Yesterday I had another amazing "shopping with Jesus" session. This one was completely unexpected; Rob and I had ridden our bikes in the early morning to buy eggs and avocados and to say no to free cheese danishes at Sam's Club, and we discovered on the way home that our across the block neighbors were hosting an estate sale. These folks are yard sale pros—it's a hobby for them, a year-round-stockpiling sort of thing. I usually check in with them during their monthly sales for the sake of 'hood solidarity and end up buying much of nothing. Vague antiques, heavy on the rustic? Nah, already got some. Budweiser cans recycled into a crocheted hat? Pretty stylin', but sorry, I'll pass. Once in a while a piece of crummy costume jewelry, but that's typically where I draw the line.
But yesterday. We scored: a full set of Czech "Bohemian" fine china from looks like the 60s (we've been hunting for lovely and affordable dishes for ages); a full set of small and smaller cut glass goblets (I've broken every glass in the house but three); an ancient Polaroid Land Camera in mint condition (been hunting a good one for years); a cool vintage makeup mirror (have been wishing for a nice stand-up mirror for the bathroom); a beautiful white linen tablecloth with calla lily damask design (I swoon over pretty linens), plus another vintage tablecloth—cotton with fun blue embroidery, plus plus MORE linen that Rob will wantonly beat into fiber for papermaking; a whopping two sacks of vintage mohair yarn in a fabulous better-than-Muppets shade of red (I am in sore need of some knitting therapy); and . . . now I've forgotten if there was something else . . . oh, yes, a present Rob bought for Gary of the tiaras which I won't reveal since he hasn't received it yet and may be lurking about. Do you want to know how much this all cost? Let's just say all the vintage linens were a mere buck, and so was all the mohair. And let's just also say that the person who never has money in her wallet (that would be Geo) had enough on hand to pay for all of these delightful surprises. After a few days of some heavy emotional cloud cover, a little cheerful sun managed to peek through; I had to laugh to myself, look heavenward, and ask, "You're just trying to cheer me up, aren't you?"
Onto Sunday. Mother's Day is nowhere near my favorite day of the year, and there are too many other women who struggle with it for one reason or another (and another and another) for me to believe I need to list out my issues; they already leap across universal synapses and flow into the great cosmic wince. They're lonesome salmon swimming upstream right alongside your own fishies of inadequacy. But today wasn't so bad. Much better than I'd anticipated, actually. Mercifully, the church pianist accompanying the Primary as they sang their annual four-minute production of "Mother, I Love You" did so with one uneasy finger, and her (ahem) inventive rhythm interrupted the flow of the children's chi decidely enough to distract me from any tears under consideration, and to drive the hotheaded woman in the pew next to me into a rocking rage, which further distracted (and perversely delighted) me. So I survived the performance. The second sacrament meeting talk (we'll skip the first one) was on Family Home Evening. Relief. And a good talk. I had visiting family to look at during church; that was nice, also easy on the eyes. The menfolk sang a song to all the women in the congregation, and Rob, by way of percussion, sneezed near the end. I loved that. Then, instead of going straight home as I'd half-planned, I stayed but was a Sunday School truant and spent the hour in the hallway, talking with my two favorite young hipsters and their mom and Rob. *sigh* But when the third hour rolled around, I was even gladder I'd stuck it out. My Mum-in-law who, like me, works with the teenage girls in our congregation, taught a great, exciting lesson to them on journalling. Becca and 8-year-old E. (who was dressed rather like Alice in Wonderland) spent the hour with us instead of their rightful age groups, and didn't I love that? And then . . . the Mother's Day love offerings were given out to all the women. So, wha'dja git? Carnations? Oh, brute, bite your tongue! And while you're at it, go ahead and swallow your tongue, because this year we got treated right: nothing to keep alive, nothing to read, no faux gold medals, just plates of chocolate-dipped strawberries, toothpick-skewered fruits, and rich eclairs. Brownie points? Yes, indeed.
Then the afternoon turned into cutting and arranging M-day flowers, time and tasty food with extended family (which I found easier to manage today, a step or two out from the dark center of grieving), visiting an elderly friend, home with Rob, talking quietly, crocheting, reading out loud, planning the week, and now blogging.
My father-in-law called me Miss Beautiful this evening, and told me I looked like a movie star. I've been feeling a lot like The Creature from the Black Lagoon all week, but I don't think that was quite the kind of reference he was aiming for. It's charming and funny the power a dad or a dad-in-law can wield with just such cheesy, sweet little compliments.
Sabbath's over now. I did get a rest of sorts. Ready for another Monday? We'll see!