Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Laughing Glass

When I moved into this house in March of 2004, I was completely and utterly beside myself with joy and disbelief. This. This. THIS was my dream house.
Built in 1859 and standing strong with wide plank pine floors and porches from yin to yang, it was if I had dreamed it and then it arose from those dreams. I had dreamed it, as a matter of fact, and have the writing to prove it. I almost completely described my bathroom in a piece of fiction I wrote starting back in oh, something like 1997. And I wrote poems describing it and it came to me, in reality, on a night soundtracked by the Beatles.
So yeah.
It's been like a major miracle in my life that I live here.
And as I told my friend Marilyn on the phone today, perhaps I knew I wanted it so badly because my sub-conscious knew what a great grandmother house it would make.
Who knows?
I don't.
But when I moved in, I had just watched the movie, Ray, which is a movie about Ray Charles who actually grew up right down the road from where I live now. And in that movie, there was a scene which had in it a bottle tree.
It was magical and I knew right then I wanted one here.
And so after I'd unpacked everything and put everything in its place I set out to create one, which I did. And that was six years ago and it was lovely and I loved it but over the last few years, it has grown dowdy and sad.

The bottles filled with water and grew mold in them. Some of them broke. And this spring I have been looking at the bottle tree with despair. It no longer brought me joy. It made me sad. But I have so much to do! How could I take the time to redo it?
And then today I was so filled with spring and Jessie came by after a visit to the Jefferson County Health Department where she is doing clinicals and I said, "Hey, want to help me redo the bottle tree?"
And Jessie, because she is very much a person who says YES to life and all of the questions which come her way, said she would like to.
And we cut down the old bottles and gathered up the broken ones and we washed the bottles and I rounded up other bottles which I had saved to put up in that tree and we redid it.
We hung blue bottles and green ones. New bottles and old ones. Bottles we have found on the property here. Check this one out:

It's a ginger-ale bottle and obviously, it was produced before it was the law to sterilize bottles before they were filled. Hello!

We hung fish-bottles.

Besides bottles, I have also hung things I've found on my walks, mostly metal items which, when the breeze blows, touch the bottles and make windchime sounds.

When my favorite car of all times bit the dust on Dog Island after a hurricane flooded its engine, I hung its key up to join in the music. And yes, Ms. Bastard, it was a Mazda Mini Van which transported me and my babies to the beach for three years with plenty of room for our food and our twinkly lights and our towels and blankets and sheets and baskets and everything we needed for our months in a tiny cement-block hovel of an apartment on St. George Island. I burned incense in that van. I had a basket filled with my Jimmy Buffett tapes in it. Those summers and that music and that beach saved my life and that's just the truth. And when we got the place on Dog Island, we transported the van over there and it shuttled us from the dock to the house for many years until Hurricane Dennis flooded the entire island and killed that van.
So here is that key, paired up with a gin bottle and I think I got the bottle at the recycle place. I haven't drunk gin in years.

The van is gone but its memory lingers on when I hear that sweet tap, tap, tapping of the key on the bottle.

Jessie and I laughed and laughed as we hung the bottles. We tried to use a step ladder to stand on to reach the higher branches and its legs sunk all the way up in the dirt which made Jessie giggle. Miraculously, no one was hurt, we hung our bottles and we are happy with the results.

My bottle tree is, once again, somewhat magical.

It sparkles and it shines and if there are bad spirits, I think they will be confused by the color and the light and slink away to someone else's house where there are no such encumbrances to their entrance.
That's the theory, anyway.
And it was good enough for me today on a day when no matter how hard I tried, I could not stay in the house for more than twenty minutes at a stretch, when the air and sun called me outside to play, even as the dust collected and the clutter rested where it lay.

My friends who are coming on Friday are going to have to love me for my chickens, my bottle tree, my garden, my supper, and my heart. They will have clean sheets and towels and home-made soap and home-made bread. And if there is mold and dust, they will have to just overlook it.

I think they will.

Because when they drive up, there will be blooming azaleas and wisteria, clucking hens and a rooster, perhaps a grandson on my hip and there will be martinis. And a bottle tree. There will be a bottle tree, gleaming and shining and tinkling in the sun.

And that will have to do.

I love them and I think they know that and I think that they love me too. And they know about spring and they know about love and they have stayed in the Panther Room before.

A little dust is not going to interfere with the magic of this place I have been so gloriously given to live in for now. It is a place where so many people have lived before me and where many people will live after I am gone. But for now, it is mine, and I hang things from the little redbud outside and I hope they say, "Welcome, come in." I hope they say, "Let me sing you a little song." I hope they say, "This is a place which is loved."

I hope they do. I think they do. I know they glitter in the light, merely glass, but isn't glass sort of magical in and of itself? Do you remember when you learned in school that glass is actually a liquid? Weren't you amazed?

I was. I still am.

And today Jessie and I cleaned and shined the solid liquid we call glass and we hung it up in a tree and we stood back and we laughed.

And now I am going to go to bed and perhaps I will dream of that- the liquid color swinging in the redbud, tinkling against the found, strange metal shapes, and when I wake up, it will all be here in reality, too.

I live inside a dream, and it is a sweet one.

Thank-you for visiting it. Thank you for dreaming it with me.

What'd I Do To Piss You Off This Time, BAY-BEE?

I think it's so funny when the number of my blog followers suddenly grows smaller by one. I always wonder- what did I do or say to piss someone off enough to go to the trouble of unfollowing me? Especially during times when all I am writing about is basically spring and marital love.
Ah well.
Can't please everyone.
Whoever you are, I'll miss you!
I think.

Opposable Thumbs Just Lead To Monkey Business

I've got company coming on Friday and so of course this means I should be cleaning. I did clean two bathrooms and a bedroom yesterday. This took me approximately eight hours. It's not that I'm really a very good cleaner, it's just that, well, I get distracted.
Birds fly in and I have to take their picture and rescue them.
Wisteria keep popping out.
Chickens keep laying eggs.
There are weeds in the garden.
Things must be fussed with.
I must create a tableau in the bathroom of jewelry and fabric samples.

I must come check the blog.

I must wander around, drunk on spring. Mainly, I must wander around, drunk on spring.

The Fabuloso gets lost from one bathroom to the next. My polishing cloth disappears and then I find it in my pocket. I realize I need yet another cleaning tool or solution and have to go to the other end of the house to find it. The tape on my Walkman comes to an end and I have to go put in another. I have to write a letter to a local church in response to a postcard they sent me which said, "Because there is Easter, we can live Fearless!"

I mean really, wouldn't you?

Oh Lord. And I say that in the most loving way. Oh Lord. There. I said it again.

It's spring. There are plants to repot and move and water. I have wild phlox I want to transplant all over the yard! ALL OVER THE YARD!

And the toilets and tubs wait patiently with their evil chemicals in them for me to scrub them. And the Fabuloso gets lost again. And where the hell is that fucking dustpan?! And oh hell, I forgot to check the tung tree's progress today. Better go do that.

And the black mold still grows on the walls and honestly, nothing but Clorox and paint would solve that problem. And a fifteen-foot ladder. And the paint peels off the ceiling in the hallway. And the rugs need throwing out, seriously, they do. And there is dust an inch thick on everything and going out to take pictures of violets is not going to get it removed.

And neither is trying to feed Elvis some Oxalis.

Or going out to check and see if Miss Carol is still on the nest.

(She is and she's as mean as she looks and I do not even try to check underneath her because that bitch will take your arm OFF!)

And then! Oh my god! Is the wisteria blooming way up in the trees, too? Yes! Yes it is!

And while I'm out, I might as well go take a picture of the lettuce and chard growing in the garden which will be part of the salad for Friday night's supper.

Meanwhile, the dogs have the right idea.

Dogs don't give a shit about mold on the walls or dirt on the baseboards. They could care less if the jewelry is arranged just so. The idea of cleaning the rugs would never occur to them. In fact, the rugs are JUST THE WAY THEY LIKE THEM! Covered in their hair and smelling just like...dogs.

I think we could all learn from the dogs. They know enough to just lay down in the dirt in the sun and gaze out at the glory.

They are drunk on spring and they pass out from their drunkenness wherever the notion takes them. And then they get up and bring some some more dirt in and get a drink out of the toilet and then they go back out and piss on the violets and take note of the chickens scratching busily on the other side of the fence and then they go back to sleep.

Who the hell needs opposable thumbs on a day like today? Opposable thumbs only force you to do things like mop. And write laws. And send postcards. They just lead to trouble and get in the way of naps.

I think I have Dog Envy today.

Happy Wednesday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon Who Is Drunk On Spring And Is Having To Use All Her Willpower Not To Take A Nap

Before I Go To Yoga On This Beautiful Spring Morning

I want to give you one more full-moon-behind-branches picture. I seem to be enchanted with what the camera sees when I walk around the back yard at night in my bare feet, taking pictures of the moon from this angle, from that.
Who knew that a blog I started in order to write would lead me to seeing in such a profoundly different way?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Although Sometimes...

The outside does come in to visit.

And must be helped back out to fly away into the greening shrubs.

Walk-Gathered Flowers

Now why (wisteria)

Would I want to be inside (red clover, azalea)

On a day like today?

Fling Open The Windows, Set Free The Light

Oh, just bless our hearts on this beautiful spring morning and that damn lunatic moon is gone to hide, to sleep, to plot our nightmares. You know it is but if you can't see it, it's not there. Nigel, perhaps it is tormenting you right now at the bottom of the world.

No, this morning is full of birdsong and look! the wisteria is popping out purple and how does it do that? Those fuzzy buds turn into grape-blossoms in a matter of a moment, the sun's energy dancing from all that distance away to land here and pop out another, zoom! jette! pow! pop! Yes. Just like that and the oak trees have cut the cord on last year's leaves and sent them tumbling to earth and they are dressed in green so sweet and new that it glows in the morning sun like we're all eating psilocybin

and I say that because I saw two mushrooms in the yard this morning, nestled up by the purple violets and I am glad that I am at an age where I do not need to go out into the cow fields to find those god-given mind-openers which bleed purple themselves, growing out of cow shit which just goes to show.
I'm not sure what it shows but I know this- my mind does not need any more opening because it can barely fit in what I see and feel and hear and smell around me as it is.

I have the opposite of writer's block this morning. I have all my stories and rants inside of me and if I were to put them all down here there would be a novel of a blog, or at least a novella and who has time for that? I don't. Nor do you.

But here, let me make this short:
When we left Cozumel last summer I got out of the cab which took us to the airport and as it drove away, I looked down to discover that the chain of my necklace had broken and a small, gold heart locket was missing. Gone. It was a locket that Mr. Moon gave me on our wedding day and of course I was distraught and there was no way to get it back if it was in the cab and I thought there was a chance that it had fallen into the bag I was carrying and so I searched and searched through it but no heart. None. That was last August.
And I used that bag on our trip to New Orleans this past weekend and when I unpacked it when we got there I looked down and there, right in the bottom of the bag was my heart.
No. Really.
I have used that bag since last August. I know I have. It was as if the bag held a parallel universe which, upon its own volition, opened itself up and gave me back my heart.
But that is not all. No!
When Lily had Owen last September, I lost my address book which is somewhat larger than a gold heart locket and bright pink to boot. I had looked everywhere and gone back to the hospital and searched through lost and found and it was just gone.
But when I got home from New Orleans and was unpacking that same bag which had opened up and given me back my heart, there, right there, in that bag which I don't even remember taking to the hospital at all, was my address book.

How do these things happen? I do not know.

So that is my parallel universe in a bag story and I now have no excuse whatsoever not to send Christmas cards next year. Oh dear. And of course, I have my heart back. I had thought I'd left my heart in Cozumel which is quite metaphorically true, but in reality, I did not.

And speaking of Owen (weren't we? speaking of Owen? aren't I always?) I saw him yesterday after not seeing him for four days. FOUR days, people. And I swear, it was not the same baby. He has grown taller and rounder. He has at least two new teeth. He is crawling and all he wants to do is stand up and walk. Four days! And he is now down south, visiting great-grandparents on his father's side and I won't see him until Thursday at which time I expect he will be walking and talking and perhaps running for president. And he will completely have forgotten his crazy chicken grandma. Oh, my baby. My sweet, sweet baby. Where did he go? A parallel universe, perhaps but I do not think I will open a bag to find him, not even that magical one (which, by the way, I bought in Cozumel many years ago so you see- everything is connected, all IS one, and if you've never eaten psilocybin, you can take my word for that).

And the bra rant will have to wait and so will the one about our stupid, doody-head state attorney general here in Florida who is trying to sue the government to repeal the health care reform. And the one about antique store owners who for some damn reason think that when you walk into their store you might actually be in the market for a $100,000, two-hundred-year old grandfather clock made by the Dutch. Why? Did he not see that I was wearing Crocs? Was it the fact that I was wearing Allegra's earrings that made him believe that we might need an $11,000 dining room table and insisted on taking us all over the store to show us his treasures? And they were beautiful but all I could think of was that if for some reason we could buy such treasures and bring them home that my dogs would pee on them, ruining their hundreds-of-year-old finishes? Talk about your patina.

Again. I do not know and as we all know, if there is one thing I do know, it is that I know very, very little.

But I'm quite certain that the dogwoods are beautiful,

that four more wisteria blossoms have been powered into being since I started writing this, that I need to go feed the chickens and gather eggs and it is, without a doubt, spring.

Bless our hearts. It is spring and there are mysteries and the moon is sleeping and the sun is shining, sending us energy that is old, old, old, to create all this newly-birthed life and as Kurt Vonnegut said, there is just no stopping it.

And although it would appear that there is no stopping me either, there must be.
So there. I am done. This damn lunatic Moon is done for right now and the coffee is gone and there is work to do.

Good morning.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Lord, Lord, child.
I feel crazy tonight.
Thank god there's a full moon to explain it.

Back From The Land Of Dreamy-Dreams

Ya go away for three days and the peas grow an inch, the dogwoods turn white and the wisteria begins to green and send out those grape-bunch blossoms.

And so much more.

Let's not even discuss the laundry situation.

But it's a gorgeous day and I have so much to do. I have had a smoothie for breakfast rather than a Bloody Mary which, I suppose, is a good beginning. Laundry is washing and it is a perfect day to hang it out. I am in that nether-world, neither here nor there, but for some reason, Lloyd and New Orleans do not clash in the ways you would think. I live in an old house, there are pinks and purples and greens and yellows, even if they are mostly bursting on the bushes, rather than painted on my house. I may not have a Voodoo Temple, but I have a Mary Altar. And although I do not have any tiny horses, I do have dogs and chickens., there, lovely, and the dreamy dreams (thank-you, Ellen Gilchrist, oh you writer of New Orleans tales) are a fine place to float on.

I have tiny stories to tell of the parallel universes to be found in bags and the things they can make disappear and appear again, maiden-hair fern given as a gift by a parking lot,

and god knows what else.

But right now I must hang clothes on the line and go for a walk to un-kink these hips made cranky and sore by seven hours of sitting in a car. I must reclaim my territory here and if I did nothing at all but what I need to do in this house and in this yard, I could be doing it for the next eight hours without a break. And then enough to fill tomorrow as well.

But the tales will be told, there will be discussions of bras and crosses, there will be tumbles and fumbles of words from me as there always are, and as I go about my day I will be trying to untangle them in my mind, like a mother carefully untangles her child's hair with a brush and a comb, teasing out the tangles, making the shining strands of hair lay flat like gold, like copper, like a raven's wing.

Good morning.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Home And Sweetness

So, we're home. And it's not a bad place to be at all although I am looking around and wondering why everything is so white. Well, theoretically white, at least.

Why haven't I painted my house bright yellow with turquoise trim?

Or... pumpkin and purple? Oh. You tell me. I don't know. Maybe because I don't know how to paint. That's a pretty lame excuse, isn't it?

But I could at least have multi-colored disco balls hanging from my porch roof. Really. I could. And I will, believe me, as soon as I can figure out where to buy some.

My heart STOOD STILL when I saw those disco balls flashing gems and jewels of colored splendor around. It was like when Jake and Elwood heard the sermon of the Reverend James Brown and the heavens opened but instead of being struck down by the epiphany of We have to get the band together again! I was struck down by the epiphany of We have to get multi-colored disco balls!

Yeah well. Same-same.

So I have had many epiphanies. This is why we travel. This is why we explore other cultures. This is why we drink Bloody Marys for breakfast.

Some of the things I may be blogging about in the near future:

Why I cannot any more be a Voodoo-ist than I can be a Christian.

Why bras are completely and utterly a ridiculous cultural imprisoning garment foisted upon us by the male patriarchal society.

Why the cross is a sad and misguided anti-life symbol.

Why the Bloody Mary is the perfect food.

Why hotel-stuff is so great.

And more! Oh. So much more.

Maybe. We shall see.

But for now, here I am, home again at the Chicken Ranch. Not THAT sort of chicken ranch, babies. No. I was at that sort of chicken ranch last night where three darling young gay boys were hanging out beside the pool in their underwear and one of them looked at me as I crossed the courtyard to get an extra blanket from the front desk and said, "Hey, sexy." These three syllables were stretched into about fifteen syllables and then he blew me a kiss.
I said, "Hey yourself, sexy," and blew him back his kiss. He was drunk, he was happy. We were in New Orleans.

No. My chicken ranch is made up of real chickens. We got EIGHT eggs today. Oh, it's going to be a good Easter egg-dying event this year. It truly is.

And you know what? It was good to be there and now it is good to be here. I am missing my grandson so much I can't stand it and I have so much to do here this week between cleaning and gardening and yes, taking care of the chickens.

Mr. Moon is saying, Are you coming to bed? I need to make his smoothie for tomorrow. The dogs need to be roped and dragged into the house. I need to sleep and rest and perhaps dream of crazy colors and a place where every street corner is new adventure, every person has the opportunity to wear his underwear and show his ass if that's what he needs to do. Especially if it's a nice young ass. Where tits are shown and there are horses being led down the street on leashes smaller than dogs and where people call you baby and put their hand on your back when they call you that and where the lady in the fancy restaurant's powder room says, as she pulls some paper towels for you to dry your hands on, "In New Orleans, you don't ever have to be hungry and you don't ever have to be lonely," and you feel so bad because you don't have any money to leave in her tip jar, having left your purse back at the table.

Amen. Night-night. Sweet dreams.

Ah, love. I am home. I am so glad I left. I am so glad I came back.

I am home.

New Orleans, Day Two

For two people who started out the day drinking one of those I have to say we have been far less wild than you can imagine.
Imagine that.
And by the way- that was the best damn bloody mary I ever drank in my life. Pickled green beans? Dear god, yes.

I've never eaten them before but I hope to eat them again soon.

Another thing I've never done before today:
Eaten breakfast at a place where the menu made suggestions for wines to go with your breakfast courses.
First off- wine? With breakfast?
Secondly- courses? Breakfast courses?

Here's the waiter preparing the dessert course:

And that, my dears, is New Orleans.

So is this:
And this:

Here's my favorite picture of the day. Mr. Moon took it.

And here's two people who had a very lovely day being not very wild but having a really, really good time.

Night-night, y'all.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dang. Can I Live Here?

So we're here.
Guess what? There are some freaking freaks in New Orleans.
No kidding.
It would appear that it's Pirate Week here. I did not get the memo. Harumph. But we saw tits! And Silver Man.
Also, some good catfish. Which I ate.

We're having a lovely time. Wish you were here.
In your own room.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, March 26, 2010

I Wish

I fucking HATE packing. When I pack I wish I was a sylph-like tiny thing who only needed one long silk shirt that could double as a dress, a pair of heels and a pair of size 00 jeans and it could all be packed in a baggie.

But I am not.

Off I go to pack and weep.

Happy Friday, y'all.
Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Heading West

So we are neither going to Savannah nor Dog Island. In fact, I suppose we are going to the Anti-Dog Island which of course would be New Orleans.
Mr. Moon made this executive decision on his own after adding up his Best Western points and finding one of their fine inns right there in the French Quarter. Okay. Whatever. I'm sure it's going to be fabulously delightful and someone else will be doing the laundry and cooking so THERE YOU GO! Plus, there's a bar.

Seriously. I'm happy.

The first time Mr. Moon and I went to New Orleans together was approximately fifteen minutes after we met. We were young, we were crazy, he had a ticket to the Sugar Bowl or whatever bowl it is they play there. He never made it to the game. That's how young and crazy we were. Dang. This was in January, you know, so it was cold. In fact, it was the coldest winter on record for New Orleans and every pipe in the city had burst and there was no running water and we stayed one night in Slidell, LA, and then several nights in the apartment of a friend of a friend. There was no heat. There was no water. It was nasty. We froze the entire time. We couldn't take showers. It was...
Do you hear me? We were young. We were crazy. We walked from bar to bar, huddling against walls, just barely making it from one Irish Coffee to the next. I sang in a bar. Don't Get Around Much Anymore. I saw people doing cocaine in the lady's room at Tipitina's. The Neville Brothers were playing. I think Ed Bradly was sitting in with them. We had a shared and very frightening psychic event. We could have died. We did not. We ate so much good food we were swooning from that alone.
We had so much fun that nine months later we got married. (And you thought I was going to say we had a baby, didn't you?)

And we went back to New Orleans the very next New Years. This time it was not freezing. This time we stayed at a beautiful old historic hotel. This time I was, unbeknownst to me, about one day pregnant with Lily. I am not making this up. I didn't want to do a thing in the beautiful antique bed in our room except read and sleep. I did not want to drink. I did not especially want to eat, either. Every time I stood up I got dizzy.
Poor Mr. Moon. I am certain that he was convinced I'd lured him into marriage with false promises of good times. There we were in the city where he'd first told me he loved me, where we'd had the most glorious of glorious times and I was a lump of whiny get-away-from-me-ness.
Seriously. I was.

And that was not only the second time we went to New Orleans together, it was the LAST. That's how bad it was.

But it's been twenty-five years now and I think we're ready to try it again. We're older. We're not as wild. And I am definitely not pregnant.

So I need to get my shit together and do some ironing and figure out what a woman of a certain age should wear in New Orleans and then pack the opposite. I suppose a bra must be involved. That would have been the best thing about Dog Island- no bra necessary.

And I'm excited. I'm just excited to drive over there through the bayous and across bridges and all that wonderful swampy land that touches where I live and New Orleans both. The weather looks to be about the same there as it is here. I'm looking forward to oyster po'boys and I'm looking forward to being in such a beautiful city. I hope my heart does not break when I see what Katrina did to it. It might. My heart might break. And you know- it should.

Anyway, that's our plan. We have one. I think Mr. Moon even map-quested the dang trip. We won't have to take a pound of pot to pay for our travels (I told this story somewhere in this blog at one point, I do believe) and we may not see the Neville Brothers. Dang. I sure wish we could. I don't know what we'll do. But I can tell you this with fierce honesty- we will NOT be walking down Bourbon Street drinking yard-long hurricanes. No fucking way. And I will not show anyone my tits.
On the street.
Unless they ask politely.
And I will be peeking into courtyards because if there is anything on this earth I love more than a courtyard garden in New Orleans, I am not sure what it is. To me, they are the epitome of romantic and mysterious charm.

I wanna get me some of that. Romantic, mysterious charm.

I'll take my camera.

Love...Ms. Moon

Get Your Motor Running

Last night I told Mr. Moon that we could make our road trip a boat trip to Dog Island. Dog Island is a small barrier island near here where we have a little house that we share with a partner and it's a beautiful place. No commerce there at all, no bridge, only some houses and a few year-round residents. Mostly the houses belong to people like us who get to the island when they can.
And I have had some very traumatic happenings there, on that island. Not quite two years ago I went completely and utterly insane there. The scary kind of insane. I was by myself, something I had always loved before- being on the island by myself. But that visit was not good and Mr. Moon had to come and rescue me.
And since then I've had a hard time going back but for some reason last night I thought, well, it's gorgeous there right now. I know it is. Let's just go.

I told Mr. Moon and he was so happy. He loves it there. And he's a descendant of Vikings, that man, and he is himself on a boat on the water. And for a few hours, I was sure that was what I wanted to do. Even as I type this, I think it would be a good thing to do.
BUT, as the evening progressed I thought some more about it. So much shopping to do beforehand- every meal must be planned and bought for and the list is brought out of the things we need there and I know that once we get there, there are going to be things that must be thrown out because they've been in the pantry for so long.
And water- did the pipes burst during the winter? It sounds so easy to say that we'll get there early enough in the day so that if we need to replace pipes or even the well-pump, Mr. Moon can just get in the boat and go back across the bay and then get in the truck and go to Eastpoint and buy them. Hours and hours of travel.
And the hauling and the loading. Oh, it is gorgeous there. I know it is. But oh, it is work.
And right now, well, I don't feel like working. I feel like sitting in a car and watching the landscape go by, little pink houses and fields of greening things and great plantings of old pecans and when we get hungry saying, "Let's stop here."

I don't want to have to do the laundry or cook the meals. Not right now. I do that every day. I work hard every day. And so does Mr. Moon.

Lily was curious the other day about why we would want to go away. I told her that I do love hotels. She said, "And what do you do in hotels?"
"Uh, things." I said.
"Hotel stuff?" she asked me, somewhat in wonderment.
"Yes. Hotel stuff."
"But you don't have any kids at home. You could do hotel stuff any time at home."

Well, yes we can. But at home is where I work. There is never a moment when there isn't something that needs doing. And most of it is work that I glory in. Especially this time of year. The planting and the weeding and the hanging of the clothes on the line. The picking of the salad for dinner.
Okay. So I don't like the housework. And there is always housework. And I look around and see evidence of that and it just isn't relaxing. You know?

You know.

So back to Dog Island and as the evening progressed and I was cooking and finishing laundry and tidying this and that and it occurred to me that I didn't really want to take that sort of trip right now. Two days on the island is lovely and wonderful but the down-time is hardly enough to make the work worthwhile. Sometimes it is. But right now I think what I need is rest and something new and different and all of this was something I was thinking about but I didn't want to tell Mr. Moon. He was so excited about going to the island. He wanted to catch fish and clean it and have me cook it for our dinner.
But I knew that if I went to the island and I didn't want to be there, it would not be good. Not good at all.
Finally, after fifty-five years of life I know myself that well.
If what I really want is to eat in restaurants and to wear make-up and to feel like a girl and to perhaps see things I've never seen, be someplace I've never been, then I do not need to go to Dog Island.
So I went to Mr. Moon and I said, "What if I change my mind? What if really I'm not sure I want to go to the island?"
And he, bless his heart, immediately said, "That would be fine. I want to do whatever you want to do."

Now of course, me being me, I wonder if this means he has a girlfriend and feels guilty.
I don't really think he does, but this is how my crazy mind works. After twenty-six years with the guy, I'm still not quite sure he loves me.

But I think he does. And when I woke up this morning to find that note you see above, my heart lifted and yes, I will run away with him. You bet.

And when we get back I will do laundry and cook meals and pick salad. I will watch the wisteria bloom and the peas gain height and leaves, and the ash magnolia blossom. I will fill my pots with flowers and papyrus and ferns. I will transplant phlox and I will water everything and I will spend time with my grandchild and my children and I will be happy for this life.
Happier than ever because I will have run away with the man I love who has made it all possible, who has made my dreams come true.
The dreams, as I always say, I did not even know I had.

The ash magnolia's velvet glove opens slowly to reveal a flower.

The tiny peas break through the dirt, strong even in their delicacy.

Did you know that this is what dogwoods look like before they fully open and turn white as snow?

I've always wanted to grow papyrus. If I had to make paper, this would be where I would start.

The prosaic impatiens. I can't help it. I love them.

The buckeye is ready for the bees to make love to them.

Wisteria buds and bamboo. What more is there to say about that?

We will go to Dog Island maybe soon. But not this weekend. Instead, we will go away to someplace that doesn't need our work, our labor.

Sometimes, when we are on the island, Mr. Moon grabs me up and says, "I love playing house with you."
And I know what he means and I giggle because I love playing house with him too, although there is a part of me which wonders how much he'd enjoy it if we were playing car salesman. Probably not so much.

I don't really want to play house this weekend. I want to play grown-up-on-vacation. I want to wear my hair down. I want to do hotel stuff.

With Mr. Moon.

And so we shall.