Saturday, January 11, 2014


The muffled thooomp of the glass bottle of Sugar in the Raw syrup, as I pop out the cork to pour that caramelly stream into my cup---Pumpkin Pie Spice and a little allspice already sifted in, and awaiting the two tiny blue sealed cups of French Vanilla creamer.  The steam as the Keurig streams out the Eight O’Clock is as intoxicating as rum, and vies for colour with any casked booze.

Sinking into a deep old clawfoot tub, into the Shalimar-perfumed bubbles, with Spem in Alium on the Bose, or perhaps Tom Waits.    A good book for whiling the time, though this precious NOOK is gripped tighter, held drier, than the decades of John D. MacDonalds with their pulp pages and one-stage-from-lurid covers, which sometimes fell prey to damp fingers or errant drops of fragrant water, emerging from the steam with pages some thicker than before, words a bit wavery and dim. 

Thin, cold crisp slices of lengthwise cucumber,  salted glistening on a plate, for finger-munching whilst a sandwich is spread with homemade Paminna Cheese, and a frosty glass of Sweet Peach Tea is poured.

The still-unfamiliar sound of this new set of wind-chimes, hung and set a-swing by Chris several days before Christmas, and unheard until we had wind enough that I’d notice.   We lay reading late one night, and I heard such a tune coming through the open bedroom window that I laid my book down to listen.   The old silver set, way on the end of the house, was sending out its old familiar tinkles, and the other five sets, all across the back, were giving up all their melodies in ruffles and riffs, but there was a new sound in the mix, of deep tones and scales and runs as if the organist had just learned to use the foot-pedals, and was giving it all he had on the low notes, not missing a step.

They're a deep, matte ebony to match their sound:  I’ve never heard such mellow tonality from something hanging in the wind.  These things practically boom out Bach, seeming to be of metallic bamboo played with water and wind and muted mallets, in all the melodies there are, sometimes all at once.   At times, it's an Asian pentatonic, mixed with Close Encounters, and then again there goes a chorus of Sweet Adeline, as if the guys in center-parted hair and striped coats are tuning up for a show.    My very favorite, and heart-swelling, for times have been few, it’s the exact bongs of a grandfather clock I used to hear in the night in a safe, warm, welcoming house. 

Shelves of books and all the things and stuff and HAVES that I sometimes look on as clutter and too much, is plenty.  A gracious plenty, and I’m so grateful. 

There’s still a hush Out There, though everyone but me has been out and about and into the usual day-by-days of our lives.   They go to work, emerge to see if the cars are ice-covered or free, do what they have to do, and drive home on unruly streets and prayers. 

And I’ll forever carry memories of yesterday, when a little girl, dressed in a pink-and-black tap dress, sequins and net over a pink granny-gown, with black leggings and pink Barbie rain-boots, a thick red knit headband pulled crosswise beneath one arm and across her chest like a gaudy bandolier to hold her long green shoehorn sword, stood guard at the bottom of the stairs, and, restraining herself from shouting her usual happy “Ganner’s HOME!” stayed in character, shouting “Hark!!   Who goes there??”

Several ninja moves and thrusts and parries into the air before the answer was received, then she replied---I don’t know WHERE she gets this stuff----(flourish and brandish): “Your Magic is NO MATCH for my SWORD!”

And, since I’d been knighted earlier in the day, as I knelt and she tapped each shoulder with a long chef’s sharpening blade, “I DUMB thee Sir GANJILOT!”  I joined the fray, we disarmed the invader with a Group Hug, and sat down for a truce over cocoa.

Fulsome things for a cold day.


donna baker said...

Since your stuck inside, that's a good day. At least the sun is shining. We are blessed with sunshine and 60 degrees today. It means the world to me. I am just going outside to ramble around. Sunshine and warmth. My favorite things.

Barbara said...

Thanks for your visit and comments Rachel. I love wind chimes, especially those deep ones but we live in too close proximity to be able to have them outside. I bought some large steel ones the The States and brought them back in a case. Can you imagine that happening now!
I have to make do with a small set hanging just inside the front door.

racheld said...

Sunshine and warmth, dear Donna. I hope all your little creatures made it well through the cold.

And Welcome, Barbara! It's hard to think of such a lovely thing as wind chimes as a nuisance, but I remember in a movie the line, "What IS that ANNOYING NOISE?"

We, too, have a tee-ninecy set (with a little magnolia) actually ON the fanlight of the front door, so they tinkle whenever it's opened. And another seven sets across the house.

I also have a big ole galvanized #3 washtub, which we sometimes upend right outside our bedroom window, for it echoes the wonderful sound of rain on the old tin-roof houses we both remember from childhood in the South. Wonderful lullabye music.

Beverly said...

You do indeed live in the land of plenty. I remember the first time I heard the phrase a gracious plenty. My Aunt Martha said it when asked if she cared for more food. I love the phrase, and I am in love with your gracious plenty.