August 23, 2004
Soft sweet gentle evening, I'm finishing up cooking supper, trying not to be too distracted by the way the honey-gold light shines through the curtains and across the blue rug. I can see my husand, he's sitting on the back steps, between the potted plants blooming rioutously all around him...impatiens, mums, plumbago, mixed with carefully chosen "green"...ferns, ivy, and the like. Once again, I marvel at how blonded his hair is getting, all the yard work?
Supper is about ready, so I go to the kitchen doors, left open, bees and wasps no problem and as I step down to the porch, along the curving sidewalk, a bouncy little beagle puppy, about grown, comes galloping and hard on his heels, is a perfect, tow-headed, golden-brown little boy, about seven or so...and just behind him, a slightly older gorgeous little girl, pedaling furiously upon on her Barbie-Pink bike. Framed between the broad swathes of emerald green, drenchded in the late summer, late evening rosy-gold-pink glow of the setting sun, they're a picture.
Himself turns to where I'm standing, caught in absolute amazement, that there still exsists places such as this and I am living here, too...and he winks at me..."All we need is Smalltown playing along, to make it all perfect!"
And the weekend went from there...newpapers piled up agains the mail box...only this morning did I wander out to gather them up. Yet again, in the cool, misty air (Mists! Mists rising up mysteriously and ghostly up from the ravine just over yonder...swirling and whispering, wrapping the tops of the trees)...and sure enough, the man directly across the street backs out his big ol' car and gives me that "Hey" nod with a puzzled expression on his wide sleep-stunned face.
I fear, we may be getting ourselves talked about all over town (a little bit) and I try but I can't help it, I cannot seem to behave but I'm doing a pretty good job of semi-charming everyone and truly, there is no way to ever explain where I've lived and what I've seen and been through to anyone who hasn't been there.
How do you explain a sky thick with chemicals, mountians hidden by thick, smutchy, coppery smog, the very air bitter with sulphur and fumes from cracking petroleum, nevermind the fires and dust wafting across the border? I raise my eyes to the sky and marvel, marvel that I'm living in a world where such things are considered normal and okay. Thick, nasty, heavy skies, a strange grey soot rising towards the blob of fiercly glaring sun. I can't.
My accent is coming back (as if it ever left but now, I can talk all I WANT TO, I feel so comfortable) and I love it when people ask if I'm from Lexington! It's not just my accent, the way I speak, the words, phrases, and yes, endearments are returning as natural as breathing. I've caught myself being very affectionate in public with Himself, speaking to him in a sort of sweet-talk that is part and parcel of my spirit.
I even think my body language is changing...all my quick restless movements (the ones that drove MeanOldMum and my parents half-crazy) are expressing themselves in full-force: Unpinning my hair, twisting it back up, bouncing my foot (my ankle bracelets are getting full use as they never have before), slipping off my sandals, throwing my arms around my husband's neck (which means I have to reach way up), patting the small of his back, hanging on to his belt loop when we are in line for something, sitting on the step just below him, bewteen his legs...when it's still full day light and the street is alive with children playing and the four gangly boys playing pickup basketball.(What else? This is serious basketball country. Heehee. And, I must confess, the two older boys, just around the bend in the street, are just the cutest, sexiest sort of boys...if I was sixteen I'd be wandering down to see if they'd play 21 with me and I used to be very very good at it, for a girl even.)
Some of this I'm sure, is that at one of the last big dinners we went to...well, I couldn't figure out why, this tall, very-grey haired, rather Santa-Claus shaped man kept winking at me. The third time, I looked, hard, into his eyes, looked again, looked away, looked back and then, he frowned and shook his head at me...and then. OhMYGoodness. Mr. Russell . The Mr. Russell.
Then, I kept listening to his voice, when he wandered near and sure enough, he never directly spoke to me or my husband and sure enough, his poor wife was trailing around in his wake...and I looked around and sure enough, the three other people that know I know Mr. Russell and how, gave me winks, too.
Lord, the secrets that filled that room. Last night I was telling Himself about it and he was surprised that I hadn't pointed out Mr. Russell to him but there were a lot of feelings going on with me...and I know my aunts were watching me to see if I was holding up okay. But, I know Mr. Russell from my mother's family...I had forgotten his wife is a distant relative of my father's.
I hadn't counted on that...and my husband last night told me, that if we run into him again, I should speak to him first, and be sweet as pie to him, butter wouldn't melt in my mouth...oh, sure. But it was funny, when I finally saw who he was, I about fell over.
Pefect! Just perfect...here come some of my chickens, home to roost...only some twenty years later! Heehee. If all my/our (Cheri's) chickens come home, finally to roost, are we going to get IT IN TROUBLE??? It's way too late for boarding school, I fear. I don't know. Probably not. What is the statue of limitations anyway??
And sure enough, just as I fully, totally expected (but I don't think my husband thought I was serious...poor guy), he told me that had I noticed how, well, friendly a certain very close cousin of mine is being to him. Ha! Last year she and I had a little talk about him...and I thought, oh, great...laughing to myself...now what am I going to do? We always had this strict rule: In love and war, all is fair. However, if one of the boys/men was a.) Going with or b.) Dating or c.) Attractive to any of us LittleGirls...on the pain of death...You must ASK PERMISSION before you even think about setting your cap (as Granddaddy called it) for him. We meant it, too. Still do. Blood is thicker than water, after all.
Sooo, there under the sliver of moon, I asked him, flat-out...did he find her, ohhh, desirable? (Like DUH. She's gorgeous, even though she's ten years older than us, what little I ever learned or know about being a girl she taught me)...and I know all about her real true love...the one she left to, and here I quote, "Marry well"...and she did, marry well, I mean. In a way. I am not sure, if I could stand him more than fifteen seconds and as for being with him...NO WAY. Sorry, he's just a bit, well, I don't want to be cruel but even Himself has asked me what is she doing with him??
Cheri thinks I'm crazy to let anyone, much less the man I married spend too much time around the BigGirls, or even we LittleGirls. I still ponder over what she said to me when we came up here last year and all the warnings she gave me about up there, we're (she and I) are nothing very special really...I mean, we've got some world-class beauties with the leisure to be very good at it in our families. As if I didn't know that.
Actually, I don't mind rubbing elbows with them at all. It's really rather nice, a bit like watching a movie or reading a book, so far. I like knowing there are houses, lifestyles, pretty things in life...even if is not a real part of my life. I am still mad at myself for not attending the huge fall wedding I was invited to, simply because I was uneasy to be around all that. Not anymore, I enjoy it and I'm learning all the time. So, I'm not going to turn down invitations or anything for awhile, at least and truthfully, I am looking forward to the holiday season coming up. With all the birthdays in our family in October, the holiday season begins Oct. 1 and goes on 'til the New Year.
Where was I?? Ohhh, yes, I may even just wrap a big ol' bow around Himself and really surprise her...although I think the little flirtation going on is probably going to go on for a long time...that's part of the fun, drawing things out, she told me that herself ages ago. The little vixen.
This may very well be one of the most interesting and entertaining holiday seasons, (we're going to skip the Labour Day going-ons) in our whole lives. Even if all this family is still faintly daunting to Himself. Poor man, I haven't even contacted any of my mother's side and I have to soon and as I told him last night...they are the wild ones.