Blacker than the ace of spades

rainYes, I bagged my 0-skunk-30 walk this morning! A storm rolled through before I got up but, although it looked as though things were going to settle down, my lightning app was still showing lightning “very close” to my “location”. I like having a lightning app but I also wonder if it is making me into even more of a wimp. It continues to show lightning 30 minutes after a storm has moved on and sometimes I wonder if that’s overkill. Today, it was not. Weather was showing storms to the north of us moving east or northeast. Before he left for work, the GG said, “Everything is to the north.” I thought so too but by then it was too late to walk, although I was thinking about doing a circuit through the woods (a bitsy little walk — 10 minutes at most). I was just about to mobilize for that when I looked out the front door. The sky was as black as the ace of spades and then there was thunder. Okay, I think I am done. We had another good storm this afternoon (the photoooo is from the lunch room at Cubeland). These are the kinds of storms I like. No tornadoes!

When I was a beach urchin growing up in the rugged outpost of Sault Ste. Siberia, one of my first intelligible sentences demands was “Down Boat!” Down Boat meant that my dad would drive our family down to the Soo Locks in the old black Ford something or other. My dad *always* obliged with a Down Boat trip and I still have vague memories of riding in that vee-hickle. Down Boat usually happened after dinner but we would also take picnic lunches down to the locks and (on weekends) to St. Ignace to watch the Mackinac Bridge being built. I have this weird memory of seeing the reflection of a little Dixie Cup of orange juice (my juice) in the back window. I was untethered in the back seat or wherever in those days. I could not explain the juice cup memory if I tried but I thought it looked like a Christmas tree light and I imagined red and green and, uh, blue juice in my cup. We bought a new two-toned (green and white) Ford something or other around the time The Engineer was born. There were always problems with the door handle in that vee-hickle. Or something. The Engineer would remember whatever it was in detail even though he was a baby when we bought it.

Anyway… We did Down Boat throughout my childhood and STILL do it whenever we’re in town, even though my parents are on the other side now. What is it about wanting to watch boats go by even though you’ve seen them billions of times before? As the Engineer and I began growing up, our Down Boat itinerary came to include what The Commander would always call “The Oldest House in Town”. It was a creepy old place with turrets and an overgrown yard. Was it on Barbeau Street? I’m not sure. Google is not helpful in this case. I will have to drive that street next time I’m in that town. I think the house was abandoned then. I think it has been torn down now. I can’t remember if anything has replaced it. Hopefully not a duplex or something. But we always required dad to drive us by that house and I always fantasized about who might’ve once lived there. A bit. I prob’ly fantasized more about what I would do with my bedroom if it was as big as the classrooms at my elementary school Stinkin’ Linkin’ across the street…

A disclaimer: The “Oldest House in Town” was NOT the oldest house in town (The Comm knew that). The oldest house in town is the John Johnston house.

3 Responses to “Blacker than the ace of spades”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Awesome post. I loved going to the Ballard locks. I was fascinated by the process and by seeing all the boats.

  2. Pooh Says:

    I clicked over to the link on the John Johnston house, and just about snorted cereal milk out my nose when I read this:

    … his wife, who was a Chippewa, O-Zhaw-Guscoday-Way-Qua (also known as Susan)…

    It reminds me, (in an inside-out way), of the saying, “You know your mom is mad at you when she calls you by all three names!”

    Now my mom was always sweet and loving, and never once called us kids by our first, middle and last names. 😉

  3. gene Says:

    Of course I didn’t use all three names because there were only two!