Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Eight Dollars

Photo from  Urban Rose.

"That's at least eight dollars." Jack arches his brow, pokes at a lump in my hand.

There, like a freshly hatched egg, a tangle of coins and bills, a snarl, curled, rumpled, pressed and softened, the money, he had hunted it out of the four corners of his drawer.

"That's at least eight dollars," he says again, voice resplendent. I unfurl my fingers, count it with my eyes: a five, two ones, change. Lucy peeks around Jack's shoulder. "For Lucy's pants," he adds, "that she wrecked." She gazes at my face. He holds his eyebrows in that perfect arc.

Photo from  Urban Rose.

I trace the crumpled bills, the linen-y green crushed around dimes and nickels, a penny, a quarter. I pull my eyes from the small heap in my palm, and there, Jack, face radiant, eyes splendorous blue.

In that split second of lucent blue, I see it. And then again in the shrug of his weightless shoulders when I say, "But don't you want to buy something with this?" Hope, hope unbending, the confidence of a man, all his boyish features hung on blink-less sacrifice. Love.

And so I look into his azure eyes and nod before he scampers off, Lucy in tow, adventure wild around their ankles. What could I do? I took the money. I tucked it away and memorized the resplendent resolve of his sacrifice.

Photo from  Urban Rose.


3834. "Mom," Lucy trills, "can alligators run faster than people?"

3835. "I want to jump into your arms, Daddy," she chimes.

3836. Craig finally solves the mystery: our dishwasher is leaking.

Photo from  Urban Rose.

3837. He rearranges the kitchen, tears up floor boards, peels back linoleum, opens the bowels of the dishwasher and does triage on the leak.

3838. He rearranges our world to hopefully salvage the soggy subfloor.

3839. "I tooted, big one toot," Myra reports. "I want to SEE big one toot."

3840. "Thank-you that Daddy's tall enough to put the star on the tree," Jane prays after we dress the tree.

3841. "I really like that one star," Myra narrates.

Photo from  Urban Rose.

3842. We snuff out all the lights and then illuminate the tree. "OOooooooh. Do it again, ok?" she says.

3843. "I taked this off my foot," she hands me a small brown bead. "It's a mole," she asseses.

3844. Picture, printed pictures, yay! Thanks, Rosie.

3845. Strawberry, raspberry tart.

3846. "It might be illegal for Myra to be a pirate," Jane oversees, "because you never hear about pirates in America. I mean it might have been ok a long time ago when Indians lived here, but not now."

Photo from  Urban Rose.

3847. "Where's HOLA?" Myra queries. "I want to do HOLA." Spanish. "When you're four you can do Spanish," I answer. "I'm FOUR," she says. "Mommy, I'm FOUR."

3848. Books, glorious book-finds. A whole stack of art and history, literature, science.

3849. When the kitchen goes sideways, Craig takes a day off and I end up getting to see my mom.

3850. "Mommy, make me safe," Lucy calls as she gallops into the kitchen and interrupts a game of tag to hug my legs.

Photo from  Urban Rose.

3851. Craig's mom drops by with pears for the kids.

3852. We carol at a nursing home in town. Amid the ancient tunes and well worn faces, Christmas becomes real.

3853. I gift shop with Jane. She gives strong opinions about what people will like. We take up the art of gift giving.

3854. Joey gobbles up leftover sweet-taders, lunges at the spoon for more.

Photo from  Urban Rose.

3855. I ask Myra to listen carefully, "I want you to go find some --," I pause. "CANDY," she nods. "Socks," I say.

3856. "Jane, can I scrub my hair myself?" Myra asks as we suit up for baths. "Yeeeessss," Jane concedes. "Your breath stinks," she adds.

3857. When I tuck Lucy in I find a length of toilet paper folded in to a kleenex in her bed. "I got toilet paper too," Myra calls from the bottom bunk, "in my tummy."

3858. A Christmas card, a family Christmas card.

Photo from  Urban Rose.

3859. The kids and I arrive on time to two events this week and almost on time to a third.

3860. Craig continues to anchor our family in confidence and character. I rest easy that he makes our burdens light.

Photo from  Urban Rose.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


"Wouldn't it be funny if the antichrist came to our house, " Lucy wrests the back door open, trots in from the henhouse, "and couldn't find anybody 'cause Jesus had snatched us up?" She grins, see-saws a buff egg in each hand.

She clomps a navy rain boot from each foot, lobs it onto a black tray masquerading as shoe mat. An egg cradled in each palm, her center of gravity recaptured, she presses one egg to her cheek. "Warm. Mom, it's still warm."

Myra bucks through the door. Lucy bobbles over the lip of the sunroom, "Myra, noooo. Watch out." 

Lucy sidles past the lawyer desk, then stops, snuffles the egg, sniffs it again, whiffs and snuffs. "If you smell eggs they smell like chickens," she chirps. Trifle-sniff-snuff. "This one smells like poopy," she adds. Then gentle between fingertips, she delivers it to Craig. 

All pluck and good cheer she trit-trots after Myra.

Trit-trot, trit-trot. Expectant, sanguine, the afternoon trails behind her in a wake.


3817. "Do you need one and a half cloves of butter for that?" Jack oversees the apple crisp recipe.

3818. I explain that women wear brassieres. "You wear unders on your ---," Lucy trails off, speechless. 

3819. The Tuesday-girls decide to all take personality tests and compare.

3820. "She cried a little bit, not very loud, so I sang Jesus Loves Me. And she said, MY LEG HURT. so I rubbed her leg." Jane says when I ask if Myra woke up in the night.

3821. "How-yoo-ya. How-yoo-ya. How-yoo-ya," Myra belts out in Christmas bliss.

3822. I get to go running with Cerissa and my Dad on vacation, always a pleasure.

3823. A dear friend calls and we spur each other on in the promise-land of motherhood.

3824. "I'm really trying to think of it as a high and holy calling, not just a mundane task," she says, and I tuck it away like a banner to pull out later.

3825. The girls and I paint our fingernails and toes, 80 in all.

3826. We celebrate Thanksgiving with Craig's side of the family. Buoyant cheer, merrymaking, and joy, peace, kindness, sweet potatoes and blackberry pie. Unmerited grace.

3827. Running shoes. I find my favorite running shoes on a special sale. Love!

3828. I skip-de-doo past the arms of more sale racks and head straight home.

3829. "Even when I give you bad news I'm still building trust," Lucy concludes on telling the truth.

3830. PENPAL letters.

3831. Crockpot chickpeas.

3832. Crockpot black beans.

3833. As the tides of morality ebb and flow in this country, our Savior ever remains the same. Constant. Sure. Purity himself.