Building a New Life on Wheels

New Life

Yesterday, sniffing steam from our Chefmate electric kettle, I burned the tip of my nose. I was trying to determine if I could smell the plastic interior cooking. It did. Time for a new way to heat water for coffee. Two nights ago, I scratched my chin getting out of bed, a small chunk of skin extracted. Today I look a bit like Rudolph the red nosed reindeer with an acne-picking scab. This was my first observation after getting dressed and doing my hair. Fortunately the rest of the day didn’t match my two minutes of external assessment before a reflecting glass.

Matthew spent the early afternoon pacing from bedroom to kitchen, narrating an epic tale. By the rise and fall of syllables dramatically rendered, I could tell the story had him enthralled, but I have no idea of its contents. Devyn hid on the lower bunk, creating in a sea of Legos while listening to Moonlight on the Magic Flute. I sat in a stretch of sunlight, basking in air conditioning, and appreciating the glow, but not the feeling, of a 101 degree day.

Three times Matthew decided to go outside to wait for our anticipated company. With each exit I opened my window in order to keep an ear on him. He always came back in five seconds later, immediately resuming his pacing prose.

Just as I settled into writing out the rhythm of a typical Baker afternoon, there was a knock at the door. Seeing as our expected company didn’t know our exact whereabouts and would therefore be calling first, we were caught unawares.

A quick look out the window revealed Isaac’s smile. Isaac, Josh, and Ronda had blessed us with a surprise visit. Good timing, as I was bordering on grumpy but working mightily to be pleasant. I asked Matthew to open the door, but he was so surprised that someone was actually, finally, on the other side of it, he lost his bearings and hopped up and down instead.

Too soon, we were at the campgrounds park. Earlier in the day I had considered suggesting to Devyn and Matthew that we go to the playground, but hot is hot and I ain’t so good with it. I wilt. Turns out 101 degrees feels better with good company.

At one point, four boys occupied one seesaw. Devyn walked back and forth while the other three, their legs crossed and off the ground, determined to assist in balancing the thing in the air through tricky leans. Isaac experimented with the effectiveness of picking up and releasing handfuls of tiny rocks but let go the idea when letting go of the rocks made zero difference in the balance.

Ronda and I carried our conversation back inside behind bouncing boys, appreciating how our kids play when we get together. Isaac and  Matthew rough house and laugh like crazy. Devyn and Josh huddle in concentration over a pile of Legos. Today was no exception and a good time was enjoyed by all.

The whole sweet visit lasted around two hours of pleasant, mostly indoors.

We haven’t yet heard from the friends we made plans with. I expect Saturday is slipping away form them as tasks put off all week are finally being tended, taking longer to complete than anticipated, and we’ll see them this evening or tomorrow instead.

Our spontaneously appearing guests left an hour ago. The boys and I are back to being relatively quiet together. Lego-structure-creating has been replaced by nest-building, and pacing has turned into rapt concentration on a Superman comic book. I’m back to my perch by the window. But there’s a qualitative difference between now and when we were alone together earlier. Now we’re content, settled, basking in the glow of loving fellowship.


I didn’t publish this entry when I expected to. Got sidetracked by a campground hayride. Matthew’s first reaction was hesitance. Once aboard and moving, he asked for permission to stand. A few minutes later he announced a desire to go on a second ride. Devyn made friends with his hay-seat neighbor. After the ride, Devyn and Matthew made friends with Ryan, grandson of our lot neighbors. While Ryan’s grandma and I chatted, the three boys played with Legos and chased and caught fireflies. Home.

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