February 7, 2023

My dad seems to have a built in hard day pizza radar.  I like to think it’s the Holy Spirit prompting him even if he doesn’t know it, but every once in a while on our hardest and most tiring days my dad will call up and ask if we want to get a pizza for lunch.  

Not only does it give us something to look forward to, but I get a cooking break and the kids usually take a walk with Papaw while he’s here.  

I was up late last night for ladies night.  Even though the community and night out refilled my tank, I also have a baby that doesn’t sleep and I woke up pretty exhausted.  The girls were grumpy because two nights ago they spent the night with their grandparents and somehow it always takes a minute for them to not be exhausted from that.  They were crying right off the bat this morning and Hal was as clingy as all get out, and while nothing was that bad it was a moment of relief when my dad called and said those wonderful words: “Want to get a pizza?”

I took Ira to his violin lesson where I nearly nodded off but instead I just pretended that I was really moved by the music, and when we got home there were two fresh pepperoni pizzas awaiting us.

We ate (fancy, not Little Caesar’s) pizza along with the peanut m & m’s and sparkling water he brought and then I nursed Hal while my dad took the kids outside.  It’s so warm out today, in the 50’s.  We’re still hoping for one big snow, but boy it’s nice to walk outside without a coat.  

I got Hal to lay down, and pulled on my hiking boots just as Theo was coming back up with the dog.

“They’re still in the same spot cutting brush,” he said out of boredom.  The older they get the less tolerance they seem to have for Papaw’s walks.  I can relate having been drug along on many, many walks when I was a young girl.  

I got out the door and followed the path down the hill, hearing the girls every once in a while off in the distance.  Ira was coming up the hill, his walk tolerance having also expired.  

I stopped to discover the details, because on these late winter days in which everything is sort of bleakish and muddy the beauty is really in the details.  The big picture is just neutral, and while neutrals look nice on walls they are nothing compared to the vibrancy of midsummer.  

I looked at the fungi and the weeds that are still standing. I looked at the broken bathtub, one of two on our property.  I got to the bottom of the hill, at the start of the woods and found the girls, using some loppers to cut back multiflora roses that are poking out of the ground.

I’m a fairly tolerant parent when it comes to dangerous things, but for a moment the sight of the girls with sharp tools made me question my dad’s judgement.  But then I saw how seriously they were taking their job and I figured there wasn’t much harm an almost 6 year old could do with some old branch loppers.  

Kiki the cat was lagging behind the girls and rubbed circles around their legs every time they stopped.  She’s really one of the sweetest cats we’ve ever had.  

I talked to my dad and Sol for minute before trekking up the hill again hoping that Hal had not woken during my walk.  The hill is a muddy mess from the go kart tracks the boys have been making and the smell of old pig manure assaulted me as I reached the barn.

I got back inside, took my muddy boots off and sat down to write, thankful to find that Hal was still sleeping.  


  • Gordon Mahn

    Just want to let you know that I enjoy reading your and Brad’s blog posts. Between the two of you, I think I have about 25 years of fulfilling posts to keep me in good spirits while tending to my mom. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *