Here’s a little of what’s going on around here:
I have this one scrappy lilac bush in back that pops out about seven clumps of blossoms every spring and then spends the rest of the year feeling just a bit sorry for itself. It ain’t pretty, most of the time, but it sure is worth it for these two weeks in March, when I can bury my nose in those tiny purple blossoms and transport myself back in time. I’m usually about six, tangled in the stalky base of that lilac at the front corner of our house, surrounded by lush, leafy sweetness and the drone of bees and distant lawn mowers. Sometimes I’m older and in the kitchen, and Mum has just brought in an armful of lilac branches to put in a big vase, and the room is filled with that incomparable relief of spring.
We’re marching inevitably closer to our Sutter’s Fort day, now just a week away. I’ve been stitching up the bags for the students and writing this letter to Honey. They have a surprise mail call up at the fort, and all the parents are meant to submit letters to their children, written in a style appropriate to the time and their children’s characters. Honey’s character is Ellen Murphy (appropriately enough) and I managed to dig up a little bit about the party she traveled with across the frontier, so I was able to send her a letter from a pretend friend back in Missouri.
She probably won’t be able to read a third of the letter, due to my erratic calligraphy and some vocabulary that’s a touch past its expiration date. Although I should not, I’m just going to say now that it’s a pretty fine letter. My first go at fourth grade may have been a bit shaky, but this time I’m nailing it.
Honey, on the other hand… seriously. She’s a week away from portraying a young woman from the 1840s, and she goes and gets braces put on her teeth. Where’s the commitment to authenticity, people?! Sheesh. I told her she’s simply not allowed to smile that day. Or eat. Or talk, for that matter.
No, but really. She has braces now. In fact, she has so much paraphernalia in her mouth, I shudder to think of her next trip through the metal detectors. (Ok, so I just spent 10 minutes trying to spell paraphernalia. Somebody tell me what that ‘r’ is doing in there.) She’s in good spirits, though.
Of course there’s always a lot of this going on around the house. We were particularly fond of this arrangement. Hot Wheels is being his usual goofy self. Yesterday he played himself in a game of Go Fish – open hand. It was so funny to listen to that a couple of times I had to write down what he said. Here’s a little glimpse (now I realize it can be annoying to write the way kids pronounce words instead of the proper word, so I’m just throwing it out there that the whole game, Hot Wheels said “fiss” instead of “fish”):
“Do you have a 4?
Nope – go fish.
Do you have a queen?
Aauugh – you are the master of this game!!
No I’m not – you’re still winning!
Do you have a 6?
Do you have an 8?
Haw, man! You’re beating me up!”
That’s the way it went. Not sure yet whether this warrants creative writing class or therapy.
So there you have it – March Madness.