Thank you for your patience with my showing up here. I am wistfully nostalgic (and a little baffled) that I used to post here three times a week (and then two, and then one…). So much recording of the daily now. However, being such a traditional family—different than traditional family values (meaning, how Dan’s been boiling down hooves and hide scraps on the stove for three days straight to make hide glue again)—in some ways, I feel like I’ve written it all before.
Right? I mean, here we are again, caricatures of our own seasonally habitual lives. I’m blindsided by the flared up beauty of fall. Rose announces she’s not so hungry for dinner, while peach and plum pits are confettied around the house, in her hair. Col’s been gleefully shooting frost-killed tomatoes with his BB gun. And Dan’s been drying various things in the October sun: peaches, pears, deer and elk hooves.
The children pulse on. Col stumbled into my room late one night while Dan was gone hunting.I offered up my little nighttime prayer, which goes something like: if I must be woken up please let the issue be clear and solvable.
Col said in his smallest voice, “I’m feeling a little nervous about all the interests I’ve given up.”
“You mean like airplanes?” I asked.
“Yes,” he sniffled, burrowing his head into my chest. “And I used to be really into archery.”
“Right. And before that, rocks. And before rocks, trains.”
He nestled into me, teary and nostalgic for all the versions of himself that had already come and gone, the naming of each bringing on fresh waves of sadness. We snuggled for a long time; Col has a beautifully efficient way of absorbing physical affection, metabolizing it into something useful. At midnight I made him some crackers and peanut butter, his small body like a hopeful buoy floating at the big ocean of our table.
The first thing Rose told me when I picked her up from shared school yesterday was that she felt jealous because her friend just got new shoes and pants. And I may have been a little overzealous. “Jealousy? We can work with that!” I told her. We may be a little fuzzy on fractions, but we’re really comfortable with feelings around here. We’ve learned that they blow in like an extreme weather event, rumbling around colonizing your mind and body, then vanish. It helps to give those feelings space, to not crowd them with solutions, judgments, diagnosis or reassurance. It helps to lavish understanding upon painful feelings. I can understand how new clothes are so fun and exciting. It’s hard to see your friends get things you want. We spent the whole 1/2 mile walk home allowing and caring for the jealousy, and by the time we hit the trampoline in the front yard, the storm had blown out.
We had our first hard frost last night and as Dan’s mother and I scrambled around the garden picking half-blushed tomatoes and adolescent tomatillos, I had this feeling of completion, of the comfort and familiarity of returning to the steady and enduring greens that started this growing season, the chard, kale, lettuce, arugula. And as it was in the beginning so shall it be in the end.
In other fall happenings, we are fostering a small, lovely, heeler mix we call Sunny. Her life purpose is to bring love and peace to the people, while unearthing every bone that has ever come through the Tupperware Heights bone channels. (The life of a bone: first, the butchering table and then simmered down into bone broth, then tossed, denuded of minerals, into the chicken coop, where it is raked up and put in the compost and then resurrected under an elderberry bush or grape vine, then dragged out by Sunny).
Also, she’s pregnant with five little puppy muffins, and will be delivering sometime in mid-late October at the Turiel/Hinds home for unwed foster heelers. We have no idea what we’re getting into, which is good. Rose mused the other day, “I wonder who her husband was?” Indeed. Hoping there weren’t many St. Bernards on the Navajo reservation.
Yesterday Col spent the afternoon zooming a balsa wood airplane around the house. I smiled watching him, knowing that as the law of entropy states, nothing is ever lost, just transformed.
:: The canine love dispenser.
:: Dan shot a bull elk with his homemade bow! He worked so hard for it. His friend Ben spent three days hunting with him and came home saying, “I kind of knew Dan went all out, but now I really know.” We had a family celebration recently and Dan said about this elk, “I’ll be celebrating all year.” Here, Sunny’s going, “Dat’s so cool how we kilt dat big elk together!”
:: Our amazing public library held a Young Author’s Showcase last weekend. Rose submitted her very suspenseful story about a snow leopard hunting. An excerpt: “I lunged to grapple with the meat. I ripped open the belly to get to the heart and liver. Blood sprayed everywhere, soaking my muzzle. The snow looked like red and white fireworks.”
Thank you for continuing to come here!