Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Salt and Tears

How lame is it to have four kinds of salt in one's home? Gray hand-harvested French, brittle Atlantic, red (like lava) Hawaiian, and ye olde stand-by, Kosher. I need to boil up an ear of white corn and sprinkle on a sampling of each, then chomp across, cartoon typewriter style, for comparison. Mmm...salt.

*****

Saturday arrived. Rex's murderous barking at the postal person, making the rounds a bit earlier than usual. The thud of the letters in the mailbox. My dad, stepmom, and I froze. The grades had arrived, and with them, despair or elation? On the way to the bedroom, M confirmed that a letter from the college arrived. I gave him a few moments alone, then peeked in. He was on his back on the bed, crying. I cringed...then realized they were tears of relief. He passed. O hallelujah. It was going to be a very long year otherwise.

*****

Had one of the most relaxing weekends ever, thanks to the arrival of aforementioned dad and stepmom. I was prone in the sack til 8am three days in a row. We sat out on the back deck for hours at a time, jawing about family, drinking wine, watching hawk antics, listening to Dad's tale's of life on the farm. We co-shopped Costco, consumed grilled food with abandon. Work has been extra busy and stressful these last few days, but last weekend was a true mental vacation.

*****

Mom and stepdad arrive home safely. There are a few photos up, not enough of course. (Yes, that's a really subtle hint.)

*****

Last weekend was also Memorial Day. I thought a lot about my grandma, the one person in my life who really observes that day for what it is, though she focuses on all of her interred family, not just war dead. She also spent many years celebrating the living over Memorial Day, the future dead I suppose, helping to organize family reunions on her mother's side for many years. It's strange to write, but I enjoyed the few pilgrimages to the cemetery I embarked on with her, placing tulips and iris-- cut from her yard and my aunt and uncle's yard in Portland and brought in coolers with great care--on headstones of people I never knew, hearing her say what relation they were to us. Now my grandpa is buried there and I've been to that place on the hill enough times, most recently with my niece, to finally make it a place that lives comfortably in my memory. I'm so very glad and grateful for Grandma's memory and for her stewardship of family ceremony and history.

Felicia in Wilbur cemetery

And my heart and sympathy go out to Nancy, who lost a special person last week.

1 Comments:

At 5:18 AM, June 01, 2006, Blogger Nancy said...

Thanks, Suzanne. I really appreciate that.

And congratulations to M on the grades!

 

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