saying goodbye

Yesterday I was dragging a fallen tree off our stone wall to use for firewood when I noticed something unusual.  Jasper was grunting and sceeching, wanting to point out the large mushrooms glued to the bottom of the trunk, and I bent down to confirm with him.  I noticed they were artist conchs and touched their smooth white underside. I found a hunk of white gold hair stuck to it, and when I held in my hands I sucked in my breath.  I felt sure it was my lost kitty, bubba’s.  I wondered if he was there when it all went down?  Or if that had just been a resting place in the sun one day before he met his match.  I searched around the area  a bit for any other clues but I didn’t find any.

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I search when we are on a milk walk.  I search when we are wandering the woods.  I hate not knowing what happened to him.

We had a little ceremony for him last saturday, right before Lee left for a big long trip.  It was short and sweet.  We placed a gravestone by out hammock so we could hang out in the sun with him.  We said a few words about his sweet demeanor.  And about how he has been there to welcome all our babies.  Then we turned to walk away.  As we did, the very first snowflakes fell.    They kissed our cheeks and eyelids and we sighed in relief.

I brought in the last bouquet of cosmos before the hard frost came and sucked the color out of them.  We piled our basement full of squash and onions and carrots.  We planted our garlic.  We stacked more wood.  We have begun to have a fire in our wood stove pretty regularly now too.  It feels good to all be cozied up together, and I can’t help it, whenever the moment is just so, I look around and I forget my sweet, fat cat is gone.  He loved the wood stove.  He would practically bake beneath it.

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RIP Chief Conanicus aka “bubba” February 14, 2006-September 27, 2015

You were the coziest thing I have known. I miss you so, so much. Until we meet again!

the big spin

Having been in this house for a full circle around the sun, I am feeling the deep routine that is paved out in the land of seasons.  Living in a place with four, (or five depending on who you talk to), very distinct seasons, makes all the anticipated firsts and lasts very clear and obvious as they come and go.  Of course unless they don’t.  Because that happens too.  I often find myself staring at my boys and wondering, “Is that the last time I will ever see you crawl?”, “Is that the last time you will need me to kiss an injury?”, or the last time I will ever hear you say “wuv you” before you grow so big your tongue fits into your mouth the right way and “love” comes pouring instead?  I wonder.  I wonder it when I am shutting my windows when the cold air starts blowing in.  I wonder it when I put on holey socks.  When I snuggle my cats.  When I close a chapter book tucked in with my boys.

And then something new seeps in.  A new something that I never expected.  A ritual that appeared without preparation or expectation.  And the way of the old is a little fog in the back of my mind, surely to surface when I am an elderly lady in my rocker, warming my old bones by the fire.  Then I will remember.  I will remember the smell of a sweet little boy and the soft wet cheeks of these humans on my own.  And I will remember the ache in my back and how it was absolutely caused by all the grief they gave me.  And I am sure I will smile.  At least a little.

I made my first fire in the wood stove for the season this past weekend.  The warmth on the soles of feet made me moan with gratefulness when I remembered the joy of that radiating heat.  I brought in all my house plants last night when I noticed the frost was beginning to creep up the hill.  The house will have to be oxygenated with the occasional warm day, the chance of a door left open, and all these tropicals perched in the windows, waiting patiently for the return of long days.

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Pie in the oven.

Spiders back in their rightful places (hiding!).

The craft room in use.

Cold weather is coming.

And I am ready.

the occasional 530AM wake up

Lets see, lets see.  The last few weeks, while I have been absent, our life could be summed up into three categories:  Getting ready for the fair, going to the fair, and talking about the fair.  We entered an astronomical number of things into the days events.  Knitted goods, scarecrows and large vegetables, oh my!  We won a rainbow of ribbons (on the lucky few white ribbons I picked up the judge harshly wrote “dropped stitch!” and “dirty!”…ah its art I say!  With good humor of course) and now we are anxiously awaiting our whopping checks in the mail proving all our winnings.  Let me tell you this little six year old of mine has been through the wringer over this whole shebang.  I can practically see his mind expanding over the weekends events.  There was the fact that he didn’t win any blues, when brother won three.  This was processed many a times.  There was the disappointments of not riding ALL the rides, this was processed so hard we had a letting go ceremony!  There was the hard work involved with producing such fine items, and the courage to step aboard the ferris wheel, and the obsession with engines in heritage hall and the list goes on and on.  It was over the top awesome to see it all go down.  Of course the littler big brother was less enthralled with it all.  I got a square punch to the gut in the thick of it all to let me know.  (A simple, “Mama?  I want to go home.” would have sufficed but what do I know?)  I think for the fours among us, of the taurus variety, we will stick to events with less… people… for the time being.  But the boy raked in some gold with all his colorful artwork let me tell you, making the aftermath seem like all roses and rainbows.  Ill try not to forget.

And now the guests have all headed home, the house is slowly coming back together (SLOWLY!) and we are finding a rhythm to live these autumn days by.  It takes such utter discipline to keep one up with these explosions of energy I share a home with.  It means lots of cajoling and hand holding and demonstrating and and and and and.  And thats where I have been.  Thats where I always am.  Putting out a fire, or staring one.  Singing a song, or joining in on one.  Listening in on a story, or telling one.  Being there.  Sometimes out of necessity, and lots of times out of choice.  And I promise (DAD!), I will still visit this space on the occasional ‘5:30AM my fingers are itching to tap around on this keyboard’ mornings and that I am still writing, in other forms, for other mediums.

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For now, I plan to fill as many bags of apples as three little boys can haul into a mini van.  I plan to celebrate my birthday this sunday with solitude and friendship and love.  I plan to soak up the sunshine while it still feels warm on my shoulders.

calf in the morning

We started working through our curriculum yesterday (Oak Meadow for the curious).  Which looked a lot like this:

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A lot of stories, and drawings and walks and noticing.  All in all a truly inspiring way to begin the day.  And then today, just as we were about to embark on day two, there was this:

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And just like that plans were held up and pushed back and altered.  This is precisely why we live the way we do; To get the chance to soak in new life, and marvel at the beauty of it all.  Good morning everyone, may your day be filled with even a fraction of the cuteness that is residing in our front pasture at this very moment.