Sunday, July 5, 2020

Fairy Tale Trail

[W]hen the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies. And now when every new baby is born its first laugh becomes a fairy. So there ought to be one fairy for every boy or girl.
~James Matthew Barrie, Peter Pan 

Yes, James Barrie, there ought to be a fairy for our curious grandchild, Ruth Ann, but we could not find that fairy on our walk through Fairy Land at Will Rogers Park in OKC.

So where do these fairies go when the sun is blazing hot, and why don't they answer their doors when we knock?

We knocked on every door we found and NO Fairy ever answered. "That's just rude!" exclaimed five year old Ruth Ann. "Don't they know they are supposed to answer the door?"

We walked from the north side of the park to the far southwest corner, knocking on every door, exploring every hidden fairy house. Looking at a collection of houses Ruth Ann commented, "I can tell that gnomes live here because there is a statue, so why don't they come out and play with me?"  Without a clue I thought, "Do you suppose they might be afraid of being stepped on?"

"Look Gamma Letty, a house with jewels. I wonder if the fairy wears her mama's bracelets like I do." Ruth Ann twisted her wrists back and forth like she does when she wears blingy bracelets."I sure would like to see that fairy. I bet she has a bead on her forehead."

We waited in the heat, dripping in sweat. My heart was beginning to ache with Ruth Ann's apparent disappointment. "Maybe," I tried to explain, "this fairy is a gypsy and she moves around place to place helping people."  I don't think my logic helped solve the issue of the fairies who would not answer the door.

By this time, we were too hot to think or even much care. So dragging ourselves back to the entry of the park, we found the park office with bathrooms to be open and air conditioned. What a relief. Inside was even as exciting as outside, because someone created a 3D fairyland display on the wall. "Look Gamma Letty. This might be where the fairies go when it is really hot." Thank heavens, I thought. Just then a man sitting on the couch replied, "Yes, you can find those fairies in their homes when it is not so hot."
Ruth Ann immediately asked, "Have you seen any fairies here?"  That caught him off guard. "I have only seen the fairies inside here, but I know that other children tell me there are fairies out there."  "Fairies are quite smart," Ruth Ann told the man.

We still had more to see, but we first we needed a Braums ice cream cone, who doesn't on a hot blustery day. After a round trip to Braums, where we sat inside licking our ice cream cones and pondering the lost fairies, we decided to go back and visit the houses we hadn't seen.

This time parking on the south side, using the Tennis entry off Portland, we walked along the creek bank, in and out of the shade trees. Suddenly, she took off like a fairy in flight! "Look. Look." Yelling and pointing we came to the Fairy Land hotel. Amazing!

Upon closer inspection we discovered that each hotel was built for a different story character. So all along we could have been looking not only for fairies, but also, gnomes and elves. She looked at the windows, "I guess they are sleeping because the lights are turned off." 

"Maybe," she pondered. Our eyes kept searching and right in front of us stood an elevator, and then we even discovered a storm shelter. "Look, the fairies can stay safe." What a relief to know that fairies can be safe in Oklahoma storms. 

We found no answers that day, but at last decided that the fairies were really there, but afraid to come out.

Too tired to carry on we drove home that day. Ruth Ann stared
out the window and was quiet for a long time. At last she said, "Gamma Letty, can go back again and look at the fairy houses? That was fun, and the giants were real."
Yes, they even had giants. 

PS. Ruth Ann and her brother AJ do have real Grandparents who live in Kansas. We are merely nearby friends of the family who have shared time with two adorable children, and so we receive the nickname 'local' grandparents.  
***********************************************************************Thank you Bob Trobaugh, the creative mind behind the lovely colorful and creative fairy, gnome, and elf homes. In April he

told my daughter and me that up to that point he had built 75 doors and 34 houses.  Going back in June with Ruth Ann, I discovered that he had built new ones since April. We invite you all to see these imaginative homes, especially the one for the unicorn or the one for the bluebirds. 

Previous post about fairies: 


Thursday, June 25, 2020

Frisky, the Cat with Nine Lives

My creative normally playful mind is on hiatus, while I continue to strip, stain, and varnish the kitchen table. What an undertaking! Not to mention that the flowers outside are demanding my attention. 

I needed a story to sidetrack my mind and make me smile. This story of Frisky, I wrote a decade ago, but good stories need repeating. So I make this toast to you, old cat, and share your story from decades past. 

Oh, our Frisky kitty, whatever was your fate? I pray it was a gentle sleep on a warm comforter. We have lost our paper pictures of your capers and mischief, but we have not forgotten a single antic you pulled. 

Today, I remembered a picture of you that captured all of your spirited orneriness. There you were crawling out of the trash can, leaping up at an unsuspecting four year old Katy. But that was your life, always full of surprises.

You came to us from our friend, Gary, who never knew his gift might someday be the reason we called the Greensburg, Kansas fire department to rescue a black and white kitty meowing from the highest branch of the old cottonwood tree. Our trailer and yard on Nebraska Street became your playground for three adventurous years.
Birthday party, Thane, Gail, Robin, Bruce, Richardson's,
Katy and Frisky in the middle. 

It was the pink picture of you that stumped me,Frisky. Why were you stained in shades of pink? There you were on the brown and white checkered bedspread posing like a queen with a black and white fur coat, and tail wrapped around your body. Guilty you looked, but of what? Then I noticed your white underbelly and paws stained in shades of pink and red. Whatever had you played with while I was at work? 

This puzzle would soon be solved by sleuths, Katy and Gail. They were the ones who found the magic markers on the bedroom floor, opened, scratched and strewn apart. The camera shot evoked a cat charmingly innocent of all artistic endeavors. Luckily, the olive green carpet showed only a few color blends. For months your pinkness gave the neighborhood much delight.

Frisky and Squirty dog, you both chased each other back and forth on the linoleum floors of that trailer keeping us on constant alert and in cheerful moods. But once you took a dare only a cat with nine lives would take. I had been in the hospital for a week with pneumonia and came home weakened. Katy and I hugged and hugged. Then reality set in and the dirty laundry took priority. The dog must have dared you to hide in the warm dryer. I certainly didn't let you in. I did throw my newly washed gowns and underwear into the dryer. With the door closed I turned on the dryer and you, too, to twenty minutes of low heat.

I took a nap at the back of the trailer while Katy and Gail played with Barbie dolls at the front end. We heard thumps but never suspected you. At last the buzzer went off and I shuffled to the dryer. On my first reach I pulled out blood covered lingerie and promptly did what any young woman would have done. I screamed bloody murder.

Katy and Gail rounded the corner at a fast slide in time to see me pull out a wounded cat. You were covered in blood with your eyes, nose, and mouth swollen, ears broken and torn, and a tail more crooked than any tales I've ever told. You managed a weak meow. Tears of joy and fear followed.

We wrapped you in warm towels and called Nurse Arlene for help. In the coming weeks you were nursed back to health by a community of loving people. Pictures showed the before with a curling sly tail and the after, a crooked bend and kinks in a tail that would never swing nor sway the same way again.

Frisky, you, too, were the one that could have gotten me arrested, for exposing a wet nude body in the side yard, had the bath towel dropped to the ground. I'll never forget the blood curdling screams of little girls outside. Inside, I stood in the shower with only a twelve inch square trailer window open to the outside world, I heard, "Help, Letty, help. The dogs have Katy!" Dripping wet with soap sliding down my body, I stepped out of the shower grabbing the nearest towel for cover. Running outside, I saw a covey of little girls backed against the trailer and three snarling dogs at the base of the tree.

There stood Katy safe and sound, but the screams continued, "Save Kitty. Save Kitty!" With fingers pointed at the tree I saw you, Frisky. There you were, only weeks away from the dryer episode, in a feeble crawl to save your life from the ferocious teeth and paws of the barking dog

What's a mother to do, but rescue the cat! My screaming and running shooed the dogs away, but there you were frozen flat to the tree, just out of reach. One ladder found in the neighbor's yard saved the day. With the ladder leaning precariously against the tree, up I crawled, step by step, one hand on the ladder and one on my knotted towel. I grabbed you by the scruff of the neck, holding you tight to my chest, and together we gingerly crawled down to solid ground.

We were all safe that day and lived to tell our versions of your escapades. Thanks for the memories, Frisky.