April 9, 2015
Yogi, Chapter Two
If you have not read the last blog, you may need to go back into the archives (archives sound like a cool place, like the back of the library where all of the really old, dusty, leather covered books might be) and read it for this to make sense.
We spent last weekend at my parent’s house in Grand Junction. My folks now live in Assisted Living. The house will go on the market in a week or two and the last of the items needed to be sorted through. My brother, Kevin, lives in Grand Junction and had boxed most things up. The remainder was stuff in question. My sister, Kathleen, and I went through the kitchen. There wasn’t a ton left, pots and pans, random knives, envelopes labeled “Cleaning Tips”, articles on the many uses of vinegar etc. These were items that would mean nothing to anyone. Anyone but us. Every single thing was so familiar. To see Mom’s cake pan and know that she would never again make her infamous “Quick Coffee Cake” again was, well, hard. Dad had tools hanging in the otherwise empty garage. The flower bed was messy and I swear mom’s roses were crying for her. Mom’s spring robe was hanging on the back of her bathroom door. Laura stayed at the apartment with them to keep them busy and away from the house. We shared a lot of laughs over things, and we were more quiet than usual. I have another brother, Colin, who had been there the weekend before to move all of the furniture etc. It is distributed throughout our homes and feels pretty strange. Yogi sits perched on the top of my microwave. One of my cats is determined to dethrone him. I keep catching Joe eyeballing Yogi as if he were a threat. I hope that Yogi has another 45 years left in him to be in charge of my kitchen. I could use the help.
As I went through the pan cupboard, I came across this big green pitcher. It was the pitcher my Grandma used when she made pink lemonade. She made the yummy kind from the can that left little lemon strips all over the inside of the pitcher. It was always in her fridge. I saw one like it at a yard sale a few years back for a quarter and bought it. I took the pitcher and some scissors out back and started cutting twigs of apple blooms off of the tree. The tree sits outside what was my mom’s “birding” window. (This is where I got my birding habit. I, too, have a birding window.) All of mom’s feeders etc. surrounded, or hung from, that tree. I sat under that tree and cried a long time. The birds flew in and out of that tree looking for the feeders. One sat on a branch and just looked at me sitting there crying like I was some kind of idiot. “Hey lady, where is the café?”, he asked. This is a strange time. My parents are still alive. They live five minutes from their house.
This was not my childhood house. My parents lived here for the last 15 years. My memories of hide and seek, being called to dinner, making forts, being picked up for dates, all lie in a house in Wheat Ridge. This move, however, is final. All of the stuff of our lives is here in boxes. They will never move again. It is just a strange sense of mourning. I cut the twigs with the prettiest blooms and put them in the lemonade pitcher and filled it with water. I had Ben load up the last bird feeder. I found a partial bag of seed in the garage and grabbed that as well. We took the feeder over to the apartment and staked it outside the living room window of the new apartment. I put the pitcher of apple blossoms on the dresser in front of mom’s chair. She could see it despite macular degeneration robbing her of almost all of her vision. It made her happy. The feeder outside the window seemed to lift their spirits. Laura said the birds would figure out where they were soon and went outside to do cartwheels. Kids have a magical way of seeing the good in things.
I have told you how I feel about music. Music is prayer to me in so many ways. I get lost in it. The words hit me in a very real way. I have an iphone, which is hilarious because I am the most unworthy person in the world to have that. I don’t care much about technology. I can answer it. I can call someone. I can do the basics. The thing about this magical phone is that it is also an ipod. Ben downloaded all of our music on it. It makes me love him just a little bit more, if that is possible. It actually wasn’t our music. It was really more his music and an unpredictable blend. I can be listening to bluegrass and country one minute, REO Speedwagon the next. I absolutely love that about it and have added to it like a madwoman on a shopping spree. This morning, as I contemplated the meaning of life, Jack Johnson came on singing “Home.” The words were exactly what I needed to hear after the past weekend of closing down my parents’ house. I will close with them,
…”In the back of our house there’s a trail that won’t end.
We went walking so far that it grew back in
Get out my machete and battle with time once again
But I’m ‘bout to loose because I’ll be darned if time don’t win…
So, I try to understand what I can’t hold in my hand
And whatever I find, I’ll find my way back to you
And if you could, try to find it too
‘Cause this place is overgrown with works in bloom
Home is wherever we are, if there is love there too.”
Maybe Mom and Dad are home after all.
EMNoller copyright 2015