Odds and Ends7:30 AM
Since I have, in three successive blows, hit my dear followers with heavy topics all last week, I thought it only fair to lighten up a bit. After all, some of you might complain at what a hypocrite I am - talking big and theological online, when in real life conversations I mostly laugh about a quaint observation that just popped into my mind. And we can't have that.
I've been thinking about my mama, lately. She has a birthday coming up Wednesday. I won't tell how old, because true ladies are sensitive about that matter (which, sadly, prohibits me from becoming a great lady). Anyways. Though teen years are supposed to be akin to "They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother," I never felt that, except when I was ten. But while I have not set my face like flint against the woman who raised me, I do see her in a different light. The light in which I saw her before - I can't say. Something like a bulwark to run to when I'm hungry, sad, bored...oh, she can tick off numerous times I've come up to her bored sick. And I know exactly what she was thinking, too: "I know how to cure that!" I can't say I appreciated her idea of conquering boredom. Perhaps I would have always viewed her like that, held at arm's length, always loving, vaguely appreciating but seldom understanding. We had grown closer in the tumultuous teen years, she charting my course, I following it for fear of capsizing. But then a girl asked me if I ever got tired of my parents - me being homeschooled and home almost 24/7. And I - without checking to see if my deeds matched my sentiments - blurted out, "Oh, no. My mom's my best friend." Never would I have thought that, that a mother could be a best friend. It seemed denigrating to the mother. But I meant it. And I still do. It was then, in an effort to evaluate what brought on that blurtation, that I realized she was more than a bulwark, an anchor...she was my existence. Everything I am and love runs back more or less (mostly more) to my mother - love of learning, view of life, passion for Christ. It sounds cliche, but I really don't think I could survive long without her. I'd find too many holes she had uncomplainingly filled and I had arrogantly assigned to myself. And I have to admire a person who's smarter than me. (Kidding.) Happy Birthday, Mama.
Speaking of Daniel Franklyn (oh, we weren't?) I finally understand what people mean when they eagerly, innocently ask, "So do you babysit your younger siblings a lot?" I always had this idear that they pictured me frazzled and changing diapers, yelling at the three-year-old, chasing after the baby, wiping up spills and ending up this close to picking up the phone and screaming, "MOM! WHERE ARE YOU?" I never understood it, for how does one babysit her own flesh and blood when they make up daily life? I don't get paid to hold Sweet Carolina; I don't need coaxing to sit and chat with Daniel Franklyn. But I think I now understand, for when Daniel came crying downstairs because Mom was too tired to swing him, it turned out to be as close to "babysitting" as I ever had done with them. Think trooping outside with the baby, the toddler and the six-year-old. That's babysitting, I guess - wholly devoted to the kiddoes without a book in one's hand. If only all babysitting was that simple.
Here's a joke: How many girls does it take to run a brat barn? For my clueless friends, we Wisconsin people run brat barns in the summer as fundraisers - hot food for hot days. Daddy grills; Christian delivers the brats; the girls puzzle over change and fumble with the brat buns. For the life of me I can't understand why anybody would want a hot-off-the-grill brat on a day like Saturday. Maybe it's a tough thing - the reason guys in jeans, grizzled beards and faded baseball caps dominate the consumer demographics. And the reason why I didn't last long - fly bites on the chin, sunburn on the feet, sweat beneath the plastic gloves, brat juice flung at the arm. I must say, though, the flies were easy to kill ("seven in one blow!") and it was fun buttering up the customers with smiles and "Here you go, sir! Have a great day." So how many girls does it take to run a brat barn? One for the money, one for the buns, one for the tongs and one for the wax papers, of course. Five seconds flat - and there's one happy customer.
Since I haven't been a regular adherent to my craft of fiction, I've been daydreaming about finishing and selling a novel. I've got my jacket picture just perfect: a demure black-and-white profile, hair curled and tucked back in a roll, a dark, literary sweater and a sweet, slightly-upturned gaze. Have no idea how I would accomplish that. And I've also been mulling over the revolutionary ideas I got from this article and a phrase - "Don't Describe Sunsets." How 'bout that for writing inspiration?
So many different angles and feelings I could write, but they could be summed up in three words: "I'm loving summer." One day brought an attack of acute boredom, but with new ideas, steamy Wisconsin afternoons and a bunch of little kids to romp with at the park, this summer has been the best yet. Who knew days of quilting and canning could be such fun?