Hey Lou Writes

The Grey Matters


5 Comments

“What Does That Mean- ‘Ephemeral’?”

“But what does that mean- ‘ephemeral’?” repeated the little prince, who never in his life had let go of a question, once he had asked it. 

“It means, ‘which is in danger of speedy disappearance.'”

“Is my flower in danger of speedy disappearance?”

“Certainly it is.”

-The Little Prince 

I began reading The Little Prince today. How this gem has escaped all the years of my life until this point, I cannot tell you. But what I can tell you is that it’s a real tear jerker. I’ve already cried a few times.

But if you know me, you know that I’ll admit it– I’m a crier anyway.

The book has already touched my soul in ways that it has touched so many others, but this part I’ve quoted above spoke to me in ways that might be different than others.

It made me remember exactly why I’m here. (Because no matter how excellent things have been here in this new place, I’ve still had my moments where I wonder exactly that, “What am I doing?” Not just here… but with my life in general. Does anyone really know?)

I’m here because flowers, and anything that grows from the incredible ground that makes up this earth, are ephemeral, at least according to the definition in this work of fiction.

lucky me, I get to work HERE

lucky me, I get to work HERE (Oh, and there’s Meggie!)

I drove up to this place two and a half weeks ago, excited and emotional, because I already have a sense of the importance of things growing the way they should. It’s not something I want to get preachy about… but it’s something I could speak about with passion until the cows come home.

I believe that hands should get dirty. They should work. They should do all they can to make the world a better place. I would go as far as to say that the onion I planted on this day is in danger of a speedy disappearance. (With all the buttons beings pressed these days to get things done, working hands might be quite ephemeral, too.)

my new motto: Happy hands = happy heart

my new motto: Happy hands = happy heart

Anywho, the little prince left home. Just like me. He learns a lot.

I’ve already learned a lot since I left the comforts of my hometown:

1) Friends are to be found, no matter what. I’ve already lost count of people I’ve met who were kind, gave me a smile (and even a hug!!) and were great to be around. I knew it would happen, but I wondered how long it would take to feel like I belonged in Wisconsin in any sort of way.

This is largely due to the owner of this farm, Diane:

making soil blocks and seeding

making soil blocks and seeding

2) Playing “Would You Rather” is a great way to get to know your coworkers. Here’s my roommate, Meggie. (She is the QUEEN of this game… the stuff she comes up with!)

lunch time

lunch time

3) Having bonfires and playing music is good for the soul. I mean, really, isn’t that just the coolest thing? The night we jammed around the fire, I felt like I was in a book. (AJ and I are going to start practicing for open mics!!! Music continues for me….. another thing I thought might be lost.)

kept us warm

kept us warm

4) Sometimes, ideas we had for our futures are completely wrong. Sometimes, they just change a bit. A few years ago, someone very important in my life gave me this message, and I had it tattooed on my arm:

tattoos, growing, marriage

Welp! Would you take a look at the Borner Farm’s logo?

grow! always

grow! always

I feel as though this has been a huge sign, the idea of growth. I’ve certainly grown as a person, and in the last few years, it was anything but easy. I felt ephemeral. But here’s that word again, and I’m not going to stop trying, or growing, into the Melinda I most want to be.

5) Even the flat (ish) land out here is charming. Even the long snowfall (compared to Albuquerque’s ten minutes at a time) is beautiful. Walking to the grocery store is an adventure. Vests really DO keep you WARM!!

brrr

brrr

The little prince travels all over. He meets weird adults. He misses his flower and wants to protect it.

Reading this book, I remembered a time in my life when I wanted to be the flower.

Now, I realize that maybe I’m more of a prince(ss), and I can care for something.

I plan to plant some roots and watch them grow. 

What’s Ephemeral in your world? What are you doing to secure its presence?

Love,

hi!

hi!

Farmer Lou

Advertisements


Leave a comment

The Actress

The Actress

By Melinda Wilder

She had never before wanted to be anything much. Ellis remained silent as the other kids in her classroom shared their future dreams. Her social studies teacher wanted them to answer the simple question.

“I’d like to be a teacher when I grow up,” one classmate said.

Ellis wanted nothing to do with the classroom. She despised her teachers at school. Her own mother was a teacher, and she mostly despised her, too.

“I want to be a veterinarian,” the boy beside Ellis shared with the class, to which Ellis replied, “If you love animals so much, what do you want to see them die all the time for?”

No one was sure of what to say. The rain outside grew heavier and the teacher was glad to have something to do as she shut the last window.

Not a single person thought to ask Ellis what she might want to be, which was too bad, because she had decided.

When the school day ended Ellis walked up the hallway to her mother’s classroom. Ellis, being only a seventh grader, and in all high level classes, had no way of ending up in her mother’s eighth grade remedial math class. This was a relief to them both.

“Hey, Daniel,” Ellis said as she walked in. Daniel, the student aid for seventh period, was still there as usual, grading papers and keeping things organized.

“Oh, hey,” he said, looking up without moving his head.

“Ellis, we’re going to be late. I don’t see why or how it takes you fifteen minutes to get here when the bell rings. It’s raining and now I’ll have to drive slow. Come on. Hurry up. Don’t even set your backpack down. Just leave it on. We’re going. Daniel, thanks. See you tomorrow.”

Daniel took another chance and glanced up from the papers to see a frazzled Ms. Jay with her hair, usually tied into a neat bun, falling out and her pin skirt shifting to the left. Ellis looked perfect. Daniel only looked at her when she was looking anywhere but at him, so he had many chances. Today she wore one of his favorite outfits on her, brown lace up boots, dark grey tights, a light pink skirt and a navy sweater. Her appearance always looked put together and lighthearted. Pastels, classic cuts, hair back in a headband. It was Ellis’s personality that usually had people stunned into silence. She rarely spoke, and when she did she always seemed to say the wrong thing. Daniel loved what she said. His shoulders often shook in a silent laughter to Ellis’s comments. He would have completely agreed with her comment to the future veterinarian. Ellis didn’t know that, though.

“I can just stay here, you know,” Ellis said.

“And do what?”

“I don’t know. Help him,” she said, pointing her finger at Daniel.

Ms. Jay glared but thought about it for a split second. “Daniel! How long were you planning on staying?”

“I- uh- however long you need me to?”

“Perfect. Two hours, then. Wish you’d told me about your sudden passion for grading papers earlier in the day, Ellis. Goodbye.” Ms. Jay left the room with a slam of the door.

Ellis slumped down into one of the desks. Daniel was sitting at her mother’s teacher desk. Ellis chose the student’s desk directly in front of him. She crossed her arms in front of her chest and stared at him until he finally looked up. The rain pounded on the window. His eyes met hers, then looked out the window as Ms. Jay’s minivan left the parking lot, and then back at Ellis.

“How was your day?” Daniel asked. He glanced up at Ellis when he asked, half expecting her to ignore him.

“It was fine as always. We talked about what we want to be when we grow up in Social Studies today.”

“What did you say?”

“It never got around to me.”

“You mean she just skipped you?” Ellis shrugged. “Well?” Daniel said.

“Well what?”

“What do you want to be?”

Ellis smiled, wider than he’d ever seen and said, “I’m going to be an actress.”

Five Years Later

“Oh my God, we did it, Ellis! We did. Shit. Didn’t think we’d ever get out.”

Ellis stuck her hand out the window of his car and shot her middle finger into the air. “Fuck you, Desert Springs High School.”

“You realize we never have to go back?”

Ellis smiled again, still a rare occurrence, and said, “I realize it.”

“And after dinner tonight with your mom, and tomorrow night with mine, we won’t really have to see them very much, either.”

“Realized it.”

Daniel reached over and squeezed her knee. She put her hand over his and looked at him. She did like the way his hair looked when the window was open. She liked that he’d always offer to drive. She didn’t mind his laugh and the way he said every obvious thing possible, either.

“Did you tell her about the apartment we found?”

“Yesterday.”

“What did she say?” Daniel asked her.

“She wasn’t surprised. I’ll never need another penny from her, so it’s not like she could say anything, anyway.”

“Mmm. True. Thank god.”

Ellis nodded.

“I still haven’t told my parents,” he said.

“I figured that.” She stared straight ahead.

“I will though.”

“Before tomorrow night?”

He paused. “Yes.” And she wasn’t surprised that his answer sounded more like a question.

Daniel parked the car and felt Ellis’s hand on the back of his neck. After all those years, her touch still made him shiver. Her breath was on his jaw, in his ear. Her hand reached his leg and worked its way up.

“You’ll tell them tomorrow?” She whispered between deep breaths.

“Yes,” he said. And she really liked when he answered her like that.

“Seems like you two know where you’re headed in life,” Ms. Jay said at dinner.

“Yes, ma’am,” Daniel said.

“Both moving out together. Both going to the university together. At least you’re being somewhat responsible.”

“Thanks, mom,” Ellis said. Her mom glanced over at her and gave one of those appeasing smiles. Then she rolled her eyes.

“What’s your concentration of study?” It was the first time Ms. Jay had questioned her about or showed any interest in her daughter’s educational plans.

“Well, she isn’t sure what she wants to do. But I know she can do anything,” Daniel said. He felt defensive of Ellis. That he knew something about her that Ms. Jay didn’t filled him with pride and made him sad for both mother and daughter.

“Oh?” Ms. Jay asked casually.

“I’ll probably study business or something,” Ellis said, ignoring Daniel. “Who really knows when they start college?”

“And you, Daniel?”

“I’m going to get an engineering degree.” Daniel had little interest in what the degree meant. All he knew was that engineers made money. His only goal was to provide for Ellis. That’s what his degree was going to be in: making Ellis happy.

The next night, his parents were less than thrilled with the plans they heard.

“Living on your own isn’t easy, you know.” Daniel’s mother said.

Ellis lowered her eyes and replied, “Living at home isn’t always easy, either.”

“I understand that you and your mother aren’t close,” she said, a little less dignified.

“The apartment we found is great, mom. Can’t wait to have you over and cook for you. The rent is affordable with the jobs we have, they even pay water.”

“You pay for it in the rent, son,” his dad said.

Daniel coughed. “I guess that’s true. But it’s really great. Ellis and I both love it.”

“It’s close to school, too,” Ellis added. She flashed her smile that even Daniel’s parents couldn’t resist. “I’m really excited to start this new chapter of my life with Daniel. I love him. I think… I think we’ll really make it.” She reached over and messed up his hair. “You raised a good one.”

Both Daniel’s parents relaxed a bit. Ellis could have that effect on them; Daniel never did.

“Just hope you kids know what you’re getting into.”

“Ellis is going to be a famous actress and I’ll be an engineer. Plan’s there, dad. This is just step one.”

His parents looked at each other, shook their heads slightly, and then decided to take the higher ground. They had no power anymore.

“Cheers to that, then,” his mother said, raising her wine glass. Ellis and Daniel lifted up their water, Daniel’s father his beer, and they toasted to the new life Ellis and Daniel would begin as high school graduates.

Ten Years Later

“All you have to do is hold her like this, and she’ll sleep,” Ellis explained. She smiled and stood, bouncing slightly as she held their daughter.

“You’re so good with Daisy,” Daniel said. He touched Daisy’s head.

Ellis looked up at him and smiled. “You’re great with her, too.”

Then Daniel shook his head. He was tired. “I’ll go check on Adam.”

Ellis watched her husband leave the room, hardly believing her life. Yet, she’d put effort each day into making it what it was. She has a five year old son, a gorgeous house, a weekly yoga routine., and even a slim body after having her second child only five months earlier.

She looked down at Daisy’s closed eyes and small nose that looked just like her own. “Be a good girl now. Daddy needs you to grow up to be a good girl.” Ellis placed Daisy in her crib and went back to bed.

“He’s fast asleep,” Daniel said. He got into the bed, too, and wrapped his right arm around Ellis. He breathed in her hair.

She reached around and touched his neck, then his hair.

“I love you,” he said into her ear.

“I love you, too, Daniel,” she said.

Eighteen Years Later

Ellis woke up. She looked at Daniel, who was still sleeping by his side. It was their first morning waking up to an empty house. Both children off to college. Daniel was able to retire early.

“Morning baby,” he said when he finally woke up and found her in the kitchen.

“Coffee’s ready,” she said. Daniel kissed the top her her hair.

“What do you think Daisy’s doing?”

“Probably having the time of her life. Or crying.”

“She’s a sweetheart, isn’t she?”

Ellis could only agree with her husband.

“Just like you, Ellis,” he added.

Twenty Years Later

Ellis looked in the mirror and put on her pink lipstick. The wrinkles around her lips made her worry about it looking messy.

Daniel put on his jeans and his button up shirt. She looked over at her aging husband.

“You’ve still got it, baby,” he said. His teeth were suddenly shiny with age.

“Thanks.”

“And you’re the cutest grandma anyone ever saw.” As always, he kissed the top of her hair. She felt she needed to tease it again after the kiss. Ellis always had perfect hair. “Babies always fall asleep in your arms.”

“I honestly don’t know what it is,” she said.

“They can feel they’re loved. That’s how I feel when you touch me, too.”

Thirty Years Later

Ellis didn’t bother with the makeup. She figured she had another month or so to live, or so the doctor told her. She was old. It wasn’t a tragedy.

She grabbed her purse and walked out of the house.

Daniel opened the door and called out to her, “Ellis! Where are you going?”

“I’m leaving.”

“What?”

“Leaving, dear,” she said.

“What?”

“Goddammit, Daniel. For heaven’s sake.” She stomped over to him. He couldn’t hear anymore.

Ellis stood in front of him and said slowly, “I am leaving.”

“The store?” He asked.

“No, just leaving.”

“But, where to?”

“Somewhere you aren’t. To live out the rest of my days.”

“Without… me?”

“Yes.”

“But, why?”

“Daniel, I don’t love you. I never did. I can’t stand our children. Their kids might be even more burdensome than they were.”

His big old eyes welled up. “What?” Maybe he heard her wrong.

“Goodbye.”

“But, Ellis… why?”

Then she smiled. It was perhaps the brightest smile of her life. “Daniel, I just might be the world’s best actress.”


7 Comments

Alone Time … Like Never Before

“Don’t be scared to walk alone

Don’t be scared to like it.” -JM

I’m more alone than I’ve ever been in my life .

Which is funny, because I’ve pretty much been surrounded by very kind and friendly people since I landed here in the small town of Prescott. Some of my initial nerves have calmed quite a bit.

The thing that I’m happy to have over with (not that it was bad, but the nervous energy was building!) is that “first moment”… which looked like this:

welcome sign

And even before that… crossing the bridge…

prescott

Cutest town ever, right? Already??

When I arrived I was lucky enough to be with my mom and my aunt.

aunt

My mom truly is the cutest. (Check out the barn! Four chickens live in there to stay warm in the winter! <3)cute mom

This is the “First Glance” at Borner Farm (the farm house, from the road):

the house

And me, picking out my tea of choice when I first arrived:

kitchen

This is definitely a small town…… and I still managed to get lost. (I could navigate my way to the next town to go to the store… but I managed to lose my bearings when I was IN Prescott, in the surrounding blocks around where I live.)

I have roommates and house mates and I’m so excited to start work tomorrow. I think, experiencing it now, the alone time means something completely different than I thought.

It’s not so much literally having no one around you.

It’s more being free to experience things because you are alone, not comparing to others, making new friends without the preconceived notion so many from a hometown might have… and being a lone reed (quite literally, because reeds never really are lone.)

I do feel free from some of the difficult things I’d dealt with before. And this town…..

It’s adorable.

Cheers to change, living a simple and happy life, and letting yourself feel alone in a world that will always find you a friend.

Love, Lou

(I DO MISS MY MOM! it's no secret.)

(I DO MISS MY MOM! it’s no secret.)