Sunday, June 24, 2007

Revolutionize Me

Bud started making noises last month about returning me to the Sunday through Thursday schedule with Jeff at the plant. It started last weekend and means three things: Travis will survive another year because Jeff won't have to be alone with him every weekend, Bud won’t be giving me Isaac Asimov’s Super Quiz out of the Friday Salt Lake paper anymore (suppose he’ll start quizzing Travis instead?), and I’ll be getting a lot more writing done.

When Jeff and I shared this schedule from January of 2005 to June of 2006, it was our unspoken policy to get our work done before lunch and spend Sunday and Monday afternoons comfortably, companionably ensconced across from each other at the break room table, engaged in whatever quiet pursuit each cared to turn his and her attention to. It’s a great time to study for my certification exams, but since it’s a whole year until my Level IV, for the first several months I’ll be free to become guiltlessly lost during those hours in Budget Travel, Car & Driver, National Geographic, and the numerous and drastically varied blog posts I’ve started but not finished in the past year, while Jeff becomes engrossed in Super Looper Magazine or Farrier’s Journal or just stares out the window making plans for his forty acres up in Riverton.

Then, too, I had completely forgotten about the endless parade of characters. Jeff is something of a local folk hero, a lifetime resident of Evanston and Uinta County and one of only two local farriers- the preferred one, it seems. He has also worked the same schedule at the water plant for at least fifteen years, so his multitude of good friends know when it's best to find him there. They never stay long and are always politely aware that he is, after all, at work- but it's nice to have visitors.

One of my favorites of these is Darrel, 86-years-young in his plaid western shirts and straw cowboy hats, indigo Wranglers, striped suspenders, and tidy round-toed Ropers. He has a twin brother named Dwight and a gigantic hearing aid and a wheezy, squeaky laugh. He puts Jeff in stitches for an hour at a time about once a month, then ambles out to his truck to drive to the next coffee stop on the "trap line," even though his wife probably sent him on his way for some dinner ingredient or other and told him not to be gone all afternoon. Today he was in front of me on my way back to work at lunch, and later as he left he said, "I wunnert who was followin' me in a white Cadillac. Those don't, usually."

I'm so easily distracted lately that I might find it harder to focus than it used to be, but I'm going to give more consistent blogging another shot, since I promised myself out loud at the beginning of the year I'd write better and more often.

Today would have been Grandma's 96th birthday. (Right? 1910? It's late and my math is fuzzy.) She would have thoroughly enjoyed the high tea Mom, Morgan, and I attended in Kemmerer yesterday with June at the museum. It was also a fashion show of the museum's extensive collection of turn-of-the-century pieces, which was fascinating. I couldn't believe the
details, the embroidery and bead work, the lace and satin, velvet, linen, layers of tulle and chiffon and fur and feathers. Many of the cuts felt surprisingly current; many were very femininely fitted and others unexpectedly asymmetrical. They had teenage girls model the clothes since those tiny waists wouldn't fit most modern women. I loved an ivory gown with rows of coral buttons, and cotton pantaloons, and a sheer blue velvet sheath with so many layers of glittering beads it must have weighed at least 15 pounds.

I'm too tired to be lyrical tonight, but I'm looking forward to discovering whether or not the new schedule helps me be more disciplined about writing. I've been through so many momentous things (including the best thing
ever) already this June that a change of schedule at work, something I once considered major, made hardly an impact this time. Anyway, stay tuned to hear about my ten-year High School reunion on June 16th, the trials and tribulations of getting a new passport, my vast shoe collection, the perpetual epidemic of New Car Fever, and much, much more.

You know- if you
want to.

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