Forgive me, blog, for it’s been a long time since my last post.
Tipsy-turvy bi-coastal days of influenzas in Florida, on the plane and back again amidst our island’s tulips. We tried to catch our breath between Lysol’s disinfectant sweet “mountain air” scent [And, oh, remember that dorm room smell – Beth and I actually wrote the company and expressed our love. We thought we’d get a free case and all we got were three coupons.] and a medic-evac via ferry departure. Sweet Betty Rose’s hot pink skin, feverish little blonde body at 104.3, broke our worried hearts with IV and catheter’s dreariness. Five pounds less and instrument’s sticky grey residue on her chest are now all that remain from our mainland hospital stay.
Top Ten Things New in Over Thirty Days:
- Our dear dog is seven months and seventy pounds; we’re thankful for Great Danes.
- Luke’s begun construction on the playground. Our big blue scoop slide just came on the ferry the other day. It drops down from the playhouse into a sand pit. The zip line to the Western Red Cedar is just to the right. A funny little thing of the latter: “Let’s just get a cheap-o metal playground set from K-Mart,” Luke says to me on the beach in Southern Florida, simultaneously crushing my dreams of a power pole-derived play area. “Sure,” I sadly say. Then, two days back in Pacific Northwest’s mist and Betty and I are pulling out of our driveway and she says, “Hey, whatcha think of my new playground Daddy started building when we were in Florida?” Oops. Aren’t I the gal that doesn’t miss anything?
- I got so close to a dream job I could see myself all dressed up with a mocha, black Uniball pens and essays to grade. The Spring Street School is a local international private school, 6th-12th grade. Cool, not to mention two blocks away. As I imagine twelve students in my class I’m still sad that part-time wasn’t the board’s bag. Full-time while Lucy isn’t even taking shoreline steps on her own? Betty cried when I asked her if I should go. “Who would make me yummy treats in the kitchen every day? Who would take me outside to garden and play catch with our puppy?” She tearly whispered. “Strangers,” I answered. I mourned this professional opportunity in the hammock with my Lucy May. And then it became a brief mourn as she learned how to blow the the light white dandelion whiskers across the grass on our 85 degree flip-flop day. That moment stretched into two hours in Luke’s grandma’s floral fringey hammock from the fifties. Betty slept at that space in time no doubt dreaming of errands and walks and preschool and fresh baked treats in the fall.
- The sailboat is in the marina’s slip four blocks away. Nice. Tilly even came with us on Mother’s Day eve. She slept all night on the port bunk and did great until her usual good morning freak-out licks got the boat rockin‘ and her tail waggin‘ wips knocked over muffins and coffees. The black clouds were looming on the horizon and the wind was blowing from an odd direction on Mama Day. The girls had their foul weather gear on, the Main was hitched to the second reef point and Lucy slept the entire sail on me in the sling. We saw lots of shrimp by the dock, sea lions in the harbor and porpoises by Lopez island. Betty said that sailing is her favorite thing to do. After the sail we strolled to an espresso stand to get a mocha (and I told B. that was my favorite thing to do), ducked into the candy shoppe for some fudge (and Luke told B. that was his favorite store), and walked home to eat Lucy’s favorite meal: organic plump hot doggies tucked into a buttery croissant with melted Vermont white cheddar with a heaping pile of strawberries on the side. Oops, I forgot to mention the bouquet of pink Gerber Daisies (one of my favorite floral beauties). It seems Mother’s Day was full of everyone’s favorites.
- Our kitty has arthritis. Our cat, full name Princess Slinky Chippewawa Meow-Meow Furber, loves our ladies that help lengthen her name on a regular basis. Her feline morphine (doesn’t that sound like a great band name) has gotten her chasing stuffed mice and yarn skeins like a kitten. She still misses Huck and I swear she yells (hisses) at our puppy because she believes Tilly purposely replaced Huck. Tilly is a star, however. At the K-9 Carnival she one third place ribbons for the peanut butter eating contest and best original costume. Betty dressed as a princess and walked around with Tilly, who wore a purple velvet suit with a feather hat. Don’t you just love a town where hundreds of people turn out for a dog party – complete with Woof-D-Doo (a cattle dog frisbee group) performing to techno and your name in a raffle for each bag of doggie poo you turn into the trash?
- Little Lucy May won’t walk. And that’s just fine with us. She simply sits, all pudgy and silly, and plays with wooden blocks, lineman figurines & line bucket trucks, felted veggies, and plays the baby-baby grand piano. She also loves to eat pea gravel from the potted cacti. And, man oh man, can she sign! All of a sudden: bread, baby (which is the best with her wiggly shoulder shimmy), Dada, Mama, dog, more, milk, eat, cracker, grapes, help, bedtime, blanket, bear, cat, car, book, music, drink, swing, boat, girl, boy, lion.
- We swam in the salt water. And, oh black sand between our toes salt on our sun-soaked bodies, loved it! A May day and 90 degrees in Seattle; crazy. We took a picnic to Eagle Cove on Friday and had the time of our lives. It felt like we were on vacation, sharing the beach with two other families, and how could it be eight miles from our home? Just the day before friends watched a pod of orcas breaching off the beach. We saw lots of kelp and tiny crabs, thought about skim boarding on the powdery sand and dove underwater in the tiny waves. Lucy floated with driftwood and kicked against mussel-covered rocks. Betty danced around seaweed ribbons and swam with the incoming tide. The cove winds around like a headband tossed on its side, great mossy algae rocks stretch up to meet a lush fern surrounded grassy meadow. I believe it is how New Zealand looks. Perfect. Public. The best kept secret of the island I’ve so far seen.
- Betty knows eyebrows, eyelashes, tongues, and teeth. She draws in colored pencil, pastel and twistable crayon, and keeps all her supplies in a carrier I sewed her out of a vintage apron. Toting her black sketch book to restaurants and on back seat island drives, she draws the greatest people. Huge heads with hair like porcupines. Lots of feet for Daddy and me because we’re “so busy running around getting all our important stuff done.” No ears yet, but out-y bellybuttons like little L. May. At the local library she found a book on how to draw dogs and she’s most tuned into “shep–labby-lab” dogs. It’s so lovely to see her, tongue out and eyebrows raised drawing a dog with what looks like fifteen paws.
- Lucy May turned one and we met the Easter bunny, all in the same week. Then I turned thirty-two. (Unfortunately, someone recently asked me if I was thirty-eight. But, an elderly woman on the dock asked if I was a day over twenty and spoke of teenage pregnancy. So…) It seems like I blinked and eye and April was gone. Betty made L. May May a fleece blanket that’s all shred-y and knotted around the perimeter (it took forever) and bought her balloons. We took her to the library for story time and she slept for hours that afternoon. Cutting three teeth at once is a lot of work. Our island cousins came by for homemade pizza and cake. Of course Lucy liked the pizza crust the most (she’s a little bread bunny). Florida Grammy and Grandpop help sing the big girl song and blow out candles. Since I make every good pal a baby quilt for each birth, I felt guilty that Lucy didn’t have one from me as a newborn. I hope she someday feels like hers was worth the wait. A limited-edition-fabric sock monkey birthday number with fancy thread work (all thanks to my new machine that Luke gave me last year with crazy storm season moula) certainly pleased me. A morning at the bakery with new pals, a cream cheese frosted red velvet cake with old pals, tulips, a grownup Vermont mission bed frame, a pedicure, a thoughtful charm and a good bottle of wine made the day magnificent.
- Our home has been both fun and full. We’ve reached the point of meeting folks who swing by. That, to me, is it. I feel like we live here now. My parents, Jon and Mandy, Ben and M.G., Stefan and Rose, Matt and Karine, and, currently, Russell have stayed on the couch, floor or boat in the past thirty plus days. One weekend, we had five children under five under one tiny roof. Oh, how the wine went down once all were tucked in asleep with blankies. It was amazing to have our home so full of children laughing and freaking out, often at the same time. Sticky buttermilk pancake fingers reading books one moment, racing around the yard with a toy wheel barrow the next. I love the people I love around me, and a house incredibly full of babies makes me understand a tiny bit what is happening on the poly-family unit ranch in Texas. No, not really, but I do secretly wish all our best friends could raise our children in the same cul–de-sac.