Thursday, February 11, 2016

Farewell, Asilenthistorian

I find my last post to A Silenthistorian bittersweet and somewhat overdue. Started as a photography blog, then morphing into a narrative through photos and words combined, A Silent Historian reflected my life season at the Grey Submarine. It was a beautiful season, but one I have left behind. And with it, I find I must leave my blog from that time behind too. So then, farewell, Asilenthistorian. There are many bright and beautiful scenes within your pages which I have treasured and always will.

 If you care to follow the adventures and thoughts of married life, you're welcome to at

by the by, this picture isn't one I took. the sunlight simply called out to me when I saw it. 
so i took it for my blog, and it's always shed a warmth to my heart. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

On A Cloudy Winter's Eve

As Bella Rose sits here in my lap rummaging through the little drawer in my desk that never ends, I think over the last month. John Barrett flew me home early, meaning by the time we left back for Texas I'd been at the Grey Submarine almost a month. It was a heavenly month, in many ways. My roots still give me a warm and sunny happiness that reminds me who I am - where I came from. I didn't know what that meant as much until I moved away. Now I understand better, and the unexplainable things about how I operate fall into place when I remember home and they make sense. Like the reason I feel more at home in mismatched socks, can eat eggs, bacon and coffee with cream for days and days in a row, have the strong impulse to dance around when there's a good beat laid down, won't watch any movies for months, then will suddenly get on a kick and watch 3 in a night and will celebrate at the drop of a hat (you were recognized by your boss at good work? you lost a tooth? you finished the first Louis L'amour, are happy about fall coming, or the fact that you have on a pair of warm fuzzy socks or have a birthday in the next two months sometime??? Great. Let's CELEBRATE! <— All caps, because when you celebrate in the spanish way, it's All In Caps.)
But being at the homestead reminds me too, that my roots are growing where my husband is, and home is where He is. When I'm back at the homestead,  the space of garden I occupied was taken up when I married, and in its place is new growth, new foliage and little roots are coming up. My sisters are growing up, traditions are budding, personalities blooming and lives are shaping in ways I never could foresee.

:: please note the Classic Davis Sisters pose - in honor of our dear Grandmama who is a Davis :: 

It was one of our bedside pow-wows in the dim light from the one lamp we kept in our room. Since it was a cool evening and we'd been walking outside, there could be seen around the small room bright eyes and pinked cheeks. It was a conversation for earnest looks and solemn oaths. 
"Let's not ever be like that," one of them was saying about a family whose sisters could only bicker and backbite and mistrust the others. 
"No. We know we'll change and life will be different, but let's stay close."
"And if we have any grievances let's say'm out loud."

We were little girls it seems like then, though I suppose we were half grown. We haven't communicated perfectly, but that spirit of striving for close, open relationships still burns within us. We had a few heart to hearts. A few glimpses into the struggles and hopes and happinesses and causes of tears. And it smarted in the refreshing way the heart has to to heal up right.
Grandmama says to us, "Love each other. And take the time to see where the other one is coming from…" And Mama says, "Life's too short for misunderstandings and grudges. Get right, make up and be sweet. Stay close." I guess she's mostly responsible for instilling these long held pow-wows. Something inside prompted - and still does - to hold dear the dear things. And choose to make them priority.
With the losses of loved ones we've witnessed in other families this winter and the hearts that may be wishing for another chance to tell others they love them or that they're sorry, I myself want - more than ever - to cherish my family and friends.
They are precious beyond measure and I want to think of ways to show them that. You do too, I'm sure, so let's.

On a more blithe note, here are photos from our Christmas. Our big, yummy, close-companied, loud, late-nighted, tradition-holding Christmas.

one of my only goals when I was little - besides hoping to fool the horses into thinking I really WAS one of them, was to be as gooshily charming as Abby. Her eyes still blow me away - and that BABY.

This had to be done quickly to retain order ^^ It was worth it. 

^ That would be washing dishes outside. Because of course, the Septic Tank had Issues, and the Committee had to - once again - assemble to conserve water. This was official Committee Status, complete with Going Without The Camp to use the bathroom at some points during the week. 

Asher is my favorite. He lives life with joyous abandon, and there's something simply irresistible in that. 

Mama and Tía like to keep it a secret they lock away in the Trunk of the Seven Seals, but every once in a while it breaks out and reveals that they are spirited dancers. What can we say? Can't keep that Spanish out. 

Grandmama never knows how much she adds to a home, to a conversation or to the many lives she's come in contact with. But her wisdom, her kindness, her consistency in writing letters and cards, her chipper voice and merry heart do good like a medicine wherever she goes. I always feel "well" when I spend time with her. I love her to death and am so grateful she is in my life and was a part of our Christmas again this year.  

This is one of my favorite times. Eating with family… makes the food taste twice as good. Maybe that's why Mama has always insisted meal time be eaten all together. In any case, I'm glad she has insisted on that, because besides enriching the taste, it enriches my soul. And I think that's a real thing. 

Before this game was over there was "weeping and gnashing of teeth" as Abe says. There was hollering, and teaming up and shouts of "What would Mamaw Voisy Say?!" 

There aren't words to describe the thankfulness of having these ladies in my life. They spread joy, good food, traditions, celebration, passion, patience, love, hugs and kisses, inspiration and wisdom like it was warm butter on fresh baked banana bread. 

This picture - but more this woman makes a lump swell up in my throat. Mama will tell you, "I'm glad they got enough of their daddy in'em to be pretty". But Mama is one of the most beautiful people I know. Inside and Out. (And if you'll look at our pictures, you'll actually see that we look a LOT like Mama). Well, because I know you'll read this Mama, you should know I love your gorgeous eyes, your fun loving heart and the way you make each of us kids feel like we are your Specialist Baby. You let us know we are Worth It to you, and are our most supportive Fan and Cheerleader.  
Thank you. Thank you for being the person I want to be like and for being the Wise Woman who Builds Her House. I hope my home will be like the one you made for us. 

Tia's Birthday falls on Christmas Eve. Each year we perform a program of acting and singing, usually playing off events during the year.  And every time we wait until 2 hours before the fancy meal to start working up something. There are always laughs and wild ideas and impersonations of our familial characters and somehow its pulled off every time.

Judy Carol Productions' Cast! And also the servers for Judy Carol's Birthday Restaurant. Jeremy FINALLY got to come home for Christmas and he was the Chef in Chief who served us deLICIOUS food, and kept the kitchen a tight ship. They were just about to serve The Grown Ups in the next room. The atmospheres between the two rooms is night and day. In the kitchen is confusion, loud toasting and people hushing the loud ones, reminding them that the Grown Ups Are in the Next Room, trying to eat a peaceful supper. As soon as the servers pass the threshold of the school room, they assume a dignified, refined obliging manner, taking trays to and orders from The Grown Ups and walking softly about the table and through the room. 

Asher Waits at the kitchen table in perturbed patience for The Judy Carol Program, while wearing the hat that was thrown to him during rehearsals. He wears his bonnet backwards with complete ease. 

The Grown Ups in the Restaurant with servers Luke, (Lukinasia), Gabe (Gabonovich) and Carson (Carsinnoman)

The Toast which rang through the halls, shook the halls and lifted many a glass of juice+ginger ale was, "To Ancient Times and Distant Music!" And though we adopted the toast from a board game, it seemed one that would have been borne from our own bosom.  

Granddaddy was from Spain, and almost all the rest of his family still lives there. After Chris took a wild journey and met them several years back, we've kept in contact with The Cousins In Spain. Baka  made our cards for the Cousins In Spain this year because she's the Card-Makin-Queen. Really - Craft-Doing-Whatever-Queen. 

The Hair Cut that Grandmama gets from Rachel every so often. This time Rachel gave lessons on how to cut hair to the group she found gathered around her and now we've all got the Hair Cutting Itch. 

We were all playing frisbee during one of the *only* mornings the sun broke through the cement clouds that poured rain the rest of the week. Our games was full of the sounds of shouts and names, thudding steps and mushy toes in wet grass, when - blended into these sounds - came the distinct holler of boyish fun. Looking from the field we saw Asher running headlong into the neighbors puddle, jumping and grinning in the hearty way a boy was meant to enjoy himself after a long rain. 

^ One of my very best pals repp'n the Red Raiders of Lubbock. In fact, Lubbock has been a little more endeared to me as a cozy place since knowing Rachel lived here and roller bladed through its streets.

Gathered to wave everyone off. It's tradition, and Asher's fitting choice for the whole week - during any moment that seemed momentous (devotion, present-opening time, waving goodbye) was "We Wish You A Merry Christmas". 

Happy New Year, Everyone! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Learning How to Love

(Thankin' Kindly the Mr. Watson for the pics of Bella and me. We're unleashing the natural photographer in him yet.)

It must be a mystery to her, as must many things in her tiny life be. It seems taught, but, other times soft and limp. Then, moving out of the stream, there is nothing at all. Her face glistens with pearl like drops, her lashes dark and wet and mouth half open, I see plain as day, she's mesmerized.  Her hand outstretched upward, fingers slowly turning and intwining with watery threads. Deep blue eyes gaze quietly up at the spout and do not see the tears of her mama. Watching her, I'm thinking of how soon these precious few moments will be only a memory. In imagining her at 2 years old, or 10 or 16, I almost see her as a different person. Sure, I know I'll grow in love for her each day, as I have done, but a Mother's Love, I'm finding is as mysterious as it is beautiful; for as I'm reveling in the ways she's grown and developed, there is a certain grief in knowing that time slips away quickly and she will never be the same as she is today. Each day brings change, and while I'm curious as to what she will be, my heart clings to what she is now. There are so many beautiful moments of witnessing her experiencing the world around her. The golden warmth of sunshine, the shower, the ability to hold things, and now the way she's beginning to sit up a little on her own. I wonder how this much joy is possible? The truth is, there is room for elements of sadness in even the most beautiful and joyful times. That's not a bad thing, I don't think. For me, those two things - sweet and sad - seem to mark some of the most endearing and important marks of my life…graduation, Anne going to college (I cried lots), times around the table of the Grey Submarine, holding hands with all the family as we pray, then the eating,  story telling and laughter…walking down the dirt path from the little white church as I hold onto the arm of daddy, who was saying with tears in his eyes and on his cheeks, "It's been one of my chiefest joys to have raised you and had you in our family, darlin…" Then, leaving his arm to take that of my soon to be husband, there, under the trees and bright sky that July day last year…and our baby. Meeting her, living life with her, and learning her. Learning that when grey haired ladies with canes and deep lines in their faces stop me in the store to gaze wistfully at her and tell me, "It is wonderful…wonderful…treasure this time," that they are missing their babies, and that their empty hearts and arms were as full at one time as mine are now.

 She loves her daddy. Looooves him. She gets the giddiest grin when he comes around, and that lovey look in her eyes. It makes me giddy too.

 I married the jackpot. Sorry, girls. I mean, He washes her diapers, rubs my feet
 and brings me hot tea in bed. 
 Nuff said. 
Directly after this photo she was scooped up and smothered with kisses.  
 This girl is a Water Baby. All things water is her game. And showers konk her out. 
 Besides the fact of her sitting here in his lap, absorbed in his reading these adorable editions of the classics, (thanks to Jesse Latimer) my next favorite thing is her night cap. 

Darling baby, all I can do is love you now as much as I know how. 
Reckon I'm still finding out how much that is. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

My November Raves and Faves

What? Don't be silly - I adore October, always have, always will and I've told you that before. Probably in part, because of all the wonderful sweet things it hasn't brought yet - such as Thanksgiving and turkeys and Christmas and so much family in little rooms that your heart - like the room - seems likely to bust out the ceiling. (Bust out isn't correct, but it's ever so much more effective.)

… And the thing about October is that it never will  contain all the swell gaieties of November and December's festive events. It holds only the anticipation and hope of them. You see, it's a dear old month, October, and I guess I haven't figured out all the reasons I love it so much - have you? If so, tell me some of them.  But anyhow, since October is safely out of earshot, I'll tell you that November is a sweet thing too - a perfect darling, full of crisp days and preparations to travel, thoughts of what to pack, how to pack concisely and - PRESENTS! It's a secret, maybe and a delicious weakness of mine to give presents…it's one of my absolute favorite things. But I was saying that November really has been a jolly thing, and has already presented some things that made my heart swell. Shall I tell you a few? Well, then.

My sister for 10 days - a gift from God. I'm seeing how precious time is. And that to give someone the gift of time is a sacrifice and investment incredibly valuable.  We are opposite in so many ways, AG and I,  physically and mentally, and it's been a growing experience to spend time together as adults to see in which ways we differ and how we're alike and instead of wishing for what the other has (which I have been guilty of ever since I was little), encouraging each other in the various strengths we find. She is a peace maker, an encourager and a motivator. Only when AG comes do JB and I find ourselves - almost magically - eating fried egg over spinach and cheese and nuts for breakfast. Or sautéed kale, peanut butter and hot sauce. Yes - I'm not making it up. And the amazingly odd thing is - it's good!
 She helped me get my house and mind and eating in order, made lots of Good Girl Moonshine and got me up early to see the sunrise on a chilly morning. I'm thankful for the pal I've had through all my life, and for the blessing my sister is to me and all she meets.

Waaaaay Back when, I started calling AG "Pamela", because at the time it was an inside joke referring to one of those laughable Hallmark movies that your mother would have stashed in a closet, called "Pamela's Prayer". I'd call her that, she'd laugh and say "nooooo!" and I'd laugh and laugh. (Mean, I know). But over the years it's grown to be a term of affection, and AG is "Pam Lov"  to me, more often than not. (not love, but Lov, like Russians. And I don't know how that happened. It just did. ) So when attempting to decide on an aunt name for her, I couldn't quite reconcile to "Anty Anne". But Aunt Pam slipped out as easy as cream. And so there you have it. Bella Rose has AG for her Aunt Pam.

** Another note on AG is when we drove away from delivering her to the airport, JB said slowly,
"Does having AG here ever tend to….step on your toes? As far as how productive she is, how well she eats and how consistently she exercises?"
Then followed a 2 hour discussion on how to improve our own quality of life by getting following some principles and helping each other be accountable. (A good conversation. Maybe I'll post on that soon.)

Well, next on my November Happy  List would be my paintings…I simply adore these, nor can I express how much I do. Several minutes into a daze, I'll realize I've been sitting or standing there, gawking at them. And who is the artist? My talented, sweet amazing cousin, Rebekah Machiavello. She is 17(?) and a true artist. Brilliant. She made these for the baby's room…But I may steal them and keep them in my room where I can look at them all the time!

Whatever you do, don't think the photos do these justice. These paintings change with the light, and look different when far away and when close up you find things you hadn't seen before - and vice versa. Come to my house, and I assure you, you'll be entranced by these. 

One of Rebekah's Trademarks to her paintings is that, when you hold the back up to the light you can see a SECRET PAINTING! It's a novel idea by a brilliant artist. 

The first time I remember watching her brush her long glossy hair in the bathroom of the Grey Submarine I was mesmerized, and intimidated to death. But since that time, Rachel Guess has grown to be one of my dearest friends and I've spent weeks at her house where she and I would jog around the dreamy little town of Blue Mountain, drink coffee early in the morning and go to water aerobics where she teaches a beastly Aqua Fit class…We'd sit on a quilt in the sunshine and eat pizza she just whipped up, or stay up late watching "Foyle's War", listen to James Taylor cd's,  have long chats in the kitchen about life and marriage and art or science - Really whatever I wanted to talk about, she could delve into it. In my head (and in my journal) I'd be furiously scribbling notes on elegance, womanliness, determination and creativity from watching her. She is one of my closest examples and pals.

 She sent me a scrumptious card and this tea. Doesn't it make you happy too?

Dew On The Window. Doesn't that look like Fall? 

 Dawn faithfully writes me, and each letter is full of home goodness, her artless wit and her evolving handwriting. She inspires me to write letters - but also to loyalty. She's one of the most loyal souls around. And imaginative. Yes - word. She has more imagination than all of nine kids combined, I suspect. 

JB was in Boyscouts…AHH…And He was. Aaaaadorable. 

 And then there's this happy little trio, which still blows my mind. I'm married. MARRIED.

 And have a baby….A BABY. (Thanks, AG for the photos!)

This is our (dear sis I really love you, but we think we're late to the airport now) look. Still, it does me good to document little bits of life like this adorably cheesy shot. 
Oh, and my comfy tunic? That would be a gift from Pam Lov. 

Enjoy Your November!