What to talk about first? Cream scones? Slutty buns? (Cinnamon buns, that is.) Asparagus? Easter? Kids on bikes? Billy and Suzie stories? Splitting wood? How I spent this week’s gift of kid-free hours? The sofa napper? Why I think I’ll lose the bet?
Hm. Let’s see. Eeney, meeney, miney moe…
Aw, shucks. I’m just going to start writing (er, typing, in this case) and see how far I get.
We went to my parents’ house over Easter weekend (though we all cleared out the eve of the actual E-day … to get to our respective churches and Eastery events, not because we were sick of my parents) to do a work weekend in honor of my dad’s birthday. He’s 58 this year, I think. Young, spry, and fit as a fiddle.
I coordinated food for the two full days we were there, dividing the duties between my sister-in-law, my mother, and myself. It was fun to do it that way—three different styles of cooking, lots of food prepared ahead of time, and well, just lots of food in general. My sister-in-law made a kick-butt chili, my mother made her standard Prozac meal of potatoes, both regular and sweet, and I made quiches. We feasted at every meal and then lolled about on the floor, snoozing and reading for several hours before hauling ourselves outside to do more work. It was a relaxed work weekend, but we still managed to get some stuff done.
My mother, doing her kitchen duties.
My mother, doing her kitchen duties with a grandkid assisting.
My mother, doing her kitchen duties with two grandkids assisting.
My mother, doing her kitchen duties with THREE grandkids assisting.
If I were her, I would be hollering for everyone to clear out RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE, but my mom just … acclimated. It’s the oddest thing, really. The years have mellowed her considerably.
We picked rocks out of the garden (Mr. Handsome refused to stoop to pick up the rocks with his hands and instead employed a rake—he’s further along on the evolutionary time line than the rest of us)…
and there was some potato planting.
We hauled rocks, big ones, and mended fences.
There was a bit of muscle flexing. Uncle Rico, anyone?
Egg hunting, of course. It’s crazy how excited the kids get about searching for some colored eggs, and it’s even crazier how many of those buggers than can put away when they get to peel and salt them themselves.
There was some branch-hacking by a weird guy in bare feet.
The same guy was discovered studying, believe it or not. Can you see the title? It says something like Variance Components. Heaven help us! Or him. That he and I were spawned from the same two people is strange indeed.
There was singing.
And just sitting.
There was hat wearing…
… and hat bestowing.
There were Billy and Suzie stories and subsequently enthralled children. Just look at these faces!
There was also, and this was the best part, some wood splitting. Get this, folks: I split wood.
This is unheard of. Completely and totally unheard of. It’s just not something I do. I’m content to haul wood and let the brawnier dudes do the ax wielding, but something came over me this weekend. I’m not sure if it was the abundant good food (and the need to burn more calories so I could more fully partake of it), the mountaintop air, the jovial company, or the multitude of axes and mauls. In any case, I picked up an ax and started swinging.
My dad came over to give me some pointers. “Make a crack across the center. Hit it in the same place. Now keep hitting there and it will—” KER-ACK!
“HI-YAH!” I roared, victorious and delighted.
He showed me how to bend my knees, so I could hold my wrists straight and give the ax more force. I took him very seriously. Just look at those deep knee bends!
The full extent of those knee bends wasn’t made known until the next day. But I marched back up the hill and split some more wood, and even more than I had done the day before. So there.
Before I sign off, I want to share with you some photos of my wood cuttin’ man.
Here he is from the front, all cute and squinty.
And from the side, all twisty.
And from the back … mm-hmm.
About one year ago: How my mornings are, some days.