Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Soup And Other Kindly Things

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.
Like that.
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.


  1. Well, I shall abide....with the help of Mary Moon, I shall abide.

    Thank you for sharing what sounds like a very nice Ms. Moon day.

  2. Great post. As full as your soup. I made soup that was far less colourful and I didn't post anything.

    I suppose I abided, though. Abid?

  3. Yep, abiding. I made my soup on Friday, and have abided.

  4. I think that abiding works on those days that living just doesn't.


  5. liv- It has been. Truly.

    Jo- I have no idea if it's abided or abid. But here you are and I am glad.

    Kori- Soup is perhaps the secret of abiding.

    Lisa- I completely and utterly agree, love.

  6. I am only abiding because that sun rises and sets every day. Sometimes I wish it wouldn't so I could just keep sleeping. Losing my mom as been hell, I can't imagine losing my partner.

  7. Abide and ease are my two favorite words right now. I think I used them both in my own blog post this morning.

    I'm sorry that Mr. Moon didn't win the chili contest -- and your soup looks outrageously beautiful and fresh. Have you read the article in the recent New Yorker about the southern chef in Charleston? It's a bit long but oh so interesting and it makes my mouth water. It's all about pigs and bacon, etc. etc.

  8. Lovely post, and I love the abiding part. And the picture of your brilliantly colored soup. And the thought of Owen leading you around and yelling the word CANDY. Lovely.

  9. We had soup tonight too. I picked the first handful of spinach from the fall garden and it went in last, after the stove was turned off.

    We do leftover soup too. All leftovers not of sufficient quantity to have the next night go in a container in the freezer. eventually it gets made into soup. when the kids were little and we were struggling, they hated leftover soup nights. sometimes it was good and sometimes not so good but sometimes it was all we had.

  10. Something weird is going on here....

  11. Ok, for some reason I was made to sign in to Google in a way that I did not recognize so I lost my original comment...

    I will say that I enjoyed this and that it made me think of the Big Lebowski.


  12. Your soup looks like a bowl of Halloween candy. I might actually make Halloween candy soup here at my house. And FYI, mawmaw and pawpaw celebrated 58 years yesterday.
    Love, daddyb

  13. Ok, I admit it. I swear like a sailor and my daughter is always correcting me. "Mom!!!" with that lift tone in the middle of m-o-m, you know.

    Sp put me in jail. My grandson needs to learn to swear from a pro, I say.

    XXX Beth

    PS. Swearing is so SATISFYING.

  14. I like that New Yorker article, too,
    for the glimpses into plant histories and the description of his grandmother with her team of Haflingers and stashes of seeds... Makes me want to browse our local seed bank, which is actually in an old bank building.

  15. I too thought of the Big Lebowski, which is always a good thing.

  16. I like how you phrased that: young ladies gone bad.

  17. I never wanted to grow up to be a grandmother, but in looking back, that is the best part of my life... It's having kids all over but only the nice things, not the worries. Sort of.

  18. That soup of many colours looks delicious.

  19. I don't want to abide. It sounds like some sort of Baptist preacher sermonizing. I want to live and continue on. I prefer the Grateful Dead's version in the song Touch of Grey--
    I will get by
    I will get by
    I will get by
    I will survive

  20. I think abiding is not living, just getting by, day-by-day. At least your friend's husband died suddenly, after doing something pleasant. Still, I'm sure the suddenness of it was horrifying and shocking for her.

    I don't think it's bad to swear around kids, just human. And I'm with John Lennon, as on most things, it's better to be yourself around kids. Besides, the Moms and Daddums never swore around me, but at 2 or 3 years old, I said: Goddamn purse, after Dad told me to take my purse upstairs and put it in my bedroom.

    I was also never allowed to swear around Cousin Sheila, but she cusses like a trooper, I am proud to say. Fuck that shit.

  21. Birdie- Both have to be pure hell.

    Elizabeth- Reading it now. Makes me feel like a damn slacker southern cook.

    Mel- That boy. Oh that boy. He can lead me anywhere.

    Ellen- Can't let food go to waste. Not without making an attempt, anyway.

    A- Tasted all right too.

    Ms. Fleur- I need to rewatch that movie. Why did this post remind you of it?

    Daddy B- I think plain old Reese's Peanut Butter Cup soup would be the best. Fifty-eight years. My god.

    Beth Coyote- I try not to upset my children so that they will continue to let me take care of the boy. And the child to come, as well. And then, oh you know...more?

    A- It is an awesome article. And hey- a grandmother leads the way! With her team of horses!

    Jo- Okay. No bowling, no Kahlua. What's up?

    Angie- I think that's what they always call them. Well, the "young ladies" part, anyway.

    Photocat- Yes. Sort of.

    Mary LA- I just ate my second bowl.
    It is sturdy soup.

    Syd- Survive/Abide. I love that song.
    I will get by.

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- You were BORN to swear! On Lily's first day of preschool, she got put in time-out for something and sat there saying, "Dammit, dammit, dammit."
    Oh well. I fucking tried.

  22. oh I love love this post.
    And the joseph soup kills me. You are my favourite non-believing Christian.
    I cannot think of life without my husband. Can. Not.

    Lily looks so beautiful btw. Women look the most beautiful when they are pregnant I think.

  23. I swear! That soup is beautiful.

    I try not to swear in front of my grandkids. Really I do try. But my mom was/is a talented swearer, and sometimes, I admit, I swear--even in front of my grandkids. But I apologize when I do; tell them they should speak like their other grandma.


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