Saturday, November 04, 2006


Story #69, in which a young Doug wanders a storm seeking new life and new civilizations.

To hear me drone, embrace the stillness.

To read the story, go where no one has gone before.

This week in The Prattler, "The Prattler exdorsements."


dddragon said...

I've seen half an inch bring Washington, D.C. to a standstill. It's funny.

dddragon said...

Storm: part of a nickname to a legendary soldier (Stormin' Norman)


The blizzards that Pennsylvania kids tell the California kid about but never seem to ever happen again.

Ariel the Thief said...

that was one thing I liked about being a child, every place was a place to play.

good definition, too!

Anonymous said...

Great story, Doug-ie. :-)

I spent most of the winter of 2003 in Portland, Maine. It snowed left and right, and it ruined my shoes.

Anonymous said...

when i was a little girl, we lived out in the country in a house was surrounded by cotton fields. when it was time to pick the cotton, the rancher would park all his trailers nearby, which, once filled, begged to be climbed into (much like that "snow hill" i imagine). my sisters and i would spend hours carving out cotton forts, which was lots of fun... until the rancher found out. oh well, at least it was soft, and we never lost our shoes.

on the other hand? one day my little sis and i traipsed across a newly irrigated field, in order to visit a neighbor, and wound up literally stuck in the mud, up to our hips. ultimately, the field claimed our tiny flip flops in return for our lives.

lovelovelove this story! visions of you channelling Spock in the middle of an icy planet? scaring your mother? losing a shoe? excellent!

Anonymous said...

Storm: all that's found sandwiched in calm

(what? yesterday was a big day, and my brain is now on auto-thought. i'd like to see how smart you'd be after trying to keep up with the clever and charming company i spent the day with. it's tough, i tell ya, tough!)

mireille said...

I like the way you relegate fear and discomfort to oblivion ... a small, shoeless boy who finds a snowstorm fascinating enough to keep his consciousness fully occupied, as instinct pulls him home? xoxo

Doug The Una said...

Isn't that funny, Dddragon? I probably shouldn't make too much fun having lived in Souther California for six years but I depend on my heritage for self-righteousness amusement.

Thanks, Ariel and I think you just pointed out the only important difference age makes.

Thanks, Al. Can I ask why?

Puppy, all the important stories feature a lost shoe, don't they? My daughter, Walela loves piles of leaves and snowbanks too. She's so funny, she'll flick little bits of whatever the mound is made of into the air with her nose and watch them fall back.

Mireille, an imaginative child has no better friend than hypothermia. Thanks, that was a pretty comment.

Anonymous said...

Sure, Doug. I worked on a project there. It snowed nearly every day, and, early one very special morning, I got to see my car's outside temperature indicator briefly read "-17".

On the plus side, it recovered most days into the plus-teens under a few hours of sunshine. And I got to go ice fishing for smelts. Big laughs over teeny fish.

Great people, too, and, when my eyes weren't frozen shut, I could see it was a beautiful place.

Lila said...

Great story. I hope your little tootsies were okay!

I remember playing like that. Those were the days... I wonder if kids still do that kind of "make believe" anymore.

Miz BoheMia said...

Life would come to a standstill when it snowed, even the slightest bit, back when I lived in Washington State...

And in Denmark you could bet clutzy me would constantly get lost... walking over open fields covered in snow and having to deal with slow blindness is a female dog!!!

Storm... soothing when warm and cozy in bed...

And speak not of the demise of shoes! Dios mio! Now THAT is sinful if ever anything was!

Logophile said...

AP3~ If I can get mine to STOP long enough to finish cleaning their rooms I am quite content. Playing make believe is not dead, it merely features new and different settings and supporting characters.

I grew up here in Washington state where it rarely snows more than a couple inches. In the mid-80s at the small private school I attended we had a principal who hailed from MN. One January day it started to snow heavily just shortly after we students arrived and didn't let up for a minute. The school secretary hadn't come in for the day so all the parent inquiries went to the message service. After noon, when a couple cross country skiiers were the only people on the roads, it finally occurred to him he might need to call the day early.

Anonymous said...

Cute story:) My first reaction was to be reminded of how Peter Rabbit ran home, narrowly escaping trauma, leaving his jacket behind. His mother was perplexed, noting that it was the second jacket he'd lost in a fortnight. Hopefully, you didn't make a habit of losing shoes in such cold weather--brr, you must have been somewhere else.

G said...

Hey Doug, you poor imaginative roaming child. You didn't say - was the foot saved?

To this day, I still love the sound of snowflakes falling even when it's not audible. Thanks for recalling those fun frozen days.

Mutha said...

I loved the blue light. I loved that the snow bank needed to be climbed. We get our share of buried-in-whiteness, and you have captured that feeling of otherworldliness. And also the universe one can create so fully when one is a child, alone with one's thoughts.

Doug The Una said...

Al, that sounds pretty nice.

Aral, the Lord watches over fools and children. My tootsies are still fine. I hear you about kids today. Xbox isn't make believe. Apologies to my brother-in-law but its true.

Miz B, I've never had shoes anyone would mourn. I'm pretty sure those had a full life too.

Logo, somehow I can imagine your kids playing make believe in spite of prevailing culture. How's Ariella?

Sure is, Icy. Good girl! And great to see you.

Actonbell, I always thought Peter Rabbit was about me.

G, I shed some skin on that foot but it didn't hurt my basketball career in the long run. Still five little piggies going to market.

Mutha, I loved the blue light, too. I remember being absolutely fascinated by it.

Anonymous said...

Oooh snow days as a kid. I still find myself wondering if I'll get a snow day as an adult. Had one a few years ago, spent the day throwing the neighborhood kids into the snow...on the road with my friend who was their nanny. And then the snow melted and flooded my friend's basement because they live at the bottom of two hills. Who says you can't play in the snow when you're no longer a kid?

I adored the playing Spock.

Charlene Amsden said...

The winter I was nine years old snow fell deeper than I was tall. I was walking along the top of the bank the snow plow had made. The mound was probably six fet high -- and suddenly I plunged through the crust and sunk deep inside. My friend Pat was with me. Terrified of freezing to death, I screamed for him to get me out.

Pat was eleven and much taller than I. He laid down on the snowbank, reached into the hole, grabbed the hood on my coat (which was tied in a neat little bow beneath my chin) and hauled me out. I'm not entirely certain the rescue wasn't more deadly than any danger I was in from the snow.

Logophile said...

Your inquiry into my well being, especially in light of the recent discussion of make believe games was incredibly apropos.
Incriminating photos will be appearing some day soon.

Alana said...

That was a sweet you have any idea what happened to your shoe?

I suppose that blindly is sometimes the best way to weather a storm.

The good news is that my nearly 3-year-old neice's make believe skills are coming along quite nicely. She was "purple" for halloween (no, not a purple crayon, just "purple"), is going to be a butterfly when she grows up and is best friends with a stuffed bear. Of course her mama drives a hybrid and makes and sells organic cloth diapers for a living, so she's an anamoly for So. Cal and will grow up to be teased for for her imagination and lack of exposure to the media. *sigh*

Doug The Una said...

Jenna, I still play in snow every chance I get and I've raised my dogs to do the same. Live long and prosper.

Wow, Quill, that's a very similar story. Did you take out any Romulans while you were in there? The scruff of my neck is how I'm usually rescued, too.

Thanks for keeping us up to date, Ariella. Always good to hear from you.

Square, let's not forget she's also efianced herself to cornbread.

Jamie Dawn said...

I loved being a kid! In some ways I still am. Your story made me miss those carefree days filled with imagination and adventure. What a "cool" adventure you had that snowy day!
I actually like storms. I like for them to come through, only at night, violently with lots of lightning and noise, then go away quickly.
Snow is so beautiful, but it is a horrid thing to live with. Years ago, my hubby and I lived in SD for a year, then CO for a year and a half. I had all the snow I care to ever live in.
Last winter, here in AR, it hardly snowed at all, and when it did, it melted very quickly. I hope for the same this winter. EXCEPT, I do LOVE for it to snow on Christmas Eve.
If you have any pull with Santa or Mother Nature or God, please see what you can do.

Charlene Amsden said...

Doug, I am an outstanding pitcher, so nobody would engage me in a snowball fight. I mean, someone would say, "Hey, let's have a snowball war!" and we'd choose sides -- then everybody who wasn't on my side would just go home.

Alana said...

Of course not, thanks for the reminder! Oh, and that she has two pet rocks. They sleep with her and her bear who had a birthday party last week and whose name is "Two" by the way.

And these are the imaginations that we are slowly suffocating. It makes me sad.

TLP said...

Sweet story Dougie. Nice. That's the way kids are supposed to act.

Doug The Una said...

Jamie Dawn, it's one of the many great things about you, that you stay so young.

Quill, that sounds like a challenge. If we get a decent snowfall in Vegas or Santa Clarita, you're on. I'm not afraid of you.

Squaregirl, the world needs accountants and behavioral consultants.

Thanks, TLP. I try to be good. Just to see if you're paying attention.

Charlene Amsden said...

Doug, I live in Vegas for a reason. If we get a good snowfall here you'll likely see me in CA. And if it snows there, I'm headed for Hawaii. Aside from that, my throwing arm is about 30 years rusty.

Doug The Una said...

Quill, that was a fast surrender.

Charlene Amsden said...

Of course -- didn't you read my initial story? I was an untested legend. Let's leave it that way.

Anonymous said...

ack! Sorry -- my alter ego has escaped confinment.

My reputation as an ace pitcher was secured in one inning of a sandlot baseball game that cost Darrell Jay his two front teeth.

Lila said...

Missing you over at BASIP. *sob*

Doug The Una said...

Haha, Quill. OK, you're right. Darrell so had it coming. Bastard.

AP3, I promise I typed in a comment. Apologies.

Anonymous said...

ah to bury oneself in all that white, preteding the I live in a igloo - the silence within always golden.

Storm, by your definition a metaphor for life.

FelineFrisky said...

Ah, snow. The dreaded element. Would send I95 into parking lot stage. Ah, the winters of CT. Thank God we don't live there any more! Ack! We detest the cold and snow only made it worse! People forget how to drive in it. They need to re-learn. Shoveling sunshine is SO much easier! D Warm in FL. :)

Minka said...

Youa re as young as you feel. Playing game sin snow is soemthing you can do until you are 80 and have broken your hips and your memory is pretty much gone.
I love snow (duh! what choice do I have?!) and playing in it, with it or building an iglo is something I did last year...
If you are well dressed, rolling down a mountain is so much fun.
Doug...if we had met when little, we would have played well together. Needless to say, I would have insisted on being Captain Jean Luke Picard...
A lovely story and I can just picture you as a child. Precious.
I was born in 1977. It was a good year :)

storm, n. A chance to face what you are made of!

Doug The Una said...

Cooper, not just by my definition.

Feline, I remember dad saying of snow in the driveway, "God put it there, he can move it."

Minka, that's a great definition, especially in light of your post.

Anomie, my mother says at four. That was just an external blizzard.