I live a charmed life. Maybe not a perfect one, but charmed comes closest to mind when discussing the ever evolving wondrous happenings that seem to find me day by day. Let me explain-
Several years back, my Marine and I took a trip, an important trip- to save Mrs. Jones. She was standing out in an open field, weedy and wasting away and longing, I felt -when I first laid eyes on her, to be a central part of life again. God knows in her day, she had many visitors. When I came upon her 9 years ago- the only visitors she had had as of late were sparrows and the occasional burrowing mammal, oh and possibly some reptilian company but ooooohhhh, I didn't want to think about that! (Since I knew the Marine would have to crawl inside and ummm, shake Mrs. Jones loose from her flimsy foundation.) (The Marine of course, wasn't having any of this, but the mother in me manipulated and guiled the poor boy, so naturally he obeyed just to shut me up. Or out of respect- yeah, that's how I remember it now...)
I'll cut to the chase or the long haul, whichever keeps you on the edge of your seat- we bound Mrs. Jones to a borrowed old wreck of a trailer, secured her securely and proceeded to drive the 90 miles home. We gave Mrs. Jones a place of honor on the farm next to the clothesline, surrounding her with hollyhocks and horseradish. Through the years, she was again- a central part of life. We loved her. Many pictures were snapped under her red tin eaves, many a smile spread across the face of many a visitor who proceeded to recollect their own outhouse stories from "back in the day." The years passed and the owner of the farm became weary in the upkeep and the low downs of running said farm alone. Even Mrs. Jones' nostalgic charm could not bring about the peace once found so abundantly fresh every day to the weary farmer. (That'd be me...) So- the farmer decided to sell the home place and with the farm would go Mrs. Jones. But- most of the interested parties considering the purchase of the parcel did not seem to take notice of the ancient beauty standing proud midst the horseradish. Some did not even know what she was- a privvy, an outhouse, Mrs. Jones for gosh sakes! I'd proclaim the historical value of her architectural structure while touting her bygone days of total necessity for relief and reading and stinky solitude. I began to realize with the farm sale, Mrs. Jones might become firewood or worse- an eyesore to be excavated. But then- a wondrous thing happened. Yes, now finally- I'm getting to the good part!
Last Wednesday-I found myself in the good company of a lady who works and creates beauty at the Farm near Salisbury, Illinois. I laid all my purchases down on the counter- a candle, dried grasses, cinnamon sticks and most certainly some Bittersweet Vine. The lady turned out to be Cheryl Pippin. And I liked her right away. A kindred spirit naturally...wondrously. Out of the blue a lightening bolt struck in the form of an idea- perhaps Cheryl would adopt Mrs. Jones! She did. Of course.
The lady's got an eye for the poetry of life, for the day making details, for delightful things. And now I know why we meshed- we are the proud mothers of USMC men, Andrew and Beau. We will always be proud and grateful for our boys, even though we no longer get to lay our hands upon their shoulders, or touch their cheeks ever so lightly, to take in their presence with our eyes, to hear their voices with our ears- we still feel the absolute joy and endless love, we still remember and tell the stories of their lives.
We only just discovered last evening- the similarities of our lives, now intertwined- that went beyond mutual glee of old and useful things. We found each other through a chance meeting, over an outhouse. Mr.and Mrs. Pippen and I do not question that collaboration- but the Marines, being ever true and all...might just have two mighty fine soldiers "over there" who sure have a wicked sense of humor- bringing us together by the means of Mrs. Jones.
...I learned from stones I stepped upon,
death does not a life erase.
Some memories never multiply,