Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Good Resting Place

I girded my loins this morning, I corralled my meanness. There was no one here to take it out on which bled it and I hung sheets on the line and the wind was blowing and I took a walk and the wind was my companion, it followed me as I walked, showing its presence in the trees beside me, its voice shhhhushing as I went. It blew the meanness from my heart. It was too strong and yet too soft a thing to blow any more ill will my way, but instead it took the evil from me to disperse harmlessly in the woods.
I decided to go and walk into the old hidden graveyard and I was shocked to find a new gravestone! I had no idea that people could still be laid to rest in that very small, very old cemetery under the oaks and dogwoods.

But yes, I suppose it is possible and there is Mr. Lastinger's headstone with a fall wreath propped up on it. There are other Lastingers there and I looked up this particular member of the family and found his obituary here.
I did not know Mr. Lastinger. I rather wish I had, reading the words about him, the way one person in the guestbook referred to him as "the consummate kind of gentleman." 

I walked on home, the wind still with me and finished the laundry and cooked some beans and took a shower and went to town and Lily and the boys and I met May at the mall so I could buy my husband some new underwear which should be so easy but somehow, never is. The styles, the colors, the sizes. I always buy his underwear at J.C. Penny's. Don't ask me why. I just do. The boys played in the little luridly colored play area in the center of the mall and Owen made a friend and they raced around, chasing each other and being merry. Gibson, too, was so happy to be there in such a small place with other children. It's like a kid-zoo there. You can go and observe different varieties of the species, skin colors and personalities, curly-haired children and straight-haired children, the bold ones, the fearless ones, the shy ones, the tired ones. Their mamas sit on the benches and drink coffee and talk on the phone and one mama was nursing her little one and Gibson stood and watched her, perhaps in wonder that other children get that special treat from their mamas as he does from his. 
"May-May!" both of the children cried over and over. "Watch this!" said Owen. "Watch this, watch this, watch this!" They jumped and they flew and they crawled and we all grew hungry and went and had late Mexican lunch, sitting outside in the warm sun and Owen showed us how to walk like a penguin and Gibson ate a plate of rice. 
It was lovely and I had no meanness left in me at all and Gibson walked with me and May to the lady's room, holding my finger the way he does, and washed his hands in the Talavera pottery sink and dried them off on the paper towel and we walked back to the table, his hand gripping mine again. 

I went to the grocery store, I came home and took the sweet-smelling sheets off the line and folded them into the basket along with the clothes and the napkins and I put the groceries away and made up the bed and here I am. Here I am. A day which started so hard, so very, very hard, ended up being quite sweet. 

And I have the boys tomorrow and Thursday and Friday and they are spending the night on Saturday. Lily told me today that Gibson is sleeping through the night so well and I swear he looked at me and grinned like, "Ah, but for you, MerMer, I will stay up through all the hours of darkness to amuse you!" 

And Owen has decided to earn money to buy his helicopter-saurous which sounds like an excellent idea to me. His mother bought him a wallet at the Country Dollar store the other day and he is tucking his bills away in it like a little miser and we are already considering what he can do at my house to earn money. So far we've come up with sweeping the porch (which he is pretty good at) and giving me a foot massage, which I hear he is NOT so good at but I will pay for a good attempt. 

I am waiting on my husband to get home and I'm about to go and chop apples and celery and nuts for a sort of Waldorf salad and it's only 6:28 but it feels like at least two hours later and I swear I'll stop talking about the time change soon. 

I am glad I did not jump off a bridge this morning and I am glad I did not give in to despair but walked it away with the help of the wind and that I visited the old cemetery to see that there is a new resident. Not that I'm glad Mr. Lastinger died, but that if he had to (which I suppose he did), that he has such a peaceful and beautiful place in the woods in which to rest his bones forever, as fine a place to end up as any, I think. A place where the rain and the light and the leaves and the speckled shade fall every day and where the stars and moon promenade over in their seasonal dances every night and where the wind can bring whatever it brings, and take away whatever it needs to take, as well.


  1. Whew, I'm glad that you didn't jump off the bridge either. And the wind has been blowing here as well.

  2. One would think that cemeteries would put you in a worse mood but I have always found them to be nice quiet places of reflection and solitude.

    I think it is awesome that Gibson is still nursing!

  3. My day just got shittier and shittier, and for that I am glad we were NOT in sync today! Sounds like a sweet day. I miss your May's writing; I can only imagine the fuss the boys make over her! She is one of a kind. Well, as close as she can be with being your clone and all :)

    What kind of beans? Pinto?

  4. Syd- It's been good wind. A soft wind.
    I'm glad I didn't jump off a bridge too.

    Birdie- This cemetery especially is so small and peaceful. Gibson is about to be weaned. He's not nursing very much at all but when he does, he wants it and wants it and wants it. Lily is tired.

    SJ- I miss May's writing too! So much. I did navy beans. I'm going to make white bean chili tomorrow.

  5. I love that first paragraph. And something about you going to read about Mr. Lastinger made my heart swell a bit.

    I'm glad the meanness blew away today. I am.

  6. You will have a wonderful time with your boys but you will be just a tad tired... Sweet Jo. I am glad your day ended up well.

  7. I love how you spin all of us out of meanness.

  8. While we had the "devil winds" here in So Cal, you had the Angel winds.

  9. I am glad the wind disspipated the meanness! Maybe if an old country cemetery like that is a family plot, you're allowed to be buried in it if you're a member of the family. That would make sense. It does seem like a nice place to wind up, though personally I'm not in favor of the burying option.

    And it IS an excellent option for Owen to earn money for that Transformer thing, or whatever it is. I used to make money as a kid by running around the neighborhood and collecting money-back bottles from the ditches, and turning them in at the Majic Market. I guess that's not an option anymore now that we've all switched for some TERRIBLE reason to plastic.

  10. Dear darling Mary-your stories float all the way to Seattle. The boys, the underwear, the meanness, the new grave.

    XXX Beth

  11. The next time I feel mean I'm going to go walk in the wind - or, failing wind, drive my car fast with the windows down or stand in front of a fan.

  12. gradydoctor- And today the winds have changed again. Dammit.

    Sweet Jo- Yes. By Sunday I am going to be one weary old MerMer.

    Elizabeth- So much responsibility. I like it when it happens though.

    Denise- This would seem to be true.

    Steve Reed- That's probably the deal with the cemetery. And yeah WHY do we use all this plastic? It's so obviously wrong in so many ways.

    Beth Coyote- I'm so glad they do. And that yours blow this way and drift into my heart.

    The Bug- Worth a try!

  13. This made me cry. You know that quote by maybe Anne Morrow Lindbergh that says anything can be cured by sweat, tears, or salt water? Well she forgot woods and wind, didn't she. This was beautiful.

  14. I hope a stranger takes the time to notice the appearance of my new grave when I'm gone.

    Beautiful writing.

  15. I am glad for that wind.
    I hate the time change, though I do like the morning light. Austin gets on the bus at 6:30 :P

    Hi, you.

  16. There is nothing like walking in the woods on a breezy day and the smell of sheets dried on the line. But better yet you got to spend time with your lovely family. Take care.


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