My Mother has a morning routine of coffee on her patio. She loves it and thinks everyone else should love it. I often receive texts from her saying, “Call me when you are on your patio with a cup of coffee.” This makes me laugh because I don’t get up at the crack of dawn like she does, caffeine and I are not very compatible (though we try) and I have two little Rug Rats making my morning routine a tad different.
When we visit though, we indulge in her ritual. Buddy is usually the first to rise. Soon after I’ll be roused by the loud morning salutations of Bug. The smell of the coffee beckons, even to me, and so I get up to join them.
I mumble good morning as I plop down into a seat and the boys make jokes about Nana’s “elixir of life,” i.e. coffee. Mom’s porch is adorably decorated with potted and hanging plants, whimsical yard decorations and cottage style seating. I think I would really enjoy her morning ritual except that it is not long before I am run off by flocks of mosquitos and the oppressive humidity and heat. That’s Texas.
Yesterday I woke up early. The sun was just giving it’s rays a stretch and the room was still cloaked in shadows. I turned over and gasped with surprise as I realized I was laying next to my husband and I was in my own room! You know how, when you travel, you are startled to wake up in a hotel room sometimes? This was the opposite. You know you’ve been gone a long time when you expect to wake up somewhere other than your own bed!
Unexpectedly waking up in my own bed made it all the more delicious! I snuggled in closer to spoon My Man as I listened to the sounds of home. The chickens were softly clucking, a fox was “barking” in the distance. I heard my Mother stir and knew that she would soon be needing her Elixir Of Life, so I got up to get it percolating. I admired the view from my room as I stretched. The layers of pine covered mountains were lightly touched with light. That’s Colorado.
So here’s how this past month went down: Man and I drove the boys to Texas where we celebrated the Fourth of July with friends and family. Two days later, Man and I took off for Maui for a friend’s wedding. We left the boys with his folks and Mom. We stayed in Maui for a week and then Man flew home to CO for work and I flew home to TX to be with Buddy and Bug. The boys and I stayed with Mom for 4 days and then I passed them off to my friend Tiffany who later passed them on to our friend Jenn while I jet-setted off to Cancun for ANOTHER wedding! I spent four fabulous and utterly frivolous days there and then returned to TX. I spent two more days at Mom’s and then Buddy, Bug, Mom and I headed for Galveston for 2 days. Mom had rented a beach house and couldn’t wait to be by the shore. My Dear Sister met us in Galveston and then from there she and I headed to Austin for my girl, Lauren Deuce The Body’s 40th birthday bash, and Mother took the boys to Man’s Folks. Long story longer: After the birthday party, Mom drove my car to Austin packed with all of our things, including my children and then she rode to CO with the boys and I.
Whew! There will be more on all of THAT later.
Now you see my confusion at waking up in my own room! I was reluctant to pull back my covers. The open windows had a crisp, cool breeze wafting through. I fumbled around in my closet until I found my fleece robe and then headed to the kitchen to start the coffee.
Everything about my home flooded my heart with contentment! Stepping over my two sleeping dogs and out onto the chilled hardwood floors. Even the dustiness of the floors was appealing. It’s so hard to keep floors and furniture clean when you live off of dirt roads; the sandy floors reminded me of how blessed I am to get to!
“Good morning, Smee,” I whispered to my cat as she yawned and arched her back to stretch out the sleep. As I prepared the coffee, Smee became very vocal about her need for food as she paced the top of the refrigerator.
“Just a minute, just a minute,” I chided.
Soon Mom appeared from up out of the basement. We keep most of our guests in the dungeon.
“Brrr!” she greeted me, “It is freeeeezing!”
“Oh, it’s not that cold!” I laughed. It was chilly and I did robe myself but it’s only knee length and I was not finding my legs or feet to be cold.
“Well it is to me! I hope I packed the right clothes for this…”
“You’ll only need a sweatshirt in the mornings and evenings. You’ll be fine the rest of the day. By the way: if you need them, I have fuzzy socks with grippers on the soles in the guest room. They are at the foot of your bed in a box that says, ‘Cold Feet? Open Me.'”
Mom headed back down to her room to retrieve said socks.
“You can keep them,” I told her when she returned. “I get new ones for each guest.”
Unfortunately, Mom then proceeded to get altitude sickness. She had woken up with a small headache that quickly grew, coupled with nausea and dizziness. I had her lay on the couch and covered her with a blanket. After getting fluids and some toast in her, she started to feel better.
“I’m ready to move out to the patio now,” she said after assessing her equilibrium. “Do you have sweetener for my coffee?”
I must say, Mom’s morning routine is MUCH more pleasant in CO than in TX. Instead of mosquitos buzzing about, we had hummingbirds zooming by our heads. The only nuisance, really, was that Drake and Sasha kept nudging our arms to induce petting and that really isn’t trouble at all!
Oh how I missed my dog(s)! In all honesty, I miss Drake the most when I’m away. That boys big melon head! Oo! I just love ‘im and love ‘im!! Sasha is a sweetheart too but…she just isn’t Drake. She’s beautiful and eager to please but…she’s kind of dim sometimes and I just don’t get the same satisfaction of snuggling her as I do with Drake and all his muscles! LOVE. MY. DOG.
Soon the whole household was up and moving. Buddy went down stairs for his cartoons. Man grabbed his coffee and headed to the computer to read the news. I knew Bug was soon to make an appearance. He slept in a little longer than the rest but eventually he emerged at the screen door of the house to the patio. He stood there in nothing but his Zombie t-shirt and his white boxer briefs that he calls his Lucky’s.
“You having your Elixir Of Life, Nana?” he asked in a groggy greeting to Mom.
“I am. Do you want to come out and join us?” Mom asked.
“Nah. I want to make breakfast. Mom, can I make eggs for breakfast?”
“Sure Bug. I think you’ll have to go and collect eggs though. I only saw one in the basket.”
Bug sighed and dragged himself back into the depths of the house. A little while later he came out again, still in his Zombie shirt and Lucky’s but now with tennis shoes on.
“No pants Bug?”
“Nah. I’m just going to get the eggs,” he grumbled. The Boy is not a morning person. He’s like his mother.
I chuckled as I watched the cutest butt in the West head down the yard to the chicken coop. This moment, as well as many others while on this odyssey, did not escape my prayers of thanks. Thanks for these blessings, yes, but mostly I was often taken at the contrast of heart in me compared to the past year. While away, I missed my children terribly. It’s always good to get away and I certainly enjoyed their absence but I was very much looking forward to getting back to them and wishing they were with me to experience the things I was. When in Cancun with out Man or Boys, it was the same thing. Last year, I just wanted to get away or be done away with and this month all I wanted was to be surrounded by those I love and who love me. I longed to be in the house that I had felt so trapped in. I noted, more than once, that at these various social events, I was not wringing my hands or trying to rub the ache out of my chest. There was no more anxiety, social or otherwise. Several times I thought of Grandma. Several times I cried for her but I was not weighted down by my grief.
In Maui, I sat on a rock watching My Man swim under a waterfall and I prayed, Thank you Lord! Thank you for that Man; that hot sexy Man. Thank you for this moment. I’m so relieved to be on the other side of grief. I know that You feel when we grieve. I felt like I was sinking but You didn’t let me drown.
At last I am home; startled as I am to find myself here. Here the breeze is cool, the snuggles are plenty and the view is serene.