It's chaos here. Strange and fast. Just trying to keep my head above the sea of people and smoke and lights and gold lame, sequined, shoulder-padded blazers (they still make those?!?!?), and tube tops stretched lengthwise to barely cover the...ahem...you know. I had no idea a woman could balance on a 6 inch point no bigger that a finger's width around!!
We found family. How sweet it is. So, so sweet.
We're off in the morning. Earlier than the hens even dare to start stirring. I'm writing this from a dark corner in our bedroom, theman sound asleep in the opposite corner. I won't tell you he's snoring ever so faintly - a new habit he's picked up in the past year or so. One wild pony is tucked in bed, the other is indulging in a hot shower for as long as she wants. I've given her permission to run the water heater cold just this once. There will be no one else knocking around to tell her to get out.
The fridge is near empty. A head of lettuce, chipotle Tabasco, some white and purple cabbage, cheddar, and local fig compote I intend to rub on some meat and cook when I get back home. Salmon probably. In an attempt to preserve the last of our produce I've cleaned and chopped all the kale, spinach and black beans that were going to be for salads, but now that I've put them in the freezer, they will instead find their way into quiche or soup or fritatta later.
Our voices knock around when we're getting ready for a road trip. Quick, hard hitting energy. So many details, so much to do, so many loose ends and the two youngest in the family want to spend the entire time packing books to read or dolls to play with or just the right pair of mismatch socks rather than get the house clean for coming back home...or for the house sitter. Who can blame them?
Theman and I blow around in a fierce flurry throwing blunt commands around like a fast pitch in a baseball game. Words thunk hard on the walls and it's a wonder our girls don't pack a handkerchief with bread and cheese and the last of the purple cabbage and those books and dolls and hit the road with the bundle swinging from the end of a stick. I would if I were them. We forget our sense of humor when there is so much to do. We. He and I. Both of us. Double header. Thankfully the ponies are understanding and forgiving and even able to find a little humor in the whole crazy situation. They see a pitcher trying to run from base to base creating a tornado behind and if they happen to see a window of opportunity, they sneak off to snuggle with a cat in a corner or say goodnight to sleeping hens or run out to the dark pasture to see if the have shadows on the grass in the fields from the light of a thin canoe moon.
I'm taking with me a sliver of my life's work in art. Paintings, jewelry, and even a little boat with a silk sail to carry a dreamer away to...
We'll leave at 4 am. We'll drive to the headwaters of the Sacramento River to fill our bottles by dawn. High noon will find us sailing across the sand of the Nevada desert and evening will jostle us with the pulsing lights of Las Vegas. Seems a bit of a contradiction considering the quiet vastness of the journey but I will enjoy our time there with my brood. We'll wiggle along with the rest of the world there. I'll tell you all about it when I get back.
In the meantime, this made me certainly ponder on why we chose our departure time. We may never know.
On this day of sharing heart-space extra openly, I'm not surprised that it feels like any other day around these parts. Lots of hugs, kisses, I love you's. More than the average teenager wants to witness in her parents who must certainly be too-old-to-make-out.
We make up for the gross out factor by making sure adoration and physical expression is shared with the wild ponies in a tender sort of wild ponyish way. That spot just below the inner corner of their eye is still my favorite spot to plant a smooch...that and just under their earlobes....ever since they first showed up in my life that spot is the sweetest.
The magic of our little love life made the simplest things shine extra bright for me today. The little things that bring my life of busy-ness a tiny sense of luxury and preciousness. Things that make ordinary tasks a little easier, more special, and dot the time in between darting around hither and yon with a little smile of color and breath. Uncomplicated things. Silly things, but my things. Here's a peek at just a few of the little things I love....
an antique spoon with a time-sharpened tip - perfect for digging out grapefruit segments. And that's it. It stays in the drawer when soup or yogurt is on the menu. Grapefruit only thank you. Perfectly every time.
the first one...whooooooorrrrrllllled and ready for it's own personal morning. To me, the show of this yellow face will mark the official beginning of spring.
these. every day. 7 of them. 4 brown and 3 blue. Thank you girls with the fluffy underpants.
see through zipper pouches. for everything and anything...especially when packing to travel.
yes, I admit it. who needs tv when you have this?...though I'm still on the hunt for "Savages"...that one movie where Andy Griffith was a bad guy. Yeah. You heard that right. Andy Griffith - a bad guy. Remember that movie?
Getting lost here. Planning my route. wondering if I should hit them all in one long trip or space it out over a few trips. Loving that I just realized that one of the authors of this book also authored a fantastic audio book we listened to about the first cross-country automobile trip while ON a partly-cross country trip of our own...incidentally along some of the same route.
promises. nourishment. sustenance.
scouring the town from the seat of a bicycle.
impromptu Valentine's living room circus clowns....
with monkey dance partners...
and caged wild green gorillas
and every day starting, ending and being studded throughout with this. A sweet life indeed. Simple and sweet.
I've barely pulled my camera out in the past month or more. I'm just kind of taking the world in with my body senses. Even my iPhone camera has been underused...the best use of it being made to video the new baby just minutes after her birth, to freeze-frame a Sunday afternoon bike ride, to catch a hen in the act of laying a beautiful blue egg. I'm not sure that she wasn't totally insulted. Busted mid-act...too far into the process to decide to wait for me to leave. I thanked her and massaged her silver neck. She tolerated my show of affection.
I'm floating around, trying to get my bearings for the teaching/writing schedule I have ahead of me. I'm in a MUCH better place with regards to my relationship to teaching than I was last year this time. How I love being in the classroom with everyone. How I have created the preparation to be a thing of dread. Mountains that get shoved tighter and tighter into that corner of procrastination until finally, the wall splits at the seams. Not this time. This time, I am thinking a head more. I'm planning ahead more. I'm taking action sooner. I'm...well...still looking at a mountain, but it's not a scary mountain any more. It's just stuff to do.
I've been gifting myself with a few nurturing activities, not the least of which is a particular online course that that I've been taking....so very much richer-deeper-kinder-substantial than I expected it would be. It's funny how comforting it can be to realize you're not the only one who's felt what you've felt and thought what you thought...and still managed to sound sane and together and incredibly aware.
I've filled my iPhone with soulfull and inspiring podcasts and audio books that keep me company while mountain climbing. I feel so lifted, lightened, grateful. And the funniest part of it all is that I wasn't exactly feeling down before. I guess no matter how great things are, there's always room for even more magic and beauty. I love that. I love how there is always room in life for more beauty.
Like Sunday afternoon bike rides and slushies by the railroad tracks and peanut shell towers. Just when you think you can't take any more beauty, you catch yourself doing something really dumb - something you totally "should know better" than to do - and you realize that you have just been gifted with another amazing opportunity to know yourself even better. Beautiful!
I've been painting up a storm these days. Doing my best to put the fuzzy-edged flashes of color and imagery that dart around in my mind on wood and plaster. Here are a few in various stages of completion. I'll have them with me in Las Vegas along with some new jewelry I'm making inspired by the fingering bare branches whose tips are fattening with green potential.
Thank you to all who have purchased a message heart. I'm so happy to know they will carry whispers and shouts of love to the far corners of you lives. Love that. Love that.