Saturday, January 27, 2018

Ring of Fire

The boys and I decided to find a spot in the forests to do our reading, so we piled into the pickup and headed onto a nearby Forest Service road. We were listening to Johnny Cash (Madigan's vote) and Paugie (thinking out loud in his quiet voice) chirped: "Ring of fire... Ring of fire... Yep. [weighty pause] Mama, the ring of fire is definitely a volcano." Insanely profound. 

We had gone about 20 minutes on the mostly dry gravel road when we rounded a bend and suddenly found ourselves in 2 foot snow drifts (on the road). Even in 4-wheel drive, we were struggling to keep ourselves on the road. We got through the worst drifts but it became clear that the snow was not going to ease up and the unknown road ahead likely offered more snow magic than we bargained for. Cell phone service was... not. I eased the truck into a 25 point turn and finally got us headed back the way we had come. Madigan hopped out to help me put the chains on and was immediately thrown backwards into a large drift of snow by the 175 mile/hr wind gust. We gallantly strapped on the chains to spite the unnaturally frigid temperature and wind (something about the back side of the Peaks - wild, cold, wilder, colder). We eventually surfed our way back onto drier roads and sighed with relief. Kelton (who had been saying, "Mommy, you got 'dis" and "We can do it! Let's keep going", earlier in our travels into the Arctic) said, "Mommy, I was a widdo bit wowwied." Me too, buddy. 

Everyday, I am surprised by hilarity, and find myself overtaken with laughter at countless micro incidents because these people I live with just never stop being themselves. Even when life requires those hard (sometimes impossible) climbs, these daily encounters remind me that life is always moving forward and that in every season (literally and figuratively) there is delight to be found. 

Paugie spotted this vase in the thrift store, but I didn't have any money with me and they weren't accepting credit cards that day. He melted into tears as we exited,  so we looked through the doors of the truck and rummaged $2 for him to use to buy it. He came out of the store beaming, and said, "Mama, I just really wanted you to have this beautiful vase. I want it to remind you about how I feel." He, then, proceeded to "replace" the $2 with $2 from his own, hard earned money bank. Honestly... no words. 

Kelty was on the hunt this morning for his favorite shirt. I told him I didn't know where it was, so perhaps he should just settle for another shirt. A couple minutes later, I walked into the bathroom to find him with his favorite shirt wrapped up in a towel. He had pulled it out of the washing machine and was trying to dry it for today's wear. Too much! 

On our way to bed late last night, we roused Madigan from his sleep coma to go potty. He looked at me blankly and turned around to head out of the bathroom when I told him, "Go potty." He was on his feet, but still deeply entwined in slumber. I called his name, and he looked at me with indignation and growled, "I'm trying to get this thing to stay up!" I'm not sure what he was referring to, but the context made his statement unbearably hysterical. 

Lochlan had his first speech therapy this week and it went incredibly well! He loved it so much! We have him scheduled for an apraxia of speech evaluation with the speech and hearing center at NAU and we are hopeful that may give us some results as well. We are hopeful... crazy hopeful! He wants so badly to communicate and he gets more frustrated by the day in the prison of himself. We have a new communication device that we are starting to train him on. He is not exceptionally open to using it, but we shall persevere. 

We know not where the road ahead may lead, but I love this life we have been given. I welcome tomorrow on the threads of delight from today. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

A pig is not as bad as a bull in a china closet

Amidst the shattered lives of so many of the people I love and care about near and far, I feel overwhelming sadness and I find myself searching desperately for hope, for the love in life that I know exists, for the tiny treasured moments that make life rich and beautiful. As I weigh in my mind and heart what seems insurmountably heavy, I find the simple (potentially trivial) happenings around me to be profound (and delightful). 

A man and his dog.

A really cool human.

I look at the mountain that looms in our backyard and I marvel... every day. It's always changing. It's always there. It (always) takes my breath away. 

I've been observing the various responses to fatigue in our household:
Madigan: excessive energy, accompanied by loud (did I mention LOUD?!), nonsensical chatter profound statements of fact.
Paugie: tears. A. Lot. Of. Tears. About everything. And nothing.
Lochlan: Screaming. Grunting, Moaning, Laughing. In that order.
Kelton: The implementation of every bad idea he has/hasn't had.

Everyone needs a horse knocking on their door, with a knicker in greeting.

Great. White. Dog.

He is starting to use sign language - when cajoled and bribed. :-) We're insanely proud!

Gumpai and his shadow. 

True things I say in a day:
"Madigan, Kelton, please stop standing on the poop." (manure pile)
"Stop snorting... I can't hear."
"Please don't burp so loudly when I'm on the phone. It's hard to explain to the person I'm talking to."
"Pee in the cup... we don't have time to stop." Again. Since our last pee stop was 2 minutes ago. And 10 minutes before that. And...
"I'm going to go feed the horses. Please make sure nothing is demolished (or "remodeled") while I'm out."
"Okay, let's hoof it! We've got a mountain to conquer!" (usually no more than 4 miles, if truth be told, but every hike is "mountainous" at this stage of the game.
"If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie." 200 times a day. And don't forget to put the toilet seat down. And flush. Please.

I headed out the door for an early morning hike, leaving Daddy in charge, and Kelton sleepily grabbed my leg and said, "Mama, I'm feeling loving." And so, I never left. Just kidding. 

Madigan (with great authority, whilst conversing with Paugie): "A Pig is not as bad as a bull in a china closet." Obviously. 

I grab this human and hold him more tightly.