Friday, December 31, 2010

Ah Shit

I am as sentimental as anyone on earth.

We're home tonight, Mr. Moon and I, and Judy came by to "mootch" a martini and I've talked to all my babies with the exception of May who is working her ass off, making people's New Year's celebrations filled with exceptional culinary delights and I've talked to Kathleen and to Billy too.

"I love you," I tell them, each and every one. "Happy New Year."

I just heard an owl hoot through the woods and maybe he, too, is saying the same thing. How would I know?

I'm poaching pears, I am roasting pecans, I am dressing arugula from the garden with olive oil, ginger, and sesame seeds.

I am thinking of all of you, dammit. Every damn one of you.

And tomorrow I will cook dirt food. Black-eyed peas and greens from the garden and cornbread. Will it bring us riches and joys and all that shit?
Who knows?
Not me.
But it's what I do.

Happy New Years.


Love...Ms. Moon

Praise and Respect

I don't think I'll use a picture this morning because the picture I want to use is not mine to use.
It's a picture of a woman who has just given birth of her own accord and she is holding her baby and the expression on her face is the same expression I saw on almost every woman I attended as a birth assistant in my life and also the one I wore when my babies were born.
It is an expression of complete and utter peace and quiet joy.
It is the face of the most profound love there is on this earth.

And no, I don't want to do a wrap-up today but what I do think I want to do is to give a quiet and unabashed testimony to the people in this world who do not follow the path our society has laid before us as the "right" one.

It is still considered slightly just short of child abuse to have a baby anywhere but in a hospital in this country and so, to the women who labor without drugs, attended by midwives who watch carefully and who use their hands skillfully- I give you my respect.
That is one way not to follow the "right" path and the resulting joy is the reward.

Here is another way not to follow the "right" path- be gay. Be bisexual. Become transgendered. Frankly, I don't think we get a choice in these but some people who realize at an early age that they are attracted to people of the same sex or are, in fact, not the gender of the body they were born in, so very bravely jump off the paved road of the rest of us hetero's and strike out to follow a much scarier path. Those who do this under the often-disapproving eyes of society are, to me, some of the bravest people in the world. The ones who do not accept "don't ask, don't tell," in any way, shape or form. I was listening to an interview with a man who had been a gay soldier and he was talking about how when he was in the service, there was ALWAYS asking. Just the innocent, "Do you have a girlfriend?" question is asking because if you are gay, the truthful answer would be, "No, but I have a boyfriend," and of course, if you tell that truth, you are kicked out.
Until now. Or soon.
Thank-you, Obama, for making it easier for a gay person to serve his or her country in the military without having to be a fucking liar, hypocrite, terrified individual.
But it's not just in the military that even now gay and transgendered people have to fear. Society somehow WANTS everyone to fit into the same mold and if you don't, well, certain individuals will always think that the best way to deal with the situation is to pound that square peg into the round hole with great and terrible violence.
And yet- there are those people who know this fact but still, in the face of familial and societal pressure and disapproval, shrug off the ill-fitting constraints of society and are who they are and these are some of the people I adore. And admire. And respect. And love.
And to anyone who thinks that gays are trying to get "special rights" let me just say this- FUCK YOU!

Next, I'd like to talk about the Artists. People who, growing up, feel an overwhelming compulsion to make music, make art, make poetry, make films, make stories despite our cultural belief that yes, art is wonderful but, as John Lennon's auntie told him, "You'll never make a living out of it."
It's such a cliche. Why? Because it's true. You don't get paid in this society for making art and if you do, it's not enough to live on, usually, much less to buy the things you need to make the art. But my god! How could we live without art? It entertains us, it enriches us, it fills the place in our souls that nothing else can fill. And there are those artists who insist on doing their art even though no, they will never get rich on it, may in fact, go hungry while creating it, and to them I kneel and say, "Thank-you."
And sometimes they do get monetarily rewarded and yes, maybe that's part of the carrot on the stick but after a certain point in the artist's life, not much of one.
As one guitar player (now deceased) that I used to go listen to always said at the end of the evening, "Thanks for coming out. Otherwise, we'd all be sitting around someone's living room, playing for ourselves."
No. Thank-YOU.

Who else? Ah, all of the people who refuse to keep their lights under a bushel, no matter how oddly that light shines from the old people who don't wear what old people should wear to doctors like the one I read about in today's paper who has dedicated his entire life to making the lives of people with leprosy in China better and who has fought for their rights as he worked to cure them. People like Martin Luther King, Jr. who did not accept that an entire race of people should not be allowed to have the same rights as another race of people, simply because of skin color. People who must dance, even as the world says, walk. People like Jimmy Carter who speak the truth and fear no man whether the subject is peace in the Middle East or condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS in Africa. People who let their freak flags fly, people who dive off the highest places into the deepest water, fight their way to the surface and tell us about it. People who have been beat down and shamed as children and yet, who somehow manage to grow up strong and become advocates for children who are treated as they were. People who have children which society does not honor because of their differences but who refuse to let society forget that yes, they DO matter, they DO deserve what every child deserves. People who step out of their roles in their jobs and their lives to do something seemingly small and yet, which may change lives, whether they are teachers or cops or soldiers or store clerks or lawyers or nurses. People who look at things through different eyes and who can perceive ways to change things- who can say, "Yes, I understand that this is how it's always been done but what if?"
What if?

What if we all took whatever it is that is in us which is the spark which makes us different from everyone else and we did not work to hide or smother that spark but let it flame into something beautiful?
Whether it means giving birth in a birth center or designing rocket ships? Whether it means adopting a child or a dog or a cat or taking on the whaling industry in a small, inflatable boat? Whether it means stepping in when a child is being abused or a rain forest is being threatened? Whether it means learning to play the guitar or trying to find a cure for cancer? Whether it means planting a garden in a place no garden has been planted before or creating beautiful things with wood or discarded objects?
Whether it means wearing your hair long if you are a man and putting it up in chopsticks and wearing eye make-up, or putting on a suit and tie if you are a woman?

What if?

There is no act too small or too large when it comes to what if.

There is only the small voice inside which sometimes rages too loudly to ignore and sometimes must be coaxed out to hear its message with patience and with trust.

Well, so. I guess what I'm saying here is that it is these sparks which sometimes become flames which are what I love about humanity. Those sparks that say, What if I don't follow the rules, what if I ignore the way it's always been done, what if I allow myself to be who I am no matter what others may think? What if I do not follow the script? What if I fight back? What if I turn the other cheek? What if I refuse to accept your truth over my own?

Yes. That's what I'm saying.

And thanking those who don't follow the script from Jimmy Carter to that gay soldier to yes, Keith Richards and John Lennon and all of the not-famous people too. The ones I know and love and cherish and adore. You know who you are.

You are the light which keeps humanity burning with passion and with beauty.

Okay. This has gone on long enough. From one birth to Keith Richards and you have no idea how tight that little circle is in my own little world.
Another story for another day, perhaps. But for now, it's enough just to acknowledge that.

And on a selfish note, I want to give my great thanks to the man who, when he met me, did not say, "This bitch is crazy," and run like hell which would have been the sensible thing to do, but who thought to himself, "What if? What if she was loved and supported and given faithfulness and stability? What if?"
And then did it.
And did crazy things like start his own businesses and buy crazy-good houses and loved a woman who did not look, on any account, like a normal person.
Who has been the best husband and father and now grandfather. Who has loved me into a sort of sanity without ever trying to smother the sparks inside of me.
I hope I have done the same for him.

Happy New Year's, y'all. Keep those home fires burning, the ones within and without. Recognize and honor them, especially your own because they are as important as the ones inside anyone. Believe it.

So much love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's Been So Exciting I'm About To Pass Out

It has been such a long, fine day. Owen was here from one until eight and Mr. Moon and I are both dropping from fatigue.
I hope we can make it until ten to actually fall in bed.

If I listed everything that Owen and I did today, you, too, would pass out from fatigue. The child never stops. He can now climb the bar stool chairs in the kitchen. All by himself. This adds yet another level of peril to our adventures. I go into the laundry room to switch out the washer and dryer and he's on top of the kitchen island. Oh Lord.
But he's such a great little man. He carries things for me and he can open doors when he's on my hip and he can feed the goats leaves through the wire fence and he can FEED THE CHICKENS THEIR SCRATCH and I almost melted with pride when he reached into the can of corn and threw it for the hens and Elvis. THE BOY CAN FEED THE CHICKENS!
He can also carry things to his Bop and he can say, "Pearl," although it comes out more like, "Bewl," but that's close enough.
He got so tired but he never got cranky. He went directly into hysterical-laughter phase and we must have played, "Where's Owen?" for at least three hours today, although not all in a row. He got to the point where when I'd "find" him, he'd break down in giggles. This game is never-ending fun. As in, the fun never ends when we play it.
Over and over and OVER again.
We watched Melmo on the computer. We ate yogurt and shared it with Bop. He brought me the toilet bowl cleaner. (Another Oh Lord! moment.) He swept, he dusted, he cleaned with a rag. We played going night-night. We put a sheet over a card table and played tent with a flashlight. We went for a walk.
And so on and so on and so on.
I think the boy will sleep good tonight and I hope so because I know his mama is tired.

Bop got out the Big Boy four-wheeler to take Owen for a ride.
Owen did not like that. Not one bit. Here's a picture of him sitting in front of Bop when the engine started up.

It got worse. Luckily, Bop is an understanding grandfather and after one short ride, he stopped and let the boy come to me. He wasn't crying, he just wasn't enjoying it.
Smart boy.

And I discovered where my hens have been laying today and I feel like a moron.
For awhile last summer the hens were laying in a nest outside of the hen house and for the past several months they have not touched the nest as far as I could see and so I quit checking it. Today, for no reason, I did and this is what I found:

I laughed so hard. Those sly birds!
I brought them all in and washed them off (the eggs, not the chickens) and all but one passed the float test. I think I have about six dozen eggs in my refrigerator now.

And the very best news- two of my oldest and dearest friends became the grandparents of a baby girl tonight. They have a grandson but this is the first granddaughter and she was born at a birth center and it would appear that all went perfectly and from pictures and report, she is a pure rosebud of a love of a girl.
A granddaughter! There was a picture of the grandmother holding that new baby and I have never seen her look so beautiful and so radiant. Seriously.

Well, that's the report here from Lloyd and tomorrow is New Year's Eve and oh boy on that one. Shall the Moons step out and join the glittery masses of humanity or shall they stay here and fall asleep before midnight? We have not decided yet and probably won't until late tomorrow afternoon, at least.

Stay tuned.

And don't expect any of those end-of-the-year wrap-ups here 'cause I'm so damn old that one year just blends into another and you go to bed and you wake up and forty years have passed and then you do it again.

Night, y'all. I'm falling asleep.

Love...Ms. Moon

Happy Asshole!

The tree is naked, I bared its branches yesterday and put the ornaments in their boxes and took down the nativity and put it in a box and trotted everything up the stairs and into the closet in the bedroom which hardly anyone ever sleeps in.
Evil Santa, too, although he is not in a box, but stands at attention in the closet (is he gay when he's in the closet?) and that's a bit of a scary thought.

Not sure where my heart is today. Hanging on the wall with a bear and a star hanging from it, right next to the spices- as good a place as any.

Last night I made The Perfect Supper. I wish I had pictures. I thawed out some snapper that Mr. Moon caught awhile back and I let it rest in some Mojo with the juice of one Clementine and then I ground pecans with Panko and flour and salt and pepper and coated that Mojo'ed snapper and placed the fillets in a pan and adorned them with thin, thin slices of lemon and cut pieces of green onion from the garden and baked it.
It was perfect in all ways.
I made tiny green beans and potatoes, and with bread, that was dinner.
Mr. Moon was so happy. He said, "I will wash every dish in this house for that meal."
We agreed- it was gourmet. And please understand- in my house, gourmet can mean really, really good grits.

I ate some cake leftover from Christmas and it is delicious but I think today I must give it to the chickens along with brownies also leftover from Christmas and it's time to get that stuff out of the kitchen, out of the house, no more in my body. Such sin to waste such food but really- what is it if I eat it and don't need it? Another type of sin.
No. Not sin.

In Spanish, the word sin means without.
Sin sal, I say when I order a margarita in Cozumel. Rocas. On the rocks.
I love the way those words feel in my mouth as much as I love the way the drink tastes.
Margarita, por favor. Sin sal. Rocas.
Here's the funny thing- I can imitate a Spanish accent when I speak Spanish, leading people to believe that I can speak Spanish when really, I can only say things like margarita, please, without salt, on the rocks.
My tongue just knows how to do it. It's like it shifts its position in my mouth to Spanish mode and the words are formed by that and they come out sounding good.
And then the brain curls up and there is no more use for that tongue except for when I say, Gracias, Senor. Muchas gracias.

Sin. Without. I think that is a good definition of sin.
People without clean water or a warm place to sleep or someone to love who loves them.
Without hope.
Without enough food.
Without food for the soul.

That is sin. Maybe. A mortal sin is when the without leads to death. Simple as that.
Death of the body, death of the soul. People can die from lack of love as surely as they can die from lack of food.
Full of withouts. Not to mix my languages, my metaphors or anything.

Boy. I'm fucking cheerful today, aren't I?

Well. Here's Miss Mabel, helping with the cake problem.

Look how lovely she is with her blue-black feathers.

And while I had the camera out, I took some pictures of a tiny woodpecker at the feeder. The birds are swooping in and grabbing a seed, then flying off and letting another bird take its place. Very busy at the feeder this morning.

I should get busy too. Owen is coming today. I will not be without love. Nor will he.
The chickens will not be without cake.
The birds will not be without seed.
The Christmas tree, however, is without ornaments or lights.
My tongue is without need for Spanish.
My heart is not without the knowledge of the blessings of this life.

Trying to keep sin down to a minimum here on this, the second-to-the-last-day of the year in our arbitrary keeping-of-time.

My hands smell of spices from crumbling cake with them. My heart probably smells of blood and is not filled with sin.
Yeah. Something like that.

Vaya con Dios. (I said that out loud as I wrote it and my mouth is smiling.) And oh yes- this- I read in a book by Jimmy Buffet that one New Years he was partying hearty in a country where Spanish is the language and he kept saying what he thought was Happy New Years! but in fact was saying Happy Asshole!

Okay. That made me laugh.
I hope it did you, too.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Being A Grandmother

I got to play with my Owen for awhile today and while I was at his house Kathleen came by and also, Mr. Moon, aka, Bop. We had so much fun. Owen and I did a bit of baby-yoga. I tried to show him how to do plow and I said, "Get on your back," and he did, and then I said, "Raise up your legs," and he did and I don't know. It sort of broke my heart that he's already so smart. There we were, an old woman and a little boy of fifteen months, lying on our backs on the carpet, raising up our legs in the air and bending them back and then he got up and pushed my back so that I would sit up again.

We played "put Doug to sleep," which involved laying his big boy doll down on the floor and laying his blanket on him and letting him fall asleep. "Ssshh," I said. "He is trying to sleep now."
Owen was fascinated by this. He took the blanket and tried to lay it down flat all over the living room. How had I done that? He was persistent in his attempts to do it too.

When Kathleen came by, she brought a container of grape tomatoes from Costco and offered one to Owen. Before it was over, I feel certain that the boy ate at least twenty of them. "Mo," he kept saying and whether that meant tomato or more, the result was the same. We watched him try to spread out the blanket and we chatted and we gave out tomatoes and it was just so nice, having Kathleen there and Owen kissed her more than once. He was in a kissing mood today. He kisses by thrusting his head up to yours with an open mouth and letting you make the smack noise. It is, to me, heavenly of course.

When Bop showed up, Owen was supremely happy. Bop immediately settled in on the floor and began to make things with blocks. I thought how typical this is- Grandmother plays put the baby to sleep with the grandchild and Grandfather builds things for the child to knock over. Owen seemed to be quite interested in both activities.

I asked Owen if he would like me to change his diaper and he said, "Uh-huh." I had a diaper in my hands and said, "I'll change you right here," indicating the carpet but he pulled the diaper from me and headed to his room where the changing table is. He knows the right way to do things. He also showed me how to make the music play on one of his stuffed animals. I pushed this and pulled that and he took it from me and pulled the correct thing and sure enough, a lullaby was produced.
He will be showing me how to program the DVD player next week, I am thinking.

Ah. That boy.

He understands EVERYTHING we say and he says some words but he gets everything he needs to get across with motions and sign language and tone of voice as he makes his noises. I love it when I ask him where something is and he puts his arms down, crooks the elbows and puts his hands palms up and makes a sound which perfectly says, "I don't know."
Then, when he finds it, he says a fair replication of "Here it is!"

All of this amazes me. I know that I must have watched each and every one of my own four children go through these stages. In fact, I remember quite clearly Hank on my lap, fingering one of the buttons on my sweater and saying, "Button."
I remember the time May was desperately trying to tell me that the cat had snatched the fish I was going to cook off the counter by pulling at me and saying, "Cat! Fish!"
I remember Lily picking up a baseball bat and saying, "Heaby, Daddy," as she tried to heft it and I remember Jessie doing her little projects, much as Owen does sometimes here, moving one set of things to a different place, one piece at a time and arranging them as she thought proper.

But there is something different in watching Owen. When I am with him, I am not trying to do one other thing but be with him. And so when he picks up a stick and does different things with it, I observe. I take note. When he learns to say "Uh-huh," I am charmed. When he kisses, when he hugs, that is the only thing going on in my universe and my heart melts. And I LOVE to make him laugh. I have found that doing odd things, things out of the ordinary, crack him up. He has a little Power Rangers doll figure and we spent quite a bit of time today, balancing him on a ball and also on our heads and he loves that sort of thing.
I feel as if I am teaching him to think out of the box, which is a phrase I fucking hate, but you know what I mean. I think that children are born with a sense of the absurd and I love to nurture it in Owen, to the point where I lay backward on the couch and act as if I am falling off and say, "Oh, Owen, Grandmother is falling!" in a silly voice and he looks at me and then laughs when I do fall and end up on my butt and then sit up and reach my arms out to him.

I am a fool for that boy. Quite literally. Perhaps this, too, is a part of growing older. I don't care to preserve any dignity around him at all. We burp, we laugh. We make faces, we laugh. We fall off the couch, we laugh. We put the Power Ranger on our heads, we laugh.
I am not his mother. I am his grandmother and if all he remembers about me is that I fell off the couch backwards and made him laugh and then hugged him, my job is done.

It is not that I am spoiling him. I am enjoying him. With every fiber of my being.

I had no idea that this is what being a grandparent would be like. No idea, in fact, that this sort of love existed.

Perhaps I am doing an unconscious series here on aging and the benefits of it. And perhaps tomorrow I will bitch and moan about pain or wrinkles or the way society treats the older people. Who knows?

But for right now, I am saying that being a grandparent is probably one of the most joyous things I've ever done and I can't tell you how much I love being such a part of this boy's life and watching the way he relates to me and his grandfather and becoming so aware of how important a grandparent can be.

I had no idea.

But I'm learning.

And as I've always said, my children are my greatest teachers and now, my grandson is another.

It just feels really, really right and once again, I am learning to trust my heart, trust the way of the universe, appreciate the way it all unfolds.

Thank-you, Owen. Thank-you, Lily and Jason.
Without you, this huge piece of information, this awareness of a different sort of love would not be part of my life and I would have died not knowing it even existed.

I love you...Mer-Mer.

How Would You Title This?

So I was reading last night, Keith's autobiography, of course, and he was talking about being on the road in the U.S. The Stones spent a LOT of time on the road in the early days and on one tour, had to take their own personal lawyer with them due to problems with Southern cops for whom arresting a Rolling Stone would have been the best thing ever, and a jewel in their crown in heaven, you know, and there was this quote about going into juke joints in Mississippi:

"Oh shit. I could've stayed here for days. You've got to pull out again, lovely black ladies squeezing you between their huge tits. You walk out and there's sweat all over you and perfume, and we all get in the car, smelling good, and the music drifts off in the background."

I wonder who his ghost writer was. Okay. I just looked it up. James Fox. Well, Fox did a great job of letting Keith's voice be the one we hear as we read. I think I am going to truly enjoy this book. A history book, of sorts, for me.
I remember when every cop out there wanted to bust a dirty hippie, put him in jail, cut his hair (and yes, they did that). Dirty hippies. Commies. Girls. Sissies. Draft dodgers. The names were endless. The whole thing so ridiculous.
You didn't have to be a Rolling Stone to be worried when a police officer was following your car. Believe me.

Anyway, those days are long ago and yet, marijuana is still illegal in most states. Isn't that just the most bizarre thing ever? I mean, really.

Here's the way Lloyd looks this morning from the road in front of my house.

When I go to town, I can either go left and take the backroads or go right and then a left at that light to take the interstate. The interstate is faster, of course and I usually take that route. But not always. I'll probably go that way later on today, though, when I go to stay with Owen for a few hours.

I wish there were some juke joints in my neighborhood. One would think there would be. I bet there used to be. Now there are only churches and so very many of them. One after another, some right across the street from each other, small cinder-block churches with signs out front advising us on what the reason for the season is now.
I've never stepped foot in one. My loss, probably.

I've been to juke joints. I've been one of the only white faces in those dark, smokey places, and it was always a joy. I used to live on a road north of Tallahassee which was, at the time, almost entirely inhabited by black folks. Now it's high-dollar real estate and I don't even recognize it but the few times, oh, maybe fifteen years ago or more, I went back and visited the juke joint which was two doors down from where I had lived, people remembered me.

"You that hippie girl."

Yeah. That was me.

That hippie girl who lived with the guitar player with long, long hair and it was just like Keith said, "And then you'd walk in and for a moment there's almost a chill, because you're the first white people they've seen in there, and they know that the energy's too great for a few white blokes to really make that much difference."

And you know what? I've never met more gracious people.

Well. Like I said, I wish there were a few jukes around here. I'd go in of a Friday night, buy a cold, frosty Budweiser, get to know the lady who ran the place so that I, too, could get some great-smelling hugs, maybe do a little dancing, maybe just sit in a chair or stand by the bar, glad to live in the South, so grateful to live in a world where there are black faces and white, where music can bring us all together, where I could have some of the same cultural experiences as Keith Richards did.

And this post is going nowhere and everywhere, too. Here I sit and the road leads off and I could take it if I wanted to Mississippi or Alabama or New York City, even. But today I'll probably only take it to Owen's house to stay with him for a few hours. I am a grandmother but I am also that hippie girl, I am the woman who lives in this house where a candle is lit and I need to take down the Christmas decorations, put the nativity back upstairs in its box, feed the chickens, take the trash, close my eyes and see a dark, smokey room with lit neon beer signs, hear the sound of grindy bass and guitar, the deep molasses voice of someone singing his blues-truth. It's cold outside but it's warm in that room and everyone dances, even if it's such a small, contained dance that it is done with two feet firmly in one spot, only the body moving in time to the heartbeat of those blues, deep in prayer, prayer-tranced, in fact...yeah...

Thanks for the memories, Keith.
I know what you're talking about. I've never been a junkie on heroin but I've been a junkie for the music, for the smells, for the sounds, for the warmth of faces saying, "All right now, you that hippie girl."

And the music drifts after us as we drive down those dark tree-lined roads, always leading home, but able to lead us back again if we could just remember the way.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bet Your Mama Don't Know You Can Bite Like That

I was in the Costco today, buying cucumbers and yogurt when I walked past the book table and there, right beside GW Bush's autobiography was Keith Richard's autobiography.
I'd just been to the library and I don't really buy books very often. I mostly just borrow them and yet, I was compelled. I picked it up, I looked at a few of the pictures in it, I put it down.
I picked it up again.
I put it in my huge, American Costco cart and I bought it.

I don't know why, but I'm fascinated with Keith Richards. I suppose it's because the man should have died about fifty years ago but instead of going up in flames or down in flames, he's lived to become a gnarled old gnome who is married to a fabulously beautiful woman and he's the father of quite a few kids and he appears to still have his facilities and he still seems to be having a shitload of fun. Plus, he's friends with Johnny Depp and as we all know, Jack Sparrow's character is based on...Keith Richards.

Back three years ago when I first wrote about The Church Of The Batshit Crazy (although I had not named it yet), I even mentioned old Keiffer as a miracle.

I still feel that way about him. I wonder how I'll feel after I've finished reading the book.
And I have to tell you that I did NOT finish Ozzy Osbourne's book which is sort of sad but I never really liked Ozzy at all before The Osbourne's was a TV show and so there's that.
Keith, however, and his glitter-twin, Mick, have been a part of my life since I was a very young girl, listening to the Rolling Stones on a radio so damn old it was made out of wood and I'm not even kidding you.

Yes. The Rolling Stones are old and so am I. But I remember when they were young, all skinny bodies and black eye-liner and were the bad, bad boys of rock.

I mean really, really bad.

I got this album for my seventeenth birthday and baby, I had to sneak it into the house. My mother would have had a STROKE!

"Bet your mother don't know you can scratch my back. Bet she doesn't know you can bite like that," Mick sings in Stray Cat Blues as Keith jingle jangles that wailing guitar and oh hell, if all you do is listen to the first twelve seconds of this video, you'll maybe know why I was so in love with bad, bad boys and the music they made and Mick and Keith were the prototypes. If the Beatles taught us how we could live, the Rolling Stones taught us how we could sin.

And there you go. Another little thought about aging, I guess.
Aging and miraculously living to tell about it.

Yep. In the Church Of The Batshit Crazy, Keith Richards is, if not a saint, at least a a highly venerated sinner. Hey- if you're going to sin, SIN BOLDLY! as my elderly anatomy teacher used to tell us.
I think Keith has done that royally.

I shall tell you what I think after I read the book. And I have a feeling I'm going to be listening to some Stones here in the next few weeks. Never a bad thing because if you can listen to the Stones and not dance, you are dead.
And as we all know, dancing is my favorite form of prayer.

It's all about religion for me, isn't it?

Well. Rock on.

Don't forget to kneel when you pray.

Just like Keith.

It's Not Too Late

Pictures, pictures, scramble for pictures and outside is so beautiful, each ray of sunlight a stream of perfect diamonds but you've seen them all, haven't you? Well, not these particular rays but their brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles...

But here.

My favorite, the way the light hits the moss, the leaves, the branches of one of my oaks.

I am late with everything today. Hell, I haven't had a period in years. Haha! Menopause joke! But you know, sometimes I do think about that- those so-many years of my life when I lived and died on whether I got my period or not and cramps and PMS and ovulation and how wonderful it was to ovulate, even when I got the pain of it, mittelschmerz, so bad I would have gone to the ER if I hadn't know what it was- that power that estrogen can give you and I remember all of that and it's like another lifetime.
It was another lifetime.

I was talking to May this morning and we had one of our long-calls where we discussed everything from her work to Owen to her dads to filming to blogging to the weather to chickens to her new thug-hat to chefs, to....I can't even remember.
And at one point I said, "Getting old is so cool," and then I couldn't believe I said it. What!? Why would I say that but I said it because I was thinking of how Freddy showed me a shot he took of me the other day and it was the most unflattering thing you can imagine, shot from below my face and all the wrinkles and wattles and folds and everything were right there to see and I loved it! Vanity and estrogen probably go hand-in-hand. Lose one, you lose the other. Not saying I have no vanity, it's just different now. I am not only content to have an interesting face, I am thrilled. And I can joke around with men in a way I never could before because I am a GRANDMOTHER and it's cool, it's okay, I am no threat to anyone and thus, I can just have fun.


Things change and I am learning that it's okay. No. It is right and it is good. I don't want to be Cher or one of those entertainer women whose entire lives have been built around their looks, their estrogen-rich powers of attraction and who, when the estrogen goes, the looks change and morph, have to get surgery and take hormones to try and maintain something which is just not there anymore in the same way and never will be.
There is such a freedom, somehow, in letting that go. To embrace a different sort of beauty. To understand, truly, that there are different sorts of beauty.

I am thinking of letting my hair just grow and grow. May's hair is so beautiful now. She can sit on it. She's always had beautiful hair and there is something so her about it- she does not let style dictate her hairstyle and she wears it twisted up and pinned with a big silver hairpin I bought her and when she lets it down it's a glory on this earth, an entire river of light and movement. My hair will never be as beautiful as hers but it is mine and god knows I don't let style dictate much to me either. Well, we will discuss this again in summer, I am sure.

But here I am today, this morning, and I can't figure out what I'm doing. Go to town? The library calls and I've been reading a book for years now, it seems, and it's about a woman trying to find her father and I don't even care at this point and that's odd. I wanted to find my own father for so long and then I did and it was fine but then he wanted money and so I know this story but do I quit reading the book after investing so much time in it? I thought maybe I'd finish it last night but I was too tired and put it down and pulled the covers up over my shoulders and fell into sleep, the book where I dropped it on Mr. Moon's side of the bed.
The woman in the book was at the point where her goal had switched from finding this father to having him buy her pearls.
Pearls? Really?
Do I care if she gets the pearls? Will I even remember if I finish the book? In two months I bet you I will have forgotten.
Maybe two weeks.

Another thing about getting older- nothing sticks the way it used to. The brain's surface becomes slick and only the most tenacious of facts or prose can cling to it.
Again- so what?

Another lifetime. Another set of circumstances. Another set of hormones of mind-chemicals of ways to relate to others and in some ways, a much better way. The wall that youth constrains you within is gone and there is that freedom which you never thought you'd have.

It's not all good, believe me, but surprisingly, there are new delights which come with age. A few. Some.

And if I want, I can put on my own pearls which, in a way, my father did give me as they were his mother's. They were sent to me when she died, she left them to me in her will. They are tiny and beautiful, natural pearls, and when I die, one of my children can have them. I should wear them more and because I am an older woman, I can.
Pearls and turquoise and diamonds, too, if I want, and I can carry a red leather hippie purse and all of those things are part of who I am and I don't have to care if they "go together" or not. I realize it doesn't matter. What matters is what makes me happy on some silly level and sometimes I wish I had a ruby ring and an emerald one too, to go over my knuckles and draw attention to these old wrinkled hands.

Yeah. I am learning the ways of the country of the older and babies- it's not a bad place in which to dwell. At least on the days when the joints aren't screaming and today, they are not because the air is clear and no rain is coming for a few days, anyway, and the light in the sky looks like it did four days ago but that takes not one thing away from it. It is as beautiful today as it was then and perhaps it will be even more so tomorrow.

I am late, but not in the way they use the phrase in The Number One Ladies Detective Agency which is a euphemism for being dead, or in the way of the young woman, either worried or thrilled that her period has not come when it should have. Just late in the way that the day is getting along without me but honestly- so what? I have noticed and noted the light and perhaps that IS my task today. To be the one in Lloyd, Florida to look up and see it and be thrilled once again because it is beautiful as are the very old trees it illuminates.

Here are my pearls. I think I have shown them to you before. I am going to wear them today, whether I go to town or stay here and just clean out the hens' nests.

A small celebration of age, of me, of a woman I never knew, of a father I never really knew.

You, too- go put on something or do something to celebrate your place here in this world right now. Take a picture of the light in your yard, put on those earrings you keep safely hidden away somewhere for special occasions, break out the silver to eat your yogurt with, the good china to eat your leftovers on, get out your favorite pen and write a poem and let it lie as you write it, no cross-outs, just thoughts pouring out of your heart at this very moment in time.

Do it!

Then tell me about it and I will wear those words in my heart like tiny pearls strung together and worn around my neck, those words about the land in which you dwell, right now, young or old or middling or whatever you are or feel or want or yearn for.

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, December 27, 2010

Heart-Truth Of A Fire

As one thing will lead to another, one blogger will do the same. I often feel as if this blog-world is like a skein of wool. Pull one end and it keeps coming and coming and coming (oh my!) and we are all connected, somehow, although I refuse these days to read blogs in which I do not feel a heart-truth of a fire burning.

I think I've always been a bad girl at heart.
I think I've always been a good girl at heart.

I think I've always wanted to be the madonna AND the whore and is that too much to ask?
And so I read blogs which are the sweetest, sweetest pictures of family love and devotion and and I read blogs which are cries of desperation and pleas for redemption and I feel as at home in one place as I do in another.

I am a leo/cancer cusp and if you believe in that stuff it would explain a lot. WHY AM I NOT ONSTAGE AND FAMOUS?/WAIT! THE LAUNDRY IS NOT FOLDED!

Something like that.

Shit. What was I going to talk about?

Oh yeah. Supper.

When I came home from taking care of Owen it was just about dark and I went out and closed up the chickens and went around and turned all the water on to drip because it's supposed to get down in the low twenties here tonight and I went into the garden and pulled some onions and some cabbage leaves to cook. I had thought to make a stir fry with those and some peppers and mushrooms but then I went over to Ms. Radish King's and she directed me to the potwatcher and I started reading about pasta and capers and baby, I was done as applies to stir-fry and am about to go in the kitchen and saute those peppers and mushrooms with some tomatoes and garlic and a sweet onion and capers in olive oil and boil some pasta and I can't wait.

Mr. Moon is out of town and it's just me and my appetite, my tongue, my belly and I want pasta and god, I wish I had fresh basil but I do not. Well, it will be fine anyway.

And what does all of this have to do with madonnas and whores or bloggers for that matter?
I don't know and I don't care.

One thing, if you let it (and you should) leads to another and this night I shall be as pure as a madonna with fresh vegetables and olive oil dripping off my chin, and my pleasure shall be as a whore's as I eat it.

Thank-you, Radish King and thank-you, potwatcher, and thank-you, all of you, who come here and read what I write, whether holy or profane, and thank-you for what you write which inspires me always and influences me more than you can know.

Keep burning those heart-fires, keep reminding me that I am a good girl, I am a bad girl and that it's okay. It is truly okay, even as I am a grandmother and hold that boy in my arms, even as I am a witch and scream into the cold, cold wind, the trees sheltering over me, the great pleasures of this earth at my feet, the great questions and answers making themselves known to my soul.


Reusable Up To Fifty Uses!

Have you ever heard of this? Splat?

Cleaning putty that removes debris from nooks and crannies.

Jessie got her daddy some for Christmas. It says it's for cleaning auto interiors.
When I saw it I said, "I could use some of that for the house."
Mr. Moon said, "They don't sell it in fifty gallon drums."


Post Christmas Post

Ms. Moon is not at her sparkly best this morning although the day certainly is.
When I was coming back in from turning off all the water spigots and letting the chickens into the run and feeding the cat and getting the paper, I looked up to see the sun turning my bottles into jewels.

I can barely read the paper these days. We are getting a new governor and he looks like Lex Luther. Or maybe, as one blogger pointed out, Freddie Kruger.

In non-bizarro world he would be in prison but we here in Florida love our cheats and criminals and so, instead of jail, he's headed to the governor's office.
Every time we get a new governor, the first thing they want to do is dump on all the state workers which, if you know any state workers, you realize is already slave labor and how they think they can get private companies to provide the services which our state-slaves already provide for cheaper is beyond me.
I know a lot of state workers, one of them my son, and let me say that these people work their asses off for a ridiculously low amount of pay and then are vilified by the public and yes, the incoming governors for being lardbricks and whatever little insulting name some writer-dweeb comes up with.
It's going to be an interesting four years here. I read that Scott is having a hard time replacing all the state people he's fired with his own cronies because even the biggest positions don't pay squat compared to the private sector and besides that, they'd have to move to...ugh...Tallahassee.
His inauguration ball is going to feature heavily-weighted country music stars.
Yeah. I won't be attending.

So yes, there's that in the news these days and also there was the ninety-two year old woman who was beat up and put in a coma by some guy who obviously had some severe mental issues and she was left in her driveway, broken and bleeding.

So pretty much, I'd rather read blogs, although sometimes I do the crossword in the paper. That's fun.

But like I said, I'm not feeling great today. I did two things yesterday that I never, ever do and one of them was being outside in freezing temperatures for a long period of time and one of them was eating beef brisket and at three a.m. my stomach told me that eating beef brisket is something I should not do and it's still telling me that and I sort of feel like I've been hit all over with a flat, heavy board which may or may not be a result of the freezing temperatures.
Oh well, what the hell? I had big fun in the freezing temperatures and the brisket was delicious.
So there.

I need to hop on the exercycle and do a few miles and I'm going to go to town to take care of my boy this afternoon and I can't wait to see him. I wonder what new things he's learned in the past two days. Something, I can assure you.
And there's laundry and that tree is sitting in the Glen Den, waiting to be undressed and taken out. Mr. Moon took the trash yesterday and I asked him if he'd taken the tree down.
"That's your job," he said.

How do these things get assigned? I'd really like to know.

I won't find out by reading the newspaper, I feel certain.

Okay. Time to let the chickens out and feed them their scratch.

Christmas is over, New Year's is coming up. Do you have a plan? I don't. Well, I suppose I do.
Survive it. A martini may be involved.
Beef brisket will not.

Enjoy your day. Bundle up. It appears to be cold everywhere. Don't eat beef brisket. Scream in the woods. Read the newspaper. Or don't.

Happy Monday, y'all. If your sparkle is getting dull, try some glittery eye-shadow. It's probably on sale.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snow? Yes. Ending? No.

I knew it was cold this morning. I knew it. I think I may even have mentioned it. I may have even mentioned the possibility of sleet.
It did not sleet. No, it did not.

Instead, it snowed.

Okay, okay, you people who live up north in the frozen waste-lands would laugh your asses off at what we call snow but when white frozen things fall from the sky, we call it snow.
And when it snows and the wind whips the tree tops into a frenzy and the sky is pewter, we call it too fucking cold.
And that is what I spent my entire day in- the outdoors where it was snowing, off and on, and blowing, and COLD!
Oh my Lord, it was cold.

But I had so much fun.

I at least had the good sense to wear leggings and socks under my dress. And take my magical and warm Kathleen-knitted-Cozumel-colored shawl which, when I was not being filmed, I was wrapped in and which Lanny, when he was not being filmed, also wrapped up in a time or two.
"This is really soft," he said.
It is. Really, really soft.

It got to the point where it was so cold it was funny.
"And...freeze," Freddy would say and we'd all crack up.

"When does that thing kick in where you start to feel really warm and just want to sit down and fall asleep and die?" I asked.
"That sounds like one of my films," Freddy said. "Just wait until the premiere night."

Okay. Maybe you had to be there.
All I can say is- thank god we weren't filming a skin flick out there in the woods.
No way that would have worked.

Anyway, it was just what a grandmother who has spent the last few weeks panicking over Christmas needed. Christmas was barely mentioned and I did not have to spend one second worrying over chicken salad or wrapping paper or things to go in the stockings.
Nope. All I had to worry about was whether or not my toes would fall off and how to look angry.

I got to scream at the top of my lungs. Three times. It's been so long since I've screamed I wasn't even sure I could. Turns out I can, although now I hardly have a voice.

Who cares? We don't have Steel Magnolia rehearsals for a week. Surely I'll be completely recovered by then.

And perhaps warmed up to a normal body temperature, too, although it's supposed to get even colder.
The porch plants are covered and the chickens are shut in for the night and I took a very hot bath and I have brown rice simmering and I've had a piece of fruit cake.

And Christmas is over (well, except for that fruit cake) and it was such a good one.
I realized today that this Christmas day was the first one in forever that I didn't fall into a I-want-to-die depression in the afternoon.
Not even close.
You have no idea how amazing that is.

Can it be that progress can be made, even for an old grandmother?

Hell, if it can snow in Florida. I guess anything is possible.
Or just about, at least.

For the life of me I can't come up with an ending for this post, a neat tying-up of it all.
And maybe that's all right. Leave it open for more stuff to be added later.
Or not.

This ain't no sitcom.
And that's as good an ending as any and will just have to do.


It is 8:12 a.m. the morning after Christmas. A Sunday. It's gray as hell out there and blowy. And cold. And there's a windchill factor of 30 degrees. I don't usually pay attention to that windchill factor but today I believe it.
And either I've slightly re-injured my leg or else it's about to rain. Sleet?
But so what?
Freddy calls.
Or, actually Facebooks. Whatever.
We're supposed to meet up here:

That's me in the middle. How cool is that?

We're supposed to finish up filming today. I hope his new ending includes some dark and foreboding weather.

I better go put on my make-up so I can look like this:

Yikes! I'm so old!
But who cares if I get to make faces like that?
I'll scare little children and frighten hardened criminals.

Fake believe.

I believe I love it.

Happy Sunday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, December 25, 2010

In Which Owen Gets Red Converses And Christmas Turns Out To Be Finer Than Fine

Lord, Lord, Lord. Bring a torch, Jeanette, Isabelle.

Honeys, it has been some Christmas.

Honestly and absolutely one of the very best I can ever remember.

Christmas Eve day started out with Owen getting here and eating oatmeal and Clementines with his Bop and his grandmother and how could a day that started like this be anything but good?

Aunt Jessie came out and Owen's life was complete. We played and took a walk, all of us, and at one point I swear, Owen looked up at Jessie who was pushing him in the stroller and said, "Hey Jessie!" just as clear as can be.
We all cracked up.

I made the traditional chicken salad and Jessie decorated it with the traditional red and green grapes and pecans.

Lily got off work and came here to find a sleepy boy and she and her son went back to our bed and took a long, long, sweet nap.

Hank and May showed up and the merriment began.

There was much imbibing of beverages (except for May, of course, and Jessie too, mostly) and okay, hilarity ensued.

Yes. Lily is holding Jessie on her hip. They have been doing this since Jessie weighed twenty-seven pounds. They are still good at it. When Lily is my age, she is going to regret this circus act bitterly, but for now, it makes us all happy.

Everyone helped with the pizzas and they were, well, check it out.

Yeah. Uh-huh. They were good.
So was the chicken salad and the ribs Aunt Brenda sent from Texas. They were REALLY, REALLY GOOD! We ate them like beasts.

After dinner we all played with the...Wii...which Bop bought as a gift for us all (him) and it has been in use for two days now (by him). We all created our own avatars (Mii's) and actually, that was the most fun for me. Then we played a rousing game of Jeopardy. We laughed so hard.
And May and I ate fruit cake until Lily finally took it away from us. May and I are not usually the big eaters but put a fruit cake in front of us and we can't stop.
Really. Lily took it away from us.
Bless her heart.
(Thank-you, Lily.)

Then to bed and up this morning to start all over again.

Bop and Owen looked out the window at the birds and studied the bird book.

Owen played with his Auntie May

And his Uncle Hank

And ate apples and cuddled with his mama

until breakfast was ready. Hank cooked us sausages and eggs and we heated up sweet pastries and Granny came out and we all sat down and ate and then, then, THEN the true madness started.

So many presents. And such good ones.
Hank made us all calenders,

each one different, with pictures from his blog and other ones he'd found, depending on whose calender he was making, each customized and perfect and works of art. I mean really- you can't believe how beautiful they are.

Perfect. That Hank. He done real good this year, that boy of mine. We gave him a round of applause.

The present opening was just chaos.

And Owen finally broke down but before he did, Mr. Moon took this beautiful picture of him and his daddy.

And then...I opened up a gift from Kathleen.

She had knit me a shawl from wool the colors of the waters of Cozumel and as soft as a tender wish and with silver bells woven into the fringe on ribbons.
I cried. May had to get up and hold me, I was so damn overcome.

And Mr. Moon got me the earrings I wanted, flat tear-drop shapes of turquoise

simple and perfect.
And my children- they all went together and got me the object of my lustful desire.

The Lucky Brand Abbey Road purse.
Oh fucking kill me now.
It's soft. It smells like heaven. It's perfect in all ways. I love the buckles, the big zipper, the pocket on the outside where I can put my phone, my keys, the pockets on the inside, one just for PENS!
Oh. It is heaven.
Oh, oh, oh. (Imagine sexual-sounding groans of pleasure here.)

And no! We are not done!

Owen got a four-wheeler. For toddlers. What? Yes.
I was like, "Why would you get him a four-wheeler? That's ridiculous! He's too young!"
And then his daddy showed it to him, showed him how to make it go and he swung his leg over that thing, sat down and pushed the button.

He is not too young.
Owen! Stop growing so fast! You are breaking your grandmother's heart!
It goes up to TWO MILES PER HOUR!
Not too fast. It's okay.
As you can see, even Buster the dog was amazed and impressed.

And before the kids left to go to other-parents' I made them stand in front of the Christmas tree.
Here they are, my beauties, my babies, my loves.

The angel on the tree looks down and the deer on the wall does too.

It is three o'clock in the afternoon on Christmas Day and I am wrapped in the shawl of the colors of Cozumel which is so long it could wrap around me three times and which my friend made when she was having chemo and which silver-bell tinkles when I move and the rain is starting to fall from a pewter sky when just an hour ago the sky was as clear and the sun was so bright that I said, "This is why we live in Florida," and my husband and Jessie are either bowling or playing archery or boxing with the Wii and I am drinking coffee and Bailey's and this is my report of Christmas in Lloyd, 2010.

Ay yah.
It finally came, this Christmas Day and despite all my frantic anxiety and my fears and my melancholy and my bitterness and my bitchy, bitch bitchiness, it has all been so fine.

And there is pizza and chicken salad in the refrigerator should I ever want to eat again and even more fruit cake and perhaps I'll even play some sort of Wii game with the man and when I go out, I shall take my red bag with me and it will carry all of my stuff and I will wear my turquoise earrings and be a hippie and that is right and good because I am one.

And oh! One more picture. This one for Jo
because I have been wearing the beautiful warm tights she sent me last year all day in honor of Christmas.

Like my outfit?
I do.

I swear- I hope your Christmas has turned out to be as lovely as ours has. When Lily left today she said, "Thank-you, Mama. It was magic."
And I know she said that because she knows that more than anything else I would wish for my children to know magic and to have some small part in that and damn- her saying that was the sweetest thing she could have said.

Bring a torch, Jeanette Isabelle.
We done pagan'ed it up and Christmased it up and loved it up and Wii'ed it up and ate it up and drank it up and lit it up.

We done did it all.

And it was sweet and it was good.

Merry Christmas, all of you. I feel you in my heart right here under this soft, soft shawl in this old heart which is full and bright and just tight with light.
And love.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Because It Is Time

Dreams But Not Of Sugar Plums

Nothing says Christmas like fall's leaves on the ground, right?
Mr. Moon just this second said, "I don't remember the yard ever looking like this. It's beautiful."

I don't remember either but that doesn't mean a thing. I don't remember shit.

Overslept this morning. I was having a dream that involved all the biggies:

1. Childbirth
2. Late for class and I had no idea what class or where it was and I LOST MY NOTEBOOK!
3. Late for picking up the kids and their school was across the water somehow which would involve a golf cart AND a boat to go get them.
4. And who was taking care of that baby that was just birthed while the mama (not me) picked up HER kids across the water?

Yeah, yeah. It's Christmas Eve.
What did I get done yesterday? Well, it took me all day to make a quilt that ended up looking like a deranged child made. All day.
I boiled my chicken for the chicken salad.
I made the worst pot of split pea soup ever made on the planet.
I finished wrapping the presents.

That's it.

And Owen will be here in less than an hour and then Mean Aunt Jessie is coming and I haven't seen her in weeks. Literally. She got back from Boulder, hopped in the car and drove to Gator Bone with her Cicada Ladies where they recorded for a day and then drove back and finally I will get to get my arms around that child.

And then the rest of the kids will show up, the dogs will bark, we'll make the pizza and hang the stockings and play games and there will be chaos.
"Mama, can I use some wrapping paper?"
"Mama, where are the scissors?"
"Mama, can I do a load of laundry?"
"Mama, I think the pizza's burning!"

And it will be beautiful.

Christmas Eve.
Am I ready?
As ready as I'm going to get.

Mr. Moon wants oatmeal.
The world wants peace. We all want love. The chickens want scratch.

And me? What do I want?

Nothing. I have it all. And tonight I'll go to bed knowing that my babies are going to be sleeping under one roof and having their own crazy dreams and the sun is rising up over the long moss-draped branches of the oaks and the Bradford Pears are decorating the sky and the ground and the birds are coming in to the feeder and Waylon's quilt will be warm, even if it looks like a deranged child made it.

And I will restrain myself from speaking of that thing going around the interwebs where the entire birth of Jesus is on Facebook and Joseph takes the time to post:

I'll just say this:
Stop it, people.

Go bake some cookies. Go play with a real baby. Go find your Jimmy Buffet Christmas album. Go hug your sweeties.

Happy Christmas Eve Day, y'all.
Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day Before Christmas Eve

For some unknown reason, Owen has developed a huge affection for Elmo. He thinks my computer is an Elmo delivery system. He points to it and says, "Melmo!"
And he crawls up onto my lap and I find Elmo videos on Youtube and we watch them together.
So when I found a huge Melmo gift bag at the Dollar Store I bought it to put Owen's presents in. He'll probably love the bag far more than the presents.

Good morning. It's chilly here but as bright as can be. The golden leaves from the Bradford Pear swirl in the breeze and fall to the ground and my back yard is all glory with it. I have things to do today that if I made an actual list of them, would take four index cards. Will I get them done? Who knows? Who really cares?
Not me.

I'm thinking of all the people inside of me. All the Marys of all the ages and it's no wonder I wake up confused some days. Who AM I? Am I the grandmother, the mother, the wife, the friend, the crazy teen girl who did acid on Christmas Eve, the serious mother who stayed up late, late, finishing quilts with names on them, the grandmother who will have her boy all day on Christmas Eve, the little girl who went to bed on Christmas Eve praying, praying for her daddy to miraculously show up, that other little girl who played Mary in the church nativity, the wife who makes the Christmas Eve chicken salad, the wife who hosted the families, the sister who welcomed the brothers, the woman I am now who is all of these?

Ah yah.

I have a refrigerator full of meat, some sent from Texas, smoked and sauced and also raw chicken, ready to cook to turn into Mr. Moon's mama's chicken salad and I have a quilt to make and presents to wrap and the store to go to and what am I doing sitting here?

Gotta go. Gotta harness all these Marys and get it done, everything inside swirling like the leaves in the back yard, Melmo looking on with glee.