2004-11-15 23:18:43 (UTC)

A Long Day

It was a nice day yesterday, the best weather we can expect
this week. After church, John and I changed our clothes
and did the remainder of the yard work. I raked leaves and
John cleaned out the gutters We went to the country house a
couple of hours later. I clipped small branches of leaves
and berries from the hawthorn tree, collected maple leaves
which still had color, cut armloads of rose hips, and filled
buckets with black walnuts. John loaded the back of the
truck with firewood to bring home. The black walnuts are
drying on screened flats, the hawthorn is in vases and mixed
with autumn leaves in bowls all around the house, the rose
hips are in baskets, set aside to be made in wreaths and
ornaments, and there's a bright and warm fire in the
fireplace. Life is sweet.
My day started at 4:30 a.m. I don't know why I was up that
early. It's only 2 p.m. and it seems like the day should be

I drove into Albany again this morning. It was cloudy early
and it turned to rain. I enjoyed seeing sheep in the fields
I drove by, many being guarded by alert and regal looking
llamas. I smiled when I drove by Birdfoot Lane and Bullfrog
Flats. Our little town is so unimaginative; our streets are
letters and numbers. But then our country house is on Lake
Creek Drive even though Lake Creek is miles away; the creek
near us is Spoon Creek. Don't ask me. I don't know. Maybe
I should ask Margaret the next time I see her. She's the
local historian and if anyone would know, she would.
My third oldest boy, Gavin, is 20 and thinking about joining
the military. I think he's considering the Marines. My
feelings about this are a combination of fear and pride.
Gavin is my teddy-bear boy, the sensitive one who all during
his teen-age years, had no hesitation giving me a hug and
kiss and saying he loved me, even in front of his friends.
My other sons had a few awkward years but now they all give
me hugs and kisses and say "Love ya, Mom" before heading out
the door too. I think in part it's because Gavin did it so
that made it okay. On the other hand, he's well over six
foot tall and strong and he's always been very patriotic,
very self-disciplined and a very hard worker. He's working
loading groceries from trucks into a grocery store at night
now and for a while he was working two full time jobs but
he's also smart and ambitious. He went to university for a
couple of years but he came and told us he thought he was
wasting his time and our money because he didn't really know
what he wanted to do yet. We told him he was wise to think
about it and we were glad he'd come and talked to us and
we've encouraged him to continue keeping us informed. He
has too and we're happy for that. He's had the same
girlfriend since high school, a delightful young lady named
Jessica. I like her a great deal and I know she's been
talking to him about this. My feeling is that she is not
thrilled about the idea of his going into the military. I
can't say I can blame her.

John and I have talked about it too. I told him I never,
never again want to open my front door to two grim looking
men in military uniform but, as he said, "It could be a
couple of grim looking sheriff's deputies instead telling
you that he (or any of the boys) had been in a bad car
wreck." Yeah, that's just it. There aren't any guarantees.
That's what we get for signing up to be parents. Well, we
get a lot of really good stuff too. There's a saying that
there are two lasting things we give our children--one is
roots and the other is wings. You gotta let them fly.

When the boys were all little (I had four boys in less than
five years) I wondered what it would be like to raise four
teenagers. Now that we're through it I have to say it
wasn't as hard as I'd thought it would be. I hadn't
realized the amount of energy and noise they would bring
into my life and I hadn't realized then how much I would
miss it when they left home. And, of course, just because
they're out on their own doesn't mean I've stopped
worrying about them. You never outgrow being a Mom.