See that picture? Click on it and blow that shit up. If you look very carefully, you will see that that's not actually a pile of brush on fire but me carrying an armload of weeds with a burn pile behind me. I love it! I'm on fire!
What you can't see in that picture is this.
Maurice in the garden pretending to stalk chickens. She BETTER be pretending. I had a stern talk with that cat. I said, "Uh-huh. The chicken were here before you. I love you but you better not TOUCH MY CHICKENS!"
She gave me that look. The one that says, "La-la-la-la. I can't hear you. And even if I could, I wouldn't give a shit."
And yet of course, I am constantly reminded of that Aesop's fable, "One's Own Children Are Always The Prettiest"or whatever it was. I look at other cats and think, "Oh my god, Maurice is so much better looking and such a superior cat." Which is completely ridiculous no matter how you look it and I know it. I have been suckered and made a fool of by this cat and am happy to acknowledge it.
So. The phone rang today. I answered it and the person on the other end said, "Hey Mama!" and I started crying. It was our friend Mark who is in BELARUS. He's had surgery there, a very complicated and possibly dangerous surgery and I've been worried to pieces about him, all the way across the world (where the hell IS Belaruse?) and to hear his voice was such a relief. He's happy, he's doing well, he's recovering better than his doctors expected, he's leaving the hospital tomorrow and he has fallen in love with Belarus and its people.
We talked about his recovery, about food, about how he's a millionaire there or maybe even a billionaire, almost, about how wonderful the doctors and nurses and hospital have been. It made my heart so happy. He's one of the bravest people I know and to have him call me, to call me "mama"...well, it just thrilled me.
He had a list of things he wanted to reassure me about from his medical care to the political situation and it was all so good to hear.
What a gift. What a gift to have people who call me mama whom I didn't even have to go through labor with.
I'm gonna bake that boy a ham when he gets home. You can count on it. And it won't even have to be Easter. Ham AND a loaf of bread. Okay, ham, a loaf of bread and a pot of greens. And maybe cupcakes. Whatever he wants.
So that's life in Lloyd. I've had a very delicious day of writing and reading and weeding and chicken-tending and cat-petting and husband-loving and a phone call from all the way across the planet and a guy who's my friend on FB whom I do not know at all, really, shared the link of my post, "Another House, Not My Own" and I wrote a review for Denise's (here and here) Shebook, "Birthmother: A Memoir" on Amazon which you can find here and if you haven't downloaded the book and read it, just go on right this second and do it.
What a strange and crazy world we live in. I kneel in the dirt, I pull weeds, I talk to a beloved in another country, I communicate with people I've never met and whom yet somehow, I know I love. I've been able to send words out into the world that people respond to, I've kissed my cat on the lips and stroked the sleek feathers of my chickens.
"Ain't nothing wrong with that," Eddie Kirkland (God rest his soul) told me once when I was introduced to him by my friend, Bill Vines, with the words, "This is my friend Mary. She's pregnant."
As good as a mantra as I've ever heard.
Ain't nothing wrong with that.