Sunday, March 27, 2011


Maybe it's the coffee talking. Or my penchant to become excited about new things and ideas. Or both. Spending almost 2 years without a garden or even the freedom to work in the dirt (those darn fire ants!) seems to have lent fuel to frenzy of backyard homestead desires. (Flash back to 2 years spent in an apartment without the freedom to paint my walls--which exploded into an earnest frenzy of self expression through an ever changing palette of wall colors in our new home) Buying some chickens only added credibility to the thoughts of more sustainable, less consumerism living. I have been digging in the dirt and reclaiming wood for our backyard gardening endeavors. (Of course, the last time I tried to grow anything, it was a dismal failure. But this time I am armed with the ammunition of friends who "know everything there is to know" about such things) I have been knitting with a vengeance, taking the time of sitting at soccer practices to do something productive. "You can never have too many dishcloths" I assured my bemused husband. I've convinced Chris to drag out his mother's old sewing machine- I'm determined to learn how to use it this time, with visions of a litany of colorful sundresses for Chloe dancing off my machine. My latest (obsession) is the idea of soapmaking. It's not the actual process that has captured my fancy but the idea of a delicious array of scents and herb infused chunks of hand hewn, creamy goodness. I confess that I tend to jump into things with a definite view of what I imagine for the outcome and kinda skip over the details of exactly how to get there. (Mom, I still haven't grown out of that...) "I could make that" is now being parroted by the younger set of Cummings. Aidan was looking at soccer goals the other weekend, but was put off by the pricing and the thought of losing the contents of his wallet. Instead, after looking over the construction, he decided that we could just make one, and he should buy a nerf gun instead which was cheaper and much harder to duplicate.

See, there's something green growing. A brave little green pea, and a measure of hope.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Yesterday was my birthday. I peered into the mirror and noticed the little lines around my eyes are getting more pronounced, the commas by my mouth are deepening, and my hair is becoming sprinkled with silver. I've wondered if it would bother me, aging. But I can look at the skin that is sagging and stretched and remember the two lives that I carried under my heart. I can look at the lines on my face and see the joys and the sorrows they represent. My mouth crooks slightly to the left when I smile, and based on the imprint it has left-the smiles must be frequent. My body carries a million different memories, each showing that I have lived. I have lived. I have laughed and cried, and squinted in the sun. I have stretched and expanded with birth. My nose quirks from being broken in a game of softball, and my knees ache sometimes when the weather changes. I have scars from chicken pox and spots from the sun. But I have been living, and I am reminded that that is a privilege denied to many.

Ten years ago, I was 21 and 4 days out from having Aidan. I was newly married and my husband still had hair. I was pretty sure I knew what the world owed me and what part I had to play. Today, I have more questions than answers some days. In some ways, I would have imagined my life looking like this, and in some ways I never would have guessed. But here I am, and I'm thankful. I'm thankful for the journey; for the joys and the scars. For the outward evidence and the inward transformations.

In ten more years, what will my life look like? I confess, I don't have much of an idea, but I'm looking forward to finding out.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Some things make me inexplicably happy. Curvy sticks, for example. My neighbors were trimming their willow tree a few years ago and I snuck over and grabbed some of the loveliest curvy branches destined for the trash bin. They serve absolutely no use other than that they are curvy and that makes me happy. In fact, we drug them to Houston and back. As we were leaving Houston in the frustration of all the last minute packing I threw my sticks in the front yard for the trash man. Chloe found them and in tears because "mommy loves her curvy sticks" got her daddy to find a special place for them in the uhaul. My two kids have gradually added to my collection with bits and pieces of sticks they have found that look "curvy". I also love fence posts and barbed wire. I don't know why, but I do. It makes me happy.

I found a piece of curvy wire in an open field in Texas one year while traveling back from my brother's wedding. I was sure that it was going to be perfect for something. And I resisted when Chris wanted to throw it away the first time we moved. I caught his raised eyebrows the second time I loaded it up to drag it back across the country, but packed it anyways. It still sits in my garage waiting for the something that it is absolutely perfect for. I have driftwood in my kitchen washed ashore from hurricane Ike and in Aidan's room sits a large, heavy, weathered log I found outside. It's funny all the things I got rid of in the moves. But somehow my old pieces of wood made the cut every time. See what I mean, quirky? I also love rusted metal, but that is a story for another day....