"That is SO loud," I say. "It is GRATING on my ears." Furrow deep between my eyebrows, I reach over Jane and turn the audiobook down, staccato obvious in my arm.
The nine of us folded like origami into the Suburban, Jane and I sit elbow to elbow in the front seat, she between Craig and me.
"Here, let me just turn it up," Jane say. Before I can crane my neck enough to bore that furrow into her, she's clicked it up a quarter turn.
"WHat?" I say. "WHY did you do that?"
"Turn it up."
"It was hard to hear," she says.
"But I said NOT to."
"No, you said it was loud and turned it down, so I asked to turn it up."
"No, you didn't," I say, my scarf and sweater suddenly weltering rags dampening my neck.
"Yeah, I did," she says.
"No," I say, "you said, here let me turn it up."
"Oh," she says.
"Why would you do that?" Exasperation bloomed into something like a room without very much air, me leaning into some sort of winning move, I deepen that furrow as if my whole face could pivot around those eyebrows.
"Well," she finally says, "I guess it's because you are normally so good at reading my mind."
"Huh," I say. "Well, there's that." A grin, ticklish at the corner of my mouth, pull, pull, pulls those eyebrows loose and consummates into an all out laugh. "I guess you're not in trouble," I say. And something shared lets loose between us, slack, as if a tether has just grown both longer and stronger.
Longer and stronger. This seems to be the order of the day. Something adult begins to stand up inside of her as if this lovely child were just the breathtaking shell of a magnificent something. I await, abated breath, and pray to honor the passing of this season.
6345. We take a trip to the ocean. A holiday at the sea. The memories page out like stories from our favorite books. The peace and comfort of family and extended family nourish us body, mind and soul. 17 children, 10 adults, and 5 days, we weave the fabric of family.
6246. Craig nearly completes the new greenhouse. 800 baby plants grow, grow, grow up toward the sky.
6247. We make the long, long drive to the ocean and enjoy the time of no expectations. We unroll the hours at the slow pace of ones whose schedules rarely leave time to just sit. Just. Sit. The slowness speaks peace.
6248. I work daily to cultivate kindness and gentleness in my replies. I note that hurrying makes me mean. I work to right this wrong, grow strength where I am weak. Be kind always. This is not too tall an order. I meditate on this truth.
6249. I note that when I take the time to apologize when I fall short all other things bother me less. Contentment finds me. Endurance and self-discipline sidle up inside of me.
6250. I pray to be diligent and attentive, never missing a moment or detail that God has appointed to me. Let the obedience and beauty ensue.