Several years ago, a visit from my daughter and her family ended on a day I had to work. As we had only one car, she got up and drove me to town to start my early shift, then came back to the house to wake up her husband and children. They dropped the car off to me, and we said our good-byes when they came to town to get on the ferry a couple hours later.
It’s not easy to rouse four children, exhausted from fresh air and late nights and cold water swims. It’s especially difficult when the end of the vacation is the reason for having to get up early. We adults, too, had stayed up too late…last night to visit and all. Everyone was tired. Everyone was cranky. No one was being cooperative.
When I came home from work that day, a little melancholy at coming back to an empty house, I was confronted with the remnants of their chaotic morning.
Two mattresses were still on the living room floor, sheets and blankets strewn over them. The toy box had been emptied onto the floor, and the contents were scattered throughout the house. Towels were hanging on every hook in the bathroom, and draped over the backs of two dining room chairs. A box of cereal had fallen on its side, and the contents covered the floor. A single dirty diaper, neatly wrapped in plastic, perched on the arm of the sofa. A brush and two hair ties shared space on the table with two coffee cups, four cereal bowls, a collection of silverware, a jug of milk, a jar of raspberry jam, three partial pieces of toast and a note from my daughter.
The note said: “Mom, Had a great time! Thanks for everything! Sorry to leave your house in such disarray. XOXOXOX.” A cheerio crunched under my foot.
“Disarray is a good word,” I thought.
She gets that from me. Understatement is the key!
I have evidently convinced several people that read these posts that I am performing super-human feats here at my little house on Beaver Island. I assure you, that’s not the case.
I was going to admit it last week, when Sara told me she thought I was one of those super-bloggers who could accomplish everything. I chickened out. I, instead, used the “Zoom” title to underscore my busy-ness, with garden and home and studio and home-made soup and bread…Then I read what Kathy wrote about writing… her musings about what to write…and what, to her, constitutes something worthy of writing about. I knew, then, that I was squandering opportunities to say something real – and possibly meaningful – for deceptive, “look at my perfect little life” posts. That has to change. It is ridiculous to invite you in, then be afraid you’ll see my mess.
This week, the title is “Zoom In”.
That’s what I do. I give the close up view.
Photos of my flower beds show only the flowers in their weed-free beds. If I were to show a wider view, the weeds growing strong between the stones in my crooked walkway, the grass needing to be mowed and the rusty wheelbarrow would be visible. Pan out a bit more and you’d see the collection of gas cans sitting near the back porch – because I never have a can with me when I need to get gas for the mower, so have to buy another. I think I have five now! You’d see the two pine trees that – for a reason unknown to me – were cut down three feet above the ground, leaving their bottom rows of branches spreading out over the back yard. The little shed that started life as a chicken coop, that has blackberry canes and wild roses growing through the floor, to the extent that I can no longer retrieve the hoses and tomato cages that were stored there. Hiding behind a big juniper bush, the satellite dish, giving me access to local television channels. Did I ever mention that I had TV? NO! I wanted you to think I was perfect!
This is just the outdoors!
I started this writing practice, having lost two siblings and my mother in a fourteen month period, as a way to make myself a little more aware of life as it happens. I wanted to pay attention to my surroundings, take notice of the every-day occurrences in my world, be more aware of my thoughts and feelings.
I choose to do my writing on this public forum, and I am thrilled to have people take interest in what I write.
I don’t choose to be dishonest. Sometimes, I just prefer to “zoom in”!