"Momma, when are you gonna get up?" Joey says only his head leaned through my bedroom door. "We made you EGGS," he says.
"Pretty soon," I say. I sigh and roll over. He clatters the door shut and shouts down the hallway to Myra.
"PRETTY SOON," he says.
Pretty soon. I sigh, open the covers like an envelop and slip out.
Joe pokes his head in again, then whispers in full voice," SHE'S UP," to Myra.
"We made you EGGS," Myra says.
"Thanks," I say.
"We made you eggs, but we didn't make you toast," she says. "Not to be mean, but 'cause we don't know HOW," she says, shoulders raised, arms protruded in explanation.
"Ahh," I say. "Well, thanks." She can fry an egg but can't make toast. The eggs were delicious; they even had a fat tomato waiting for me.
"Every church day you want me to make me eggs like that?" Myra says.
"Sure," I say.
"Okay! It might be kind of loud," she says, "I'm just telling you. Want me to make them tomorrow?"
One good deed leads to another.
"The house is actually looking pretty good," Jane says. She pats my back.
Dinner guests. House prep. Four o'clock and I'd forgotten to put potatoes in the crockpot. A new blitz in full gallop, schedule careening: ham, potatoes, and brownies spindling through our shoebox-sized oven; I pause. I force myself look at Jane, feign calmness.
"Yeah," I nod.
"Just a little more CPR," she says, "and the it'll all be up to snuff."
CPR. House CPR, humor splashes the landscape. All hands on deck, we pump this home to life. A party unfolds. Family communes. We laugh and serve plates high and deep with green salad and ham, potatoes just in time. The butter runs out, but there's plenty of olive oil. Brownies and ice cream.
We eat with the people we love and celebrate the birthdays of our children. By evening's end all the preparation feels like an honor, like making eggs. We cook for the people we love.
5576. A wonderful birthday dinner with family. Everyone takes the time to write cards of encouragement to the children.
5577. I go on a date with Lucy and a walk with Joey. I memorize their luminous faces.
5578. We have a game night with the kids complete with popcorn, cookies, and ice cream. We let loose and be silly.
5579. I come across an old book of Lincoln's speeches. The editor calls Lincoln a humorist. "It is the great humorists who have drawn the truest pictures of human life, because their humor was a constant corrective against one-sidedness." I consider this in light of Craig's knack for humor.
5580. Laundry bags. Three.
5581. I find second-hand snow boots for the kids.
5582. Running shoes.
5583. Jack inundates me with all manner of bug facts.
5584. He finds another praying mantis.
5585. Craig and the kids harvest what they can from the garden before it freezes.
5586. We settle into an autumn pace of life, let the emphasis fall to academics and late afternoon sunlight. Memories of so many autumns before greet us like old friends.