Sunday, May 9, 2010

For you, Mom.

Mother's Day is always a day of reflection for me. When you spend 18 years plus a little extra time here and there with one person, memories tend to form. Lots of them. So here's a few of them, in no order whatsoever. Just stream-of-consciousness, if you will.

Mom always made "Mr. Lunches" for me...a half a pb&j for the mouth, a carrot for the nose, halved strawberries for the eyes, and chips for the hair. Best. Lunch. Ever.

She used to play "Boogie Woogie" or "Root Beer Rag" on the piano every night at bed time, and we'd dance and dance right before she tucked us in.

Mom freaks out when she has to drive any long distance by herself without my dad. Even when she took me to Wichita for a scholarship reception, she muttered nervously the whole 2.5 hours there. I kept giggling at her under my breath.

Last summer, Mom and I ran a 5K trail run around a lake. Surprisingly, only four people lined up at the starting line: my mom, me, an overweight father, and his 11-year old son. When the gun went off and we started running, my mom and I just started laughing so bad, we could hardly stay on our feet. We laughed our way through the first quarter mile. I mean, really? Guess what? We won 1st and 2nd places.

Mom always made bread, and from the time I was 9 to the time I graduated high school, she'd let me form the loaves and pound all the holes out of them on the counter. Because clearly, that is the best part of bread-making.

One time, on April 1, I went into the bathroom to get ready, just like every morning. when I went to put on my shirt, I found that my shirt sleeves were sewn shut at the openings, as were my pant legs! I started "what the heck"-ing, and then I heard Mom just burst into laughter outside the bathroom door. That clever woman.

Mom and I are singing-around-the-piano buddies.

One time someone came over to dinner...dang it, I forgot who or what they were doing...but they were doing something that just struck me and mom as really funny, and we both got the giggles really bad. The Giggles are kind of an epidemic in our family. Anyway, we just couldn't stop laughing, and my dad sat there, trying not to laugh, and asked us if we needed to be excused. One of the greatest dinner moments ever. That poor dinner guest...

Oh! One of my Kansas, there are these little bugs called "chiggers" that live in the grasss and like to burrow in your skin, leaving painful, 3-week long bumps that resemble mosquito bites. To combat their evil prowess, my mother donned long jeans, tall rubber boots (with said jeans tucked inside), and the longest pair of garden gloves she could find. She wore them despite the mockery she suffered from her children. It was excellent.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Life is a series of images.

Like how my living room was completely dark and all the furniture indistinguishable, but the east corner glowed dully from the light of an old-fashioned lamp, and the capo on my guitar showed black and distinct on the edge of that light.

The woman with a wrinkled face and a smile that hadn't been used often enough. I could tell because it came with an awkward effort as I crossed paths with her on my run this morning. I wondered if the daschund dog trotting ahead of her on a leash was the only loyal relationship she knew. The smile stood out, not just because her magenta sweatshirt and gray pants were faded, but because it seemed real. Awkward, yes, but real.

The two leaves sitting on either side of a crack in the sidewalk. I don't know why I thought it was interesting that neither touched the cracked part of the cement, but I did.