Okay– so this is Dave Marquis– you don’t actually have to look at the clip, but he’s the local weatherman. For almost thirty years, Mate and I have watched as Dave Marquis froze his skinny butt off at Donner Summit and Pollock Pines and Sugar Bowl, telling Sacramento about the snowpack. For the longest time, he did this in the same Member’s Only jacket, but lately someone has given him a nice REI fleece jacket with the News 10 emblem on it, and we were much relieved. He looked cold. Anyway– say hi to Dave, everybody– he’s an institution and we love him:
So, what Dave was telling us lately is that the weather would look like this (rain modeled by my children and my parents’ dog, on my second trip to Florida about two weeks ago.)
And there is still much rejoicing–magic sky water has lost none of its magic here, folks, trust me.
This weekend, when I felt like crap, part of what made feeling like crap not quite so awful is that there’s nothing like a rainy day to make you glad you can curl up under the covers and sleep. It’s like a blessing from the gods, right there, and I was anxious to take it. The bad news is that I was starting to feel like, for the kids, their whole Oestre break was going to be remembered like this picture of Steve here– sort of dark and out of focus and mostly in the cave, playing with video games.
And I felt like bad mommy.
Anyway, this is my parents’ backyard. For those of you who enjoyed Bewitched by Bella’s Brother, this was be backyard I described for that one. My parents bought this house on an acre of land in 1980–it cost about $70K and looked like rattlesnake shit.
Because rattlesnakes shit there.
What you are seeing here equals thirty-five years of concentrated effort. When my stepbrother, stepsister and I were kids, during the summer my stepmom would leave a list of chores on the microwave when she got home from work. (She worked swing shift as a nurse’s aid until she graduated from nursing college right after they bought the house.) The list would say things like, “Pull ten square feet of starthistles, do it early in the morning so you can wear long sleeves and not get poison oak.” Or, “Weed the garden, feed the pigs, collect the eggs, dump the compost.” I remember work parties where we got all our friends together and walked a well pump into one of the three wells on the property, the pump getting heavier as our human caterpillar (not the dirty kind) circled the house.
Now, way back beyond the swimming pool is a chicken coop. My stepmom just told me with much glee that they had a light timer for the door. This is genius, by the way–because the chickens really do go into roost before the sunsets, and they’re ready to get out when the sun rises, no matter what time of year it is. Anyway, the chickens were all out today–I know this because we had to wash Geoffie before we took her home. Butt cookies–they’re her favorite weakness, and she rolled in about twelve.
Anyway– my teeth got cleaned, I came to pick the kids up and we chatted–my stepmom was just getting back from this lake cleanup gig she does, and had to wash the poison oak off her body. She’s so damned active as a senior citizen, I often wonder how I get to breathe her oxygen. Damn. She and my dad are amazing.
Anyway– she got out her nail polish and did Squish’s nails.
And Squish was delighted.
And even though I took the kids home and went shopping (twice! Once for Easter Sunday and once for milk) by the time I kicked them out of the car I felt a little better about their activity level.
For a couple hours they were not electronic trolls, locked in the place of cat dander and no light.
For a couple of hours they were out and about, talking to loved ones and enjoying the pretty day.