What a different sort of day it's been and different at every turn than I thought it would be the moment before.
That weather? Hell, it never turned out to do a damn thing. But it was so threatening and the storm advisory so scary that we didn't go to the parade. Luckily, Owen didn't seem to care that much. Bop and I hung out with Lily and Gibson and Owen for awhile and then Bop went and sold a car and Owen had cheese sandwiches and I got to hold that baby and play with my big boy and I was filled with regret and ruefulness that I had believed the weather reports and the sky and the thunder, but it was all right. There will be another parade next year.
Grouper season starts tomorrow and so Mr. Moon made arrangements to go to the island tonight with a friend and thus be able to get up and go fish sincerely and whole-heartedly early in the morning and after we left Lily's we went to the grocery store so he could buy food for the trip including cookies! which we never buy unless we are going to the island and then we came home and he hurried like a demon and got the boat loaded up and the truck, too, and his friend got here and they took off and here I was. Alone.
I tidied the house and washed the dishes and hung a few new bottles that Ms. Fleur gave me on the bottle tree and I took pictures of stuff. I was inspired by Yolie although she is an artist and has that artist eye and I most definitely do not. But sometimes, when I am here by myself, I find myself falling in love with my house in a way that is completely pure. I can enjoy it without having to defend it and the tacky way I "decorate" and so here are a few things I look at every day. A few things I love.
Under my stairway there is a tiny closet where I keep my yarn and my wrapping paper and which reveals the bare guts of how the house was built inside it. The raw wood, hand cut from trees over a hundred and fifty years ago, the plaster. I've hung a calender on the door of it which we got in Cozumel, of an extremely stylized Mexican family. This is one of the places in my house which makes me the happiest to look at. I have no idea why but it does.
Here's a Frida print that Kerry gave me, framed entirely inappropriately by a wooden frame my husband found at the trash place. I love it. The lights which bracket it were my grandfather's. They were always and forever until he died, on his dresser.
Ah. Tiny plastic baby. Probably the kind you'd find in a King's Cake, wrapped in a little square of flannel. This was a prop made by my friend Denise for Steel Magnolias. It hangs from the handle of a Goodwill silver-plated pitcher. You could live here for a year and never notice it, that little plastic baby Jesus.
This is a Goodwill picture framed in a frame which was one of my sister-in-law's, Dee Ann. The crocheted piece is probably from Goodwill as well. I'm not sure. But it's too pretty not to hang.
When Dee Ann died, she left behind a bag of vintage handkerchiefs. This is one of them. I have it pinned to the kitchen hutch.
A few of my spices in an old Coke crate, turned up on its side in the corner of my kitchen cabinet beside my stove. And potholders.
A bit of what is on top of my stove. A mermaid, a seashell. Another seashell.
A magnet on my refrigerator. I really want to give this to someone I love but I am afraid she might take it the wrong way. But...she probably wouldn't. She would probably love it. I should just gird my big-girl-panty-loins and send it to her.
Stuff on top of my kitchen hutch. A rooster-pitcher that May gave me. Bless Our Hearts magnets from Bethany. Dried oak leaf hydrangea in a vase that Lily gave me. Crazy vintage angel and canister from a junk store. Etc.
More Frida, some Diego, the reflection into the kitchen and the hallway.
So I took all of these pictures and I watered all of my porch plants and I sat down and wrote on a thing I've been working on a little bit. Maybe a book. Maybe just another good start with nowhere to go. Who knows? Not me. But it went so well, so easily that when Mr. Moon called to tell me he was safely on the island and already unloaded and catching bait, I was startled. I thought he'd just left a few moments ago.
I love that magic, when it happens. I wish I gave myself the joy of it more often. I know I'm never going to write the Great American Novel but perhaps, if I tried, I could write the Great Lloyd Novel. Maybe?
And now my rice is cooked and the broccoli is cut and in the steamer ready for the burner to be turned on beneath it and I have rock shrimp thawing. I think I will make a spicy mustard sauce to enfold those shrimps in. I have shut the big chickens up and checked on the baby ones. They are growing so fast. They stretch their little wings out and I can see the real feathers already forming. They peep in their tiny high voices and every time I kill a mosquito I take it to them and they gobble it up. I have already seen one of them catch and kill a moth.
Look: My life is not perfect and I am so far from perfect but I know with all of my heart and soul that within all of it, there are perfect moments and my heart's desire is to recognize and register them. The smell of the garden when I go out to turn off the sprinklers. The way my newest grandson looks when he yawns. The happiness on the face of my husband when he is headed to the coast to fish. My daughter when she gets a kiss from Owen. The way I feel when I sit down to write words that form a story that I didn't know I knew. To look up into the evening sky and see the first star.
This is what matters to me. To know that perfection does not require being perfect. To know that the smell of dirt is as ethereal and holy as any incense made. To recognize the miraculous in the simplest things. To love what I have and feel no need for more except...more. Of it all.
All right. That's enough.