Dropbox, when we’d changed our password, sent a message that started with, “Hello, Buell.” The effect of having all this life behind you is that a small incident like this may recall another for a moment, full blown, always remembered, beloved. I was gardening, stooped, probably on my knees. Little Nick Adamy, three or so years old, whose dad, Ed, was helping us build an alteration to our kitchen, was playing, wandering here and there around the house. I heard over my shoulder, “What’r doing, Bee-oo?” The conversation that followed is gone, but “What’r doing, Bee-oo?” remains, used now and then with affection, enriching the present moment.
Ed had been a conscientious objector in WWII, had been part of the Black Mountain group that migrated to Oregon in the late 40s and become a mainstay of Catlin Gabel School. He was teaching all our children shop, and would continue into the next generation. Hester only recently used the skills she learned from Ed to build our Poetry Box.
Today when Noah and Em came for tea with some friends, we had a fire in the fireplace, hung some more ornaments on the tree, and just enjoyed being together. Tom was making copper wire hooks for the new ornaments we’d bought in the morning to replace the ones we can’t find. As Noah watched me attaching the hooks, he’d say, “Joanie doing?” And then, as we readied more ornaments, he’d add them to the branches he could reach. So now “Joanie doing?” is added to “What’r doing, Bee-oo?” As Noah would say, “Happy.”