Monday, June 23, 2008

How Do you Make a Tissue Dance?

How do you make a tissue dance?
You put a little boogie in it.
Bad joke, I know.

If I thought we were going to bring boogies all the way to grandma's house, I never would have shown-up. But, it wasn't until Thursday morning that the first clue issued forth, when Maria sneezed. Then she sneezed some more. And some more, and when it finally occurred to me that these were caused by more than a tickled nose, I felt dread and frustration. My Mom and I went over all of the practical, emotional and more practical issues... Maria was getting sick, we were 20 hours from home, neither mom or Ron could possibly, even remotely risk getting any kind of cold, we hadn't thought of leaving for at least another week, we had to leave as soon as possible, maybe it was too late anyway. It was a sad conversation, since we were both disappointed and concerned... me for her and her for me.

All of my big plans, to be a nurse, a maid and cook, to make good use of myself to my recuperating mom and to give Ron a little back-up and relief, all of it was sunk. The most prudent plan now was to get Maria and her boogies out of town, so our focus turned to packing, to passing her tissues, to taking down the tent, corralling the chickens and loading the conestoga. Alex would miss the electronics thrift shop in Coos Bay, and there would be no more stops at the quilt shop or feed store. I never did vacuum, or clean the fridge.

The boys took the tent down Thursday night, so we could make an early earlier start on Friday.

We would not miss the mosquitos. Not a bit, but we still hadn't been to Bullards or even mailed postcards. And we would be leaving behind all of those blackberries. Well, they were only blossoms, but one can easily imagine the buckets of berries to come.

I did manage to help with laundry and I cooked some meals. I gave my Mom a leg massage... she may have noticed I am out of practice, but I had hoped to repeat the service during my stay. I think we forgot to return the bouncer to the garage. Sorry Ron.

That's how my thoughts are these days... bouncing from one thought to the next... thinking of what we did and what we forgot. Hoping we were helpful, knowing we could have done more. Regretting that time ran out. Praying that we brought all of the boogies back with us.

Aunt Becky, Dan and grandma Eunice are driving to Oregon this week, so maybe a break between helpers will be welcome. Ron is doing such a good job of taking care of Delia, and Delia is doing a good job of doing all she can, like walking regularly and being patient. Healing takes time, and waiting takes patience. There are still specialists to see and injuries that will mend slowly. I would not blame her if she got very sad, if she felt overwhelmed. It is hard being a patient, passing time waiting for normal. If she were bummed, it would be quite understandable, but so far she is brave and grateful, her humor is intact, her spirit is good. She is, as always, admirable and strong.

It was hard to leave. Their home is remote and not easy to get to, otherwise I would assume that I could return as soon as Maria's cold passes. We need to close the gap, shrink the miles between our homes, somehow. I wish it were only an hour away, or a minute, or even one day's drive, instead of 2 or 3 day's worth. Even flights are circuitous and long, and expensive, of course. All the way home, I was thinking of how we could live closer... maybe in Corvalis, or Eureka, pretty Fortuna, the Bay Area, the Central Coast. For 1,042 miles I thought about how wrong it is for families to live so far apart. I thought about turning the car around and calling Geoff, "We're here. Come. We'll get a few acres, raise goats, grow basil and tomatoes."

The further we came, the harder it got.
The trees disappear, the roads widen and crowd.
We travel faster, meaner.
Gone is the scent of redwood, the colors of farms and forests.

My thoughts are still bouncing. I still feel the vibrations of the long ride home. The car is in the driveway, covered in dust and ash and 2,000 miles of travel and packed. I could almost get in and start all over again.

The children are the best travelers. We shared ideas and reflections and enjoyed our stops along the way. It will take a few days to unpack, to return to our routines and rhythms, to discover the new rhythms of summer.

Thank you Mom and Ron. We were so glad we were able to come and share time with you. We enjoyed our stay, and we were greatly comforted being in your company.

And thank you friends and family who have reached out to our family, to Ron and Delia. Your kindness is a comfort too.


amy smith said...

welcome home...
and how is sweet maria feeling these days?

Em said...

Oh, I'm sorry your visit had to be cut short! I know you wanted to stay longer, but I am sure you made the right decision. Welcome back home... thanks for sharing all of the great pictures!

Mama Spark said...

Good thing you made it back without the "Boogey Man" getting you!! Cherish the time you had with mom and Ron and look forward to the time you will have in the future! Love closes the distance when it has to.

Glad that your travel was safe.

nikkipolani said...

Oh Natalie. What a disappointment. But I must have to say, those are beautiful portraits of your boys.

p.s., it's so hard to post a comment - this is my fourth try! Does blogger not like me?