I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Friday, November 8, 2013

I'm so lucky.

I have a sister. She is my only sister and the only real complaint that I have about her is that she's seven years younger than me. I really think that my mother and father should have made more of an effort to put LESS space between us, but that's kind of water under the bridge now. They waited for me to ask them for a sister before they made one for me. Then she appeared, out of nowhere. Imagine.
Everything was fine until I hit... oh, about 50. Before middle age ( Yes, I might live to be 100 the way things are going.) I kind of had the upper hand with Sis. She was my "little" sister and she was quite helpful when she wasn't being a nuisance and telling Mom that I did something that I didn't.
Most of the time she looked up to me. It was a good arrangement.
Somewhere around that half way point, she started changing. Kind of like her front porch on Halloween night
She went from this...
To this...
She toughened up. She, somehow, became an equal. She grew up.  I couldn't kick her, under the table, anymore. ( She knows what I mean by this.)
I'm not sure what happen, but we've kind of had a role reversal. Now, she is the "older", saner, introspective person who makes me look at things with a more rounded perspective.
I, on the other hand, have gotten more opinionated, grumpy and I tend to let my inner Sagittarius come out... way too often.
My sister is a kind, liberal minded (and I mean this in a good way) person who loves me and puts up with my conservative attitudes, my cowgirl shirts and my inability to understand a situation when I think I have the answer. She has become this tolerant person who accepts the fact that people are sometimes crazy and you can still love them.

When I call and say that I'm coming down to visit, (That includes Sis and her family, my sons, my Beans and anyone else I happen to visit while I'm there.) I always get a "Wonderful... when?" I have a place to stay, a comfortable bed, a private bathroom (that's huge.) and special little things that she leaves on the dresser, like pictures of the Beans, two little Corgi statues and a wonderful new magazine... or some flowers. She includes me for dinner as if I was just part of the family... as if I'm always there. He hubs and her youngest son, Ben, are always glad to see me too. They are comfortable with my being there and even though I come and go a lot, I always find a warm reception when I return.

This post is just to say Thank you, Sis. I'm so lucky to have a sister like you and your generosity has not gone unnoticed... even when you make your point about something I don't want to hear... even when you stand in from of me and ask me if I cut my own hair again... and even when you go on a diet and lose more weight than me. I love you.
Thanks for the Persimmons.
From that beautiful Persimmon tree.
Thank you for being such a good mother. I don't think you give yourself enough credit.
Thanks for helping me and being there, when the sadness was overwhelming, and we lost the two most important people in our lives. Mom and Dad would be so proud of us. They always were.
Thank you for trying to understand why I have a hard time committing to other human beings. You've made me more aware of why I seem to let go of some people so easily and why I feel so trapped other times.
And, finally, for being the best shoe shopping, Ikea hopping, vegetable wrap at McDonald's, driving Ms, Daisy, Sister anyone could ever have.
I may have had to plead with mom and dad when I was seven... and there were moments when I wanted to send you back... but, all in all, it was, and is, a wonderful thing. I'm glad they "brought you forth". I'm glad that you are here and that I have an "older" sister to keep me in line... oh, wait... I'm the older sister. That's right.
I love you, sis.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Revisiting a favorite poem


"This morning I watched the deer...
with beautiful lips touching the tips of the cranberries, setting their hooves down
in the dampness carelessly, isn't it after all
the carpet of their house, their home, whose roof
is the sky?
 Why, then, was I suddenly miserable?
 Well, this is nothing much.
this is the heaviness of the body watching the swallows
gliding just under that roof.

This is the wish that the deer would not lift their heads
and leap away, leaving me there alone.
This is the wish to touch their faces, their brown wrists
to sing some sparkling poem into
the folds of their ears,
then walk with them,
over the hills
and over the hills

and into the impossible trees."

I love this Mary Oliver poem and always wish that I could "...walk with them, over the hills..."
Does anyone else feel like this? 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Time Traveling on a dark and spooky night

Thursday night was filled with anticipation. I arrived at the Bean's house in time to walk down to their school with my daughter in law, Robbin. There was a crazy thrill in the air. Children were running everywhere.
My Beans could only talk about Halloween and what they were going to do.

The monsters were lying in wait.

We did other things, but the anticipation of the coming night activities were looming.
We carved Jack-O-Lanterns...
the new improved way... with an attachment for the Ryobi, that made a quick job of the pumpkin debree.
Then we carved the pumpkins.
 I started transforming the squash, which went from this...
...to this, faster than you can say "Happy Halloween."
Which took on an errie presence as the night turned to dark.
And another little pumpkin was waiting on the lawn...
 along with a "little pumpkin" waiting patiently, at the door, for darkness.

The Beans were Delta Force Army Rangers this year. It was the first year they had decided to wear the same costume.
Very cool uniforms. Big Bean looked really good in this uniform as he set his Halloween blinker bracelet in motion.
Little Bean had to roll up the sleeves and cuffs on his outfit... but he wore the uniform with pride.
 They were ready for any counter terrorism that might happen on their street... as long as they had their candy bags with them.They were ready for combat.
The darkness came... and so did the creepy fog.
How many nights, in my childhood, did I venture out onto this same street to knock on doors and ask the magical words, "Trick or treat?"
 This home was my home. This street has my memories floating on its air and it breaths names. There are ghosts here... real ones. I see them... even when others don't. The Cantrell's, Hansen's, the Tieman's, the Woyteck's... I see all the kids, with names I remember so well... Tom, Bob, Barry, Dawn, Jimmy, Sandra, Anne, Donna... running down the street on Halloween night. Then, the lawns were new and fewer leaves fell from the Sycamore Trees that were planted in 1950. I see the same curbs and wide streets that we followed from one house to the next.
It was a good place to grow up.
It is a good place for my grandchilden to grow up.
There's a  pirate ship out in front of the house that, for the third year, beckons the children and a machine behind it that makes the fog that fills the street, that waits for the little ones in their fearless pursuit of goodies and their wonderful costumes.
There is a lady giving out candy on the porch with me, but it's my daughter in law... now.
A blurred image of what could be my mother sitting there. The same dark hair... the same lovely smile.
Is this the same ivy growing under the bedroom window?  Has it really been so many years? Is this the same concrete porch, the same brick and shingle siding?
Do you know how happy it makes my heart to know that our son and his family live here, now?
Hey, funny face, do you know how happy it makes your Noni that you live in my old house?
It's your house now.
I hope you build memories that will someday float down the street with mine... holding hands and talking about the good old days when we waited for darkness and goblins ruled.