I haven't got anything to show for the week. I've made tree blocks, but even I'm bored posting pictures of them. The garden is in a resting period, with lots of things preparing to bloom, but not many flowers right now. Haven't seen much of Sydney, so nothing to say there. It's just been Rob and me, enjoying being together and eating good food.
So, I thought I'd share a couple short stories that happened.
That's what her sign said. And, it moved me. And, I handed some money through the window. And, then I sat back and cried. I cried for her because hungry, pregnant and alone. One of those is awful. All three at the same time? I can't imagine. And, I cried a little bit for me because I feel sooooo lucky and it's good to appreciate that sometimes because I believe that the distance between lucky and homeless is measured by a few mistakes and choices. And, it's easy to stumble and fall unless there's someone there to catch you.
There's a song by Chris Janson titled Drunk Girl. Every time I hear it I tear up. As the father of a daughter, I can't help it. I sure hope my girl finds a man like that. I could do without thinking about the drunk part of it, but a man that will be there when she stumbles to keep her from falling and will be respectful of her, even when she's not respecting herself.
My house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy.
My Aunt S passed away this week. I don't have many memories of her when I was an adult, but I have plenty from when I was a child. That saying was on a plaque that hung in her kitchen. She was the one that would move all the furniture around when she was alone, so her kids might wake up living in one room and go to school and go to bed that night living in a different room. And, she had done all the work. She had 5 children. And, I think she was a happy person. I don't know that, but if appearances count, she was.
I remember when we were all little, she borrowed some food coloring to use in the frosting for her youngest son's birthday. I can remember the house was full. I remember my grandmother being there. Someone said this cake tastes funny. Then we all did. Turns out that food coloring was model airplane paint. And, neither the lady that loaned it to her nor Aunt S looked at the small food coloring sized bottle. I'm sure everyone was mortified. I remember it as a very human moment and very funny event, one of the little moments that makes up a lifetime of being human and imperfect. If I remember correctly, we got to eat the cake, as long as we didn't eat the frosting.
Once, when I was being sent home to dinner and her kids were being sent to the bath before they could come to the table, she asked me how I managed to play and stay so clean. I think she suspected something, even then.
I remember her laughing. And, laughing. And, laughing. I want to be remembered by someone like that.
When we went to my Dad's 80th birthday, it was the first time any of the extended family met Sydney. Aunt S's body was failing her, even then. I remember that she was very upset that she was just hearing that I had a daughter. Offended even. But, she didn't ask when or who or where...or (thank goodness) how. She just struggled up out of that chair and hugged Sydney like she'd been family all our lives. It was a small thing for her to do. But, for me, it was HUGE and a moment I hope I always remember.
When I was little, too young to read, she read a recipe to me from a church cookbook and I still remember it.
salt and pepper to taste
enough water to cover
Cover the elephants with water, add salt and pepper and boil for three days until done. If you're expecting a large crowd, you can add the two rabbits, but only if needed. Nobody likes to find hare in their soup.
A life well lived, a rest well earned. Farewell.
Yesterday afternoon, I was listening to a podcast. The speaker had suffered a stroke, I think. He spoke like he had, slowly and deliberately and with some slurring. I was inspired. He spoke so eloquently and with such enthusiasm. Sure, I had to listen extra hard to understand him. I found myself leaning forward in the car's seat to listen better (yes, I know).
I was inspired that someone who had such a difficult time didn't let that interfere with his message and how important he felt that message was. And, he stood above his difficulties to deliver it. If he can stand above his difficulties, I think I can too.
So, that's my week. That's the most important things I thought about. The most important things that happened. Not very important in the grand scheme of things. I didn't find the origin of life or discover a cure for anything except maybe some blues. But, in the midst of all the turmoil going on in the world, it's nice to know I can still feel emotional about things. And, as always, I'm glad I can cry. I know too many men that think that's wrong.
I think they're wrong and we should all have a good cry once in a while.