Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Gift of Secret Codes

Ch 2, fpdc in first dc, (bpdc in next dc, fpdc in next dc) around, ending with bpdc. Join with sl st in first dc.

42296, 42517, 48903, 48968, 49271, 49202, 49106

2 C gran. sug., 2 C unsw. inst. tea, 1 1/2 C Fr. van powd., 1 1/4 C powd. cr., 1 1/4 C br. sug. packed, 3/4 C NF dry m., 2 1/2 t gr. cin., 1 1/2 t gr. nm, 1 1/4 t gr. card., 1 1/4 t gr. clo., 1 t gr. allsp., 1/4 t wh. pep.

harchau, armacion, dowze, nylor, rozon, boomeas, batsi, oblecoo, zings, whings, futhy, candecha, nabbee

"Should you pick up a chucket of bicken while you're out?"

My day has been dominated by secret codes today. Little bits of valuable information encoded in nonsense. A gray and misty Saturday spent with the people I love the most, doing my puttering with assistance. Puttering with purpose today, with the holidays approaching, but puttering nonetheless.

Cozy by the fire with my jBird, still in jammies, drinking coffee (Me, not her. Never her. The child never sleeps as it is.) and putting the finishing touches on a tam I'm crocheting for a dear friend. The soothing ritual of yarn and a hook dancing together to make beautiful fabric. Each stitch a thought, a memory of my friend, wound with the warm and snuggly contentment of this day.

A drizzly bike ride with the jBird to the market. Our list is of bulk spices for making delicious holiday treats for dear ones far away. The process of pumping legs on pedals followed by scooping, filling, labeling tiny plastic bags. The smells of a dozen different spices combined with a calm and happy pride as my baby girl reads the labels and prices, hunting for spices, her small unsteady hand making sure the 9 is the right way round.

In the kitchen with my monkeys. Tiny hands measuring, spilling, tasting, mixing. Taking turns, reading the recipe, little lips that move haltingly along the trickier words. Learning these codes with me: Which one is the big spoon? The T or the t? Practicing fractions the best way possible. More gifts for dear ones: This is my favorite part of Christmas, Mama.

Taking a break, sitting down to wait for the timer to ring. My new world of friendly strangers who stop by and gather little bits of my heart as it leaks onto the screen. Leaving bits of themselves behind. I marvel each time I look. Someone read. Someone liked. Someone took the time to say. Something I said reminded someone of something they know. It reminds me we're not alone here. Experience is common, it just needs to be discovered.

And this, my favorite code of all. The secret code we speak to each other. The years of jokes and songs and movies and malapropisms tumbling into everyday speech. The shorthand that says so much. The silly ways to make each other laugh in the simplest of communication. The glue that holds us together in the long run. It's a living history of us, adding new vocabulary daily. What started all those years ago has grown, enfolded two whole new people and become their code, too.
The thousand different ways we say "I love you."


  1. I love this. Secret codes are the best, and chucket of bicken cracked me up. I once told my class of Microsoft Access students to type something where they saw the cursing flasher. Ahem. Oops.

  2. What a beautiful post! And how true it all is. Your friends are lucky to have such an insightful, perceptive, and caring woman in their lives! And I'm glad to be able to call you a friend in the computer. Wish I lived in Seattle- I'd love to get you to show me how to crochet!

  3. And I'd love to spend a day in the kitchen, baking and drinking coffee with you. This post made me feel all warm and Christmas-y, thank you.

  4. I am a chemist , computer scientist, math and language guy who constantly does things with words and number and symbols, some art, some not, patterns patterns everywhere and not. I memorize some auto license tags, know lots of seemingly meaningless technical things, and eNjoy it all. Seeing how the verse of the universe is you and I. I love the way blogs bring people together, sharing, comparing, or sometimes 'oh, here is something embarrassing'. It's almost the inverse of caroling, going door to door singing of the season, we wish you a merry Christmas, while the audience quietly smiles inside the door and front window, waving. It's like we get to stop by and hear your stories, experience your joy, your deep insights, several "me too's!!!". Life on such a grand shared scale, intimate, wander wonder; Life One, Life Won. We all sing, all.

  5. WordVeri: 'gables' and then 'chiestro'

  6. It's no secret that you have a talent for making gorgeous stuff out of the simplest things.

  7. The next time I come to visit the Drs. Conroy (Dr. Jenni, my sister, and her husband, Dr. Matt) in Seattle, I want to have coffee with you, OK?

  8. That post was awesome. Our family does the same thing, say thing with added syllables, and well, you have to decode everything. It makes people think we're weird. Pft, they haven't seen anything yet. Anyways, I've just had the opportunity to award Periphery with the "Versatile Blog" award.
    If you'd like to participate, here's the link to my post
    I hope you do.

  9. Your gift is your wonderful way with words. Lovely.

  10. Aw, thanks everybody. Everybody's welcome to come and drink coffee and bake and crochet. You may also have to fold some laundry, though.
    @Boston - you are a poet.
    @Social Lilac - you are so sweet! Thank you!

    This day really did feel like a big ol' present to me and I'm glad that I could share it with ya'll.


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