Thursday, July 8, 2010

Back to Baseline

Back to Baseline

I really must get back to baseline;
I’ve had two days to mope and whine.
Our house feels too big when all are gone
There’s no ready laughter I can depend upon.
Richard and I have lots of fun,
But there’s not as much energy one-on-one.

It’s true that I’m a bit of a basket case. I can never remember a time that I didn’t mourn the leaving whenever a relative or friend came for a visit. All the anticipation, all the planning, all the preparation, and then all the fellowship and fun – gone in an instant when they roll onto our right-of-way.

Richard reminds me that the cleaning after a group leaves is a good time to relive the fun we had making the messes, but some company becomes family and generally cleans up after themselves, so there’s not even the mixed emotions of less work along with the less people. I hate having to get my brain back in gear to address all the realities that I can so easily avoid when we’re entertaining -- things like watering and weeding the garden before it withers.

Mamie made it clear that we’d lose our hard work if we didn’t put some water on it. Even though she’s worried about her well pump, she gave us permission to water the rows as long as we avoided wasting water on the walkways between them. She sweetened the deal with an invitation to join her for dinner. Two of her sisters and their daughters had come to visit for the long holiday week-end, and the family was in and out of Mamie’s house with casseroles and a host of other foods. Mamie regularly reminds me that eating alone isn’t any fun; we were glad to help her finish some of the leftover largesse.

Mamie faces every day what we’re facing now, the loss of her people who provided her daily giggles. With her oldest son in heaven and her oldest daughter in nursing care, she sure has had a lot of loss to bear in one year. I suspect that she never really had to fully feel the loss of her husband thirty-eight years ago as long as his namesake lived almost next door. If my relationship with my children is any indication of a pattern with children born to a very young mother, Mamie’s oldest daughter was probably also a best friend, as I know her son Frank, Jr. was.

Now that Mamie’s my mountain mama, we often bring her goodies from our cooking capers and invite her over to our house for supper. She hardly ever accepts our invitations, but we sure will be happy to oblige any time she wants us to share her home and hearth with us city slickers. We’re always sure to give her a few giggles because I see the world from a standpoint of at least thirty degrees off center while Richard sees everything from a scientific perspective – and because Mamie believes in learning through love and laughter.