Idiosyncracies: hair

Behind the normalcy of every home lie the quirks, the secrets, the idiosyncracies: the small things that add personality and character (some would say oddness) to each household. Every household has its own taboos, its requirements of family members, and they're impossible to discern from the exterior behavior of the occupants.

Casting: driving from home, to home

We head for home in approximately ten hours. I have been here since one a.m. on Saturday morning, and I've come away with the same feeling that I always have when I visit here: Tull is my home in a way that no place else can ever be, but the chances of my ever living here again are very, very small.

Winner-take-all on the waffles

I am thankful for kitty purrs and coconut-milk desserts and dinners with friends. I still love the feeling of driving over the I-55 bridge over the Mississippi River, and I still am secretly thrilled when Jeff approves of something that I do. I still can't remember the name of all the reindeer without singing them, and I think it's funny that this year is the first year, ever, that my father has put Christmas lights on his house.

The rottenest cat. Ever.

I was thirteen on the day that my parents heard the sounds coming from the woodpile. At first, they weren't sure what they were hearing, but after a day or two, they became certain that what they were hearing was probably a kitten.

Finding a cop you're not related to

Somewhere along the line, a few years ago, the tax base in Tull got stout enough and the houses got paid-for enough that it became time to have some official representation of law and order in this town. In the past, the isolation of the town pretty much guaranteed that just about any would-be criminal would get good and lost before ever reaching the city limits, but every now and then a bad wind blew long and hard enough to throw a not-quite-desirable someone down the winding road that eventually led to Tull.

A stretch of good road

There were three ways to get in and out of Tull, and in the grand scheme of twentieth-century road construction and enforced commuting, none of them were exactly optimal.