Monday, May 21, 2012


You should have seen my to-do list this morning. It was epic. It rhymed in spots and it was a monument to ambition. But then there was this house...

I know, you're tired of it. I'm tired of it. Derailed. Drop everything, jump and run, feed the Hooligan a hot dog in the car. He gets to sit and eat a giant hot dog and read Calvin and Hobbes instead of cleaning up his junk. Best day ever for him. That's OK, though. It's all OK.

It has to be.

I suppose that I could whine and complain a bit. Wah. Things didn't go as I'd planned today. Wah. I have the luxury of a flexible schedule. Wah. My husband wants to buy me a house. Wah.

Seriously. Starving kids. Not just in Africa, in my city. I'll keep my guffing on the down low.

So, my Love Train got derailed. There were checks to write and paperwork to gather and cuticles to bite and Hooligans to feed and one thing led to another and I was just now standing in my kitchen making Muddy Buddies feeling like perhaps there was something else I should be doing. Is there really ever anything better to do than make Muddy Buddies? I think not. Not in the grand scheme of things.

But then this song popped into my head:

And I was transported to Michigan Avenue in Chicago about ten years ago. We'd gone on a weekender with some dear friends of ours and we were, of course, shopping. This song burst out of one of the store fronts and Alain started it.

I know it was him because it was so surprising.

He was usually so proper and French and intellectual and he suddenly clapped his hands, raised them over his head and started to dance down Michigan Avenue... people all over the world... and then Edward scooped me up and we followed ... join hands... arms aloft, beckoning the Chief Lou, who executed just about the finest Water Sprinkler you've ever seen on a Saturday afternoon... start a Love Train.

We danced in our motley parade of four amid tourists, amid shoppers, amid families.
Just a few steps of exuberance down the street. Love train.

Thirty seconds on a sunny afternoon amid a weekend away with friends, amid the chaos of a time full of stress at work and school, amid a whole lifetime of memories.
Thirty seconds of pure abandon that will likely stick with me forever.

We all moved on from there. We finished our shopping, we went back home.
They moved to California and eventually split up.
We moved on to law school and children and on and on.

All of us are always moving on. That's the nature of things, isn't it?
I could whine and complain about that, too, I suppose.
But the idea of standing in my home, getting ready to move on again, making Muddy Buddies and suddenly feeling that train again.
This idea sustains me sometimes.

The idea that these golden moments come and go, like the flash of sunlight on a river.
The river keeps moving, but it carries the sunlight with it. I don't want to be a stick in the mud of this river. So I'll move with the currents, see where it takes me, bask in the sunlight when it comes.
 I'll get swept into a brief dance and then go back to work.
It's all part of the same thing.

This is my Love Train.
This moving, this chugging forward.
 The dancing, the holding hands.
The dropping everything and running.
The hot dog in the car and the Calvin and Hobbes.
The making of Muddy Buddies and the signing of large checks.
The memories and the future.

Let it ride, let it ride, let it ride, let it ride.


  1. I wish I could come up with deep comments to compliment your deep posts. But I usually can't. So I ramble.

    Calvin and Hobbes are wonderful. I never new you could make your own muddy buddies. I can't wait 'till you guys find the house of your dreams and settle in. And I love these moments too. *inhales*

    1. You can, in fact, make your own Muddy Buddies. And you should.

  2. Love this. And I'm so happy my hometown could provide such a sweet memory.

    Now do I start the laundry or dig up my old Calvin & Hobbes book?

    1. You have a great hometown.
      As for the laundry, you can do what I do: start it, sit down to read, and then completely forget about it until someone needs clean underwear.

  3. The Michigan Avenue Love Train story is something out of a movie. I can totally visualize it and it's awesome!!

  4. What a beautiful moment! The muddy buddies and the love train and your resolution to let the waves carry you. Can a poem be a comment? Why not:

    First Lesson:

    Lie back daughter, let your head
    be tipped back in the cup of my hand.
    Gently, and I will hold you. Spread
    your arms wide, lie out on the stream
    and look high at the gulls. A dead-
    man's float is face down. You will dive
    and swim soon enough where this tidewater
    ebbs to the sea. Daughter, believe
    me, when you tire on the long thrash
    to your island, lie up, and survive.
    As you float now, where I held you
    and let go, remember when fear
    cramps your heart what I told you:
    lie gently and wide to the light-year
    stars, lie back, and the sea will hold you.

    Philip Booth

    1. A poem can definitely be a comment. Especially this poem. I will have to copy this and place it somewhere prominent.

  5. Love this. (Also, love that my daughter and I just danced around the living room holding hands to the video.) I don't know where we're going to end up yet (so get the "drop everything and run to a house that may or may not be the one at five minutes notice" thing.), but wherever it is, the first thing I'm going to do in that house is blast some music and dance my monkeys around the kitchen.

    1. That is exactly what I plan to do as well.
      I love it so much that my little post provided a dancing opportunity. Those are so important.

  6. So does that mean we get to congratulate you on buying a new house? Cause this was a beautiful post, but then somewhere in there my heart skipped a little beat for you..."Did she finally find the one?"

    1. Sadly, no new house for me today. It seems there are quite a few other people with a lot more money looking for houses as well.

  7. I don't have a good comment, but I want to make sure you know I loved it. (How lame is that?) I guess May has shoved me into a car with a hot dog and a comic book and deprived me of comment power. And did you get the house????? Or is the check for me?

    1. There are worse things than being shoved in a car with a hot dog and a comic book.
      We didn't get the house, so the check for the earnest money will go in our growing pile of rejected offers. It's funny to write these big checks and then never have them cashed. There's a story in that somewhere.


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