Monkey Bread

I showed Vivie the moon tonight as we headed into her room, into the rocking chair I've been ending my daughter's days in for the last seven years.

"Moon on, Mom! Tiny bit, moon." She paused.

And then again, in a whisper. "Moon on."

Yes, I nodded. "Pretty, isn't it?"

Yes, she nodded.

She asked me to sing Jingle Bells. I sang the chorus.

"Bed," she said. My first child didn't sleep through the night until she was eighteen months old, thirty-six hours after we'd plunked down $500 at the sleep clinic. The second child, fifteen months. My third one tells me to put her to bed.

I tucked in her tightly, that room is so drafty.

We exchange love yous, 
sweet dreams, 
God bless.

Door shut behind me, I padded down the stairs, into the kitchen, where I microwaved a stick of cold butter from the fridge.

A loaf of frozen dough, unthawed, just starting to rise.
A bowl of brown sugar.
A bowl of cinnamon sugar.
A dash of vanilla to the warm, soupy butter.

And then I broke apart the sticky, puffy dough, deflating it a bit. Gumballs of dough, dunked in butter, then brown sugar, a coating of cinnamon sugar.

It's good, this.  

I looked out the kitchen window into the darkness on the other side, white snow glowing.

The quiet house.
This winding down.


I arranged the little chunks in a circle in the bundt pan, twice. A little itch on my cheek, and I nudged it with buttery fingers to stop.

I should be rubbing butter all over my face, maybe I wouldn't look so haggard...

This concoction will be good in the morning, waiting for us, a little present to start the day. The house will smell cozy. My daughters will taste the love. They will remember it when they're in college and eating cereal for most meals. When they're thirtysomething and have little ones of their own. They'll be able to make it without calling me. I think she just...

I hope.

Vivie is singing in her crib. The dough is rising again, up through the sugar and butter.

Moon on.

A Saturday in Our November

The rain was more a mist. The day was grey.

The trees bare now, upside down broomsticks sweeping the dusty sky. The dog didn't want to get wet.

There was roast chicken in the oven and the house smelled of butter and thyme. The trimmed brussels sprouts, so green, reminded of another season, gone. The firewood was ready, old newspapers rolled, companions.

The kids were restless, not enough energy burned today. Oh boy.

The dough for dinner rolls had risen too much and we laughed
These will be some big buns!

And then,
There goes that cuckoo clock again,
Twelve chirps at 6.
Always the 6 o'clock hour, never earlier, never later.

We should really get that fixed.

Last Dance (make it last)

November 13th sunny and clear autumn blue sky and the Oak leaves were falling so slow, thoughtfully as if not to disturb. Shhhh, I don’t wanna make a big deal, let me just go. 

(He just raked you know?)

Three times throughout the day, it caught my eye,  I turned expecting to see someone walking to me, waving Hey! but no.

Oh my goodness. A. Leaf.
Maybe like this,
(testing) see and like….that…weeeeeeeee
a giggle Awwww I don't want it to end
Enjoying its last dance.

I saw each of those three waving, slow dancing, silly leaves through to the finish. To the earth.



We have to rake again on Saturday.

The Summer of Three Turning Four

Maren’s peep toe pumps are done. But I can’t bear to part with them. I wish I could paint a picture of them, to me they are worthy of an oil painting that I would hang over the mantel. We went in May to get summer sandals. Her sisters chose sandals. Sandals they could go hiking in or wear to the beach. Maren didn’t want sandals. These were $28 and had a ½” heel and I tried to talk her out of them, they just weren't practical, I tried to sell her on another idea, but she wouldn’t have it, she had tears, she had an idea, these could be like sandals.  The store clerk cut off the tags and she wore them out the door.  Maren wore these almost every single day all summer and into fall. To school with socks, to the store, on long hikes over rocks and roots, to the beach, fireworks and parades, in the water, through mud puddles, for dancing and running and canoeing. These peep toe pumps ARE the summer of three turning four. They are my Maren. The $40 Keen sandals her sisters agreed to will be passed down, will be worn by someone else next year. But they don't send me spiraling down through our summer memories. They don't make me cry.


The reality is: it's awfully hard work.  But, we're plugging away. 

Open the Door

I am feeling stuck. I need Spring so badly. I need fresh air. 
I need the lake and warm sun on my shoulders. 

I need change.