A tub for Mama

It’s better than chocolate.

And Ben & Jerry’s.

But it can enhanced with a book or three.

Sid surprised me with a combined Mother’s Day – Birthday gift.  Our master bathroom was plumbed for a bathtub 8 years ago, but we never had one installed.  Oh, the luxury of not sharing one bathtub with 5 other people — positively decadent.

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When Sid suggested taking the tub in through the bathroom window —  our second story bathroom window —I suggested yard-bathing was the latest thing.  He reasoned our local bear and deer population couldn’t handle the latest thing.

I have my suspicions about that argument.

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Pausing in midair to text.   Because he is still running a business.  My admiration wars with my anxiety about this ability to multi-task.

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Here we are whistling while we work.  Yes, we are our Daddy’s sons — carrying a cast iron bathtub in through a second-story window is a perfectly normal thing for us to do.

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Putting weight on the tub to make sure the tractor doesn’t tip forward.  Really now, I am glad the man is cautious, but that was one worry that had NOT occurred to me.  *shudder*

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The critical point at which I try to focus on the mechanics of picture-taking and not about someone losing their balance while holding a cast iron tub on a hot day on a slanted roof.  And I wonder, did our contractor build our porch roof strong enough to withstand a cast iron tub and 3 men?

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My ears strain to hear the cracking of wood.  Sidney says there is a dip in the roof under the tub.

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Brilliant!  The man may scare me, but he is brilliant.

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He is also a cast-iron-lifting, roof-balancing contortionist — the things you don’t know about a person when you marry him.

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And he is good at teetering on rickety, wooden pallets while lifting a cast iron tub on a roof.

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A brief rest and a moment of brotherly communion . . .humor me while I imagine their dialogue . . .

“So, bro . . .is marriage really this much work?”

“I don’t know, man.  Maybe it’s just that our Dad is a little crazy on his love of hard labor.”

“Yeah, right, I mean surely there are easier ways.  Don’t women like flowers?”

“Might want to throw in some chocolate with the flowers to cover all our bases.”

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A perfect fit through our window.

 

Mama turned 80

Mama is the feisty one on the left.  Prairie, 70 years younger, is squeezed into the chair beside her Maw-Maw.

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Rachel honked her clarinet.  Lincoln plucked and bowed his cello.

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Prairie played her violin, Sidney strummed his ukelele, and I watched my mama eat ice cream.

I discovered that this woman, whom I’ve known for almost 45 years, eats her ice cream with a butter knife.  How did I miss this little idiosyncrasy all these years?  Mama and I have eaten a lot of ice cream together.  I must have been totally absorbed in my own ice cream and not looking at her.

I tell you, just when you think you know somebody and know yourself — it breaks upon you that she eats ice cream oddly and that you were too self-absorbed  with your own to even notice.

Daughter

She’s not a little girl any more.

Yet, Rachel will always be my daughter.  Even if her foot has been bigger than mine for over a year now.  Even if she gets taller than me.  Even when her hair begins to gray and her first wrinkles appear.

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Aunt Jane and Maw-Maw Rachel came for our birthday celebration.

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Sidney helped Rachel with her new watch.

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Then Prairie helped her with her watch.

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She requested something “flamingo-y.”

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Sidney got a hug for those socks.

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One of the best gifts . . . a camera discarded on a shelf, its first purpose fulfilled, finds a new purpose in the hands our girl.

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The birthday girl gifted us with clarinet music.

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Lincoln accompanied her on guitar.

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Maw-Maw Rachel loved it when Prairie and Lincoln sang hymns.

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Happy Birthday, my sweet Rachel, my daughter.

A night full and golden

My girl came home late,

long blonde hair snarled with sticks and leaves.

Brown smudges around her lips

clue to the hot chocolate she drank

in the cold dark,

waiting with her Daddy

for the travelers to Bethlehem,

so he could prophesy while she

pretended to be a log by their campfire.

No one saw her, and she was content

with invisibility.

Because she was with Him.

And that was enough.

I take the brush in hand,  fulfilling my role

and restore the tangled skeins.