When Lexington Marie Walters laughs, my heart feels like it will burst with its own joy. She has a deep, infectious laugh that lights up her eyes and lets you see the beautiful person within.
When Lex runs her hands through my hair, I feel warm and loved. The caressing is so intimate that it brings tears to my eyes and a sense of love and devotion that is immeasurable.
When Lex compliments my looks, I feel like the most precious, cherished woman in the world. Ah, Lex. What your laughter, your fingers running through my hair, and your compliments do for me!
My hairdresser is unavailable and my hair has needed a good trim for a few weeks now. Finally tired of the struggle to keep it tamed and unable to sleep with my hair falling into my eyes, I got up in the middle of the night to trim my bangs and mistook straight edged scissors for thinning shears.
This morning, Lex laughed as she ran her fingers through what was left of my bangs, and said, “Don’t worry, honey. It’ll grow back.” When I glared at her she added, “Really, it’s not too bad. Maybe a shorter look works for you.”
Somehow, her laughter, the feel of her fingers in my hair, and her compliments had the complete opposite effect than they usually do. And I could swear, as she retreated from the bedroom, she mumbled, “And we tell the kids not to play with scissors.”
OMG! The kids! Lorrie and Mel are going to have a field day with this!
My sister’s Californian roots are showing. She thought the responsible thing to do, being married to a doctor and all, is to eat a more natural, “healthy” diet.
The girls and I were visiting her today when Jeannie invited me into the kitchen to taste her newest healthy creation.
“What is it?” I asked, not really enjoying the sight before me. In a flat baking pan was this brown dog-poop looking pastry. At first I thought she had found a better way to make brown sugar cookie squares. But, no.
NEVER EVER TRY ANYTHING NEW WHEN YOU ARE THE ONE HAVING THE FIRST BITE.
It was flax bread. You know, flax? What they spin to make linen from? Flax.
But Jeannie is my sister, and sisterhood trumps common sense. So I took a bite of the piece she cut for me.
I’d rather graze from the south pasture where the cattle are right now than to ever taste anything made out of flax again.
Jeannie watched me with a puzzled expression as my face went from curious to disgusted to murderous.
“You’re gonna die, sis!” I swear that was the nastiest thing I ever put in my mouth.
Lorrie told me later that when she and Mel and Teddy were out playing and I was watching them, Jeannie carried something out to the garbage can and dumped the whole thing in, baking sheet and all.
Our precious daughter, Melanie, learned a life lesson today in the nature of consequences. She has been saving her allowance from doing her chores to buy herself new *pink* cowboy boots. She spotted them in a costume catalog and decided that she must have a pair. But instead of purchasing new boots, that she nearly had the money for, she bought Grandpa Charlie a new electric razor.
Of course, when she tearfully handed over the gift-wrapped box, Grandpa Charlie picked her up and hugged her so hard, I thought Melanie’s eyeballs would pop. She hugged her grandpa back and promised never to bother his things without asking. Martha, naturally, awarded them both with a plate of fresh made oatmeal-raisin cookies. Mel’s favorite.
Freckles hasn’t been as forgiving.
Our Lorrie, bless her heart, was furious with Melanie, and would barely tolerate her presence. Then an older child at school started making fun of Mel. Lorrie found out about it and said it was worth it to spend the afternoon in the principal’s office. She didn’t hurt the boy, but he did have to clean his britches after she told him how they turn a stallion into a gelding. Then she put her arm around her sister and said, “Nobody messes with you!” And hugged her.
She is so like her momma.
Did I ever mention that Jeannie has too many refrigerators?
When she married Rodney, Dr. Rodney, or uncle Rod, and our kids call him, his well-meaning family decided that they should give the happy couple something that would be of use for a long time. Something that would see them through their child’s teenage years, especially if their son ate as much as Rodney did as a teenager.
They gave them a new refrigerator. “How wonderful,” you say?
My folks thought so, too.
Dad gave them a new refrigerator.
Charlie, Martha and Ronnie went in on a new refrigerator.
Not to be outdone, so did we.
Oh, and so did my grandpa and grandma.
The wedding reception was a hoot. The delivery trucks showed up with several huge, gift wrapped cardboard containers. Each one carrying popular brands with and without ice-makers.
There were very few small packages and absolutely no toasters. Or waffle makers, or coffee makers.
The family left it up to them to decide what to do with the surplus kitchen appliances. After all, they could just pick what they wanted and return the rest for other things they might need. That was the conclusion the family drew until Rodney and Jeannie couldn’t hold in the laughter anymore.
Guess who’d bought themselves a very practical early wedding present?
Toasters are much easier to return. When Lorrie grows up and gets married, I think we’ll just go with that. I imagine she’ll get something several years old, but right out of the box from her Aunt Jeannie and Uncle Rodney.
Well, the poopy brown stuff has made contact with oscillatory device. And, accordingly, Lex is in hiding. Laughing her posterior off. But hiding.
When Lorrie and Lex returned from the bunk house, I didn’t have the heart to tell Lorrie that Mel had given her faithful dog a makeover. The buzz cut was right down the center of Freckles’ back.
“MOM?! What happened to my dog?”
Of course, Mel was nowhere to be found when Lorrie marched Freckles into the room to show her momma Freckles’ reverse Mohawk.
Lorrie narrowed her eyes. “Did my sister do this?”
There are times I really love Martha. Then there was this particular moment when she walked into the room.
“She sure did, honey. And with Grandpa Charlie’s favorite electric razor.”
Mel is still hiding under her bed.
Lex decided that she needed to go back to the bunk house. I hope she’s comfortable there.
Mel just got back from Martha and Charlie’s cottage. She was batting her eyelids like they were on fire.
“I’m s’posed to tell you Mada is gonna call,” she sweetly said. Then she hugged my legs and volunteered to take a nap.
Unfortunately, Lorrie was down at the bunk house with Lex and couldn’t rat on her sister. I had to wait for Martha’ s call. Fortunately, Melanie had barely cleared the top stair step when the phone rang. She turned around and stared down at me for a moment before turning on her heels and making a beeline for her bedroom.
“Hi, Martha. What did she do? No, I haven’t seen Freckles, why? Wait, here she comes up the front steps.”
“Oh my god! Please tell Charlie I’ll buy him a new razor.”
“MELANIE LEIGH WALTERS! YOUR SISTER IS GOING TO KILL YOU!”
I like tuna fish. I like sushi. I like shell-fish. And once in a while, Lex tries to hold her nose while I have some.
“This is Texas, after all,” she says. “We only eat meat we can brand.”
“Don’t be ridiculous! Doesn’t anyone in this state go fishing?” I ask.
“When was the last time you saw a fishing pole at the feed store?” Lex counters.
“Well, nevermind. The last time I had fish was when Melanie was in diapers. It’s about time I indulged myself a little.”
Lex looked thoughtful for a minute. “That was fish? I thought that smell was something in Mel’s diapers!”
Can a person smirk and run for their lives at the same time? I swear my Lexington can.
I stepped outside to check on the kids. They were traipsing after Lex as she led the new gelding around outside the stable. It was limping along, fully trusting in Lex’s gentleness and her soothing voice.
Behind Lex, Lorrie and Mel were following their mother. Mel was imitating Lex while Lorrie pretended to be a horse that her sister was leading. Looking at my girls took my breath away. I realized, for the millionth time, how incredibly lucky I am and how much I love my family.
As my eyes began to tear up, Lex looked up and caught my gaze. The light wind whipped her hair away from her face, leaving her looking windblown and positively gorgeous.
Before I realized it, I was standing in front of my partner, wrapping my arms around her while she lifted me off my feet, her lips descending toward mine.
“Mush!” Lorrie pretended to gag as her sister joined in.
“Oh, mush!” Mel added. “Mom! Momma! You two are yucky!”
Just wait little ones. Your time will come.
In case anyone is looking for us, we’re headed to town for dinner at my grandparent’s home. Then out to a movie with my dad and Lois. It wasn’t planned to be an evening out, especially on a school night. Lex just wanted to make sure that the house wouldn’t spontaneously burst into flames if I stayed in it, as angry as I am.
No, I haven’t taken after my mother and started talking to match sticks. What I did do was to foolishly leave a platter of roasted chicken too near the edge of the kitchen counter.
Did you know that Lorrie’s dog, Freckles, is a rat terrier? They can jump, effortlessly, several feet in the air or in any direction. This one jumped, grabbed the chicken, and landed several feet away before I could say, “Freckles! Don’t!”
Lorrie came running in to see what her dog had done this time, and thought the whole thing was too funny for words. “I’m sorry, mom. Freckles! Bad dog!”
The next time I saw Freckles, she walked by me with a satisfied grin that I refuse to believe was just her whippet genes showing. She looked up at me and burped. And burped again. Did I mention that the movie is in Austin? That should give me several hours to cool down.
Lex made a valid point last night.
I was telling her about this thing Jeannie showed me. It’s where you share bits about yourself on the Internet, but you can only use 140 characters or less.
I have NEVER used 140 characters or less to talk about anything. That’s what Lex told me. That’s why I have this lovely bouquet of flowers that was just delivered to me, and Lex is peaking around by the porch to see if she is forgiven.