Saturday, October 31, 2020


This was Levon at the beach yesterday. He sat in that chair and just watched the water and listened to music and thought his thoughts for a very long time. Boppy was a few yards away, fishing in the surf, his mama and brother were in the water, and I was sitting a few feet away from him, reading my book and feeling a sort of peace and contentment that I've not felt in a very long time. 

This has been the mellowest of vacations, of beach stays. We follow the schedule of August and Levon and weave our activities around them. There are meals and teeth-brushing and TV and stories and bike riding and chalk drawing, sand castle building and trackhoeing and picture-making and many, many conversations about trackhoes and magical inventions and whatever comes up to talk about. There is coffee going half the day and there is rum and pineapple juice at sunset time and every now and then a shot of tequila because...well. Of course. There are boys in the bathtub and naked boys running around the house and pajamas and and there is laundry. 
Because...of course. 

Tequila and laundry. They go surprisingly well together.

It is sweet and easy and we watch the seagulls and pelicans and the gulf fritillaries fly, sometimes solo, sometimes in pairs, and sometimes rising in a miniature whirlwind of three together, twisting and floating up into the sky. We pick sandspurs out of little boy feet and we get stern at bedtime, sometimes, and other times all it takes is a little back-rubbing and slumber comes. 

I am amazed at how smart these boys are sometimes. Last night we read The Frog Prince from a book of fairy tales and Levon said, "This story is funny and scary."
And it was. 
If I read something that August doesn't quite understand he says, "Why you fink?" I love that he says "fink" instead of "think." He's my little cockney lad. 

There has been so much cuddling and kisses, too. Sometimes begrudgingly accepted, sometimes sweetly given. Jessie and her father giggle all day long. Fart jokes abound. Brushed teeth must be inspected and described as "Perfect!" Clean hands, too. Jessie is far better at hygiene than I ever was as a mother. She is far better at a great deal of this mothering thing than I ever was. Her patience is astounding and her boys are joyful and loving and polite. When we played Go Fish the other day, August would say, "If you have any twos, can I please have one?" Levon however, has indeed grasped the spirit of the game and from Boppy's lap would say, "GO FISH!" 

We've had pancakes twice. Shrimp twice. We got pizza one night and yesterday we went to a playground and the sky was so blue that it was like the dreamy dream of a blue sky. 

And the sea did indeed lay down. 

After the playground Boppy took the boys, and Jessie and I went and had lunch at a place by the bay where we sat outside at a picnic table and ate oysters and a shrimp wrap and then we shopped a little and bought hoodies for her and Boppy because they didn't bring warm clothes and we got tie-dyed T-shirts for the boys. In one shop which we walked into and thought, "Nope, nothing here for us," Jessie found the prettiest flowery, flowy wrap dress, a frock, a fairy tale in itself of a dress. Half price. 

We masked and felt okay about it all. It was the first time I'd eaten at a restaurant, the first anything-but-grocery-shopping I'd done since March. Except for that one fraught trip to Joanne's fabrics. When we got back to the house, Levon was asleep on the couch, August happy to have his Bop to himself. 

This morning there is pumpkin carving. 

To no one's surprise, this is going to be a trackhoe pumpkin.

I think I'll go take a little walk. It is neither hot nor chilly. It is perfect and the gulf is moving just enough to play its hypnotic shushy song. And then maybe there will be more of this.


Tomorrow we leave this dream. It's passed like one deep sigh in sleep. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Then I Watch 'Em Roll Way Out Again

If any of you have ever been to this area of Florida, you get the "Tates Helles" reference. If you don't and are interested, just google Tate's Hell and see what you find. 

This is such a gentle, laid-back vacation. The boys of course necessarily inform our days and evenings as much as the weather does. And they have been mostly sweet even if the weather was wild and it seems that the weather too is beginning to calm down. As Mr. Moon says, "Tomorrow maybe the seas will lay down."

We went to Apalachicola today just to drive around and stop at the Big Pig which I have now declared as the most depressing grocery store in the world. If I lived in Apalach, I'd drive to the Little Pig to shop. I swear. But who cares? We're at the beach. 

Absolutely unlimited amounts of dirt to move and shape and mold and build with. An ocean full of water to haul to mix with the sand to create dream castles. 

I'm making Slothy a blanket. 

Slothy is August's stuffed sloth whom he sleeps with. Last night he told me, "Slothy brings me comfort."

Two days ago he said, "Boppy lets us watch TV. Mer wipes butts."

I feel so incredibly lucky. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Watching The Waves Come In

 The waves and wind are both high but nothing dangerous to us unless we decided to take a swim which so far, we have not been tempted to do. We're just rolling with whatever happens, enjoying it all. 

I took a little walk this morning. 

Beach morning glory.

Dancing waves with white petticoats.

Some kind of critter egg casing. Possibly whelk although I've never seen an orange one before. Let us hope this is no omen.

Two jellyfish blobs. 

This one reminded me of a giant diamond, shining in the morning sun. I assume it fell from a mermaid's tiara and got washed up on beach with the storm's tide. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Beach Report

 This is what the ocean and sky looked like yesterday morning. A little scary. But as the day progressed the sky lightened up but the ocean continued to be crashy and bashy and it's even more so today although it's bright and sunny. What we're sort of dealing with is this. 

And although it's almost certain that we're not going to get the brunt of the hurricane, we will be getting some of its rain and wind and uh, possible storm surge. In the completely-understandable-to-meterologists but absolutely-mystical-and-magical-to-me way of these things, the full moon on Saturday is going to add to the power of the water and pull that roiling, rushing sheet of it up to cover a lot more land than it even normally would and that will probably include the land right here under this house.
That was a tortured paragraph. 
But we're thinking that we're going to stay although we're watching things closely and I assume that if the realty company thinks we'll be in danger they'll let us know. 
One hopes.
Frankly I hope we don't have to leave now because we have too much food here to haul home in the three vehicles we have. I'm not even kidding. 
And yes, we are having a wonderful time. 
Ten minutes after Jessie got here this was happening. 

This child is obsessed. We were talking about earrings yesterday and I asked the boys if they were going to get earrings when they got big like Owen. They said yes, they were and Levon said he was going to get track-hoe earrings. Pink track-hoe earrings. Or maybe pink dump truck earrings. 
Okay. More pictures. 

We are having such feasts. 
The boys are keeping us highly amused. 

Yes. I do realize that the one on the bike is not wearing a helmet while the artist is. Things change fast around here and I'm not just talking about the weather. That's an entire village that August has drawn. There are houses for him, Levon, Boppy, Mer, Mama, and Daddy. 

They say the funniest things. They get wild at bedtime. Last night I asked if anyone wanted to brush my hair. August, perched on the back of the couch, said, "Definitely not me." 
But then, in a little while, he got my hairbrush and brushed my hair so sweetly. I was astounded. And delighted.

I took a halfway decent walk yesterday although it wasn't easy. The wind was blowing like hell and the sand was soft but it was beautiful. I love walking past the houses and choosing the ones I'd live in and ones I'd DEFINITELY NOT! 

I think this would be a fine house to live in. But truthfully, I'd probably be just as happy if not more so, living in this one. 

To be honest, if anyone gave me ANY beach house I'd gladly live in it. 

Here's what the ocean looks like right now. 

The water really doesn't look that dark. Just a function of light and shadow...

It's so nice to be here. I wish the whole family could be with us. One of these days, I swear. One of these days. 

I'm mostly aware of what's going on in the world but it's like watching the goings-on from another planet and for right this second, that is fine with me. There is plenty enough going on right here to keep me happy. 

I hope all is well with y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, October 26, 2020


There's my sweetie, setting up to fish at sunset. We've had a very laid-back day, doing this, doing that, taking a nap and being lazy. It's been lovely. Jessie and the boys will be here in about twenty minutes and we're excited. I know she'll be glad to get here. Getting two boys ready for almost a week at the beach is no easy task and she's had to do it by herself. I've already got a supper simmering on the stove so that's out of the way, and we're ready. 

I just want to say that I'm not sure how much I'll be posting or even when. Oh, I will be posting. You know me. But it may be twice a day and it may be just a few pictures once a day. If there's one thing I want to do this week, it's to bust out of my rut a little bit and try to be more spontaneous. 

August and Levon should help with that. 

I'll be reading your posts but I may or may not be commenting. But I'm still here. I promise.

Sure is beautiful, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Here We Are

 That's the view from our little rental house which is a little jewel and a gem and has decent kitchen stuff and plenty of room. After a long, hard day of packing and getting ready to hit the road, we made it just in time to stop by the Little Pig and get some things and arrive at the house, unload, and be on the beach by sunset. 

I cannot believe how beautiful it is. I had forgotten how much I need the beach. As I type this, I am sitting on a porch, listening to the waves as they hit the shore, a slap and then a hiss. I am making our anniversary supper which is going to be hamburgers, oven-fried onion rings, and salt baked baby potatoes. 

The Little Pig has everything you might need up to and including organic capers. 

Remember when I was stressing out about packing and leaving Lloyd and all of that and said that I knew that there would be at least one moment when I was here when I would think, I never want to leave?
Already there. 

Happy anniversary to us. 

Of course there is a storm building up strength down near the Yucatan and heading north. 
Oh well. This is life in Paradise. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, October 24, 2020

She Breaks, Just Like A Little Girl

 Months ago I planted the contents of one small pot of marigolds into the ground and somehow, by some miracle it has spread to cover at least a six by six foot space and until just a week or so ago, the marigolds did not bloom at all, just grew bigger and stronger leaves until suddenly- kaboom! Here they came and I am calling it my Day of the Dead flower garden. Perhaps they were just waiting until they would be ready for November 1. Perhaps they are Mexican marigolds. Perhaps they will call forth the souls of our beloveds who have gone on ahead. 

My thoughts have been a bit dreary today. Not too dreary but this morning's dreams were beyond disturbing and it's always so hard to shake that mess. And then, something happened that broke my heart in every way that a heart can be broken. And it wasn't even a bad thing. Just something that I never, in my entire life, thought I'd do. 

Lily, knowing that we're leaving tomorrow texted to see if I wanted a visit from her and the children and of course I did. They came over and when they first got here she said, "Get a sheet so we can hug you through it." And I thought to myself- Never. I will never stoop to hugging through a sheet. That is the most absurd thing I've ever heard."

Things moved on. Maggie found six eggs. She fed leaves to the goats next door. 

She desperately wanted to get into the pen so that she could pet them but alas, she could not. She did get to pet one of them on the head who licked her hand and that thrilled her. I'm not sure I've ever seen a child so undaunted by animals and insects as Maggie although Maurice scares the dickens out of her which shows she's smart. I love the woman baby's pink pants and hot pink boots. 
She showed us her child-strong tablet that she'd gotten from the library, loaded with learning games. How cool! How wonderful! Is there anything better than a library? 

We settled around the table in the back yard to chat after I got Magnolia the farm for her to play with on the steps. I passed out our fancy fans for keeping cool and deterring mosquitoes from our faces. 

It was not too hot and the bugs weren't so bad and it was pleasant. The boys told us about how school is going. Gibson is getting all A's except for one B and Owen is doing pretty well too although I did not get the breakdown of his grades. Here's a picture that Lily sent yesterday of him doing his digital learning with Dottie on his shoulder.

How nice to be able to have your pet with you in school! I love that. 

Anyway, our visit was a good one and I told Owen my plan that when he is sixteen he will move in with us and he can help Boppy restore the old pick-up that he's been promised and can help us out. I think that in five years we might appreciate a little young-man strength around here. It's a sweet dream, anyway. I promised that I would cook for him. 

And then, it was time for them to leave. Magnolia had borrowed a baby doll and settled it on her hip the same way I always carried my babies.  

She was so happy. 
They were getting into the car when I said, "Stop! Wait! I'm going to go get a sheet."
And I by god did. 
We made it like a joke, you know, to hug through a sheet. 
But it wasn't a joke for me or for Glen or for Lily. I hugged Owen first. He's almost as tall as I am now and as I put my arms around him, draped like a tricker-or-treater in his mama's sheet to be a ghost, I almost couldn't stand it. Yes. A sheet was separating us but I could feel him and his warmth. And tears came to my eyes. Then his grandfather hugged him. 

And I began to cry in earnest. Lily and the children wore masks as did Mr. Moon, as you can see. I didn't. I'm to the point where I really do not care but Lily won't let me get away with that. They are all exposed to their loved ones who deal with the public daily. And then I hugged Maggie and she hugged back hard and giggled and giggled and her Boppy had his turn and then we hugged Gibson and I told him, "Hug me back" and he did and he's so strong and so my Gibson and I kissed them and kissed them all over and over and then it was Lily's turn to drape the sheet over her and I cried so much. She did too. 

And like I said- it broke my heart even as it was the best thing ever or at least in all these months and it could not have been more absurd and it could not have been anything that I ever, in my entire life would have predicted doing. 

They all piled in the car then for real as I held the folded sheet and Maggie asked if she could buckle in her doll and I said of course. I asked her what she was going to call her and she asked what I thought. "Tina?" I asked. I suppose I was thinking of Eggy Tina. 
"I like cool names," she said. 
"Is Tina a cool name?" I asked. 
"No. I mean, her name is Cool." 
And thus, they drove away, Owen and Gibson and Maggie and Lily and Baby Cool all strapped in and as they left they yelled, "We love you!" and I cried some more and I'm crying now. 

What strange times. 

Well. Tomorrow Mr. Moon and I will have been married for thirty-six years. We were only thirty when we married so yes, we've been married to each other for over half our lives. I think back on how it was when we married. We were not babies. I'd had two babies. But we were still so young. I was so messed up in my mind and emotions but despite that, despite everything, my heart told me with no uncertainty that this was the man. There was nothing about him that I needed to fix or change. He was fine the way he was. Loving and strong, kind and good. Funny and upright and just enough of an outlaw to satisfy my bad-girl soul. And of course, beautiful. 
I did have second thoughts when he told me right after we were married that one day he'd really like to raise some beef cows. 
"What have I done?" I thought. 
Of course now the idea of raising beef cows is far from the worst thing that I can contemplate a husband doing and of course we have both changed over the years. I'm not nearly as crazy and he's...well, actually, he hasn't changed that much. He's still exactly who he was and I would marry him again every day of my life. 
My heart was completely and utterly right and I am so glad I listened to it. 

Here's a picture that came up on my Facebook memories today. This was ten years ago and we were in Roseland on the dock of that magical place we stay on the bank of the Sebastian River, my childhood heart's salvation, the fertile Nile of my imagination and wonder. 

Maybe he'll take his cast net with us to St. George. I still love to watch him throw it. 

Peace, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, October 23, 2020

The Church Of The Dirt And The Day And The Hymns Thereof

 Oh, if only every day could be as sweet as this one has been. And there has been nothing crazy wild about it, it's all just been simple and good and even as I write this, it is raining and the smell of it, the cool feel of the air are intoxicating and the sound of it is a song of love to the earth. 

I've been thinking about songs all day. Love songs, mostly. The love song of the rooster to himself and to the day and to his hens, the love song of us humans as we keen, the love song of the hens as they go about their busyness, their scratching, their laying, their murmured songs of conversation all day long, sometimes asking questions of each other, sometimes just singing gossip. 

Everything has a song. Almost everything has a love song. The moon's song of love-gravity, the sun's song of love-light, the river's song of love-moving-life, the tree's song of love-reaching both into the sky and earth at the same time. 

The love songs dirt and seeds sing to each other as one takes in the other to offer a place for life to begin.

The song of the seedlings as they break the dirt to become what they are meant to be. 
The love song of my heart as I pat the dirt to settle the seeds, as I pick the tiny sprouts to make room for the others, as I wash them and dry them and make them part of our supper and then our bodies. 

That's what this day has been like. Planting, feeding the rows with the rich mushroom compost which has its own sturdy, robust, black song of plenty-promise. I've let go for one day of worry and fear and trying to overthink everything from packing to politics. I've washed sheets, I've made the bed, I've made the bread, I've kissed the man, I've listened to all of the songs and sung my own as I've gone along, silently, mostly, but as real and pure as they can be.

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon