Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Recycled Prose

So....

I just returned from a family vacation to Disneyland. Sigh. I am now in the process of returning to a state of normalcy, so I am taking the liberty of re-posting something I wrote for my family blog a few years ago... Now that I'm back to winter in Utah, it seems appropriate:

The problem with winter is it's cold. And dark. It snows. Your skin gets dry and cracks around your knuckles. Hair darkens. Skin pales.
The problem with winter is you're not on the open road, driving home from a summer vacation. Winter can't produce a memory as palpable as this: suntanned bare feet on the dashboard, Good 'n Plenty and lukewarm Lemon Propel rattling in the console, singing along out loud to James Taylor or Counting Crows or Tom Petty. You gaze out of the insect-splattered windshield while I make tiny Xs over the mosquito bites on my legs. My body is exhausted, but in that good, worn, tired way that only comes from a day spent in the water. There is an irritating tightness on my shoulders from sunburn and the slight indentation of swimsuit straps. The landscape is mountainous and arid and empty, the sky impossibly high and open, and we fill the time with idle games of 20 Questions and I'm Going to Grandmother's House. We've forgotten what the N item on our list is, but are certain of Mongoose and Lima Beans.
We stop at a convenience store as the sky bruises into a purplish darkness. The air smells of gasoline and fried food and is just cool enough to raise goosebumps on bare arms and legs. Our flip-flops smack against the blacktop and make dirty half moons on the store's just mopped tile. Ice cubes thunk and clunk into 64 oz plastic cups and the refrigerated cases buzz and the till bings open and shut. The sounds are familiar and oddly comforting. Restrooms are bravely visited, snacks are selected, and then florescent lights are replaced with headlights on the highway.
We are quiet in the car now, the yellow and white lines of the road in stark contrast to our wandering, scattered, patternless thoughts.
That's the problem with winter: you're not on the open road, driving home from summer vacation, the freedom of your undecided life ahead tempered by the safety of the straight, even road vanishing into the darkening horizon.

14 comments:

  1. This was one of my favorite posts from your old blog - and I loved reading it again! It's beautiful, and I can almost imagine myself on a summer road trip.

    ReplyDelete
  2. *Sigh* Your writing is so beautiful Kim :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Kim, what an unexpected treat in the dead of January. My skin is alive with deeply-pleased gooseflesh. I loved this!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, I think we all are missing summer but you say it all so terribly well here.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I recently finished The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach--an excellent novel, particularly because it is Harbach's first novel--and since you recently posted on book recommendations, I thought I'd pass that recommendation on to you. His writing reminds me a lot of yours.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Beautifully written!

    I hate winter, but one of my favorite memories is walking home from my neighbor's house on a starry night with snow falling all around - it was magical. So winter has its good points, too!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Growing up with a boat on the San Francisco bay these descriptions really hit home. I grew up where summer was 8 months out the year and the other four had rain so moving to snow country was a shock. My father said I looked ill every time he saw me for the first four years away from constant sunshine to lighten my hair and darken my naturally pale complexion.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh my gosh, now I REALLY want it to be spring! Good job!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm a new follower from bloghop :) Hope you have a great Monday

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am also a new follower from the "I'm hearing voices " bloghop. Nice to meet you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello! *waves* I used to work for Disney :) Love that place. Going back to do the Princess Half Marathon in a few weeks!

    Hope your vaca was fabulous!

    *new follower!!*

    ReplyDelete
  12. wow! that was wonderful. I enjoyed ready it very much...I am off on vacation in a week and it def. got me in the mood :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I hope your vacation was wonderful! I actually was just thinking the other day I looked so pale outside. LOL.

    ReplyDelete