The weather at the lake was kind of glorious. It was warm, but rainy. There was a kind of glow in the air and a stormy closeness. Hardly anyone else was at their cabins, which is nice. We’ll be back in September where once again the crowds tend to be missing.
Father’s Day 2013. This year I missed my father acutely, so it did me good to see many of my friends loving up on the daddies in their lives. Ralph got a few lovely gifts from the kids and I, then spent the day on the road with his oldest off to see a MLP movie.
As soon as we got back from our Mason Lake trip, I mean only a few minutes after we unpacked, the kids and I ran out to Ocean City to see the beached fin whale. I figure you might not want to be surprised here by corpsey pictures, but I have a few on Flickr. We ended up walking a few miles to get to and from the whale, and I also ended up hijacking a fellow in his big truck – so the kids, dog and I could pile in and get a ride. It was quite a sojourn but it was a massive, amazing specimen. Oh BY THE WAY my dog ate lots of that whale. And this whale was not fresh. The blubber pieces were reddish black. This is why we can’t have nice things.
We got back from our trip and I was balls-tired for many reasons, including a few miles’ walk on sand after a long day cleaning and driving. Ralph had cooked up this vegetarian feast of grilled vegetables – asparagus, red cabbage, and brussel sprouts – on a bed of basmati rice and drizzled with chile dressing. The kids were unimpressed, but it was very dear to me.Read More
Ralph and I sit on the porch at the cabin and watch our children play on the dock. Just lately I feel a twinge of sadness watching the little ones – they are so tall, growing up so fast. Like I told a friend the other day, it’s nice to have more than one child because no matter what milestones the oldest is getting up to you always have your “baby”. But of course one day the baby, too, like reaches up top of the fridge to get down the egg cartons for his “little Mama”. Ouch.
Regardless, if there’s one thing in my life that gives me peace and strength, it’s my children. Just listening to them, watching them, they are an inspiration. Today they help us haul in our groceries and gear, and they take care of the dog and kitty we brought along, and they strip into swim clothes then back into jeans and t-shirts then back in to swim clothes again, and run about and feed some baby ducks pieces of peanut butter cookie, and speak so sweetly to each creature they come across.
My children love this place, the lake cabin. They love it so much more than even seems to make sense. They love it regardless of the weather or if we have visitors or if we don’t. They love whatever food we cook or television we watch (or don’t watch). They don’t get “bored” here even though it is a large one-room cabin and we just have a few boats and things (and okay let’s admit it – sometimes I get bored here!). And on the porch now I’m sipping coffee and thinking – this is the forth family generation of children to play here (the cabin was erected in 1939). Amongst the many framed pictures of family are photographs of my grandmother and great-aunt when just toddlers.
I guess it’s a pretty kid-friendly scene, really.
Clear sunshine, warm rain, silence across the water.
“Would you like to see my Christ Box?” my son asks me. He is holding a small, carved, wooden hingeless bowl with a lid. “These are things of God,” he tells me by way of introduction. He removes the lid and reveals two golden coins of indeterminate origin, a dime-sized smooth blue agate-like rock, and what looks like a beat-up brass washer. Now he holds the rock up now and instructs me: “This is blue and smooth and beautiful, for the Water God.” He thumbs through the two coins but rushes through these descriptions, instead finding the washer-like item to caress it. “And this is something God must have left for me, because I found it and it is beautiful.”
My son is so beautiful it breaks my heart. Daily he retreats from me, growing up and growing wild in his way, tall and lean and like a bramble, twisting up and up daily, growing without remorse. His hair is long and full of knots, his eyes infused with light and love, his summer tan and freckles glowing in the warm light of evening. His face is thin and wolf-like, changeling, but his smile is still innocent and mischievous, still the smile of his babyhood, and his skin and hair smell dusty and sweet the exact way his father smells. I hold him close and tell him it’s very important to notice such things, and then he is gone, to return his Christ Box to where he keeps it – I know not where.
It’s 11 PM now and I’m sitting after scrubbing a floor then cooking up a from-scratch chocolate cream pie. I’m not sure if there’s anything I find more cheering, humble, and heartfelt than cooking a few specific dishes – and chocolate cream pie is one of them. And there might not be anything better than doing this late at night, house clean and feet dirty, with the cheerful assistance of my daughter who is also wickedly funny. We’re discussing tonight’s viewing options, the bit of family movie we watch before we all get too sleepy to concentrate. I’m advocating for one of those documentaries on cryptids – predictable fare for me, I might add. “Most episodes are weaksauce, but that chupacabra was pure nightmare fuel,” my daughter laughs, a little tremor in her voice. She doesn’t get like her brother, terrified even to tears at times. It is hard to know what she is frightened of, what she fears. She runs deep but she is frank. Her brown is a deeper fawn-like brown and her cheeks blush like a rose, and her laughter has more warmth and is less harsh than her brother’s.
My feet ache and my knees have a twinge. Tomorrow I’ve an x-ray report I’m supposed to pick up, and we go from there to figure out the source of my mild, but chronic, hip and knee and shin pain. I pace myself, “the walk of an elephant”, yet even at this pace the home changes, opens up and blooms as I scrub windowsills and fold fabrics and wash windows. This evening in the waning daylight Ralph and I swept and scrubbed the living room and closets and a few places downstairs, in preparation for new furniture being delivered tomorrow. New for-reals-New, by the way. Perhaps my first-ever new piece of furniture? I’d have to think about it to figure it out, and I’m too tired for the mental exercise.
Gratitude beats down in my hard heels and is the company of the drum, even into the dark and into a bed of clean linens and a warm man and tangled-up children.Read More
Carver: Mr. Jones, are we ready to release our new software?
Jones: Yes, sir. As requested, it’s full of bugs, which means people will be forced to upgrade for years.
Tonight we feast our eyes on cheesy computer graphics and even cheesier media-moguls-are-megalomaniacs plot tropes in the eighteenth Bond installment – Tomorrow Never Dies!
I’ve seen this Bond film only once – probably when it came out. I remember only a handful of things: Jonathan Pryce is a groan-inducing ham, there’s one of those big blonde sadistic sonovabitch thugs (again, a Bond thing), there’s a sweet-ass remote control BMW heavily featured – and that Michelle Yeoh as Wai Lin is just awesome.
The theme song is a throwback to some of the earliest themes. A great song but Sheryl Crow just doesn’t have the balls-busting Bassey-ness, you know?
You can join @VFD_crow & I in our commentary at #BondBFFs on awesometi.me. Better yet, get your copy of Tomorrow Never Dies*, pause the film immediately after the MGM lion logo fades, and press play again at exactly 6 PM PST according to this site’s clock.
See you tonight!
* (My advice? Buy a legal version, and download/torrent it to put the file on the computer through VLC or some such, so streaming internet doesn’t make viewing stutter.)Read More
A little photo-blogginz:
The dog, who is rolling around in ecstacy as I furminate his fluffy ass. Pictured: approximately the same amount of hair as is in my backseat after one car ride. I jest, or do I??!?!
Mable, being awesome & chillaxin’ in her favorite chair. She likes it best when I clean the chair, so she can immediately furball it up. If you’re sensing a pet-hair theme now that the warmer weather has hit, BINGO.
& the pièce de résistance, our uteriñata! The first-ever piñata I’ve made, as far as I know… it might have been Ralph’s first too. Ribbon-pull method, as nope, there won’t be any beating of a uterus up in this household.
An anecdote involving Sir Patrick Stewart, including some of his work around domestic violence and PTSD – as well as a lovely personal touch.
At the beginning of this month, I happened upon the story of Carmen Blandin Tarleton and her recent face transplant – and have now subscribed to her blog. She has a great deal of wisdom and healing to offer the world. I’ve also enjoyed reading a partial transcript describing the first time she met with the donor’s daughter.
This piece was wonderful. I alternatively felt sad and felt hopeful as I read some of the comments. It would seem even after such a well-articulated piece, some people still view forgiveness as something they can accomplish and wield as a weapon – as a way to control the actions or experiences of others.Read More