Friday, October 5, 2007

Romancing Me with Bug Juice

The babe and I picked the last of the tomatoes Friday morning. There are dozens more on the vine. They are optimistic that they will make it through tomorrow's cold snap. I am a little more cynical.

This has been my favorite growing season in my short life as a back yard farmer.

Mostly due to the "help."

It's been a lovely joint venture between the babe and I, to keep the garden up and growing. While I water, she puts her fingers in the stream from the hose and giggles wildly as the frigid water trickles down past her elbows and soaks her shirt and shoes. I pick the Early Girls and the Lemon Boys , she picks the baby Cherry Tomatoes...and eats them.

I've decided all of her clothes next summer must be in shades of tomato so as to camouflage the inevitable, delicious stains on her belly region.

After our extended stay in the garden, she was so tired (and distended,) that I laid her down for her nap...and then I did the most surprising thing. I made lunch...for me.

I don't usually prepare lunch, per say, except for The Girlie's lunches in the morning and The Babe's lunch meat, cheese, and fruit in the afternoon. When lunchtime rolls around, I have generally just finished cleaning up from breakfast, The Babe is napping, and I am enjoying a few moments digesting the day's blogs. Lunch for me, lately, consists of tracking down my woefully expired mug of no-longer-hot tea and a handful of goldfish.

But Friday, I beguiled myself with a tuna fish sandwich on the patio. The seductive roundness of my fresh, garden tomatoes were the inspiration for the afternoon tryst.

I sat in the sunshine, munching and musing about Slouching Mom 's Post
on the perils of sleep talking...when there came an unfortunate crunch. A bug of unknown color and distinction met his demise inside my mouth. The hazard of fresh, garden tomatoes.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


This is Nate.

This is The Baby stealing Nate's ball.

And then wap-wap-wapping him on the head because
she just loves him too, too much.
I know the feeling. Teeth clenched. Heart, hammering away.
"You're so cute, I could just bite your ear." I have that feeling with all my kids.
Nate puts up with a lot.
This past week, I've had a heaviness that has settled on my chest and occasionally slides to the pit of my stomach. Someday, I'm going to have to blog about it all, but right now, it's hard to hear the words in my own voice, right out loud. I'm choosing gratitude...forgivness...grace...hope...the lovelier bits of life.
And when I am feeling completely smothered and smashed by the heaviness, I take Nate for a walk and we talk about it. Mostly, I do the talking and he does the smelling. He is a very intuitive therapist and reasonably priced.
We walk a three mile loop through the neighborhood, around ponds, down paths, and past houses with dogs that bark, longingly behind fences at the sight of us. I sometimes wish there were fewer pedestrians to pitty my blatant mental instability as I discuss the week's goings on with my dog, but there is plenty of goose poop for rolling in and bunnies to imagine chasing. It works for both of us I think, however I have yet to master the rolling in goose poop. Nate doesn't mind. More for him.
He pulls me along at a good clip, eager to get to the next clump of Blood Grass and decipher who's been by, today. He keeps my heart pumping and my feet moving when I want to sit on the closest bench and mope for a bit.
I've noted that somewhere around 2 1/2 miles my head feels clearer, my chest is lighter and heaving with the freedom of breath that reaches all the way to the bottom of my lungs, my grip on Nate's leash is firm but no longer agressive, the muscles in my jaw are more relaxed and forgiving, my pace is hopeful, and my view of the world is benefiting from all of those things: clarity, light, freedom, strength, forgivness, hope.
There is only so much heartache one person can bear. Eventually, it will make its way to the surface. Heartache can turn to anger, anger to bitterness, and bitterness will send its tentacly roots through the very heart of a person and change the way they see things, which will change the way they are seen.
I am thankful for the little role Nate so willingly plays in helping me find my way to the lovelier bits.
I encourage you to take your lovelier bits for a walk, today.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Fitful prayers

I’m floundering. My stomach is upside down and inside out. My brain is flinching and I can’t make decisions for myself which makes me feel frail. I hate feeling frail.

I want to be of a strong constitution. Robust. Stalwart. A pillar that the frail can lean on.

I am certainly not that.

I have decided not to go to the funeral, for the moment. I’ll check in again in a few paragraphs and see how many times I’ve changed my mind and where it settles. My family is…difficult. (As in carting my pedophile grandfather around to all family events and doting over him as if he didn’t use his granddaughters as sexual objects. He had a stroke 4 days before my wedding, eleven years ago and has been imprisoned in his body and wheelchair ever since. God intervened and did what my aunt and uncles would not do, by placing value on the victims and removing the threat of my grandfather from the children surrounding him. ) I have decided that seeing them would not help my dithering heart. Nor would being present at the funeral tomorrow do anything to help theirs.

My cousin is surely broken in so many ways, today. She had a viewing of the body, which after much counsel, she decided was entirely necessary for her. I respect that. I can’t begin to direct her one way or another. There is no etiquette on how to accept that your husband has been killed. She’ll have to make her own strange march toward the truth. The facts that are emerging make it a rugged trail, indeed. He wasn’t wearing a seat belt. He was drunk. He hit a truck. The two people in that truck remain in critical condition. They will never be the same. And she is left to make all of this right, somehow.

Her six year old son told my mother, “I want to tell God that I’m mad and I want my Dad back! But I’m afraid he’ll send my Daddy to hell.”

Later, her four year old son crawled into my mom’s lap and said, “I know why you’re here. It’s ‘cause my Daddy’s dead and I’m sad and you love me.”

Oh the perfect truth in innocence.

Whatever my feelings toward the deceased, (selfish jackass), he was loved. And those people who embraced the arduous task of loving him have lost all of the potential they had placed on him. They are heart broken and empty and for them I’m sad.

I pray that comfort comes to them in thick blankets and offers reprieve from the onslaught of the storm for a while.
I pray for sleep that is smooth and redeeming.
I pray for the kindness of strangers to fragrance their lives for a little while, and for the kindness of loved ones to remain constant and unwavering.
I pray for understanding to come in whatever attire, to be invited, welcomed, accepted, so that the hard lessons can be learned.
I pray for peace in the hard days ahead when truth is an ill-mannered bedfellow.
I pray for the sins of the father to be just his and not the sons’ bitter inheritance.

And that’s all I have to say about that…