Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Follow the Mellow Brick Road

"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him." – David Brinkley

A few weeks ago, the MonkeyGirl sent me a version of that quote, unattributed, and it touched me deeply. (The quote applies to women, too, and it came from a journalist whom I admired very much.) She said: “I know that they weren't referring to bricks in the literal sense of the word, but it still reminded me of you. You are the "mellow" brick road!” Hence, this post title.

I like to think that it applies. I’d like to think that I’ve built the Mellow Brick Road. It took a lot of time and effort.

All the work has an added bonus for me. Yesterday, while looking out the front door, the mother says: “It looks just like I always knew it would.” That made me smile.

The mother “sees” things. While scrapbooking has been an activity that has helped me in this regard, I’m still in the land of the lost when it comes to visualizing. I literally have to lay things out in front of me – tangible, movable parts – to see how to make something work. Describing it to me, and me translating it inside my head, usually just doesn’t do it.

The mother, now she can see some sh*t. She walks inside and can pretty much decorate an entire house – right down to the switchplates – in about 15 minutes. Me? I’m still standing in the foyer, marveling at the door or the flooring.

The problem with the mother’s little gift is that the job of doing it takes 20+ years to complete. In fairness, the house has been a work in progress since the mortgage papers were signed. (The last three or four years though have been like one loooooooong, neverending project.)

And did I mention that the mother is a neat freak? Me, I’m a slob. (The mother is Felix to my Oscar.) But I try. Part of the challenge for me is that I don’t have anywhere to go with things, so they tend to just pile up because it takes too much effort to put them away.

A home – just the way she “sees” it –has always been really high up on the mother’s priority list. Me? I don’t need that much. A real closet would be nice. Cabinets sized to hold real food (like cereal boxes) would be good, too. A sunroom would be ideal and provide some much-needed additional square-footage. I think I could be completely happy after that.

For now though, I’m content to occupy myself with those projects that either genuinely need doing or that will get that much closer to the picture of This D*mn House that lives inside the mother’s mind’s eye. With each change to the house, she gets a little more excited. It’s a rarity in the mother so I’ll agree to almost anything to see more of it. (Almost.) Why?

That, to me, is pure joy.


Vicki said...

I'm like you, I can rarely visualize something before it's almost done. You're doing great work. Keep up the good job :)

MonkeyGirl said...

This is where you and I differ. I have the "visions" too. The problem then is I'm not happy until I find the exact item in my visions. If MonkeyGirl ain't happy, nobody's happy!

NV said...

Thanks, V! Glad to know I'm not alone.

MG -- Well, you knew the brain sides had to diverge somewhere, right? :-) Otherwise, wouldn't we technically be the SAME person?

Ann said...

I think it's so sweet that you get this excited to see your Mom this excited. Really quite touching. :)

NV said...

Aww, thanks, Ann. The mother hasn't had it so easy and she just doesn't look forward to that many things. Watching her get excited about something she has apparently "seen" is indescribable.