slow creaking, creaking of the oak swing...sun playing brightly, children riding, laughing, spokes whirring, hair flying, country song playing, crooning memory lane, and he is telling us about our life, telling...paintbrush coating up and down, up and down, breeze blowing through trees, leaves' hush settling me, settling, rousing my senses, awakening the dead man from his grave on Sunday morning, bringing worship forth in the morning. i call out to children, "watch your sister, stay close, watch her while you are playing, precious children, while you are playing." man and wife chug by in Sunday best, driving, driving on the Sabbath. we wave, glad they are going, glad we are staying, mind at ease, us doing the Sabbath rest. setting fried chicken on table, all gathering, gathering 'round, and thankful for this filling, for this filling. after all the painting, and preparing for winter's chill, husband looks at me, says he is tired from all the preparing, all the preparing. there is always more to do, he says. laying suspended together, laying under the trees, the wind stirs, stirring the leaves, and i tell him, "stay with me please". i need to rest, i say, and i can always fall asleep laying on him, listening to the drumming beat. me lying with him, blanket comes parachuting over us, daughter smiling, enveloping, i see the laugh in her eye, and i lean into him where i feel safe on Sunday afternoon, littles playing in the distance on Sunday afternoon. the children come and waken us with their banter, and i say "children go away, children go play, i was napping, napping." Daughter cries softly...her pants won't stay up she says, and husband is shaking, shaking. opening eyes, i ask why and he starts, eyes twinkling and creasing, and it comes, the deep, baratone depths of it, ringing out, ringing out. we lay and shake together, the ringing carrying on the wind, on the wind. littlest one comes, having wakened from her rest on Sunday afternoon, and she comes out to me in the golden afternoon, the gold splayed by light dancing on leaves, the leaves shaking, shaking. we will stay, they say, until winter's first frost. daughter calls, "Mama, can you play?" and we toss the spinning orb and it slices the air, spinning, us doing cartwheels while he is saucing and grilling. he joins us in our spinning dance and night's falling shoos us inside, falling, falling on us. babies bathing and towels wrapping, water dripping as they find pajamas, a story and slumber, we hurdle towards sleep as fast as we can. we climb to the peak and then children finally sleeping, heads on pillows sleeping, we fall towards rest with sweet cream and strawberries, huddling in the silence, cuddling. we watch our sad indian story and then eyelashes fluttering closed, his arm wrapping around me warmth, fluttering, eyelashes flutter and then finally close on Sunday.
#286 Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk brought to me by husband after a bad day
#287 husband watching with me on the couch just to give me some calm after a day of not being able to breathe and he calms the raging waters within like Jesus saying "peace be still"
#288 crisp, cool mornings--inhaling fresh air
#289 Sunday afternoon nap in hammock with husband
#291 friend texting me, asking to meet to run
#292 not a crowd, but a few faithful, loyal friends
#293 husband's announcement--"I'm going to finish the kitchen floor and countertops to cheer you up" and him marching off to the shed for supplies and tools
#294 us all walking the plank over shiny wet floor to get to food
#295 my husband, my hero
#296 a father who comes when i need him
#297 a van that finally cranked and took me to an appointment
#298 my father, my hero
#299 how Bella calls to her sisters, "Mama's home!" and rushes out to meet me
#300 husband telling children to play outside until he gets home so Mama can have quiet
#301 finding energy and organization of thoughts enough after these months to serve my home again--and the resulting clean neatness and sanity
#302 a quiet, simple life
#304 kindness of strangers
#305 opening myself up to be completely led and the resulting joy and satisfaction
#306 the Shephard of my soul makes me to lie down in green pastures
#307 the way husband fills bellies with the word and wraps us in the warmth of his constant care and protection
#308 reading this story and this post as well on our 11th wedding anniversary together
#309 this video i found on a friend's blog about a lady who asks the question--what am i living for when i'm dying? powerful.