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.