The annual White Trash Bash is tomorrow here on Dog Island and we are already seeing boats gather and people arrive and the children are melting down and the no-see-ums are out and biting with the invisible jaws of death and the sink cabinet in one of the two bathrooms is falling apart, the particle board is sort of melting, if you will, and something stung Mr. Moon's foot out in the bay and my potato yeast rolls ARE NOT RISING, not one bit.
Garrison Keillor is talking about Lake Webegon and Owen is in a puddle on the floor screaming about having to take a shower.
Oh wait. Now he's laughing.
I take a sip of my vodka/tonic/blueberry/pomegranate /lime drink and look out over the flat bay and I have clothes going in the washing machine and the sun is still far from setting and I hear Gibson saying Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-UH and I can't help but agree.
We'll, its been a pretty sweet day. The sun is taking it's slipslide journey down to its pink and gold descent. Owen and Boppy are flying a kite and the wind is picking up which is lovely because it deters the persistent biting flies which have pestered us all day.
The bamboo chimes are knee-knocking like merry skeletons and the tide is going out to reveal the secrets of the flats.
The men went fishing and I napped with Gibson and Lily napped with Owen and when we got up I made cookies and then we went down to the water again and played with the naked babies.
I really can't think of anything much better.
As with so much of my life these days, I am thinking deeply about what these boys will remember either consciously or -un. I deeply and truly hope that they do retain some sense of what this part of planet Earth is like. The water, the sea creatures, the sand and the great, wide sky. The way their parents and grandparents love them.
This, I think is the best thing they could take with them as they grow into adults. And selfishly, I realize that in this process, they take their parents and Glen and I too into an ever-more deep appreciation of it all and in doing so offer us whatever genuine joy there is in this thing we call life.
The whole messy, chaotic, simple grandeur of it.
That's the report from Dog Island, Florida tonight.
And happy birthday, May. And Bob Dylan too. Let's all live long and prosper.
There may have been a running aground and there may have been sharks in the water when the men jumped in to push us off and there may have been wind and waves and we may have gotten soaked crossing but we made it in time for sunset.
Low tide. Baby covered in sand like a cookie is covered in sugar and the moon is rising, fat, full belly and we're here.
I'm supposed to meet Lily in an hour and a half and I need to scramble into town and do something first because May is having a birthday tomorrow, my second baby's birthday, coming right up, and that was another lifetime ago, when I had that child.
I was talking to Anna, Hank's friend last week and I said, "All those people who say they feel exactly the same as they did fifty years ago- I don't get it. I don't even REMEMBER the person I was a long time ago." And of course I do vaguely remember but who WAS that? That hippie girl who gave birth after a long, long day of labor and then a night of it too, and finally, as dawn broke, my May was born and we were all so happy, so glad, and there she was. Perfect, in my arms, and the main midwife had had to leave in the night to deliver another child and made it back just in time, her trusty little VW pulling into the yard a few miles from here in Lloyd, as I was already pushing.
There we were, a contingent of women determined to take back the sacrament of birth as our own, girded with a copy of Spiritual Midwifery and a few other births under our belts.
We were crazy, we were brave, we were inspired, we were right.
Anyway, yes, I need to honor that child who was born to me, came so sweetly into this world, barely cried, just arrived and was there, right where she was supposed to be.
I don't have internet on the island so I make do with the iPhone and it's not easy, blogging that way, my fingers fumbling at the tiny keyboard. I did update my Blogger app in hopes that I can once again post pictures with it because pictures are the very best way to share Dog Island with its sunsets, it's pines, its flat bay and whippy Gulf. We shall see. But my online presence will naturally be more quiet while I am there.
And see- there you go- I can't imagine not being able to write here, to be in touch, to read your blogs, and when I had May all those years ago, thirty-five years ago! I am not sure I even knew the word "computer" and if the internet had been invented, I sure hadn't heard about it. I considered myself pretty ooh-bip-potato-chip because we had recently moved from a house with no running water into a trailer with a bathroom and a kitchen sink.
Who was that girl? I was twenty-three years old, already the mother of a just-short-of two-year old.
No. I am not the same but yes, I guess I am. I don't know.
Anyway, I have to run. So much to do before we leave and thirty-five years ago today I was frantically trying to go into labor because my water had already broken and it was so hot and I had a garden with potatoes and peas in it, just as I do now, but now my grandsons help me in the garden, or at least eat the peas and we are taking potatoes I dug last night to the island and when May was born, that very night, I cooked a meal of barbecued chicken and peas and potatoes and it was delicious and my then-husband washed the birth sheets in our washing machine which I was so proud to have, and it was attached to the trailer in a little thrown-up shed and the day I realized I was pregnant with her, I was digging a ditch to lay the pipe from well to washer in that red-clay dirt.
There. That. I was that girl, that ditch-digging, hippie mama girl, and now I am a grandmother and not the same person at all but I still believe in the Holy Sacrament of Birth, the garden, the running water, and I remember my baby being born and the face of the midwife, Ellen, and I named my baby May Ellen and here we are now.
I am so lucky. And always have been.
I am a weak, weak-ass woman. As proof I offer this:
1. I turned on the AC.
2. I am drinking a beer midweek.
Fuck it. Fuck it. Fuck it.
I girded my loins and took my walk. Some asshat had dumped fresh trash in the woods. I came home and called the Jefferson County Sheriff's department and reported it. Maybe the asshats are so stupid that they left some sort of identification in there. I hope so. The deputy called me. I gave him all the information I had which wasn't much. The deputy was a very nice man. When we hung up, I told him to take care.
I hope he does.
The boys came and we played everything. We talked a lot about Dog Island and what all we're going to do. Owen seems excited. Gibson is always excited. Whenever Owen does something these days that he shouldn't and I bust him for it, he says, "Don't tell Boppy!"
I mostly agree that I will not. He knows that MerMer is not going to get mad at him. Unless MerMer is deadly tired and I was not today. Not really. And the things he does are mostly not so bad. Lamps fall over. Sometimes that just happens. Doors slam on baby brothers' arms. I understand. But..."Don't tell Boppy." Cracks me up. Like Boppy's going to make him go cut a switch and then beat his ass with it.
Sometimes he adds, "And don't tell Daddy." And if he really feels guilty, he says, "Don't tell Mommy either."
He knows I keep his secrets.
Here's me trying to get Gibson to take a nap.
Could you just die?
Boppy came home with kites for the beach and a sun shade thing to put up. We have so much to do to get ready. We're going to be up to the gunwales on that boat with all the stuff we're taking. A pack-n-play for instance. And all the food and all the water and all the beer and all the clothes and books and games and puzzles and toys and, and, and...
We might end up taking two trips across the bay.
It'll be okay. Whatever happens, it will be okay.
After the boys left, Mr. Moon went out to get things ready boat-wise. I don't know what all. Life jackets, batteries, fishing stuff. I went out and dug potatoes and brought them in and washed them. And squashes. And started dinner and tidied up the house. And turned on the AC. And cracked a beer.
I have to pack clothes (no bra) and pillows and stuff. My own books and books for the boys and tomorrow Lily and I will go do the real grocery shopping. I have an entire long list of things we need to take over including dish scrubbers and Kaboom! and Miracle Whip and pot holders and brown liquor. Getting to Dog Island is always crazy and I've never gone over with two small children although I have gone over with a boatload of teenagers. That's a whole other story but Lily was one of them and Dog Island is not unlike Las Vegas in that what happens on Dog Island, stays on Dog Island.
Owen's secrets are not the only ones I keep.
I have to go finish dinner. I should have gone with the can-of-tuna idea but I'm trying to finish up leftovers. Again- we will survive.
This is life. This is the great, messy, complete hallelujah of life.
Maybe we'll see dolphins tomorrow. I want to show my grandsons dolphins. Wouldn't that be something? And osprey and eagles and minnows and sunsets.
Damn. I almost missed realizing that today is my blogoversary. Six years.
Six years, 4109 (now 4110) posts.
Four gazillion words.
As I have said before, I may not be a great writer but I sure am fucking prolific.
And I do not feel like waxing poetic about what this place means to me. Just please know that it means the world. You people who come here, whether you've been coming here for the entire six years or just somehow found your way here recently- you are, well, I'd say something really stupid like the wind beneath my wings but you know that's not me.
But you are.
I had no idea when I started using that picture on my blog anniversary that I would eventually begin to resemble that old lady. Or maybe I look more like the old man. Whatever.
We've been through some stuff here, haven't we?
And at your places too.
As always, thanks most especially to Hank for pushing me. In doing so, he gave me about the best gift I've ever received. And to Mr. Moon for making sure that I have a device to compose and send all these words out on. I, Ms. Prolific, have no actual words to express how much I love you.
This year, in lieu of my usual requests for gifts of fine leather goods, genuine gold and platinum jewelry with precious stones, chocolates and flowers, I am asking you all to just say a little prayer for my immortal soul.
All joking aside, I'm the one who owes you.
All right. Let's get on with it and lead our lives and let's keep talking about it. Let's keep holding out our hands to each other. Let's keep telling our stories. Let's continue to keep each other tenderly in our hearts.
I give up. I just give the fuck up.
That nap I had yesterday? The most heavenly nap of my life? One of the nicest experiences of my life?
It came back and bit me in the ass and I couldn't fall asleep last night and this morning I hurt everywhere as if I'd spent all day working in the yard yesterday and I ache and I just feel terrible and okay, it's one thing to maybe drink too much and feel like shit the next day but to have a nap and feel like shit the next day?
So I give up.
Well of course I can't give up. What would that even mean?
Would it mean that I lay in bed all day and watch reruns of "The Golden Girls"? I hated "The Golden Girls". So sue me.
Would it mean that I put on that white slip and rat my hair and sit on the porch and drink gin all day and yell at people walking by the house? That actually sounds okay.
Would it mean that I give my husband a can of tuna and a can opener and tell him, "Here's your dinner?" (That was a real fantasy of mine when I was younger and there were six of us at the table every night and everyone involved had different dietary needs. That I would just put a can of tuna and a can opener at everyone's place and announce, "Dinner's ready!")
Would it mean I never take another walk? Never get involved in another play? Let the potatoes rot in the ground? Let the laundry pile up to the sky? Let the roaches take over the kitchen?
Okay. So while I was waiting at the dermatologist's office yesterday I read an article in the New Yorker by Susan Orlean about treadmill desks. Have you heard of these? The idea is that sitting for prolonged periods of time is like the worst thing you can do for your health. Forget gluten and simple carbs and oh, you know, heroin...NO! It's sitting. For prolonged periods of time. Doesn't matter how much time you spend working out or running or whatever. Nah. That eight hours at the desk is going to kill your ass. So now you can buy a treadmill desk and while you go about your daily desk-business you can also walk constantly at a low rate of speed.
Oh yeah. Just give me one more fucking thing to feel guilty about. I AM NOT WALKING CONSTANTLY ON A TREADMILL WHILE WRITING OR READING.
I'm a little leery of this theory. Wouldn't this mean that servers and nurses would live forever?
When you get to be my age, you've seen so many theories come and go. You've seen so many studies indicating this and that and then go on to be disproven. Eat wheat germ. No. Wheat germ will kill you. Coffee is evil. No, coffee is like a miracle substance. Fat makes you fat. No, CARBS make you fat.
Do the fucking crossword to preserve your brain. Eat blueberries. Be in relationships. Laugh a lot. Meditate. Do yoga. Balance your fucking chakras. Drink green tea. (I hate green tea.) Dance like no one's watching. Get rid of toxic relationships. Stay involved. Volunteer. Take time for yourself to nourish your soul. Keep a positive fucking attitude! Remember your dreams! There is no failure in failure! There is only failure in not trying! Keep a gratitude journal. Check for bedbugs. Just say no. Just do it! Say YES to life! Wear sunscreen, bug spray and remember- moderation in all things. Live hard, die young, leave a beautiful corpse. Be Keith Richards and live hard, live long, and get really old and wrinkled and beautiful and keep playing guitar.
I just woke up from the most heavenly nap of my entire life, I think. I woke up and I didn't know if it was daytime or night time or if I was in Lloyd or in Cozumel or in a bed I've never before known in my life but it was so perfect, my skin cool with fans blowing on me, my mind quiet and peaceful, smiling. Can your mind smile? Mine smiled and I didn't care where I was or when it was and even when all of that came back to me, I was perfect and I drowsed a little more, not even checking the time and I haven't even washed this morning's coffee pot, my husband's cereal bowl and I don't care. Who cares? It's okay. The crickets are buzzing, they are like an orchestra, their wing-voices rise and fall, their conductor is the temperature, the air, the sun/humidity/light.
I went to the dermatologist. Do you remember this whole story? I have these things on my face, everyone does who grew up in Florida or on the water, little rough patches and they may or may not turn into cancer one day and so the idea is to eradicate them now, you know. There are options and two of them were chemicals and one involved light and one is freezing them off, fast, fast. I chose that one because the one chemical that sounded least harmful cost $750 and forget that. So the doctor came into the room with a full, unopened tube of that chemical, the $750 one and he gave it to me because a patient had been given it by the VA, way too much of it, and he brought it back and so I guess I am a charity case now, and am going to be using government paid-for drugs and that is fine with me. I asked the doctor if this chemical was better (forget the cosmetic situation of having the things frozen) and he said it was because it got to all of the places, seen or unseen, felt or unfelt.
We shall see. And feel. I guess.
I told the doctor he had restored my faith in many things and also, that he has beautiful skin.
He really does.
After the doctor I went with Lily and the boys to a new pizza place and I got a whole-wheat crust pizza with vegetables and no cheese and the guy behind the counter asked, "How does that taste? With no cheese?" as if it were the craziest thing he'd ever heard of, and I said, "Fine." And it was. We ate, all of us with our nice little pizzas and then we went to Walmart and it was horrible as always and I showed Owen a hideous fake flower arrangement in colors of red, white, and blue for people to buy in order to express their patriotism, I suppose, and I told him, "See this? This is crap. Do not buy crap."
Then I bought him a Thomas The Tank Engine beach chair.
It's crap and he loves it.
And then we went to Costco (we are getting ready for the island) and the boys were whiney and we didn't know what we were buying and so we got a watermelon and some peppers and two chickens in a bag and sun screen and bug spray, etc. At least the employees at Costco seem cheerful and they wear what they want and I hear that they start people off at better-than-average wages and offer good benefits. I hope so. They do not appear to be barely breathing until their shifts are over at the Costco, they are open-eyed and they smile and they talk to you. Gibson waved the divider thing around at the check-out like a young, pudgy king, and the cashier said, "How you doin', Little Guy?" and Gibson grinned and showed him his teeth, his perfect little teeth and I thought, "Oh. That is my grandson."
And then I came home and unloaded everything and lay down on the bed in the room where we are sleeping which doesn't have one bedroom thing of mine in it, still, just the printer and the sewing stuff in an old dresser and the scattered VHS tapes of kid movies and we sleep in there so well that it's crazy and I'm almost afraid to move a thing but when I walk back into our old room, our "real" bedroom, that still feels like our bedroom so I don't know. And it doesn't matter. Like the cereal bowl- so what?
So what, so what, so what?
Nothing matters and it all matters and we do the best we can and we get through the crazy-terror times and we don't exactly know where they come from and we hold on as long as we can to the sweet, cool moments of nothing short of bliss and we don't know where they come from either but they do.
That's all I have to say tonight. I am a woman alive on Planet Earth in the 21st century and I have been alive for close to 59 years and I don't know shit, but I am here.
And so it is.
I'm going to the dermatologist this morning to get those precancerous (possibly) places frozen on my face and of course I'm experiencing high anxiety merely because it's a doctor thing and also, we are going this weekend to Dog Island with Lily and Jason and the boys, and the men are going to fish to replenish the freezer with grouper (hopefully) and that is causing me a little anxiety, too- three days in that tiny house with two small boys and it's going to be hotter than blazes and there's only so much time little ones or big ones can be outside in that, even with sun screen and my god, I haven't had a second's downtime, it seems since January or even way before then, and then I look at the pictures from Oklahoma, people carrying children out of the devastation and I think, "Oh, shut up, Mary. Shut up, shut up, shut up."
Which doesn't work. Not really. It only adds fuel to my fire which of course is built on the flames of life's uncertainties and fragility.
Speaking of High Anxieties, we watched the PBS Master's show last night about Mel Brooks and it was a good program. One of the things I liked most about it was a clip from when Brooks received the Kennedy Center Honor from Obama a few years ago. I heard him yesterday on NPR, talking about receiving that award and how they had offered it to him when Bush was president but he politely refused it then, saying that he thought he'd wait for another president to give it to him. Which cracked me up. It turns out that Mel Brooks has suffered anxieties and depression his whole life and yet, with his comedy, he has created so much laughter which to my mind, is one of the best antidotes to those two horrible devilments of the human mind ever devised.
Here's sort of a fuzzy clip of that video. I love the part about God creating every tenth Jew to be crazy in order to relieve with amusement the perpetual lamentation of the Jews.
I wish I could be amusing today but I am not and now I need to go and take a shower and get ready to present my old, wrinkled, sun-stained and blemished skin to the doctor.
My perpetual lamentation goes on, even as I know I am crazy.
Be well, y'all. Let's all try to find something to laugh about today.
For now my babies are staying in town.
Jason has done the math and added everything up and decided that the move would not make financial sense. I know that both he and Lily are somewhat disappointed. They are young and they crave adventure and change and so they should at their age.
But for me. Well.
I am just incredibly grateful that they are going to be here for awhile at least.
I feel as if I've been wound so tightly about this situation that it's going to take me awhile to uncoil, for the twitch to leave my eye, for me to relax back in to it. Or for me to relax as much as I ever do, which isn't much but everyone has their level of normality and I shall try to reattain my own.
After my bitch-a-thon this morning I actually got quite a bit done. I took my walk and remembered the hell of walking in Florida in the summer although we are not nearly as hot as we're going to be. The chill, however, is definitely gone, and I came home soaking wet from sweat and stinking to high heaven. I showered and raced to town to get a few things and return a few movies to the library, and then raced back home to get things in order before that baby boy got here. He fell asleep on the way over and his mama got him down on my bed and I laid down with him and got a short nap, such heaven. When he woke up we read some books and visited with the goats and collected eggs and sat on the porch swing and he happily ate an apple and looked at the trees and babbled away in his own Gibson language. He is an easy boy, that one. It is a treat to have time alone with him. The second child never gets the undivided attention the first one does. It's a fact of life.
And now he's gone and my body is rebelling against this heat. I feel incredibly languid and slow, despite the nap. I could easily lay back down on the bed, the fans blowing over me, to read, to nap some more, to do nothing but lay as still as possible. Mr. Moon is on his chair in the Glen Den and I think he may be resting his eyes. I have some plants to water and supper to make and those two things together seem a completely impossible task but I'm sure I'll rally. I always do. We could turn on the air conditioner but it still gets into the sixties at night which makes the AC seem ridiculous and besides, I absolutely hate shutting the house up. Even with the heat, there is glory in the open doors, the open windows, being able to hear the birds, the chickens as they move around the house, scratching and talking about what they are finding under the leaves in the dirt.
It's a trade-off and soon, the heat will make the balance tip and again we shall live in the comfort of the wonderful and beastly cold air machine which makes life possible here for us, we weak forms of human life who are so very spoiled.
I feel so very grateful to be spoiled by air conditioning and refrigeration and ice at my fingertips for cold water to drink and by water that I don't have to pump and haul, spoiled by my car which I can drive to grocery stores filled with food to choose from. And spoiled by my husband who brought me a magnolia blossom today, huge, white and smelling of lemon to place in a vase in the hallway.
But I am especially grateful to be spoiled by grandsons, close at hand. Grandsons whom I can nap with, read to, teach chicken-tending to, and also and yes, most assuredly...to spoil.
Monday again and our strange, cool spring seems to be over and the heat is returning and I need to get out and walk before it gets too hot and Gibson is coming over today, just him, his brother is going to Gainesville with his father.
The birds are so noisy this morning that it's like an aural wallpaper, there is an actual denseness to it.
It's Monday and so it's time to go back to my better ways. Everyone is gone and there is no excuse for biscuits and butter, no reason whatsoever to indulge in simple carbohydrates and blah, blah, blah.
Why is being a human so fucking complex?
Why did Billy bring me cheese and Buddha beer?
(Thank you Billy, and meanwhile you're all thin and looking good and meanwhile I'm all not.)
It never did rain here, I went off on my husband last night for no apparent reason out of the blue and it made me feel terrible and I want to reach back in time and pinch my own head off. I think maybe it's just all too much, or at least all too much for me who can barely handle doing the laundry and cooking a meal in one day (and we know that's not entirely true but sort of) and at eleven o'clock at night when I've finally and utterly exhausted myself in every physical and emotional way, there is no one else to go off on but him and he doesn't deserve that and he doesn't treat me that way.
You'd think, wouldn't you, that by now I'd have learned a few things about myself, about marriage, about...anything?
Well, I obviously haven't.
Move, Mary, get moving. Off the ass, sheets off the bed, into the washer, it is Monday, it is time to move and if not groove, at least plod along. Jessie left her phone charger, her red flip-flops and the sourdough starter which I was going to hand off to her to take custody of. Would that be a good enough excuse to pack up and get in the car and drive, drive, drive? Not that I really want to do that but, oh, Mondays sometimes. The very essence of them makes me want to flee, especially when I feel this way, as if human life is too complex and having the simple goal of getting from one place in time and space to another with a cooler with sourdough starter in it sounds like a plan.
It is not. Not really.
What are you doing today? Are you filled with energy and focus and are you grooving and snapping your fingers and checking your e-mail and sorting out your day and making plans for your week and GETTING IT DONE? Are you increasing your reps, your miles, your sets, your weights and are you unrolling/rolling up your yoga mats and are you EATING ALL HEALTHY AND SHIT? Are you glad for the week to be begun are you looking forward to the challenges ahead? And have you been an exemplary wife/mother/daughter/son/husband/partner/etc.? Have you written a new chapter, a new poem, are you reading a good book, is your garden weed-free and are your tomatoes ripening nicely? Is your bed made, the sheets stretched tightly across the mattress, your handmade-by-local-fabric-artists quilt spread over it all, your pillows fluffed and aired? Is your feng shui correct and are all of your fucking chakras balanced? Have you had your green tea in a porcelain cup and have you meditated this morning?
If so, please don't bother to tell me because my thighs are suddenly blobby and my hair needs trimming and I was a terrible daughter and I was mean to my husband and no, I certainly didn't win the lottery.
Except that I did, in all actuality, in so many ways and I need to remember that and I need to yes, get off this ass and I can move even if there is no groove, get going, get going, get going, it is Monday and it may yet rain this week and Gibson is coming.
The sky is turning purple bruise and the wind is coming up and the ceiling fan on the porch is whipping the air like egg whites and Judy and Denise just left and Mr. Donkey next door is doing his series of hee-haw songs and the smallest leaves are caught in the wind and making sssh-sssh sounds and yes, oh yes, I need to go make supper but it's so beautiful out here on the porch and I smelled the ozone and somewhere nearby it is raining and it's like knowing that somewhere nearby someone is having The Sex, it's that powerful, that beautiful.
Jasmine still assaulting our senses, birds singing out that it's the first day again, Jessie in the kitchen making breakfast, she and Vergil are packed and ready to go.
It was such a good party. I took almost no pictures but snapped that one above as the girls blew out the candles on the cake, Owen in the middle, I hadn't even noticed he was there, so much chaos everywhere, kids and folks and everyone, everyone, it was happy.
Here's one more I got, Kati and Owen and Jessie, right before the eating truly began:
All the salads got eaten and all the hamburgers and all the fish and most of the bread and it WAS a fiesta and the boys had gone fishing earlier in the day and a small alligator followed their boat around, looking for a handout and they brought home bream but I haven't cooked any yet. They cleaned those fishes though, the men, and Owen said they were cleaning "off" the fishes, and I envisioned Glen and Vergil wiping the little bream's faces with a washcloth, delicately getting them clean behind the gills.
There was a spontaneous picking of snow peas which occurred during the party and when Owen went out with Boppy to shut the chickens up he left the Spider Man that Sweet Uncle Matt had brought him
on the ground when he latched the door and you would have thought the world had come to a spontaneous and fiery end but Boppy helped him find it and the world was restored to its natural, fine state. When Whaylon got here, Owen screamed with joy, "Whaylon's here! Whaylon's here! WHERE MY SHOES?" and the boys raced around the yard and climbed the Chinaberry tree and Waylon shared ice cream with Gibson so sweetly.
After the last people left, Liz Sparks showed up. She'd been down the road, still midwifing her ex-husband into his death. She has decorated his room and cooked all his favorite meals and played cards with him and engineered everyone coming to say good-bye and played music for him. I came up with a new saying last night and it is this: It takes a village. Or...Lis Sparks.
I gave her a shot of tequila and we sat around and talked for a little while and then she and her former sister-in-law took off for town and we all fell out, Vergil already asleep on the couch, Mr. Moon sitting in his chair. I slept so deep and when I woke up once it was merely a joy because I knew I could go right back into it. That deepness, that falling away from trouble or worry or anything at all. Just sleep.
And since I started writing this, Jessie made our breakfast and Hank and his friend Elisha came out because she lives in Asheville and Vergil and Jessie are giving her a ride home and we all ate eggs and sausage and wonderful biscuits under the trees where we ate last night, one meal after another in this house, all of them I am grateful for, each and every one but especially those shared with family both blood and not.
There is always cooking going on and always the washing of dishes and there are arrivals and there are departures and hugs on both ends and kisses, too, and the newlyweds and Elisha have already pulled out of the driveway, they are on their way home and I hugged Hank to me and I said, "You GeeDee kids. You are always coming and going. Coming and going. And I always cry."
And he just laughed because he knows not to take my tears seriously. They are as plentiful and meaningless as rain and signify very little except that Mama is that way.
I just watched a daddy cardinal feed one of his younguns with seed from his very own beak. Mr. Moon is finishing up the dishes. He says he is going to complete the pressure washing of the house today and I claimed at first that I would do nothing at all except to clean out the hen house but then I realized I need to water the plants- so what? that's nothing- and also, oh yes, there is laundry and it is a perfect day to hang clothes on the line. We shall move slowly through this day in this house and this yard, now empty again but for us, now quiet, no Rolling Stones, no kid shouts, no baby fussing, no door slamming as people come and go, come and go, dancing in and out, greetings and catch-ups and I-love-yous, just us, and so sure, there will actually be I-love-yous and hugs, and thank god for that, and it is quiet again in Lloyd except for the buzzing of the crickets, the occasional crow of Elvis as he guards and collects his hens, here where I live in this house which is for me the very essence of home, that thing I always longed for and here it is, here it is, here we are and everyone has gone except for us but I know they will come back and here we shall be and ready.