Amanda and Clayton left with their kids before church this morning, driving back to St. Louis. After they left, did I go to church, did I?
And this afternoon, there were two classes at the gym which I had kinda sorta planned on attending following church services, but did I?
And then, after the classes I had thought of showering (at the gym) and walking from the gym (downtown) to Ragtag (about four blocks away) to see a film with Ewan Macgregor(sp?) and Pierce Brosnan, it looked good, suspenseful, but did I?
And visiting with the kids, they are nearly grown and out of the house after all, and talking with them over a good meal, sitting at the dining room table, relaxing with food and conversation, bringing the weekend to a casual close, did we?
No, instead, the day went as follows: Dylan slept in late. Amanda and Clayton and their kids were here and Spencer slept down in the family room and Ella slept in the guest bedroom with her parents and this morning Amanda made pancakes while I made two pots of coffee and we all woke at nearly the same time. We ate pancakes at the dining room table and Spencer pouted just a bit while Ella did cartwheels in the living room and Dylan wandered down somewhere in the midst of this for orange juice, then he wandered upstairs again. Then we visited and I built a fire with the last of the wood in the fireplace which we enjoyed before they packed up and left. Aren't leavings always so anticlimatic? But before they left I saw my goose (now geese) friends and they were (the pair of them) so lovely, she nibbling and pecking in the grass while he stood guard, occaisionally he would extend his "leg" behind him and bring up his wing in a graceful ronde de jambe en l'air. Otherwise, he looked quite regal and well dressed. Which reminds me of a story told me by my sister Rose.
Rose and John live on a small bit of land (ten acres) in northwestern Missouri and she has her degree (with honors) in animal husbandry, so she keeps a large garden and has kept numerous animals and we talk farm talk from time to time, or as often as we have the chance. Now for years Rosie has kept chickens, a wide variety, and she likes her chickens, she may, in fact, love her chickens and I only say this because of a story she told of butchering chickens. Currently she keeps hens that lay eggs, and she sells the eggs, but at one time she and John butchered them, for consumption. Initially, because her hens did not know her they would run away from her, and John, when they went to the yard to kill one. "It was somewhat exiting. Like hunting if you will. They always put up a big fight."..But as the years went by and the chicks began to hatch and be raised in her yard they, the chickens, came to know Rosie and John and whenever they went to the yard with a feed bucket the chickens would gather around. They were quite tame. Then, the day came for butchering. John and Rose went to the yard, they knew the hen they wanted. John picked it up. The hen did not fight, but appeared relaxed, trusting, possibly thinking in her hen's heart that she would get food, not that she would be food. According to Rosie's recollection, "She calmly looked up at us as we killed her." And that was the last hen which she and John ever butchered. "We just couldn't do it after that." He said, looking away.
It is quiet now. Dark outside. Water drips from the eaves. There are beds which need to be remade, all the sheets have been washed, along with pillow cases and blankets. And the boys are quiet in their rooms. What do they think when they sit alone in their rooms at night? When they talk to or text friends? What are their hopes, aspirations, fears and dreams? I ask, but so often, they just don't tell.