Monday, August 17, 2009


Saturday night I sang at a fabulous party in the fabulous yard of a very hip young couple with a fabulously gorgeous house with a minimalist flair. Amazing catered meal and lovely large white lanai and white linens on the tables. I would have felt out of place except they understood and liked my music.
So then we drove home and picked up John and Ash's kids because J&A were singing at a very hip and cool wedding reception. Libby had been watching the kiddos and they were happy and bathed and tired. We drove them to their house to settle them into their own beds. So, aside from the little glitch in the story where we had to put Sophie through the kitchen window to get into their house, we laid the kids down in their own beautiful and hip and tidy home and waited for John and Ash to come home.
So then we drove home and I walked into my house, which I love and cherish and know has great potential. I have been prone to tears for the 30 hours since. I am faced with the reality of my situation...of the condition of my surroundings. the surroundings of my soul and of my body and I have been a little sad. Everywhere I look is a mess. Soph didn't even want to pick up the thumbtacks she spilled Saturday because she was afraid of the "spider webs" on the floor.

"Those aren't spider webs, Love. They're dust bunnies."

"Oh." She said, and she used the very tips of her fingers to gather the rest.

It's a little overwhelming to think of tackling what I have dug myself into. So I woke up early this morning and made this list and gave myself the possibility of earning points for doing these tasks this week. Seriously, what am I...6 years old or something????

□ Nightstand – 50
□ Trip luggage etc – 50
□ Bathroom counter – 50
□ Kitchen counters – 150
□ Locker room floor – 100
□ Locker room chairs – 50
□ Study desktop RT – 50
□ Vacuum wood floors – 50
□ Mop wood floors – 50
□ Kitchen table – 50
□ Vacuum bedroom – 50
□ Clean off stairs – 50
□ One bag DI stuff – 50
□ Pantry – 150
□ Study chairs and floor – 50
□ Dust furniture – 50
□ Clean bathrooms – 50
□ Pick paint for bathroom – 50
□ Paint bathroom – 150

You might think that cleaning off the kitchen counter should not get so many points. Alas...COME ON OVER! And I don't know what I was thinking giving clean bathrooms only 50 points...this house has 7 bathrooms! But they are so much more do-able because I know what to do with the stuff there. Ah, me.
So I am supposed to be chipping away at the chores and what am I doing instead?
You got it.

Monday, August 3, 2009


27 Years ago we moved our little family from Pittsburgh PA to Farmington UT, taking with us the only grandchildren of David's parents. I ache with guilt at having done that, not that it was the wrong thing to do, but because we removed from our children the daily impact of good grandparents. Since I am now Gummy to five little ones I also ache knowing that this decision kept the joy of little arms around the knees from Dave's parents. We knew when we moved to SLC that we would be spending every vacation back east, either in Pittsburgh or on the lake in Michigan. Two generations back Dave's Grandpa Roy gave each of his five daughters beautiful lots down the beach from their cottage on Lake Huron. Dave's Mom, Helen, finally built her own wonderful cottage on the Lake in 1992. It is a most delightful and beautiful place, full of her charm and personality. Two years after she built it we spent a great week here, playing on the beach and toasting marshmallows around a fire at night while the waves lapped against the shore and the Huron breezes swept through the trees. At the end of the week Helen drove us to the airport early in the morning. We flew home to our new house in Farmington. As we walked in, the phone was ringing. When I picked it up it was Dave's Dad. He asked for Dave. I handed Dave the phone and watched him back up against the door of the fridge with the phone to his ear. He called his father's name and groaned, then slid down the fridge door until he landed with his head in his hands repeating "No, No, No". Helen had been in a car accident somewhere between the Saginaw Airport and the cottage in Tawas. Her spirit rose up to heaven before we got home. I imagine she paused to peek in the window of an airplane on her way up, checking one last time on her four young grandchildren and her son. It remains among the deepest of life's sorrows for us.
This week we are at her cottage. All of our children and grandchildren, along with Dave's two sisters , Brother-In-Law Joe and nephew Ned. Seventeen of us. It's cozy. And it is wonderful! At this moment it is well after Midnight. Chelle has just arrived with her 9 year old puppy, Jessie. The kids are all laughing about an ice hotel in Sweden, where they are planning to take a vacation. This conversation evolved from their sand castle conversation, which led to a Google slide show of world class sand castles, which led to ice castles, which led to the ice hotel where they are planning a family reunion. Someone has re-discovered the pot of chicken noodle soup and the Mooney's ice cream in the freezer. The fans are spinning and spoons are clanking and a slap of laughter just rose up when Sarah announced that the ice hotel is only $2100 a night. The little ones are sleeping soundly in their sun tinged skin, all worn out from a long day at the beach.
Gramma Connors, too, is here. In the colorful dishes she placed behind the glass doors of the kitchen cupboards; in the red checkered couches where I snuggled with her great-grandchildren and read storybooks this evening. She is in the aroma of baked beans heating up in the oven. We're cooking them through the night tonight so the kitchen won't be so hot tomorrow. She has put marshmallow chocolate puffy cookies in the cookie jar, though our hands. We can taste her.

This morning I awoke to the sound of Helen. There was a light rain in the trees and I could hear her voice in the living room. When my waking state pulled me completely to reality I understood it to be Jill talking. She has music in her voice, like her mother. And she is the best of who her mother was, in all respects.
So here we are, Mom. We're here in your place and missing you and thinking how lucky we are to be together; to like each other besides loving each other. Thank you for building this home; for building this family. Huron keeps calling us back, and you are always here.