why in the world would i wanna leave this?
well, actually i don’t. don’t wanna leave, that is. given my eenie-meenie-minie-moe, i’d stay put from now till forever.
i am, hands down, the original homebody. give me a week at home with nothing to do but pull weeds, turn pages, putz around in the kitchen. give me my ol’ comfy pillow, the stairs with the creaks i know by heart. give me the washer, even, the one i know how to set just so, so it doesn’t wiggle and clang like some sort of jalopy on an old bumpy road.
oh, lord, just the thought of it all. the peace and the quiet. the hours and hours to tackle this ol’ house and the interminable infinite to-do list. i tingle at the thought.
but it’s a thought, an enticement, that will have to keep dangling in front of me, for it’s not mine now. not any time in the near or the distant future even. it’s only a wish, pure and simple.
dispatch the boys. stay home alone.
grab the smelling salts, i feel a faint coming on.
oh, well. not this time around…
for now, i am considering packing. will toss the minimum amount of clothes in a bag. grab a few boxes of cereal off the shelf, and head up to where the air is even clearer and the ol’ lake will lull me to sleep for the next few nights.
it’s the house on the lake i grew up mucking about most summers. swam across the lake once. got a sailboat stuck in the muck at the bottom, one other time. gorged on my aunt nancy’s cherry cobbler. played spoons with all of my cousins, and my grandma lucille, who showed her fierce side when the spoons and the cards came out.
’bout five times a day, we managed to walk to the little general store, the one with the screen door that slapped shut behind you, nipped at your heels if you didn’t hurry. pulled out our nickels and pennies, got some sort of five-and-dime summertime treat. went out in the middle of the lake before dawn, a bucket of minnows and the sunrise, all the company i ever needed.
that was back before i had a house, turned into someone’s mama. that was back when all i had to do was endure the back of the station wagon with four brothers and a headache from the sun shining in. back then, it was pure heaven. now, i’m working hard to convince myself the long drive will be worth it.
oh, it’ll be fine, and the boys all want to go. desperately want to go. to get one last gulp of summer before the school bell rings, and i am left home alone, at last. to while away the days. getting things done. but not the things i’d do if i had a whole week.
and not the things i’ll do this coming week.
that’s how it is sometimes when you’re the mama. you do not what you want. but what everyone else really really wants. you wrap your toothbrush, and toss in your old bathing suit, the one you’ve not worn once all summer long.
you lock up the house, wave goodbye to the garden. kiss the cat on the nose. remind him to be good while you’re gone.
you turn and you whisper a prayer. tell the house, the garden, the cat, you’ll be right back. stay put, stay just as you are, and i’ll be right back to fuss over you, make you feel like you’re the one place in the world i always want to be.
which, as i pack up to leave, is the truest truth i can think of.
see you next week. goin’ north to collect a l’il bit of summer vacation. anyone else out there wish like anything for a whole stretch of days, unencumbered in every which way? anyone else know what it is to want to stay home, and call that the best vacation ever?
mom of 2
A week home alone to catch up on that to-do list sounds like a dream. There are things on my list I feel will never get done as long as the girls are here. When that feelling overwhelms me, I realize that my time spent with them is indeed limited, and better spent on them than on anything else I can imagine. My oldest is starting high school in three weeks…where has the time gone? (I think some of my to-do list items have been on there since she was a baby!)
While I would enjoy a week of solitude, I do enjoy out family trips. We are going away for a few days next week, and I can’t wait. I find vacations are the times I can really be with my husband and girls without the “busyness” we find at home…softball games, violin lessons, dentist appointments, etc. I savor and cherish the moments away from home when we can simply be with each other and not worry about a schedule, or laundry , or dishes to be washed. Of course, I am always happy to return to all the things that make our house a home!
Monday, August 11, 2008 – 07:52 AM
Mom of 2 up above … I can relate for I also have 2 girls … the eldest starting college and the other just starting 4th grade. I yearn for days at home to flip through cookbooks to try something new, haul out the sewing machine and make something just for the heck of it. Ahhhh, that would be heaven to me.
But … homework, dance classes, dental appointments, yada yada yada fill up my days. But, as my sister reminded me just yesterday, there will come a day when my house will be empty and I will pine for the sound of my girls dancing in their rooms to music that’s far too loud for humans.
bam … a week in the woods sounds like a dream. One last hurrah before the yellow buses come to call. Gettin’ outta Dodge sometimes is the best remedy for the back to school blues … not just for the kids, either.
p. s. Don’t let the skeeters get ya!
Monday, August 11, 2008 – 06:31 PM
darn, i missed you for sure…but spending some time with your boys…on a lake, listening to the night sounds and speaking to the stars above, good for you. this ol’ farm could sure use some of your charm…think about the fall, and that bus load or station wagon full of friends, you all come now- ya hear?
can’t wait to hear what you’ve discovered there upon your shore…prayers for you and yours-
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 – 07:52 AM
I am thinking, because of the beauty of your memories, you were leaving one “home of your heart” for another “home of your heart” and it is the transition between the two that is the hard part. As you pack up from the home on the little lake to come back to the home near the big lake, there will be some melancholy too – perhaps with the last slap of that screen – and a bag full of new memories to sort through this coming fall and winter. You garden, cat, and home are waiting….as is the table, chairs occupied., cups waiting to be filled…welcome home dear Bam.
Saturday, August 16, 2008 – 09:34 AM
ahhh, what a blessing to come home to a table filled with hands i want to squeeze, and wisdom i want to soak up like a crumb cake dipped in the coffee. as i type, i turn and see my kitten (really an old skinny cat) curled up on the window seat behind me. he NEVER sits there, but he seems to feel a need to rub up against his mama who left him behind for the week. i know just how he feels all curled up there, nestled between my wide-brimmed garden hat and the book i’m reading, and a little collection of lavender-filled baby dolls that once belonged to my babies. oh, true, can we really load in the ol’ blue wagon and come a rollin’ down the highway to see you and the fields that stretch forever? i am so sorry i couldn’t get down there for the farm tour, but my mama’s visit to the hospital bumped up against it. i know there is already one taker for the front passenger seat. shall we come when the pumpkins are crawling across the fields? shall we bring our harvest arms and help in every way?
twas a bumpy week on the little lake, truth be told, as the darn newspaper finally got around to all the long-awaited layoffs. 80 souls , cut. egad. it was hellish. still feels that way. i cried and kept in close touch, thanks to those little phones that go anywhere and everywhere. i pray for all those who never thought when they woke up friday that it would be their last day ala tribune.
i came home to a few babies in my garden that died of shock or something. all shriveled up. and not even a big fat drink, and a heapin’ of love last night could bring em back. of COURSE i felt guilty. and more than a little sad.
it is, all in all, most delicious to be back in this house that breathes with me, fills my lungs, makes my heart pound. my little one ran and skipped from place to place, so happy to be home. on the way up in the car–i swear this is true–out of nowhere he asked, “who misses home?” i thought he was making a little joke at my expense since the whole family kinda knew i had not wanted to leave. and before i could move, he shot his little hand up in the air, and we turned to look, and his face just melted and the tears poured down his cheeks. “i miss everything,” he said through tears. oh, lord, i thought, the pang in my heart building into a twisty stabby sort of pain. the little pistol really is a tender heart, and whatever it is inside me that makes me never want to stray too far or long, well i guess it’s the nesty gene, and i guess i passed it on to him. he survived, all right. trips to the general store, where he picked out penny candy, and a few stops at the pie houses up there in orchard land cured whatever ailed his little heart.
time to tuck him in, and fold the last load of laundry for the day. oh lord, coming home is bumpy too. no? bless you each and all. see you wednesday, when i’ll put out something fresh and timely…..
Monday, August 18, 2008 – 10:09 PM