31 August 2012 § 5 Comments
As the mother of a kindergartener, I feel duty-bound to share certain things with you: a decent first day of school photo, perhaps a couple of fancy-looking-but-effortless-to-prepare homemade school lunch ideas, the obligatory account of how I had to choke back tears as I escorted my baby girl to her classroom on her first day of kindergarten.
But since I’m me – always running 30 seconds behind schedule, no camera at hand when I create anything in the kitchen worth sharing, nary a sentimental bone in my body — this is not that post. I did shed tears – of joy! of freedom! — but I like to keep that special moment to myself. It was bliss.
Instead, I present to you a grainy, blurry, somewhat overexposed photograph of Nina twirling in front of our wisteria tree, taken with my mobile while I juggled a backpack, a purse, a gym bag and two lunches.
And another, taken with an actual camera, that’s so overexposed it looks like I took it during a nuclear explosion.
Technology is not my strongest suit.
What I can tell you about Nina’s first week, photo-less, is this:
• The one person she didn’t get along with in pre-school is not only in her classroom, not just at her table, but sits right next to her
• They are getting along splendidly
• Maybe too splendidly, as they were both put in time out on day one for playing “too enthusiastically”
• She loves riding the bus home
• She still has boundless energy (if anyone tells you that school wears kids out, I’m here to counter that it’s a big, fat urban myth).
• We have confirmed that she’s not a morning person.
This photo was taken during one of this summer’s camping trips, and I love every surly little hate-the-morning bone in her body.
3 February 2012 § 10 Comments
It’s funny how the most obvious thing can take forever to reveal itself to you. I live in this magical little hamlet, yet for the longest time it just wasn’t *home*. And then one day, just like that, it was.
I’ve been a resident for 3 years, 7 months, and 16 days; and on one of those days not too long ago my mind and heart quietly, unceremoniously made the switch.
After innumerable hours spent with my fingers in the dirt, countless miles run along back country roads and around my pond, and raising a happy menagerie of one daughter, six cats and five hens on our little 15 acre corner of the world . . . in the end all it took was a really good cup of coffee. Oh, that magical black elixir.
It helps that the brewed-to-perfection coffee is served in a space where I’m equally comfortable working away from the office, catching up on my reading, staring aimlessly out the window, or watching Nina make good use of the immense collection of games, building blocks and Lincoln Logs while sipping *her* brewed-to-perfection Sunday treat: a not-too-hot, vegan cocoa.
Yes, there is a lovely general store that carries everything from petrol and biodiesel to local/organic produce, good quality GF pasta, Sunshine burgers and Dandies, as well as an owner/chef whose food has developed a cult following.
A cult following so strong that it led to his opening, within walking distance, a spectacular gastropub that sparked Nina’s love affair with Brussels sprouts.
A fantastic – and free! – summer long weekly music festival/farmer’s market.
A music venue that has people coming in droves.
But for this dyed-in-the-wool Chicagoan, who still feels a bittersweet pang whenever she thinks of the concrete jungle she left behind three years and seven point five months ago to try her hand at subsistence farming on a 15-acre slice of solitude, the coffee house is what made this quiet, harmonious community feel like home.
If you read the NYT travel section then you may have already heard about my little corner of the world.
It feels good to be home.
*image #s 5, 6a, 6c and 7-10 courtesy of barnstarfarm via Flickr
2 September 2011 § 5 Comments
I may not be a militant, in your face atheist, but I’m definitely a member. The quote below sums up exactly how I feel on the subject. The comic is just funny. And probably true.
“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but…will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.” — Marcus Aurelius