These are the days that are forged from shared memories and as such create more warm memories. I chafed at being the mother, “Get UP Lex! The water filter guy has already come and gone and I’m headed to the dump. I’ll be back in an hour.” She professed to getting up as I high-tailed it to the dump, fully loaded. In truth it has been almost three weeks but the wine bottles to be recycled were an embarrassing amount.
“I’m helping out a friend, we had a huge neighborhood party.” I quipped at the gray-haired grandmother counting out her measly three bottles of non-alcoholic beverage bottles. I took Alice, the perennially stinky Shar Pei just because she loves the dump. We always get funny looks when she hangs her head out the window and complains I’m taking too long.
Lex was moving when I got back so we set off as the sun was melting the flurries that had accumulated on the decks. We drove to Jaffrey, happily discussing current events in our lives. I picked up the posters for the Book Fair this Sunday. They looked great until I spotted a typo. Four sets of eyes and we misspelled Linda Kepner’s name. I am horrified.
Onward to Road’s End Farm. Lex and Hanni spent some of the best years of their childhood at this summer camp at the end of the road. Nelson, our beloved, Christmas pony died peacefully there this past September. We wanted to go home. This has become a tradition, every time the girls come home we trek to Chesterfield to see Nelson and the farm. The owners are an indelible part of the fabric. It just feels like you are going somewhere you never grow old, nor do the people or the horses.
Our visit on this frigid November day was short but so full of laughs and warmth. The kitchen was as it has been forever, Tom was his usual blustery charming self, so full of life and wisdom. Skip sat quietly eating his lunch. The same metal lunch pail his wife has packed every day for how many years? Margaret, (who is so wonderful the powers that be saw fit to make her a twin,) now runs the day-to-day camp administration, freeing Tom and his soul mate Alicia, to step back to just running the farm.
And with sixty head of horses, that is huge. I love watching them in the winter feedlots. This guy was so enjoying scratching his butt on the conveniently placed brush.
We headed back to deliver more posters and made it to Dublin when Lex’s phone chirped. It was a friend from New Orleans who was dog sitting. Lex’s dog, Macaroni was dead. He was just three years old, they had been partners for almost two years. It appears he went outside and just lay down; a heart attack. Sitting next to her in the truck as this news was delivered, and hearing only one side of the conversation, seemed an eternity. I pulled off the road; she keened and wept. I was helpless. I was a mother, I should have been able to kiss it and make it better. But I couldn’t. There is no answer to “Why?”
We managed to end the day with creative pursuits. Last year I blogged about the wreaths we made and decorated. It’s that time of year again. Wilson has supplied us with excellent green, bushy spheres. Lex brought her creative flair, and we had a soul-cleansing night of art.