Saturday, September 29, 2007

Just another night at the stage door

I was asked if I would do concession for a concert I hadn't really intended to go to. Not because I wasn't interested but because September is just busy. Well, since it was going to be free except the cost of a little schmoozing and money counting, how could I refuse. So I went. And fell in love with music all over again.

His name is Kelly Joe Phelps and by his own confession feels socially awkward between songs. However, from an audience perspective he makes you feel as if you are in his living room having a weekend jam session after a hearty potluck. He is quiet but clever and inviting. Good entertainment from the first hello. Then he starts playing....

His fingers literally dance over the strings of his guitar as if they were life long lovers. The picking is complicated but the music simple enough to draw you in. We sat there in awe as we watched him caress his music from those strings. Beautiful. As if that isn't enough, he starts to sing...

I would use the term "voice like an angel," if it weren't for the incredible raw humanness he sings with. He hits you with wave after wave of unashamed emotion. It's been a long time since a musician brought tears to my eyes. Especially one whose story I didn't know well. I think it took me a few songs before I managed to actually hear the lyrics. Which are, in themselves, testimony to incredible talent and heart. It made more than one of us wonder what the heck this guy is doing playing at the stage door and other such small locations.

The musician in me is more than a little envious. It is simply unfair for the universe to bestow such talent on one individual. Yet the music lover in me is so grateful that such talent wasn't wasted on someone who doesn't get it and wouldn't use it. I have walked away with a sense of being satisfied as though I have eaten or slept well; as if my soul has been well nourished. I am inspired again to continue on my own musical journey, remembering that the very best part comes in the sharing.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Two today

Conversations to be overheard in the Marriott house .....

Mom: Hannah go clean up the clothes on the floor in your room.
Hannah: Okay (pause) The garbage can keeps moving. That means its alive.
Dad: Sure it does.
Hannah: No it doesn't.

Mom: Selah why aren't you wearing pants again!?
Selah:(looking down at her half-naked self as though she didnt realize, and then doing the home alone face) Oh no! I peed downstairs! Oh no! OH NO!

Mom: (seeing Selah has no pants again ) Selah where are your pants?
Selah: NO!
Mom: Selah did you pee in your pants?
Selah: (singing) no no nnoooooooooooo (runs away)

Fall Fellowship

The other day we went for a romp in the park with a friend and her crew. It was chilly, but not too cold to play without mittens. It was one of those afternoons that stripped ordinary humdrum from my view of my life. It happens every so often. A moment bursting with richness that takes my breath away.

This time it was simply watching my children interact with each other. Watching Hannah and Levi take turns bearing the other up on their shoulders so they could cross the monkey bars. Seeing the uncontainable excitement on Shiloh's face as she makes it up the climbing wall, "all by myself, Mama!!." Hannah and Levi helping Selah have a ride on the seesaw, one holding her up and the other pumping the other side up and down.

It made me think of another bunch of siblings playing in a little lake while their parents watched from shore with such odd grins on their faces. I didn't get it then. I thought maybe those two parents were getting soft. I think I get it now.

Friday, September 21, 2007

ceasing summer

The early morning chill has set in. Creaking joints and back muscles are beginning to beg for the big blankets to be applied to the beds soon. This weekend we will break out the winter clothes and tuck away those items reserved for summer moments. I must say though, there is a crisper quality to the sun cascading through the front windows that makes me want to get outside despite the cold. It's going to be a fantastic fall.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Goodbye kittens

Yesterday morning the very last kitten, Cricket, left on her journey to the coast to live with friends of ours. Suddenly the house is a lot quieter. The incessant scratching has ceased and the constant thumpity thump of kittens attacking each other, fluff, and imaginary kitten friends is no more. Sparrow has settled down and is already blissfully calm and snuggly again. She has stopped mewing at me to help her get the darn little things off her. I guess even four legged mom's get excited about having a little personal space now and then.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I am home

It happened again. Another well-meaning high school chum I haven't seen in awhile tried to give me the get out of Cranbrook pep-talk. And once again I tried to explain why I am still here. Why this is "home".

I am not sure when the transition happened. For so many years of my anxious teenage life I couldn't wait to leave. Eager to stretch my wings and "make something of myself." Somewhere along the line my roots dug deeper than I had intended. Places, people, and moments in time stacking up on one another until they became my recipe for home. This dish is ever expanding and just this summer has begun to add farther away places to the list of ingredients. Yet still most of these ingredients are safely tucked around this little valley, keeping me warm and holding me up when the chill sets in.

Home is a little bridge behind the trailer court where I used to catch slimy things with my baby brother. It's the "family" tree in Rotary park I can't climb anymore. It's in the playground of the school down the street and under the lamppost where we kissed our first kiss. It's in the waters of lakes and ponds where I have swam, canoed and drifted in good company and sometimes just my own. It's on the mountain I was too young to climb with Dad but managed to climb on my own and share his view. It's in the coffee shop where so many good friendships have been nourished. It's in a water wheel I wasn't suppose to climb but climbed anyway. It's on a back porch swing I can't swing on anymore. It's in the frame above my parents kitchen sink where my sisters and I discovered something to share. It's in a garden I share with strangers and with friends. It's on stages; many stages where I found so many pieces of myself. It's in several churches where I have found my place in the universe and the magic in everyday. It's on the swing in my Mother's yard where there hasn't been nearly enough wine yet. It's in the faces of my children when they are with any of the many Grandparents they have here. Its in stockings so full of fun that its hard to get through the hallway to wake up the rest of the gang.

And now I have found more of my ingredients in these sunshiny walls and massive windows that let the world in. I have found it at both of my Grandmothers feet where they weave stories from memories. It's in a football game with the many faces of the Sharps. It's in my grandparents kitchen where Grandpa holds my face in his hands. And it's even in the echo of voices in a Catholic church.

Home is trickling through creeks and and in the quiet woods, where the branches whisper secrets of my youth and my one love.

Home definitely rests and is woven through circles of song and pots of wild rice. Guitars and voices so familiar they are like a warm blanket for the soul. Gatherings of a community held together by some force indescribable.

I have not made something fantastic and adventuresome of myself. My stage is not grand and the tickets to my show aren't sold out. But ever so slowly my life has become something beautiful and satisfying. I wouldn't have chosen this a decade ago but you couldn't make me go back and change it for anything. I am home.

Saturday means nothing

Alex is getting ready for work, the kids are doing schoolwork, and I have a full day of cooking, cleaning, and preparing for school ahead of me. Ah, the good 'ol days when Saturday meant staying up late on a Friday night and dozing in bed till 10am. *Bliss!* Anyway, enough with the self pity.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Just another moment

Driving home from dropping the babysitter off, the kids were sweetly warbling the ever lovely "You are my Sunshine." This is Shiloh's rendition of the first line of the verse....

"The other night dear, I was sleeping and I loved you in my armpits."

I dont think Alex and I have ever managed to laugh so hard, so silently.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Second Guessing

Today has been a difficult day. I can't seem to get anything of any real value done. I am already behind with the children's schoolwork, and we are only into week two. here begins another round of, "am I doing the right thing? Would they be happier/learn better/more well-rounded if I just sent them to school?"

The cat peed on the couch. I made an appointment to get her fixed. Selah was awake at 5 am. The dishes aren't done. Shiloh couldn't find her Tuesday underwear. Levi took an hour to do two pages of math. I really need to mop my floor. It was a long day before noon.

But then I see Hannah laying on the couch with Selah reading to her. And Selah leaning over to plant a kiss on her big sisters cheek before settling back down beside her to listen.

I see Shiloh exclaiming, "Look Mom!!!" at just about everything. I see Levi choosing to play with shapes rather than the game boy.

Maybe, I haven't caused any irreparable damage. Maybe the cat peeing on the couch just threw me off a bit.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Marriott family Harvest festival

It is indeed a fine day when you can load up your fridge and pantry with beautiful
earthy things grown with the care of your own hands or of hands belonging to people you know.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Saturday snack with the girls

So today I learned that chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick may sound, look, and taste like a good idea at first, but after about 6 bites becomes more burden than delicacy.....

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The night off

  • Baked brie with apricot jam
  • white cranberry coolers
  • comfy couch folded out
  • Pirates of the Caribbean three
  • kids in bed
  • Mr and Mrs Marriott at home at the same time
Me thinks we have the makings of a beautiful evening captain!