I'm just back from ooohing and aaahing over the Fall colors in Maine over at the Sarah Laurence Blog. Sarah is a writer and a painter and you can always find great book reviews and wonderful photos on her blog. I was reading her post about a recent family hiking adventure in the White Mountains of Maine when I came across a wonderful photo of Sarah's kids scrambling up the mountain. I was immediately struck by how a word's meaning changes depending on the geographical context. In Maine scrambling refers to an activity that is part hill walking and part rock climbing, requiring the use of arms, legs, hands and knees. Here in Seattle, scrambling is what happens at our house on mornings when both Wing Nut and I need to get out the door by 9 a.m. It's part synchronized dance, part daring acrobatics, and lots and lots of artistic drama--Cirque du Soleil has nothing on us.
This morning saw a whole lot of SCRAMBLING going on at our house. Usually I work from home in the mornings and so have time to make sure that Wing Nut eats her breakfast, has a lunch and snacks packed and gets her derrière out the door in a timely manner. But this morning it was every Wench for herself as I had an early morning assignment and had to catch a bus. On such mornings we opt for the "divide and conquer" approach to life. Wing Nut walks Diva Dog, plays ball with her for a few minutes and feeds the menagerie. I'm in charge of getting breakfast ready and lunch packed. That's all well and good in theory. Trying to squeeze in things like showering, getting dressed and eating breakfast is what usually trips us up. Inevitably, it comes down to me racing down the hill--thank goodness it's downhill--to the bus stop. On days of serious scrambling I end up at the corner of the bus stop waving my arms wildly while jumping up and down in an attempt to signal the bus driver that I'm stuck at the light, hoping that the bright pink of my persimmon colored raincoat will be bright enough to attract attention. Today it worked. The bus driver waited for me.
NOBODY is ever happy on mornings like this. Ms. Growly Pants decides to spit up a hairball. We can hear it but we can't see her. I'm sure we'll step in it sooner or later. Snuggle Bug morphs into Annoying Little Creature--you would not believe how loud this little cat can yowl--and insists on sitting on Wing Nut's shoulders and trying to steal a bite of her Canadian bacon. White Socks just sits by her food bowl despondently--waiting for one of us to sprinkle nutritional yeast on her otherwise inedible kibble. And Diva Dog sticks to me like glue, to the point of getting stepped on. She then sits while I try to eat my breakfast and stares at me with THAT look. "You can't possibly be thinking of leaving me home alone with those three crazy cats, can you?" And Wing Nut hates these mornings too because she's the last one out the door and gets the most undesirable task of all--looking into Diva Dog's beautiful brown eyes and trying to convince her that she won't be stuck at home alone with the cats for too long.
Today my commute was about 40 minutes one way. I walked, took a bus and walked some more. On the return trip I just walked all the way home. It was still about 40 minutes. If I had a rowboat my commute would be about 12 minutes. Hey Wing Nut, can I have a rowboat for Christmas?
Despite the fact that a rowboat would cut my travel time by more than two-thirds, I don't mind my commute. It's a pleasant walk that takes me along the ship canal and over the Fremont Bridge.
Pumpkins pop up in the most unlikely places!
And how many of you get to wave to Rapunzel on your commute?
Rapunzel, now there's a chick who should know a thing or two about scrambling...