Death by Dinner Party


It all started with the rain—

–When we had planned to party on the lawn. 

My partner Sara had been planting and pruning, purposefully piddling in the garden for months.  I had joined in on weekends away from blogging, before participating in full-time party prep last Thursday.

I had cleaned our huge home from almost-top to almost-bottom, omitting only attic and basement from my frenzied scrubbing.

Sara had been reading recipes and planning menus, everything from growing herbs to grocery shopping.

We were exhausted but nearly ready, when we woke up Sunday morning to rain—lots of rain—rivers of rain.  We prepared to launch the ark but decided we’d be better off praying for it to stop and proactively setting up inside instead.  (I exaggerate here only a little.)

Sara continued to cook, while I went into frantic but festive over-drive—rearranging and setting up the indoor option—keeping the outdoor one in place, just in case God decided a ceasefire was in order and our pummeling from heaven should come to a quick and less-wet, happy ending.

Once I’d gotten the inside done, the heavens parted, the rain stopped, and we were whiplashed into outdoor mode once more.

To make a long story more mercifully short, the party proved amazing; the blog has been ignored—our outside party on the lawn a huge success.

But I woke up this morning post-less and sick as my Maltese when Mommy’s gone.  (And I don’t even drink.)

So the blog and all my blogging buddies have been sacrificed to party success and ensuing partied-sickness.

But I promise to get back on track tomorrow—a real mental illness post in my bloodied blogger’s fist or housing piece complete and ready for prime time.

In the meantime—please forgive my break from blogging.

Death by dinner party is more than it’s cracked up to be, and I don’t even have the pictures to prove it.

See you in a less-partied, more stomach-settled day or so . . .

 

With the Edges of her Eyes


Today I’d like to share a poem I wrote about my maternal grandmother, who died in 1980, when I was only a senior in high school.

My grandmother was probably my favorite person on the planet.  I adored her and thought, as a teenager, that I could deal with just about any challenge, as long as it didn’t involve losing her.

Nana and I, two years before her death

My grandmother, born in 1903, was beautiful as a young girl:

However, when I was myself an adolescent, Nana fell and broke her hip.  She  was subsequently unable to reach her own feet, so when I visited her, my favorite place to stay in the summers, I often washed them for her–something I allude to in the poem that follows.

nana

(in memory of Martha Gilbert Kunkle)

we are oblique and
at odd angles:
     me at the feet
     i once washed
     on a regular basis
 
in the dream:
     she is getting older
                melting or
                shrinking
 
looking at me
only with the edges
     of her eyes.
 

Though often in my dreams my grandmother is still alive, I’m grateful in the mornings  to know Nana, in all the ways that matter,  has never really left–blessing enough–in my own now aging  eyes.

on leaving Haiti: an elegy


on leaving Haiti:  an elegy

this is a country we come to
          only in grieving
 
            only in leaving
 
            cheek of child
                left open
               to the rain
 
           Port-au-Prince
           a city of edges
 
all middle America thinking
     all forms of ceremony
        and white cheese
                 gone
 
        with the dying
               lilacs