Yesterday was so brilliantly sunny I could absolutely NOT make myself go lay down so I wouldn't be drop-dead tired at work. Instead, I went to Mom's house. Lee bought a new roto-tiller and was just trying it out. He got a bargain for $800 and it even moves its blade in reverse. I'd stopped at the country store at the end of her road, bought both of us Nestle's Crunch Icecream Bars, some chips, Cream Soda, 50 cent The Forest Press, and my fishing license. If I'd known Lee was there, I'd have brought him something, but she'd said she was alone. But she meant there was no company of "outsiders" visiting. We stood at the edge of the tiny garden bed watching it expand as new sod was chewed away and yanked into the soil as though it had never existed. Our icecream started dripping half-way through eating it, but we scarcely acknowledged it with our eyes, too intrigued by the tilling. Some chocolate chunks fall to the ground from both of us and Mom laughs. It's too noisy to talk but I know we feel like sloppy kids. Look, the 2nd time over, how fine and black the soil. During pauses they talk about how far over the garden should go. It was decided to take it as far each way as possible. Still, we watch. Mom told me about the snorting buck she'd heard while she was fiddling in the garden the other day. Surprised to look up and see a big buck probably 15 feet away, snorting angrily. Off guard, she thought frantically what to do, then realized she was looking him in the eyes which might piss him off. She immediately shifted her gaze to the ground...then wondered how far she was from safety. As soon as she stole a glance up toward the house, the buck shot away back into the woods. It seems as if I should say she was terrified. But she wasn't. She was afraid, but this is no new thing for her. Such a familiar situation. She could tell you what to do if confronted with a bear or deer or whatever. Depends on the season, if there's a mama with cubs, what sort of mood it seems to be conveying, what options you have in your location. Some people might see her as another senior citizen, but I can tell you... she's got lots of surprises and experiences stocked up inside her. I still think she is a fascinating person. I love her company. She still surprises me lots of times as I learn more about her. It's amazing the things that can be "tilled up" by mere conversation. I mean if some things weren't asked, I might never have been privy to numerous colorful stories...things that make me see her in a new light. That's the way it is with the tiller too. Every so often Lee stops, stoops, picks up some god-knows-what-object from the freshly tilled soil and heaves it off to the side where a pile grows. Lotsa times it's just a big rock, but other times we strain to see. Odd ball items unexpectedly unearthed. We wonder what all treasures would be dredged up if he just kept plowing the whole place! I feel enveloped in my mother's company...like the sunshine warming me all over and I don't want to move. Anyways! Time went on, and I just could not stop being entranced by the rototiller. It's like when I watch someone brushing someone else's hair, you know? I get hypnotized. A nephew and niece shyly inch closer to me...laugh then run away repeatedly. Little Lee has stitches in his knee from falling at school. He shows me. Hugs me. And I was afraid he'd be too big for that now. But he hugs hungrily, affectionately in the hot, hot sun...hair like his Dad's, ashey and curly-topped, hot to the touch. Both of our heads toward the tiller, Mom talks about all the things she will plant. Every year she plants, weeds, harvests, and cans. And everyone benefits. We worry about her doing too much. I look at her profile listening to her plans and hope sincerely that she gets to carry out every bit of it. I want her to be there. The blades sink into the soil lustily 2nd time over. Footsteps on freshly tilled dirt sink deeply...I wonder what it feels like to walk on that in your bare feet. Look how deep. I watch as if it were my job to watch. Can't stop...until Lee stops. We retreat to the house and I say I should leave...make dinner...SLEEP. But he offers me a beer and I know he wants me to stay and talk. Me-n-Mom-n-Lee sit in the front room with the patio door open. Shoot the breeze lazily. Scold kids. back into the yard away from the road. Sip beer, eat chips, glance through my Forest Press. Admire the newly crocheted afghans she made and is making. Look at the wonderful elephant sprayer she ordered from a mail catalog. I thought it would be some hokey thing from K-mart, but it's a very realistic, gorgeous, detailed, ceramic elephant on its back with a hole out it's trunk for water to fountain up through. I want it. She'll put it in her garden. My brother is as I've seen him a million times before. Sweaty, dirty, but content from hard work. Smile on his face. The old saying "When I works, I works hard. And when I sits, I sits hard." He rocks back in the chair with a beer in his hand. Asks if I like the beer. It's a different brand than his preferred Straubs. He refuses to buy out-dated Straubs. I say it's good. Then he tells me the alcohol content is higher than usual...that he's never had more than 3 without falling asleep. I think, OH NO! I have to go to work! I made myself go home after that beer...I was far from drunk but had a very enjoyable, perfectly content little slef-contained high going on. And I didn't want to lose it. It was like utopia. ha Beautiful day. Good company. Gorgeous drive. Fishing license in hand, finally. What could be better! It should be noted that no sleep occurred that evening.