Absence makes the heart grow fungus. One of my favorite lines from Barenaked Ladies, and it applies here ... You've missed me, I know. I've kept quiet long enough for Mr. Garfield to decloak and ask where I am. When the Mysterious Mister Garfield starts wondering your whereabouts, you'd best step forward and reveal. Reveal!
How's everyone doing? Good I hope. Well, rather. I hope everyone is doing well. There hasn't been a lot to report really, I've been busy making funny pictures for gusterboard members celebrating birthdays, taking small but not quite small boys hiking in nature reserves, working working working, cleaning the house, playing Tetris, watching House and drinking wine. I'll try and recap the things ye need know... aside from the fact that beauty is truth and truth beauty, but that was covered in my last entry now, wasn't it?
One event was for a co-worker (my girl C) who is getting married in June. I was the only one there from the office and if you know me I was terrified to meet new people and be on my own.
That's a larf. Ha! I sat at a table and got to know some folk, and then I took a bullet for the team and my new pals and got myself wrapped up in toilet paper for the sake of fun and games. I am pictured here with the bride's sister Shannon -- Maid of Honor to the extreme. It was all rock and roll. We had way too much fun.
The baby shower was for my boy Ben and his baby mamma Amy (heh), who expect their little girl round about Jessica's 15th birthday.
First of all -- I can't believe I have friends who are having babies when I have one in high school That kind of monkeywrenches me and causes me to flip over the handlebars and break my metaphorical collar bone. Second. I can't believe Ben's gonna be a baby daddy. I've known him since Geoff was about 3 months old, and it just seems an eternity... my baby Ben has all grown up and whatnot.
At the baby shower, I fell right in with a former student coworker who is now real live employee at the college. My girl M and I teamed up for some bad ass word descrambling (yes! Prespam is Pampers bitches!) and we had a really tremendous time.
I can go forever without seeing some folks, and when I get to be with them, there isn't an awkward "so. Whattayadoin these days?" It goes straight into "how can we cheat on these baby name meanings? I know! Let's call my daughter and she'll google the answers for us!"
Best wishes to all parties involved at both showers.
Geoff's cub scout den had an appointment with a nature education ranger at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport on Saturday. We had a great time there, and seeing all the things made me pine for Aaron, wherever he is. He should have been the one teaching the boys about the importance of the preserve, consumers and producers, the importance of conservation of these kinds of properties and the like. I miss him so badly sometimes, but he's paintchip flaked off the wall of life and we haven't heard from him since August when he asked us to take his dog.
Sometimes, I know the feeling... How it needs to be that you go, far and away and reinvent yourself and rediscover yourself after a divorce or after ... something. And sometimes I'm angry and hurt and abandoned and Honest To God do not know how I'd react if he called here right this second to say hi. Part of me wants to rip him a new one. Part of me is like "hey baby, we went on a nature walk, it rocked. You so woulda loved it."
So anyway -- the boys had fun with the ranger, and the ranger arranged for us to not have to pay at the gate to go down and take a hike and explore the trails and all that the reserve had to offer. Several of us went, and it was probably the best overall experience I've had with Geoff and his fellow cub scouts.
There were two memorable moments on the trail that I have to share. One was where we came upon some people gazing into the low trees and bushes at some bird that was nesting. They were still as saints, and the boys came upon them kind of loudly and suddenly. They stopped dead in their tracks when they saw the birders, and a woman motioned them over and shared her binoculars with one of the boys. She had them kneel and squat and look into the trees and explained in small, hushed, wee tones what they were seeing.
Normally, we discourage the boys from falling right into the laps of strangers, but this was different. We stood by and watched as three careful moms as our cubs bonded with weird birding ladies on the boardwalk.
When the bird hopped off and everyone was satisfied they'd seen enough, I smiled and thanked the lady with the binoculars. "I raised my kids in your pack," she said... noting they were in uniform with their unit numbers and den on their sleeves. So she had a special reason for embracing that moment for the boys. She had done the same requirements years ago I'm sure, and was passing on the spirit of Akela to our young men.
It made me smile.
Oh -- hang on I'm gonna go eat dinner. Doug just got home with some Chinese food. Mmmmmmm. Chinese food.
Great stuff. Okay -- I'm back.
Second thing that was cool about the hike was this:
In the marsh area, there was a woman ahead of us, standing and staring into the water... taking a ton of photographs. When I got to the spot that she vacated as the boys and I reached her... I looked into the water.
"Was she taking pictures of fish?" one boy asked.
"I don't see anything worth taking a picture of there..." said another.
I looked at the still water, the sun, the branches, the dead leaves, the absolute stillness... the fact that the sky was bright blue but was not reflected here, and I said...
"Oh yes, there is something worth taking a picture of here." I encouraged them to relax their eyes, to stop searching for fish. and just look at the surface.
One said "wow... the sun looks really cool with those branches. That's neat... I don't think I've ever seen anything like that before."
That's what it was, what I wanted him to see, and he got it... so I took a picture.
I think this is a very small moment that when this boy is graduating from High School, I'll look back on and remember fondly. As long as he doesn't turn out to be a gargantuan insufferable jerk. And well, even then. I'll know he got it.
Sunday I was sitting on the couch with coffee and dogs and blanket and coziness and relaxation at about 8 am. Suddenly, the sound of a projectile smashing into our doors jarred the dogs, myself and my coffee right up into the air.
Another robin smacked into the glass.
A couple of weeks ago, a pair of robins flew into the glass probably at about the same time.
I found them at about 9am, and the male was deceased, but the Mrs. fought for a good long time. She finally expired and I "dispatched" them together in the same ziplock back in a location away from where three curious dogs do dig. So I had it in my mind I'd be interring another bird in the same spot sometime during the day.
In my coffee-covered sweatshirt and blanket, I went out to survey the damage. The robin was flopping around and trying like hell to take off. My dogs were going insane inside, so I thought I'd leave him in peace for a bit, put on some clean clothes and come back and check on him.
I found him sitting rather still, looking stunned, his entire little body vibrating. I went out, picked him up, and had my shoebox ready for him to house in and maybe pass away in, warm and comfortably like the last occupant.
After picking him up, he jumped from my hand and ran around the yard. This bee's got some sting left in him! I rejoiced.
I managed to get him again, and decided instead of a shoebox bird, he'd be a bird in a tree next to the house where I could watch him. I set him up in the branches, and a few hours later returned to find him gone, but not flopping about on the ground or dead and ripped to shreds by a neighborhood cat.
To my relief.
Perchance he made it. Came to his senses after a few hours in the tree. Perhaps. I'd like to think. I'll keep telling myself that. It sounds like a good story.
And happy endings are what it is all about sometimes, innit? On that note...