Friday, October 21, 2011

...and the names of the trees where they're performin'

I'm not typically a "stream of consciousness" kind of girl. I like things to be spelled correctly and for semicolons and apostrophes to be in the right place. I'm intrigued by, but don't really get, e.e. cummings, because of both the lowercase letters and the seemingly random lines. I am hesitant to let anyone know the wildly random things that go through my mind.

However, sometimes just writing something is a good starting point. It is the stretches and brisk walks that deceivingly convince you that running a few miles will be fun. It is the cake batter spoon that devilishly reminds you "I don't have to give all of this away." It is the abhorrently obvious, page one, "oh, they're going to get together" rhetoric that makes is impossible to put down Cowboy Christmas Love Story.

And who knows? You might surprise yourself. You might not be nearly as scattered as you think.
I love that my cat is asleep on the bed with me. This is the cat that I tried not to like. She was irresistible though. Calico, hungry, and just wanting attention. I thought "my eyes are going to itch. my dogs will try to eat her. I don't need another pet." Well, she now sleeps with Willie in his dog bed. She gets milk in her little red mug anytime she makes one tiny little peep. She is laying by my feet as I write this. I love this little cat. I think a stream of consciousness letter is supposed to switch right about now. I'm really surprised I'm doing this. I have to admit though, I haven't been able to resist the backspace button when I know I've misspelled something or made a punctuation mistake. I'm not sure that's okay. I'm cutting myself some slack though. I have Pride and Prejudice sitting beside me. I've been waking up between 4:30 and 5:00 for the past few mornings. I like getting stuff done in the wee hours of the day. I like going outside when it's still dark to take the puppies out and to let DC in. But, I also really love just eating breakfast and reading Austen. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I lvoe when I haven't had much to eat the night before and I wake up hungry and excited about my meal. This morning I had a poached egg and blueberry bagel. I really wanted to put peanut butter on my bagel, but I didn't. I used to love waking up at Mom and Dad's and smelling the breakfast my dad was cooking (because it was alwasys something delicious like biscuits and gravy, fried potatoes, and sausage; he would;ve scoffed at my poached egg and bagel). Oh, and hearing him too. I can't say that my dad was the quietest of cooks even if he knew the rest of us were sleeping. Great breakfast cook, just loud. I love it when I'm really busy in the mornings and feel like I've worked off my breakfast. I would really love it if I could have those kinds of breakfasts with my Dad every monring and then go do stuff on the farm. I told a friend the other day that even though I love reading and writing and challenging myself to think about abstract concepts and whatnot, I also just love walking on my parents' farm. I love the animals I visit with a couple of times a day when I go over to feed. I love knowing that Lightning likes to be brushed, but Waterview does not. I love my job and I love school and I love teaching, but a big part of me just wants to farm. Every time I'm there, I feel like I get a tiny glimpse of why Dad loved his life so much. Sure, he enjoyed teaching, and he was a damn good teacher, but that farm and his famiily were his life. I hope I can look back at my own life, whether I'm doing that at 61 or 35 or 90 and know the same. Mom said on November 5 that the family is going to have a "paint the barn" day in memory of Dad. That would make him smile I think. He would love all that Mom has taught herself to do in the past year. He would love how she and TJ are running the farm. He would love that we'll all be there, probably with the horses watching from by the fence and Waffle by our side, putting a fresh coat of paint on his barn, the barn that is familiar, the one recognizable by many in the county. It looks like a horse barn. It seems to go with the house and the land it sits on. It looks like Dad. I love my parents so very much. Mom is one amazing woman and Dad was lucky to have snatched her up many years ago. We are all lucky to have had him in our lives and for the legacy of committment and love and humor he has left.
all which isn't singing is mere talking - e.e. cummings

all which isn't singing is mere talking
and all talking's talking to oneself
(whether that oneself be sought or seeking
master or disciple sheep or wolf)

gush to it as diety or devil
-toss in sobs and reasons threats and smiles
name it cruel fair or blessed evil-
it is you (ne i)nobody else

drive dumb mankind dizzy with haranguing
-you are deafened every mother's son-
all is merely talk which isn't singing
and all talking's to oneself alone

but the very song of(as mountains
feel and lovers)singing is silence
For the recipe for homemade bagels, see the March 3, 2010 entry.

Sorry, though, the recipe for the best biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, and sausage, will remain CLT's secret.


  1. I liked this, it felt honest, relatable-it felt like us talking. I loved you talking about your dad and his breakfast routine-he knew how to start a day the right way.

  2. Loved everything about this...but now I'm starving. Thanks for that.

  3. I really appreciate the comments, Lindsey & Paul. As soon as I "published," I immediately began thinking that it was one of those posts to which no one would feel connected. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

    And for some reason, Paul, I'd put about $5000 on your mom and dad being phenomenal biscuit and gravy cooks. Let me know the next time you all are in town; I'll bring all the McCoys some homemade bagels.

    Lindsey, we should enjoy some ridiculously unhealthy breakfast at Cream & Sugar again soon...we can talk about what big crushes we used to have on "James Paul and John David":)

  4. Well, needless to say I am touched by this entry. CLT did love this farm and his family very much. He would have been so proud of how we have all kept this farm going. I am also sure he would have given us suggestions on how to improve our efforts. He was a smart man in every way. Your love for the farm and the critters on it are because of him. Your love of reading and thirst for knowledge are also because of him. I see painting the barn on Nov. 5th as a way to honor and celebrate the life of this colorful and passionate man we called Dad, Husband, and Pa. We loved him so much, and I am sure he knew.

  5. My love of the farm and critters on it are also because of my momma; I think you've been known to have 4 kittens in house, a dog that goes to the grocery store with you, cows that you have a special "come get your water" call for, and horses that we all worry about when they're sick.
    And the love of reading and thirst for, you're right, I probably get that from him. :)! (but only because you can't sit still long enough to open a book)
    Lots of love.

  6. Loved. So true and real. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thank YOU for reading, Dr. Melissa:) Miss you!

  8. I'm happy you have this visceral connection to your Dad, Husband, and Pa.

  9. And I'm happy you had a chance to really get to know the funny, hard-working, and honorable man he was. He really thought you were something, Miss Chicago:)