March Forth

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March Fourth. Get it?

Sorry, I couldn't help myself. I was tired, you see, walking home after a day that turned out very different from the one I had planned. Trudging through the snow, I remembered that one of the items on my to-do list was to write a blog post for Every Mindful.

The little excuse-maker gremlin in my head set right to work. Too late, it said. You should post in the morning or at the latest in the early afternoon. (Don't ask me where it got that rule; the gremlin speaks with such a tone of authority, you seldom think to argue.)

My day veered off course when I called my mother this morning, to ask if she felt like taking our daily walk, since it had begun to snow and was very cold.

"I've started a little project," she said.

Oh? What's that?

Turned out she was lifting the area rug from the living room, because she hates the way it looks there, and moving it into her office. It's a large rug, and in her office, it becomes no longer an area rug, but wall-to-wall carpeting.

My mother has not one, but two large desks in the little room, one of them oak and massive, the other one mahogany and merely large. She also has several bookcases, a bullet-proof filing cabinet, and lots and lots of books, baskets, boxes, stuff and stuff.

Let me go back to the oak desk. It's larger than the doorway. It's larger than the window. I don't know how she got it in there in the first place. My son says it was always there. It was an oak tree, and they carved it into a desk and built the house around it.

This was most certainly not a little project. All the small things had to come out (they filled the whole house!), and all of the big things had to be lifted while someone scroonched the carpet under.

I should mention, she was not alone. My great nephew was there, fourteen years old, and strong. But I love him, and my mother, and a little mercy seemed in order.

Before the day was out, two other men, my son and my nephew (great nephew's dad) were crowded into the office, figuring out logistics, lifting, grunting, making jokes about the "little project." There was also another nephew, three years old, who behaved very well. For a three-year-old.

We had fun. Really.

I felt pretty pleased about it, walking home in the snow, listening to the excuse-gremlin in my head.

Then it came to me that today was March Fourth, surely the bravest, the chirpiest sounding date on the calendar. It seemed to call for an acknowledgment, one which would fall flat if posted on March fifth.

So here I am, looking back on my day, on the way my family marched forth to get the job done, the way we enjoyed each other's company, and the challenge of a new, unexpected, and slightly ridiculous project.

Tomorrow perhaps I will march forth on that walk, snow or no snow.

Tonight I will figuratively march forth and post this entry. While it is still, just barely, March fourth.


Anonymous said...

I love your March Fourth/Forth theme. Isn't that what we all need to do in these terrible economic times? March forth. Maybe find some tea to toss in a harbor somewhere. I love your mom's determination. (Love your mom, period.) I can't tell you how many times I undertook my own "little projects," but that's how we women are wired. Kudos to Alex and his male counterparts for their help. Oh, and I love the image of an oak tree being carved into a desk around which a house is built. There's a story there!

Alas, I missed comment on March Fourth by a mere 3 minutes. Dang!

Mandy S said...

I love the oak tree idea, too! My uncle had some massive pieces of furniture in his first floor flat in Scotland that had been there, literally, since his flat was built at the turn of the century (20th not 21st!) In the old days over here, because the tenement blocks are built so tall, they used to take out the front windows and the frame too, if necessary, and winch heavy pieces in that way. Anyway, Kate, sorry, I'm digressing! How great the way your family all rallied round. A metaphor!

Nichole Osborn said...

I marched forth yesterday too. I have been putting off getting my hair cut. Yesterday Mom called. "Come over I have a picture I want you to see." I dove the 5 miles to Mom's small apartment. "Oh, the picture is not here. It's at Brenda's" (Brenda's is the place Mom gets her hair cut) I saw the pic and fell in love with it. It was a pic of a hair style. Needless to say my long middle of the back hair, is now just above my shoulders. March fourth is our anneversay. 14 years together. Surprised hubby and children with new hair.

Kathleen Popa said...

Nichole, happy anniversary! And congrats on the new haircut. Funny how it makes you feel like a new woman, isn't it?

Sharon, who would guess at the hidden radical in your soul? Sure, I'll toss tea into the harbor - just not my Celestial Seasonings Vanilla Strawberry Rose, okay? It's hard to find, and it's my favorite.

Mandy, I'd love to see your uncle's flat. My house is about the same age as his, and was clearly built before we had box springs. There is no way to get a modern bed up the staircase. One bedroom has a balcony that was added later, probably just to solve the problem. The only way to get a bed in is to tie a rope around it and hoist it over the balcony.

Kathy TwoPonies said...

Delicious. Especially the oak desk that grew in the heart of the house. Yum.

Kathleen Popa said...

Kathy, the oak tree thing reminds me, I think, of some children's book I loved, or some writer. Can you see Shel Silverstein writing about it?