Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Scattered Prayers Of This Fine Life

When Owen got here yesterday afternoon I was ready to plant. I'd spent a silly amount of money buying annuals and why do we do that? Because we want to. Because we need that color, that potted joy scattered here and there among the native plants that we have so tenderly transferred to our yards from woods and nurseries.

It's like, oh, lace curtains in a log cabin, I think. Something like that. Frivolous but beautiful.

So Mr. Moon and I put a hat on the boy and then we went outside and while Mr. Moon went to run an errand, I began to stick flowers in the ground and the log which didn't interest Owen in the least so I got him the hose and if there's anything that makes a young child happier than a hose and a grandmother who will let him do as he will with it, I've yet to see it.
In five minutes he was soaking wet and watering everything in the yard including the tires on the car. He was so happy.

He watered the little pot of petunias for about five minutes. I think they are well hydrated now.

After I finished planting the log, I showed Owen how to make a spray with the hose, using my thumb. You'd have thought I gave him a BRAND NEW CAR! He was that gleeful and delighted.

When it was time to go back inside, I stripped him naked and hosed him off one more time because he'd collected quite a bit of dirt and oak tassels on his adventures in watering. He was quite gleeful to be naked too, as he had been about the watering.

Let me just say that almost everything interests Owen and he finds joy in most situations. Perhaps more so than any child I've ever met. This is not a grandmother-bragging thing. It's just an observation.

Anyway, Kerry got to the house while Owen was still here and so there we were- Mr. Moon and Kerry and Owen and Grandmother, and that was something. This friend of mine I've known for forty years and we were just kids when we met and here we were with my grandchild and he talked about his grandchildren and instead of being a redhead he's got beautiful white hair now and instead of being a blond, I am temporarily a redhead and it was so funny.
Who could have known?
Not me, baby. Not me.

Owen's papa came to collect him and we got ready to go to supper. We were meeting a group of people that work or volunteer for the Guardian Ad Litem program in Polk County, which is why Kerry's in town- it's time to go present their case to the government- and so I had about ten minutes to change from Cracker Grandmother to Girl Going Out With Two Handsome men and I did my best but...

Well, at least I didn't smell of baby pee any more.

Jessie and Vergil met us at the restaurant and it was his last night here and again, it was just so precious to me to have Kerry there with us, to meet Vergil, to get to know Jessie a little bit better. I wish all my kids had been there.

We ate and drank and oh, I don't know. It was somehow a miracle to me. You know how sometimes your heart just almost explodes with it all? I couldn't look at one of those people at the table without crying a little bit. I know. I cry too much. Too damn much.

There was talk after dinner about going out somewhere but I said, "Hell, let's just go home," and that's what we did and we sat on the porch for awhile and Kerry and I got to talk some and he said the sweetest things about me. I cried again and it was like he'd shined a light on this little life I lead and called it art and all sorts of fancy things but mostly, it was just him saying that I'm doing all right, that this place I love, this life I lead, truly is something, not just a dream I'm having. I looked in those eyes that I've known for all these years and he was telling me the truth and it was good.

We turned in early. Mr. Moon was getting up at dawn to go hunt turkeys and Kerry was getting up early to go to the Capitol and I wasn't getting up early at all but I do love to sleep and the day had already held more than I could contain.

When I got in bed I told my husband how much I love him and he said, "Because I let you visit with your old boyfriend?" and I said, "Yes, but also for filling in that log with dirt and for living this life with me and for doing everything you do and for letting me do what I love to do and for being the best grandfather in the world."

It was that kind of night.
And hell, I'm crying again.
Shit. I'm such a wussy.

Here's the blueberry blossoms. My blueberries are like bonsai plants, that tiny, but we may get a handful of goodness out of them this year. Enough for Owen to have a good taste.

Some of my newly potted plants on the back porch steps.

I think we might actually get a few figs this year.

A corner of my porch with the winter-weary plants back outside, drinking in the sun, this good spring air, the water that Owen and I give them.

And one more porch- the kitchen porch, with a geranium in a pot and a seashell stuck in that I found at the island when we were there a few weeks ago. I put it there to hopefully dissuade the chickens from pecking the roots out.

It's not art. It's practicality. And it's sort of pretty too.

I guess that about sums it up.

I will say that I'm sorry Elizabeth Taylor died. She sure was a pair of bright white lace curtains in this log cabin world of ours. Perfect beauty when she was young, violet eyes and a bosom which invited the presence of the biggest and most lovely jewels in this world to sit upon it, and even they couldn't outshine her light.

If I believed in such things, I'd say she and Richard Burton are up there in heaven, making up for lost time, burning for each other like the surface of the sun.

Well. I better go hang the clothes on the line.

And one more thing- Vergil- if you're reading this, come back soon.
It's not fair for you to come and tuck yourself in our hearts like that and then leave.

I mean it.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. From one wussy to another. Your post gave me the weepies in a good way. The flower log is wonderful. A boy and a hose is a beautiful thing. Old friends, new family, comings and goings, all good. Thanks for sharing it all.
    I'm sad to see Liz gone too, she was something.
    Have a great day.

  2. I want to play in the hose with Owen.

  3. Ms Mary Moon this is how Dakota spent Springs as he grew up- playing and planting and watering with my mom. They are so close!

  4. She was so beautiful. I hope that she has found some peace now. We do annuals every year as well. Getting time to plant them here too.

  5. I'm gleeful to be naked, too, it's just that nobody wants to see that shit at my age.

  6. I also meant to say I like the flowers in the log. Looks great!

  7. Gettin' all weepy at my desk here at my wonderful library job.

    I'm so glad I found your writing and your photographs.

    And what a lovely goodbye to glorious Elizabeth.

    --the Indextronaute

    (P.S. My captcha word today is ARTIZI. How magical.)

  8. Mel- Boys and hoses. Mmmmm. But girls like them too!

    DTG- What's stopping you? I'll let you play too.

    Maggie May- And Dakota is a lucky boy and his grandmother is a lucky woman.

    Syd- You're right about Liz. She was something very, very special and was so filled with life force.

  9. Dear Mary, I need Owen over here to help me with some gardening! You put me to shame with you planting.

    I love your line about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. I wish I believed in such things too. Sending love to you xx

  10. "almost everything interests Owen and he finds joy in most situations. This is not a grandmother-bragging thing."

    It's a righteously grandmother-facilitated thing, though!

  11. My dear, I second your comment about Vergil: he is a dreamboat. And so is Mr. Moon. Will you tell him for me that I saw 6 turkeys on my way to work yesterday morning and thought of him and a blakc powder rifle, and about that time, the rooster turkey puffed out his tail feathers like a peacock and all the hens admired him, rather like Mr. Moon does you. Love you.

  12. You've got love comin' and goin' in this post today, Mary, Crazy Love. Thanks for sharing it here. x0 N2

  13. it is always always an honour and a blessing to read here.
    thank you.

    and maybe the next time Owen can paint the fence etc ( with water ) ... oh the memories.:)

  14. Christina- Oh honey- your post about Elizabeth was amazing. Those pictures! Those quotes.
    Don't we all wish we believed in heaven? Hell. This is it. Let's live in it.

    A- He's that way with everyone, every where. Not just with me. I promise you. We're lucky.

    Angie C- I told him. He was jealous.

    N2- Crazy Love. That could be the title of my autobiography. Thanks.

    deb- That boy can paint anything he wants. Maybe tomorrow. We'll see. Adventures await us!

  15. It's so moving to see the way Owen is loved. His spirit is so radiant and whole. A wonderful post.

  16. I always cry too much. It makes the load I carry on my shoulders somehow lighter afterwards.

  17. Thank you for sharing your day and all the beauty it contained.
    I sat here for 10 minutes just staring at the plants and blue skies. I needed that!
    The log looks beautiful now...I imagine it will be glorious as the season progresses.

  18. Sounds like a full and complete day.

    Sweet dreams.


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