge to write about the word Tiny. I thought of some of my “stuff” and wrote about it but they were childhood treasures more than stuff from travels, like you so eloquently shared. But it’s a start.

        As for scary…hmm…I’m glad? It’s just a new persona to try on.

        smile

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        • Kathie, aha…love words. But that word is a little too long, and wierd to actually use in writing, eh. Treasures are good, especially childhood types. Do you still have them? I’ll go visit your site as soon as I finish grading these last few dang Mid-term exams!!

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’ve been meaning to ask…exams in what subject? Creative Writing maybe?
            I had a very dear cousin who lived in Dubai for a few years. Had an interesting job there. He sure came home with a bunch of treasures! He’s gone now and I really miss him.

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          • English composition…a far cry from creative writing, which I would love to teach. Did your cousin bring home things from Dubai or also other places?

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          • Spencer brought home things from lots of travels, from Dubai and surrounding areas. He was an architect for the US Navy, not IN the Navy himself, and he designed their Officer’s Recreational Facilities in several places around the world. A great job that gave him many great adventures! (And he left behind many treasures.) Can you tell I miss him? He was my “little brother”, 12 years younger, and I lived with him and his family through highschool.

            Liked by 1 person

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