Sunday, December 28, 2014


Photo courtesy of Urban Rose.    

"We DON'T say poopy," Joey blurts. I guide his round hand into a pj sleeve.

"What?" I say.

"We DON'T say poopy," he says again. He rounds his eyes and elongates DON'T. He shakes his head in exaggerated mime.

"Oh," I say, "yeah. Good boy." I zip his jammies.

"I not go poopy in my unda-wear," he says.

"That's right," I say. I mimic in an elongated nod. "Go poopy in the POTTY."

Like most things he narrates the rules as he goes, garnishes with overstated gesture, watches for reaction, every obedience an act of love.

Photo courtesy of Urban Rose.    


5567. Christmas. The gift of Christ, once again we celebrate his great sacrifice for us.

5568. The many gifts made and bought and exchanged with great love -- we celebrate with our small family and great big extended family.

5569. We draw the days out long and leisure. Christmas ebbs like a tide gently turning, reeling in the new year.

5570. Gramma's old Bernina, Grampa passes on a gift of many memories and many quilts to come. It even comes to me freshly serviced.

5571. We pass the 35 week mark and await the arrival of our newest little girl.

5572. "When I smell that," Myra commentates on Jack's visit to the bathroom, "it makes my eyes reeking." She blinks to illustrate watery eyes. We laugh and laugh, humor surrounding us on every side.

Photo courtesy of Urban Rose.    

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Photos courtesy of Urban Rose

"Mommy, are you gonna see me on stage?" Lucy asks. Frays of hair frame her face. Baby orange in hand, she pops a wedge in her mouth.

"Yeah," I say.

"Mommy's gonna be there for the nine o'clock," Craig says. He grins, clatters a crate of apples on to the counter.

Photos courtesy of Urban Rose

I stare at Lu. She stares at me.

"He's probably just joking," she says. The last time I made it to the nine it was a different decade.

The week spindles by. It finds Myra and me at the kitchen table, elbows slung out, the remains of dipping cookies next to empty tea cups.

"There are actually three people here," Myra says.

"Yeah?" I say.

"Yeah, there's me, and you, and my blankie-boy." She pats a well-loved bunch of blue fluff, draped over my shoulders. She snuggles blankie up around my neck.

"Yep," I say.

Photos courtesy of Urban Rose

"I don't care that he's not a person," she says. "It says BOY in blankie-boy. And he kinda looks like a boy." She pats my shoulder. I nod, my eyes carrying her like an ocean for a ship. She sashays off, blankie encircling me.

Sunday finally dawns. By some miracle, I make it to the nine o'clock service.

The children sing, the spinning wheel of a week pivots forward. Momentum finds us like blue fluff tucked in around the collar, a blanket of comfort as present as a person.

Photos courtesy of Urban Rose.  


5564. Navy sheets to back the latest quilt.

5565. Coconut milk, lemon soap, peppermint all purpose cleaner, white balsamic vinegar, a trip to the store and all cleanliness ensues.

5564. Pizza night. We take half the pepperonis of a store bought pizza and make a second night of homemade pizza.

5565. Nutmeg logs, our favorite Christmas cookie.

5566. The Children's Choir.

5567. "Can we make a calendar of when I should shower?" Myra asks.

5568. We race into the last week of school with anticipation for the Christmas celebration.

Photos courtesy of Urban Rose

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Spare Parts

Photo courtesy of Urban Rose.

"Did you put that in there?" I give the dulcimer an upside-down shake. Something blue slides past the opening.

"Yeah," Joe says. I shake it again. Something blue and pink this time blips over the hole.

"Was it kind of hard to push it in?"


Photo courtesy of Urban Rose.

"Oh." I give it another rattle-shake, poke at the smooth edge of something pink that glides away from my finger. The pick. "I don't think I can get it out," I say.

I hand the instrument back into Joe's arms. He plucks a string, pinches and stretches it a quarter inch past what a normal person would. It twangs, glittery out of tune.

Photo courtesy of Urban Rose.

"I can play it with my hands now," he triumphs. He demonstrates another twang. I gulp down the plate of eggs Lucy had left on the toaster for me.

Then we scatter through the house. Sunday morning, choir practice today.

We redress Myra, twice, a complete makeover from her favorite hand-me-downs. We shorten the sleeves on Lucy's shirt with a couple of well-placed cuffs. Joey tries repeatedly to suit up in rain boots before pants or underwear. I shuffle through stacks of laundry yank socks off Myra and onto Joe.

Photo courtesy of Urban Rose.

"That's weird," Lu says. I look up to her beached on a pile of Myra's clothes, a blue snappie barrette in her fingers. "Look what I found," she says, dulcimer at the crook of her arm.

"Huh," I say and snuffle Joe's foot down into the rain boot, "let's go!"

We gallop out the door.

Photo courtesy of Urban Rose.

I slide into a pew out of breath. Joe wets his pants. I count my blessings that he was standing, not sitting in a pew. We sog out to the restroom.

The morning gently lands, me in the parking lot with Joe, Craig and the big kids at choir practice. and I suddenly remember the barrette. It would have been perfect for Lucy's hair. A fleeting memory of me shrugging it into a pocket, perfect. I reach in and feel it next to two tylenol, a crochet hook, and some miscellaneous yarn.

Perfect, all the spare parts.

Photo courtesy of Urban Rose.


5555. Mom finishes crocheting the new baby's blankie.

5556. Craig and I plan an impromptu quilt with poppies and gray.

5557. Basil sausage tomato soup.

5558. Joe fixes a plastic gun with a safety pin. It disappears into the rattly shell never to be seen again.

Photo courtesy of Urban Rose.

5559. We have dinner with Craig's family.

5560. Mom and her sister decorate Grampa's house for Christmas.

5561. I drop in to visit Dad while Mom is away. We talk like old times.

5562. We win a jar of a friend's famous homemade marinara sauce.

5563. We spend the evenings warm and snug by the fire listening to audio books. Christmas feels most present when we are together.

Photo courtesy of Urban Rose.