Sunday, April 25, 2010

what makes life "grand"

A package went in the mail this week to Florida. It’s contents are for my second grand-niece, who is due in a few months, and for her brother, my eldest grand-nephew. I was in the hall waiting when these children’s dad was born, March 16, 1979. I was 19 and just beside myself as I looked upon the face of Master Lee Thomas Baker.
I am 50 now, though I find I am every bit as thrilled regarding the birth of these children as I was the birth of their daddy. I am planning on seeing their little faces in person and soon!


My first great-niece was born this month.
To borrow a phrase from an old birth announcement I saw recently
“Mother and baby are doing fine.”
The mother is my eldest niece. She is one of only a two niece set. I was standing in the Lincoln General Hospital in Ruston, Louisiana on October 10, 1983, when they brought her out of the delivery room. She had a head full of black hair and was setting up such a howl the nurse could hardly contain her. It was a glorious moment in my life, becoming the aunt of a little girl. I was 23 when I first looked upon the face of Little Miss Kelli Ann Cook (now Rollins.)

My niece’s baby girl, her second child, arrived early, quickly, hale and hearty. She is a darling thing.
Things are a lot different now than they were in 1983. This time, as with this baby’s brother, we were all allowed access to mother and child almost immediately.
Some of the faces surrounding the new baby were the same as when her mother was born, if a bit more weathered, those including my own. It was a sweet gathering of folk. There was laughter and tears. My mother believes she is somehow obligated to cry whenever a baby was born.
The baby was so bright eyed as I leaned over and talked to her that I almost wanted to think she understood what I was saying to her.
My immediate thought was of how much she looks like her brother. I was glad, as he is a handsome gent. More recently, though, I am thinking she looks like her Nana, my beautiful little sister.
She is named for our paternal Grandmother.
The best explanation of the naming comes from a post on Facebook my sister sent to a friend who inquired regarding her name, as well as a nickname attached to her before she was born.

It reads:
"I'm calling her Buttons because when Kelli Ann was debating on whether
to name her LilliAnn McKenzie (our adored grandmother's name) she was feeling
around for something on top of a shelf in the nursery closet, and an old box of
Grandma McKenzie's antique keepsake buttons fell and showered down on her head.
After that 'sign' the decision was sealed! "

new.spring. green.

It catches me off guard every year. It steals my breath. That glorious first green of Spring. Vivid. Vibrant. I am not sure how to describe it. I am not sure there is a color even in the large box of crayons, the one with a sharpener on the back, that can compare.

Only God, the Perfect Painter, could produce a color like that.
Juxtaposed against the blue sky and the redbud trees blooming, I never cease to be amazed when first I notice it, especially with new calves and foals, budding trees and flowers in the background, I continue to be amazed until the vibrance moves into summer green. While it lasts, I savor the color, the new Spring green, knowing by now how fleeting it can be.

Winter did not finally take her final bow until well into March here.
She was a tough old girl. She came early and stayed way late. Parts of her stay were nice:
Sledding was fun. Building snow people, too.The board games and suppers by the fire were nice. Having snow on Christmas was nice, even if it did seriously interrupt everyone’s holiday plans. The landscape she painted were extraordinary but she exacted a deep price.
Huge chunks are gone from the trunks of the trees in my yard and elsewhere around these parts. The resilience of the trees as they have bloomed, since winter’s departure amazes and inspires. The tulip tree in the front yard and fruit trees all budded out as if they were not maimed by the harshness of her icy touch. Even the daffodils, stricken by her final blast rallied again once the harsh winds settled down and the ice and snow melted.
Our blonde lab, whose domain is usually outdoors in the back yard, spent much of the winter inside.
The memory of winter has faded, now that we can picnic and fly kites. Our little kitchen garden is ready to plant with tomatoes and herbs and strawberries.
Winter seems more remote as Spring takes a firm grasp.


when i started this blog i hoped to post once a week or so. what was i thinking?! surely i was not considering my schedule with a fair amount of objectivity. monthly posts seemed way more reasonable. yet i find i cannot even get them done that often. it all feels akin to new year's resolutions. and since i do not want to carry around more self-induced pressure i am giving myself a break. i am going for seasonally. if i can blog about the highlights of the seasons as they pass i will be well satisfied. we'll see how that goes...