Sunday, November 8, 2009

Indian summer

I woke to a start at 5 a.m. today when I realized I'd left the ground beef defrosting on the counter all day--and all night. Ugh. Four pounds. Gone. There was no going back to sleep. At a more respectable hour, I got up and went out to the store to get more beef to make Jodie's Taco soup. Jeans, long-sleeved shirt, and fleece jacket, surprised when warm temperatures greeted me. A beautiful fall day that felt like the last of summer. I cooked banana chocolate chip breads, plum cakes, four loaves of bread and two batches of soup with windows open and children's laughter serenading.

Early sunset, candles on the mantle, all gathered at the table to eat. Afterward, the girls and I went to a friend's house to return a platter.

"I wish I could fly and reach the stars," Erin said. She wore her very favorite summer halter dress with the pink and yellow lemons. She marveled at the night sky and I wondered if she'd want to be an astronaut, like her dad did when he was a boy.

"I bet the moon is hard and the stars are soft," Lanie said. We held hands and walked down the dark country road. When Erin ran up ahead of us, we could no longer see her form and had to pick up our pace to keep track of her.

A sobering talk with my friend as life buzzed and boomed and ran around us. Talks of misdiagnoses and tragic early deaths ... "we can stop the treatments whenever you want," haunting words that tighten up my throat ... thinking of lives left behind ... preschoolers, husbands, grandchildren, friends. This life, such a vapor.

Back home to pack up a meal to deliver to a family facing a terminal diagnosis. Erin with her mouth full of bread.

"What are you eating?" I asked.

"Bread," she answered with muffled mouth. I looked at Shane.

"I put our bread away," he said.

"Show Mommy where you got the bread," I asked her and went into the kitchen to find this friend's loaf with a two-year-old hand-sized gouge removed from the top. Luckily, I made several loaves today.

Hugs and kisses. Pajama'd up. Thanks written and prayers whispered. This tune playing through my mind.

In this world you will have trouble, Jesus says. Finding comfort in the before and after.