When Much Becomes More

When I was little, I knew this guy who called me Morely instead of Leslie. It’s a good name for this time of my life. Really, my life has gone way beyond more though. It’s sailed past much and blasted through more and now it’s off the scale of fullness. We’re way the heck over the 100th percentile for sure now. I’ve never in my life had problems sleeping. I’ve always been able to will myself to sleep whenever I chose. But here I am, joining the ranks of the unsleeping. I don’t have trouble falling asleep. It’s just that I wake up multiple times nightly with my heart racing and then lay there wide awake for hours, thinking about it all. Sometimes I actually get up because it’s pointless to lay there. Once I’m up, I realize how much I enjoy the quiet house in those dark hours. Maybe it’s the introvert in me finding my place in this world. Because let me tell you, there ain’t much quiet time in my awake hours these days. But there sure is a lot of big and much and tears and fun and crazy.

Today was the last day of school. Tonight is graduation. Even though I don’t have a child graduating, I’m going. And I’ll cry. And I’ll reflect on the year and all that life has brought me.

It sure has been more. Just last week alone was more than any one mom can process on her own. Poor moms. That’s why we take pictures. Enjoy now. Process later.

That’s why they call me Morely.

Asterisk Time Again

* I really don’t like it when people say you should live like you’re dying. I get it and everything, but I’d rather live like I’m living.

* Stepped on a slug the other night. Barefoot. Uh huh. Was just going in the back yard with Togo to enjoy the beautiful spring night sky right before bed. It was late and I didn’t have the lights on. Let me tell you, I will never forget the feeling of my foot beginning to come down on that thing before I realized what was happening and a low, guttural, moan began to emit from somewhere deep down, which gradually got higher and higher until I was yelling. YELLING. In the back yard at 11:00 pm on a week night. With my neighbors’ bedroom window less than 20 feet away. I couldn’t help it. I had no choice. For those of you who have never had this opportunity (as far as I know, my brother-in-law and I are now part of an elite club), I will tell you that it is not pleasant. Those suckers are like tar. Impossible to clean off the bottom of your foot. And I did try while continuing to yell, gag, dance and throw my head around in the circles the entire time that I had my foot at head level in the kitchen sink while scrubbing with hot water and dish soap.

* I love to say the word “delete” as though it’s a Spanish word. Deh-leh-tay. Try it. It’s amazing. The d and the t both have a soft sound in Spanish, where you keep your tongue between your teeth and the difference between them is minimal in this word. You almost can’t hear the difference and yet you can. I like to do it over and over, analyzing the amazingness of it all. It’s like the difference is only one millimeter between where one places one’s tongue between one’s teeth. I can’t believe one millimeter makes enough difference to change a sound. Deh-leh-tay. Wow.

*ONLY ONE WEEK LEFT OF SCHOOL FOR THE KIDS!!!!!!!! For those of you who have continued to follow my exciting life (which I admit, is not easy to follow here, since I can’t seem to keep up with it much at all anymore), you know that I am so darn-slabbit sick of driving on dad-blasted freeways that I am liable to start saying much worse words than these if I have to continue doing it without a break.

* Oh, but at the same time, I can’t tell you how happy I am that these girls that I love so much are at this little school that we love so much. How they have grown. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed anything this far in my experience of being a parent as much as I enjoyed seeing my daughters and their friends in the production of “Pirates of Penzance” a few weeks ago. Well, that and watching my daughter who has always hated reading absolutely come alive while reading things like Augustine’s “City of God” and somebody-else’s-I-have-no-idea-who-really’s “Beowulf.” The almost-last school event of this year was last night with the spring choir concert and the only thing left is graduation next week for the five wonderful seniors that I am really going to miss seeing around next year. In fact, I’m quite emotional about it all.

* I really don’t do very well talking theology and all, but that doesn’t mean that the thoughts aren’t up there, swirling around, all the time, all the time. I’m very grateful for our church and my dear husband who talks with me about all my swirly thoughts whenever, wherever.

* Life’s pretty good. I’m enjoying living it.

Ode to a Peach Tree

In the third month of the tenth year of this century, our peach tree should have looked like this:

peach tree blossoms

And in the seventh month, it should have looked like this:


But instead, it now looks like this for eternity:


A good place for spiders to stretch their silky webs, but not good for much else. I don’t know how it happened either. In all the six years since we’ve lived in this house, I’ve gotten more than I ever asked for in peaches. Amazing, amazing amounts of peaches from this little tiny backyard peach tree. In fact, it produced so many peaches that I’m afraid I wasn’t thankful for them at all sometimes. As they ripened each year, weighing the branches down so that Togo could jump high enough to bite them down, my yard became littered with ripe peaches that only grew riper after falling to the ground. We would clean them off the grass in order to mow the lawn each week but oh, the stink! Oh, the goo! Oh, the headache! In fact, I have a pair of tennis shoes solely devoted to cleaning up peach crap. They’re permanently stained and stinky. I would try to pick them off the tree before Togo could reach them, but then I had a different dilemma of finding time and recipes to use them all before they turned themselves into some sort of fermented, demented, heavily-scented home brew. It seemed I could never win.

And now, I’m left with this:


A backyard full of beautiful, leafy trees and bushes with one bare one in their midst. Apparently it didn’t hear spring’s song this year and will now forever slumber in eternal winter.

I knew something was wrong with it last year when we only got apricot-sized peaches. I wondered at the time if a late frost had ruined the fruit. But I now know it was something far worse than a late frost. And strangely enough, I feel guilty. I feel like I wasn’t a very good mother to this tree. I didn’t care for it like I should have. I even hated it at times.

I guess we have to cut it down. And I don’t know why this makes me unspeakably sad. It might have something to do with something I wrote about three years ago. I’m not quite sure I was done growing with this tree. But it’s done and I must go on.

So long, Peachy. Thanks for teaching me how to make jam and pies and cobblers. Thanks for being so much work that I usually needed to invite a couple friends over to spend the day helping me make these things each year. Thanks for the beautiful flowers in the spring and the refreshing shade in the sweltering heat of summer. Thanks for the branches low enough for kids to climb on and set pillows in and read books in and swing and hang upside-down from. I’m really, really sad that you’re dead. I wish I could have told you I loved you.

Lady in Spain

More from the talent show. Callie and her friend, Bethany, singing Ingrid Michaelson’s “Lady in Spain”

I think I might be getting this technicalness down.

The Call

The video is here! My daughters, from last month’s talent show at their school, with my husband accompanying on guitar. My only slight disappointment was that Grace’s mic was up quite a bit louder than Callie and Sadie’s, so you can’t hear them so much when the three of them are singing at the same time. But they all sang beautifully. I just love them so much. And I have to say that I believe myself to be somewhat of a technical genius since I figured out how to cut out their little part of the show from two hours worth of video. Ahem. All by myself. Since nobody’s probably as proud of me as I am of myself, I figure there’s no better place to be proud than right here, right now. My geniusity only goes so far, however, because I certainly didn’t get very good quality video on You Tube. Something was lost in the translation and I don’t know where to find it. But the audio’s good enough for all grandmas everywhere to enjoy, I think.