I came to Elizabeth City on Monday , in fair weather. Hundreds od blossoms adorned the lawns, the woodlands and even the roadside. The three rivers were as blue as could be and all of the world seemed to be singing.
Lyla had been at the window, watching for my arrival and she did not miss the moment I drove up. She always greets me with a long and joyful greeting- It is a treasured moment and typically, I hear her scurrying and calling out “Honeybee!” I drop all my bags and she is in my arms quickly, for a long embrace, whether it has been a few weeks or a few days, since “we were together”. Little Brynn smiled at me and it seems at long last, that she considers me “familiar” now.
Each morning begins with feeding a pair of ducks, from the porch. I so hope they show up one day with ducklings. Will, often has coffee on the porch and Jenny and the children, follow, shortly after. I am usually up first, and while the coffee brews, I sit on the back deck, to collect my thoughts and watch the birds and squirrels. I saw the yellow tanager twice, the first day! She was flying hastily, but the yellow bird did not go unnoticed. There are several pairs of cardinals and there are always robins. One morning, Lyla and I watched a blue jay, gathering nesting materials. Lyla was very amused, at his antics.
On Tuesday, Lyla and I went to the grocery. We had a long list and so it took a while to gather the items. Lyla is quite helpful at finding the items and reminding me to “stick to the list”. When we got back, the day called to us and so we all spent the afternoon in the back yard. Lyla is learning to swing and she takes it quite seriously. I was reminded of the poem, “The Swing” by Robert Louis Stevenson, and Lyla memorized the first stanza and recited it for her dad, when he came home. My own children memorized poetry regularly and I remain glad, for a semester of poetry is hardly enough. I still remember my third grade teacher reading “The Duel” (E. Field) to us-and then “Fog” by Sandburg. Of course, I prefer the old classic poems that have a rhythm and rhyme. I am on a mission to revive the lost art of many things, for my grandchildren, . . which includes meandering, and pretending knowing the name of birds and flowers . . .and poetry.
On Wednesday, Lyla rode her tricycle to the laughing river. The water was a deep indigo color and along the way were irises and a mock orange – and a hodgepodge of oxalis, violets , buttercups and coral bells in the yards. The breeze blew the spent blossoms of dogwoods in the air and I told Lyla, that it was raining flowers.
When we got home, Lyla and I began making a banana pudding. After supper, we carried some to Miss Thelma. I have been giving Lyla lessons on good manners, which I think is another “lost art”. The visit with Miss Thelma, gave Lyla the opportunity to practice and she did everything just right. Good manners mean you are thinking of someone else, pure and simple.
On Thursday, Lyla and her mom had dental check ups, and errands to run. I took Brynn out for her first solo stroll. The day was as glorious as could be . It was a short walk to the river and Brynn seemed to enjoy the cheerfully laughing water. Brynn is a happy baby and so very beautiful. She has learned to clap her hands and what a precious sight to see her laughing and clapping like a little doll.
After baths, everyone settles in for a quiet evening. It is always the same. One night, Lyla gave a violin recital and recited her poetry, for us. That was a special night.
One morning, I woke up and “out of the blue” . . it was Friday! It seemed like as fast a week, as I have ever lived, had passed . Time is much shorter when it is measured, I think. (This is why, in the summer, I abandon clocks altogether and the calendar is only useful for bill paying and birthdays.) The early morning smelled like rain, and the heavy clouds confirmed the chance. Today was the day to pack . . .for all of us. Will and Jenny are coming back, for a gathering, on Saturday to celebrate my sixtieth birthday, which was on the 18th. Tres, Brant and Sydney, my sister, Delores, niece, Dana, and cousins, Chuck and Chris are all coming. I am not the sort that wants a party for me, but this is almost like a reunion and I am looking forward to it.
There are a few things in life, that I can not get my fill of-springtime and grandchildren -family meals and Christmas -leisure strolls and the nights when we all sleep under one roof, again. Dear Diary, The older I get, the less I know, for sure. . .but these things are certain. These things, I hold in my heart . . .and will abide for now and be treasured every year, hereafter.