Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Yardstick in the Living Room

Usually the living room at Woodsong stays pretty neat since Gerald and I hang out mostly in the family room, kitchen, or our offices. Of course, the living room gets used a great deal when there are family or other gatherings. I read there sometimes, but that does not mess it up.

Right now, however, there is a throw, from my ancestral roots of Bedford County, TN, spread out on the floor. Baby Payton was sleeping there briefly yesterday morning. The wooden train set that I gave Gerald is out from under its home on the bottom of the coffee table Gerry made us in shop class his senior year at Crab Orchard High School.

(I gave Gerald this train bought at a craft show after the little mechanical wind-up train he and Erin once bought me for Mother’s Day had stopped working. That little train played with by the kids over at Pondside Farm and put out under the tree at Christmas was a favorite present of mine. When we moved to Woodsong, I wrote on the box it did not need to be moved since it no longer worked. I noticed Gerald brought it over here anyhow, so I figured that shopping for it with Erin was a favorite memory of his also.)

The yardstick came from the kitchen pantry, where Aidan found it yesterday after he took over my dust mop that I was using to gather up some dusty footprints I’d created on the tile there after I came in from riding with Gerald and Payton on the “mule.” After our ride, Aidan woke up, but he wasn’t ready for breakfast yet. He began his a usual list of activities with Gpa Gerald—playing with the wagon, shovel, and wheelbarrow at the lime pile; riding all the vehicles from lawn mower to big tractor with Gerald; and boat rides on the lake.

Somewhere in here, however, he played in the living room with the train; and once when I came upstairs, the room was empty, but every chair cushion was precisely and neatly taken from its chair and place directly in front of it on the floor. The child in me thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of that neat placement in unexpected places, but the housewife in me put the cushions back on the three chairs facing the center of the room. Later I noticed the cushion for the fourth chair swiveled to face the lake also had its cushion in place on the floor. That cushion, the train set, the yardstick, and the throw are still cluttering the living room. I have had time to straighten, but there’s been a reluctance to wipe away the evidence of our morning visit from Tara and her three sweet sons.

Little Maddux, 18 months, was the last to wake up, and by the time Gerald took him on all the rides and then Maddux joined the breakfast table where people kept eating in shifts and even returning for a second egg as Aidan did, it was after 11 and Tara wanted to get her troops on the road to Aurora and Daddy. So beautiful blond Maddux, who captures everyone’s heartstrings with his quiet manner, left behind no footprints on this part of the planet. We are still talking about Aidan, 4, opening up the doors under the sinks and trying to discover how the plumbing there works. We thought that was either super smart or the result of having a daddy in architecture.

I had thought I would be fixing lunch, but since everyone was still at the breakfast table after 11, I did not urge Tara to stay. I knew she wanted to be home and we all wanted her to get there safely as soon as possible. She and Gerald had come in from the Chattanooga tourney at 2:30 that morning, and Tara promptly had everyone carried in and bedded down. I had stayed up in hopes of seeing them before bedtime, but at l:30, I went on bed. Since we took over Payton once she had nursed him yesterday morning, she got to sleep a little later than she might have otherwise.

Except for the memories and mementoes, life here has resumed to normal although Gerald had lots to tell me about all the Johnston City friends he saw and others he met at the tourney, and I was able to tell him about being taken out for Father’s Day by Mary Ellen and Brian.

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