Friday, September 30, 2011

The Scariest Scarecrow

It was staked in the yard when I came home last weekend.
A shimmery black suit with glowing green bones. A skull mask leering from the top of the stake.
The kids had been busy, prepping for Halloween. They danced around it, showing off their newspaper-stuffing skills. They bounced up and down, delighted at scrounging through the garage to find a stake.
It was creepy and spooky and all the things that kids love in October.
Hours later, I peered out from the front door. I gasped. I shivered with a strong creepy feeling, when I glimpsed the back of that staked scarecrow.
I marched out and pulled that stake right out of the ground.
What did my eyes spy?
The stake, oh the stake... (shivers!) it had the hospital-issue "It's a Boy" sign on the back.
And never a scarier sight had my eyes spied!
Just. the. thought! I quake in my boots! My eyes, my eyes!

And that was the Scariest Scarecrow Ever.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Friend

My friend, she listens and talks
Talks and listens
Sharing, filling in, laughing
A joke about parenthood, the trials of four
It pokes our funny bones
Spectacularly and darkly amusing
She knows cuckoo
and thinks I am not it
Or maybe only a bit, in the most comforting way
A world without the cuckoo would be
a world in which the mystery had gone
And nobody wants a sure thing.
My friend has clear eyes
and I look into them fearlessly
Knowing what I see
and not minding what she sees
There may be surprises but not disappointment
never that
For what lies inside we have always known
Though the current and present reminders are
and always
a Joy.

with love

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Counselor

My interest was caught midway through her story. She likes to sit nearby when she gets home from school, and spin tales about her day, telling me all the small happenings and big news from her new class. I listen, albeit with partial attention, because multi-tasking is a method of survival around here. (I often wonder if I am capable of giving my singleminded full attention to any one thing, anymore.)
When my attention sprang into action, it was at the phrase "...and so I put a note in her mailbox."

Me: Back up sweetie, what mailbox, and to whom did it belong? (like I really talk that way)

Isabella: The school counselor. She comes by our class, and she said if we have anything we need to talk about, we can write a note and put it in her little blue mailbox. So I wrote her a note.

Me: Aha. What did you need to talk about? What did your note say? (please not anything weird, please not anything wacky) (Excuse my panic, but Isabella once told a friend this little tidbit "My Mommy and Daddy always shower together." Given that I had a 5 year old, 3 year old twins, and was 6 months pregnant at the time... well, that was a large bit of fabrication, right? I tell you, the girl must be supervised, when she is in a confiding mood.)

Isabella: Well, my note said "I miss Jadyn."

Me: (with great relief and shiny eyes) Oh. Oh. You sweetheart, I'm so sorry you are lonely for Jadyn. What did the counselor tell you? (Both of the girls have been doing great in separate classes, and were *to my unskilled knowledge* doing fine. :))

Isabella: She told me to come talk to her when I felt lonely.

Me: Hmm. That sounds good.

And that concluded episode one of Counselor Talk.

Two days later, she was back with more news.

Isabella: I went to talk with the counselor today. I put a note in her box again, and she called me to come talk to her.

Me: Oh, how 'bout that. What did you talk about?

Isabella: My note said "I am having trouble with subtraction." And the counselor said that we could work on it together.

Me: You and I? She said you needed to work on it more at home? (giggly and slightly confused, since again to my *unskilled knowledge* math is going fine.)

Isabella: No, she meant her. She said she could work on subtraction with me. In her office.

At this point a small lightbulb went off in my head. Yes, yes, accompanied by a guilty feeling for the children who actually need the counselor's help. But the lightbulb, as you parents with children who have the Dreaded Homework each night know... (and don't even get me started on juggling this hot four-headed mess during HW time.)
Well. Let's just say that this counselor may become my new best friend.
*cough cough*
I mean Isabella's New. Best. Friend.
I'd say they are already on their way, right? And what's a little HW help between friends!
Are you with me?

Friday, September 16, 2011



What do we do when the doin' is done?
And silence falls
A moment for thought
What do we think when the thinkin' is all thought out?
Nothing is solved
And walking is the only way
Forward on and on, this path might not be familiar
but it is mine.
There might not be answers to think or thunk or thank, god bless me
But I can walk.
What do we do when the feelin' is felt?
Soak it in, wring it out, wiggle each finger and toe
free of tension
On into freedom
And keep walkin'
This is our way, we humans
Doing, thinking, feeling and ultimately
Moving on.
In and over and through whatever this plain brings
And I can feel in my blood
the movement
the rush
The spirit that threads through
Tying pretty little bows around each of us
and linking those bows
every which way and every what way
And that is friendship.
Spiritual ribbons in all the colors of the rainbow.

...on a crisp September eve...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

That Festival Again

It's that time... Time for the Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain Park!
And as we have over the years, my friend Traci and I met up to browse the arts and crafts and enjoy a rare visit together. Living on different sides of the ATL can seem so far apart...
No, not literally, but in reality? Life gets in the way, and don't we know how life changes once small people are in the picture.
So we welcomed a morning to catch up, and check out great art. Perhaps find a little treasure or two to smuggle home...
In an odd convergence of memory and place, I can recall just about every purchase that Traci and I have made at the Festival over the years. Passing by the vendors that return every year is like a sweet walk down a bumpy, tree-root-ridden memory lane.

T, you bought some dried flowers there, right? Look, those earrings again, I saw her at the Roswell show. Pottery in Internet Blue, that's still our favorite shade... Ohhh! It's those pendant necklaces, I have been looking at those for 3 years now... How many years have we seen that booth? Well, that must be the new thing - there are three booths with custom frames. What are these? Oh - vintage post office box safes. Hmm. Interesting. Wot? Is she doing hair using pipe cleaners? Huh? (That's affirmative.) Ohhh. these are always so beautiful, these birdhouses. The tinted tin roofs, and all the detail!

And on and on it goes, our running festival commentary interspersed with family happenings and exclamations of delight at some newly spotted treasure. Or some treasure that we have been eye-balling for awhile - glass-encased pendants anyone? Three years was long enough. It was time to take the plunge. A bird on one side and... a tree on the other! I was sunk.

I will have you around my neck, my pretty...
All the while, I offer my usual reasoning for a necklace or earring purchase: I wear them every day! With this short hair, I have to have a little decoration. I *only* have 4 tree pendants, and none of them are red...
It's a foregone conclusion, but we must pay homage to the tradition of demurring and declining. Somehow it makes the treasure that much sweeter.
Here's to sweet friends, little treasures and weekend festivals.
Happy weekend internetz...
And if you're local, stop by the festival. Pick up a vintage PO Box safe. Interesting, they certainly are. Selling quickly, they are not.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Unlikely friendships

This was the challenge, and the subject: to write a short essay on your most unlikely friend. I took the challenge, chose my subject and submitted the essay.
Alas! I was a no go for the finalists.
So now I am free to do what I want with my short piece, and I want to share it with my bloggy friends. Meet my friend Louise...


Being friends with Louise is like coming home.
She is the one kin to a favorite sweater, the one you shrug on whenever you have a chill or are craving coziness. She says she has known me since I was a baby - I say we knew each other in worlds before this one.

Effortless companion, giving quiet support - she is graced with a sudden spark of feistiness that makes me grin every time. Recently, months have gone by between conversations. Yet hearing her voice, the smile lighting her words and imagining her in familiar surroundings, it’s like only a moment has passed.

I wonder if this connection was sparked by circumstance, that we came together as I was falling apart and searching for myself. I was a teenager, parents just divorced, carrying the arrogance of my age with all the cluelessness that coincides. Woman-child in need of a safe haven. She had a knack for gathering in wounded souls, and providing a foundation of spiritual solidity and simple needs. I opened up little by little, in her kitchen, as we prepared food and cleaned counters. Though I surely learned many things from her, she was first my friend.

Years have crept by and still, we turn to each other when there are tragedies, family happenings or just plain longings to see each other. Now and then I chuckle, thinking of the fact that Louise is nearly 50 years older than I am - and yet somehow there is not a year between my timeless friend and I.

There were nine finalists chosen, and I like four of their stories: Sandi, Nancy, Shelly and Stacey. Click on over to read about other Unlikely Friends!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Morning Review

The silence is deafening. It is literally so quiet, I can hear the quiet.
Child Four has started his first week of preschool, and I am alone in the house.
Alone. In the quiet.
And as a friend pointed out, it is the first time in ten years that preschool has begun, and I have only my beating heart in the room. When Cole turned three and started preschool, I was pregnant with twins. When the girls turned three and started preschool, Phoenix was 3 months old.
And now, it is just me and my beating heart.
I cannot decide what to tackle first: household organizing that has been put off... ditto for deep cleaning... the Honey-Do list... enjoying the silence and accomplishing absolutely nothing... or blogging. Oh! You've guessed what I decided on? :)
I could hardly start cleaning, since I have already put on heels and a dress for a lunch date with my Rickey. And dangle-y earrings. Maybe a dab of perfume. Girls, we are worlds away from flip flops, cargo shorts & a tank top on this Friday!
Excitement is in the air, but it's not all about lunch dates and the start of preschool. Rabid Auburn fans are gearing up for the first game, which is tomorrow, and which the Lear brood will be attending. As Phoenix says (pom-pons shaking at 6am) Go War Eagle!
Rick has turned them all into mini-fans, and I am along for the ride. (My alma mater does not have a football team, so my team spirit is dormant. :))
It's our first game with the whole crew, and.... Go War Eagle is all I can say. :)

Happy weekend friends!