Saturday, October 04, 2003

Nate's Date

No one was stung, but the yellow jackets were the decided winners. Our picnic was cut short by one, then two, then three persistent invaders. We've been stung before, and so we lost all courage. We hustled the kids back in to the mini van and finished our Easy Cheesy picnic with the windows rolled up, the fan blasting and (here goes my pride) Peter Pan playing on the DVD. Yes, it was humiliating, and it looked nothing like Martha's tailgate picnic in her October issue; no homemade tomato soup, no wool blankets across fall leaves, no wicker baskets with frittatas.

Out in the pumpkin fields neither man nor beast interfered with our mission: To find the tallest, or roundest, or most interesting pumpkins. We had many to choose from. At first Max and Nicholas were more interested in standing on the pumpkins or rolling them, but once we had a wheel barrow they were quick to fill it. Holly found a good tall pumpkin, which I know she will carve to blue ribbon quality. Max traded pumpkins several times before settling on an orange and round one with a stem. Really, they all look good and making a final decision is daunting. We did manage to find one very unique specimen for Geoff. It is somewhat flattened, and star spangled with green all over the orange.

Besides pumpkins, there were gourds and corn stalks, squash, sunflowers, chocolate coins (those are *grown* in the fun store at Bate's.) May I say, there were a lot of gourd and squash formations resembling anatomical features. Holly and I were giggling rather Beavisly. The banana squash were particularly huge, and fleshy colored. We refrained from identifying its resemblance, but the two year old, cute little girl declared, "Daddy, that looks like a penis." Large crowd, articulate child, very funny.

We had fun. It was a bit of a rough start. Alex still hopes to enjoy a genuine picnic, so we'll try that again. Maybe if we set out on our country day with an art director, location manager, film crew, a make-up artist and stunt doubles, we can achieve a Martha moment. Never mind. I'll take spontaneity, a little chaos, some tears and laughter. The wealth of joy from life's fullness... it's a good thing.

Here's my stand-in, for close ups.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Progress: Tomorrow we meet Bob, show him our application and hope to be his idea of good tenants. We are good (I'm not whining.) We really are. I remember the first time Geoff and I rented a place together. It was in "Squaremont," and we were barely out of our teens. We had enough money for rent and we weren't deviant, but we lacked the confidence, and self assurance, to believe we would be found acceptable. Now we have solid references, steady employment, and the look of respectability, and I feel as uncertain as I did the first time. Crud. It's a mixed bag I guess; I got carded buying wine tonight. Easy Cheeze, mini carrots, celery, roast turkey, cat litter, nonfat milk, Cheerios and 2 bottles of Valley of the Moon, not to mention three boys hanging all over me and asking for quarters. If Bob rents his place to us I will open one bottle of wine and toast life and all it's inconsistencies. Ditto, if he turns us down.

Cold Enough to Dream of Snow

It's brisk and crisp, and I doubt the temperatures will rise higher than 80 degrees. Brrrr. Seriously, it is an overcast morning with a distinct breeze and chill factor, and I am wearing a long sleeved T-shirt. I have on socks. I shut the window before I showered, and I was sing-humming "Let it Snow, Let it snow, Let it Snow!" We take what we can get, and what we got has me ready for full force Fall fun.

Tomorrow we pack the kidlets, break open the piggy banks and drive to Nate's Butt Farm (aka Bate's Nut Farm.) Holly and I are in the mood for pumpkin picking, goat feeding, cider sipping country fun. My guys have been counting down the days for this field trip, and looking forward to the visit with cousin Nicholas. Hopefully we can enjoy the corn field maze, maybe a tractor ride, and lunch under the mulberry trees. We will find the best 4 pumpkins for our biennial Halloween party, and maybe a few more, because we just love pumpkins.

It's good to have a plan. There may be a lot that is unresolved just yet, but tomorrow we will be with family and enjoying a tradition, making new memories, and setting aside worries for a while.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Home is where the heart is, and the cats, and RV parking and a huge garage, and at least 3 bedrooms and plenty of bathrooms. Geoff has been emailing me possibilities; I call up and ask the dreaded "pets" question. We have a few options, but the last lady I spoke with reacted as though my cat had already left a gift on her carpet.

Max is no longer barfing, so I'm feeling bolder. We may load the mini-van and see what's out there.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

So much for quiet introspection; for letting the gentle passing of time reveal our destiny. Escrow closes in 32 days! Picture me: open palms holding my face with mouth gaping and eyes popping. 32 days! Apart from feeding and educating children, collecting eggs, pulling weeds and plucking stray eyebrow hairs, I have got to get my booty on the fast track. The weight of this news is so heavy that I have spent the last twenty minutes laying face down on the sofa.

Max is sick. He threw up 3 times at 0-dark hundred, and two more times today. Last night I ambitiously, confidently marked our calendar with all the important dates for surviving a 60 day escrow. It seems appropriate for fate to cut the number of days down, and toss some vomit our way too. My new game plan? Keep a towel and a wide bowl next to Max, and wander around the house saying, "Oh my God. Oh my God."

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Reflections can be distorted, even in a luxury bumper.
I was thinking of Spongebob when he tells time traveling
Squidward, "Everything is chrome in the future."

A difficulty that arises from publishing Chicken Blog is that, on occasion, I may write something that is misconstrued or misinterpreted or simply a miss. And the conclusions that may be drawn are not necessarily from what I have written, but what I have not written. I can't say that I regret anything I have written, because I have endeavored to be fair, honest and open, even at the expense of my own pride.

I do feel a little petty about what I wrote over my frustration with the auction; all is resolved. I stand by my initial sentiment that the organizing was botched, and it was genuinely aggravating for there to be so little communication. Oh well. Mr. Sutro came through, PBS came through, and I rode in the country and saw cows and farms and the brown stubble of grazed and parched hills. I gathered sage, and books, and came home with pie for my boys. And I was reminded, once again, that every one of us has a story, and a life that is often times fuller and more complex than the rest of the world may realize.

I do not want to censure my deep thoughts and musings, though on some level I do. There are obviously feelings and details that I do not share. I remain sincere, though sometimes discreet. I think I should let the issue of leaving our Rancho, choosing our new home, and sorting through emotions and struggles, sit for awhile. It may be that these subjects are too consuming, and raw. It may be that I need to sit still, and just see what comes, without trying to navigate each turn, anticipate every road block. Our destination will find us. I'm going to enjoy the ride.

Kicking back on my day in the country.