Last year, I did a lot of writing by a splashing fountain. I am again in its’ cheerful company. Will, Jenny, Lyla and I left Friday afternoon for Wilmington, where my oldest two sons live. I have not seen Brant, since early spring, as he works on week-ends. Tres comes home more often, but whatever the circumstances, I have missed my boys.
Lyla stayed up long past her bedtime that night-we all did. Brant was at work when we arrived at his house. Tres came over, when he got off work. He and Lyla had played for hours and I worried she would fall asleep before Brant came in-but she didn’t and seemed to find renewed strength, at the sight of her Uncle Brant. Lyla adores her uncles, and the feeling seems to be quite mutual. Neither of her uncles are above tea parties and picnics-which Lyla has several times a day. My sons will comfort her doll, too, if need be. It endears my sons to me, even more so, (if that is possible) to watch how tender they are with Lyla.
Lyla had been putting coins in a piggy bank for a long while, the first night. I was there with her and determined to watch silently and allow her to concentrate. I was drowsy and the steady rhythm of coins dropping , did not help the situation. Finally, Lyla laid down on the floor to drop the coins. Then she stopped altogether, having fallen fast asleep in the process.
Tres and I drove to his house, about fifteen minutes away in almost quiet streets. We pulled into his neighborhood. I had not been to this house. The street lights revealed the neighborhood, as best they could. I have not felt well, for a few days, and it was beginning to catch up with me, but I did note there were a lot of old trees and picket fences, as we walked on to the porch, somewhere around midnight.
The next morning, not long after waking, I went out . The neighborhood was “chockablock” full of cottages, old trees and late-blooming flowers. Most every house had a picket fence, adding even more charm to the picture. I just love historical neighborhoods and this one convinced me I was not wrong to do so. All of the cottages were moderate in size but distinctly different in some way. I had rested well, but I was just not up for a walk. Tres brought coffee and cheddar cheese out and we had a nice morning chat, while people walked dogs. One lady was handing out flyers about a good cause and plenty of folks were riding bikes. It was a busy and cheerful morning on that street. Tres went in to fix breakfast and I ventured out a short distance. One neighbor had a little “library” in his yard. There was an adorable little “house like” cabinet with a glass door in his yard. where books were kept. These books are there to be borrowed, free for all. I had heard of these “little free libraries”, but had never seen one. One day, along with a lemonade stand, I may have a “little library” too, I thought.
After breakfast, Tres took me on a drive around the neighborhood. It was a sprawling neighborhood and every dwelling was just adorable. There were more trees and bushes than I could have imagined, in city limits. Flowering vines rambled every where they could. There was huge park that could even satisfy the heart of country folks.
We drove on to Brants’ house by the splashing fountain. Will, Jenny and Lyla had left to visit Wills’ grandmother and his dad, who was having a birthday. They live just south of Wilmington. I spent the afternoon with Brant and Tres. They watched football, and it reminded me of when they really were boys, so many seasons ago. . when autumn afternoons were predictably centered around football and food. I knew stats and players, in those days and team rankings.
Will and Jenny returned in the early evening. Tres cooked supper for all of us. Lyla had her own “picnic” on a beach towel, in the living room. It was late when Tres and I drove back to the sweet neighborhood, where he lives. The morning commotion was a sharp contrast to the peace of the midnight hour.
I woke early on Sunday and felt the best I had in days. Tres slept through sunrise, but I had the company of “Hank” and “Jolene”, two kittens, Tres adopted in late spring. The pair are siblings and Tres could not bear to separate the two, though he had planned to rescue a single kitten. Both, Hank and Jolene seemed to be wearing masks, but Jolene also has a golden crown, being she is a calico. Jolene seems mighty aware of this feature.
When Tres awakened, he made coffee straightaway, and served me a piping hot cup, as if I myself had a crown, like Jolene. While Tres made breakfast, I met the next door neighbors, with the “little library”. The wife was reading aloud while they had coffee. They were kind folks and I was fond of them, right off.
Tres and I decided that directly after breakfast, we would go to Brants’. I felt well enough today, to fix a “Sunday Dinner”. Jenny called within a few minutes, and said Lyla was sick.
It was not the head cold, as I was having, but an upset stomach, that plagued Lyla. At the height of her suffering, Lyla looked at Will and said “help me daddy”. I think it broke his heart. Lyla has never ailed from such a thing, and so I am quite sure, the ordeal was a horrible shock. Thankfully, it was a short lived affair and by early afternoon, Lyla felt better and finally ate some of her favorite snack, “Goldfish”.
By three o’clock, I was peeling rutabagas, which is a tiresome task. I had already snapped beans and still had turnips to peel. Brant took pity and finished the rutabagas. Within a few hours the house smelled like Sunday. There was one football game after another, on all afternoon. Lyla played happily while her uncles and dad watched the game. Supper was cooking , the fountain was splashing and a light, cool rain was falling outside.
Sometimes “Red Letter Days” are known only to the person living them-this day was one of them for me. To be fully content is beautiful- and humbling. It made me want to leap . . and then to bow in gratitude. I wanted to laugh-and I wanted to cry . I wanted to sing and I wanted to be silent. When love is gathered, it is a mighty powerful thing.