Mothers Day. This one is a milestone for me. Its
my first without chicks in the nest. Id received phone
calls from all three of my children — the fast-walking, subway-chasing,
black-wearing, taxi-flagging NYC urbanite daughters, The Piglet and Decibel, and The Boy sending their love and best wishes.
expressed their undying gratitude for spawning them and shared
all the wonderful things going on in their busy lives. Absolutely
lovely, everyone remembered me,
and no guilt calls would be needed for at least a week.
Now the rest
of the day loomed menacingly. This GypsyNesting Mama needed a
diversion. It had to be a well established diversion, something
so spectacular that any sort of baby-missing hysterics would
A brunch at
a really, really nice restaurant? The thought of just the two
of us surrounded by long tables of celebrating families was just
begging for a Chernobyl sized meltdown. The very idea of food
reminded me of those wonderful Mothers Day mornings with the pitter-pattering
of footy pajamas, dry scrambled eggs with shell fragments and
burnt toast served to me in bed. Planning in advance might have
been the sensible thing to do, but hey, the plan is no plans.
discussing a few scenarios, David and I decided that anything
even remotely traditional would not do. So what TO do?
We hit the road and headed for the Worlds Largest
Ball of Paint.
in the heart of Hoosierland lives a man with a vocation
spanning forty-five years.
It all started with a happy mishap in
1964. Mike Carmichael
and a buddy were tossing a baseball and it ended up in can of paint.
Cross sections of the giant paint ball
Then an inspiration,
— What would this look like if I continued to coat the baseball,
then cut the whole thing in half?
Encouragement was given
by neighbors and kinfolk — then they dissuaded him from splitting
the coated sphere. Years passed and Mr. Carmichael was left
with a massive orb hanging from a chain in a room of his house.
Did his wife mind? Not a bit, Glenda has added over 8,000 layers
Relocating the 3000 pound work
come from at least twenty-five countries to add another coat of
paint and receive a certificate to commemorate the event. One
layer even included a marriage proposal (she said yes!). The ball
is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records and Ripleys
Believe It or Not as well as appearing on several television networks.
The Carmichaels have met gobs of celebrities who have made the
pilgrimage to add yet another layer of pigment. Once David Letterman
made arrangements for Mike to bring the ball to his late night
show, but Mike declined, feeling that the orb must be seen in
its proper setting. Besides, you never know what might happen to
a ton and a half of dried paint turned loose in The Big Apple.
within my heart.
Pavilion, we were struck by the enormity of the situation. The
ball is suspended from an iron girder, and is so large that a
large mirror is set on the ground below so you can see underneath
as you roll on the paint.
every angle, discussing every aspect and a quick tour of the Pavilion,
Mike finally asked us the question David and I were aching to
hear, What color are you going to use? With a scan
of the dozen or so vats of paint, we grabbed our rollers and lovingly
added layer number 21,823 which included a Mothers Day stick figure
homage to our children.
completing the task, and adding to the worlds record,
we contently began to walk away with our souvenir paint
chip, certificate of Coat # 21823 and commemorative tee
Just out the door, I asked Mike one more question,
Whats your regular job?