_^____ O.......



evening porch

and finally it feels like summer.



i'm going to be honest and say that it feels a little bit like clearing my throat, writing here.  you know the feeling, i'm sure, when you haven't used your voice in awhile and you open your mouth to speak, and what comes out is a creaky mess?

like this morning, at five, when dave rolled over complaining about the noisy birds outside our window (curses to our garden!?  never!) and i opened my mouth and croaked.  he had to ask me to repeat myself twice (at five am) before i was able to say, "would you like me to get you some earplugs?"

it feels like that.

when i first started blogging, six years ago, my brother - the poet, the writer, the wise one - asked me who was my audience.  i remember the conversation clearly, on the leather couches in the dining room-turned-playroom in his house in philadelphia at the time, and i replied that i was writing to myself.  it was true, in the beginning - i was my own audience.  but then there were readers and commenters and swaps and do i endorse products? and lists of links and photographs and do i post without photographs? and what is this blog even about anyway? and then my kids were growing up and there was habit and thirty words is really manageable and satisfying a lot of the time, and here i am now, clearing my throat in public.  (so to speak.  because i suspect that it's pretty private here right now anyway.  blissfully so.)

the thing is this.  photographs are good, especially the pretty ones.  and i will always love habit.  but there is something about writing, and something about blogging.  and i don't want to forget that.




well then.

if i'm going to be at home and not at martha stewart headquarters for alt then i'm going to savor every single minute of being at home these two days.  there was nothing on my calendar, of course - except, now, for the funeral - and i can't remember the last time that happened.  it's been months.  at least.

an accounting, so far.  

felix and i have walked in the woods.  twice.  i have spent hours in the kitchen - a baked ziti, two loaves of banana bread, a fresh batch of hummus, gazpacho and carmelized onions and hamburgers and corn for last night's dinner, popsicles.  we ate dinner on the porch last night for the first time in weeks, and we walked the dog after dinner.  we made our summer list in the nick of time.  there was a trip to the library and a friend over after camp and there was laundry.  i sat in silence, watching my breath, for five minutes yesterday and i will sit for ten today.  and tonight we'll light a fire in the fire pit and dave will play guitar and the kids will roast marshmallows and i will feel thankful for clarity and for family and for home.



i like to think that my father was around the age of eight when he tied his cousin patsy to a tree, but maybe he was twelve.  or ten or seven or even fourteen, i don't actually know and there's nobody left to say for sure.  they were playing cowboys and indians or cops and robbers or some game that our kids don't play anymore, my father and his friend were, when they tied cousin patsy and aunt paula to a tree.  and left.  or so the story goes.

cousin patsy's mother died yesterday on her 92nd birthday.  i understand from another cousin that this - dying on your birthday - happens to 1 in 365 people, but i don't really know if that's true.  my father should have been the one to get the call, of course.  or my aunt paula - my father's sister, who was also tied to the tree - but they're not here anymore, and my grandmother is across the ocean and worlds away.  so the call came to me.

and i made the decision to go the funeral on thursday instead of going to alt new york with molly.

we have been planning this adventure for months, molly and i have, and i got the call while we were on the phone discussing final details.  i think i said, "i wish there was someone to tell me what to do."  i know i wished there was someone to tell me what to do.

i wish a lot of things.  about my father and my family and being in two places at one time and creatvitiy and blogging and habit and life.  i hung up the phone and closed my eyes for 30 seconds and i knew.

maybe it was the sage?