Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Yes. YES. YES!

We will be there!

We would not miss the Polyphonic Spree at the Top Hat for anything in the world.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pillow Talk

We were snuggled up on a twin mattress, under a dingy brown comforter and a dog laying across our legs (if our parents are reading - Don't worry. We were clothed).  The black wallpaper with small roses running up the walls on diagonal.  Adam had just been gone for the weekend.

It had been our first weekend apart since this had began weeks ago. This.. whatever it was...  I was NOT his girlfriend.  He was NOT my boyfriend.  We weren't seeing anyone else.  On that, as well as our not girlfriend/boyfriend status, we did agree.

His dad had come to pick him up the Friday before, a tall lanky man with a beard.  Our encounter so brief that I would in no way be offended if my presence is not remembered.

He was telling me about the wedding he had just attended. More specifically he was upset about his youngest sister rolling down the waistband of her shorts to make her already short shorts even shorter.

I look at him.  His blond hair tucked behind his head in a ponytail. I think it is cute that he is so concerned about his little sister's modesty.  I think he is cute.  I like his blue eyes and lose myself in them.  I think a little girl that looks like Adam would be cute.  I try and picture it.
"So," I ask, "does she look like a mini version of you?"
"She is half-black."
I don't know what to say.
I just met Adam's dad.  He was tall, lanky, bearded and most definitely white.  At this point in our NOT-relationship I did know his parents had been married once - to each other.  He had met my mom.  Spent the night at my (her) house and knew much of our family history...  so... um?
"I'm adopted.  Didn't I tell you I was adopted? I told you I was adopted."
"No. I would remember that. Keep going."
I try and picture a girl that looks more like my sister, but has curly hair.
He keeps talking.
Something about a hot tub maybe? and cousins?

I like the way his skin crinkles around his eyes when when he smiles.  He can look old and young at the same time -  I see the past and future in an instant.

I try and pay attention.

I still see a long legged, long haired blond, little girl running around in short jersey shorts.

I was right.  A little girl that looks like Adam is cute, except this one hates wearing shorts.  She prefers dresses to shorts any day.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Colors of Summer

The colors of summer are breathtaking. 

The the almost black cherries staining our fingers and faces a bright red.

We reach, stretch and pluck hand fulls of cherries and drop them into our baskets. 


We eat our fill of cherries in the dappled summer sun.

The sun is high overhead.
We are hot and hungry and tired.
The boxes of cherries are lined up in the shade of the garage.
Seventy pounds of summer are coming home with us.

We follow the dusty dirt road to the edge of the lake and jump into emerald blue.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Three Inches: Why we traveled to Oklahoma.

Between August 2012 and June 2013 Ivory grew three inches.

As I labeled the pencil line I had just traced above her head a sudden wave of panic washed over me.

We have to go to Oklahoma now. Now. NOW!

I ran a few numbers, studied our calender and scrolled through available flights. By the time Adam walked through the door I was certain that we had to make the trip and that we really could make it happen.

I approached it like this: "Ivory grew three inches and we have to go to Oklahoma."

An integral part of my childhood (and my mother's for that matter) were summer visits to the Bartlesville Kiddie Park.  In my mind Ivory was already towering over all the height restrictions.  We simply had to make it back before she was too tall to ride round and round in the tiny metal cars, the wooden horse carriages, the motor boats and into the sky on the pint sized ferriswheel.

The summer I was fourteen, after having received a work permit from my principal, I spent my evenings strapping tiny tots into cars, driving the train and occasionally serving big fluffy clouds of cotton candy.  I call it my first job, when in reality I was also cleaning a dental office and a perpetually dusty dental arts lab (think custom made ceramic teeth).  In spite of the dismal pay, the heat and the sticky soda water that ran down my legs as we emptied the evening's trash, I loved working there.

Ivory grew three inches and we drove hours, flew half way across the country, drove a few more hours to watch our children go round and round, up and down, with pure expressions of bliss on their faces.

I watched Sylvan's face morph from initial fear, confusion and then finally pure enjoyment on his first ferriswheel ride.  Ivory gleefully spun in circles in a bumper car, not quite figuring out the controls. Yes, for the simple pleasure of watching the kid's faces, this trip had to happen.

(The expressions on the faces of the teens working the rides... well...  I just wanted to shout at them: Smile! This job is fun! I know, because I used to be you.)

Ivory grew three inches, but this summer, she still stepped through the space underneath the bar at the entrance of every ride.  It was perfect.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

We are home.


Our trip home took longer than we could have ever imagined. We were supposed to arrive Thursday.  We drove into Missoula Sunday evening.  Monday it was back to work and there was not a moment to settle in.

Until today.

Today I weeded the garden (or a part of the garden to be exact), admired the fat heads of broccoli, the tiny green tomatoes and marveled at the runner beans that in the past two weeks have almost grown to the top of our porch roof.

I rode my bike around town, kids in tow.  We sat in the shade of  trees and watched kids play in the splash park.  I picked lettuce, chard, kale, whisked up a salad and cooked our first dinner in the aftermath of our amazing adventure in Oklahoma.  Bread baked in the oven while I cleaned the kitchen and the kids played with Legos while listening to the Incredibles.  I even managed to unpack the suitcases.

Today it feels real.

We are home.