Owen grounded me today firmly in this world. "Hey there!" he said and he took my hand when I walked into his house and then he said, "Come on!" and I did and he showed me many things and he hid under a basket and we did a puzzle book and I am amazed at how quickly he is learning.
He is putting words together now and can make himself well understood. Lily asked him the other day what he did with his Bop in the woods and Owen told her about the four-wheeler and the tractor and the deer and he said that Bop put butter on the trees.
Lily was mystified by that last bit and asked her daddy about it.
"Peanut butter," he said. "I put peanut butter on the trees. The deer love to lick it."
(According to Mr. Moon's trail camera, the foxes love to lick it even more, but that's another story.)
I asked Owen today about Halloween and he told me that he'd had a good time and that he'd gotten candy. CANDY! He did indeed. I also asked him if he had put anything else up his nose. He said no. I asked, "Did it hurt when you put something up your nose yesterday?"
"NO!" he insisted.
That boy will NOT admit to being hurt. But he will let you kiss his bug bites if he gets them.
He did the puzzle animals so nicely. I was surprised. I didn't know he was able to do that. And I see him at least three times a week! Ah- lah. I can't keep up.
On the way home I stopped at a thrift store which used to be the best place in the world for treasure. They had no idea what they had, ever, and sold everything for pennies. They've gotten a little more educated. The store's profits go to the support of a very, very Christian home for young-ladies-gone-bad. I get their newsletter and it is full of how-I-got-saved-and-now-I-am-so-happy stories. The girls also sing gospel and sell CD's for money which goes to the school.
This of course is always a bit disconcerting to me but what the hell?
I know a woman who volunteers there. I went to nursing school with one of her daughters and I had heard that this woman's husband had died this year. When I went in today, she was there and we talked and I cried and we hugged. Fifty-two years they'd been married and they were up at their house in the mountains in North Georgia and had had a beautiful day and eaten supper on the porch and he sat down to watch a golf game on TV and she went upstairs and she heard a noise and she came downstairs and he was gone.
She looks as if she has aged twenty years since I've seen her last. But she says she is okay, although she thinks about moving to some place like China because everything here reminds her of him. I understand. A little bit, at least.
I hope with everything in me that I go before Mr. Moon. I could not live in this world were he not by my side.
"Well," this woman said, "As my husband always said, 'We shall abide.'"
I suppose one could abide. I do not know if that would be living.
I looked at all of the stuff in the store and I didn't buy anything but some tiny fabric roses that I can use for my Virgin cards and boxes. I spent $1.61 and that's not going to buy very much toilet paper for the girls-gone-bad-who-are-being-saved but I didn't need or want another thing. Aunt Bob, the woman who runs the store and who appears to be immortal, thanked me "kindly" as she always does. I am glad I stopped by there, even if there were no amazing treasures for me to buy today.
And then I came home and I am making soup of as many colors as Joseph's coat.
Leftovers and some collards and cut-up yard-long beans from the garden all went into the pot and it is simmering now. Just what we need- leftover leftover soup. But you know me- nothing makes me as content as making soup. I wish I had some sweet potatoes to put in it or some sort of hard squash but I don't and it will be fine as it is. There is even some of the leftover chili in it and no, Mr. Moon did not win but yes, a person who brought in chili which tasted most like "chili" won. I fear that McCormick's chili seasoning and canned-everything-else was involved there. He did win a fifty-dollar gas card, though. And his chili was delicious. People just wouldn't know fucking gourmet if it bit them in the fucking ass.
I sure do swear a lot for a grandmother. I don't swear around my grandson. I promise. Although yesterday when I stepped in dog shit I did almost say shit. It came out like, "Shhhii..."
I refuse to feel guilty for that. No way, no how.
I still find it unbelievable that I am a grandmother and yet, here I am. And I keep thinking about how when you fall in love with someone you tell each other that you want to be with them when you are old and gray-haired and sitting on the porch and watching your grandchildren and well, here we are.
There are worse fates, believe me.
Especially when the one you love grows up to be as darling as Mr. Moon has. Especially when your grandson says, "Here there! Come on!"
The sun is setting. The soup is simmering. It smells real good here tonight.
If I learned anything today it is this- don't take joy for granted. It is also that fifty-two years is not enough. It is that we shall abide.
Isn't that amazing?
We shall abide.