Wednesday, June 9, 2021

A Big Day For Us


 The other day Lily told me that Owen was having his fifth grade graduation today and it was going to be a drive-by graduation and we could come if we wanted to but not to stress out about and I thought, Oh boy, drive-by graduation? Really?
Plus I'd have to get up a little earlier and it would fuck with my morning routines which is just about impossible for me to deal with these days but god, you know? Owen. My Owen. 
So we did get up a little earlier and I attended to the chickens and we got ourselves ready and drove over to Lily's so that we could ride in the car with her and Owen and Lauren. I had thought that we would drive by Owen at school, but no, Owen was to be in the car too, and we would drive by the entire school, all the classes outside by the fences, students, teachers, from Pre-K to fourth grade and by golly, it was just about the best graduation I ever went to. Each child got cheered for and recognized and there were bubbles and noise-makers and it was sincerely jolly and delightful. 

Our Gibson! 

The merriest of merry makers. 


Magnolia June, waving at her big brother. 

Cars were decorated with posters and balloons, kids were riding with their bodies half out of sun roofs, and it was absolutely wonderful. I was so glad we went. At the very end, there was someone taking graduation photos through the car window, and each child was announced over a loud-speaker, and each child got a yard sign proclaiming them a graduate of Chaires Elementary school and a folder with cool stuff in it. 
Owen, being eleven years old, tried to keep it all cool and act like it was no big deal, no big deal at all but we could tell he was a little bit thrilled, at least. 
And Lily cried. 
When we got back to their house, we took a few pictures. 




We're all so proud of that boy. When I took the picture of him holding the sign by himself I said, "Owen, you have no idea how many people have known you since before you were born and who care about you." He's known I'm writing about him, posting pictures of him, ever since he was old enough to grasp that concept but I doubt he really understands. I wonder if some day he'll go back through my blog and read and see what I've posted about him. I hope so. If I've written this blog for any reason whatsoever, it's so that my children and grandchildren will have a written history of this part of my life and how much of that has involved and included them. 
They will know, without a doubt, how much I love them. 
August and I were talking before they left and I said, "You know what grandmothers are really the best at?" 
"What?" he asked. 
"Loving their grandchildren and letting them know that there is always someone who knows how amazing and wonderful they are and who always, always loved them."
And I believe that. 

We decided to all go get lunch after we were done taking pictures so we headed to the Hilltop. I've got to take a picture of that place sometime. It is...well, I guess I'd have to describe it as country unique. We got there before the lunch time crowd of local work crews and highway patrol officers arrived which was good because it gets busy fast. Since they serve everything from salads to hamburgers to seafood to Reuben and Cuban sandwiches, barbecue, and fried chicken, it's a very popular place. We sat out back and waited for our orders to come up and then we ate, sharing onion rings and macaroni salad, drinking vat-sized cups of soda and iced tea. 
And then it was time to hug good-bye and Lily and Owen and Lauren went off to pick up Maggie and Gibson, and Mr. Moon and I came home to do what needed to be done around here. 
He has finally finished with the azalea trimming and Chinese Rice-Plant pulling. He had to use the four-wheeler to pull the largest of those. Trust me- we are not done with them. They will be back. I referred to the field of Crocosmia revealed by the pulling of that jungle a few days ago and it's even worse than I thought it would be. 
Sigh. 
That's going to be about a month-long job in this heat. I can only take being outside for a certain amount of time and then I'm done. Mr. Moon was soaked as thoroughly as if he'd been working outside in the rain for three hours and I do not know how he did it. 
Hell, I just picked stuff in the garden and that twenty minutes about did me in. 


Y'all- what the hell am I going to do with all of these cherry tomatoes? What, in fact, am I going to do with all the regular-sized tomatoes? I'm not even keeping up with the green beans although I did pickle another four pints and a quart after I'd picked. 


To add to the overflowing bounty around here, Mr. Moon found this when he cleared:


I knew I wasn't getting all the eggs that the hens were laying. That nest is between the front fence and the sidewalk, hidden in croscomia, ferns, and Virginia ivy. What in hell are those chickens thinking? I brought them all in and float-tested them for freshness and all but three failed and then my husband and I agreed that we didn't really feel the need to eat the three that passed, either. So I threw 'em all out in the woods. 

So. It was a good day and I can't believe Owen is going to start middle school next fall. I was just taking his mama to the same middle school he'll be attending yesterday! I swear! 
But here's the real shocker I'm trying to wrap my head around- tomorrow is Hank's forty-fifth birthday. 
Excuse me? 
Dear god, I am old. 
Guess what? I feel old. I think my husband does too. All we do is walk around groaning and wincing at our aches and our pains, our joints are stiffening and crumbling as we speak, sometimes we are laughing, sometimes definitely NOT laughing at our rapidly multiplying symptoms of aging. 

Well. That's the way it is. We've both spent our lives working pretty hard, using our bodies to build, garden and grow, work and walk, haul and dig, and in Mr. Moon's case- play basketball on a very serious level, and in my case to gestate and birth four babies. 
No wonder we get tired now. No wonder our bodies feel worn out. 
They really fucking are. 

And yet... on we go. 

Love...Ms. Moon





55 comments:

  1. Sounds like a wonderful day for everyone, especially Owen. And that's such a lovely photo of your, your husband and Owen. I'll say it again, you are a tiny woman.

    Is there a food bank that you can donate your extra fresh veg to? Or just set up a stand at the end of your driveway, help yourself kind of stand?

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    1. I'm not tiny at all! My husband is just extraordinarily tall! And Owen is too.
      I probably should set up a vegetable stand at the front of the house. I don't know that I really have enough to make much difference to a food bank. Meanwhile, I'm giving lots to my kids.

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  2. Make up a batch of Tomato Jam ... Google a recipe on-line. It is quite good!

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  3. You cannot have too many fresh Sun Gold cherry tomatoes. Just eat them.

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  4. Congratulations to Owen! If you have room in the freezer, roasted cherry tomato sauce is fabulous on pasta or pizza. Just toss the tomatoes with some olive oil, salt and pepper and herbs as desired and roast on a parchment lined cookie sheet until the skins split and char a bit. Blitz with a blender and then freeze in desired quantity. Easy and delicious.

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  5. Gwenie’s idea sounds fabulous! I would get a glut and just throw them into a freezer bag, unwashed but picked clean. When i needed some zip in soup , i’d add a small bag. That’s the lazy way to freeze!
    Yay, Owen! What a wonderful way to celebrate the passage to the next level! I’m glad you went and had so much fun with your beautiful family!
    Debbie

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    1. I do the same. In harvest season we have no time for tomato prep of any kind, so into ziplok bags and straight into the freezer. Cherry tomatoes and regular tomatoes both. We use 'em all winter in all manner of meals.

      And ditto about Owen! And happy birthday to Hank! Milestones all!!

      Chris from Boise

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    2. Thank you, Debbie and Chris. I think I will do that, especially with the cherries. They're just so prolific!

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  6. Congratulations, Owen! They all grow up too fast!
    How nice that you could ride in the car and celebrate with him! What a treat!

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    1. It was SUCH a treat. I was really surprised at how meaningful and sweet it was.

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  7. I am so proud of Owen. How pleased and happy he looks.

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  8. Hooray for Owen! He looks so much older all of a sudden. So do his siblings, come to think of itchy. WHY do children grow up so fast?! You blink once or twice, and they're grown. Sigh. How much more bittersweet it must be when it's your child or grandchild. I couldn't stop the tears on the day our niece got married--she had been a little girl about 10 minutes prior to that!

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    1. *** come to think of IT, not itchy! Damn autocorrect!

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    2. They ARE all changing and growing so fast. It's almost frightening. And it is bittersweet. Sometimes I look at old pictures of them and wonder where in hell those little babies and toddlers went. The cuteness of them was so powerful.

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  9. Congratulations to Owen! And so glad you were all there to cheer him on and celebrate- how quickly they grow up. Now to the tomatoes (the cherry tomatoes) I read a recipe today that calls for halving them (tedious) tossing lightly in olive oil, salt and pepper and laying on a sheet in a 200 degree oven for 6 hours. Yes.....dehydration in your new swanky oven! Once dried....and cooled.....bag and freeze them. Sounded easier to me than making sauce.... fresh is best of course but how many tomatoes exactly can one eat? LOL
    Susan M

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    1. Exactly- how many tomatoes can one eat?
      I have thought about dehydrating them. I'll check that out.

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  10. Congratulations to the Big O, #1 grand boy. He was born shortly after I started reading here. You, in your joy in and love of him, set the tone for my own years of Nana-hood. Sending love, x0x0 N2

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    1. It's so nice to have company on the path of being a grandparent, isn't it? What an adventure it is.

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  11. Congrats to your grand-grad! I've got an 11 year-old in my family that's about to graduate from fifth grade. I'll have to see if her ceremony is drive-by, remote, or back to normal.

    Those tomatoes look yummy! I hope you're able to find a use for them.

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    1. And congratulations to your grand-grad, too. It's a milestone for sure.
      I'll figure out some way to use those tomatoes.

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  12. A proud day and congratulations to Owen and Happy Birthday to Hank!

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  13. My eldest grand is 11 today. She is away with her school on the Year 6 trip in Norfolk, doing water based activities. She will finish at Junior school next month and move on to " secondary" in September. She is growing so fast, and I am not seeing it every week like I used to..sad! ( I shall see her on Sunday for present giving, but I miss getting her and her brother from school twice a week prior to Covid)

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    1. Even seeing them fairly regularly is not like seeing them a couple of times a week, is it? They grow so fast and change so fast that we almost need to see them often in order to be able to adjust to the swift changes.

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  14. NOT TO BE READ TILL 2031:-
    Dear Owen,
    I am speaking to you from across The Atlantic Ocean. I was there invisibly at your graduation from elementary school ten years ago during The Great Plague of 2020-2022. Transported there by your grandmother Mary who now resides at The Evergreen Residential Home. I guess you still visit her and occasionally feed her porridge.

    Her blog remains a special one, often filled with love for every member of her family. It is a shame that Mary's blogging days are over now. She loved you very much as you were her first grandchild.

    I hope you continue to enjoy life and live it decently with respect for others, forever inquisitive and I hope you are clearer about your direction in life. Are you still in college? Look after yourself Owen. Be good.

    Sincerely,
    Yorkshire Pudding (In England)

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    1. Okay, I did not obey you. I read this comment to Owen today at lunch. We all had a laugh and appreciated it so much. Thank you, Mr. P. Owen especially liked how you referred to me in the past tense as in "She loved you very much..."
      I really appreciate your fine advice to the boy and I hope that he will come feed me porridge in the lovely Evergreen Residential Home. Although I would rather have pizza.

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  15. "No wonder we are tired. No wonder our bodies are worn out." That sums it up nicely. With each passing year, I feel this more and more profoundly. As my grandmother would say, "Ay yi yi." And then she'd groan as she lower herself to her chair. I understand the ai yi yi lament that's really about anything perplexing in life. And I also understand the groan.

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    1. Exactly! And I should change what I say to Ay yi yi too. "Oh GOD" sounds so dire. Who knew this would happen to us?

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  16. What a wonderful day, such fun for everyone. Congratulations to the new graduate.

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    1. Thank you, Boud. We are proud of our boy.

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  17. congrats to Owen. and that's sort of the reason I started my blog, as a record of my life, what life was like during this time of my life for my descendents (if I have any beyond the grandkids, well one at least!). and yeah, late 60s...stuff starts wearing out and getting tired.

    oh, and chickens are sneaky.

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    1. Stuff sure as hell does start wearing out. I knew it would happen, theoretically but the reality of it happening is still surprising.
      Chickens are indeed sneaky.

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  18. Reading about Owen made me tear up and I could feel it in my chest. Yes we love him. We've loved him since before he was born!!

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    1. I know, Jill! Thank you for being here all these years. You are a constant in my life.

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  19. Oh my goodness, doesn't Owen look like his momma! Seeing them side-by-side like that really brings it home! Congratulations Owen - and congratulations to the proud grandparents too!

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    1. Yes. They look so much alike it's crazy. Lily and her Mini-Me.

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  20. Owen is such a handsome lad! Congrats to him and to your family for being amazing! I love your blue dress, that is my favorite shade of blue! Very pretty.

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    1. You know what? I had forgotten I had that dress because it was hanging in the closet where I put the clothes that need ironing and it got lost in the shuffle of Mr. Moon's shirts. I was so pleased to find it! I love that color blue as well.

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  21. Congratulations to Owen! He will remember this graduation as being different, and special. I'm glad you all went to cheer him on.

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    1. Different and special and lovely! I think he will remember it all that way.

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  22. Hi Mary
    Have you tried pickling the grape tomatoes while green?
    I have done this a few times and my family enjoyed them.
    I did NOT actually "can" them, but used a recipe for refrigerator pickles and once in the jars simply stored in the fridge. The actually kept for a month or so. I pickled the cherry tomatoes whole, not cut, so it did take a week or two to really get the pickle flavor into them.

    I've also made a "sauce" by cutting them in half and sautéing them. I found the when fresh made, this was tasty but the couple batches I froze the skins from the tomatoes were a little tough when eating after defrosting.

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    1. I have not pickled cherry tomatoes while green but I have seen pickled green tomatoes. I should do a few jars just for something different. Good idea!

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  23. "Loving their grandchildren and letting them know that there is always someone who knows how amazing and wonderful they are and who always, always loved them." That's what my grandma was to me. Best thing that ever happened to me was having her in my life. Your grands will feel the same, decades hence (and they know it now, I'm sure).

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    1. I think that the people whose grandparents were around to love and cherish them are lucky people. I truly believe that we are part of our grandchildren's wellbeing when they are young and older too.

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  24. Tried posting congrats to Owen yesterday, but Blogger kept telling me something was broken. Same thing happened while trying to post to Steve. Will see if this makes it through. If so, all the best in the World, Owen!

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  25. Congratulations to Owen! I love the idea of the drive-through graduation, and it's particularly fun that his younger brother and sister could participate. Those chickens are obviously trying to keep you from predating all their eggs! But it's funny that they weren't sitting on them or incubating them.

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    1. It was a fun and slick graduation. I just loved it!
      I don't know what those chickens were trying to do. They sure didn't seem interested in sitting on them. They were just laying there in the sun, baking and going bad.

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  26. Congrats to Owen! I am one of the people who has known and loved him through your posts since he was brushing your hair on the steps and helping you sweep the house and rocking out to the Rolling Stones with you in the hall. And now he’s in middle school! Amazing and wonderful!

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Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.