Friday, November 6, 2009

THAT CHILD

I've been sorta saving up space here, hesitating to post, for this is the second-to-the-last in the ration until the big THREE HUNDRED is reached. And also, next week on the 12th will be the First Anniversary of the first post I ever ventured to send out into the blogworld.

I'd had visions of sorta stretching them out, making the two milestones coincide in one big moment, and perhaps it will work out that they do fall on the same day. But it seems stingy to keep postponing, just because of the maybe. I see the cities flash past on the counter, recognizing so many of the daily drop-ins, and feel bad to dribble out such mingy bits---like standing in the door and doling out the last crumbs in the cookie tin to kind folks coming to call, when I really wanted to have a lovely tea waiting in the parlor.

I'm a lavish-hand hostess, going too far and laying out too much, trying to make things just so, and urging second helpings. So at this moment, straight from an e-mail to a dear friend, a second look at THAT CHILD with the potholder hat:

There are several trees on our daily rounds which have been splendiferous, to make up for all the rest, and we swoooosssh our feet through the piles of their fallen grandeur every day---a dozen times, sometimes. We just keep turning around and going back. We went out with a "leash" yesterday a.m. and it was interesting, and much easier on Granny's back than the hand-holding and squiggling away and chasing down. I just can't chase her fast little feet as well as I'd like, though I DO get going fast. If I fell on the sidewalk, she'd make it to the street before I could get up, I'm sure.

We had our first incident in the grocery store last week---we walk or she rides through in her little push-car without her ever even reaching for those demonically-placed candy displays right down at her eye level, but not this time. And, due to the impromptu (read runaway) nature of the trip, without the leash. I said innocently, I said: Let's go sweep the porch!!! Bright smile and cheerful voice. So we went out the back door, me in shorts and T-shirt, though I HAD worn a long cotton cardigan the morning trip.

What I'd MEANT was patio, but guess who can sort out the words for herself, now? So when I said "get your broom" ---two feet long, with a clump of bristles about the size of Chris' shaving brush---she grabbed my big straw one---fairly new, but my size, and kinda discolored bristles from standing propped outside during quite a long wet spell.

Around the corner she went, as I glanced madly about for her broom, then gave chase. I resolved it was quite time to sweep the actual PORCH, as the old wicker chair that's stood there Winter and Summer for about five years is a GONER, molting big shards and shreds like gray matchsticks all over the concrete. So up I went, and started to sweep. Down the steps with Miss Independence, heading sideways across the lawn to next door. Away I went, as well, but Sweetpea changed course and headed down the drive, onto the sidewalk and for the leaf-pile across it about four houses down. We swished our feet; I said Home; she said OGY---so we went to Ogy's house, met his Grandma and Grandpa, me being so spruced up and all.

Still wagging that broom over my shoulder like a demented soldier.

WAY around to the store, where I decided the heck with it, I'd just pick up Chris' ice cream for dessert; In the door, to the freezer, with a quick detour past a display of little milk-carton boxes holding Goldfish. Snagged one. Now, carrying ice cream, goldfish, AND broom, and with my companion wanting to venture more and more into the depths of the aisles, I grabbed her hand.

She sank, saying "Sit." And sat. I leaned the broom against the cheese display, picked her up, hugged her and the ice cream, grabbed broom. She bent limply in half across my arm, and I had to put her down. Dropped the broom. Almost dropped the ice cream; grabbing it made little finger-dents around the edges of the lid.

Got her by the hand, got broom. She said Sit. And did, then crawled forward, her little hands on that shining, germ-ridden floor. I scooped her up, forgetting broom, which gave her a little thwack in the head with the handle. She wailed. People looked. I was comforting and exclaiming about her booboo, and getting totally weak from the laughing I'd been doing. Now I was sad for the booboo. And I REALLY REALLY had to pee. Which neither the laughing or grabbing or carrying was helping. One bit.

Lost goldfish in the mayhem; don't know where they went. Set ice cream on stack of eggs (my, was I brave to do that) and picked her up again. And broom. Got ice cream in tiny fingertip grip, hugged it to my bosom. She bent again, went down again. By now we're in line behind two baskets. People are looking at THAT WOMAN and THAT CHILD.

I couldn't wait to check out, so back we went to the freezer---any freezer, amongst the butterbeans, for all I know---where we snugged in the wounded ice cream with the little peck-marks all around the lid. Now relatively unburdened with only child and broom to my name, out the double doors. Smacked the broom on the coin machine.

We got out to a little bench in front of a store, sat down, called Chris and said open the back gate. We rounded the corner to see him pushing her little car fastfast toward me. She ran for him. I stopped the car, she climbed in, and I held back the rowdy bushes (partly with the broom, which had FINALLY decided to earn his keep), he drove her home, and I stumbled through the gate onto our own back lawn.

Future of our Nation, folks. Bright it is.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nobody, but nobody, could have told this to make us laugh like we were there watching (and would not be laughing if we were the chaser of all that energy) - Your writing gives me the greatest pleasure. Congratulations on the milestone to be crossed soon in time and number. I still want to read it all inside a book held in my hands - check on doing that, please! Same Anonym.

racheld said...

If you could see the stacks of boxes filled with midnight-typed pages---some serviceable old cardboard ones folded with the little four-flap twist, snugged in the closets; the beautiful three, wallpapered with mauve and pale purple wisteria, gifts from Chris on various occasions, the box chosen as much for the beauty and the page-storage as for the gift which was enclosed, all stacked in the sitting room as part of the decor---if you could see the reams---feel the heft---know the hours!

If you COULD, you'd know what a daunting task it would be to go through all those stacks of e-mails (I write letters just like I talk, and just like I write here)and posts to other sites on cooking and decorating and on writing, itself. Or just on whatever I was thinking about at that moment.

I don't think I could venture to presume to submit anything to a publisher, an agent. The NO would undo a thousand praises, and I treasure those, from readers here, from other friends whose letters and lives inspire the writing, and from faraway places and people who follow a perfectly innocent "Hoop Cheese" Google into a maze of grits and Y'alls and Church Supper doings.

I totally enjoy hearing the pleasure of a reader; I could not court that to save my life---putting something into the busy hands and the jaded eyes of an editor or publisher---that would scare me to death. I, too, long to hold a book in my hands, but the proffering is the rub.

And I wouldn't know where to start---I see bloggers tossing off sentences about "my agent" as if it were a purse, got on sale at Sears. Where do they FIND those, and why would they care?

But your words are kind and inspiring, and I thank you for thinking so.

Cape Coop said...

I wakened the cat, I laughed so loudly.

Anonymous said...

Racheld,

I,too, have the same boxes and have been going through trying to sort and arrange, so hopefully my children will not roast marshmallows over them at my demise. Have been so busy, I've neglected to comment. I read quickly promising myself I will return later to savor and praise, but alas. I kept two grands yesterday - 3-year old Ellie and 14 month-old Thomas. I've slowed down today and needed a break and what a wonderful one I chose. As ever you never disappoint. Your posts are like the anticipation of a warm pie exiting the confines of the oven.

Gracious thanks for sharing ~ Janie

Southern Lady said...

Oh, my goodness, Rachel, what a delightful story. I was out of breath just from reading it ... lol

Your words always paint such wonderful pictures to go along with your stories and you never cease to entertain, inspire, and touch my heart.

I'm so glad I found you lo those many months ago, and look forward to sharing your 300th post and first year anniversary milestones with you next week.

Tonja said...

Rachel, I'm going to take a nap...just reading that wore me out! Oh, how funny! And, it just delights me to hear you laugh and appreciate the 'fun' that she is! I was shopping the other day, and as I walked to my car, I heard a woman saying, "Shut up, shut up now!" She was so angry, and the children were crying. The car seat was hot and she was hotter!
She noticed me waiting for her to finish, so I could get into my car. Looking at me, she said,"grandkids...don't they just get drive you crazy?" I looked at her and said, "I hope God gives me the chance to have grandchildren...so far I am not as blessed as you are in that area!"

That's not what I wanted to say...I wanted to tell her to be thankful and grateful and loving and kind and nurturing. But, I don't think she would have heard me...hopefully she thought of my words later and will realize how blessed she is.

You know how blessed you are, and I'm sure 'that child' knows how blessed she is as well....or she'll figure it out soon!

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

What a story. Loved finding your site this morning. Congts on your milestones,
Maggie

racheld said...

It's good to be home, Y'all!! We just walked in---spent this glorious day up in Shipshewana---lots of Flea Markets and Antiques stores, plus a trip to both the Cheese shop and the huge Bulk Foods warehouse---there's about fifty pounds of dried stuff---wheat and berries and quinoa and bulgur and those marvelous homemade noodles on the upstairs counters.

And I just want to thank you all for the wonderful comments---I hope you enjoyed the froufraw---it was even funny when it was so bad---I got weak from laughing in the store.

It's always wonderful to hear from old friends, and I welcome a NEW Maggie---#3, as a matter of fact---an old friend, a dear cousin, and now a Texas Maggie, who I hear just tore down an old barn, single-handed. Glad to have you here!!

Jeanne said...

Dear Racheld, Your story has me spellbound. You are a writer I could read all day. I'm captivated by your child story in the store. Laughing still.

Thank you for your comment about Aunt Shirley. She is an interesting, wonderful, magical, loving, youngest sister in my mother's family of nine sisters and brothers. Only three are still alive. My mom is not one of them. sigh.

It is lovely to meet you. congratulations on your upcoming 300 posts and blogging anniversary. I will be back again soon.

Hugs, Jeanne

Jeanne said...

Hi Racheld, I am back already. Thank you for your sweet comments about our puppy. She did better last night so we have hope.

I am putting you on my list of favorites. I will surly be glad I did.

Hugs...Jeanne