The funeral was good, y’all. I love them. For a while, I tried to couch that love in more acceptable phrases like “it was as good as such things can be” and “it was lovely” and “it’s an important right of passage” but more recently, I just admit I love them. A little group-emotion-solidarity? Yes. Some ritual? Yes. Talking about the best parts of a person? Yes.
From an email to Bionic:
****’s dad is a preacher – it was his wife who died – and when everyone stands and greets each other with “peace be with you” he came over to the side of the church where a bunch of us were standing and only doing a little greeting and peace-ing and said, hanky (yes, hanky – I’d brought one of my grandma’s to give to **** and good thing I did because she gave it to her dad in the middle of the service) in hand, “for those of you are are not as familiar with our traditions, peace be with all of you” which was the most moving part of the whole deal. ****’s family really is delightful and I am so glad I went. Totally worth the 4 hour drive. Also, rural Virginia. Be still my heart.
It’s possible that one could just read my emails to Bionic (Did you really need a link again? I didn’t think so.) and Uberbutch and skip this blog entirely.
Friday I went to (another) birthday party that involved a viewing of the Topp Twins documentary and a spin in a sauna. I was exhausted from all the driving over the past couple days, and because I am a wimp, but it was an awfully nice birthday party. There was cake:
Wow, that’s not such a good picture. Sorry. Now, I’ma be honest here, since it’s my blog and all, and tell you I don’t love the sentiment on the cake. However, the birthday recipient loved it as did the host who commissioned it and the cake itself was delicious, so I’ll call it a win. Plus, all the other pictures have people in them so this is what you get.
Then Saturday (y’all, this is just like a diary!) I went to a baby shower. Yes. For my dear friend M who worked long and hard to get this baby. I had sorted through a box of baby things that a friend gave me years ago (cho-girl hid it for me in her house for a long time and then it lived in the shed and then it was just time for it to go) and I gave the bulk of it to some other friends (who might have a girl), but I saved some plain and lovely shirts and a little pair of pants for M (who knows she is having a boy). And gave her two tiny hats that were the only baby things I’d ever bought for myself because I knew she’d treasure them and also just use them. There is only so much standing on sentiment that one can do on some hats. Now, I was… unsettled? bothered?… by a number of things at this shower, but they were things that don’t relate to infertility and so from that point of view the shower was great. I am really glad I went, just to make this retelling of my friend’s shower all about me.
Last night I did nothing. It was heaven. There’d been too much time away from home and my internal organs were starting to shrivel up. I ate left overs and watched trashy tv and polished my shoes and my roommate’s shoes with my grandpa’s shoe shine kit. There was a fire. In the stove. Unrelated to my grandpa’s shoe shine kit.
This afternoon, I’m going to Red Row Farm. Five years ago, when they still lived in Starrhill, W yelled over the fence early in the morning that L’s water had broken and so we spent that drizzly Saturday walking around Starrhill and 10th & Page trying to get labor started. A little less than 24 hours later, A arrived and I fed his mama ice chips that I think she still claims are the best thing ever, and watched as they encouraged A to nurse and became a family. I left them at the hospital and came back to Starrhill and got the nicest hug from L’s mama who had just arrived from NJ. It was a pretty great day.
Y’all. It has been a day. A good day, mind you, but A Day, all the same.
School was damn good, for a Wednesday, and I made it to staff meeting “on time” which is supposed to mean that there is just enough time to run a load of laundry through the washer and dryer. Today, I realized this is a false assumption. I stayed 15 minutes late and it was still not dry. Oh, well. But! All in all, work was good.
Then I drove to RIC to pick up a friend who flew in to see her sister’s new baby and, well, RIC is far. It’s an easy drive and I’m happy to do it, but it’s far. And then we went down to Nelson County to see said new baby and her equally appealing older sisters, and, of course, then we had to come back to Starrhill. All of which equals late. So worth it. But sill late.
And it’s not over! This afternoon I got the funeral information about another friend’s mama and the service is tomorrow. So I set about scrambling to find a sub and tried to figure how late I could leave school in cville and still make it to the church in Southside and then I had to organize a car, just in case the scrambling-for-a-sub worked out, because I’d loaned mine out for the next few days and then I had to get said organized car, which my visiting friend obligingly helped out with, and then, well, it was late. Like 9:30 or something. Which isn’t late for getting home for lots of people, but it is for me.
And the trash still had to be put out and the recycling and the fire had to be started because it’s damn cold all of a sudden. Lucky for me, my housemate fed the cats, else I’d have lost a limb when I finally arrived home.
And then I did some math involving time and realized that I could scramble a little more to get a sub to go to this funeral, because, for real, ya’ll: it’s funeral. You just go, as my father always says. My uncle, my dad’s older brother, flew from the west coast back east for every damn family funeral in my life time. He’d often stay with me and he’d always arrive with a bottle of George Dickel and we’d have drinks on the porch in the evening and breakfast from the bakery in the morning and then he’d pick me up from school so we could make it to whichever country church it was that go-round. Mostly he was here for a day or two, but he’d sometimes fly in on the red-eye and then out on an evening flight. And I’m fretting over a drive to Southside? No. My subs are in order; my funeral clothes are out and ready to be carried to school; I have my dad’s truck and I am getting to that damn church on time. May all your people who are no longer with you rest in peace.
Ok, not really.
Anyway, here’s what’s going on. Thanks to a number generous friends, I am doing IVF. Holy fucking shit, y’all. People are *giving* me money. And? People are *giving* me sperm. Some of these people I know and some I don’t and Jesus H. Christ on a cracker, people are giving me the things that I don’t have and cannot get myself so that I can have a baby. The world, my world, I guess, is right at some very basic level.
Let’s use ye olde internet to find some words to express just how grateful I am:
thankful – appreciative – beholden (from direct from my initial search)
beholden, gratified, indebted, obliged, pleased, thankful (from thesaurus.com)
Those are all correct (because I found them on the internet), but also don’t really hit the nail on its proverbial head.
The second definition from Miriam-Webster is
giving pleasure or contentment to the mind or senses <I’m glad for the grateful warmth of the fire on such a cold day>
And the synonyms for that one are, well, better? Something.
agreeable, blessed (also blest), congenial, darling, delectable, delicious, delightful, delightsome, dreamy, dulcet, enjoyable, felicitous, good, grateful, gratifying, heavenly, jolly, luscious, nice, palatable, pleasing, pleasurable, pleasing, satisfying, savory (also savoury), sweet, tasty, welcome
All of which is to say, yes.
And thank you.
- the market, pre-yuppie invasion. Got tiny pumpkins for singing the 5 Little Pumpkin song at school. Did not get any meat. Am sorry now.
- let the kittens outside to play.
- let the chickens out of their yard to be temporarily free range.
- visited with LB.
- coffee out plus tiny grocery shopping at Reid’s with newly re-found gift card!
- helped change spark plugs on dad’s truck. Got to borrow t-bird. Fair trade, yes?
- went to tiny reunion of kids from my summer job/birthday party, which was fab.
- dinner with K and E, which was also fab.
- bed, ah, bed….
- let kittens out again to play. Kittens are SO happy! So! Happy!
- let chickens out again, too. Chickens are SO chickens! Just chickens.
- had coffee and the comics in the sun on the front porch
- admired frolicking kittens
- yard work: moved thyme and oregano to newly weeded bed on the south side of the house; moved wooly thyme from pot to ground in two spots to reclaim it’s ground-cover roots, mowed lawn.
- gamboling kittens!
- laundry: delicates, whites, sheets. All on the line. (I run out of clothes pins before I run out of line space with my new clothesline.)
- moved litterbox to mudroom, freeing downstairs bathroom from lowly “cat bathroom” status and facilitating transition to no motherfucking litterbox. I hope.
- picked up LB in the t-bird and went for a drive. Saw Jim Waive play, drove home. Did not cruise through a hamberger stand, but had fun all the same.
Three failed FETs this summer. One last ditch effort this fall sometime. Work is kicking my proverbial ass. Hold on to your hats, my friends.
Back in the day, my high school didn’t start until after Labor Day. All the public schools did, but we lucky kids at Tandem got an extra little bit of summer.
That said, I have no idea, really, what the exact first day of school would have been, back in 1991. But it roughly coincides with some day this week.
Which means I have been friends with LB for 20 years.
Yes, that is twenty. Over half my life.
I can’t even think of enough ways to say how glad I am.
Or, “I don’t need to take the little pips out, do I?”
Oh, come on. You know you’ve missed live blogging with The Food Crafters.
9 pm. Maths. Math is hard. LB is cutting citrus for infused vodka and Elsie is commiserating about mL and numbers of limes, slicing and doing maths while the rest of us sit on our collective ass and talk about a new fabric store. Vodka is filtering, so as to see like higher quality, a la SJ.
9:17 pm. Cho-girl begins lavender salt. Smoked paprika is the shit this season, you know. So we’ll be doing that next. And macha which is good on eggs. Vodka still flitering. T of Tuesday Fame is packaging some cleaning shit for us. Terra Scrub if you must know. You must know.
9:25 pm. Pic of sliced citrus as we wait for vodka to filter. Again.
9:35 pm. Lavender salt done. Vodka update: first bottle, 3rd pass through the filter.
Live blogging is hard. I’m passing this shit on.
9:40 pm. Where is the shamwow? Cleaning utensils-salt flavoring change.
9:45 pm. Kermit crab status-mass murder and painting.
T of Tuesday Fame: “did you calculate for the displacement of the citrus?”
SHG: “fuck no.”
9:50 pm. New salt is smoked paprika and moving on to matcha which smells like green tea ice cream.
9:55 pm. Smells like a tea house.
10:00 pm. Four cycles of filtering the vodka is our max. around here, pouring it in with the first citrus mix, grapefruit.
10:05 pm. V-Bottle two, pass one. S-done for now, we will be drying citrus and doing that later.
I forgot to tell you the neighbors moved. Insert big sad-faced emoticon here.
It’s sort of great, really. Who doesn’t want friends with a little farmette? But, for real? I miss knocking on the door to borrow a lemon and ending up staying for dinner. I miss stealing their internet. I miss early morning coffee on the porch in our pjs. I miss looking from my kitchen window into theirs. I miss watching prime time tv with them. I miss late afternoon drinks, when we’d stand around on the sidewalk with no shoes, watching the baby run around in the yard.
It was months ago they left, but I am still really not used to the idea yet.
Sometime ago, my grandfather was a little boy who shined shoes and cleaned spittoons in downtown LA. To follow a certain line of reasoning, he lived the American dream: he went to trade school, got married to a pretty girl, moved out of the city to a little town with cute houses and avocado groves, which has since been swallowed by sprawl, but that’s another story. He worked hard and treated his big city like a small town. he liked to go dancing with his wife and have afternoon drinks with his friends. All his kids went to college and he put away money for each of his grandkids to do so as well.
I didn’t, though. Go to college that is. I took that money and used it to buy a house 8 years ago, right before the market here exploded. By some stroke of luck or grit or something, housing in my neighborhood has not lost value in the past few years, so my house is worth far more than what I paid for it. Last Friday, I closed on a loan to refinance my house. A cash out refinance loan, which will pay for IVF. Turns out I had the money all the time.
When I was a little girl, my grandpa would call me sometimes, and after telling me that California was God’s country and wondering why I lived in Virginia and then insisting that I refer to myself with my mother’s maiden name included with all my other names, he would ask me for a loan. “I need $50, Starrhillgirl!” he’d say. Only he’d use my first and middle names instead. Then he’d talk about how he just needed this little loan for a little bit and that he’d pay me back really soon. With interest! And so I’d send him a check in the mail. $50. And a little bit later, I’d get a check back. For $100.
I figured out pretty quickly that this was a sort of scam in my favor, one that was probably sort of fun for him and was designed to teach me the value of putting money away. But, as an adult, when I think about it, I wonder if what I learned in addition to that was that being generous with your money is right. I am, clearly, reaping the benefits of his generosity as well as getting the reward for having put my money away in the right way at the right time. I wish he were here still so I could call him up to see if he needed a loan. I wouldn’t charge him any interest this time.
My soon to be mother-in-not-law has flown me up to the north for a visit. I was all freaked out about somebody paying for my travel (oh, let’s be honest, I get freaked out by anyone paying for anything), but I got lectured by several people about smiling and saying thank you when one is offered something. So. Here I am.
Since arriving, I have :
- eaten Korean food about a million times
- sat on the screened porch and had delicious scotch from the gf’s uncle who died, which made me think fondly of my uncle who died.
- watched a movie with the gf’s brother
- slept in and then had coffee in bed
- ate more Korean food!
- watched the gf try on and look great in a million fancy shirts from her aforementioned uncle
- prepped for a trip the the beach. Yes, you read that right, I’m going to the beach. Woo!