Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Spring seems far off, impossible, but it is coming. Already there is dusk instead of darkness at five in the afternoon; already hope is stirring at the edges of the day. ~Kathleen Norris, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography

I suppose I knew when I set the jar of wave-washed shells on the window seat in my office that one day far off in February I'd be looking at them in a longing sort of way, hoping, waiting, wishing hard for warm days. Those days are here and have settled in to stay. We've been teased and taunted by 70 degrees and I've had to watch my children run barefoot through the yard, in this gray February no less, knowing full well that the chill would return, the ice along with it and weeks more of winter. I am right now, finally wishing for the end of it.

I'm doing my best to avoid whatever plague it is that has struck my husband, and hoping to keep it from spreading through the house, dancing this yearly dance that we do with sickness. I listen to the stories from the kids about which of their friends were sent home with which unspeakable malady and how many others in their family are befallen with the same dreaded ick. "Wash your hands", is about all I can say and just hope to see the forsythia popping open soon.

"Key West" my husband says, will be our final answer. Key West is where we'll settle, or someplace like it. Somewhere warm. A place where clothing is light, swimsuits are daily attire and shoes are optional. But I always wonder if the winter doldrums can be felt there too or if there is some equivalent. I wonder if it's the rain that nags at people's sensibilities and makes them long for something else. Or is the sand a frustration or the salt air that destroys and corrodes or are they worth living with just for the temperate climate? I don't know, or won't at least for a good while, at this point I'll settle for the escape the dream offers, it's far better than complaining.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


When he said he was going to start running again I nearly jumped out of my chair I was so excited. This was the final frontier of our marriage, I told him, the one last thing that we could do together that I thought we were missing out on, running.

When we met over 14 years ago he ran on average four nights a week, ate fast food as much as possible and had a fridge full of beer, you know, the life of a bachelor. As time went on, all of the above have practically disappeared, you know, the life of a happily married man. Even he will tell you that. But for reasons beyond this post the running is returning and I am a happy woman.

Our first foray out onto the trail went something like this:

me: "I love this! This is so great, I'm so glad you're doing this again, I love having someone to run with!" I blurted, bouncing along as we went.

him: "Yeah. Great." huff. puff.

me: "I mean, I know you're doing this for yourself and all, but I'm so glad you're taking an interest again in something I like to do, this is so much fun!!" leap! leap!

him: "Humph." plod. plod.

And that's about how those first couple of runs went, but as he's gone more and more the ease and natural grace of a former athlete has come back, the stride has returned and today we ran in quiet unison, headphones on, through the trail. A few surprise Rocky punches into mid-air for effect and some backward running purely for my amusement were the clear indication that at 40 we are far from old, dated perhaps, but the spirit of youth remains as we refuse to let it go. The only thing that made it better was hearing this song, at just the right point in the run, and that yes, there was nothing holding us back. A happy woman.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Back in black

After searching for just the right beads to replace my favorite black ones that I can no longer buy, I've found success and have two new necklaces to share.

They may look similar to what you've seen in the past, but trust me, there are some subtle differences, especially with the second one.

I hope you'll enjoy, from my shop, the first necklace here and the one below here. The fruits of my Friday afternoon labor.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A changed perspective

Some Friday afternoons I think there's nothing better than holing up in my little office, the door slid closed, sitting in the window seat, music playing, making something new. The kids are settled, no homework, no busy schedule (usually), or at least there's typically a break in time before running back out on to the next thing. The still and calm are all I'm asking for, the time to myself, the time to breathe deep and settle in to the weekend, knowing the demands are temporarily are fewer, less urgent, or can just wait.

Things have changed of course, I'm not quite sure how I landed at exactly this place, but I know it happened gradually, largely without my being aware. Every once in a while I'm reminded of my age, my stage, where I really am. Working with many twenty-something-year-olds can be an ever-present reminder of how I fell asleep one day at 30, whirled around three times on the pregnancy merry-go-round which promptly spat me out 10 years later, back into another crew of twenty-something-year-olds who hold the mirror up to my age.

"What are you doing tonight?" one of them asked me one day at work, as if I had plans or something. (and on a weekday!)

I chuckled and started in, "Well, let's see, I get the kids off the bus, then it's homework, then one load of laundry after the next, you know the laundry never ends, then there's general child management which can involve nearly anything you want to name from conflict resolution to deep conversation to tickling to sports to friends and playdates or wiping tears, then meal preparation, lunch prep for the next day, back to the laundry, connecting with the husband, tending to household management, my business, life, dogs, chickens, the kids some more and then it's their bedtime and then more time with my husband and then my bedtime and it all starts over again the next day. Why, what are you doing?"

"Aggh! That sounds practically awful!" was his only response.

"Hmmm. Awful. It's never been awful. In fact, I wouldn't describe it ever as awful. It's really all I've ever wanted and all I still want. I love my family. I wouldn't trade it for anything. That's just the way things are." he was dumbstruck.

And I realize how thankful I am for that merry-go-round and how astonished I am at how it works its magic. If he's lucky, he'll step foot onto his own one day and he won't know what happened and that's probably the way it's really supposed to be, that is if you're very, very lucky.