Tuesday, September 28, 2010


When the weather turns fall-ish I always want to go camping, and I have bouts of nostalgia for my hiking days. Specifically:

-The smell of a little camp stove boiling away with some camp food. Mealtime was such a special time on the trail because we were working so hard, we actually needed everything we ate. And call me crazy, but meals taste better in the woods.

-Opening the tent for the first time in the morning. To feel cool air, smell that fresh smell, and see a mule deer? A chipmunk? Wildflowers?

-Distance. Thinking about real life is so much easier when you're not actually in it.

-Simplicity. When you have to carry everything, you can pare down your "needs" to a very short list.

-Carbs. ;D

One day I look forward to hiking and camping with my family! :) What's your favorite camping spot?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lessons from my husband

B just turned 30 and we had a good time celebrating. As I was thinking about the time since I met him seven years ago, I realize that knowing him has changed a lot about me, in very good ways.

In addition to, in some ways, raising himself, B has a wisdom that is much older than 30 years. He has not always had it easy but you could not want a more warm and loving husband and father.

If I could summarize what I have learned since I met him, it might go something like this:

1. Don't think about limitations, think about possibility. B tells me I should finish my novel and publish it and make us a million dollars. He isn't kidding -- he really believes that I can be successful with my writing. And so I believe it too. He doesn't waste time thinking about all the reasons why a thing wouldn't work, he just tries to do it. It's a great lesson, and it's one that has led me to a lot more happiness in my work life than I had before I met him.

2. Get used to pulling yourself up by the bootstraps. This is not just in terms of economics, but emotions as well -- sometimes you just have to pull yourself up out of a bad mood, not because it's easy, not because you want to, but because life is short and when you are happy the people around you are happy, which reflects back and makes you happy too. So when you're in a little ditch of sadness, just climb out of it, already.

3. Quit your whining. I am a whiner. I whine when things don't go my way, I whine when things go my way but other people I know aren't happy. I whine when I am tired and I whine when I can't sleep. B teaches me to quit whining and just do what needs to be done. It really saves a lot of time, and it makes me a much more pleasant person to be around.

4. Now is the time to live well! B doesn't save things for a special occasion -- the special occasion is now. Any moment can be worthy of expensive champagne or gourmet chocolates or the latest installment in an anticipated TV series, or a fantastic dinner. And why not? This doesn't mean that he is frivolous or wasteful, just that if there is something nice, why not enjoy it, instead of sitting around looking at it? Somehow when you follow this rule, something new seems to pop up to take the place of whatever you just used up.

5. Never take the first package you reach on the shelf. That's the one everybody picks up and messes with. When you decide to buy something, reach in the back and take one that was hidden. Thank Papa Nash for that one. :)

6. Family first. This is just like it sounds. Our mutual belief in this idea is one of the reasons we got along so well when we first met. You should be deeply suspicious of anything that tries to divide you from your family.

7. Whiskey is best served straight from the freezer. ;D

Happy birthday, darling, I love you so much! My life is a story of triumph because I know you.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Country Road

I took a long drive today after we picked C up from preschool. I set the car to go due east and we drove and drove. The weather was so nice, I wanted to go outside and wander around by a lake for a while, and then stop and have a picnic (maybe Colin Firth would be there? LOL) but the weather, while slightly crisp at only 89 and slightly drier than usual, was just a little too hot for any sustained trekking otuside, especially with two little bitty kids on the verge of naptime. So I thought, why not take a drive, with no object but to drive?

I went to Monticello. It was beautiful. The road there is lined by white fences (really) and bucolic little green fields of livestock and shiny grasses. The sky was blue and the clouds were puffy. Along the way I remembered a trip to a u-pick strawberry farm from Spring last year, and I remembered a girl I used to be friends with who lived out that way, who I would spend hours with on the weekends, going to this or that play, watching intellectual movies, and deciding which old British actor we would marry when we grew up, which ended up happening a little too quickly. I remembered a drive I took during my Freshman year of college with a friend of mine to take pictures, how beautifully blue and sunny that day was, too, how shiny and new my SLR was, how deliciously empty the days of Christmas break at 19 years old.

The kids were mercifully quiet. The only sound was the wind, and the car, a ghastly but necessary but wonderful SUV, so big and roomy and apparently good for napping. Quiet baby snores from the backseat.

I got all the way to the courthouse in Monticello, drove around the roundabout, and then headed back toward home. It was almost like meditating, almost like a retreat. It reminded me that fall is not far away -- the cooling crisp season that I wait for all year.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sticky Situation

This afternoon when we got home from the store C disappeared as I was putting the groceries away, and it was a little too quiet. When I went to investigate, I found him digging into Ben's caramels. Except he ate so many, his teeth got stuck together. It was the funniest thing that I couldn't laugh at, because he was embarrassed, and also I don't want him to think it's funny to steal candy. But I was laughing -- silently, over my shoulder -- so hard that I was crying. I guess that's why he was so quiet! ;D