I’ve decided it’s too time consuming to keep up with two blogs so I have exported this blog and imported it into Witt Bits. After talking to other Story Circle Network writers, it seems like the right thing to do. I may have started Witt Bits to focus on writing my memoir but I’m happy to share my personal life there too. This blog will be erased so please change your bookmarks.
It’s National Scrabble day and I’m at a loss for words. I’ll spare the excuses for not blogging recently but I’ll give you one small hint. Maybe I was a bit overzealous when I decided to divide my blog into two parts. One blog all about me. That would be Mz Bull.
The other blog is meant to present a more professional image of the wannabe me, the one with business cards prematurely imprinted Marjorie Witt, Author. Yes, prematurely – you won’t find me on Amazon yet. But while you are waiting, perhaps between turns on Words with Friends, you might want to check out my current A to Z Challenge on Witt Bits.
Meanwhile, I’m off to a writing conference to gather inspiration and meet my Story Circle Network friends.
It must be an April Fool’s prank. Not funny. For 32 years KGO radio has been my wake up call. The alarm sounds at 6:30 a.m. I hear the news and get out of bed after the weather report. Was I dreaming this morning when the radio blasted out what sounded like psycho babble accompanied by spacy music? I waited for the weather. It didn’t happen. So I googled KGO. Still not believing what I saw online, I trudged down my steep driveway for the morning newspaper. I want to believe
it’s a bad April Fool’s joke.
I left church feeling renewed, hopeful, and energized to enjoy a sunny walk through Jack London Square. The Farmer’s Market was abuzz with activity this Easter Day. Little girls in bonnets and bunny ears hopped through the marketplace sampling fresh sweet strawberries. Little boys a bit less inspired, especially this one. It’s sad to see such unhappiness on such a beautiful bright day.
With a little bit of luck I left Reno on the Zephyr yesterday morning with enough cash in my pocket to buy lunch in the dining car. Not so for grandpa and he’s the one who begged us not to honor, “Open Your Umbrella Indoors Day.” Little J and I took our chances.
Okay, so I have to admit I did win the money the day before and grandpa may have been right. Luck turned a corner upon arrival at the Amtrak station.
First off, trains don’t recognize Daylight Savings Time. Think about it – how can a train leave Chicago on schedule, arrive at all the westbound stops according to time table commitments, and make up an hour between Winnemucca and Reno? The wait at the station… a little over an hour.
Second, near blizzard weather. Two buses cancelled the trip over the summit leaving two busloads of passengers the opportunity to observe the winter storm in the comfort of a coach seat. Finding three empty seats together in a sold out train? We took our chances behind a young man determined to catch up on all his phone calls between Reno and Sacramento. Eric commented that the foul mouth, drug dealing, gang influenced blather would stop once we reached the non-service areas. He was right about that. These were the opportunities to admire the young man’s latest rap tunes. Apparently when he wasn’t doing back flips off the stage, he was a musician, of sorts. Reminder to self – do not sit anywhere near young men wearing black fedoras, black leather jackets, black leather pants, skinny underwear (now how would we know that? – first time I ever saw baggy low rider pants in leather), jewels on every finger, ear buds implanted.
Third, dinner in the diner. The goal was to show Little J what dining on the train is all about. It seemed our discourse about fine dining on our honeymoon trip 46 years ago was as uninspiring as the drug induced rap job two cars behind us. Little J, as unimpressed as he was, did point out that the NON-silverware did still have an Amtrak emblem and the not-so-fine linen PAPER table cloths and a couple of pens provided artistic distraction while waiting patiently for the fine mac and cheese dining experience.
Fourth, delays. What more can I say other than one must always remember there is such a thing as “train time.”
Fifth – back to the umbrella – would it open once we arrived at our final destination in a deluge of rain? Of course not.
There is a small disagreement between my sister and me as to who officially owns these dolls. I think the one on the left may be an original Barbie. The doll on the right is of unknown ancestry. Since I happen to have these dolls in my possession, for now we’ll just say one is mine and one is hers. Read the rest of the story and then you decide whose is whose.
During our Michigan years, Grandma Bull traveled by train across country from California to visit several times. She would plump down into the most comfortable chair in the living room and spend her days creating a generous wardrobe for me, my sister and our dolls. We’d fall asleep at night to the click of knitting needles and wake in the morning to the whir of the sewing machine. The clothes that best fit the doll on the left happen to match clothes I wore in photos from that era. Neighborhood girls envied my doll’s fashionable clothes which I stored neatly folded in a round pink zippered suitcase.
Backing up in time before the Barbie doll age, I’m going share a small secret. When my sister was about 3 years old there was a big box from Grandma under the Christmas tree with her name on it. With toddler exuberance she ripped open the package to discover a chubby cheeked baby doll nestled in a crocheted blanket. A complete layette of pink baby clothes filled the bottom half of the box. My sister wailed “NO NO NO,” tossed the doll across the room, and moved on to the next gift, something better suited to her already developing tomboy characteristics. We never told Grandma.
Which doll do you think might belong to me?
Indulgence would be my word of choice for this day of celebration for the RHS Molls. What better way to honor a 15th anniversary of our Red Hat Society chapter than tea at the best tea parlor in the town of Niles (actually a district within the city of Fremont)? Tyme for Tea tops our list of favorite places in the east bay to experience a genuine three course Victorian tea service. Note if you plan to go there, reservations are required.
But food is not the only indulgence for this lively group of magical women. We must next pay the consequences of ingesting all that delicious food; we burned off the condiments of our scones as we browsed the the antique shops along Niles Boulevard. Let’s just say some of us were more enticed than others to drop a few bucks off in exchange for valuable items of a vintage era.
Hospitality is another plus for this small town. Throngs of people begged to take our photos. Well, maybe only half a dozen people asked. But that was expected being this is Friday. I’m quite sure we’d have a bigger audience on the weekend. Craig from Iron Dog Antiques was kind enough to take a photo of a few of us with his car when we promised we would shop in his store. Lots of interesting stuff in there.
We part with hugs and well wishes knowing we have plenty of reasons to revisit this area soon.There may be a train ride on the Niles Canyon Railway in the future. Or maybe one of these adventures recommended by Hidden SF.
Indulge yourself. You deserve it!