a hot meal for a weary evening

My children are the bright sparks in my life, when things seem to go amiss, to seem dull or muffled. Last night – while my husband and my daughter were deep in their separate studies – my son and I made a simple meal: pasta covered in homemade marinara and golden, bubbling fresh mozzarella – green beans – garlic toast – roasted garbanzo beans – homemade dill pickles. I was tired but Nels chirped alongside me, happy and full of energy. He set the table, and clearly took a great deal of pride in helping dinner along.

I am well aware my children’s experience of this house are on another plane entirely from that of their parents. Nels regularly calls our house his “dream home” and he knows every inch of it – from the two warm attic spaces to the beloved modern kitchen to basement, a basement yesterday he praised high and low for its functionality and usefulness. He is tending a small garden outside and has strong opinions about the landscaping in our very private, very small and lovely backyard. He is quick to give a tour – whether the place is in good shape or not! – to almost anyone, and show off to friends.

My daughter is doing well in her studies, gliding effortlessly into college and digging into hours of homework per night. Today she took herself to soccer practice, came home and played games with her brother, and is finishing up schoolwork as I write. Ralph and I are still flummoxed as to tuition and scholarships: she is too young for many of the academic merit scholarships available, even though she tested so well! Well, there’s a wrench for every nut, as they say.

The beautiful summer has turned into a warm, balmy fall. Our large maple tree is dusting the deck with leaves the color of leather and loam. The days are getting darker and with that change: more introspection, sadness, but also a time of reflection and rest.

Wrapping up in blankets and holding one another a little closer, now and then.