Sunday, July 11, 2010
Feeling grateful this Sunday morning
I am a little emotional this morning. Last night was wonderful, funny, sweet and exhausting. Sweetie and Lovie sat there patiently waiting to take me home, but I was reveling in the glow of twinkle lights and scented candles, delicious food, warm friends, the sounds of nature creeping in the screen of the back porch of Casa Luna and laughing with my most beloved ones here in the damp warm night of summer in Jefferson County. As much as my bed called to me, I was like a little kid not wanting to leave and miss a moment.
Fred and Marcy of BelleMeade Farms brought 3 bottles of a delightful Australian red wine. I like a nice red wine. I had not really wanted a drink last night, no reason, just wasn't in the mood. I mean it is not like I am on any meds at this time.
But to really enjoy Sweetie Cutie's amazing curry I needed something with a little creaminess to cut the heat. Sweetie Cutie and friend had brought a bottle of premixed white Russians and I poured a little of that on ice and it was just right after a few bites of the curry, which was some of the best curry I have ever eaten. I would take a sip and let the creamy liquid roll across my tongue and mouth and it cut the heat. But after finishing the curry and Ms Moon's delicious chicken enchiladas I thought a small glass of red wine would be lovely. Fred and Marcy seem to like the same types of wine that I do, so I always look forward to sharing a glass of whatever they have brought. Colin, the tall handsome man at the Opera House that we all adore had headed into the kitchen with his beautiful and sweet friend from France to open a bottle. After awhile and no wine had appeared I had turned an ear to listen to the kitchen. Colin had already come back and forth several times. First with the chosen bottle. He then walked back into the kitchen to get the glasses and I pointed out that the wine required a cork screw. Colin returned with the glasses and at that point realized that he needed the corkscrew, so off he heads back to the kitchen with the wine. I noted to those at the table that he would have to make another trip to get ice for his wine. He is so British in so many ways, but he likes his red wine cooled.
Anyway, I wandered into the kitchen and there is Colin struggling to open the bottle. Catherine is there staring at him in amazement, and Colin is trying to be very manly. But he is cursing and struggling and can not get the cork out of the bottle. Finally with sweat beaded on his brow, he looks at me. It is all I can do to keep from laughing out loud, and I say, "Colin, maybe you need to screw it in all the way." Now the three of us are laughing so hard tears are washing our cheeks. Colin is finally able to straighten up and go, "Colin, screw it in all the way" mimicing my little girl voice. I am a scrawny 54 almost 55 year old woman who sounds like a gorgeous 20 something on the phone, and Colin mimics me perfectly, and then he sees what I mean. The look on his face drives me to make a quick exit and return to the dinning room and sit there holding my chest and sides trying not to laugh. Honestly after the doctor told me in the hospital to be careful and not rip my lung, I cough carefully, I am careful how deep I breathe or laugh. And I have no idea what that means, rip your lung?
Now Colin and Catherine come in with the wine. Of course Colin has to go in and out another few times which makes him count each exit and grumble about how long it is taking to simply sit and have a sip of wine. Finally dearest Colin sits and looks at me and the three of us crack up again. I wish I had a video to share here because honestly this is side splitting funny with Colin, all 6'4" of him standing and performing the entire incident playing all three parts and everyone around the table is just laughing until it hurts. That is really how the entire night was. First there was a banana joke about curry that those involved came and shared with us. You know how most of those kind of jokes you have to be there to appreciate it. But not this group. We have all worked together so many times in so many different ways that we can totally relive a situation simply by hearing the story. And then the Colin performance. And it was a performance worthy of an oscar or tony. And I laughed so hard that I started to cough. And I couldn't stop. And of course I am afraid that I am going to collapse a lung or rip something, and now I see that people are trying to act like they are not concerned. But the quick glances from the side, afraid to make a big deal that I will become cranky. Which I do become cranky when people keep asking me "Do I feel better" "Am I getting better", "How do I feel?" So I went into the panther room, but could hear whispers of "I think she is still coughing" love and concern from those I can't imagine my life without. So I stepped into the hall off of the Panther room and continued to cough my weird don't rip your lung cough. I swear I could still hear their whispered concern of should someone come and check on me. So then weaving (that is a Connie Mae through Ms Moon quote that describes this house so simply and correctly) through Mr Moon's bathroom into their bedroom where I was able to stick a cough drop in my mouth. And it was all the sweeter that I needed a cough drop and even though there was no way that Ms Moon would ever have known that I would be sitting on her side of the bed, she still gave me what I needed, she nurtures without even knowing. And finally into the bathroom that Opra built. But the cough drop did its job and I was able to return to the circle of love and witness the sharing and living and giving of people together that have come together because we belong with each other.
But the highlight for me was Ms Moon telling the part of The Yearling about the worthless hunting dog. It is late in the party and everyone is sitting in a big circle in the dining room. The dogs are at are our feet or on our laps, and the room is quiet except for Ms Moon and the weaving of the story. The gestures, the sparkle in her eyes, the anticipation of those of us around the table, even we who have read the book, although I admit that it has been so long ago that the retelling is hypnotic almost dejavue in that it is familiar but from quiet recesses so far buried. But as Ms Moon would hesitate more I think to figure out how to end this tale quickly, but not drop anything important, then for the effect. For us it drew us all to lean in to have bubbles of DNA awaken as a gift from ancestors barely reconginzable of us today sitting around the camp fire telling tales. I felt as if I were one of those that spread out from Africa leaving genes behind to create tribes and nations of the humans we know today. But for those moments, it was magical as Ms Moon's voice floated in and out of our minds giving us pictures so vivid you could almost see and touch them. Once when she leaned forward emphasizing a point about how worthless the dog was I saw Mr Moon also leaning in enjoying the story and the telling as much as anyone, but with the added gift of recognition of this is the woman I love.
And Mr. Moon is quite the story teller himself. One of our dear beloved ones likes Jack and coke. When he came in Mr. Moon lifted a bottle of George Dickel, Tennessee whiskey, and right there and then weaved his own story about growing up on a farm in Tennessee and people drinking whiskey and branch water. Informative, simple and sweet and told as lovely as any story told that night. The beloved one and I captured in the moment, the story, the simple memory of this man we all love so much also. This man who came to us through Ms Moon. The man who is as much a part of the very blood and breath of Ms Moon and she is of him. And as we say here in the south, Just Good people, bless their hearts. And they are. And so are their children and the extended beloved ones that are as much a part of them as the home with door frames tall enough for Mr. Moon to walk through without thinking of the height. And the ceilings that rise up to hold our laughter and joy as we gather around and bask in the mutual adoration of each other.
But after a long evening filled with tours of the home that winds back and around and seems to never end to walking around the yard, admiring Mr Moon's mini farm with its straight lines and bamboo trellis to support the tomatoes, to the antics of the chickens. The 300 year old oaks, regal, ethereal, druid like quietly standing and absorbing the world around them as time clicks off in another dimension for them then for us two legged clock wearers. The dishes shared amongst friends, bottles of wine opened, stories told, moments remembered and shared and laughed over. Glances of love and concern shared between this dozen people, it was time to go home laden with packages of leftovers.
And finally after too many hours, but not one second I would give up, I came home and laid down and rested. Happy, fulfilled and yet, realizing what a burden I am to be around. Even with an evening that was perfect in absolutely every imaginable way, I scared my beloved ones with my cough. I saw the tight faces of those who had not seen me since hearing the news. The wish on their breath for me to not have this, to be well, to be normal. And I am grateful for all of this, and yet guilt ridden, because that is who I am, a person who reaches for guilt, not wanting to hurt or trouble or give a moments thought of concern for me. And yet so very grateful to have people with true and loving concern.