Monday, January 6, 2014

It's Not New York City

New York at Night, Vivienne Gucwa

He sits a little slumped beside the stove and shakes his head over the electric bill. I stop stirring in the rice just long enough to hug him and tease: "Good thing I know how to entertain you for free."

"Yeah," he says. "My greatest source of happiness, lately, is your lovin' on me."

I know he's sincere but add: "And the kids."

"Yeah," he says, "when they're asleep." And we both laugh.


We talked so much about stealing away this winter: taking the train, maybe catching a show. My parents said they'd drive up and keep the kids a weekend here at the house; it seemed for a minute like it might really happen. 

But my mom will soon have foot surgery, and we just learned over the holidays: his mama's really sick. We know we need to be careful with our money and his vacation time. We know we need a reliable vehicle and did a thing he hates to do: take on a vehicle payment. 

So we rent movies from Red Box and settle together on the couch. I nurse the baby to sleep. I weaned all his siblings at his age, but he's the last, and he smells mysteriously like Play-Doh and Sweet Tarts; there's no reason to rush. The others sleep like angels in another part of the house. 

I lean against Jim and reach into his popcorn bowl. I wear pajama pants. It's messy in here and still decorated for Christmas, but these log walls enfold so much of what's good. It's not New York City, but New York City will wait.


  1. oh Brandee, this is called counting your blessings, that you are doing. I felt a twing of jealousy when you were talking about nursing that baby of yours. (smile)

  2. been there and done may ways we still do...actually got a few tv series on dvd over the holiday so that we can watch them in the coming months....a bit cheaper you know...i am sorry for the struggles but i know you will make it as well...

  3. I love this so much. The love just seeps through.

  4. 'these log walls enfold so much of what's good.' ~ love this phrase. Much Love to you!

  5. Tender and whimsical at the same time; well done.

  6. Hey sweets... Love this. Love you. NYC is surely overrated. Beautiful writing.

  7. A heartfelt charming chunk of prose, with several poems between the lines; very real, raw, sweet, topical, wonderful ride, terrific read; thanks.

  8. This one tugged at my heartstrings ... I love it!