Something about the late-afternoon sunshine streaming into my kitchen window brings on waves of introspection and nostalgia for me. And if that late-afternoon sunshine is accompanied by any sort of public radio programming -- Prairie Home Companion, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me... even All Things Considered (the theme music for which is inextricably linked (within my brain) with the sound and smell of Italian sausage cooking) -- my wiping and bustling and swishing and chopping can be brought to a complete standstill. And sometimes I even cry.
I have a long and varied relationship with late-afternoon sunshine. As a pre-teen I recall the first of many migraines exacerbated by the unremitting bore of late-afternoon sunshine. I have other memories of watching dust float through the sunbeams in one living room or another... of pre-dinner TV shows like I Dream of Jeannie or The Andy Griffith Show (if the Cubs game had ended but Mom hadn't yet come in to switch off the tube).
When I stop to think about it (as I now have), that kind of sun, that specific angle, happens at very different times throughout the year. Now, March 7 in the Twin Cities, 4:30 PM is exactly the right time. But around Christmastime, it's pitch-black at 4:30. And this kind of sunlight comes looong after dinnertime, maybe even 7:30 or 8 PM, at the height of summer. It's one of the wonderful, interesting, and ever-changing things I love about Minnesota weather.
I feel like I'm still shaking off the cobwebs in my brain and body after the last three days. On Wednesday, Joel went to Jamaica for his soon-to-be-brother-in-law Jeff's bachelor party, and my dad came in for a visit... and I promptly came down with the most debilitating fever-thing I have EVER had. Honestly, I could not prepare myself a Neti Pot on Thursday without having to sit and rest for several minutes in between steps. It was brutal. I missed dance class, a funeral, Bible study (including a fellowship session I was FINALLY going to get to attend since my dad was in to babysit), morning workout, volleyball, lunch with a friend-from-out-of-town... and my poor 68-year-old dad took the brunt of the childcare responsibilities for nearly three days. AND I was pretty much a zombie when my mom came in and we took Jean shopping for wedding stuff (she bought a dress!! eeeeeek!) and for Julie's bachelorette party. UGH. And I have been up coughing the last 2 nights, after being up the previous 2 nights with dreadful body aches. I am a sad, sad panda -- who also happens to be extremely grateful for my wonderful support network, especially my super-dad.
And today... TOOO-DAAAAY... Eddie turned 4! My little baby. He's as tall as Lucy was at 4.5 -- and Lucy herself has grown, I swear, even since we measured her on her half-birthday 5 days ago. Ed asked for Bakugans and "fighting guys" for his birthday and got both (among assorted other treasures), much to his adorable little-boy delight. He's been playing by himself and with Lucy nonstop, narrating little dramas and negotiating conflicts like the mostly-sweet soul he is. Jean's fiance Cameron also made Ed his requested "brown -- I mean chocolate -- Nemo cake." And it was adorable and delicious, which is why Cameron's so right for this family.
I have to go prepare a meal, solo -- first time in several days. The freedom is bewildering.