Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Waiting room

I wrote this last summer and I don't feel like it's finished, but I'll put it here for variety. It's sort of a vulnerable thing to toss certain things I write into blogdom, but let's be done with insecurity and fear, shall we?

The asphalt radiates heat like my crusty toaster oven. It shimmers in waves, suspended over the crumbly surface and making my feet cringe. My flip flops won't melt. At least I hope not. They are black and they have seen the heat of many a Southern summer. Maybe I should start running in order to reach the door more quickly. After all, I run when it's pouring rain. Wet precipitation from the sky as opposed to nearly invisible heat rising upward in torrents and downward from the punishing sun. Either one will make you wet. Some people carry umbrellas for both. Maybe I'll start carrying a parasol like they did in olden times. Just big enough to shelter the delicate skin from unwanted rays, and just lacy enough to be a decorative indulgence.

The door is heavy, the handle slightly greasy and the metal worn in the spot where thousands of hands have grasped. Inside I am greeted by a wave of coolness. It is not an altogether refreshing coolness because it is a waiting room. The waiting greets me just as the cold does. One is merely a skin feeling, the other reaches another level inside me.

First, the ritual. Pen to paper. Who am I? What am I waiting for? Can the pen really answer for me? Do I really know the answer? I shift from one foot to another. That piece of my hair has come undone. I put it back in it's place. Maybe it belongs somewhere else. I feel the eyes of others who are already waiting. I am a new face, a diversion from the droning uselessness of the television in the corner. Maybe they wonder why I've come. Not for long. Their eyes are drawn upward to the ceiling tiles or downward to the worn carpet.

I pick the perfect chair. Not next to anyone, not near the door. Middle ground. Once you sit down the waiting grips you. It holds you captive, and you can only cross your legs and keep both eyes busy as the hand creeps around the clock. I am aware that the chair is plastic. It is not really comfortable, merely functional, lined up next to the others. The mauve hue matches one of the flecks in the carpet. I wonder who designs these rooms. The one who designed this one liked Monet. I would pretend I was in an art gallery if not for the waiting and the shabbiness of the frames.

I instantly take inventory of the people in the room as I shift in my seat. The shifting is important. Maybe I feel like I am progressing, going somewhere. The man across from me hasn't shifted lately I don't think. He has a small black earring in his left ear and a scraggly mustache that does not make much of a statement because it is so small. Or maybe his face is big. He is a big person and his eyes are fastened to the rerun in the corner. This could be his favorite show and he feels very fortunate that the television is set to this channel. His beady eyes move to the couple checking in. This big man is not here for himself. He is here for someone else. But he is waiting.

A white-haired man comes in the door. He is wearing white shorts, suspenders, a t-shirt and a white hat. He has tattoos on his arms and I think he is a Navy veteran. His nose is large, but his features are pleasant, though tired. He has seen many things, but now he too is waiting. He wants to talk to someone. He has stories to tell but maybe no one will care. His tattoos will be his only statement and they are green and faded. He sits stiffly in the mauve chair. Perhaps he'd rather be sitting in his lawn chair sipping a soda, but he is here in the waiting room just below the noisy tv.

The nurse calls out a name. If you see whose name has been called you can see a change in their face. First it is recognition. It is MY name being called. I am Taylor. I am Hempstead. I am Winter. Something clicks. The waiting is almost over. Legs come unstuck from the plastic chair with a sucking sound. They straighten their shorts, and head toward the hallway where the nurse is standing. No one looks back. At least not that I've seen. If they do it is to see if they've left their umbrella. You never know, it might rain today.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

They say pictures are worth a thousand words, but I really like words, so I think I disagree with that statement. Words are powerful. I wanted to say a little about my children and what they're up to lately. As you can see in the pictures, Mac(10 months old) is pulling up and getting ready to walk. He loves electrical outlets and the fireplace so now he is learning what "no" means. He is a speedy crawler and loves following his sister around and seeing what she will do. If he wakes up from his nap before she does he crawls to her door and makes little frustrated noises because the door is shut. When we go in to wake her up he gets so excited and tries to dive out of my arms to attack her (which she is usually too grumpy to appreciate.) She makes him laugh more than anyone, and she talks to him just like she talks to us. I love love love watching their little relationship develop. They are already friends. Another thing I love that Mac does is get a toy and carry it around in his mouth, like a puppy. You can see how cute it is in the cookie picture.

Ruthie is such a little girl. She will only wear dresses, and has major issues when I try to convince her that a skirt and shirt is really just like a dress. She doesn't buy it. She talks all day long, and the conversations we have are priceless. She has a very lively imagination, and has fun cooking imaginary food, and talking on the phone with her imaginary friend. She still loves reading and amazes me with her attention span and ability to remember what we read about. Ruth loves our new house and one of her favorite things is playing in the backyard when Jay comes home from work. She also likes running in circles around the island in the kitchen. She runs and says, "I'm running in circles, I'm running in circles...etc." I found her a one-piece, bright green jammie with feet, and she calls it her "green bean" and is so proud because she can put it on all by herself. I'll have to get a picture of her in it.

We're settled in our house now, and I am loving it. It is very bright and snug. Some of my favorite features are: the big closets, the indoor laundry room, the dishwasher, and the garage. We have a toad that lives around the front door and eats bugs for us. We named him Hoppy Toad. I took his picture today as he was feasting on LoveBugs. He's very expressive as you will see. One very sad loss from the move is our cat, Wally. He ran away a couple weeks ago, and I'm hoping he found a new family that will take care of him. He was the sweetest cat I've ever known and we've had him since shortly after Jay and I were married.

Finally, I will put some pictures up of the baby shower we had this morning for my sis-in-law Kelli. She is having a little girl in October so we got together to shower her with what babies need the most besides love and milk...diapers. It was a really fun time with some strong coffee and some strong cake, both of which have kept me from napping and allowed me to sit wide-eyed at the computer, getting some things done. Congrats Kelli! oh and Greg too.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Saturday, September 08, 2007


This past week I drove up to Birmingham, AL to see two of my roommates from college. It was my longest trip yet with two kids and let's just say I learned alot. (Like how many things you can do while driving, how long my 9 month old son will sleep on long journeys i.e. not long; and how long my 9 month old will cry while on long journeys i.e. a long time.) I was so glad to see Faith and Karenina, and Faith's little boy, Duncan. We remembered the fun times and tried to catch up on current times. Faith lives in California, so this was my only chance to see her for a while. Karenina lives in Birmingham, so I hope to be able to go up without kids and be able to catch up better. It is hard to do so with two kids in tow. Plus, Ruthie came down with some sort of "fever virus" and was miserable for several days. One happy thought, these girls will be sharing eternity with me. I know this for certain, and I think it will be time enough to sit and talk and laugh and share our hearts. But, I'll keep trying here too.