Sunday, August 8, 2010

Missing, Having, and Looking Forward to

I've been doing some missing this week. The last two weeks here have seen three separate visits from WA folks. My cousin's wife and kids, a close friend, and our backyard WA neighbors. Although not all of them live in WA anymore, our visits automatically drift into talk of our lives up there and the goings on of those we know. I can't come away from those visits with out feeling a little lonesome for those things. I don't know why, but I can particularly picture the roads I drove up there quite perfectly. It is almost ridiculous how stamped in my mind the road up to our neighborhood, the drive past the high school, or the long way into town are. I can drive nearly any route in my mind and it is like I'm watching a little film it's so clear.

I've been missing GA too. I know I only spent a month there, but I loved it and have so many memories and feelings linked to that time. My nephew just got his mission call to Jacksonville, FL -- about an hour south of where we stayed in GA. Describing to him some of the stuff I loved and thought was crazy about the place -- the insane amount of trees, the swampy lakes with their big fan propelled boats, etc. have got me missing that place as well and asking Mike how and when we can get back there.

But, along with missing things that once were, there is plenty of appreciating things that are and that very soon will be. You know, like . . . Halloween! Or, not even Halloween, just Oct. 1st even -- when it is sometimes cold and windy and my jog stroller tires will crunch over fall leaves when I take the kids running, and I'll burn our fall scented candles, and the kids and I will hang our little witches and put up cornstalks and buy a few early pumpkins.

On Friday evening, the weather got a little unsummer-like for a spell. It was raining and windy and thundering. My mom has a story book about a special cake a girl and her grandma make when it storms -- thunder cake. She's made it with the kids before (the recipe is in the book). And, we're pretty good at adapting so, during another storm, they made "thunder donuts" with her. When the rain and wind and thunder started up on Friday, we turned off the AC and opened the windows (even though it was still close to 90 outside), and the kids begged to make thunder donuts. I told them we didn't have the stuff for that, but that they were free to make thunder something.

Here Abe and Goldie are making thunder cupcakes.Daisy and Penny sat at the counter and colored and put paper cupcake holders in pans and waited. Here Daisy is -- bundled up. And yes, that would be a giant bucket of wheat in the background. It's used to keep Jesse from opening the door to the garage. As if anyone wouldn't already know that. Jesse (who sometimes feels he really needs shoes on -- even straight out of the bath) sat nearby pulling things out of cupboards . . .
and dumping them out.
It was such a happy evening and made me so excited for fall. There isn't really any explanation I can clearly give for why it makes me feel so happy. Something about the weather, holidays, family, decorations, and who knows what else all combine to make me feel like life is at its best. Of course, when I mentioned how excited I was for Halloween to Goldie, she asked me if it was still summer. I said it was, and she told me that meant Halloween was still a long way away. When I was a kid, Halloween did seem an eternity away from "end of summer," but time goes so fast now, Halloween is practically tomorrow.
Ooh, but let's not hurry summer away too quickly because here is a thing to be happy and content with right here and now. My zinnias!!Ugghh. I don't mean to sound like "la dee da, a flower is a little miracle," but really, how can I not?! Holy smokes!! What on earth! These ones were SEEDS (well, I guess all flowers once were), but these were MY seeds, and they began their lives growing all flimsy and weak and long stemmed trying to reach for light in my not bright window sill. Then, I put them out in the dirt all halfheartedly because the roots weren't even wrapping around the little cups of dirt they'd been in well enough to hold the soil together, so scrawny little bare roots were sadly all I kept pulling out. Now look at them!! Look at them, I say! How can that be? How can they be? The seeds were so skinny and thin that I got really bored even trying to plant them in little cups because they were too small to be much fun to pick up and plant. I took a couple of botany classes in college. I'm sure I learned something about nutrients from the soil and photosynthesis and the like. Now I've forgotten all of that. All I can think is: puny wispy seed = thick stem, giant leaves and huge bright flowers? Huh? Impossible. Sorry, but I must say it: a little miracle. Sigh. I love them.
Oh, and look at this! He's kind of camouflaged, so you have to pay attention, but this little fella is always paying my zinnias a visit. And you already know how many birds come to see my bizarro red hot pokers.
Plus, I think I maybe really like birds. I've never really thought, "I LOVE BIRDS," but I sure like seeing this hummingbird, and I've been really happy about the swallows that have been flying about here lately (because I like their little V tales, and I think they fly and swoop in a very cool way), and crow calls make me think of my grandmas trailer at Bear Lake, so they are good, and, looky here. Hi little pigeon on my fence. What are you doing out of your neck of the woods? You aren't even interested in my zinnias.AND, I did actually opt to take ornithology in college, and I've never wondered why before. I'll be. Maybe I do like birds a little extra. Oh! Plus, once I almost leaped off my porch at 6 am to try and grab and strangle a magpie that perched in the tree near my window and squawked his head off every morning. Oh wait. That's not love. But, I have happy memories of wanting often to strangle or shoot those early morning magpies at my parents' house . . . and those happy memories feel like love. And Mike was always trying to save baby magpies and feed them worms and things when he was little. So, he loved them, and loves me. So, that's love too.

Alright, here is some real love that I can enjoy now (and in the future as well).
Little stinker often loves to congratulate himself on being such a good boy lately. He'll be over in the kitchen fiddling away with some object and, after accomplishing his tiny designs with it, will pronounce, "Good boy," to himself. Or maybe he will have shut a door that was left ajar or picked up a few of the markers he just dumped on the floor. They are all causes to congratulate his own little goodness. He also politely (albeit somewhat dismissively) says, "Hey Sore," when Thor passes by the sliding glass door. And sometimes, when he pauses to notice them he says, "Hi feet," to, as you may have guessed, his feet. He doesn't ask for milk or drinks, he asks for "cups" with a long drawn out snake sounding "s" at the end. And, if you are wondering how he feels about sock monkey these days. I can only tell you this: Imagine how you might scream your loved ones name as you watched them fall off of a cliff. That is how he calls for monkey if he recklessly throws monkey out of his crib or sees monkey on the floor and can't get to him quick enough. Only, "monkey" sounds like a cross between doggys and cookies. So you will hear, "MY COGGYS!!!!" I also caught him outside giving coggys a nice refreshing bath in Thor's water bowl the other day.
The End.


Jill said...

There is something really amazing about your writing. I can see and hear everything you write about.
I love the bucket of wheat to keep Jesse from escaping to the garage. Isn't it funny the things we work up to keep kids safe?

Krista said...

You are stinkin' cute! Your flowers are gorgeous. I wish I could grow some. Something about bugs keep me out of the garden. Can you believe Halloween stuff is out already? This year will be overwith before you know it. *sniff*

Perla said...

nice post. i am super excited for halloween this year. not sure why exactly. i just get happy when i think about it. except for right now. nothing makes me happy right now, but what i mean is in the past few weeks i have felt excited when i thought anything about halloween and i noticed that michaels has a halloween village set like the christmas ones but only halloween and i think i might start collecting it, like one each year or something. really cool. i used to love when mom would put up the haunted house. but before that, yes, lets enjoy your flowers! they really are a beautiful-zinnia-summer-day-miracle, aren't they?

Amy said...

Again, as always I was delighted (I know that sounds corny, and "corny" sounds stale and well you know. . .) but delighted is just the word I feel when I read your writings, not just boring "loved" but what I feel is just such happiness. I'm happy about your hummingbird photo and your flowers and your little "good boy".
But sadly, I always get a wistful, sort of meloncholy feel when I see fall coming. It used to signify the beginning of the WSU high school tour, that was always trying, and you would think since Oct. is my b-day month and halloween and all I would be thrilled, but I just feel sad because it is the end of the thing I wait and wait and wait for. . . SUMMER!!!

marzee said...

I see Jesse and for some reason think he's the same age as Eli. But really - Eli is Penny's age. . . . but she seems so grown up to me and Eli is still a baby (or so it seems). I'm told I feel this way because he's my last one. Mostly, I just think it's because he still looks and moves like a baby to me with his big belly, big round head, and quick waddle when he runs with his diaper.

Jesse is so handsome. He looks like a little man, rather than a baby who is younger than my baby. If he had a big belly and round head like my baby . . . . with the chubby cheeks like my baby . . . . he would be less "handsome" and more "cute," but he seems more grown up somehow than my pudgy little three year old.

Though - I suppose that if I lined my little three year old against little Jesse - Eli would look like a giant sumo wrestler next to him.

Ok, ok - he's not THAT pudgy . . . . but I'm holding on to that cuddly baby fat for as long as I can.
So excuse me please - while I go downstairs to give him more food. :)

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