Dispatch from Family Life

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I have a friend who's finding her way out of cancer and months of chemotherapy. I went to see her and her husband for a blessed afternoon, celebrating with them their survival. They said they were sick of talking about cancer, and I said I had plenty of banal anectdotes from family life to enterain them. Thank you, God, that I do--that I'm not sick or depresssed, that our family isn't torn asunder, that war or contagious disease isn't part of our daily lives. As Jane Kenyon says, someday it could be otherwise. For now, here's some of the daily-ness I'm basking in:

Many apple crisps. We bought home a big box of apples from Wenatchee around Labor Day and since we had room for them in the garage fridge, they last FOREVER. I've made apples crisps for 3 different gatherings. My absolute favorite topping recipe these days, as crunchy as it should be: MIx 1 c. flour, 1/4 c. oats, 1/4 c. sliced almonds, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1/4 c. granualated sugar, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Add 1 cube (1/2 cup) melted butter to the mixture, stir, and drop irregular chunks over your apple/sugar/bit of flour mixture. 

"Soggy Chip!" I had a bit of uncharacteristic road rage yesterday because this guy really was an asshole. I said so with Loretta in the car. She said, "Mom! You said a bad word. You should call him a soggy chip instead." Where did that come from?! And I love it. That *&%#ing soggy chip.

Emily's visit. Emily had a spontaneous weekend up here, and she describes our friendship as "not flashy." She will paint Loretta's toenails while I clean out my fridge, and we are just as happy as can be, in each other's orbit. Love you, sister.

Elementary schoolers sitting in rows. I've had the chance to drop into a couple assemblies at Loretta's school lately. If 400 children sitting in rows on the gym floor doesn't give you a little twinge, what will?!

Yancey in Carhartts. He hates it when I post stuff like this, and since he doesn't read this, I"ll say "Damn!" He's hot. Especially when he's building a dining table for me, listening to Americana, and doing calculations with his carpenter's pencil.

And the most heart-tugging, Wyatt starting middle school. Lots of firsts there, and lots of moments that undo me. Again, a poem says it best.

Prayer for the first day of Middle School

Make his heart soft,
his body present and strong,
his mind open.

Run like a clear blue aquifer
under all his fears and thirsts.

Shine like a full moon,
lighting up his blackest nights.

But most of all, oh Love--
let him remember his locker combination.

Amen.