Friday, February 28, 2014

The blog lives another day

Towards the end of my DC existence, a friend asked what I will blog about once I move. I was quick to respond--

"What are you talking about? The only things I talk about are the kids and y'all."

I have finally hit that point-- my life was interesting. I did neat things. I had adventures. I was eager to get home, sit in front of my computer as the child napped, or rested, or colored on the wall. I was excited to sit down and spout my tales of motherhood or of friendship.

And then I moved home. That is not to say that my life has not been interesting, but I have been wondering around the annals of my simple mind contemplating what to write. What story do I want to regale you with? What wit or knowledge do I want to pass on to those out there who read about our little life.

Talk about pressure, too. Now that I am back in Hometown, I cannot go a single day without at least one person coming up to me with some sort of compliment or comment about this little section of the World Wide Web that I call mine. It feels so good. So Good.

It makes me beam. Truly. Just last week I ran into an old grade school friend and his family. His parents have retired and moved to North Carolina. They were driving through town on their way to Florida. After speaking to him for a few minutes, his mom came up to me.

I thought she would not remember me or even know my name. I went to school with her sons twenty years ago.

She walked up to me and put her hand on my arm, "Wife! How are you? And where are your children? I so love reading your blog. You have such an interesting perspective on things. It is fresh and witty."

Hand to God, you could not have slapped that grin off my face.

"I always knew you'd be a writer. I love seeing your updates."

We talked for a few more minutes like old friends, completely caught up in each other's worlds and laughed about the mundane things I have shared- like tags on rags or the oil spill of 2010.

It made me proud, but also made me think about what I put out here. I don't want to let her down. You take time out of your day to come here and visit with me, even if this conversation is one-sided. Over the last few months, I have been trying to have a mental challenge of writing with wit, hoping to make you laugh more than make you cry.

It's hard. It's not that I am not a funny person, but try conveying wit into prose.

Here I sit in my turquoise dining room, thinking about needing to finish the house so I can write more about our space. But that takes money- and did you hear we had an ice storm? Yeah- we had to clean our yard and that did not come cheap. Our gas bill has not come in yet, but our logs ran for days straight.

Or, I think about how we took LMC to Catholic Elementary the other day for her to tour where she will go to school next year. It's the same place I attended at her age. She was nervous. Would not let go of my hand and hid behind my leg, kind of nervous. She met both my kindergarten and my first grade teacher. She played the big xylophone in the music room and saw the girls with the big sequin bows- apparently the only place a girl can show her personality in those uniforms is with their hair accessories.

My aunt turned 70. I remember celebrating my grandmother's 70th birthday when I was... um... okay, I think it was about 25 years ago. Her daughter asked me to take pictures of everyone. The other night I finally got around to editing and uploading them. It shocked me-- shocked me-- to see how we have aged. My cousins have receding hairs lines and more salt in their hair since the last time I saw them. My female cousins look more like their mothers than I remember and my mom and her sisters look more like my great aunts. Our children- second cousins- play like we did and we enjoy ourselves as they did. We don't get together nearly as often, but there is no less love and no less enjoyment in each other's company. It seems that when we do get together, a large part of the time is spent talking about how much fun it is and that we should do it more often.

Several months ago, my last great aunt died.  My baby's namesake, Bennie. I told her daughter the other day that I loved my grandmother very much. But, the relationship I had with my Aunt Bennie and my Aunt Helen was amazing. It was so special to me and I am a better person for having had them in my life.

I was one of those lucky fools that did not have four grandparents. In truth, I only knew three grandparents- but in reality I had five grandmothers and one grandfather. His sisters loved me as their own. When my dad's mother died, I was six. He asked me if I wanted to go to the funeral and I said no. I had no idea what a funeral was, but I knew everyone was sad and the Christmas tree lights were not twinkling like they had been.

A few days later, my Aunt Helen came to the house to see me. She took me into the living room and talked to me about my grandmother. She did not skirt around the end. She did not make it amazing, nor did she make it horrible. She told it exactly like it is- you live. You live a wonderful life and then one day, God says it is time for you to come be with him. He sends for you. You attach your wings, grab your halo and leave everything behind- because everything you could ever want or need is up in Heaven. All the people you love and that love you are waiting for you.

It was the first and only time I remember crying about my grandmother attaching her wings and grabbing her halo. She held me in those soft arms of hers, the baubles on her ears pressed against my hair. She smoothed my curls and held my face in her hands.

"I knew your grandmother a very long time. Long before your parents married. She was a wonderful woman and she will always be your grandmother. But, I talked to her last night and she asked me to come over and talk to you because she was so worried about not being here for you. How about I step in and be your Augusta grandmother? Millie and Big Dad will be your grandparents, but if you ever need a stand-in, I am here?"

It did not register with me at the time to understand about "talking" to my deceased grandmother, but I nodded my head and agreed.

"She said she was going to take me to buy new panties this week. The dog ate mine."

Aunt Helen laughed, put her arm around me and said we had to get that taken care of.

Baby Bennie is starting to stir and I need to wrap up my ramblings about my writer's block. The blog lives another day.

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