Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's In His Kiss?

I'm joining everybody at Chatting at the Sky as we discover that, most of the time, it's through the little things that we learn how much we are loved.

♪ ♪If you want to know if he loves you so, it’s in his kiss.♪ ♪

At least that’s what Aretha Franklin said. And she told us it’s not in his eyes, his size, his face or embrace. According to the song, it’s not even in the way he acts. Well, while I have a lot of R-E-S-P-E-C-T for Aretha, I think she’s wrong about this. Let me tell you how “I know he loves me so.”

It was in the scrambled eggs he made me when I was really sick. (Best scrambled eggs ever!) It’s in his hand resting on my knee as we’re driving down the highway. It’s in his telling me to quit a job I hate, even though we could really use the second income. It’s in the way he says nothing when his sisters say, “Thank you for marrying my brother. I know you put up with a lot.” (Because I know he puts up with a so much more than I do.) It’s in how he can just be with me without either of us having to talk; or how we can talk about everything. It’s in the way he says my name, whether he’s calling me Bee, or Beverly or Mama. Nobody says it like he does.

I know he loves me when he doesn’t run screaming for the hills when I ask him to remodel the house with no more than a circular saw and a screwdriver. I know he loves me when he does odd jobs for my mother; simple jobs that are made aggravating and not-so-simple by her husband’s fumbling attempts to help. I know he loves me when he makes sure the oil is changed and the tires on my car are safe

I know he loves me when, on a lazy Sunday afternoon, instead of watching baseball, he’ll come and sit beside me on the bed. He’ll take the jumbled mess of fabric in his hands, hands that are strong and nimble and meant for guitar playing, and help me figure out just how you use this toothbrush handle to make a rug. And he’ll keep trying to help, even when my frustration wells up inside of me and spills all over him.

And I know he loves me when, just before we go to sleep, he tells me so. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been a total bitch a little touchy all day, he says, “Goodnight, I love you.” And kisses me on the cheek. So, I guess It’s In His Kiss, after all!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Photo from art.com

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stop and Smell the Roses - Lessons Learned from my Dog

If you know me at all, you know that I’ve been completely besotted by a big, goofy brown dog with beautiful amber-colored eyes. From the day that colossal jerk mysterious benefactor dropped her off in our front yard, she has lived in my home and in my heart. I am head-over-heels, make-you-act-silly, can’t-stand-to-be-parted, totally in love with her.

Even when she comes to me 532 times a day asking to go out and play. (Yes, asking. She talks to me.) It doesn’t matter to her if Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are about to kiss and live happily ever after. She doesn’t care if it’s raining a rain like Noah saw. She’s sorry, but undeterred, by the fact that a little man with a jackhammer is at work in my head trying to break up the concrete of my brain. Gracie wants to play! If I try to put her off, she’ll walk around the kitchen table/island, jump up to look out of the back door and then come back to sit at my feet, where she’ll gaze up at me with those big wet, puppy-dog eyes. (What did you expect?!) Unable to resist her for more than a minute or two, I stop what I’m doing and say, “Let me get my shoes.” When she hears these words, she starts laughing and singing and dancing around the kitchen, because she knows that when I put on shoes, it means that she’s worn me down and we’re going outside. (Well, maybe she doesn’t laugh and sing, but she does dance.)

Out the back door we go. I take up my position at the top of the deck steps, while Gracie lumbers on into the yard. There, she scoops up two tennis balls and heads back to me, looking very much like some kind of mutant, radioactive chipmunk with huge neon-green cheeks. Just before she reaches the bottom step, she turns and proceeds to trot and canter around the back yard like a riderless dressage horse performing before the judges. Back and forth she prances between the swing and the sweetgum tree. When she’s satisfied that I’ve watched and appreciated her presentation, she runs up on the deck and doesn’t give me the balls. You see, as brilliant as Gracie is, she failed Puppy 101 because, while she was very good at fetch, she never quite caught on to release. Meaning that every time I reach for the balls, she turns her head away. (Just like I do when JD3 is trying to kiss my cheek after he’s said something really stupid and made me not like him very much.) As we’re playing this reach-and-turn game, her tail is beating out a rhythm on an old chest that sits there patiently waiting to be refinished. Todda, todda, todda. She wags and turns. Todda, todda, todda. I reach and miss. Eventually, drawing on my super powers, I use lightning speed and gymnast-like agility to reach over and grab both balls from her mouth. I need them both so I can throw one and use the other as a bargaining chip. Now, we can play!

Sometimes, I throw a ball high into the air, sending her bounding off of the deck after it. She spins around once or twice while she tracks the ball. When she has it in sight, she throws herself toward the sky like a dolphin at play and catches it before it hits the ground. Other times, I throw it low so that it bounces a few times on its journey to the back fence, which is covered with honeysuckle and neglected rose bushes that, not realizing they’re neglected, are blooming anyway. As soon as the ball leaves my hand, Gracie dashes after it like a hunter in pursuit of survival. I keep throwing and she keeps fetching until the tennis balls reach MSC (Maximum Slime Capacity.) Then we go inside, get a treat and have a little rest.

One day last week, on a particularly pretty day, we had gone outside to play. Having made it through the preliminaries, we were in the I-throw-the-ball-and-Gracie-brings-it-back part of the game. I took the ball in my right hand, drew it back, and like the world’s greatest bowler that I’m not, sent it bumping along the grass towards the fence. Gracie, like she always does, took off after it at a dead run, making me worry that she wouldn’t be able to stop in time and would end up with her snout wedged firmly in the tiny bit of chain link that wasn’t covered in vines. But she was able. She came to an abrupt stop, ignored the ball and stuck her nose right in the center of one the roses. She stood there for almost a minute, smelling first one and then another of those dark, pinkish-red flowers. Then she picked up the ball and leisurely trotted back to the deck. We played for a few more minutes and then went back inside for our treats and our rest. But not before I realized that I had learned a valuable lesson from Miss Gracie.

What I learned was that, even in the middle of the busiest of days, there’s always time to play a little. And that, even when you’re in hot pursuit of something very important to you, you need to stop and smell those roses.

Once again, I'm a day late in joining everybody at
Chatting At The Sky in unwrapping the special in the middle of the ordinary. If you click on the button below, you can go read the stories of those more punctual than I.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

She's Home

Please join Emily and the others at Chatting at the Sky , where we're unwrapping the extraordianary gifts found in ordinary days. You can get there by clicking the button below.

JD3 and I woke up early Saturday morning with a plan. We would drive to College Town, take our sweet baby girl to lunch and then, while she was taking one of her final exams, we would visit with my mother-in-law. When she had aced the exam, (which I was sure she would do,) we would meet her at her dorm, load up all of her non-essentials, kiss her goodbye and drive home. She would stay behind with just the bare necessities and come home Tuesday after her last exam.

That was the plan. This is what happened. We did drive to College Town, and we did take our sweet baby girl to lunch in a beautifully converted old train station. While she was taking her exam, we did, indeed, visit Granna (my dear mother-in-law.) She had just moved in to a new apartment, so we spent some time unpacking boxes and moving furniture. And talking. And talking some more. We talked about family - the good, the bad, and the ugly. And the just plain weird! We talked about the contents of the boxes and whether the couch should go here or there. We wondered which lamp would look better on this table and would the cord be in the way if we put it here. We talked about lots of things, including our plans for the day. At some point during all of this talking, Granna wondered why we couldn’t I had the brilliant idea to just move Anna and all of her things home while we were there. College Town is just over an hour’s drive away. She could come home for a long weekend and then make a day trip back Tuesday to take the exam. So that’s what we did. We loaded up the cars, waved goodbye to dorm living and headed for the green, green grass of home.

Once again, three opinionated, stubborn, sarcastic people, (two of whom are hormonal females,) are living in our little house. Once again, the bathroom shelf, (the one in the only bathroom in the house,) is too small to hold all of the schtuff we need to make us look pretty and smell good. We run out of toilet paper faster. Groceries cost more and mornings are 5’ 9” grumpier than they were before. A mini-refrigerator is living in the back of my car and I have the unparalelled good fortune to have a driving coach, (“You know you can change lanes, don’t you?”) and an editor, (“Do you always double space there?”) living in the same house with me!

I love it! I love it because she’s home! Home for what may be the last summer that she actually lives here. In July, she will move into her first apartment and I know that this move will be one more little snip in those old apron strings (not to mention these old heartstrings.) But, being the good little Southern girl that I am, I'm in touch with my inner Scarlett O’Hara, and I won’t “… think about that today. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

Today, I’m going to celebrate our renewed three-ness. I’ll get a goodnight kiss every night and I’ll go to sleep knowing that she’s just on the other side of that wall. I’ll boss her around and I'll let her boss me around. We’ll laugh and cry and talk. And every morning, when I walk into the bathroom, I’ll smile. Because her toothbrush will be right there in the glass beside mine and her daddy’s. It’ll be a little gift to unwrap every day, a little reminder that, for at least this summer, she’s home.

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BeeMusing by Beverly Lane is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.