Those Winter Sundays
Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.
I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,
Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?
-Robert Hayden, c.1966
tomorrow, the first day off in three weeks. mutable plans: a morning ride to the country, then sinking in at home. apple pear pie, yarn and needles, comfy cozy, a stack of books, and my matchy sweat suit. yes, i said sweat suit; don’t judge.
what are your guilty pleasures for the weekend? i hope you have good plans. xo
hi friends, thank you for some sweet words about my last post. i’m glad you want to hear about real life and vaginas. this morning, though, i’m thinking more about how to hang on to the balmy summertime days, how to make these memories last a bit longer. we’ve taken bike rides after dinner all week. the carpenter picked sweet peas and straw in the meadow at the bluffs at sunset, a bouquet for my bike basket. the big tree in the back yard is shaking out some leaves already, crunch crunch crunch. a glass of pink wine and crunching around in the yard go nicely together. there is a feeling to go along with pink wine, a feeling of… i should be wearing a housedress and smoking a virginia slim, letting the ash grow long and spindly, waving goodbye to someone driving off in a chevy nova. something like that. something slightly tinged with sadness and change. something slightly tacky and glamorous, in a lee-press on nail kind of a way. falltime is coming. it’s been awhile since i’ve built a fire.
the hummingbirds are still all summer buzz, though. they wake me every morning, peeping around in the hibiscus tree. they’re so tiny and so loud! everything is full of leaf and bloom and fruit, we are eating what we’ve sown and it tastes sweet and clean, like work and the passage of time. i wish summer would last forever. not forever, but twice as long as it will. it’s supposed to hit 90 this week.
this weekend, i’ve got friends in town. we will eat bacon corn hash, and drink strong coffee, and remember fun/ awkward/ hilarious stories about high school. i finished painting the back porch, & front porch, i’m coming for you. i’m having a yard sale on labor day. how much living i can cram into a weekend is quite a lot. i hope so. have a great weekend, folks! put your feet up some, if you can. dangle your legs into water someplace. rock on a hammock. i’ll be back next week with pictures of something totally awesome. gypsy caravan, anyone? yes, ’round here we think so.
if there’s a slice of sunshine to be found, she finds it. always. enjoy whatever morsels of warmth and light you can take for yourself, is her motto. sunshine, a game of string, some love, dog kisses, lap time, and three square meals a day: these are the keys to a happy cat life.
she told me the windowsill was just fine as-is, all skinny and un-softed, but it didn’t look too comfortable. i worried she was just being polite, as she tends to be. so i built her a little shelf for the princess bed.
& you know what? she says she likes it fine, thank you… she says yes, this is the perfect basking place for the sweetest kitty in the world (which is how she refers to herself when she is being modest).
i’ve been working on lots of little projects around here, but i’ve been soaking up summer while i can, too, so documentation is in the back seat, right next to an empty slurpee cup, in a pile of sand. we are heading into the woods today, to the secret magical place on the creek, with friends and family (this time, i won’t forget a tent!) but i’ll be back next week, with some good things to show you. stay cool friends, and get yourselves some vitamin d while it’s easy to come by. frida says she’d like that for you, and who can argue with her?
doing it the slow way. ain’t nothing better.
last week, at the berry patch (third visit this year), i picked marionberries the size of my thumb, and a big bucket of blues, and ran home to make the pie i wrote about last year. i was impatient to get it into the oven, and didn’t even wash the berries first. but they’re organic, so… i think it’s alright. (isn’t it?) don’t call the health department; the evidence has left the building.
we have a child living in this little house for a while, people. she’s great, but it turns out that a 12 year old girl can pretty much do a pie in with great efficiency, so another will be made shortly (& after bedtime).the pie is a marker of time, i guess; looks to be nearly a year since i started this blog. so much has happened in one year, big things, small things. the hard and the soft. most things don’t go down as easy as pie, but i’ll tell you one thing: i am happy, so happy, to be alive, stained fingers and all, to roll out one more crust and feed the ones i love, to have ones to love, to have enough of everything and then some. at least two slices worth of life, i’d say. thanks for hanging in, folks. i like you.
i paid attention to my whimmy desires this morning and did a bit of sewing. i intended to make a fabric bowl sort of thing, but ended up with something more like a baskety tote (pattern based loosely on this tutorial… sized way way up. instructions found on an adorable blog called vlijtig). i pulled some old tea towels/ lacy napkins/ linens from the thrifted pile & sewed them up. i used part of a deconstructed down blanket (leftover from the princess bed) for the interfacing. it’s lined in the softest pinstripe cotton voile, found on super clearance at the depot.
big thanks to my old friends coffee and this american life. and big thanks to whimmy desires… i should listen to you more often.
hoping you’re all enjoying this long weekend, and giving in to the sparks of your fancies!
sunny skies in the pacific northwest, and we’ve got spring! and visitors, too, one after the other!
people i love + flowers in bloom + sunshine… all of this = a very glad me.
spring and summer is the time for the past to come into the present in my backyard. dear old friends are on heavy rotation in the love shack, and will be for the next few months.
they come, they eat, they walk around town. they sit at the table in the backyard and chat it up. they sit around a fire. they laugh. they sleep in a tiny house under warm blankets, between thrifted sheets, surrounded by local art. those are my promises to my dearhearts when they come to town.
a bottle of water, a bar of good chocolate, fresh flowers… those things make my guests feel special. a book or two, chosen with a friend’s tastes in mind, yes.
how do you show your guests you’re so glad they’ve come?
this morning i heard that hooters is giving free hot wings to moms on mother’s day. i will tell you that no matter how broke i happen to be i will not be taking my mom to hooters for free wings, ever. not that she has a problem with boobs or anything. i love my mom for a million reasons, not the least of which being that she could seriously give a hoot about mother’s day. pun intended.
my mother is not exactly the mommy type. you know the one i’m talking about… the wide lap, the cookies in the oven, the one who says things like, “let’s go get a manicure, just us girls.” nope. she is also not much of a cook (don’t tell her i said that)… but the woman makes a mean salad dressing. when it comes to salad dressing, this is how we do:
two thirds olive oil, the good stuff. (we ran out last night, so the photo you see is rather misleading)
one third vinegar. red wine or balsamic.
salt & pepper.
honey & lemon, but just a little bit of each.
fresh garden herbs, minced.
shake it up.
mom’s ideal dinner (mine, too): baguette, cheese, a big fat homegrown tomato, and salt. and that dressing. summer is coming, yes. and before summer, mother’s day. i will tell you some stories about that lady, soon soon. she’s the real deal.
what is the one thing your mama made that just screams pure mom to you?