The Crazed Pitcher

My Crazed Pitcher

Anyone who has ever been to my home, within the last ten years or so, will have seen the floral ceramic pitcher that has decorated different odd corners, in every room, at different times.  Sometimes it holds dried hydrangea, but often it stands alone. One may not notice it, unless drawn to a time when the style was popular.  It is not really unique, however, it has a story like so many of the items I hold dear.

The pitcher stands about 18 to 24 inches tall.  It has a cream color background graced with magenta flowers, and bright green leaves, delicately painted all over it.  The handle has a vine tracing the length of it  painted in the same shade of green as the leaves.  I love this adornment.

How I came to own this odd piece was due to my obnoxious confidence that my sister and her husband loved me  so much and I could say or ask for just about anything.  My wish would be granted.  The same is true in reverse.  They could ask me for anything and if it was in my power they would have it.

One visit at my sister’s house we were discussing Christmas,  and how difficult it was to buy for each other, since our tastes were usually the complete opposite. Clothing was out of the question, if she loved it, I hated it and viser-versa.  So the subject of exchanging gifts was a serious one. We didn’t want to stop exchanging.  No matter that neither of us needed anything special, it was the act of saying I love you with a small gift.  This day she was putting my feet to the fire.  What did I want for Christmas?

While thinking real hard the old crazed pitcher, sitting on her end table, caught my eye.  It sang to me, “I should be yours”.  I knew they had picked it up at a tag sale.  Billy and Christine spent. many a weekend afternoon seeking treasures,.  It was a hobby, and once in a while they found a piece that I liked, but it was the oddity rather than the rule.

“That, I want that,”  I pointed to the pitcher.  Christine was surprised.  “Oh no, Billy loves that pitcher”.  I pouted for a few minutes, and forgot all about it after I said she could give me whatever.

I needn’t tell you that Christmas, when they came to dinner, the pitcher was wrapped splendidly in fabulous paper and bow as only my sister could do.  I was thrilled.  Maybe one of the best presents I ever received.

It is three years and one month since Christine has left us.  I miss her more not less.  But every time I look at that old crazed pitcher, which still calls to me, it brings to mind that day and the laughter that surrounded my wanting that old tag sale pitcher.

Recently, Billy came for one of his rare visits to my house.  It’s hard for him to be at my house since she is gone.  But he was so pleased to see I still have and use the floral pitcher.  You see it was meant to be.

Angels in the Outfield

Angel 013
Angel 013 (Photo credit: Juliett-Foxtrott)

I was watching one of the Yankee’s post season games the other day when a long, high, fly ball made it to the right field wall, seemed to teeter on the top edge, and then bounce into the stands.  Home Run!  The announcers discussed the luck of the bounce, and one slipped in a phrase, Angels in the Outfield.  I loved the thought of it.

Naturally one would have to acknowledge that they were Yankee Angels or else the ball would have bounced back into the glove of the Baltimore right fielder, and since it didn’t, it was a Yankee Angel.

My musings about Angels in the Outfield didn’t end quite there.  They made the leap to life, mine and everyone else I know.  How often during the events of every day life do we feel these Angels giving us that lift up and over.  It doesn’t always need to be a Yankee Angel but perhaps one of the millions of others that are always on duty to keep us safe.

You trip on the top of the flight of stairs, but catch the handrail before tumbling down.  The brakes suddenly catch to stop the car on an icy roadway.  For no reason you decide to make that doctor’s visit for a routine checkup and they discover you are 90 percent blocked in an artery.  They repair it before that inevitable heart attack.  You’re broke and need to buy the baby milk, you slip on a sweater you haven’t worn since last year and you find a $10.00 bill in the pocket.  What made you choose that old sweater?  I’m sure you know what I think made you put it on.

So many times we have near misses.  There are hundreds of stories of people changing flights, and because they did avoided being a passenger on an ill-fated plane.  How many people didn’t go to work at the twin towers for one reason or another on  9/11?  From all accounts it was an unprecedented number.  For whatever their destiny holds, it just wasn’t their time on that day.

I’ve decided, no need to unduly worry about life.  I’m not advocating careless behavior, however, for much of life’s, could have happened, don’t fret.  There are surely Angel’s in the Outfield that will give you that little lift over the wall.

The Haunting of Halloween

Jack-o-lantern (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few days ago the weather did not yet have that Autumn chill in the air.  I wasn’t driven to drag out the cauldron  in order to conjour up  chowders, soups, or hearty stews.  The thought of a sweater and full length pants was still a couple of weeks away.  I was perfectly content and did not feel the need to rummage in the back yard shed where I keep holiday decorations bought and used in seasons past.

Suddenly, while driving around the neighborhood, still donning shorts and tees, I saw smatterings of pumpkins and witches and tombstones. The signs of Goulds and Goblins began popping up. I assumed it was all those perky, pesky, people who are always a month ahead of the season.   Black cats  and flowing ghosts were shadowing behind windows of otherwise normal looking homes.  Scarecrows clung to fences.

I was determined to ignore it.  I clung on to the still warm days, although while annoyed at them, I was beginning to envy those forward-looking folks who got a jump on things.  Then it happened.  While picking the last hearty tomatoes off the now scrawny looking vine I heard sounds coming from the shed.  It was kind of like things being dragged or shifted.  Low gnawing or mumbling.  Perhaps wind through the old wood.  My shed is located conveniently close to the vegetable garden.  It could be mice I thought and sincerely hoped not.  Being the brave soul that I am I retrieved a shovel and threw open the doors of the shed.  Of course I would never smash a mouse with a shovel, but it would serve as a block while I ran yelling for Jim.  After flinging open the doors, I stepped inside and looked around.

Without warning a big green bag containing the Autumn wreath fell off the shelf and right  into my arms.  It was a bit creepy.  I have no idea why it would fall just at that instant, but since I had it in my hands I carried it to the front door and exchanged the tired Summer wreath for this colorful Orange, Gold & Rust one.  While I was at it I put in similar hued grasses and flowers in one of the outside pots.

I was then drawn back to the shed, pulled out the All Hallows Eve Box – pulled out pumpkins, bats, spiders, crows, candles, witch hatted frogs, jack o lanterns and two tall scare crows.  When I began this project it was a dreary day, while working the sun began shinning down on me.  Jim tied the two scare crows in place while I flew around the house decorating for Halloween.  I even baked a pumpkin pie and broom swept the porch.  How apropos to have a broom in my hand.

I never did find out what made that noise in the shed that drew my attention, however, now that all the decorating was done the temperature dropped and I’m so pleased I’m ready for the season.

Now sitting here typing my note to you I looked out the window and just noticed one of my scarecrows which Jim tied facing South is now facing West. Its crazy grin looks a little broader.  Again I wonder, what called me into the shed!