on being a person


Today I feel like a person.

We are in the Rock House with black newspaper ink on our hands unwrapping all the old glass and books I love.

I served lunch yesterday to my grandparents on the red rose luncheon plates I thought  I would never use. We had chicken salad sandwiches, and my Papaw loved me so much he couldn’t talk. His eyes turned red, and he pat hard at my knee. I love those plates. I can’t wait to use them again.

It’s all turning out.  Melody, my sweet girlfriend, is living with us for a while, and I can walk over to her and say things like, “Mel, look at the amazing glossary in this book.” Today she asked if she could make cookies and then went on to baking in my new old kitchen, which is the blue of an old, used apron – one meant to show off the waist. It’s the color on the wallpaper we found behind many layers in the bedroom. Melody is one of the college girls who meets with me once a week. She has dark Italian skin and a french mother. She’s had her nose in Ivanhoe for two days now. She looks like a picture you cut out and save in a scrapbook of what you want to be like when you grow up – and she isn’t all the way grown. I love her.

I spent a week in Alabama, and Alabama is home but not like the home Seth had waiting for me when I returned. My sons are the sixth generation to live in this house. It smells like musky basement, a catty attic, and painted sawdust, and I can breathe now for the first time in a while. My books make my nose run, and I am so happy to breathe them.

So many of these books I’ve never read, and they excite me, and I remember who recomended them. My collection is good and interesting, and to beat it all, I go to the bookstore this morning and buy another one before I even unpack the ones I already have. Madeleine L’Egle’s Walking on Water is the book people have repeatedly told me to read.

I read for three minutes today, and in the rarity and on page 2, L’Engle writes of  just being. I read it, my mind rolled in it,  and then I ate a chicken nugget. The minivan rocked a little in yesterday’s leftover wind. I’m so glad to be home, and I feel like I’m in a strange place in time.

God invented our personalities. I feel it today as I listen to the folk music I haven’t turned on in so long, as I stop a minite to sit down a read, and as I taste the gooey middle of a home-made cookie. Behind my Papaw’s eyes was awareness of blessing, his great-grandchildren smearing chocolate on the tablecloth. I watch Melody care for my little boys, and I know God invented her, that He’s etching at her, and at me, just as the He etches at all His art.

amberhaines
About me

26 Comments

Stephen
Reply May 14, 2009

Welcome back, Amber. You've been missed and prayed for and then missed again. You have a rare gift of being able to paint luxurious scenes with an economy of words. The smell of history was sneeze-inducing, the taste of cookies, fattening. And just a few words about Melody brought a stranger into this virtual room as a friend. (As such, I had to click her link. I was not surprised to discover yet another scribe of the indescribable.)

Looking forward to the next time you get to paint. Until then...can I have another cookie?

Stephen’s last blog post..Then One Day He Finally Sees Her

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting
Reply May 14, 2009

I. Have. Missed. You!!!!

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting’s last blog post..13 Reasons We Need to Move

Kelly
Reply May 14, 2009

glad to have you back!

Amber @ Classic Housewife
Reply May 14, 2009

Holey Moley woman, you can write. This was beautiful. =)

Amber @ Classic Housewife’s last blog post..13 Recent Pictures I Really Like

Robin ~ PENSIEVE
Reply May 14, 2009

I want to see this house.

No, I want to feel this house. And smell it. And, yes, taste it.

Welcome home, lovie. I've missed you and I miss you.

xo

Robin ~ PENSIEVE’s last blog post..Mojo? Mojo? Wherefore art thou, Mojo?

Megan @ Hold it UP to the Light
Reply May 14, 2009

How sweet it is to hear your sweet voice again....

Sure wish you'd called! I would've loved to have you over for coffee and some 'nana puddin'....I had a lot to share.

Don't go too far.

Megan @ Hold it UP to the Light’s last blog post..A Child of Many Names.....

Heather of the EO
Reply May 14, 2009

I missed your words. Your lovely words! This made me want to sit in your house and smell books while eating cookies. sigh.

Heather of the EO’s last blog post..From the Mouth of Miles

Minnesotamom
Reply May 14, 2009

My chocolate chip cookie of the day is reading your words. Thank you for the sweet taste. Welcome back!

Minnesotamom’s last blog post..Adoption Fraud

Jo@Mylestones
Reply May 15, 2009

I got a little goosebumpy when I read that your sons are the sixth generation to live in the Rock house. So cool to have that kind of heritage creaking through the hardwoods.
It's so good to hear your voice again, friend!

Jo@Mylestones’s last blog post..Here, There & Everywhere (RJ Returns)

Stephanie
Reply May 15, 2009

I love you.

I hope that comes across how I mean it.

Amber
Reply May 15, 2009

Y'all, I can't edit this thing from my silly phone so please forgive my posting without proofreading.

Thank you for encouraging me. I can't wait until idont have to go to the library to blog. I think we get the Internet here today. Fwew!

Screwed Up Texan
Reply May 15, 2009

Beautiful story-telling! I couldnt stop reading the words. Love the description of the old house...inspires me to take a moment and sit still the next time I go "home."

I am so glad your ohter half introduced me to your blog via Twitter.

Kelly
Reply May 15, 2009

You're going to love "Walking on Water." It was one of my favorites, one that I read when I was going through a REALLY tough time with my photography. It keeps me going. :-)

Kelly’s last blog post..we're not old, we're us

Aunt Pam
Reply May 15, 2009

Hey Dear! Sorry I missed you when you came home. So much going on with Paige's knee incident! Girl, I have missed reading your post! So~ much!!! You have a gift of making me feel like I am right beside you! ...and wish I could be! I want to visit and see your old/new Rock House! Thanks for sharing! Hug the boys for me...and Seth too! :-) Love you!!

Lora Lynn
Reply May 15, 2009

Missed you. Need to see the new digs, so I can picture you writing your lovely words from a new spot. Gotta work on forgiving you for not giving me a holla when you were in the Homeland.

Lora Lynn’s last blog post..Conspiracy Theory

Jessica
Reply May 15, 2009

I just love Ms Amba..

Shawna
Reply May 15, 2009

Ooh, my favorite childhood book was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Have you read it? You would thoroughly enjoy it, even now.

I'll read yours if you'll read mine! Maybe they have it at the library. Probably not, but perhaps.

Shawna’s last blog post..Praising the Lord, Getting Muddy, and Growing Up Way Too Fast

Ann Voskamp @ Holy Experience
Reply May 15, 2009

I underlined these shimmering ones...

"It’s all turning out...
the home Seth had waiting for me when I returned...
my mind rolled in it...
just as the He etches at all His art..."

... a bit like the way I underlined L'Engle's Walking on Water....

You both do... have faith to walk on water.

Love to you...
All's grace,
Ann

Ann Voskamp @ Holy Experience’s last blog post..Real Equal Opportunity Work

emily
Reply May 16, 2009

Feeling like a person is such a good thing. I'm so glad you shared your person-hood with us. Please oh pretty please link this post on Tuesday at my blog so everyone can read your lovely gifts you unwrap on a daily basis. I hope you're back for good.

emily’s last blog post..chatting about photos

Rachel
Reply May 16, 2009

oooooh, I have missed your words. I think I'll read that book with you. I need a good book.

Rachel’s last blog post..If I love it, I link it...

Amy
Reply May 17, 2009

I've been checking back often, waiting for your first "treat" upon your return! This was a real treat to read. Thanks for sharing. I know everyone would love some pics...would you consider posting some in the future (of your new/old home?)

Amy’s last blog post..Mother’s Day

Jenn Calling Home
Reply May 19, 2009

Glad you're back. Your posts are such a treat. This one was especially so. Thanks for sharing and God bless!

Jenn Calling Home’s last blog post..Star Trek Doesn’t Disappoint

Sally Pepper
Reply May 23, 2009

Wow. I just found your blog....and I'm so glad! I love when you said you can breathe now for the first time in a while. I get that. Having a little of my own trouble breathing right now. But I'll draw a deep breath soon. I can feel it coming....

Sally Pepper’s last blog post..Tuesdays Unwrapped

Hopeful
Reply May 23, 2009

Walking on Water... I was told to read Many Waters - now I notice it is a series...? Do you know? your observations are just beautiful

Audra
Reply May 27, 2009

Your writing is beautiful, it encourages me to slow down and find those not so hidden meanings in this everyday motherhood thing.

brooke
Reply May 27, 2009

Today I feel like a jealous person. Ridiculously jealous. Who is this Meloday character? Why is she baking cookies in your antiqued apron-blue kitchen? I don’t care one whit about her Italian nose or French heritage.

I want to be with you while your nose runs and you read books you were supposed to read five years ago and you eat chicken nuggets and feed your boys gooey cookies. I’ll scrub the chocolate from the table cloth - I just want to be near you, to feel my spirit revive, my faith renew…

brooke’s last blog post..How to Peel Crawfish

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