Tuesday, August 5, 2008

“Orange You Glad I Didn’t Paint it ‘Banana’”


I like color… I like all colors. I am similar to my younger son in that way. When someone asks him, “What’s your favorite color?”
“All the colors.” Is his answer.
You see kids (and Gemini’s) don’t understand what the word favorite means. The rest of society realizes that favorite means #1… the top choice… it is liked more than anything else…numero uno. Kids and Gemini’s don’t like to be nailed down to a decision and they also like to reserve the right to change their minds (at any time).
HOWEVER… for about five years MY answer to the question “What is your favorite color?”
is…“Purple.”
Five years is a long time for a Gemini.
My kitchen is purple (see picture) and now because of the fact that I needed to cheer myself up on Sunday, I painted the ceiling orange. Well, not orange, but Burnt Sienna. Great name, eh? It sounds like a name to a fall shade of lipstick from Avon or nail polish I would have worn in eighth grade.
Let’s go back to when I said I needed to cheer myself up. I was very frustrated on Sunday. I started researching what it would take to sell our house because of something that happens outside our house once a year.
I will take this moment to describe the community we live in. It is called “Quarry Hill.” It used to have other names like “The Commune” or “The Sex* Farm” or “The Fiske Farm.” We knew none of this when we bought the house five years ago. Oh, we sensed that “Quarry Hill” had stigma, we just had no knowledge of what that stigma was. Now, after a few years, I am beginning to understand the stigma a little better. I wonder if I would rather have the stigma of a ghost wandering our halls going “OOOOOHHHHOOOHH…”
Once a year, the first weekend in August, there is a birthday party here. It is always on a Saturday and people (lots of people) dress in costumes and dance all night. They yell, pound drums, play dance music, greet the sun and have blueberry pancakes. They also park in our way so we can’t drive to our house. Every year they do this because the person whose birthday it is never liked to sleep as a child. She is now 40-something. I don’t have a problem with that if I can turn on my air conditioner and close the windows if it is only one night… but this year it started on Thursday and has stretched itself until Monday night. It is Tuesday today. I don’t know if it will continue tonight or not. I just know that it is starting to make me cranky.
Let me explain the community a little further so that you get the whole picture. “Quarry Hill” was called “The Commune” because during a period in the community’s history, people lived together in houses and shared partners and responsibilities. People who lived here were artists and were drawn to the free thinking lifestyle and built an entire community around a few philosophies… to question authority, to treat animals with respect, and to respect children by not hitting them and let them stay up all night if they want to. When we closed on our house, there was a document that we signed that asked us not to kill animals or hit our children. For us, that was easy. We had found an amazing home for an inexpensive price, which in Vermont, is certainly not easy. There was also a mention of this party in the closing documents that we read and signed. It made mention of a party in August that would be occurring every August FOR ONE NIGHT- the first Saturday of the month.
Remember, I said there was drumming last night (Monday)? The drumming happened at 10:00 pm.
Do you want to buy my house yet?
Other people have it way worse than we do. People live by train tracks where trains go buzzing by every hour. Some people have airplanes landing over their house every fifteen minutes. Some people look out their windows to see block walls (like we did when we lived in Arizona.) I know this because I have lived it.
We have an amazing house. It is unique and solid and warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Each room has been painted the way I wanted to paint it over time- years of time… We have put in new flooring, too. Why would I want to put the house on the market? Because I am a Gemini.
Again… I will mention the Gemini thing. We are a cooky bunch. We like change. We like the act of painting the ceiling more than we actually sit down on the couch to admire it. The joy for us is in the design and act of changing something. We like the beginning. We like the “newness.”
When I woke up Sunday morning, after about two hours of good solid sleep, I was not in a good space. I wanted to sell our house. I even looked on EBAY to see if people sold houses like that. They do… check it out… www.ebay.com
My (rational) husband talked to me about it. He got me to compromise and we agreed that next year we will go on our family vacation during the first week in August. Now that makes sense, doesn’t it? Yes, I suppose it does.
Yes. It does because every other week of the year, I feel very happy in my home. I feel happy when I look out the windows. I feel happy at my kitchen table. I love the sound of the frogs at night in the Spring. I love that my sons can sled down the driveway in the winter. I love the fact that we can hear the brook roaring after there has been a rain storm. I love the town of Rochester. I also love quite a few of my neighbors… when they aren’t keeping me awake during the first week in August... I love that my mother is also one of my neighbors (she is 70 and goes to a Bed and Breakfast during the night of the party.) I also love that two of my neighbors have painted their doors… one neighbor’s is a bright yellow banana color and one neighbor’s is purple…
Our two doors to our house are orange… well, Burnt Sienna…
People who have come to our home (those who have known me a long time) say things like “This house was built for you.” And “How did you find such a perfect house for your family?”
I’ll answer that:
We found this house because we wanted to move “back east” from Phoenix. We decided on Vermont because my sister was here, well, not HERE… but nearby. She found this house because it was on the cover of “Picket Fences” because it was “For Sale By Owner,” go figure. On the very rainy day she tried to find the house, she came upon a map in the middle of the road. The map was opened to the right page and the area near “Quarry Hill” was circled in red. A sign?
My sister doesn’t believe in signs.
I do.
We bought the place after living in Vermont for one day.
That is how Geminis are. We are spontaneous. We make quick decisions and don’t ever have regrets. I don’t regret my decision, but I was wishing on Saturday night while the drums were pounding that I was a Libra, like my older son. He weighs things out. He can’t pick a flavor of ice cream without changing his mind three or four times. He looks at every aspect of the decision even though the cone will be gone in less than five minutes.
Maybe I’ll have him help us pick our next house, when we finally sell this one. I say finally, because now that I have painted the ceiling in the kitchen orange (Burnt Sienna) I feel much better. I could stay here for at least another 360 days until the party happens again. It is amazing what a nice coat of paint will do for a Gemini who loves all the colors but loves purple the best of all.
And to end my blog, I want to tell you a joke (now that I am in a cheery mood.)
KNOCK KNOCK.
(Whose there?)
ORANGE
(Orange who?)
KNOCK KNOCK.
(Whose there?)
ORANGE
(Orange who?)
KNOCK KNOCK.
(Whose there?)
ORANGE
(Orange who?)
KNOCK KNOCK.
(Whose there?)
ORANGE
(Orange who?)

Orange YOU glad I didn’t paint it BANANA?

Banana, like my neighbor’s banana-colored front door. I’ve just got to be different than my neighbors. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a neighborhood, would it?

7 comments:

Sheila said...

Hey, Aim, nice post. I feel for you. What would happen, just wondering for the sake of hearing a good set of conjectures from you, if you called the, ahem, police to have peace restored?

Sheila said...

When ya gonna post something new?

Sheila said...

I check here every day hoping for a new post... :)

The Wellences said...

That JUST might be the same color purple you painted your room in our apartment in the middle fo the night, many decades ago!

Rick Skogsberg said...

2 years later. I guess you're surviving it. nick's suggestion was solomenic. interesting to hear about QH from an outside perspective. your commentary was both objective and did justice to our best aspirations. hope you all are well. loved the play, esp. D + D

Rick

linascarfi said...

i lived in your house back in the 70's. i was a RISD (artist) dropout, and slept in the attic right above the stairs. i left a very large roll of canvass up there with many sketches of the commune at the time. did you find it? ahhhhhhh many years ago............ my best lina

linascarfi said...
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