I called my mom on Wednesday in a panic, "how old am I going to be?!" You would think a person would know their age but I'm extremely right-brained (can't do simple arithmetic) and I have this short-term memory loss thing going on as well. I was just out filling the water bucket for the goats and my mind was wandering........
I was 19 when Taylor was born and she is 18 now. I thought the last digits of our age were supposed to be the same. She's 18 so am I 38 now? Am I going to be 39!!? I just posted on facebook that I was going to be 38! Did I just make a big fool of myself to all my friends? HOW OLD AM I??
This is when I called Mom.
How old am I going to be??
In her familiar Mom tone...
Well, lets see. You were born in 1973 and it's 2011. Do you have a calculator?
I actually got out the calculator...
I breathe a sigh of relief after having just faced the idea of only having a year before I hit forty. Now I have 2!! Two whole years. And I wonder what my life will look like then.
Today, I received one of the best, most thoughtful gifts I think I've ever gotten. A couple years ago, my dad and I were helping my Uncle Larry build (well, rebuild) his house in Gillham. He and my Aunt Mary had recently retired and moved to Arkansas. As we worked on the construction site, I frequently used Larry's rake. It was old and worn but worked incredibly well. The end of the rake was very heavy steel, so when you were pulling it through the dirt/rocks/gravel there was no effort needed to dig into the soil, you simply had to drag it. I went on and on about how much I liked it and asked where he got it. It was one of those unusual finds like at a garage sale or something and he had never seen another one like it since. I was quite covetous of it and found every excuse to use it when I was there working. This is when I stop and wonder about myself.
We were at Larry's house not long ago for a wedding shower and afterwards, we visited. Larry and I started talking about chainsaws, (another tool I'm anxious to get) so we went to his shop to look at one of his chainsaws that he thought would be the right size for me. Oh, the things I could accomplish if I had me a chainsaw! Ain't no tellin what I could do. We went over every aspect of the thing and he even started it for me and made me really jealous. As we were exiting the shop, there, in a beckon of angelic-light was the rake. I went on and on about it again and how I really wished I could find one like it. Again, we went round and round about how one might find something like this. Perhaps I could just have one made?
Then today, I was in my bedroom finishing wrapping a present for Kyle when I heard the dogs bark. I glanced out the window and saw Larry coming up my front porch steps. I could only see a long wooden pole in his hand with a ribbon on it. Then it hit me. He got me a rake!! Rodney greeted him and Mary at the door and I followed behind with my entourage of excited dogs. (it gets crazy when people come to the door). Larry made it all the way to the kitchen before I could see what he had. The chaos of hugging, quieting dogs, and "where do you want me to put the potato salad" kept me from immediately seeing it. When things settled, I saw it. "Is this for me??" Duh, who's birthday party is this?
Not only did he get me the rake I wanted, he took his rake to a welder in DeQueen and had him make one exactly like it.
You can't even know how exciting this is. I can actually feel tears stinging my eyes. Seriously.
Tools are invaluable on a farm and when you find something that works and works well, it is a true gift, a blessing. This gift blessed me in ways I'm not sure I've even comprehending yet.
He even stamped my initials in the handle!! The thought, the time, the love and the care that went into this gift is more precious than the gift itself. I was literally jumping up and down.
My mom and dad got me a rake and a hoe too. The hoe started a whole conversation that had me giggling. My uncle Leland was talking about how valuable hoe's used to be (giggles) and that they used to make hoe's better than they are now (more giggles), in fact, the prison hoe's were the best ones, (burst out in a belly laugh).
I got a rosemary plant from my Aunt Sandy who started the plant from one of her own. We do this a lot in our family, root and share plants. It's always one of my favorite gifts. I rubbed my fingers all over it and felt euphoric as I breathed in the scent.
Sandy also made my birthday cake. Rave Review. It is almost the same thing as an Italian Cream Cake. I really don't know what the difference is but it is go oo ood. My grandmother has made me this cake for at least the last 20 something years. She is getting more feeble and a little more careless in the kitchen so we don't let her cook much anymore. It is kind of sad but it happens. The love of family and the support of each member to take up the slack where others are weakening is just the coolest thing.
I managed to snap one picture amidst the chaos of my birthday party. Sometimes I wish I'd just calm down a little bit and think about doing these vital things, like taking pictures. As I observed my one sad snapshot, I see a million things that amuse me. The syringes in the dish drain because I've been dealing with a sick goat. The two diet cokes on the bar which Larry always brings with him because I don't keep that poison in my house. Rodney, in a semi-coma from having been up all Thursday night/Friday morning selling chickens. The milk pail hanging above the sink. The deer head on the wall in the back. Dad pretending to look interested in what Larry is saying but thinking about Mom who is alone at home, still recovering from surgery. The bar being full of stuff again after I've cleaned it off a hundred times, just today. Mamaw's hand on the bar, probably telling somebody how to do something. The light from the lamps, 4 on just this wall and I still think I need more.
This is what my life looks like now. And now, having reassured myself that I've got a whole two years left before forty, I am content. I always look forward to that which is to come, but I make it my priority to live now. And right now, there is a place for me to lie down, next to my snoring comatose husband. It is my favorite place to be.