Saturday, July 30, 2005

Look, Mary!

My mother is somewhat of an armchair traveler. Not really one for adventure or straying far from home and is basically, a bit of a scaredy cat. Just having a doctor's appointment on the other side of town can paralyze her for at least ten minutes.

One time, in a parking lot in New York, she got extremely flustered because my brother and I were giving her conflicting directions at the very moment she was pulling out into traffic. Doing that resulted in me losing part of my front tooth after she backhanded me in the mouth, clipping me with one of her monstrous rings. I never called dibs on the front seat again.

Although she has never really been one to explore or go places in person, she has become quite well traveled through television and movies. Many times, she took along her mother, my Nanny, as a traveling companion. When Nanny lived with my mother they would often watch movies together and my grandmother would always comment on how she felt as if she were there, in the place they were seeing on the screen. This resulted in the often heard, "Look, Mary! We're in Fiji." or "Look, Mary! We're in Chicago." They both were very amused at all of the places they traveled without ever having to leave the couch and were very proud of the catch phrase they coined. This post is in memory of Nanny.

Look, Mary! We're in Wyoming.

This is Tree Rock, located along the Lincoln Highway, which is now known as Interstate 80, between Cheyenne, WY and Laramie, WY. The tree is a somewhat stunted and twisted limber pine and although the age of the tree is unknown, limber pines can live as long as 2,000 years. The tree grows out of a crack in a boulder of Precambrian era pink Sherman granite formed more than 1-4 billion years ago.

Look, Mary! We're in Nebraska.

I didn't take that photo, I scanned it from a postcard, but these are two new states for me and I know my grandmother would have loved both of them. In Nebraska, there are miles and miles of corn. I have never seen so many cornfields in my life. Corn, cattle and grain silos. Wyoming has miles of open range dotted with cattle and horses and sky as far as the eye can see. My grandmother liked that, being able to see for miles, which is why I know she's always watching me from the many miles away that she is.

And everytime I see a new place, I automatically say to myself, "Look, Mary!"


Anonymous said...

Salena- I read, cried and now must tell you how wonderful this story is - all except the backhand part but i can see Toni doing that too!

I love Wyoming and Montana which really is big sky country and remember the first time I was in Nebraska as sunflowers everywhere I looked - I am so glad you are seeing our wonderful world. Love, D.

Anonymous said...

Hi Salena,
as Doris said said, this is a wonderful story and of course I heard that backhand part years ago. Did you know that your Mom cried afterwards!?

"Seeing" Mary and Toni sitting there, I cried too while reading.
Love, Elke