Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dear God, it was hard to leave those children this morning.
No, they are not children. They are not. But your children are always children, aren't they? Yes. I think they are. Even if they are adults so let's just face the fact that I am going to call my adult children children and go on from there. Which leads me to realize that we, too, no matter our age, are our parent's children, even if they are gone, and so in some ways, we are all children. Here we are, children dressed up like adults, children pretending to be grown-ups, children who, when we get very old, become more and more child-like again.

Can you tell I'm tired? Can you tell it's been a long day?

But a good one. Yes. A very, very good one.

We had breakfast at the beautiful Greek diner right down the road from Jessie and Vergil's house once more. They already know us, already know that Jessie and Vergil are new to the neighborhood and that they need to keep an eye out for them for us. We sat at the counter and I watched the old Greek guy and the younger Mexican guy stand butt-cheek to butt-cheek, cooking eggs and potatoes and omelets and pancakes and it was like a beautifully choreographed dance. That Mexican guy didn't break one yolk unless the order called for it. He wiped his hands on a towel, he dipped his spatula in the oil, he broke the eggs with one hand, he did not lose concentration for a moment.
There is something so profoundly dignified about doing a job like that so well. There is an art to it, a grace and there are chefs who make foam of sea-urchin eggs for the moneyed and fortunate few and there are cooks who fry eggs to perfection, hundreds of them a day for the simply hungry, and they are all doing God's work, I think, feeding the souls and bellies of us who need to eat.


We hooked up the empty trailer and we collected whatever we had left in Vergil and Jessie's house and we hugged and we kissed and we left.
It was hard.

We did not follow the Google Instructions home but instead, Mr. Moon just looked at the map and said, "We will go here until there and then we shall turn and go there," and it worked a charm. We went down mountain roads so hair-pinned and twisty that I can't even imagine how people live there, and yet, they do. Tiny two-lane roads through the deep Carolina green and if you slide a yard this way or that, you may end up so far down that they would never find you. It was beautiful.

The book I read out loud as we drove, both up and back, is Flotsam and Jetsam by Robb White and it was a joy. I only got through about two hundred pages and there are so many more to go. It's about a man who was born in south Georgia in 1941 and who grew up partly feral in the woods of Georgia and on the coast of North Florida and who spent time in Puerto Rico in his Navy years and who started building boats at the age of ten or so and it's just a splendid telling of a life lived in a magnificent way. Of course, we loved it because it talks about places we know and fishes we know and rivers we know and islands we know and it's well-written and lively. I recommend it highly.
I actually don't know why I'm not completely voiceless, having read for about twelve hours straight today, out loud and as clearly as possible. It made the miles go by quickly for us both, I think.

We stopped many times for coffee and to pee and to eat lunch and then supper. We watched an incredible sunset as we drove and we saw a rainbow, too and we saw great evidence of rain and storms but managed somehow to miss them all, and were blessed with the cool and clean air after the storms had passed.

We drove through Monticello and saw the Murder Mystery going on at the Opera House and we drove on, drove on, always towards home and when we got here, I was so glad. We turned into the yard and unloaded our stuff and I went out to close up the chickens. I counted them and they were all there and I said, "We're home, babies, we're home." The dogs all greeted us, even Pearl, and yes, this week. We must let her go this week.

The house reeked of dog pee and poop- they do not go outside when it rains which it obviously has been (praise the Lord), but we cleaned it up and even though...I was home.
The dirt outside smelled wet and dark and I checked out the garden with the flashlight and Zeke, the littlest dog, seemed to be so glad we were here.

I'm home. We're home. Mr. Moon is sitting in his chair and tomorrow Owen and Lily will come out, I hope, I hope, and this week is going to be hard. My brother White has found a place for my mother to live and she's fighting it and there's going to be a gap in the time between when he leaves to go home to Washington and the time she can move into the place she'll need to be and what are we going to do? and what will we do with her house, her things? and Pearl, yes, she needs to be put down, and oh, my babies. Life is hard.

Yes it is.

But who said it wouldn't be? My mother is a child of her parents, and I am her child and my children, grown as they are, are children, and Pearl is our dog-child and we poor, pitiful humans, we take the journeys we need to take and we take care of each other and sometimes we get frustrated and sometimes we cry and sometimes we get angry and sometimes we just come home and clean up the pee and we are so happy that tomorrow morning we will drink coffee in our own mugs and tonight we shall sleep in our own bed.
Our own bed, here in Lloyd, where the land is flat and the dirt smells like life and the moon is almost full overhead and Zeke will be so glad to be able to sleep with his humans.

When we left this morning, I told Jessie not to forget to play her mandolin. She won't.

That gives me great satisfaction. I think of her and Vergil, playing music together, planning a garden, living their lives and looking into each others faces with delight and wonder. I think of all of my babies (children) and I think of my husband, waiting for me to walk into the house to say, "It's time for bed."

I'm home. Whatever that means, it is a grand, good thing. And it rained today and tomorrow I will see if the beans are blooming, if we have squash making tiny yellow squashes, if we have tomatoes ready to pick.

Oh y'all. I am so glad to be home. Whatever that means. I am glad.


  1. I'm glad that you're home, safe and sound, too. I'm sorry for your tiny bit of sadness at this new life passage -- but I'm glad that you're home.

  2. Another great journey for my dear Mother Mary. And please give Miz Pearl an extra hug for me. We will see her on the other side.

  3. Yay~ Welcome back!

    Happy it all went so well and all the chickens and Pearl were still here to greet youz.

    What is going on with your mom? I knew she was having health issues, but... I didn't realize White came down to move her. If we/I can be of help, say so. I mean it.

  4. Big hug to you. What a gorgeous post.

  5. I know how you feel. Yet, somehow we will get through it all. It just seems at times that it is too much.

  6. My chickadees are 13 and 15 and I can't imagine the day they leave. I have trouble when they go back to school after summer break because I miss them so much! But...your pictures speak volumes. You can tell they are so happy and so in love! How wonderful!

  7. Thank you for posting that precious picture of those precious children. I love them both, and I miss the golden glow of Jessie next door in Aint Liz's house. Oh, I wish them the deepest happiness and love!

  8. There is nothing sweeter than my Love says something similar...."Time for bed?"...such comfort drawn from those dear lines. Because the comfort of someone holding me when my heart hangs heavy or when my heart sings high with joy. I know I am loved.

    Full days for you Mary..full heart...and so life goes on without a pause.

  9. I like to think of Jessie and Vergil, being happy and loving each other and starting their new life together. God bless them.

  10. Dearest Mary, we're all glad your home too. Thinking of you and Pearl xx


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