how i react to other peoples words and actions
how many times i smile in any give day
how deeply i listen during a conversation
how kind i am to others and myself
my level of honesty
my attitude and my thoughts
what i eat, and today i ate the first peach of the season
how i react to other peoples words and actions
waking after a really good nights sleep
laughing with him about the silly things we want to keep
the perfect birthday gift planned out, from one of my sons
asking the children next door to come over and pick raspberries
and, their mom and dad letting them come
the evening yard full of children’s voices and laughter, a happy dog,
and this beautiful light
boxes moved to the storage unit
a beautiful wedding
spending time with old friends
BBQ hot dogs and watermelon for Sunday dinner
watching Baker play with the soccer ball
this light on these daisies
my old Barbie lunchpail
my mother’s handwriting
my boys old piano books
a special photo
a great rowing class
a long phone call from my sister
good news from a close friend
an inquiring about our home
finding the perfect home for our piano
one last concert by my boy
and, a few rounds of heart and soul together . . .
before it headed out the door
sweet faces are hard to resist
kisses given freely are never to be scolded
yes, his bark is loud, but having a watch dog is a good thing
always love unconditionally, and don’t judge
walking daily is good for the figure and the soul, even in the rain
sleeping with dogs is fine, no matter what my mom taught me
chewing is fun, and nothing is off limits, so it is best to keep things picked up
we can’t find a house we like that we can afford
i drive my kids crazy being so close
the neighbors complain about living next door to a beagle
i can’t make any new friends
everything i worry about does not come true,
and this next chapter is full of new adventures,
change, bravery and saying yes
so much packing
date night at the dog park
a park full of dogs and dog lovers
milkshakes on the way home
sleeping in on Sunday
my morning latte on the patio
a bread conversation with Jordan
new doors, or at least they look like new doors
seeing the end in sight
being outbid on my dream home
Baker catching and playing with a snake in the backyard
on my feet all week, packing
the deluge of raspberries we have picked every day
so much rain in July (which did make it easier to be inside packing)
I can't explain why a bride buys her wedding dress, whereas a groom rents his tux.
- Lou Holtz
my girl scout stamp collection, and the sash that held all my patches
the boys sports trophies, captain plaques and state soccer sweatshirts
worn out picture books, read so many times the pages had fallen out
much loved stuffed animals, whose work here is done
and yep, my wedding gown, which I never did get cleaned and after 42 years looked pretty cruddy
photographs, so many photographs
children’s books, so many children’s book
Liza Lou and The Maggie B
Charlottes Web and Shilo
the boys yearbooks, and one of mine ( i wonder where the others are?)
paper clips, post it notes, the Field Guide deck and sharpies
envelopes, just a few in case we need to write a letter or send a check
hard drives full of photographs, and some cd’s
a bit of my heart, opening it up and making room
for goodness and hope
nostalgia (hearing my father’s voice)
love (motherhood revisited)
frustrations ( because i have so much “stuff”)
accomplishment ( i packed up my office)
hunger (because i forgot to eat all day)
relief (thanks honey for the gin and tonic and the left over chicken noodle soup)
cleaned the house
packed up some of my office
made homemade chicken noodle soup
waited for a phone call
played ball with Baker
met with our realtor
and almost bought a house . . .
There is a lantern in the soul, which makes your solitude luminous. - John O'Donohue
why i come back early ::
i missed this space
picking my camera up daily balances me
(so does writing )
this spider was sitting in such great light
i need this space more than i need a break
i spent the time on break making lists in my journal
it fits me right now
because i want to . . .
“summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. for those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. you can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. summer just opens the door and lets you out.”
― Deb Caletti
I can remember, as a child, that feeling the last day of school brought; the possibilities those three whole months ahead held, seemed endless. Suddenly there was time to do nothing and everything. There was the family vacations to look forward to, but for the most part my summer days as a child were my own. We kids were left to our own devices, allowed to play in the neighborhood with friends, maybe walk to the “little store” for an ice cream bar, or head to the creek to wade and catch crawdads. We were free, without parent’s or teachers hovering over us or planning our days. We built forts, road our bikes, played made up games and seemed to only come in when we were hungry or had to use the bathroom. Life was simple, full of anticipation and unhurried.
Even my parents slowed down. Or so it seemed to me. We ate outside, where my folks would often sit until it was almost dark talking, while I played with friends until everyone was finally called inside. We also ate differently in the summertime. Sometimes we would have nothing more than ears and ears of fresh corn on the cob or fresh picked strawberries on homemade biscuits. If the weather was scorching hot, my mother would pack us a picnic for dinner and we would head to one of the small lakes around our home, where my dad and I would swim to cool off.
Sometime there were overnight visits from out of town family who were on their way to further destinations. During those visits there were cousins to play with and sleepovers, often outside in sleeping bags under the stars. Summer was also the time that both my Grandmother’s would come for a visit (at different times). I loved how my father’s mother drank tea and called my father Bobby and my mother’s mother always allowed me to sleep with her. She smelled like flowers and taught me that the hollowed out hole, left by taking the seeds out of a cantaloupe, was just the perfect size for a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
If I am honest the past several summers have seemed like nothing but work to me. Too much gardening, too much watering; the feeling of being tied down with chores and obligations. Somewhere along the way I lost the pure joy of summertime. This summer will be no different work wise, as we are working hard to place our home, of 32 years, on the market to sell. The possibility of putting things in storage until we can find a new home, overwhelms me a bit for sure. But I see so clearly that this is my summer to put in motion some much needed changes. It will be a summer full of possibilities. The summer that opens its door and lets me walk free.
So all of this reminiscing is to tell you I am taking a break from this space for the summer. I am hoping the break will either make or break my commitment to this blog.
In the meantime I will be swimming in a little lake close by on hot summer evenings, while he and the dog watch. We will be eating simply, mostly from the bounty of the harvest I will take from a garden space that has taught and given me so much over the years. I will be filling all the vases with flowers, flowers I have tended for years, putting them in every room to be enjoyed. I also will clear off bookshelves, purge closets, downsize kitchen gadgets and try my best to convince him to do the same with the garage. I look forward to the one camping trip we have planned to Northern Idaho, where I hope to connect with cousins and swim in the lake of my childhood. I will go to bed early, and wake with the birds. I will do what I need to do to empty out the past in my being, to make space in my heart for whatever this new chapter might hold for us. I am ready, a bit scared, and excited.
I will still pick up my camera most days and post here and there on IG, but mostly I will take photos for me, printing them to fill the walls of our new home. And, I will still be over on ViewFinders every six weeks or so, where I hope you will drop in to say hi.
I wish you all a beautiful summer, full of time well spent. I hope you have moments to do nothing and moments full of laughter, love and wonder.
I will see you in the fall . . .
“She thought, If I’m crazy, I may as well do what I feel like doing. No point being crazy if you have to worry all the time about what people are thinking anyway.”
― Marilynne Robinson, Lila
I often agonize over what it truly is I feel like doing at times,
I wrangle with roadblocks, feeling judgement and guilt, and a bit crazy.
but as I stroll, camera in hand, I find beauty all around me.
some of it begs to be captured; keeping me inside the moment,
following light, free of scrutiny and accusations.