The Movies — More Than Just Entertainment

Oscar night nibbles

When was the last time you really listened to someone’s story?

In a previous post I mentioned the snack tray I put together to accompany the glitz and glamour of the Academy Awards — nothin’ fancy, just a few “made-with-love” goodies to enhance Mom’s escalating excitement surrounding that event. (And please bear with the photo above scanned from one she sent me — hover, people, hover… I’ll be rectifying that soon.) Anyway, Mom loves parties.

She loves movies even more.

I heard her story often while I was growing up — no electricity, no running water, a mild-mannered Mother and a domineering Dad. Nothin’ against my grandparents — life was tough in the post-Depression era and apparently they came to an amicable compromise before I was born. (I honestly don’t remember their relationship being so “volatile.”) But, recall is subjective, and for my Mom (a sensitive — and may I add sensational — human being despite the odds), it meant bearing the brunt of hard times and folks trying to cope. I’m so glad I listened to Mom’s story again, and that she felt compelled to tell it once more.

Enter Hollywood…

Saturday nights during the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, my Grandpa favored visiting the local pool hall after a hard week of tilling the soil. For whatever reason — I’m certain Grandma had a hand in it (she wasn’t as meek as she made out to be) — she and my Mom (from age 5 onward) rode into town with him to be deposited under the marquee of the local theatre. While Grandpa enjoyed his libations around the corner, they watched movies. And, depending on how long he fancied to stay, they gladly sat through the second show.

Elizabeth Taylor, Ingrid Bergman, Katherine Hepburn, Greer Garson, Vivien Leigh, Celeste Holmes, Judy Garland, and countless others (not to mention their handsome leading men) appeared larger than life and yet somehow “real.” Whether they realized it or not, their performances sparked a young girl’s imagination and made an indelible impact on her ability to reconcile life as she knew it. Movies weren’t just entertainment, they were a means of survival. And possibilities…

The big screen provided more.

Movies filled Mom’s heart with hope. (Still do!) Bonus points for costume designers — Edith Head was her favorite. I suspect she was the inspiration for the many, many home-sewn garments Mom later expertly designed and constructed for my sister ‘n me. Side note: A few years ago I was honored to view Edith’s creations (and Oscars) in Bartlesville, OK… breathtaking! I thought of Mom the whole time…

For those of you who snored through the “technical” and other obligatory categories during this year’s Academy Awards, I wish you could have seen the look on my Mom’s face. Rapt attention. Respect. Darn near reverence. She appreciates each and every facet of movie-making — and no wonder why.

We should all be so mindful.

A brief word to aspiring (and veteran) actors… please know that your performances contribute more to life than just momentary amusement. Somewhere “out there” a young lady (or gentleman) may be desperately yearning to be transported from “reality” into a world they can only imagine in the dim lights of a movie theatre. They’re dreaming of the future — their own! Follow your heart, and Lord willing, they’ll follow theirs.

My Mom’s life (and mine) have been inexorably altered by “the movies.”

After my last visit home, I don’t think I’ll ever feel the same about watching them. “I’d like to thank The Academy… and my mother. Her life story (and yours ‘n mine) are etched in history — forever.

My advice? Listen to stories even if you’ve heard them before. (Tell your own, too!) Who knows? One day a Best Picture nomination or a better life (the stuff dreams and movies are made of) may result.

Enjoying real-life screenplays,

~ Kim

What’s your favorite movie — and why?

© Kim Bultman and a little lunch

The Next Howard Hughes? (A Tribute To The Man Of Few Words)

Boatman

It’s not every day you come home to a man building a boat on your back porch — not because he’s intent on building a boat, but because (eventually) he’s going to build an airplane.

(Something to do with testing the tensile strength of mahogany before he constructs the wings?)

If you haven’t already discerned, I admire and love The Man Of Few Words (hereafter referred to as TMOFW) and his ingenuity.

Howard Hughes may have built the Spruce Goose, but TMOFW dreams of flying the Mahogany Marvel.  A few weeks ago, I asked what he’s going to name his future aircraft and he replied, “Airplane.”  (As for the boat, it’s dubbed the “Hope She Floats.”)  Such is my practical man.

With a little sweat and a lot of common sense, I have no doubt he’ll be airborne one day.  If Howard Hughes (and the Wright Brothers) can do it, so can he!

Not only does TMOFW continue to work on his dream, he grants huge leeway for my musical/writing aspirations, for which I’m entirely grateful. Someday he hopes to soar (literally), or at least float until our ship comes in.  I’d love to help fulfill his dream.

(Wishful thinking, I know — but ya never know.)

Day by day this patient craftsman builds dreams.  (His, mine, and anybody else who asks for his help.)  Just yesterday I witnessed TMOFW patiently attending to a lovely lady with the onset of Alzheimer’s who needed his expertise on some “fix-its.”  The gentle smile on his face said it all.  His heart’s in the right place… but it’s still on the ground.

As I continue to putter away on my novel and compose music in bits and pieces, TMOFW diligently works on his dream and has something to show for it.  (Once he even painstakingly devised a scale-model aircraft out of a cereal box!)  But, the legacy of service he’s constructed exceeds those of his aviation aspirations — and speaks for itself.

Such are the life and times of one who learned from the “Old Masters,” as he modestly testifies.  No fanfare.  No pretense.

Simply the day-to-day application of what he’s learned on the quest to fulfill his vision — while helping others along the way — including me.

All that lies between his dreams is the deep blue sea…

Deep Blue Sea

Which I expect we’ll be adrift on any day now — in the “Hope She Floats” — catching fish.

Next up, the wild blue yonder…

Of that, I’m confident.

Enjoying ingenuity and dreams,

~ Kimby

Life Beyond The Kitchen

As I was wandering about the house today (which I consider a form of exercise…), I was so thankful to be “here” (life, home, blog world), it inspired me to share a glimpse of life beyond the kitchen… plus, an updated photo of yours truly… the weathered version. :)  For those of you who follow me on Facebook and Google+ (yes, I joined the ranks), thanks for bearing with any photographic repetition.  Here’s what I’m peering at…

I count my blessings every time I look out that window…

Behind each and every blog is a human being — a life in progress — yours (and mine) included.  That’s why I decided to share my current “life and times” — a catching up and a jumping off point, of sorts.

(Public declarations mean one must do something about ’em, right?)

Take art, for instance…

When I’m not in the kitchen, I dabble.  Or dream.  Or both.  Actually, there’s more dreaming than dabbling at this point… I’m just now feeling settled in after our trip to Minnesota… but I’m pursuing it!

Way back when, I used to draw all the time — sketches, posters, illustrations, and what not.  I also loved wood burning — the texture of it fascinated me.  But, somewhere along the line, I put it all away.

(Not sure why, but it’s nothing to get hung about…)

Then “art” started calling my name (again) and I decided to answer back.  FYI, I don’t have a clue how to paint with oils yet — the hodgepodge above was a gift from a friend — but it’s messy and fun, and it makes for mighty purdy “art” photos. ;)

Whenever I set up that easel — my easel — I feel like a kid with a new toy.  (Tons of possibilities… will keep you posted.)  I’ve also joined an artists’ group whose mission is to leave Random Acts of Art in public places.  (More fun!)  Here’s my contribution…

Then, there’s music… and writing.  My constant companions.  Best friends, really.  They’ve been with me longer than anybody else.

Music and writing are the essence of my life — a source of solace and inspiration — not to mention some pretty interesting characters over the span of 50+ years.  (In current terminology, for-eh-vah…)

Truth be told, when I’m not carrying around my clipboard and pen, I’m carrying a tune.  That’s just the way it is.  (Yes, Bruce Hornsby & The Range are playing right now.)

So, how is it for you?  What do you love to do besides cook?  (Or is cooking your best friend?)  Is there something you’ve set aside?

No matter what stage of life you’re in, creative longings have a way of making themselves known.  Even if you can’t do anything about them right now, the important thing is to make a dent.

Whether life grants you five minutes (or 50 years) to scribble something down, throw it in a file and save it for later.  Write a “someday list” and review it now and then.  (Not the same as a “Bucket List” — I’m talkin’  deep down things that have always been a part of you — unless your lifelong dream is to jump out of an airplane.)  Hey, how ya doin’, Missy? :)

“Someday” may arrive when you least expect it — like it did for me.  Keep your dreams alive.  And, when you finally can do something about them, pick up where you left off and don’t look back.  No excuses, no regrets!

By the way… I’ve always loved playing with food.

Enjoying creative license,

~ Kim

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