How's that for a nice blue sky? And can you see the mulberries? I can't believe how fast that tree has grown. I know I planted it less than five years ago and it reaches way up into the sky. The birds will probably get most of the berries and the squirrels will get a goodly few as well. I know the chickens love them. When I bought the tree the guy at the nursery tried to convince me that I needed two of them for proper fertilization. I didn't think that was true. It would appear that I was right.
We're getting roses and roses and roses. See all the buds? I have no idea what variety that is and it really has nothing much to recommend it other than the fact that it is certainly hardy. Some heirloom.
Today was a go-to-town day. I took two loads of laundry over to Jessie's to wash in her new washing machine. We put a load in and then took off to meet Hank and Rachel, Lily, Lauren, Owen, Gibson, Maggie, and Boppy for lunch at Japanica. Lily decided that it would be fun for us to do the hibachi lunch. The kids have been on spring break and this would be lunch and entertainment all at the same time. It was fairly successful. I probably laughed more than the kids did although Gibson kept saying, "I know this trick!" which I thought was hysterical. This wasn't his first hibachi rodeo.
(Photo by Rachel.)
August did not like it when the chef did the fake soy sauce squeeze on him and when he lit the whole grill on fire, Maggie got very upset.
It was pretty dramatic.
Rachel and Hank were amused.
It's all so corny but it's cheaper than Disney World for sure.
After lunch I went back to Jessie's house and did another load of laundry and did a puzzle with August and then we read a book about pirates which was pretty good and I got to use my pirate voice. Levon played with his tractors and trucks and bulldozers. When the clothes were done I ran the errands I needed to do and finally got to the Publix part of it all where I got stuff to make tacos. Owen is spending the night and he really wanted crab legs but he reckoned that tacos would do.
I picked him up on the way home and of course it hurt Maggie's feelings terribly that she wasn't coming too. Gibson was already engaged for the evening with his other grandmother and the family of Darling Lenore. And we haven't had our Owen over by himself for quite awhile.
He helped me bring in groceries and gather eggs. He pulled some carrots and kicked a bamboo and now he's making soup with some of the shoot he kicked and then cut up as well as a few carrots.
I tried and tried to tell him that the bamboo was not going to be edible but he is persisting. It's been cooking for about an hour now and it's still not tender.
He's a sweet boy and I sure do love him. Can you believe how grown up he is? His wrists are probably thicker than mine. He's my first grandbaby, the one who named me. I often feel almost an obsessive need to pass on things to him. Stories and advice for instance. I told him today that if he uses a lid on a pot the liquid will not escape as fast and that the heat will stay in and it will cook on a lower temperature.
And then I said, "That's a little cooking lesson for you. Some things you can learn from someone teaching you and some things you just have to learn for yourself."
This is one of the few things I do know for a fact and one day Owen will know that too, as we all eventually learn. This may sound morbid but I truly do wonder what my grandchildren will remember about me when I'm gone. I suppose there is a part of me which is vain enough to think that as long as I am remembered I will be a part of their lives. In a perfect world they would remember me as a wise and affectionate and slightly insane old lady whom they never doubted loved them with every ounce of her being even though she was vastly imperfect and sometimes silly.
Mostly though, just the part about loving them.
One of my favorite book endings is what Larry McMurtry wrote in his novel, The Evening Star, which is the last of the series of books he wrote about Aurora Greenway which began with Terms of Endearment. As the book progresses, Aurora gets older and eventually has a stroke but one of the things she can still do is to play music on a little CD player for one of her great-grandchildren who was a baby. The book ends with that boy all grown up and going to a concert where one of the pieces his grandmother had played for him was performed and for some reason he cannot figure out, he becomes completely overwhelmed. The piece was Brahm's Requiem.
"Suddenly, in the midst of the Requiem, to Henry's surprise and Sid's total amazement, Henry put his face in his hands and began to cry. His chest was heaving- he was overcome. Before he knew it, the music had taken him to another place- to an old place in his memory, to a place so old that he could not really even find the memory, or put a picture to it, or a face. He just had the emptying sense that he had once had someone or something very important: something or someone he would never have again.
Walking home in the summer evening, Sid had not totally recovered from her amazement, nor Henry from the memory that had not quite been a memory. He was there- or mostly there- walking with Sid on Columbus Ave. But some of him was in another place- some of him was absent. Sid knew it too- she held his arm and looked at him differently.
"Boy," she said. "You were really upset."
I love Larry McMurtry. I just do. And I think that ending to the book is perfect. And it describes what I would like my grandchildren to feel when something triggers them which releases some memory of me. Not an emotion you could describe as "upset" but something so very deep. That sense that they had once had someone or something very important.
Of course for my grands it'll probably be more along the lines of hearing Honky Tonk Woman or Keith Richard's beginning guitar rift for Satisfaction.
That's all right.
I better go make some tacos. Owen can mash the avocados for the guacamole and chop the cilantro. And by the way, he tried his bamboo shoots and declared that they tasted like "Nature's poop."
"Well," I said, "I'm sure you learned something and that's what matters."
Happy Friday, y'all.
I wish I could be Owen's age again for a weekend and spend it with my own maternal grandparents. They were hugely important in my young life and even as a teenager I spent the night at their house often. It was like my second home, and I never doubted how much I was loved there. Owen and your other grandkids will always have those early embedded feelings of being cherished to help them through life.ReplyDelete
Ahhh, mulberries. My Mama only used white sheets, and once a week she washed three sets and hung them on the clothesline. Invariably, the birds that ate the mulberries from the neighbor's tree would shit little purple polka dots on at least one set, but usually two. She'd go outside, cuss about those birds, take the sheets down, wash them and hang them up again. I actually saw her more than once with a broom chasing those boogers off! As for your grandbabies, I guarantee they will remember their Mer all their lives. I know one of my favorite grandchild-isms was when my then eight-year-old granddaughter (who's now 22 and a mama) said, "MawMaw, you're my favorite grandma cuz you still do cartwheels." And she loves me even now, though those cartwheels were long ago...ReplyDelete
Those pictures of everyone smiling and laughing at lunch were beautiful to see. Your grandchildren will remember so much about you, I know they will. When I think about my grandma I feel it in my chest. It's the love and it is truly overwhelming.ReplyDelete
Your grandchildren are blessed to have you in their lives. I only met my maternal grandmother twice in my life and I wish I had gotten to know her. She scared me the two times we met but I've since learned from my cousins that my granny was a lot like my mum, always laughing. Sadly she also had resting bitch face so I never knew.ReplyDelete
Still waiting on my grandbaby here. I saw his mama last night and that poor girl is as big as a house. It's nice that she's so close now, a short walk away.
There was a mulberry tree at the end of the block at the city house and one year I got my teenage son to come with me to pick them. there was a mockingbird swooping around as they do when they have a nest near and my son was a little nervous about the bird.don't worry I told him, it won't hurt you, it's just protecting its nest. and then it swooped down and pecked him on the head. I laughed my ass off, it was so funny. he was upset and angry and told me quite indignantly, it's not funny mom. but it was. I've probably told you that story before. and of course your grandchildren will remember you with much love because you are a constant presence in their lives.ReplyDelete
Owen is growin'.ReplyDelete
I think it wonderful your children have a big, extended, supportive family.
I never saw a mulberry tree until I did a show in Indianapolis. There was a tree on our tree lawn. My neighbor popped one of its berries in her mouth and invited me to do the same. They are good, and we spent the weekend reaching up for them.
Heard this one today and it reminded me of you and your chickens.
Owen is beautiful! I can almost guarantee you that your grands will feel great positive emotion in their memories of you! I feel that in my thoughts of you now!!!ReplyDelete
Ah well that is one thing Owen has learned for himself, and I bet he will not forget it and try to cook bamboo again. He sounds like a wonderful boy with ideas of his own. I have heard of Larry McMurtry but never read anything by him - but that was a wonderfully moving quote. Thought provoking, too.ReplyDelete
That IS a nice idea -- that someone will remember us after we're gone. I suppose for me it will be my nieces, if it's anyone at all!ReplyDelete
I admire Owen for trying to cook the bamboo. It's a good sign that he wants to experiment, to reinforce (or not) what others have told him. He wants to see for himself! I must admit I've always wondered about the difference between restaurant bamboo shoots and horticultural bamboo shoots. Different species, I suppose?
You and Owen, the way it all began. Lovely. My kids remember and hold near the memory of my mother, so much so that my daughter wears a thin necklace with my mother's name, which her boyfriend gave her the year after she died for valentines day, because he'd figured out how much her grandma mattered.ReplyDelete
I laughed out loud at Owens “nature’s poop”. What a great post and lovely story.ReplyDelete