I remember flying down the road with my grandmother in her big blue Chevy station wagon, warm desert air blowing in the windows, an open bag of lemon drops sitting on the seat beside her, plastic silver praying hands on the dashboard pointing the way.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
This wasn’t the first time a coyote and I had walked along the creek together. I usually let them take the lead by quite a distance. There was something different about this coyote. Its long legs and big feet carrying it across the ground covered in brown oak leaves and into the underbrush without a sound. I knew where it was heading, down the hill to the creek, so I followed on the park accesses road. Sure enough when I arrived at the bridge, there it was, taking a drink from the creek. My approach must have been muffled by the water, the coyote did not notice me until my camera chimed as I turned it on. The coyote lifted its head and looked at me. I could see it had made its decision, it jumped the creek, went up the bank and into the underbrush. I followed along on the access road. About 20 feet pasted the point I thought the coyote was hiding I stopped, turned around and waited. Soon I could see the crown of its head and two ears, cautiously moving along a fallen log. A gold-brown eye peered around the end of the log. We stood silent and still, studying each other. The coyote’s winter coat was thick and full. The rim of its ear was a cinnamon brown color fading to nutmeg then to a creamy tan color on the cheek fluff. I don’t know what it saw, a gray haired lady in a 4-H sweatshirt and faded black sweatpants, what did it make of that?
I heard rustling in the brush to my left; the coyote flicked a glance in that direction and then back to me. It turned; re crossed the creek and walked along the bank toward the road and into the brush again. I moved about 5 feet further up the road and waited again. I could feel the coyote waiting and thinking. It stepped out onto the road, crossed and disappeared into the brush on the other side, never looking my way again.
There are no pictures of our encounter, after the first attempt to take one, I just decided to watch. Don’t get me wrong, I know they are wild animals. They have come into my yard, killed two of my cats and dug one up after we buried her. There was just something about this coyote and the few seconds we spent watching each other on a frosty November morning that I will remember for quite a while.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
This time of year I want to take that Norman Rockwell picture of the Thanksgiving Dinner and make it into a dart board. I worry that my children do not have memories like this. Or even memories like I have of thanksgivings past. No house full of relatives, no sitting at the kids table. No Granny swing into the driveway, blue tinted hair just visible over the steering wheel, hoping out of the car to open the trunk, bringing out homemade zucchini relish, bread and butter pickles, and blackberry jam, fluffy dinner rolls, their tops, perfectly golden brown.
We were too far away from family to make it home for Thanksgiving. I tried to make it a special day. We invited other people who were away from home or from another country, to come for dinner. If it was even just the four of us I always put a tablecloth on the table and used the china. I decorated with whatever thing the kids had made at school, placemats, apple turkeys etc.
As the girls got older they helped me plan the meal. Two years ago we tried Cornish game hens last year a duck. Boy that was scary, I opened the oven to check on the duck and it was sitting in a bath of boiling grease 2 inches deep. I got the fire extinguisher out of the cupboard and sat it by the over, hopping we would not be the headline in tomorrow’s paper.
So, today I will dust off my mother’s china, Kathy and I will make pies, this evening Brenda will arrive and Mike will come home from work. Tomorrow we will all be together. And for that, I am truly thankful .
Friday, November 19, 2010
Kathy, on the right, gives the Harry Potter movie her enthusiastic thumbs up!!! this kid knows her Potter, so Potter fans, you will not be disappointed. She was pretty excited as she one a poster, the only one in costume to do so so got a huge round of applause. silly girl came home and slept in her clothes so she wouldn't be late for school today...I love this kid ♥
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Growing up, whenever I felt sad, angry or just wanted to be alone, I visited the huge apple tree in the far back corner of our small orchard. I would climb up and be hidden from the world. As an adult, I would always visit the tree, usually on the morning of the day I was driving or flying back to wherever I lived at that stage of my life. I took this picture on my last visit, not long after dad sold the place.
Limbs spread wide,
Easy to climb, recline, lose track of time,
Under the fruit laden dome.
The screen door slaps,
My Fathers’ voice floats through the twilight,
Singing me home.
Monday, November 15, 2010
The phone rings.
My Brothers voice, so many miles away,
Tells me our mother has passed.
There will be no rest.
I step out my front door,
Last night’s coffee, bitter in my cup.
Trees stand in black silhouette
Against the purple and fuchsia streaked sky.
Memories of having coffee
with Mom flow through my mind.
My hand trembles
As I realize,
We are sharing one last cup.