The pine cone lilies have acquired enough scarlet to them to cut a few and bring them into the house to put in the hallway.
"Peekaboo!" says the little boy angel on whom the Virgin of Guadalupe stands. Or hovers. Or whatever she does.
I got a text from Jessie this morning saying that August had gotten his backpack out, put his own shorts on and was putting his shoes on and was saying he was going to come to see me and that she was pretty sure he had a tiny car hidden somewhere that he was going to drive out to Lloyd.
I told her that she herself had better drive him and so she did but before they got here, the guy whom we've hired to crawl under the house (I've been there and you don't want to go) to fix the ductwork for the AC arrived. We've known for awhile that there was the possibility that some of the ductwork had gone awry due to animal mischief. The Glen Den is always about ten degrees warmer than the rest of the house AND we've heard the vent rattling in there in a disturbing fashion. Although Mr. Moon did put up skirting around the entire house when we moved in here, nothing is going to stop armadillos from digging under it and rats and mice just wedge their bodies here and there and everywhere and according to the duct guy, it would appear that these things have happened. Some of the ducts had actually been dragged far away from their vents and almost all of the insulation has been torn off for nest-building properties.
Too much nature.
Too much fucking nature.
He fixed what he could and is coming back to fix the rest and Jessie was here when he explained it all to me using terms like, Number six into number seven and hard-pipe and I tried to keep an intelligent look upon my face and nod when it seemed most appropriate.
"Would you like to talk to Glen about this?" I asked him.
"Yeah, I'll call him," the guy said.
So we've been providing rodents, both shelled and unshelled with nesting material and delicious cool air in a protected place for them to raise their little babies in safety and comfort and that's about to end.
They have been served notice.
But August and Levon were very glad to be here and Jessie too, I think, and August wanted me to show him how my sewing machine worked and so I did. I cut out and stitched up and we stuffed a little heart pillow for him from some of the scraps of his fox dress and sewed a button on it. He operated the light switch on the old Singer for me and put the pins in the pin cushion. He had asked where Old Boppy was when he got here and I told him that Old Boppy was at work. I asked him if I was old Mer and he said I was. Recently he's been asking Jessie about death and dying which I think he's a bit young to even contemplate but you can't stop a kid from thinking about the Big Questions due to age because he or she is just going to start doing it when he or she does it. Of course when Jessie talked to him about death she had to reassure him that he won't die for a very, very long time because he is so very young which led to the discussion of how old people are the ones who die and now he's realized that Mer and Bop are rather old and we'll be next up on the Big Wheel of Death.
As you may recall, Gibson was fairly obsessed with this fact recently and discussed it endlessly.
"Mer. How old will you be when I am in high school? Oh. You'll probably be dead by then."
And so forth.
I am fairly well inured to the idea that my grandchildren anticipate my death at any time because I am older than anyone else they know on a personal basis and that is okay with me.
August also asked me today if I had ever met his great-grandmother, meaning in this case, his daddy's grandmother and I said that I had.
"How old was I?" he asked.
"You weren't even born yet!" I said.
Lord, these are complex issues, you know?
Where are we before we are born and where do we go when we die?
These are the questions which are so universal to our species that almost all of the religions have been invented to try and answer them and good luck with that.
But we did not really discuss the great theoretical and philosophic and spiritual issues surrounding birth and death today but instead decided to get our lunch at a little place about five miles down the road called The Hilltop where I haven't been in forever and I don't know why. For once I had no leftovers at my house to speak of and we decided to make it an adventure and so we did.
This place is so awesome. It's a convenience store in that they sell a few groceries and beer and things like that but mostly they sell already cooked food which you can take with you or eat on a picnic table out back. I think they also have an air-conditioned dining room behind the picnic tables but I've never even opened that door. It's one of those places that Anthony Bourdain might have liked. The menu is really huge for such a small place. Here's ONE of them.
Check out that kids' menu!
There's also this one.
And this one.
And the prices are very, very decent as you can see.
Just in case you might wonder what some of those sides and the desserts look like, I took this picture.
Jessie got the fish and shrimp dinner with fried okra and field peas and I got a Cuban sandwich with fried green tomatoes.
"Would you like some ranch dressing with the tomatoes?" asked one of the ladies behind the counter. "Or some of our homemade remoulade sauce?"
"Uh, homemade remoulade sauce, please," I said.
We ate at one of the picnic tables and the three ladies behind us were having a discussion so interesting that Jessie and I didn't say much beyond, "Try this shrimp." As Jessie said after they left, "The inflight entertainment was great!"
And it was.
So was the food.
I brought home half my sandwich and some of Jessie's okra and field peas and we were all happy as little cats who'd sipped bowls of cream when we left.
When we got home, August wanted to go play on Boppy's tractor which he's recently brought home from the hunting camp. It doesn't run at the moment but it's a beautiful old thing and children are drawn to it without exception.
August wanted to pretend drive it and fix it and asked questions about how Boppy's going to fix it and what this thing is for and what that thing is for and Levon was just happy.
So it was a beautiful visit and we checked on Miss Darla who's still sitting on those eggs and probably will be for three weeks. This morning I saw that she'd gotten off the nest and that Dottie was laying another one for her to tend.
The origins of daycare? Surrogate motherhood?
Who knows? I put a waterer in the nest so that the little mama can have sips.
I see that Bill Cosby's been sentenced to some prison time. I doubt he'll serve much of it but just the fact that he got any at all is good. And yet, at the same time I am again triggered as a beloved icon has proven to be capable of such grotesque behavior and was able to get away with it for so many years. The Kavanaugh thing continues and my stomach continues to roil. Every woman who steps forward to name and call to account a molester triggers the memories of thousands of those of us who did not. Tens of thousands? Millions?
Every woman ever born, most likely.
We all have and/or had our reasons and that alone could be the subject of tens of thousands of blog posts. Or maybe millions.
But I think that shame is probably a factor in a great deal of the silence and every time a woman comes forward and refuses to take the shame upon herself for one more second as she hands it over to the person who deserves it and who has never claimed it, there is less shame for women. And there is a much greater possibility that a sister, a mother, a daughter, a grandmother, an aunt, a neighbor, a coworker, a lover, a wife, a WOMAN will step forward and unburden herself too.
Can you imagine what would happen if all of us did that? If the message that this is unacceptable was so strong and became so apparent that even girls could step forward and report without fear?
And most important of all- that the men who commit these acts were punished in a court of law?
Or at the very least, denied employment even unto the highest offices of the land?
No. I can't either.
But we can hope.
And here are two pictures of my granddaughter who, in a perfect world, will grow up to never know what it feels like to have to tuck any experience into a dark place which has the power to hurt her forever.
We were all that beautiful, strong, joyful, amazing child once. Every one of us. She is still there inside of us, living life on her own terms no matter what.
Magnolia June- don't ever, EVER stop owning your own body, your own truth, your own reality. That is my wish for you, even after I am long gone.
All love...Ms. Moon