Lily's back deck. Gibson and I were out there this afternoon and I texted my husband and told him how happy I am that our babies can live in this beautiful place.
And I am. It is incredibly peaceful and quiet there. Nothing but breeze and birdsong, the hum of insects. And to add to the happiness of the family, they've rented out their old duplex which means they can finally take a breath. They are thirty years old and they own a house and rental property, have two children they are raising with all the love and attention in the world, and are expecting a daughter with joy.
Listen- fifteen years ago I could no more have imagined this outcome for Lily than I could have imagined the legalization of gay marriage in Florida.
And yet. Here we are.
Gibson and I went and waited in the car line to pick up Owen and I played the radio, a local station which plays the music that made me happy as a child, a young woman. And also this.
It was one of those moments in a day which keeps offering tiny gifts. And who knows? Maybe all days are like this but we just don't have the openness of a peaceful heart to recognize them.
I don't know.
What I do know is that the boys and I had a great time at the thrift store and toys were once again half off and they each got what they wanted and I spent all of $2.69. Of course, there was also a deep green velvet chaise lounge there that made my heart stop. I have ALWAYS wanted a deep green velvet chaise lounge. I mean...who doesn't?
Well. Where the hell would I put it?
We drove home the long way, down tree-lined roads, past blooming wildflowers, the sky above us blue like your first blue-eyed lover's eyes. We got home and Gibson told me, "It nice to be at Mermer's house," which he often says and which always charms my heart. Owen and I did a little homework together and then they played with their toys and gathered eggs and Owen wanted a shower and they both took one and then they were hungry and had Cheerios and then crackers and then their favorite sandwich which is cheese and lettuce and pickles and ketchup and mustard. Gourmet.
These boys just amaze me every time I see them. Owen is suddenly so tall that to kiss the top of his head all I have to do is bend my own head. He is approximately the same height to me that I am to his grandfather. How did this happen? Yesterday Gibson wanted to play on my iPad and I told him that the battery needed to be charged. He held one finger up and said with great authority, "Battery is included!"
After their showers today I was helping Owen to dry off and then went to help him put his clothes on and I said, "Why am I doing this? You can put your own clothes on as well as a grown man!"
And he said, "Because you are my Mermer. You love me too much."
Guess I haven't fooled him, huh?
I'm going to go heat up some leftovers and maybe watch another "Call The Midwife." I can't watch "Orange Is The New Black" without my husband. It wouldn't be fair. I just talked to my across-the-street-neighbor on the phone and neither of us has laid eyes on our new neighbors. We are curious, of course. We also discussed the closing of Papa Jay's and other local events, none of which is earth-shaking. It's so funny. I lived in Lloyd almost forty years ago and nothing much has changed since then. The truck stop is still there. The convenience store is too. Miss Ruby's is gone, the general store we all loved. That's pretty big. It burned down and Miss Ruby died (not in the fire) but she was old and all of that happened years ago.
The trees still stand tall over all, watching these serious and silly human interactions. They are old enough to have been here before the white people came and carved roads and built houses. And my own house, built in 1859, has seen things that I can't even imagine and yet, here it is to shelter me in 2015.
I wonder how deep the roots of the live oaks go and how old the pine trees were that were cut and sawed into boards by hand to build this house. I do not know. But I know that I am always aware of the fact that age and sweat and blood and tears and joy and sin and redemption and lust and grief and hope are always part of it and that it is an honor to live here, to add my own story to it as well.
I hope our new neighbors have some sense of that in their house too.
We shall see.