Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Grandmother's House, Grandmother's Life

Once again the house is quiet. Jessie just left to go home to Asheville and after the chaos which has been the atmosphere here for days, the house seems to be sighing.
And waiting.
For the next party or celebration or filming or for Owen to burst into the door and take over the entire space with his shouts, his laughter, his getting-long legs, his toys, his huge glowing presence.

Last night was fine. I cooked up about thirty chicken flautas and made three avocados worth of guacamole, and a pot of pinto beans. The cake was everything a cake should be. Lily and Owen blew out candles

and Owen needed a bath after it was all over.

He actually let me give it to him which was about the first thing he'd had to do with me since the whole Aunt situation began. "Jessie, come!" he would say. Or, "May-May, come on!"

"Can I have a kiss?" I'd ask him.
But he let me bathe him, he did. He was so wired from not-enough-nap and too much cake and too much love and parties that he could barely keep his feet on the ground.

He is a happy little drunk man, that boy. Drunk on life.

But eventually the kitchen was cleaned up as well as the boy and everyone left with kisses galore and I crawled into bed early and read a little bit and fell asleep, determined to wake up and make breakfast for Jessie and Mr. Moon but I overslept and Jessie made the breakfast although I got up in plenty of time to see my husband off to work, my daughter off to Asheville.

It's been so very busy here. I walk in the dining room and can't believe its emptiness. Not only was that the room where the cast and crew gathered for rehearsals this weekend but it was also where a lot of shooting went on. Everything was taken out of there on Sunday and then put back and put to use again last night as we crammed ten people around the table that I've had since May was a baby, the table that my nursing school friends sat around so long ago to study and talk and laugh. The table which has seen so much of my life now.

Quiet. The washing machine does spin and the chickens are talking in the coop about how much they'd love to be let out and the birds chirp and cars go by on the road but besides that- quiet.

No one calling "Action!" no one commanding, "Quiet on the set!" no one singing Happy Birthday, no one saying, "Can I get you anything else from the kitchen?"
No one laughing or talking or complaining loudly about having his face wiped off, no one to worry about having dogs underfoot, no one to reach for one more chicken flauta, no one to ask which of the two ice creams they would like with their cake.
No presents to open, no cards to read, no dishes to clear.

Just quiet.

On top of everything else that has happened in the past five days here that I've talked about, there have been other things. My mother called me Saturday evening to describe what had happened to her that day and without a doubt, she'd had a TIA. I took her to the doctor yesterday and he agreed. Bless his heart, though, he is the kind of doctor who is pretty non-interventive and so he didn't order MRI's or CT scans, just decided she should start taking a baby aspirin every day. If she's having little vascular accidents there is nothing to be done about them anyway. Her blood pressure is under control and so...

And Lis came by on Monday for a hit-and-run coffee chat. She had to bring their dog over to her sister-in-law's for boarding and she had to pick up a computer and she fit in a few minutes to see me and that was wonderful but not nearly enough.

And what else? Oh, you know. Life. Cooking, wrapping presents, grocery shopping, the pedicures, phone calls, chicken tending, dog poop cleaning, laundry. The never-ending, never-ceasing bits of life that make up the mosaic of the whole. The kissing, the going-to-bed, the getting-up and doing it all again.

Even this morning, even now, I've been trying to get this written for over an hour and between one thing and another, I'm still not done. And it's Billy's birthday and I haven't called him yet to wish him a happy birthday and to tell him I love him. And Owen will be here at one to stay for the afternoon.

But. It's quiet. Relatively so. I've gotten some laundry done, made the bed, washed the dishes, taken care of the chickens, talked on the phone, cried when Jessie left, even though she tried to make me laugh.

She did make me laugh. And as Truvy would say, "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion."

There has been a lot of that in this house in the last few days. Laughter through tears.

And I'm tired now and have that little cold but I'm fine and I'm just amazed at how much life this house has held, not just in the past week but ever since we've moved in and god only knows what's happened here in the past 152 years.

A lot. I am pretty sure of that.

Well. I guess I better end this. Try to catch up on things before Owen comes. Try to figure out where my head is.

I know where my heart is.

Right here.

Of that I am sure.

In this small moment of quiet, in this old house which sighs and rests and then accepts, with every one of its seven doors which open to the outside, whatever life wants to enter.


  1. That last sentence you wrote is a real thing of beauty.

    The whole post, in fact, made me happy.

    Thank you and I love you.

  2. Very good. Owen's looking cute as usual :) I'm going to blog soon I promise and say what's happened around here

  3. this is what is real and true. and such poetry here.

  4. Oh, that picture of Owen getting swung is just pure joy, it's perfect. Lovely post! I wish you could be released from the dog shit though. I cleaned up chocolate mousse off the floor yesterday, and ruminated on how it used to be dog diarrhea so often I was cleaning, that looked so similar but smelled so foul and made me retch so much. I am SO glad I don't have to do that any more. Soooo glad.

  5. Ah, that table has stories to tell.
    What a feast of a post, Mrs. Moon.

  6. how utterly delightful....what stories your walls can tell!!

  7. seven doors to the outside. Oh my. when we were looking for a country place, we looked at one old farmhouse that I loved. it also had seven doors to the outside, 3 to the big screened porch on the back, the front door into the entry hall, and best of all, three bedrooms in a row, each with their own door to the front porch. It was pretty much in our price range too but when we drove around the tiny little town, it was just too poor and no commerce at all, surrounded by quarries. so we kept looking. but I still remember that house. I would have loved to live in it.

  8. Elizabeth- I love you too.

    Stephanie- Thank you, love.

    SJ- I'm waiting...

    Angella- Well, it is what it is.

    Jo- That too, is what it is. Owen is starting to really play with the dogs and they are beginning to be a part of his life. And so. Sigh.

    Denise- You ain't kiddin'!

    Young at Heart- I can't even imagine.

    Ellen- Sounds like Lloyd! Except we have no quarries. But we do have a cement plant nearby. And yet- here we are and happy to be.

  9. I bet that old house would have a lot to say if it could talk. I am sure that it likes the laughter and fun, but probably is also glad when all is quiet and the floor joists are not being trod on. Just creaking a bit to stretch and relax.

  10. Thanks for sharing the photos and events with us.

    Happy Birthday to Billy!

    Much love,


  11. DTG- We missed you so much.
    Love you, baby.

    Syd- I think you're right. It's tired. It needs to rest.

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- Billy has been sick and hasn't had the chance to party with us at all. We miss him!


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