He goes to my garden and picks a stalk of rhubarb, I tell him use the leaf for a hat and he laughs. I watch his face and his mouth as he takes a bite from the stringy stalk, his lips pucker and his face winces but he is grinning from ear to ear. He sits next to me in the sun on the steps and offers the stalk to me. I take a raw bite and feel the tart juice as it hits my palette. He laughs and takes it back and takes another bite. We sit on the step passing it back and forth until it is gone. Not even as sour as some of the super tart candies they are selling these days. It is quite tolerable. We pick another and share it with his girls. We talk about picking rhubarb when we were kids, about stealing daffodils from the woods, about the old man with a wooden leg. Our memories faded and twister with time but we try to grasp it together as we talk. He is a nostalgic one, always we remember being kids together. He is back from a turkey hunting trip in the town we moved to before we were teens. He tells me they have been quarrying the old unused quarry we used to walk at. Telling me the changes, remembering the prickers, and the old foundation in the hardwoods along the back side.
Later we laugh as we drink margaritas with our sister, grill burgers and fresh veggies and eat on the veranda in the back of the house. We make new memories, a long held acceptance of mouthiness and similar humor and our witty children and selves. There is a peacefulness as we make our grandfather’s pancakes for breakfast and taste the strong smokey flavor of his homemade slab bacon. He leaves my freezer with venison and more of his bacon. Later as I am napping, sleeping off the fuzzy headachey brain of too many blackberry MEGaritas, he calls me and laughs as he tells me he knew he would be waking me. I sleep drooling on my pillow. A small smile on my face.
I write a poem in my dreams about tempestuousness, diving for lost treasures, and being stranded on a rocky surf crashed island. When I wake I try to write it, and it sounds like the gold is made of dime store plastic, and the words are small compared to my mind’s imagining. In the sun, I read a book with a Christian theme, a book of gratitude. I am not a Christian but I find solace in the words. I highlight quote after quote. Lyrical words like skipping stones. I watch as they smack the water one two three four five six seven, infinite hits before the words finally crash into the still lake of my soul. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp serendipitous to the list I wrote just three days ago.
I add this one treasure to my list.