Posts tagged: sun

LIFE AFTER DEATH

NATURAL GARDERN

COMMEMORATION 

By Pat Engebrecht

In the early morning hours

When the sun’s rays are low

 Slanting through the bower

  Reflecting dawn’s golden glow.

I think of you.

In the quiet awakening of the day

I sit  on the garden bench

Alone with you in my special way

Of remembering.  I feel your presence

In my heart. 

 The spider’s weaving of the night

Catches dew in gossamer threads

Reflecting in those early rays

The sight of you.  Our love spreads

Warming  me through and through.

Life’s promises we shared

The Laughter and the tears.

These memories

Grow sweeter with the passing years

    As you live in the garden of my heart. 

DANDY THE LIONHEARTED

9047812-ridiculous-dandelion-on-a-black-background-the-dandelion-smiles

DANDY THE LIONHEARTED

BY

PAT ENGEBRECHT

 

 ONCE UPON A TIME

BEFORE THERE WAS TIME WHEN ALL WAS BLACK AND STILL IN THE VOID AND SILENCE ECHOED, AND ECHOED. NOTHING, BUT…WAIT!  WHAT IS THAT?  A TINY SMALL DOT OF TRANSLUCENT COLORGLOWING BLUE BALL APPEARED OUT OF NOWHERE.  WHAT?

   GLOWING BLUE BALL

GLOWING BLUE BALL

IT BEGAN TO GROW AND DANCE IN AND OUT AND IN AND OUT.  IN THE SILENCE A SONG WAS BORN, A SONG OF LOVE.  WITH EACH THRUST AND NOTE THE BALL GREW BIGGER AND BRIGHTER, THE SONG LOUDER AND MORE BEAUTIFUL..THE WONDROUS BALL GREW AND GREW UNTIL, WHEN IT COULD CONTAIN ITSELF NO LONGER, IT BURST WITH A WILD EXPLOSION SENDING LIGHT, LOVE AND SONG THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE.

GLOWING BLUE BALL                                               EXPLODING BALL OF FIRE

 

ZAPS OF LIGHT: RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE AND PURPLE ZIGGED AND ZAGGED SINGING NOTES OF HARMONY, DANCING THROUGH AND ABOUT EACH OTHER.  THE GREAT BALL DID NOT DISAPPEAR BUT MERGED AND EMERGED WITH ALL THE OTHER LITTLE LIGHTS, SOME JAGGED AND BRIGHT, OTHERS FUZZY, GLOWING BALLS.

 

ALL THE UNIVERSE MOVED IN HARMONY, SWAYING AND ROLLING, A DANCE OF SPARKLING JOY.  AND THEN IT SEEMED THERE WERE WORDS TO THE MUSIC:  “DID YOU HEAR?  DID YOU HEAR?  WE’RE GOING TO EARTH TO BE, TO BE WHATEVER WE WANT TO BE.”

 

UNIVERSE

 

 

THE LIGHTS FLASHED, DARTED AND GLOWED AS THEY SANG, flowers images

 

 

 “FLOWERS, THAT’S WHAT WE’RE GOING TO BE!  THE GREAT  LIGHT SAID WE COULD, SAID WE SHOULD BE  WHATEVER WE  WANTED TO BE.”

HOW TO DECIDE?  MY OH MY…CHOICES FAR AND WIDE…THEY SIGHED.  FZZZT, LZZZT, PZZZT AND ZZZZT WARBLED AND WOBBLED IN CIRCLES AND SQUARES.  WHAT TO DO?  WHAT TO DO?  WHAT TO BE?

“I KNOW, WE’LL GO TO THE GREAT LIGHT FOR HELP.” FZZZT DECIDED.

“SHOULD WE?  COULD WE?”  PZZZT WHISPERED LOW.

“OF COURSE.  THE GREAT LIGHT’S THE SOURCE OF ALL THAT WE ARE, ALL THAT WE KNOW…LET’S GO!”  AND FZZZT FLASHED HIS LIGHT AND MADE A DASH AND ZAPPED RIGHT INTO THE GREAT LIGHT.  BEFORE PZZZT OR LZZZT OR EVEN ZZZZT COULD BLINK A RAY, FZZZT WAS BACK.

“WHAT DID HE SAY?  WHAT DID HE SAY?”

pink lily

I’M GOING TO BE A LILY, A LILY.  I’M GOING TO BE A LILY.  LILIES ARE BEAUTIFUL, WHITE, PINK AND ORANGE.  THEY STAND TALL AND PROUD.”  FZZZT WAS QUITE LOUD IN SINGING PRAISES OF LILIES.  “PEOPLE LOVE LILIES IN SPRING, SUMMER FALL.  LOVE, LOVE THAT’S WHAT LILIES ARE.”

“WELL, HERE GOES.”  AND LZZZT WAS OFF IN A FLASH OF A DASH, AND BACK ALL AGLOW.

“OH IT WAS SO HARD TO CHOOSE.  I COULD BE A PETUNIA   WITH FLOWERS LIKE TINY CUPS HOLDING DEW DROPS FOR HUMMING BIRDS TO DRINK, OR A MARIGOLD THAT GLOWS IN THE SUN, OR A HOLLYHOCK  STANDING TALL BY A FENCE, BUT I CHOSE A DAISY.

marigold

 

hummingbird-at-flower

daisy imageshollyhock 2

 

I’M GOING TO BE A DAISY BLOWING IN THE FIELDS ON THE SUMMER BREEZE, PETAL ALL WHITE WITH GOLDEN CENTERS.

GIRLS WEAR ME AS CROWNS IN THEIR HAIR WHEN THEY DANCE  AROUND     MAYPOLES IN SPRING.

CHILDREN MAYPOLE

LOVERS WILL DECIDE: ‘LOVES ME, LOVES ME NOT’ WITH MY PETALS.  OH YES, IT’S ALL SETTLED.  I’M GOING TO BE A DAISY.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PZZZT HUNG BACK, SHY AS COULD BE.  “I DON’T KNOW,” SHE HUGGED HER SPARKS CLOSE.

“DON’T BE SCARED, IT’S O.K.  YOU’LL SEE.  THE GREAT LIGHT WILL HELP YOU DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT TO BE.”

“YOU THINK?”  PZZZT’S VOICE TREMBLED, HER LIGHT SHUDDERED WITH FRIGHT.

“GO! GO!”  THEY ALL SHOUTED. PZZZZT  GLIMMERED AND GLOWED AND WITH A DEEP BREATH, DISAPPEARED INTO THE LIGHT.

“WELL?” THEY ALL SHOUTED EXCITED TO SEE PZZZT’S LIGHT WAS QUITE BRIGHT.

SHE DIPPED IN A CURTSY SO FULL OF PRIDE, “I’M GOBLEEDING HEARTING TO BE A BLEEDING HEART!” SHE CRIED.  “THEY GROW IN THE WOODS IN THE MOSS AND THE FERN.  THEY’RE LACY AND DAINTY, CREAMY WHITE/RED.  THEY GROW FOR LOVERS IT HAS BEEN SAID.”

 ALL THE LIGHTS DANCED IN CELEBRATION, GLOWED AND HUMMED IN CONGRATULATIONS.  ONE BY ONE THEY CHOSE TO BE  ROSES IN THE SUMMER.

 

 

rose

PANSIES IN THE SPRING

pansy

 

 

PRIMROSES, AND POPPIES, TULIPS GALORE, AND LILACS OF COURSE.

                                                                                                                         PRIMROSEEveningPrimrose-9707C

POPPIES

poppytulip 3LILACS                                                                            TULIPS

lilac2

 

AT LAST IT WAS ZZZZT’S TURN TO CHOOSE.  DIDN’T KNOW, DIDN’T KNOW, GLIMMERED AND GLOWED.  STARTED, THEN STUMBLED AND TUMBLED RIGHT INTO THE LIGHT. SO BRIGHT!

LAUGHING WITH SONG, ZZZZT DANCED BACK TO THE LIGHTS WHO WERE ALL FLASHING AND DASHING WAITING FOR HIM TO ANNOUNCE WHAT FLOWER HE’D BE.  HIS GLIMMER TURNED BRIGHTER WHILE ZZZZT ZIGGED AND ZAGGED.  “I’M GOING TO BE A DANDELION, A DANDELION, A DANDELION.  I’M GOING TO BE A DANDELION.”

dandelions_2994542                                                                                                          DANDELION

“OHHHH…”  THE NOTE HAD UNDERTONES ZZZZT HAD NOT HEARD.   A SIGH, NOT HAPPY AND GAY.  WHAT?  WHAT? WHAT DID HE SAY?

THE SIGH ECHOED AND ECHOED THROUGHOUT ALL CREATION.  PZZZT SLID CLOSE, THROBBING AND BOBBING TOUCHING ZZZZT MIXING IN AND OUT OF HIS LIGHT.  “HOW DID YOU CHOOSE? ARE YOU SURE, REALLY SURE YOU WANT TO BE…TO BE A DANDELION?”  HER LIGHT WAS QUITE DIM AS SHE CIRCLED HIM.

THE OTHER LIGHTS ECHOED, REECHOED THE QUESTION.  “ARE YOU SURE, REALLY SURE YOU

WANT TO BE…A DANDELION?        main_dandelion_th

 

“WHY NOT?  WHY NOT?” ZZZZT BUZZED AND CHURNED IN HIS AGITATION. DISAPPOINTED. HE WAS EXPECTING A SHOUT OF CELEBRATION.  “A DANDELION IS YELLOW AND BRIGHT.  FIRST COLOR OF SPRING.  A GLOWING SIGHT!”

“DOESN’T HE KNOW?  DOESN’T HE KNOW?” THE QUESTION ECHOED OVERSHADOWING THE HARMONY OF THE SONG.

“KNOW WHAT?  KNOW WHAT?” ZZZZT ZIGGED AND ZAGGED, HIS LIGHT GREW EDGY WITH SPARKS.

“SHALL WE TELL?  SHALL WE TELL?” THE OTHER LIGHTS BOBBED AND THROBBED WASHING AROUND ZZZZT LIKE A CLOUD.  “PEOPLE DON’T LIKE DANDELIONS!”  THEIR YELL WAS QUITE LOUD.  “DON’T! DON’T! DON’T!  THEY’LL DIG YOU UP OR SPRAY YOU AWAY.  ‘DANDELIONS ARE PESTS,’  THAT’S WHAT THEY SAY.  NOT OK! NOT OK!”

“OHHH,” ZZZZT’S LIGHT DIMMED, FADED ALMOST.  PZZZT FLEW BY MIXING HER ENERGY WITH HIS.

“WHAT DO YOU REALLY WISH TO BE, TO BE?” SHE WHISPERED QUITE LOW.

“I DON’T KNOW!  I DON’T KNOW!” ZZZZT’S LIGHT SPARKED AND CRACKLED IN HIS AGITATION PUSHING PZZZT’S ENERGY AWAY.  SHE HOVERED JUST OUTSIDE HIS FIERY SHOW OF SPARKS  WATCHING HIS COLORS BRIGHTEN AND DIM.

“WHY DON’T YOU ASK THE GREATLIGHT FOR ADVICE?  DANDELIONS JUST AREN’T VERY NICE.” PZZZT KEPT HER LIGHT DIM NOT WANTING TO FRIGHTEN HIM.

“YOU THINK I SHOULD?”  ZZZZT GREW PENSIVE GATHERING HIS LIGHT CLOSE.  “DO YOU THINK IT WOULD BE ALRIGHT?  THE GREATLIGHT   WOULDN’T THINK I WAS SILLY OR BOLD?”

” YOU KNOW WHAT HE SAID.  WE CAN  BE WHAT WE WANT TO BE.  THE GREATLIGHT INSISTS THAT WE CHOOSE.  HE’LL UNDERSTAND.   GO!  GO! GO!”  PSSST GAVE ZZZZT A GENTLE NUDGE.

HE SPUTTERED A BIT, DANCED UP AND BACK.  “BUT, BUT…”

“GO!” SHE BRUSHED HIM PUSHING HIM ON.  “SING THE SONG,” SHE ECHOED, “SING THE SONG.”

ZZZZT HESITATED BRIEFLY THEN SPARKED SUN 2jpgA GREAT SPARK AND PLUNGED HEAD LONG INTO THE GREATLIGHT.  TUMBLING AND STUMBLING HE ZIGGED TO A STOP IN MIDST OF A SONG MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN HE  DREAMED AND FELT A WARMTH THAT RAN UP HIS BEAM.

“WELL…” IT WAS ALMOST A PURR.  “HELLO, ZZZZT, BACK AGAIN?”

OHHH MY GOODNESS.  WHAT TO DO?  ZZZZT DIMMED HIS LIGHT SO NOT TO APPEAR BOLD. WHAT NOW? HE STUTTERED, “YOU SEE, SIR,”  HE DIMMED EVEN DIMMER.  “IT’S ABOUT GOING TO EARTH.  LIZZT’S GOING TO BE A LILY ALL PINK AND WHITE AND FZZZT’S GOING TO BE A DAISY AND…”  ZZZZT FLICKERED AND COULDN’T GO ON.

 

“YES,” HUMMED THE LIGHT, “FINE CHOICES I’D SAY.”

“BUT,” ZZZZT CONJURED UP ALL HIS ENERGY AND  BURST OUT, “I CHOSE A DANDELION.”  ZZZZT’S SPARKS FLEW.  “BUT THEY SAY, THEY SAY, NOBODY LIKES DANDELIONS, THEY SPADE THEM AWAY!  THEY DO? THEY DO?”

THERE HE’D SAID IT AND HIS LIGHT WAS QUITE DIM FROM ALL THE EFFORT IT HAD TAKEN HIM TO CONFESS HIS DISTRESS.  “IS IT TRUE?  IS IT TRUE?  MAYBE I SHOULD BE A LILY LIKE  LZZZT.  PEOPLE LOVE LILIES.”  OH ZZZZT WANTED TO DISSOLVE, TO FADE QUITE AWAY.  THE GREAT LIGHT WRAPPED AROUND HIM IN A WARM, SOOTHING RAY.

“YOU KNOW, ZZZZT, I ALWAYS WANT YOU TO BE WHAT YOU CHOOSE TO BE.  NOW DANDELIONS ARE QUITE WONDERFUL IN THEIR VERY OWN WAY.  I MADE THEM FOR CHILDREN WHO girl-with-dandelion-silhouette_23-2147499339LOVE TO BLOW THEIR LIGHT AIRY GLOBES SPREADING SEEDS ON DOWNY GOOD WISHES.

I MADE THEM FOR PEOPLE WHO LIKE ZESTY DISHES,dandelion-salad-14880938

AND A DELICATE WINE FROM THEIR GOLDEN BLOSSOMS.

DANDELIONS MUST BE STRONG AND DETERMINED YOU KNOW.”

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

THE GREATLIGHT CONTINUED TO STROKE ZZZZT’S SPARKS.  “DANDELIONS HAVE VERY LONG ROOTS TO SEE THEM THROUGH DROUGHTS, BLIZZARDS AND FROM SHOVELS AND HOES FOR YOU ARE RIGHT, MANY FOLKS LOOK ON DANDELIONS AS A BLIGHT, AND WILL DO ALL THEY CAN  TO PURGE THEM FROM SIGHT.

NOT EVERYONE CAN BE A DANDELION, ZZZZT.  IT TAKES COURAGE AND PLUCK, IT TAKES DETERMINATION NOT TO GET STUCK IN BELIEVING ALL THE TALES YOU WILL HEAR.  I HOPE IT’S DELIGHT AND NOT FEAR THAT YOU’LL FEEL IN BEING A DANDELION.”  THE GEATLIGHT’S VOICE WAS FULL OF CONCERN AS HE CONTINUED TO  CARESS LITTLE ZZZZT’ SPARKS.  “YOU LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU DECIDE.”

 

 

“YOU LOVE DANDELIONS?”  ZZZZT’S QUESTION WAS LOW, ALMOST A WHISPER.  “WILL I HAVE THE COURAGE IT TAKES TO BE?  IF ONLY YOU COULD COME BE A DANDELION WITH ME.”  ZZZZT DIMMED IN HIS YEARNING.

“LOVE YOU?  OF COURSE!  AND ZZZZT I’LL ALWAYS BE WITH YOU, YOU’RE PART OF ME.”

“YOU’LL BE WITH ME WAY DOWN ON EARTH?”

“YES.”

ZZZZT DID A FLIP, WHIPPED IN AND OUT.  GONE WAS ALL OF HIS DOUBT.  “WELL, YIPPEE!  DANDELIONS, YOU AND ME!”

“WELL…”

ZZZZT LANDED WITH A SPLAT.  HE DIDN’T LIKE THE SOUND OF THAT “WELL…”  IT WAS AS IF THE GREATLIGHT HAD SIGHED.  “IT MAY NOT BE AS SIMPLE AS THAT.  I’LL BE THERE WITH YOU, BUT YOU WON’T KNOW BECAUSE I WON’T SHOW AND YOU WON’T REMEMBER ME.”

“REMEMBER?”  ZZZZT TREMBLED AND SPARKED.  “REMEMBER?  HOW COULD I FORGET?”

“YOU’LL BE SO BUSY BEING A DANDELION, ZZZZT.  A BEAUTIFUL, GOLDEN DANDELION.  IT WILL TAKE ALL YOUR TIME, ALL YOUR REASON AND RHYME.

“BUT YOU SAID YOU’D BE WITH ME.”

“AND THAT I WILL, AND WHEN YOU ARE  VERY, VERY STILL, WHEN THE SUN’S MORNING RAYS BRUSH YOUR GOLDENNESS, YOU’LL FEEL ME DEEP INSIDE.  THAT’S WHERE I RESIDE IN EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU.  WE ARE ALWAYS TOGETHER.”

sunburst-dandelion_2568286

 

“AND I CAN COME BACK, BACK HERE WITH YOU?”

THE GREATLIGHT RUBBED LITTLE ZZZZT’S SPARK.  “LIKE I SAID, WE ARE ONE, YOU AND I FOREVER AND EVER.  NOW YOU RUN ALONG, YOU’LL BE A GREAT DANDELION, YOU’RE VERY CLEVER.

ZZZZT SPARKLED AND WHIZZED IN DELIGHT THEN DARTED FROM WITHIN THE GREATLIGHT.

HIS FRIENDS DANCED AROUND HIM CHANTING IN SONG, “WHAT WILL YOU BE? BE? BE?”  THE MELODY ECHOED THROUGHOUT ALL SPACE.  DID YOU CHOOSE AGAIN, AGAIN?”

“NO!” ZZZZT SPARKED HIS BRIGHTEST.

“OH?  NO?”

‘I’M GOING TO BE A DANDELION!”

AND ZZZZT  SHOT UP IN THE AIR IN A GREAT EXALTATION!

dandelion-umbrella_21239982

THE END

 

***ALL PICTURES WERE TAKEN FROM THE INTERNET.

 

 

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The Family Easter Vacation

 Easter Lily THE FAMILY  EASTER  VACATION

Tradition! (I can hear the song from Fiddler on the Roof echoing) that is Easter vacation with our youngest son,  a solo parent with five children.  “No, Meeko (the family dog)  cannot come.”  We are adamant about that.

Preparation time: How do I convince my ever lovin husband that seven extra people (they’re bringing a friend)  for ten days will be fun.  I ‘m rubbing his back, my voice is quiet…“Ron, it would be really great if you didn’t go into the bedroom and watch TV the entire time they are here.”  My words trail off.  Now that is not exactly  fair.  If they are interested in wind surfing or kayaking or fishing,  he’s out in the bay with them.  History:   “Sammy’s only five, Hon, I don’t think she’s big enough yet.”

“Ah, she can get the balance, never too young to get the feel of it.”  I shrug, Sammy is lost in the life jacket that hangs from head to toe, her blond hair is pulled up into a pony tail and her eyes are round as saucers, not from fear, of course.

Bringing the dog would almost be a better option than the “friend.”  I don’t care how nice the friend is, it changes the dynamics of the entire vacation, my neighbor nods her head in agreement.  It is no longer a “family” vacation   Both of us old folks seem to fall off the radar as the Trips (three born in the same year…twins and an eleven–month old)  bend over backward to make sure their friend gets her equal share of everything.  Now maybe I’m being a bit churlish.  Why do I feel ignored when all of them are upstairs (with their own TV) hour after hour never coming downstairs unless it’s for food or a fresh towel as they whip off to the swimming pool running pellmell plowing through the jumble of shoes in the front entry only to return to their upstairs  hideaway slamming the door closed.  Now let’s be fair, that is not their entire day.  Their father rousts them out of bed, they run, they go to the work–out room and lift, come home for a quick breakfast and then its onto their bikes to the tennis court for an hour or so of hitting the tennis ball.  He’s their in-house coach.  All play on the high school tennis team.    Maybe they deserve that time up in the bedroom.

But to us it seems we have not a moment of eyeball to eyeball.  I’ve forgotten the color of their eyes.  Whatever happened to “family” activities?  I see the Kennedys out there playing touch football, (don’t think I’m up to that) or on the other end of the scale, Jane and Henry Fonda sparring with each other (no one ever thought that was fiction) in “On Golden Pond.”  My older son’s wife’s family sit and play Monopoly for hours, we used to play Canasta–not any more.   The electronic age has taken over.

It’s not that they don’t do anything for me.  If I call and ask, they all troop downstairs to help set/clear the table, load the dishwasher and then they disappear again.  I know it’s the age (14-15). The oldest grandson has had experience in the food industry and gives me some interesting tips.   I appreciate the help and another good thing…their father prepares them breakfast and lunch (even buys their favorite food).  I have not had to suggest that IPhones,  or whatever the latest electronic gadgets,  are  not allowed at the table. (I think he has laid down the law before they arrived.) The chatter abounds.  I watch Ron across the top of their heads. He actually seems interested at least his eyes haven’t rolled totally back yet.

And what do we cook for dinner?  I refuse to “specialize” to individual tastes.  Not my son.    He dotes.  I can remember my oldest son coming home from college, “Spoil me, Mom, fix dinner.”  His brother not only fixes the dinner, it is special for each one of them–one doesn’t like dark meat so it’s breast, one doesn’t eat rice, so it’s potatoes.  I used to get impatient–so different from our “…eat it or you can have cereal and milk.” (I never could bring myself to let them go hungry) but I do marvel at his loving attention.

I refuse  to wash those towels every time they bring them in, drape them across the patio chars or fling them into the wash room–rather, it’s into the dryer before the next pool visit.  It has taken me years to convince them that wet towels, bathing suits, wash clothes should not be flung onto the wood furniture. I’m pleased to note my admonition seems to be working and there are only a few left–over stains from earlier years.   Any hint on how I remove water stains from the mahogany dresser created from  who knows what?

 

Hint: Never, I mean Never go upstairs during their visit. Hopefully you have a main–floor bedroom, or at least a very private area upstairs. Never open their doors.  The floor will have disappeared beneath a jumble of towels, clothes, suitcases (forget the drawers in the chest or the hangers in the closet.  What looks like chaos to us is a way of life that they handle very nicely).  An unmade bed is a natural bed. Comfy.  They sleep just fine, thank you; and I have learned that my standards are not theirs.  We are not here to train, just to love and enjoy the show which takes a bit of  “closed-mouth” exercising on our part.

Trees stormSo our backyard barbecue, which was supposed to be beneath the Live Oak, was not met with sun and balmy breezes, but with thunder/lightening flashes, rain whipping the trees, the bay  full of rolling waves.  What to do?   We found the boat house a perfect place for three tables and the grill with neighbors joining in. The children set the tables decorate with flowers  while Ron grills the ribs and chicken. An exotic chocolate cake topped with chocolate covered strawberries  provided by our neighbor is “well received”. I suggest the grandchildren not sit with each other but with the neighbors and they comply happily joining into the conversation. An arrangement thoroughly enjoyed by the “grown-ups.

Harry Potter landrticle-1213793-06722D97000005DC-558_634x489A family day at Harry Potter’s castle gives us old folks some quiet time.  Pictures of their gleeful faces provide us with pleasure. We did not miss the four-hour drive with 7 people in the car or, the 90 minute line to experience “the” ride.  I listen to one of our equally aged neighbors describe her excitement.  She went three times. I shake my head in wonder.  Perhaps  I’ve lost something in my life’s journey, or have I?  It’s not that we are “rocking-chairgrandparents.  Ron still windsurfs and skis at 80, I’m a couple of blips behind him and have just taken up Pickle Ball and am still into landscape development and gardening.  We are “comfortable and challenged” with our choice of activities.  I may not be dancing around an imaginary campfire, like Katheryn Hepburn, but I can still burn the leaves and debris mother nature deposits in our yard and build fairy houses with our youngest granddaughters.

Easter basketNo,  I have not given up my Easter Bunny suit.  Thought it was outgrown last year with the grand children in their teens and early twenties.  Not so. I am informed by their father that they’d be “devastated”, his word, if they didn’t get their usual baskets and have the Easter egg hunt, ($’s inside plastic eggs with one special $ prize going to the finder, the rest divided amongst the players.)  It is still dark as I creep about the yard, hiding pink, purple, yellow baubles in the bushes.

The Easter Egg hunt is always eagerly awaited. The rules are laid, the baskets clutched and off they go. I’ve hidden THE prize right in plain sight in the mouth of a lily.   The oldest wins the prize. Fitting.  He’s turning twenty-four, starting his own landscape business and can use the $’s.

Easter morning, their last day.  We all sit for pancakes Ron has cooked with bacon and ham, watermelon (yes) and french fries, (left over from Harry Potter’s venture).  The departure time arrives.  Bags are tied on the rooftop (no room inside) and we  cross our fingers hoping the knots are secure.  Seven people climb into the SUV with pillows and throws.  A wave and a honk and hopefully, twenty-one hours later, they will be home, exhausted, a bit sun burned, all stooping to pet and hug  Meeko who greets them as only a dog left alone for ten days can.

As the car fades from sight, we sigh,  shake our heads and enter the house. Our early ventures of overnight drives are hazy memories.  Now we take two nights on the road and a lot of pit stops to cover the same distance.   Ron grabs the vacuum, I mop the kitchen, remove the leaves from of the table, stack the extra chairs in the closet.  Within two hours, three loads of towels and sheets are being folded, three more loads await.  I find some of the contents of the Easter baskets I created (from the dollar store) left behind (limited car space?) It is the “idea” of waking up Easter morning to the basket by the foot of the bed.

The house is quiet now,  the front entry has but two pairs of shoes.  The clock chimes.  No sound of laughter, or our son’s voice on the phone trying to sell a house. The silence echoes.  We wait for their call.  Five beautiful grandchildren growing through the most difficult time of their lives…I revel in the compliments of the neighbors regarding their “old-fashioned” politeness, their heroic father raising them the best he can while mentoring, loving, and trying to do the work of two parents:  provider, teacher, and nurturer.  The one thing I love about the children the most?  They love and take care of their father.  What more can a mother ask.

A perfect vacation?  Not exactly.  A quiet time with our son hearing of his life, his joys, his frustrations would have been nice, or to have had some conversation, eyeball to eyeball with the grandchildren, no e mails, texting (we don’t) just old fashioned voices, seeing their eyes fill with dreams and plans, but–Ron did come out of the bedroom, only ate by himself one meal and, well, I wasn’t going to mention that we got into a little twit over vacuuming the stairway.  He’s a “do-it-right” person and I’m a “good-enough” person. Glad it was only the vacuum  he threw down the stairs.  He still has those moments, but, after almost sixty years of surviving our differences, this too shall pass, and, as vacations go, I think it went rather well.

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