Eight days into our personal Internet outage, I’m thinking of Lady Baby’s words this holiday. When her mom asked Sweet Baby to be patient a minute, food’s coming, Lady Baby added: “My mommy says sometimes patience are rewarded.”
So they are, it is – we have the Internet back. It went down in a brief power outage during the big storm that welcomed Lady Baby and her parents to our part of the world. We came through a darkened Winslow after a rough ferry crossing and drove home, negotiating around branches littering the highway. On the bluff, wind from the north carrying a cold front tossed the trees with a roar.
So this holiday will always be remembered as the one with clear days in the thirties and no Internet, but plenty of book reading and little people playing went on. The wired generation went for runs, played at Fort Worden’s beach and bunkers, and was patient about the inability to access needed files and offices.
Lady Baby listens to long books now – she’s reading “Little House On The Prairie” with her parents. We dug out “Babar and Father Christmas” and “The Reluctant Dragon.” She’s all about imaginative play – “you be this guy and I’ll be that guy (Poppa Jim is best at this game, endlessly inventive).
And Sweet Baby is a dynamo, a tiny explorer. She can climb stairs, crawl lickety-split everywhere, and pull herself up on any available support – hands or furniture. Exhausted, she sleeps sweetly for naps and walks. She and her cousin had great fun.
Our young friends came from Seattle on an early ferry for our tenth Thanksgiving together, and spent the night, camping out in the Buffalo with the Alaskans. Their little girls, five and nine, make stair steps above the two cousins.
The moments I most remember came during the thankfuls. The young mothers expressed gratitude for small details – the beauty of rust on the bunker doors at Fort Worden, moments of focus while preparing vegetables for our meal, and for optimism – for being glad to feel hopeful, (not for any particular reason in troubled times) but gratitude for a mind that tends toward hope.
And Lady Baby, so eager to participate this year, blurted out before her turn, “I’m grateful for my parents,” I’m grateful for my pets.” But when her turn came, said with great kindness, “I’m grateful for Frances.” (I was undone.)
Frances suffers with so many people around. Before dinner she’d acted out her role from “Friends for Frances,” hissing and spitting, causing people to back away. She doesn’t endear herself to visitors. But Lady Baby appreciated her in such a heartfelt way.
And our five-year old friend sitting at the candlelit table with delicious food prepared by everyone (whose sister drew cheers and toasts for being thankful for books) said simply “I’m grateful for here, for now.”