Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cold and Rainy Memorial Day

This is a sight I've never seen on Memorial Day in Salt Lake unless someone went to a party and left the water on outside. It's 53 degrees outside mid-day and I'm trying to keep the house warm because it's supposed to get really cold tonight. A week ago it was early Summer, now it's mid-Spring. This photo is the concrete floor of the gazebo mid day.

It was pouring when I made the dogs go out this morning and Marley never left the covered porch. I had to go out and sit on the bench under the pine trees and wait for Marley to pee. So Marley peed at my feet. Good enough. We came in and Marley disappeared for a minute. Then Cyrus got up and gave me a look like, "What have you done?" I looked over the side of the bed and there was a Marley turd right at the back of Cyrus's bed just where his bum would have been had he been asleep. Marley had tried to trick me into believing that Cyrus was the bad dog, not Marley. Marley got dumped outside along with her turd and left to wait it out while I cleaned Cyrus's bed. It's been one of those days.

Yesterday's Barbeque

I was invited to a barbeque across the street yesterday afternoon. I thought it would be nice to take a little nap before I went. Read for about ten minutes and then drifted off into a deep slumber. The phone rang. I reached around for it and couldn't find it. Then dashed across the room to pick it up off it's base and even with the dash for the phone, I was still asleep, dreaming the whole dash for the phone for all I knew. My friend T. who lives three houses up the street said "Peg, are you awake?" I answered, "Yesh, for all I know I'm ashleep." She said, "Are you going to come to the party?" "Sure, I'm planning on it." She said, "Hurry, it's almost 6:30, and there's still some food left, but it's going fast. And sound like you're drunk." "I feel like I'm drunk."

It took me ten minutes to wash my face, comb my hair, brush my teeth, and change into a new top (from the thrift store) and new shorts (from the thrift store). I let Cyrus and Mawley go out to pee, then headed across the street with Mawley close on my heels. There were about ten grown-ups sitting around yacking, and about eight kids from 18 to 2 in various stages from boredom to candy-high milling around the picnic table or in and out of the kids playhouse. T handed me a paper plate and gave me instructions about what to eat and what to avoid. In her estimation the ribs were better than the bratwurst, and the cole slaw was better than the potato salad. I put a little bit of everything on my plate and joined the kids at the picnic table.

I sat next to Courtney who is 18 and was the oldest child at the party. If Courtney weren't a Downs child I'd be calling her an adult, but she still retains some of the completely uncensored innocence of the child. Her little brother Boris who is Russian and was adopted when he was a baby and also has Downs syndrome, came running at me full tilt and hurled himself into my arms. He straddled my lap and snuggled his face into my neck and gave me a sloppy kiss on my face. He's four now, still not talking exactly, but still quite capable of expressing his needs and wants, likes and dislikes. Courtney said with a chortle, "Boris loves you, Peggy." Well that made it all worth while. The waking up, getting dressed, the facing of other people, the jocularity of half crocked adults, the Mormon grandmother we all adore and need to protect from the knowledge that most of us are either stoned or half drunk or both. That enthusiastic greeting from Boris made it all worth while. The meat was dry, the slaw was soggy, the potato salad was... eh. But the kids and the potato chips were divine.

Since I arrived at the party half an hour before it was scheduled to break up at 7:00, I felt my timing was perfect. There was just enough socializing and dry, over-cooked meat to make me feel half normal, and a part of my little community of neighbors. I'm older than all the neighbors with kids and younger than the great grandmother we were trying to protect from the knowledge that we were not the clean-living grown up children she needs to believe we are. Good party all around.

Mawley was chased by a two year old and a four year old round and round the picnic table till the kids fell down exhausted. Marwley wins again.