Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Trail's end

When I was in Austin a couple weeks ago, my niece took me to her secret spot where she likes to run and sometimes take her dogs for a swim.  It's a bit of a stroll from where you can park your car, but Cheyenne loved the dirt path and insisted on leading the way, even though she had never been there before.  I think she knew there would be water at the end of the trail.



Monday, April 25, 2011

Between the breezy moments

Sometimes at night, I sit out on my front porch, watching the sun drop below the broad Pecan trees across the street, and listening to the humming bugs and the breeze rustling the young leaves on the blooming trees, and the occasional lonely bird calling out to nothing in particular.  Sometimes, I smile and think how perfect the world, how great the peace. Other times, a tear falls when I realize how much I wish things could be, could have been, different. I think about what I couldn't possibly have saved, what I couldn't possibly have changed, what I couldn't possibly have stopped from changing me, or hurting them.

I know I'm not responsible for any of it but, still, sometimes I feel responsible for not being able to stop the things that made the worst of differences.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

From my little flower beds

Picture this, if you will: These flowers in my hands, reaching to you, a gift for you. Happy Easter, I hope you enjoy.



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dear friend

Dear friend,

Thank your for visiting my heart yesterday.  Thank you for coming into my mind with a gentle knock and a whisper, for taking my hand and leading me through so many memories of you. 

The afternoon we spent at the lake, on the dock, swimming out to it, climbing up on it, letting the sun dry our bodies, feeling safe.

Our poetry contests, the joke of the key to our heart on the floor.

Your black leather baseball cap.

Your teaching me how to do a flip off the diving board, your patience as I tried and tried and your excitement when I succeeded.

Do it again!
Do it again!
No.  I did it once.  I'm happy with that.

Tubing the lazy Guadalupe River, gazing up at the Cypress trees leaning far over the water's edge, creating mottled light and shadows on our faces and shoulders.

How your perspective shed new light on my understanding.

How frustrated you would get with me when I wouldn't break my routine.

You and your damn plans, God forbid you change your routine just once.

All you had wanted was for me to stay out later than I had planned. I wouldn't budge. We were so young then, how could we have known that my routine was the only thing that kept me from losing my footing?

I remember reading you the nursery rhymes you never were read as a child, buying you a book of them and watching you turn its pages.

I remember your laughter.

You've been gone for almost 15 years now, and I always remember you as if you were this morning.

I miss you. I always miss you.

Friday, April 15, 2011

He said yes and she said yes and I was there

I've written about this day before. 

And here
And here
And, yep, one more here.

Sixty-two years ago today, my parents were wed. When I was a little girl, I would look at pictures from that day and wish I could have been there, that I could have been part of special moment in their lives. It had not yet occured to me that my entire life is part of that day.

I've grown quite satisfied with that realization.

I like to think of them, up there, and imagine them raising ice cold martinis to each other this evening in a toast, and my father thinking that at least now on this day, he doesn't have to worry about taxes today.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The beginning of my day

After several months, my morning pattern in my new house has settled into a routine that I'm quite happy with. Following the bits that I manage to do without really being fully awake -- making the bed, brushing my teeth -- Cheyenne and I head down the stairs. I pour the remainder of my water glass into the ever-thirsty indoor plant at the bottom of the stairs, turn off the alarm and the porch lights, open the front door to let Cheyenne out, and get the newspaper from the front yard. I switch the coffee maker on, get Cheyenne's breakfast ready, then clean and fill her water bowl. While she inhales her meal and slurps up some water, I pour my coffee.  And then, the words that thrill Cheyenne to no end:

Wanna go for a walk, girl?  Wanna walk?

She circles me in excitement, all tail and butt wag while I put her collar on. The path of our morning walks are decided as we are walking. Sometimes I lead the way and sometimes Cheyenne takes the lead. Our walks are always a happy part of my day, especially this time of year when I discover new things that have changed since the last time we walked a certain sidewalk or passed a certain house. New paint, new flowers, a newly raked yard or painted fence, new growth on the trees.

This morning, we were out the door before 7:00, and that's the magic hour because the lighting is soft and gentle, a bit dreamy. Just like I like it.  So I brought my camera.






Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Of the weekend

My house was a house that had family in and out its doors all weekend. My niece was here and then the beach and then back here Saturday night. My nephew and his girlfriend were here and then the beach and then back here Sunday morning. My great niece was here for the weekend. On Sunday, everyone was here together. 


Yea for family togetherness!

Faith is eating solid foods now. Well, solid foods in the form of puree. And with solid foods, comes solid poop.  This is great news on the milestones calendar but... yeah, that.  What a mess!


Cheyenne is jealous of Faith, or the attention I give faith, or the feeding schedule that is Faith's. Okay, lets be real, it's the food.  Oh, the treats that Cheyenne was given over the weekend!  On a bottle-to-treat ratio, 1 to 5.  Okay, OKAY, Cheyenne was whining over it and even barked once. And I had my hands full.


On Sunday morning, Faith and I were sitting on my front porch when my niece Catherine woke up. I gently handed her niece to her and watched them discover each other. Faith smiled and cooed and Catherine said, Awwww. A lot. Then asked Catherine if she wanted to feed Faith and she said, But I don't know how to do it. I've never done it before. I smiled at her and told her, Before you, sweetie, I had never done it before either. And then I showed her how.  Then I stood back and watched my niece feeding her niece and my heart exploded into a million sparkling pieces of joy.


Before my niece left for Austin Sunday afternoon, she made her bed in the guestroom. I had no idea until, hours later when I went into the room because I was missing her and hoping I could find something she left behind. What I found was her courtesy and consideration.  And that? A very nice way to end the weekend.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Three beauties

One of my favorite things about the Spring is that each year it delivers my dear friend and her family to Houston for a week. They pack their bags and leave frigid, snowy Vermont to relish in our warm temperature and cool breezes.  Then they leave and laugh at us when the temperature in Houston is in the high 90s and there's not a breeze to be found south of Kansas. Usually, I high tail it up to Vermont in July for the same kind of break from home's extreme weather. Last year though, I did not make the trip. So, I haven't seen my friend, her husband, or their two beautiful daughters in a year. A year is way too long not only because I miss my friend so much but also because those two girls of theirs have grown so much!   

Tuesday night we all met for an early dinner where we requested a patio table at one of their favorite restaurants. My nephew and his girlfriend joined us with their daughter (who turned five months yesterday!!!). What unfolded was a lovely evening shared with family and lifelong friends. An evening of deep connection and satisfaction.




Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Monday, April 04, 2011

A dark day

Imagine, if you will, a black curtain hung over this space today.  Like blocking a mirror, like blocking dreams. 

On this day in 1968, a coward took Dr. King's life.  I was six years old and nothing about the horror touched me that day. I was too young, too protected.  But for the rest of my life, yes. This man who believed in freedom for all, who believed in equality, this man who was a non-violent man of God, was killed by a single bullet.  Just one. 

Dr. King said, Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.  I carry those words in my heart; they are an important compass.