Wednesday, June 29, 2011


My Grampa Avery's birthday tonight. He's the best, my Gramps. I've never, in my whole life, walked out of his arms without him telling me he loved me. Sometimes even two or three times. In a word of arguments, grudges and misunderstandings, it's always been a loving, unconditional constant for me. I felt, growing up, and still, that in my grandparent's eyes, I could do no wrong. Not that they didn't scold or discipline us as children, but always, they loved us harder than one would think is even possible.

At Gram & Gramp's, I went downstairs at some point this evening, half to get a drink out of the 'fridge in the cellar, half to escape my mom...who chooses to believe that when dogs tussle under people's feet annoyingly, it's my fault, and snapped that I put them outside. (My own dog was at home, mind-you, but apparently since I own a dratted dog, I am responsible for all dog's displeasing behavior, world-wide. Or it was my fault because obviously my own dog taught these other dogs to be jerks in his long career of being a trainer of jerky dogs. Duh. For whatever reason, if it's dog-related, I usually get yelled at.) Anyhow, that wasn't the being cranky. The point was the basement.

Ah, The Basement. Maybe this sound silly, but their basement is my favorite smell in the universe. I nearly hyperventilate when I'm down there because I'm trying to breathe as much of it in as possible. I've heard your sense of smell is the strongest sense, evoking forgotten memories, swaying your emotions powerfully, and I believe it. There are a lot of smells I love...Lilacs, hay fields, clean sheets, peaches, vanilla, fresh turned dirt, campfire smoke, Fall, but truly, nothing comes close to The Basement.

What makes this smell? If I could somehow recreate it, I would...let's's a mix of perpetually damp floor, fresh wood-working projects, and potatoes in the root cellar. Aged canvas life jackets, turpentine, the wall of canned pickles. Laundry hanging over the washer, a huge chest freezer from 1960, home-made lawn chairs and a canoe. It's sixty years of kid's skis and bikes and sleds up on the ceiling. It's love.

The stairs leading down are so rickety, they rock back and forth like a suspension bridge when you descend, but I've never worried they will fall. I don't really think of them at all, because as soon as I start down, the smell overpowers me and I'm happy and safe.

The basement is about Popsicles and beloved antique tools, it's about learning to drive the ancient Cub Cadet lawn tractor when I was ten. It's about the black rotary dial telephone in the corner, and the wooden toboggan. It's about hidden Christmas gifts, and storing extra holiday platters of food. It's about making the bouquets for my sister's wedding, hauling out the sprinkler, and Gramp in coveralls, oil-undercoating his car. It's a little bit of everything. Half the memories I hold dear, brought to life in a single whiff.

The dogs can wrestle, folks can bicker, children can run amuck, I'll just take in few more wonderful breaths and then, when I head back on up, I'll get another hug to top it off.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Award Wining Weekend!

A very exciting weekend...the boys were in their first horse show, such fun! The fancy-schmancy Icelandic judge was impressed with, and had wonderful things to say about both my tiny riders, so of course, I loved her. And a beautiful couple of days to boot. Who could ask for anything more?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lambs, and Toddlers and Ticks, Oh My!

And so summer starts. A weirdly jinxed week/weekend. Fights abound, zero creative juices flowing (as evidence: this lame post), end of school closing-circle was punctuated by cloud-to-ground lightning, and sheets of freezing downpour, a cold, drizzly rain most days since, and an emergency room visit. I had...ummm...yeah, it's always something embarrassing with me...a teensy-weensy tick in my...oh geez...I'm just gonna say the underside of my damn nipple. I've religiously checked us all out every evening, and I thought I had been especially vigilant since we had gone on an after-dinner hike in tall grass, but the darn thing found the perfect hiding place and stayed overnight. Not that my breasts are big enough to hide much, 'cause we all know they ain't, but...that was probably the only spot I couldn't see. Cripes. Yuck. Seriously grossed out. I started sobbing in the bathroom at one point, after I'd pinched myself silly with the tweezers to no avail. Anyway, I couldn't get it out, and the surgeon on call had a tough time of it too. Now I get to wait two weeks and see if I've got Lyme Disease. Yippie. The kids, and Justin and I have been doing nothing but crabbing at each other for days. Nobody's sleeping well...Ira says that ghosts are scratching him in the night, and Eli says he can't stop thinking. Excuse my whining. I usually make it a policy to try not write when I'm grouchy or negative. Because I went through a period, (or many periods) with this blog where I did nothing but complain, and I HATE that, looking back, but whatever...we all get to be in a bad mood sometimes, I guess.

We DID have a great evening at Myra and Jim's this weekend, another gorgeous storm while we were there. It's so lovely up on that hill, their flowers were amazing, even more so when rain-soaked, and Oliver's a funny little midget, zooming around on his bike with a Viking helmet on his head. I'm just putting my kiddos to bed, they are tired wrecks. I had a decent night at Zumba, the crowd was huge, which is always at least that angle is terrific! Fed Bumble, who has started chasing the dog and head butting him in the side today, he now stays up on the picnic table to escape her. She also likes to give her bottle a good head-butt, right as she starts to drink, just to make sure her feeder is sufficiently sprayed with hot, smelly, lamb formula. It's an early night for all. Ira seems to be running a bit of a fever. Hopefully, we'll sleep away our blues, things will turn around, and the sunshine comes back tomorrow!