Think Like An Old Guy [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

Little-Baby-Scion was minted in 2006. Big Red rolled off the line in 1998. Both of our vehicles are old. Oh, yeah. The VW Bug in the garage is vintage 1971. I rarely think of it as a vehicle because it hasn’t moved in years.

We didn’t realize how old our cars are until last week when we rode around as passengers in newer cars complete with the latest technology. Had we rented these cars, we’d have required a how-does-it-work tutorial. To say the least, it was eye-opening.

Riding around in the back seat I couldn’t help but think of the washing machine salesman that agreed with us when we walked by the newer computer-driven machines to the lonely old school washers. “We just want it to wash our clothes,” Kerri explained.

The salesman whispered to us, “The new machines are crap. Designed to breakdown and too expensive to repair. You’ll be replacing it in a few years.” We bought the old warhorse. It came with a 15 year warranty.

I nestled into my seat and laughed at my old-guy-thoughts, “Nice, but necessary?” 20 tells me that heated seats are the greatest invention since sliced bread. If I had them, I’d probably agree.

read Kerri’s blogpost about NEW CARS

smack-dab. © 2023 kerrianddavid.com

Celebrate The Pivot [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

Rob and his family celebrate the solstice. Arnie and his family celebrate Hanukkah. My sister and her clan observe Christmas. The earth travels. There is a moment when the tide of retreating light tips and returns. A touch more light than dark. Minimum declination pivots and slow walks, minute by precious minute, toward maximum. For eons, humans have celebrated, personified, and symbolized the moment of light’s return.

The best story. The fewest words.

[in preparing for a cantata, she wrinkled her brow and said, ‘I need another piece!” She noodled for a few minutes on the out-of-tune church piano, pulled a few phrases from the imagination-sphere, and then sang this song. It sprang into earth fully formed. Thank goodness I had my old iPhone at the ready to capture it. We didn’t record the performance. I tell her, again and again, that she needs a proper recording of this beautiful song. She says, “Someday. And maybe with a cello line…” In our own way, we await the return of the light]

read Kerri’s blogpost on this saturday morning smack-dab.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Unlock Her Mind [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

This cartoon strip would be funny if it wasn’t so true. I talk her into a stupor on a weekly basis. I’m an introvert so have rarely thought of myself as “too much,” but coming out of a monologue to find her dazed-into-submission has opened my eyes. Apparently, when on a roll, I can be like cold rain to the Tin Man.

The key to bringing her back from mind-lock-up is to first guide her to a comfy chair and then I play a terrible chord on her piano. I’m also gifted at producing grating chords. The chair is necessary because the jarring sound could possibly make her momentarily lose consciousness.

Once she’s sufficiently snapped-out-of-it, I’ve learned NOT to ask if she heard a word I said. Because she usually comes back into her body screaming the question, “WHAT’S THAT TERRIBLE SOUND?” I want her to believe “the terrible sound” is the awful chord and not my overly-generous monologue. So my pat response is, “What sound?”

When guilty of a mind-numbing monologue, the best path forward is to pretend that it never happened. Answer her question with a question. Play dumb and don’t say another word.

[Kerri’s response after I read her this post: “You make up so much sh*t!”. True. Too true.]

read Kerri’s blogpost on this saturday morning smack-dab.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Call Attention [on Two Artists Tuesday]

I spent the past two years working with engineers. I was constantly amazed at what they could not see and what I could not see. They were blind to what was apparent to me and I was equally blind to what was obvious to them. It’s what made us a good team. Once, Scott sent a spreadsheet and I stared at it like it was an alien. And it was. Numbers in columns and rows become visual statements for me. I lose the data in the pattern. The information melts into a design on the page. It was beautiful and incomprehensible to me. I had to ask, “What does this mean?”

Yesterday, Kerri and I took a long hike on a trail that we hadn’t walked for a few years. It was a beautiful day. I was overcome with appreciation. I recognized that we do not walk like other people. We stop often to look. Kerri takes photographs of detail. She sees the smallest of miracles and, rather than walk-on-by, she stops. She engages. She calls my attention to it. While she snaps pictures, I close my eyes. I feel the air. I hear the cranes and geese flying overhead. I call her attention to it.

The crystals on the window stopped me in my tracks. Standing in the door of my office, I looked across the hall through a room and to the window. The ice-branches sparkled in the morning light. They were like a magic kelp forest frozen in time. I called to Kerri and she came running, camera in hand.

I cherished the moment, not because it was unusual, but because it is our ordinary. What happens on the trail also happens in our home. We are not in a rush to get “there.” We stop often to look. We call attention to what we see.

read Kerri’s blogpost about CRYSTALS

Do The Important Thing [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

These are the short days of the year. The moment I’m finished with work, we head out the door for a walk before the sun disappears. Sometimes, like this week, when the weather is gorgeous, we walk the neighborhood during my lunch break. We are walk-opportunitsts.

It’s easy on the weekends to fill up the days with the-things-that-need-to-get-done. The gutters need cleaning. The leaves need raking. Winter is coming. Generally, we build the list around a walk but occasionally there is an inversion. The walk goes on the list.

I know we have our priorities straight. Even on the days of inversion, even if the list is lengthy and incomplete, we recognize that the most important thing is not the door that needs fixing or the deck that needs repair. The most important thing is to hold hands and take a walk. Together.

It’s how we appreciate our moment of life. The list can always wait for another day.

read Kerri’s blog post on this saturday morning smack-dab.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Reconcile The Paradox [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

There is no greater paradox. I’ve never met a greater homebody than Kerri. Every object in our house has a meaningful story. A memory. She wraps herself in home like a comfy warm blanket.

I’ve also never met a greater roadtripper. She loves, as I do, being on the road. Traveling to and spending time in new places. Collecting more meaningful experiences and stories. There is always a rock or significant piece of wood to bring home. A cup. A cloth napkin. The daily stuff she touches, so, when home, she will touch the place when she holds the cup.

I suspect the RV dream is an attempt to reconcile the paradox. Home on the road. This is all I know: home is wherever we are. I love living the experiences, adding to the memories, no matter where they unfold.

read Kerri’s blogpost on this saturday morning smack-dab.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Give Over [on saturday morning smack-dab.]

In the world of price comparison, label reading, expiration dates, coupons, and ingredients review, I am a loser. In these matters I have a Teflon brain. Nothing sticks.

When I shop, I take something from the shelf and toss it into the cart. When Kerri shops, she reads. She scrutinizes. She weighs the relative value of each item against the recent past and possible future items. She questions and considers every detail. Percentages spill from her mind. She remembers the price of pasta – and everything else – from 1992 to the current day. She can tell me the history to the minute when the volume of a box or can dropped from 16 to 12 ounces, “Yet the price stayed the same,” she grimaces.

During our very first shopping expedition, I knew I was in a whole new league. No more toss and run. No more quick trips to the grocery store. I was pushing the cart for the Einstein of food shoppers, the Yoda of coupons.

We’ve evolved. Or, I have evolved. While she reads, I gaze. While she compares, I ponder. While she weighs and considers, I daydream. For me, shopping has become a time to reflect. To abdicate all of life’s responsibilities. To give over to a better mind and push-the-cart merely.

read Kerri’s blogpost on this saturday morning smack-dab.

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Mind The Monsters [on saturday morning smack-dab]

When you are a child, the monsters rustle around under the bed. When you are an adult, the monsters swim around in your mind when you can’t sleep. I much preferred the monsters under the bed. They were more direct in their threat. No one wants to be eaten.

Kerri has many more monster-mind nights than I do. She generally frets her way to dawn. Even though I know better, even though I already know the answer, each morning I ask, “How did you sleep?” She gives me that look, so I ask my standard follow-up question, “I wonder why you aren’t sleeping?”

I already know the answer to that question, too. I ask it anyway because she will respond, “I don’t know.” We chat about it. We make up excuses: wine, we ate too late,…

The real reason? Mind monsters.

read Kerri’s blogpost about MONSTERS

smack-dab. © 2022 kerrianddavid.com

Stumble Forward [on KS Friday]

I stared at the print in our Airbnb. It made me smile. A happy sloth sitting for a portrait. My children’s book-story-imagination ran amok with the possibilities. This sloth might be pals with Pooh.

The image is by Simon Te Tai. He’s a photographer and manipulates his images using other technologies. He alters the personality. He sometimes adds human characteristics.

I’m paying attention to the uproar in the art community over text-to-image software, like Dall-e. Type a simple phrase into the generator and it will produce an image. “It’s the end!” frightened artists cry!

It’s curious to me. A camera is a technology that, when first introduced, produced the same cry from artists. “It’s the end.” And then artists worked with it. The world would not have a Van Gogh or a Matisse without the camera. The camera freed artists from the necessities of realism. It opened paths to other vibrant explorations.

I remember the first time I saw Photoshop. “The end of truth as we know it,” I thought. A photograph was no longer proof that something happened. It was a shock. Disorienting. Now, I sit next to Kerri everyday as she manipulates our cartoons, produces our blog-boxes, and tweaks photos. It is common, everyday. Liberating.

There isn’t an art form that hasn’t been fundamentally altered by technology. Amplification of sound made it possible for us to attend a concert in a stadium of people. The swirling lights, the moving images playing behind Elton John were sophisticated and an integral part of the experience.

Our language is being altered by technology. The text. The tweet. The emoji. The pendulum is swinging back toward the image, the symbol, and away from the written word. Pictographs on screens rather than chipped into the walls of pyramids.

It’s a push-me-pull-you, this dance we do with technology. Something is rendered obsolete while something gained is not-quite-understood. Change is like that, especially the rapid changes introduced by technology. We stumble forward like a drunken sailor, never quite knowing where we’re going because we understand ourselves by where we’ve been.

Kerri’s albums are available on iTunes & streaming on Pandora

read Kerri’s blogpost about THE SLOTH

bridge/as it is © 2004 kerri sherwood

Ride The Message [on Two Artists Tuesday]

Among the many monumental events we experienced on our recent travels, none is more significant than the moment Little Baby Scion rolled over 260,000 miles. We were in Richmond, Kentucky on our last night of vacation en route to our final Airbnb of the trip. We hooted and hollered in celebration.

Like us, every little piece of LBS is worn by the miles. Yet, like us, LBS has a young heart and was going 80 miles an hour (with ease) at the moment she turned over 26 with four zeros.

True confessions: on the day Kerri and I met in O’Hare airport, when we spontaneously held hands and skipped out of baggage claim to the parking garage, I had no idea what kind of car she drove. When I first laid eyes on the little black shoebox car, I thought, “Perfect!” This woman was easily as quirky as I was. The car fit her like a glove. When we got into the younger version of LBS, she’d packed me a snack and had a bold cup of coffee awaiting in the cup holder. Little Baby Scion was more than a car. It was a message.

Almost ten years later and many more miles on the dial, many things have changed. Tires. Spark plugs. More than one muffler. There are scratches and dings and flaking chrome, but the essentials remain the same. Quirky, young-at-heart, a rolling feast of abundance, we’ll get “there” one way or the other. Together. We come honestly by our wear-and-tear, in our quirky reliable intrepid little shoebox car. Perfect. A rolling message, a life of quirk complete with road snacks.

“Where shall we go next?” she asks. “I’m ready.”

read Kerri’s blogpost about 260,000 MILES