“Think Plum Day will ever end?” I asked Forrest over mid-morning coffee.
“Hey, babe. Plum is immortal: infinite. It just keeps going.”
“I’d kinda like to get back to our regular life.”
“Our regular life is plum,” Forrest said. “Think about it. We’re all about celebrating every day. Just, maybe, at a slower pace.”
I decided to shift down a little, maybe try playing on the D string for a while, rather than always playing on the A string.
While Tani, Alex, and I were finishing up the left-over French toast, Tani asked, “Where did Plum Day originate?”
“We invented it!” I replied. “Don’t you remember? We were like, what do we all have in common? What can we celebrate that’s us?”
“Oh, yeah!” Tani replied. “I remember! It seems so official, I forgot. But why Plum? What do we have to do with Plum? We don’t even have plum trees in the garden.”
I shrugged. “It was either that or something with freezer bunnies or llamas.”
We took most of the day off, just doing our own thing and catching up on rest. Then in the evening, we headed over to the B&B, ostensibly for chess and cards.
Ana Pringle has been keeping the B&B spotless–she seems to be perpetually washing dishes!
Hunter O’Malley and Elder were enjoying a friendly game of chess when we arrived.
Ana kept me company while I whipped up a chicken stir-fry.
Even though we’d come over to play cards and chess with our guests, we ended up just hanging out in the kitchen together. I think with so many others coming and going, we wanted to enjoy a little time catching up with each other.
Tanisha woke up refreshed and full of joy on Saturday morning.
We invited everyone to come over for a quiet day at our place.
Forrest was really glad that Mikaela came over. She’s got this elegant and earthy beauty that appeals to his cave-man side.
Pretty soon it became clear why Dani was so tense. Toya has been practicing mischief on her.
Elder seemed to find humor in even the lamest of jokes.
Tani texted one of her sisters. “Been tsd. wht tdo? ts bk?”
After Toya joined the rest of the group inside, Dani let loose and shared her frustrations with Elder.
“I just can’t stand it! I’m not used to being teased like that! It’s just not fair. This guy is like! Argh! Why’s he teasing me, anyway?”
Elder did his best to put her at ease. “You know,” he said, “being teased is often a mark of distinction. He’s singling you out because you are singular! Plus, I’ve always found a certain joy in letting others tease me. I mean, I can take it! I’m a big guy. And if it brings them pleasure, well then, that’s just my way of spreading joy.”
Dani was impressed by Elder’s approach.
“What do you think of my outfit, by the way?” She asked. “It’s purple for Plum Day.”
“It’s great!” Elder said. “What do you think of my imitation of the Plum Day rooster?”
“You do know,” Dani said, “What happens to chickens on Plum Day, right?”
Dani and Elder spent the whole afternoon chatting on the front porch. I was in the garden most of the time.
I thought maybe I’d feel jealous. I checked in with myself. Nope, no jealousy. Had my feelings changed? They’d deepened, maybe. Relaxed a bit, mellowed, like elderberry wine.
Seeing Elder standing there, so young, he reminded me of myself, before I’d moved into this house with my friends. Back then, I had this dream of a life I wanted, and now I’m living it.
What if Uncle Jacob hadn’t let me move out? Or what if he’d pushed me to follow a more traditional path, to get a job, get married, have kids?
Then I wouldn’t have met Forrest, Gray, and Emma. I wouldn’t be living this dream that’s mine, that’s what I’ve wanted since I was a little girl and Alex, Tani, and I used to talk about “What if?”
Elder’s at that point. Even if he weren’t heir, even if he decided he wanted to stay with us–and he could! He could fit right in, finish high school here, age up, and then, he and I could see what if… Yes. I’ve thought this out from so many angles.
Even if, it wouldn’t be his freedom. It would be sliding from legacy-proscription to hippie-indoctrination. Not his own free-will choice.
Open the heart. Open the palm.
I love him. So I let him go. He needs to fly to find his dream. Maybe someday, his flight will circle back here. We’ll always have room in our home for him. And he’ll always have lodgings in my heart.