Debra Darvick

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KIDS @ HEART

BEFORE NOW

Licensed for Joy

I saw this license plate on a walk in the neighborhood.  No idea if she is a florist or a gardener. Or like me, someone who is perennially captivated by flowers in any way, shape, form or fragrance. The flower decals and the license plate frame completed the arrangement with such whimsy. First prize to this driver.

Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room

This was just so cool. It’s so popular that visitors to Bentonville, Arkansas’ Crystal Bridges Museum are allowed only sixty seconds in this phantasmagora of dotted lanterns. We arrived first thing in the morning. No line. What’s better than sixty seconds in Yayoi Kusama’s dreamscape? Two hundred and forty! This kid at heart couldn’t stop smiling. As always, thanks to Martin for capturing the experience.

Video courtesy of Martin Darvick

A Record Can Be a Madeleine

I came across a snippet of an interview with William Shatner whose latest memoir, Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder, came out last October. In the article ninety-three-year-old Shatner said soemthing along the lines of, “We’re here and then we’re gone. I  mean, who even remembers Danny Kaye any more?”

That got my dander up. I remember Danny Kaye!  Fondly. Dearly. Not necesssarily for his movies or that sui generis rapid fire partee.  No, I have had a special place in my heart since I was four years old.  My mother bought a children’s record album of his that came out in 1960. Danny Kaye retells six stories from around the world. In one, a young girl becomes a maid for an eccentric man who calls his cat White Faced Siminee and his house High Topper Mountain.  Sixty-three years later I can still recite the final line of this story. The stingy close-hearted protagonist in Nail Broth learns to share. In a tale from Russia, a wealthy egocentric home-owner learns the value of modest living. A daft father-to-be consults with the village wise man whose answers even a four-year-old could figure out.  Each story had its own musical composition which deepened the magic of each of the tales.

Shatner’s comment about no one remembering Danny Kaye set me on a search to find this album if I could. I  had kept my copy for decades and even played it a few times for Elliot and Emma when they were young but somewhere along the way it vanished. Google to the rescue.  A pristine copy arrived in the mail last week, the red cover as vibrant as I remembered it. The record, within its pristine white sleeve, was flawless. Slightly giddy with anticipation I centered the record on the platter and watched as the tone arm found its groove.

Danny Kaye’s voice was just as I had remembered it — warm, light, rich with all sorts of cadences and accents. The words of each story came flooding back to me as did images of the Atlanta apartment we lived in at the time. I was my four-year-old self again, sitting on the floor completely caught up in my imaginings as Kaye told  his tales.

Olivia and Leah are coming next week. I hope they’ll enjoy the record even half as much as I did. Danny Kaye just might be will be remembered deep into the 21st century.

*Master of All Masters!  get out of your barnacle and put on your squibbs and crackers for White-Faced Siminee has gotten a spark on her whiskers and if you do not get some pundalorem soon, all of High Topper Mountain will be on hot cocolorem.

This Tickled Me

Another grey cloudy dreary winter day here in Michigrim.  I pulled into a space in Kroger’s parking lot, fumbled for my list, and wished, not for the first time to see the sun again.  

Then I saw this car smiling at me. Windshield wipers askew, a double smile on the hood, its little window-washer-jet eyes further anthromorphizing the image of a happy little being.  I couldn’t help but smile back.

 If a car can be happy despite its wonky wipers, I can surely weather another gray sky. Sometimes all it takes is a second look to shift one’s mood.

Forever Blowing Bubbles

Doing dishes can be boring. But not when you use the detachable rim of your smoothie cup for a bubble wand! Even my cabinet pulls and handle were fascinated!

I adore bubbles. They are totally magical.  They defy gravity. They’re iridescent. A bubble is a perfect sphere sandwich of water and soap molecules. When we were nine, my cousin Sharon taught me how to blow bubbles using my hand as a wand.

1. Submerge your fist in soapy water.
2. Open your fist slowly, keeping your fingers pressed together and your index finger and thumb in contact.
3.  You should see a film of soap in the circle formed by your forefinger and thumb.  Blow gently and magic! Your first hand-made bubble.

 photo credit: Martin Darvick

To Dye For

I love getting messy with Leah and Olivia. Stomping in rain puddles, playing with finger paint, squeezing Play-Doh® through our fingers…Bring it on!

While I had to be in charge of the messy part of tie dying the      T-shirts, Olivia helped twist the rubber bands and held the “rabbits’ ears” of bunched fabric for me to bind. We dipped the shirts in the bucket of dye, stirred them round and round à la Macbeth’s witches.  What a flashback to my high school years when sleep-overs were prime tie dye time — shirts, shorts, undies, you name it, we tie-dyed it.  We made a (quasi) matching one for Leah and an extra for Olivia to keep or give as a gift. And I have a new night shirt. No matching undies however.