Monday, February 18, 2008

Sky Music

When I was a kid I had a best friend up the street named DeeDee Delene Delene Lenise St**** (I'll omit her last name). As far as I can remember, I was told that her aunt's name was Delene, and her grandmother's name was Delene, so they gave her the two names Delene Delene to honor them both. Now that I'm older I think DeeDee was probably a nickname for one name, Delene, and Lenise was her middle name. Anyway she was my best-best friend.

My kids know all about DeeDee. They know about Jerry, my other best friend, who lived next door, had chickens, and called her parents by their first name, Tom & Vivian. They know how I was bitterly jealous of DeeDee and Jerry because they had long hair and my mother made me cut mine (not to mention, call her Mom).

We would spend hours and hours together outside after school and during the summer. We would sell lemonade and pretzels. We would play tag and hopscotch, make clover necklaces, pop tar-bubbles, search for four-leaf clovers, and walk door-to-door trying to sell flowers (which we picked from other people's yards) and week-old newspapers to our long-suffering neighbors. We would stare at the clouds for what seem now like hours at a time.

It thundered and rained all last night, and a little this morning. But the sun has had his face washed, and the day is now gloriously sunny, windy and almost warm. There are some fine clouds in the sky and on the horizon.

Mark took the boys to the zoo, and I went outside with the girls. They jumped on the trampoline and I lay on a towel watching the clouds. They reminded me of a kaleidoscope, how they churned and disappeared in spirals, loops, in every direction of space, but all in an Eastward movement together. I forgot how pretty they are.

The girls became interested, wondering whether I had fallen asleep. In turn they each came over, put on the sunglasses and lay down.

Margaret was the most enchanted. She said in a sweet voice, "Mom, I just made up a song about clouds."

"Really? Let's hear it."

She smacked her lips, took a deep breath, and began,


She stopped. She lifted the sunglasses and looked at me. "I can't remember the rest."

"So you just made up a song about clouds and you can only remember the first word?"

She burst into a fit of giggles.

"Great song Margaret."