"Momma, can I whisper something in your ear?" The hustle and bustle of Winn Co. Foods whirls at our elbows. Jane tugs on the shopping cart.
"Sure." I lean down, her warm breath in my ear.
"Those girls back there," she motions to a pair of junior high girls, one in red and black flannel pajama bottoms. The black haired one pokes her friend's hips and comments that they stick out more than hers. "Those girls have some very bad manners," Jane whispers.
"Yup," I nod. "I noticed that too."
I nudge the cart forward, and she continues in talk-whisper, "I would feel bad if I did that." She wrinkles her brow, "I think they need some attitude training."
Our evening errands spinning back to speed, I smile. She sees it, attitude. "Yup. I think so too," I say.
1276. Lucy's announcement that her baby's name is Glory-To-God-In-The-Highest, and that actually both babies are named Glory-To-God-In-The-Highest.
1277. Jack's prayer, "Jesus please help New Baby grow just strong and mighty and whole. Strong. Mighty. Whole. Amen.
1278. Gallons of peaches sis-in-law and I can together.
1279. Lucy's announcement, "I dropped a cherry pit through there," as she points to a whole in the wall where the doorknob hits.
1280. Jack's conclusion that he's pretty sure it's gonna be a hundred years until he's my age.
1281. Jane's gratitude, "Thank-you for making this possible," to Craig. And how he sends both of us off for a girls' date out.
1282. Her observation, "Momma, Jack and Lucy have had such a little tiny bite of life. Like if there was a whole banana, it would just be a teeny tiny seed of it."
1283. Three new shirts.
1284. Egg salad sandwiches and a feast of salads and desert and company.
1285. How the children crowd on the couch around Grandad. How they cross their legs and fold their arms, lean in, copy him, watch for every detail.
1286. How Lucy is the spitting image of my gramma.
1287. How my momma and I spoon brown sugar peaches into glass saucers, top with whip cream, a puff of cinnamon, and conversation.
1288. My grampa with a clean bill of health. And how he beelines it to his cabin tucked in the Bitterroot Mountains. The wake of family that follows.
1289. How when Craig stops by to see his brother, he's out playing with his kids and the neighbors and their kids. How his brother takes the underdog's side.
1290. Great-Grammie home from the hospital. And how while she was there in the hospital she pressed the CALL NURSE button when visitors came so she could introduce the fine nurses to her granddaughter-in-law and great-granddaughter.
1291. Four gallons of apple sauce and how they are a whole afternoon of boiling and straining and visiting over apples with Craig's mom.
1292. How we picked them straight from the tree up in her orchard, a bustle of kids gathering bucketfuls.
1293. Craig leaned against a corner in the kitchen reading while I can the applesauce.
1294. How his mom makes whatever I add to a meal seem like the perfect thing.
1295. Corn on the cob. Butter. Salt.
1296. The flood of sadness when I realize the couple parked next to us at church is snorting cocaine in the parking lot before they go into church.
1297. How suddenly the freedom in knowing Christ is so deep and wide and full in comparison.
1298. Janie's full heart as she divides rainbow colored Gummy Sprees between siblings and cousins. How she hides Jack's and Lulie's on their pillows for them to find.
1299. How Jack gallops on one foot to wash his hands after he captures a moth in the house.
1300. The chatter of children's voices all evening long.
1301. How they trot in and don rain boots at the slightest hint of chill.
1302. A Sunday nap in a pool of sun. And how I linger long enough to stretch and doze and breathe slow and long.
1303. How when I want to shoo away the chaos and clatter of children I draw them close. And how each breath stacked on another teaches me that I do love this after all and once again endurance sets in, joy.
1304. Worth it -- the theme of my life. And how in the end every single sacrifice Christ asks me to make is so completely worth it.