First, let me explain. For the past few days I have known that I was coming up on Q. Q! of all letters. I remember playing the wonderful travel game of "alphabet" and dreading J...but then Q even more! (Thank goodness for Flying J's and Antiques!). So, I had contemplated some words such as: Quizzical, Quaint, Quiet... And thought I could figure out something to write about.

Well, here I am at Kali's (which I'll write about later...we went to the DOVE AWARDS!!), and since both Kali and Dan have to work until around 1 today, I thought I would go outside on their porch with their nice chairs Grandpa and Grandma made them and read my book and enjoy my day off and the awesome weather. ...

I lasted about 40 minutes before I realized there was sweat RUNNING down my back and chest and on the back of my legs. My face was also sweaty and red, and so I jutted back inside quickly, ashamed I couldn't bear the heat a little longer. I stepped in the door and lifted up the hem of my shorts and saw a faint TAN LINE-- from 40 minutes of April sun exposure. And my first thought was, "Qua?!"

-- This is where I must explain. In college I had a dear friend, Becker. Becker was the queen of witty sayings, jokes that had me crying, facial expressions that were second to none, and the phrase, "Qua?" I am not quite sure how it all began. Maybe a mix of some Spanish terms she was learning, maybe it just came out one day, but in our dictionary this expression could be defined as: a very surprised, almost exasperated, sometimes confused, WHAT?!

So as I stood looking at my fresh tan lines and Qua? flowed from my lips I thought two things:

1) I am thankful to have inherited my mother's dark, easily tan-able skin. I remember days at the pool (which were a treat after snapping beans in the summer :), and I would be splashing around in the shallow end, Kali, somewhere lost in the deep end for hours! I remember mom sitting on the end of the blue lined pool, navy and green suit, feet dangling in the water. She had endless, or almost endless, patience for my "Watch this!" and "Count how long-s." I remember her birthmark on her thigh that got darker and darker over the course of the summer on her thigh. But mostly, I remember floundering over to her, grabbing her legs with my pruned hands, and laying my body down on her hot, tan skin that smelled of sunscreen and chlorine. This is a memory I have packed away and that resurfaces when I put my hands on my thighs after sitting in the sun, just to feel the heat radiate from them. It takes me back to the edge of that pool with my mom.
2) I am thankful for college friendships in which there was safety in creating words and sayings and laughter. I am thankful that even now, Qua comes to mind and I can look back and laugh at previous encounters with this word.

Now, if you don't mind, I have cooled off, poured myself a glass of water, and would like to return to the porch and read and watch water condensate on the outside of my glass and put my hands on my thighs and feel them burning with memories.


Kali said...

Can't say I ever look at my skin and think of Mom. But maybe if I had stuck around in the shallow end a little more often instead of staying fully submerged most days I might have gotten a bit more color. But probably not.

Can't wait to be off work!

Micah Wolf said...

it was hot here too!!! I love it, in April!
though I did not tan as well as you did

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