"Does Aunt Libby sew quilts, or does she spend most of her free time doing math?" Lu asks. Across the room, she feeds the first strips of a new quilt into the sewing machine.
"Um, I guess you'll have to ask her," I say from my own sewing station, a checkered quilt taking shape.
Aunt Libby, now mother of three, taught high school math when she and Jesse got married. When the kids found out she worked old college math problems just for fun, she became a legend.
Lucy holds up the polkadots and stripes of her own checkered blue quilt. "Hey, look," she calls to me. I pause, nod.
"Looks great. You're sewing so even compared to before." She grins, lines up the next strip, rumbles it through with the stop/start of someone perfecting the edge as she goes. I leap frog my own machine to life.
"It's so relaxing," Lu says as I slow at the corner, "to sit and do your quilt."
"Yep," I say.
"Even though it's exhausting, it doesn't really feel like it," she says.
I catch her eye. She's holding up another link in the quilt. We smile, then chatter the machines back to life.
Even though it's exhausting, it doesn't really feel like it. She's named it, the very best pleasures of all. Betwixt the chatter of our dueling machines, pleasure blooms between us.
5629. "Oh, why are you naked?" I ask Myra. "I don't know," she says. "No, why are you NAKED?" I try again. "Um," she looks at me sideways, "because I forgot to put my clothes on?"
5630. "Everyday I make my bed," she says later. "I'm gonna go check if I made my bed."
5631. I battle the world's worst head cold. When I pull to the side of the road to puke from all the sinus pressure, the kids chorus their comfort. "Do you think the other cars know you are pregnant?" they say.
5632. "When you look at someone who isn't your mom, it doesn't look like they could have had babies," Lu says.
5633. Aunt Rosie takes our annual family pictures. Once again she captures the invisible fibers of who we are. Even Joey smiles despite himself.
5634. I take Jane and Jack on separate dates. Then Craig takes me on one. We use an old gift card we forgot about. I eat the best burger of my life.
5635. Jane and I make apple crisp together. We do that silent communication thing where one is doing the next step before the other can even think to ask.
5636. She offers to make us another peach pie.
5637. Craig saves up for a new phone then gives me his old one.
5638. The week blurs by in a flurry of highs and lows. The steadfast love of Jesus pierces them all, a perfect horizon of hope.