Tuesday, September 20, 2016

So, Once.

So, once there was a boy.

He was tall (REALLY tall) and he had brown eyes that crinkled at the corners when he looked at me. He was funny. He thought I was funny. He smelled, really good, so good that I kept finding myself drawing closer and closer to him. He said things I didn't expect, and liked things like I do, and just, sort of, got me. Meeting K. was like meeting someone who spoke my language for the very first time.

Oh, and life goals? Kids, yes. Farm, yes. Happiness. Double-check. And life-long matrimony. Yep, matrimony as a goal.

So, all of twenty-two, I married him. I married him like falling off a cliff, the way young people do, but I was smart enough to make sure there was a net at the bottom. And so, two kids and businesses and life changes later (we've surprised ourselves and each other quite a bit with what we've done and are doing :) ), we are still rock-solid. I love being married. I don't say it aloud much, because it seems like tempting fate, but it's two days past our eleventh anniversary, and maybe once a decade or so, I should get to brag. I love, love, love being married to K. It's my favorite thing in the world.

He doesn't make me happy all the time. I'm not happy all the time. I don't float around our admittedly idyllic life in a state of bliss... I'm myself, and so that means I'm sometimes grumpy, often tired, and always easily irritated by sundry small quirks of living with K (pants? Pants? How many places can one man PUT pairs of pants that they don't belong? And why are his enormous clodhopper shoes everywhere I ever go?). But here's the magical part: I get to be myself, and I STILL get to be happily married to this man. He's okay with me being batshit crazy a quarter of the time and super happy about an eight of the time and really kind of over domestic mayhem 90 percent of the time and who knows what I'm like the rest? He doesn't care. He's happy to be married to me, whatever I'm like, about 99 percent of the time. And me? Well, I take him for granted and I count on him.

But then, periodically I look up at this still super-tall, still eye-crinkling man whom I spend my life with and he still, to this day, takes my breath away.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Labor Day Weekend

So Friday, K and I left our kids with a friend who likes our kids, frankly, more than she likes us. We usually have a regular babysitter, but the usual girl was out of town for the long weekend with her family. And it was Dixie's rehearsal dinner, not child-friendly, with a menu that involved octopus, so I literally looked across the counter at friend D. and said, "what are you doing tomorrow night? Want to watch my kids?" She said yes :) And spoiled the pants off them Friday night with meatballs as big as their heads and a cookie baking marathon.

So K and I made it to Dixie's rehearsal dinner. We felt an awful lot like family as we entertained relatives and chowed down on exotic Portuguese food. It was something!

Saturday, I prepped for the wedding by doing the flowers out at the peaceful Mississippi school house in the morning. Annaliese and Caspian accompanied and spent most of their time collecting seeds from the tall roadside grasses. It was a nice way to spend the morning, on a beautiful day. Then I went to work for the lunch shift accompanied by Caspian, got off and went to check on the flowers one last time, went home for some lazy pre-wedding time, and then got a text that we were expected an hour before I though for pictures. So we THREW nice clothes on and headed out for the third time that day.

This time, the sleepy little school house was packed with folks. The flowers were stunning :) and the vibe was sweet as could be as the two ladies said their classic vows surrounded by family and friends. I love weddings. I hope they're happy for ever.

Rainbow cake, fried chicken, and Soul train classics ensued. We stayed til the very end-- this was a homespun wedding, and they needed help getting the school house put back to rights before the night was over.

Sunday we woke up to a whole day of nothing. It was glorious. We read on the porches and napped and made it to the pool in the late afternoon.

And Monday! Monday, Labor Day, is the only bank holiday (other than the true holidays) that the store closes. Bad for business but good for the soul. We had another lazy morning and then hopped in the car and sped our way up to Pickwick Lake, determined to swim in a lake at least one time this summer. They don't make it easy, in the South... the culture seems to see lakes as accessories for power boats, and not so much for lounging and swimming, but we managed to find a beautiful secluded cove with big rocks and deep water right off them. We swam and sunned and picnicked and whiled the afternoon away, saying goodbye to summer for real.

As always, things are percolating, I wish business was better, I'm working on getting things ironed out, I'm behind in the garden, but when I step back and look at the big picture... things are good. I like my life. I love my family. I wake up in the morning and I feel like what I'm doing matters. I have a hundred thousand small doubts but no big ones. Hard to ask for more.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Nope. Not Even an Apology.

Life! A little town, a little shop, a little farm, a small family, and it all adds up to A Whole Lot.

Sitting in the window lunch counter at the BTC right now, listening to a transplant from New Hampshire show her niece around and some ladies eat cake and drink sweet tea behind me while the new girl busts her bottom to keep the store the way it should be. She's not a naturally gifted shop girl but she makes up for it with heart.

I've got twenty minutes before I pick up Annaliese and Caspian from after-school chess. Today's mishap? My tire is flat, stone-cold empty. Good thing I can leave it downtown indefinitely until it can get dealt with. Yesterday's tragedy? Water pouring through the ceiling from a broken pipe in the upstairs restroom of K's coding academy. Who knows what will happen tomorrow. A decade into life here and I've stopped trying to anticipate the ups and downs. All I know is they will keep coming.

Tonight? I have to figure out what to feed my family for supper. I skipped my dawn exercise routine so I'd feel better if I did it before bed. We spent three hours at the local soccer fields last night for the kids' first fall games so it'll be sweet to spend the evening at home.

Soccer. Lord have mercy. Caspian tore the field up, was everywhere all at once, yet managed not to score. He played very well, though, despite the sudden onset of cockiness. Apparently this is a second-grade thing? A normal subdued buddy was beating his chest like an angry gorilla in the goal last night. Hubris is catching :)

Annaliese, on the other hand, did not tear the field up as much as smell it up. For a naturally athletic kid who effortlessly reaches the ball first, she sure doesn't do much when she gets there. She pleaded to play goalie the last quarter, then lost her team the game by letting four goals in. Hands on her hips. Mind clearly elsewhere. Talk about phoning it in.

Good thing I love her anyway.

Twelve minutes. Better go transfer the things I carry around in the station wagon for the school garden into the truck. The school planters need watering, and I've got to get the squash bugs under control.

Happy life!