ah calamity

I watched the first episode of Deadwood last night and lets just say I was touched that Jane got to carry the girl back to town to protect her. That and how can you not love a woman who’s badass with a bullwhip? Makes me wonder exactly why Indiana Jones learned that particular skill, seeing as he probably never had to drive a stagecoach or herd cattle.

It as also good to learn that not only is my darling Poker Stud descended from horse thieves on his grandfather’s side, but on his mother’s as well. His grandfather used to deliver the paper to the Dalton gang as they lived “across the street.” It also makes me glad that at least Crane has “Crane” as a nickname. I knew that the idea that Mr. BCA’s family farm constituted a town with its own post office always confuddled me, but now I understand, it was a boomtown during the land rushes because they thought the railroad would be built through it. Turns out the survey was a little bit off and several unlucky fellows got to watch the railroad come through 20 miles north. By the time I saw the town for the first time, the original homestead out in the fields had fallen down, the general store just looked like an odd dwelling, and the hotel was no longer there. But the post office remains. In an area where it makes no sense why the address is neither rural nor associated with the dying town 20 miles north. The land rush days were such an odd short jag of time in history, but I think part of the reason its hard not to be romanced by them even in spite of all their ugliness is because its a demonstration that armed men and women actually managed to uphold some sense of civilization amongst each other when the law was a flexible living body and economies were slow.

I know, I totally need to get my hands on some image hosting so I can shower you with digital recreations of the house that was once a grain silo and the motley family that came from it. I’ve been trying to remind myself that class mobility is a myth, but that’s hard to remember when you’re my dear boy who’s seen his family uproot from a shade above rural trailer park to the West Coast suburbs and beyond in one generation. He knows how lucky he is, and I feel lucky to have known him.

Me? My grandma married a doctor just like her mother did, rest their souls. On my mother’s side, her mother lost all claims on the family farm and all my great-grandmother’s personal items, and went on scratching out a blue collar existence in Seattle at a time where supporting a family of 6 on an insurance salesman’s salary could still get you a decent, modest house.

I am frustrated too, by how much bigger houses have gotten in the last 40 years. I realize that families are more autonomous and self-enclosed and I know how much that sucks and what a false sense of security it provides. The boy and I have had a hard time sometimes coming to common ground on what our next home would be like, given that we have too much in this one not to buy another if we move. I don’t really want another cratsman because we can’t do the maintenance and don’t really want to. He doesn’t like the modesty of 50’s and 60’s brick ranches, and I have to stiffle a smirk when I realize he loves houses that look big on the outside, preferably with columns and sprawling halfway up a mountain. Gag! Turns out we agree on one aesthetic though: we really dig loft conversions. A sense of history/architecture and openness all wrapped up in a small space. Too bad we need a second bedroom for the kids!

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