There are sounds that are unique to the deep murky thickness of the night, sounds that clothe me in a blanket of comfort and calm. I will never cease to wonder why my favorite one of all, the one I find so hypnotic and soothing, causes most women to up and leave their beds in the middle of the night. Of course, this is not normal, the way I feel about it, the peace it brings me. Yet it is the way I’ve always felt. If it stops, I know he’s not sleeping well and this floats me to the surface of my deep and heavy bog. I wait until snoring fills the room once again, and then fall soundly back to sleep. Funny how all the racket he makes has become a lullaby. Our neighbor has complained, “That wind chime of yours keeps me awake, you know.” No, we didn’t know. So we move it to the other side of the house, outside our bedroom window. The soft cling of the tubular chimes brings an image of an angel’s breath moving them gently together. How could anyone not love this sound?
When Patrick and I built our house, we had quite a debate over the type of fireplace we would have. I wanted to be done with the mess of the old fashioned wood burning fireplace. I hated cleaning it out and the constant trail of dirt, moss, and whatever that fell from the logs onto the floor. Bringing in more wood, meant bringing more of a mess. It was a problem. And it wasn’t just the mess. It was the constant wadding up of newspaper, splitting little strips of kindling, and digging deep into the wood pile for dry wood. Just getting the fire started was a job in itself. Keeping it going was another situation all on it’s own. It was basically, no fun.
My family is approaching the first holiday season without our Jackie; Mother of seven, Grandmother of twenty three, Dads wife of sixty two years. It will be tough, I’m sure, her place beside Dad glaringly empty. We could be miserable and tearful and resentful to God for taking her away. Yet her time had come, just as every ones will, and I have decided to be grateful on our day of thanksgiving for all the years of love and laughter we shared with the woman who brought us so much joy. I have found some great pictures of Mom in our overflowing box of photos that never made it into an album. She is young in many of these, vibrant and embracing life. Just looking at these pictures brings her back into focus. She will never really leave us, never in spirit anyway. I think I’ll pack them up and bring them along for the rest of the family to enjoy on Thanksgiving day.
Now that it’s November, this is the view from outside our car windows, regardless of the time of day. It’s dark and foggy and there’s no way around it. We have become moles struggling to get around in the dark. We get up and go to work in the dark. We leave work and go home in the dark. We pick up groceries in the dark and go for a run in the dark. If I had it my way, every light in the house would be on all winter long. I would add lamps to every corner old man winter lurks, driving him out with my make believe sunshine. I’d turn the heat up to eighty degrees, wear shorts and a tank top and sip ice tea while listening to music from the Caribbean. I’d wear sunscreen.
Don’t ya just love em! I don’t know how anyone lives without a dog. I swear, they work hard at their job and their job is keeping us in line. Our dogs tolerate very little laziness in our lives. They cut us no slack and demand a good long brusque walk every morning regardless of the weather or anything else. A hip replacement isn’t excuse enough for our dogs. Morning and evening we are expected to get out that door and make it count. God bless em! Dogs are honest. They tell us we’re bugging the heck out of em by getting up and moving away from us, leaving the room, going under the bed, growling. No bad words exchanged, just bug off before I bite your face off. It’s refreshing, isn’t it? We always know right where we stand.
Remember when every one of us girls wanted to be “Jeanie” for Halloween? If it wasn’t Jeanie, it was a look close to it. Sexy, adorable, alluring. We had flat tummies, trim thighs and firm arms. Everthing was right where it was supposed to be. Weren’t those the days? Now, we’re rushing out the door to get those priests and nun costumes featuring long black flowing robes that leave us covered from head to toe, before they’re sold out. It’s also fun at this age to be pumpkins or M & M’s or a full moon as the costume intentionally adds forty extra pounds to our frames, but looks cute as a bug, or so we tell each other. This year, I wore an old fashioned flapper dress. It was longish, and covered me well. I like all the fringe because it kind of covers up whats underneith. I had a fluffy pink boa that shed everywhere I went but also covered me up because it was wrapped around my arms and neck and everywhere. I also wore a nice feathery something or other on my head that kind of took care of the hair. Not only that but my legs were well hidden in black stockings…