Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Great Outdoors

Today was a tough day at work. The kids were very combative and I found their behavior exhausting. I love the kids, but some days they are not very loveable. I wish they'd give each other a break.

When I got home, I saw that the gardeners were here. We used to have some really cute gardeners and I have to admit that gardener day was my favorite day of the week. I can remember one boy who had a torn pocket on his shorts. Every Thursday he'd show up and show off a different colored cheek-full of plaid. Most of the boys were scruffy and tattoo-y and they reminded me of pirates. My favorite had a long ponytail - he reminded me of a hippie version of Adam Sandler.

For some reason, I've always had this thing for gardeners. The first thing I ever had published was a short/short story for a contest called Remembering my Gardener Boyfriend. I wonder where I've got the hard copy of that one............ The gardeners look like this now, normal clean-cut boys, cute, not very pirate-y.
I walked all the way down to the corner to take that kid's picture. I tried to be sly, didn't want to scare him. I enjoy seeing the gardeners, but I'm no Gardener Stalker - it's a hobby, not a career.

Walking back, I look up into the trees and this is what I saw:

My son, Max, has a thing for trees. He will lay beneath a tree and stare up into the branches endlessly. He is not vocal, so he can't tell me what he is looking at. I often wonder what it is. Is he counting the leaves? Is he comparing the light and dark? Is he following the lines of the branches? Or is he watching the tree dance? That's what I like - the way the leaves sway and the sound of the breeze swirling through.

My Grandma used to live at Copco Lake, up at the top of California and every afternoon, without fail, a breeze would sweep through the trees, across the meadow, and out to the lake. It was a lovely breeze, melodic and cooling on hot summer days. I miss Grandma's place. I miss sitting with her, listening to her, making meals in her kitchen.

She lives in Washington now and I've only been able to visit her and Grandpa up there once. I have to take my kids up there this summer. I'm almost out of time - my Grandpa is dying.

Here's one last photo, a photo that Grandpa and Grandma would enjoy. Sarah and I took it last night, a last taste of the sun, at the end of the day.

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