Monday, January 24, 2011


Sometimes in the midst of August or September when it has been so hot that the thought of leaving the air conditioned spaces of our lives here is enough to make us swoon with dread there can come a certain breeze, a certain look to the sky, a certain feel to the air which promises that fall will come someday.

And sometimes in the midst of winter, a day can come when the air warms up and the percentage of humidity changes and we get a promise of spring.

Today is one of those days.

When we got up this morning, it was freezing cold, frost covered everything and the chicken's water was a solid block of ice. Right now it is not hot, by any means, but it is so much warmer and my magnolia tree is filled with whistling blackbirds and there's just something about the air that whispers a faint prophecy of long strings of warming days when we'll have the unavoidable urge to get out and put our hands in the dirt and slip seeds into it and flowers will bloom and the dogwoods will be clouds here on this earth, their petals the wings of white butterflies which will tremble when the air stirs around them.

That is what this day is telling me.

Owen and I took a walk down Main Street and I said, "Look at the trees, Owen, look at the sky," and he tilted his head up and he did and I remembered when he was a tiny little boy and I took him outside and laid him on a blanket when I took the clothes off the line and I said that his eyes were full of sky when I brought him in.
They still are.

We stopped and chatted with Ms. Liola and he did not flirt with her but he tilted his head to the side and smiled a smile I can only describe as "coy" and we both laughed at him. He is so joyful, that boy. He sampled the chicken's feed this morning as he threw it to them and I didn't have the heart to fuss at him. I hardly ever do unless he smacks me, which he does sometimes, just to see what will happen. This is what being a grandmother is about. I will stand in the little bathroom for ten minutes as he stands on the toilet, flicking the fan switch on and off. He loves this.
What power!

Today he also tried flushing the toilet and at first he was a bit worried that I would be upset, all that rushing water sound but I just laughed and then he laughed too and reached to do it again and I said, "Nah, that's enough," and grabbed him up and carried him out of the bathroom and we went to the library where he dumped all the dominoes out of their tin, all ninety-one shiny dominoes, or however many there are, and I didn't fuss at all and when he dumped out the checkers too, we played at balancing them on our heads.

Mothers don't always have the time or energy for games like this. Mothers need to get the laundry done and the supper made and the dishes done but grandmothers don't care so much about that stuff. I made the bed this morning and then he demanded that we sit on it and read books and so we did, and played tent with the comforter and threw books around and read them over and over again and made more tents and by the time we were done, the bed could hardly be described as made anymore but I don't care and neither does Owen's Bop, and that's the way it goes.

That is just the way it goes on this hint-of-spring day in Lloyd and whether it's that hint of spring or just bottom-line-I-can't-take-it-anymore, I think I am going to clean out a closet in the dining room. Owen got in there and found an old plastic container filled with dried-up markers and there's just no need to have that sort of crap hanging around the house. One closet. Just one. I'll start there. God only knows what I'll find. Mr. Moon is out of town and I have lovely leftovers to eat and I can just spend as much time cleaning out the closet as I want and there will be no one here to say, "Don't throw that away, we might need it some day," or even, conversely, "Why are you keeping that shit?"

I remember when the kids were little and I'd sometimes do a quick tossing of stuff that had no use any more but which they wouldn't have let me throw out if they'd been there and when they'd ask where so-and-so was, I would truthfully reply that I did not know. I assumed it was at the landfill but one never really knows, does one? and bless their hearts, I hope they forgive me now.

And let me add that I finally called Hank about my tiny-writing-field problem and he figured it out and told me what to do and now my computer is set to the Old Blind Woman configuration and that makes me so happy. I have the best children in the world. I'm sure yours are lovely and beautiful and smart, but mine are the best.

And so is my grandson. Here's one more picture of him that I took today as he and Elvis had another stare-down.

I'm so grateful I have such a gentle rooster. I am sure it's because Mr. Moon saved his life when he was a tiny peep with sugar water and a mashed up Centrum Silver vitamin. I thought surely the little chick was going to die and wasn't worth the effort but Mr. Moon wasn't going to give up so easily and now that baby chicken is a full-grown man bird and he watches his flock so carefully, standing at attention as they peck and scratch, always on the alert for either predator or treat, and full of crowsome praise when an egg is laid.

Yeah. It's been a good day. It's going to rain for the next few days and get wicked cold again but today was sweet and maybe, if all goes well, by the time I go to bed tonight I will have one closet, ONE, that is orderly and tidy and clean.

And that will be enough, as has been this tiny promise of things to come, blooms and sprouts and warm, soft air, and I am content.


  1. That Owen/Elvis picture is priceless.

    Have fun in the closet :)

  2. Yours may be best, but then mine are bester. That's just the way it is. :-)

    I was telling my children today that I want to be able to tell each one of them they're the best in the world without the others wondering why they're not. Because they all are. There was a lot of philosophical pondering, but I think they now agree it's possible.

  3. We don't get that hint of spring until Late February (If we are lucky) Usually mid March.

  4. I felt the air and the sky change today too. I found myself reading my textbook in the grass with the sun shining on my skin- It was glorious to feel that hint of Spring. I actually called Daddy up right then and requested that we go to Dog Island during some part of my spring break. Vergil will be here and I would love to show him Florida fishing and how we all dance around our little house while you and Daddy cook up an amazing Dog Island meal. What do you think, Mamacita?

    Those pictures of Owen are precious, as always.

  5. Steph- Heh-heh.

    Mwa- Exactly! You're a great mom.

    Rebecca- Well, this is Florida.

    HoneyLuna- Sounds great- when is your Spring break?

  6. Spring Break is starting on March 5th (the first Saturday)! That's only six weeks away! But who's counting?

  7. Jessie- I have a performance of Steel Magnolias that Friday and Saturday night. But beyond that....

  8. I like Elvis. Nice to know his history. Mr. Moon may like to eat chicken but he is a softy at heart. Now if Owen can grasp that he has to sit on the toilet and then flush or stand and pee and then flush, that would be awesome. You are a good grandmother for sure.

  9. Oh, my god. That Owen/Elvis picture.

    I adored this post -- how you described your day with Owen and how different it is to be a grandmother than a mother. But how much you love your children. Well, I guess I won't recount your post. But I loved it.

  10. damn girl.
    i needed this day of yours in the worst way.
    and now i have had just that...
    for your every word took me through the spring air and showed me the warming seeds in the hands of possibilities...
    you did...
    truly you did.
    and i love you for this and oh so much more!


  11. What a gorgeous post :)

    Full of crowsome praise for an egg is lovely :)

  12. I didn't realize that Elvis was the chick Mr. Moon saved. Bless his heart. I dig Elvis!

  13. You are a fun grandma! You're right, sometimes mothers are too busy with the day to day stuff of raising a family to be silly and balance dominoes on their heads.

  14. That picture of Owen standing on the toilet cracked me up.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.