As I’m prone to do, I spent most of the month of July at the lake. This year, all I did was sit.
I sat on the old vinyl couch on the porch and delighted in a Chilton County peach, entertained by diligent redheaded woodpeckers and Biscuit as she barked and barked and barked at whatever critter she had cornered up underneath the house.
I sat on the swing--but did not swing--and talked on the phone to Starla and Angie and Jordan and Aunt Jo. Cell service goes in and out when the swing goes back and forth and the clock on the phone changes from Slow Time to Fast Time (Central to Eastern) and back again.
I sat at the kitchen table with the laptop and recorded one notebook of Mama King’s treasured minutia--every single day of 1961, 1962, 1963, and 1964.
I sat beside My Favorite Son, oftentimes with his head (or his feet) in my lap, and read his summer reading out loud to him. (I know, I know, but it was Cold Sassy Tree, for Heaven’s sake, not Lord of the Frickin’ Flies. Besides, the seconds are TICK-KING!)
I sat on the back of the jet ski for long, late afternoon rides with that same Favorite Son. (He drives calmly when I’m on the back, not like an idiot as he does when Brett’s on the back.)
I sat on my huge sectional sofa piled high with Conners and Youngbloods for an inside cookout on a dark and soggy Fourth of July.
I sat another time on that sofa and watched The Andy Griffith Show and quoted every word uttered by Ernest T. Bass in “Mountain Wedding.” And, bless my soul, my babies can quote every word, too. (“I’m a little mean, but I make up for it by being REAL healthy!”)
I sat on the Ramsey’s porch and ate the pig that Henry cooked and drank a bottled Coke and llaauugghheedd.
I sat outside on a lawn chair on the night of July 6th and swatted mosquitoes and hummed “Stars and Stripes Forever,” once it stopped raining long enough for the Annual Lake Friends Firework Extravaganza and Near-Death Experience.
I sat in the lake and pulled those ugly water weeds near the lake’s edge that have consumed our beach. It is a losing battle, but I’m not surrendering. (Remember the Alamo!)
I sat at the game table and lost Every Stinkin’ Time to my daughters at Rummikub.
I sat in my brand-new Cracker Barrel rocker and listened to the rain and caught up in my book journal and confessed to my prayer journal.
I sat cross-legged on the floor and listened to my almost-2-year-old friend Wiley as his vocabulary exploded. (“Op’n dat door!” “Abby’s house!” “Hi, Bliblup!” “’weet Bunny, Emmy!” “’mere, Bi’cuit!”)
I sat in and gripped the edges of the passenger seat when The New Driver and I went to Dothan or Eufaula to run errands.
I sat backwards in the front of David’s boat as he cheerfully tubed his 3 long-legged, ponytailed, squealing daughters, and then I saw his demeanor change when the 2 young men climbed on the tube for their turn.
“May I have your permission?” he asked me.
I said, “Have a good time.”
The orthopedic surgeon had glee in his eyes as he unleashed his pent up testosterone on my sunburned son and his black buddy.
“You were never in any mortal danger,” he told them afterwards.
I sat in a folding chair at a folding table covered with a plastic red-and-white-checked tablecloth at the Byrd family reunion and cherished Isom and Lovey’s descendants and tasted the love that they brought to the potluck.
I sat again on the old vinyl sofa on the porch and made Angie laugh (that’s easy) and touched her to make sure she was really there and smiled because she was.
I sat at the picnic table and tapped my toes to some priceless picking of “Pow’r in the Blood,” while surrounded by Beloveds who helped us celebrate Chuck’s 50 years, and pondered the blessing of loving them.
I sat on my king-sized bed and snuggled all 3 of my teenagers at bedtime and shared the same old stories about when they were little. They still let me stroke their hair and kiss the tops of their heads.
I sat in the bathtub and sipped my sweet tea and took my own sweet time.
I sat on the worn-out dock and marveled at the sunset, thankful to have Biscuit to protect me from the geese.
Occasionally, I stood up. But only to move to a different seat.