Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sweet water

I've been hiding.

I'm kidding. I've just been very busy and heavily annoyed at my fallible self, physical and otherwise. Mostly the physical parts. Let's just say that I could use a tune-up that involves actual repairs to my cranky parts. Moving on.

My favorite quote this week: The high road is often a pain in the arse.

The kids have had their piano and violin recitals. Q will be up for his next neuro appointment soon. Two girls go in for their orthodontist check-up on Monday (looking for timing).

We tried to have a really cool geology field trip yesterday, but ended up with something more like a nice road trip which the kids turned into an impromptu swimming excursion. "Plan Z" indeed. The best part was not finding that the bridge was closed after we'd driven nearly three hours. It was not that we had along only enough food for a marginally acceptable picnic (if they were starving they could have had carrots or apples or cheese or crackers). It was that everyone kept a healthy sense of humor (Why advertise an overlook if the trees have grown so high that there's nothing to see? Hmm? Because that did not happen overnight and you could have removed the signs five or six years ago.). Yes we did. We had plenty of potty stops, the nice lady let all twelve of us into the park for free so we could salvage the day with a handicapped-accessible beach and play equipment, the coin-op showers were warm, the hand dryers efficient, and it was just about 85 degrees. There were logs to float around and play make-believe with, big fish jumping, and grape-scented bubbles to blow. Miracle of miracles, almost everyone had almost completely dry clothes by the time we found food again. And I got to drive through miles and miles of rolling green-ness, grasses that looked like they'd been groomed for their cover shots, huge gorgeous trees both deciduous and not, nursery fields of iris and baby Christmas trees... It's been eons since we were out and about like that. I think K was a baby last time.

Spring has about taken us prisoner here. But no one really wants to escape. The days are long and sunny, warm enough to send us looking for cool drinks and sprinklers. The tomatoes are mostly in the ground, all eighteen of them. Well, we're down to sixteen. We'll see how many hang on now. The Sweet One Hundred plants already have blossoms on their tops, so we should have home-grown tomatoes to go with our fat and fluffy basil plants by the fourth of July. (How would I know? I'm totally guessing.) The glads all returned this year, despite not being dug up for the winter. I stuck Cherry-blossom nasturtium seeds in between them and sprinkled a packet of rosy pink alyssum seeds in there too. Should be fun to see them all come up and take over: a potential riot of pinks.

A friend and I were reminiscing about the things we missed most about California, she having been born and raised there, I having spent about six years there. We both miss the predictability of the sun. I started thinking about this back yard we had there. It was a funky little place, part of the house being actual dirt walls. I loved that little house. Very cool. The living room carpet was G's learning to crawl place, thick and comfy looking. I painted the master bedroom with a blue wash that made it feel like one was maybe under the sea (sing it!). Never mind the high speed chase that ended with a wheel bouncing up onto the front lawn. Lizards would get in and freak me out (any reptile over about nine inches suddenly appearing in my kitchen might have that effect). The flower beds in the front were darling, really. Sort of English garden on a smaller scale: they had more shade in the heat of summer, plus huge miniature rose bushes. Well, huge for minis, anyway. It was lovely. But the best part was the backyard. Not the part where a kid was dumping medical waste over our fence. Ignore that. Let's focus instead on the little hot tub that someone repaired well enough that we could use it. And then we did.

It seemed like there was about a three week period where the lemons and oranges and grapefruit trees in that little yard were blooming. It was heavenly. And then, sort of simultaneously, there was the huge jasmine, all eighty square feet of it, bursting little pink buds into the sweetest, lightest perfume... It was followed almost immediately by the roses, hot and honeyed, and then the actual honeysuckle, so big that it eventually pulled down it's large and solid support built of four by fours. Being out there in that little hot tub surrounded by those wafting scents was surreal. Impossible to explain. The closest thing I can think to compare it to is maybe being bathed in a warm vapor of perfume, almost more light than scent. Wild.

That little yard saw a gigantic white dog, G learning to walk, the death (by silenced gun) of several possums, and a birthday cake with a conglomeration of little plastic figures on it: a tiny scuba diver, an itty-bitty rattle, booties, plastic fish...

Seems like a lifetime ago. But every once in a great while, I'm flying along, minding both my own business and that of the five offspring, when suddenly there's that scent of something like warm honey, oranges, jasmine, gardenias. That smell that's hard to pin down, but instantly familiar. And I'm back there again, head back, eyes closed, floating and smiling in the dark.

No comments: