November- a time of change, time of loss, and death, hunkering down; tears over tea cups. Your pumpkin vine spotted with mildew, sprawls 50 feet across the back hillside, out the kitchen window, a dozen green orbs the size of infant heads. Your Mommy is back. Sunday morning we left early, an hour early to meet her in case she didn’t know about the time change. She never came and you cried. Next time I won’t tell you where we are going. She can’t do this to you. Yes she can. I am so sorry. The next day daddy takes you to meet her for some soup at Eric’s Deli. She says loud words and slams off, daddy told me. You don’t say anything about what happened. She and daddy are getting a divorce. We’ll talk more about that later. Many times over and over.
Then on the way to school, “Mommy made me mad.” Why, buddy? “She left me behind.” When? “Last night she leaved me and Sissy and just walked away. I’m really mad at her.” I hold you awhile before I take you to the school yard. I pull you in, absorb your pain, a deep well of hurt. You slip away and run off with a friend: respite from grown-up induced confusion.
Four concrete trucks pumping gloppy gray goo onto the big stretch of deck; it spills across the reflective metal pans welded there just last weekend on top of the huge I beams set there last summer. Filled up to the edge for a sun-baked sheet cake deck. Smoothed and shaped like frosting and slate stamped and dusted with color, redwood and acorns fall from the trees, nature sprinkles. A lot has to move to be ready. But mostly the upper railings must have a cage of balustrades installed to avoid an accidental plunge into the ravine.
Stove delayed by a week and a half. Hotplate anyone?
Sunday night we sleep there. Monday I clean the cottage, pack up last things and we are relocated, returned, back in our home. Whew- we moved out June 2010. Daddy moved back, then Ellie and Mommy, too. You lived in a tent and in November came here with me. You have been with me a year this month. Its been a year of changes. Good ones. Right?
This week is our family share week at your school. I located a kilt, cowboy hat, photos, a blueprint, some farm animals, a fairy house made out of an old shoe box and a porta potty from the toy chest. I will go and do a project with pebbles that we collected and dad will play his bagpipe for the kids next week. Everything comes at the same time.
I was so relieved to have my car back after the left headlight and bumper crash last month and yesterday a man ran into me an broke my left front headlamp and squished the bumper! I can’t believe it. You were in the car, mad at the fellow for swearing at himself and told him to stop talking. Good for you. No way we are able to comfort him in that state. Sun was in my eyes, I didn’t see you. Your car is too dark, he said. Then began to swear at himself and bang his own car. He saw you for the first time when you opened your window and shouted. After we all left you told me “that guy needs to chill”. Right-o. Glad you had a chance to tell someone off!
Today had to order the phone transfer. We arm wrestled to see who had to make the call because we have had a history of difficulty. From this property history. So I ask to transfer, la,la,la music and hello. Secret 3 digit code, please. This time I was prepared. What address will you transfer this number? she asks. Back to our house next door, I tell her the address. Is it building C or D? she asks. Neither, and repeat the address. There is a unit D and a unit B at that address, she says. I give her the actual addresses of the cottage and the office. There are three houses each with their own address, no letters, and three accessory structures, a barn (no phone), a garage (no phone) and shop (no phone). I begin to detail each house, old phone numbers, past renter names ( I was so prepared for this snafu) and wait for something to catch. Finally she reports that three of the numbers are active and in Bldg. D. Must be the office. The house used to have this number for 10 years. No record of that, she says. Please just make this number work at the house. What building. Let’s call it B. Is that a trailer? she asks No. Then its not B, she responds. Okay transfer to A. I direct her with cleverness and cunning. There is no A, she retorts. What else is there? E. What numbers were at E? I ask. Sorry I can’t tell you. I offer some names (including mine) none. God. What would you like me to do mam? Just start service at Building D. Okay. Bye. Keep your sense of humor for these moments. Or you’ll end up punching your car like Carl, the bumper-hitter.