footprints in the snow

While drinking coffee and reading random websites this morning, I came across some quotes about snow. This was my favorite one. Ray Bradbury says ““Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destination.”

It was still a little dark when I put down my coffee cup and got dressed to go for my daily walk. I was surprised to see that snow had fallen overnight, enough for my footprints to show up as I walked down the driveway. Hmmm, now what was that quote? All I could remember was the two words, incredible destination. And I perked up and walked faster to see where I would end up. And, as I walked, each.time I saw some one else’s footprints, I thought of them going on to their own incredible destination.

And when I got home, I searched for that quote again, and found it’s footprints scattered all over the internet.

A New Tower for the Park

Harry arrived at the office early on Monday. He flipped open his office calendar. Hmmmm. Is it June already? Just three months before I retire, he thought. He had decided not to run for re-election. Let somebody else be the mayor for a while. The door opened and his secretary came in. “Sir, don’t forget the planning commission meeting at nine. Don says they have chosen the design for the new tower.”

The small town had been struggling to attract visitors ever since the big box store opened up over in the next county. First, the shoe store closed; next, the bakery; and now they were worried about the grocery store. The feed store and the hardware store were still doing well, but even Harry had bought his last tractor over in Davisville.

Other towns nearby had tourist type things, like The Giant Ball of String, and the Rock Garden of Angels, and the Viking Runestone, but everybody knew that was a fake. A Tower in the Park would be just the thing to revive the town.

The Mayor grabbed his folder and walked down the hall to the meeting room. He wanted to be early enough to see the winning design before the others came in. “G’morning Mayor Hastings! I think you’re going to like the one we chose. And I had my son make me a power point presentation. All I have to do is plug in my laptop.” And he stooped down and reached under the table. Getting back up, a bit out of breath, Don said, “You ‘re gonna love it!”

“Which one did you pick? asked Harry. But before Don could answer, Marjorie came in grumbling about the early hour, and Tim was right behind her carrying the doughnuts because it was his turn to pick them up. Soon, all the committee members were seated and Don opened the meeting.

“Meeting will come to order. Marjorie will you read the minutes, please. Just as she began, two police cars and a firetruck roared down the street, but Marjorie kept right on reading while everyone peered out the window. ‘The minutes are read and approved,” said Don quickly “and now the agenda today, is 1. Loose dogs, 2. Street Repairs, and 3. The New Tower. “ Why don’t you begin, Clarence.”

Clarence wiped the doughnut crumbs off his mustache and exclaimed, “It was a good week for dogs. I think the large print notice in the newspaper reminded everyone to keep their dogs fenced or leashed. Just one phone call from Mrs. Evenson about her neighbor’s dogs digging in her rose garden.”

“Okay, now on to street repair. Ken?” “Well, we are still recovering from spring flooding, especially down around 4th Street, but we have finished filling the potholes on Highway 49 and repainted the yellow no passing zones by the school. Mrs. Evenson called in about a sewer grate near her house, but that’s an easy fix, so it’s lookin’ good!”

Now Don strode over to the desk where the computer was and announced, “And here is the winner for the Tower design, which will go in the park over on Bay Street. We had about eight entries. The judges were not able to award the job to the most beautiful one. A few citizens called in, expressing the fact that they didn’t want flashing lights, especially Mrs. Evenson because her bedroom window looks out on the park. And one person from St. Barnaby’s wanted something that included all races and was gender neutral, but that didn’t seem to apply to any of them. Now, here is the winner.”

And everyone gasped as the tower appeared life size on the old tattered film screen which the Mayor didn’t even remember they had. “It was the only one that had the two main things that we needed. A small base and lovely trees on the ground, so it fits in with the park landscaping. And, the height had to be taller than the silos over on Green’s farm, which you can see from the freeway. The height was the clincher when we voted. And guess who designed it! Mrs. Evenson’s grandson who works up in the cities at 3M.”

The mayor put Ken in charge of hiring a construction crew, and work began right away. And on July 4th, they celebrated the new tower with fireworks and people came from all over to watch.

written for SLEA2 first week builders/writers

Breathing Room

When you visit Breathing Room at Rosieri, you see that the parcel description says, ‘yes you may come inside all the rooms.’ But, you still feel like tiptoeing around because the rooms are decorated just like a finely furnished home. I enjoyed taking pictures of the rooms and of myself, too. As usual, the snapshot that I tried the hardest to get was missing when I got home. I had been trying to get a pose of myself with a decorative owl that flapped his wings, and I must have forgotten to click “save” on the last wing flap. Oh, and I walked next door to see the Nightbell FireStation. I was surprised that I had met the owner before. SL is a small world! When I noticed a road winding behind the station, she told me that her friends were building several homes right behind the station. Another place to explore! Here are some snaps that I made.

And one last one, trying to match the texture of the woman behind me.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Rosieri/235/9/81

Evola Courtois at Xaraz Gallery

Evola’s artworks seem to float in the gallery. Some dissolve into the wall. His theme of Spirit and Layers finds a perfect setting in Xaraz Gallery because of the glass floors. As you walk down the stairs, your eye catches sight of colors that match. You find a poem that challenges you to read it. And then you turn and look again. Maybe try some different windlights. Stay a little longer. Write a note about your thoughts.

The exhibit will be here all through the month of January. Please come and see it soon.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Clementina/103/156/31

Lekku Alley, Nar Shaddaa Red Light District- SWRP

Don’t be surprised if the animesh characters talk to you here. When I sat down at a sidewalk cafe, I was startled when the clerk asked me for my order in a very gruff voice.

May I take your order?

Although Lekku Alley is a role playing area, you can wander freely to see the area. There is a free avatar available if you want to look well-dressed.

Free Ugnaught Avatar

The teleport system is well constructed, making a quick transition when you walk in a door marked with yellow. The teleport system makes the area seem much larger than it is. Notecards at the landing point give good descriptions and point to a fan website.

Did I try this door? I tried so many that I can’t remember!

The area seems busy even if you are alone, because of the animesh characters. When you leave a room, you are back on the main street, ready to search for another room to enter.

And in the rooms, more doors to other rooms.

I learned about this sim on a trip with Seaplane Jonson, who has an exploring group, Jonson Excursions. Touring with a group adds to the fun. We tried to dress right.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Bexington/16/242/3994

Laoin Xaris at Xaraz Gallery

I will introduce Laoin and sit down and let her explain about the exhibit on her blog. It’s here in our glass dome at Clementina for the month of December. So I tuned in some Christmas music and put out some cocoa and cookies for you all. The owner, rm. Sirbu has some gifts for you, a Christmas tree and a modernistic creche.

Each time I look at Laoin’s photos, I choose a different favorite. It took me awhile before my eyes focused carefully on a spider and I wondered, ‘Is he crawling into, or out of the picture?’ What do you think? Here is a landmark.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Clementina/106/162/31

It was Mom, Dad!

The King tossed and turned that night and dreamed about the people in the old photos. It seemed like they stepped out of the faded pictures and surrounded him. He felt grumpy when he woke up. At breakfast, his wife tried to cheer him up, saying, “Just forget about those silly photos. Let’s just toss them out.” Just then, their son arrived, and still thinking about the photos, the King got the box and showed the pictures to him. But, his wife quickly left the room, saying, “I’ve got to start the ironing.”

When the son looked in the box, he started to laugh. “Oh, Dad, don’t you remember these? It was when Mom first got interested in photo-shopping her snapshots. Maybe nine years ago. She just tried to make them seem old. Look, there is one of all of us. Amy and Sue were dressed for dancing in the talent show. And the one with the black sheep’s head, well, that’s me. I think mom put fake heads on lots of people. She was trying to make collages. I still carry that one in my billfold. And he got it out and compared the two.

What’s in the Box there?

It wasn’t until about a week later that the King remembered the box. It was still in the car where they had put it. They had sadly watched the demolition of the Castle, hearing a loud crash when the wrecking ball made the first swing. It was painful to watch, and the wife wanted to look at some curtain fabrics, so she drove off, leaving the King alone, and he wandered around, trying to chat up the workmen, but they were too busy and ended up at the saloon playing darts all afternoon. Tuesday, the grandsons needed a ride to hockey practice and they were the ones who said, ‘What’s in the box there?’ And that night, he and his wife looked in to find old crinkly letters and lots and lots of pictures. Some had writing on the backs, identifying the people, but some were more mysterious. They laid them on the table and studied the best ones. Even the most recent ones were from the early 1900’s. “Who’s this at the piano?” wondered the King. “But the swan, we know that Ludwig was fond of swans.”

“I remember a collection of odd machines, and look here are some letters from a Doctor of Medicine about a healing machine. He must be the one in this picture with Ludwig.”

But how terrible for this lady in the machine! I hope she got cured!”

The King looked the longest at the two beautiful ladies labeled Irene and Samara. He couldn’t remember those names anywhere in the family tree. They must have been visitors.

It was late, and so they swept all the photos off the table and put them back in the box. And the next few weeks were occupied with building a new house, so the box was forgotten again.

Demolishing the Castle

The King and his wife were up before dawn yesterday. The movers were coming to pack everything up and move it all into storage. Tomorrow the Castle would be demolished. The children weren’t interested; all preferred new modern homes, and upkeep on the Castle was getting too expensive. It had stood here since 1886 and been passed down in the family generation by generation.

Last night, they had stayed in the small guesthouse behind the Castle. At 6 AM, they were startled by a knock on the door. The King looked out to see a workman standing there.

“I think you should put this box in a safe place. We found it near the furnace when we went down to turn off the heat and electricity.” And he handed the King a box. Startled by the weight of the box, the King turned to his wife, and said, “Do you remember this box?” And his wife replied, “No, I haven’t been down in the basement for year, too dark and dusty.”

Too busy right then to think more about it, they put the box in the car and forgot about it. And, just as the sun was coming up, they looked out the window for one last look at the castle.

Last Drop Cafe Collection

Did you ever use an online collage maker? I spent the morning taking pictures of all the Last Drop Cafes, taking the exact same shot at each location. I was very careful to get the same view in each cafe, having a bit of the window show on the right side, and the base of the counter show up at the bottom. But the collage maker had it’s own plan when they cropped them and shuffled them around to put them in a collage. (I had fun trying out all the paid ones, but I used it for free.) It still turned out good enough for me. If you head over to the Cafe at Craggen Maw, you can get all the landmarks. Which collage maker did I use? Befunky. And why did I do this? I wanted the pictures all in one place, to remind me of the enjoyment I have gotten from this project. And, thanks to everybody that helped!