As you can see, Monkey Woman is coming right along. I'm working on eyebrows and eyelashes right now. The poor thing is a perfectionist's nightmare. She is lumpy and uneven and things are mismatched which should be matched, like arms and ears, and her cap is completely out of line and I'm just going to say that she is coquettish. She still needs a heart tattoo and maybe nostrils and also a little dress and perhaps I can get all of those things done by tomorrow afternoon when we are going over to Lily's house for the birthday party. When I was cleaning up things, I found three very large rectangles which I had knitted, two of which were supposed to be for a poncho which no one would ever wear, but I am thinking about making a blanket out of one of them for the Coquette Monkey. Maggie will not judge it and it is soft.
So that's what I spent a good deal of the day doing but I also had to go to Publix and when I got in the car I realized I hadn't left Lloyd since Tuesday and truthfully, it would not have bothered me to stay home another day. I am getting ridiculous in my hermit-like ways but somehow this cold weather just makes me even more inclined to stay home. I need to at least get out and walk though. Lord, I haven't had a walk in over two weeks. It is supposed to warm up some tomorrow and tomorrow night's temperatures should be above freezing. There is still a patch of icy snow in the shadow of the garage and it will be nice to feel the sun give us some real warmth again.
All of this cold weather has reminded me of the winter of 1976 when Hank was just a baby and my then-husband and I and a very good friend moved in to a little cabin not too far away from here. It snowed the day we moved and we had a wood stove for heat and you could see the outside from the cracks in the floors and the walls and we did not have running water. There were a few fireplaces but when we lit the one in our bedroom, we realized that all that did was to pull the cold air from the leaky walls and windows causing it to rush into the room with frigid ferocity and we did not make that mistake again.
Oh, we were cold. The woman who had lived there before us gave me her thermal underwear when she brought us the key because she knew I would need it. I am not sure how we survived but we did and I am the better for the experience and I remember sitting on the front steps one day and feeling the warmth of the sun on my face and how good that felt. It was as if I could begin to thaw and unfold under that gentle warmth and it was beautiful.
Hank took his first steps in that house, said his first words in that house.
It was truly a rough place to live but there was beauty in it. I remember I had made some shelves with bricks and boards, as one does, and set on them a large split-leaf philodendron in a pot and a gallon apple jug that I'd cleaned out and put gravel and water plants and water and a snail and some gold fish in and those things were beautiful when the sun shone through the window above them.
And now here I am, in an even older house, but one that was built by a family with far more money, obviously. The cold air does come in through leaky windows and doors but not walls or floors. They are sturdy and well built and I am grateful for them every day, just as I am grateful for the central heat and air and the resources to buy the propane we need to heat with and the bathrooms with running water, both hot and cold. Oh! The absolute luxury!
So. That's my little time trip tonight. I'm about to go heat up the soup I made last night which was absolutely amazingly delicious. It's a chicken and coconut milk and ginger and lemon grass soup with garden greens and green beans and a little corn and onions and garlic and hot red peppers and lime juice and carrots too. I threw in some frozen dumplings from the Costco and I was so afraid that Mr. Moon wouldn't like it because he's not really a huge fan of those flavors (or at least he says he isn't) but he loved it and I am glad I made enough for two meals.
Another thing I'm thinking of tonight is Maggie's birth which happened so fast once it really, really got started and how my Owen had broken his arm and had a new cast on and he and his Boppy sat out in the living room together (Gibson was at the Darling Lenore's house) and waited until Ms. Magnolia made her entrance into the world and then came in to see her. Owen loved her so much. He'd been waiting for her his entire life. Remember?
And do you also remember Lily looking at Magnolia and saying, "She doesn't have any eyebrows!" and Jason saying, "She'll get one"?
And she has.
And Owen saying, "Tonight is the first night my sister will be sleeping outside of Mommy's tummy"?
Oh, the sweetness.
And today I heard that same child when I was talking to her mother on the phone and she said, "Mommy! Change my diaper!"
I think she may be ready to potty train.
I hope she likes her Monkey Woman. I sure do like Magnolia, the Woman Baby. She's not exactly a baby anymore but she'll always be our baby.