Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Crazy or lazy?

I get up and am out the door early in the summer. Very early. Maybe too early. But it's really the only logical time to go running and walk the dogs when the temperature rises to the upper 90's and low 100's day after day and the humidity feels like a hot, wet, sock wrapped around my lungs.

It seems there is a divide between the early risers and those who'd like to sleep till noon. One half thinks the other is crazy and the other half might think the first are....well, you know. I believe neither to be true. We are who we are and we like what we like for different reasons. Simple as that. The late risers may find their magic in dreams and late nights while the early ones find theirs in the quiet stillness of first daybreak, before the rest of the world wakes up. Somehow I've managed to be an early riser and a late stayer-upper. Maybe that's crazy.

Whatever side of the fence you're on, whatever judgement you may cast on the other group (or not), whether you like steak or tofu, it really doesn't matter. All I know is there is a very brief time in the morning when the sun glows red and the birds are more noticeable than ever that I find a little magic. That dream-like, almost awake, hazy state of mind that when confronted with a sunrise over a country barn makes me glad I didn't miss it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thinking about...

Today I'm thinking about little yellow dinghies,

sunbleached oystershells in driveways

and solitude on the water.

Am I the only one?

Oh, and of course this house and how I might want to make it eventually look something like this, but I'm not obsessing or anything.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


We recently escaped. Had ourselves a little getaway, to a tiny little town in a remote area that we didn't want to leave. I will avoid boring you with the 178 pictures I took, so I'll just hit some highlights. Afterward, I bet you'll want to visit, or at least will dream up a little weekend away yourselves.

As you may know, we are drawn to the water.

We love old houses, so we stayed in one. I wish my driveway looked like this.

And that I had giant magnolias flanking the house. Seriously, they're huge.

Anyone who can keep their gardens this well tended in the middle of a July drought clearly works herself to the bone. I know.

But what I really fell in love with was this abandoned house. I'm not talking a little love, I mean I fell in LOVE with this house. Instantly. Head over heels. I want to move in tomorrow. I want to strip it down to the bare floors and windows and paint the walls white. It would be my dream weekend getaway, we'd sleep on the floors for a while, barely add any furniture, have the basics only and canoes, bikes, kayaks, long summer days. Sigh.

I had a favorite boathouse too. It rained a couple of times while we were there and the family would gather on the benches under its cover and watch the storms come in. It's the little things a place like this makes you remember.

Of course there were the sailboats.

The one in the middle below was from Topeka, KS. I thought that was funny.

The green of the grass gets me.

The houses were old and spread far from one another.

I'll be back to visit the hundred and some odd year old lighthouse. The water was too rough to go all the way there, the sun was setting with not enough time for us to climb to the top, but we will be back. We'll go to the top and I'll try not to think about scary movies when we do.

Isn't it hard to plan a trip away? It is. It is. Especially when there are kids and you leave them behind. But each time we do it we are reminded how important it is to remember what we are, what we used to be, what we can be still, even in the midst of crazy, busy, life.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Getting it right

I used to think I had to do everything right. Exactly right. No mistakes, no half-way, no sort-of, mediocre or almost. It applied to everything. Grades, housework, raising children, running a business, taking pictures, knitting, being a wife, work, everything. Well, actually I guess I still think that way, but it has taken having children to get me to lighten up a little. (thank goodness)

Case in point: trying to take their picture. The recently toothless, the tan, with dirty black feet, all three. It's a lesson in futility.

At least it was last night while waiting for the fireworks display, which was great, by the way, and even impressive for this small town. And as I sat and watched the lights and listened to the booms and looked at the awed expressions on my children's faces, I have to admit I wondered how there was still money (in this small town) for fireworks when every other budget seems to be getting slashed to the core. Specifically the schools but heck, even the dump is now closed one day a week and there hasn't been an animal at the animal shelter in years, I guess they leave that responsibility up to the private groups.

When I let my mind wander to all these things I usually end up thinking I don't know what's right anymore. Or maybe it's just that there isn't only one right. Maybe fireworks have something that's intangible that we still need. Maybe they're the reminder that life goes on even when times are hard, that there is still a community that can come together for celebration, for children (mine) running themselves silly playing tag and hide-and-seek and ending up in a giggling pile all over themselves on a blanket spread out on the Fourth of July.

Maybe they help us remember that all of life is important, especially from the viewpoint of a child. I know that in years to come my children won't look back and remember the shady dealings of politicians and public figures, but I know they'll have dreamy recollections of hot summer nights, barefoot in the crispy grass during a July drought catching fireflies and watching fireworks. At least that's what I remember.