Sunday, March 04, 2007

Around here you'll find whole grain hens at breakfast, maybe for dinner some nights too. Now that breakfast time is over, I have turned my attention to cleaning. Of course my attention is always divided, so I peak out in the garden where Max and Maria are coexisting. Max is cleaning out the sand table, which is full of rain water and fallen leaves. Maria is like a butterfly, lighting on every surface, sampling and then flitting away. She played with chalk, then sat in the big chair beneath the olive tree.

She crouched down to inspect the sweetpeas that have sprouted.
Maria helped me plant the seeds a few weeks ago. I felt determined to make any kind of garden, even if it meant only a handfull of sweetpeas. Now she is bringing me leaves. She must be plucking the azaleas.

I have most of the laundry washed and dried, so I'll spend a greater part of the day hanging and folding. I already loaded the dishwasher. We still don't have a working vacuum, but if I vigorously drive our old one across the carpet it rolls up horrendous hairballs and other filthy fluff. I debate whether or not to clean the floors. Our floors are tile... big tiles with slim grout lines. I am not sure what sort of surface these tiles would work on, but they do not work in a house. The tiles are slick, slippery, sliding tiles with an ice like sheen that always looks wet. I think each of us has had a bad fall on them, even when they are dry and when they get wet it's even worse. A week's work of grime and stick gives them some texture, friction. They are much safer when they have built up a dulling patina.

Spring is coming, so I guess that means we'll be on the lookout for more flowers and yearning to pick up tomato seedlings, stop at feedstores, smell mountian lilacs. Yes, my attention certainly does get divided...

I really should take a picture of Maria. She is a mess. I love the kind of mess she is. She has been busy in the garden and it shows from her chalky hands and bottom, to her grass stained knees and the mystery gunk across her shirt. Her cheeks are colored, her eyes are bright. She looks excited, delighted and lively. She tried to climb the tree. She pulled on the laundry line, and turned over the pail of rain water. She balanced on the low concrete border, and she over saw Max's cleaning project. She is a picture.


cristina thornburg photography said...

I need to learn from you how to enjoy the "messes" that come from happy explorations. I'm afraid I keep my boys way too "clean."

Natalie said...

How can you even manage to keep four boys "way too clean?" You are amazing. Everything washes clean sooner or later, so I never sweat the mud and slime... don't think I'm bragging; it's more like an admission of guilt ;-)