She's a Wild One

I'm baking oatmeal raisin cookies right now and the smell might be enough to make me eat one.  So instead of eating one, I'm going to write one instead.  

Some serious miles were put on over the long holiday 4th of July sparkling weekend, 25 this way bright and early for a parade only to go the 25 back and then add 160 that way for a family picnic and fireworks night.  Then a wake up before the sun to drive the 160 back home so a certain person could work (I felt bad...for a minute).  And then a smarter person than I would have stayed home and possibly relished in having a moment of silence, but instead I packed up some sunscreen and skewer making supplies and hit the road to head 100 miles the other way to find Danae and her people at the lake.  Knowing full well I'd haul that distance back the same night so I could wake up the next morning to drive 59 miles the other way to Sister Pister's rodeo and back home for the afternoon and then to the farm for picnic and fireworks and then back home.  At that point it was Saturday night and I slept. 
It was a lot of going, going, and gone with brief thoughts of I should have stayed home and kept things simple. 

But then there was this one moment on the water, right before we were going to head back to the cabin on Friday evening.  "She's a Wild One" by Faith Hill came on over the pontoon radio.  Danae and I sang.  Like sang sang, loudly and without missing a beat while the wind blew gusts across our faces and dried out soaking wet hair.  We had Emma sandwiched between us at that point and she kept looking up at us and laughing.  We were feeling it

And right there and then, it made everything worth it.

Earlier that day, I had asked Danae, "So is those whole lake thing working out for you?  Do you get tired of the packing and cooking and hauling and dragging everything and kids being out of their routine?"  Her response came later because we were interrupted with somebody needing something.  Her response came when we were on the boat and her kids were soaking wet from swimming and we were all sun tired.  She looked over at me and said, "I love the lake." 

I do believe it's part of being an adult.  The hauling and planning and cooking and organizing and not really relaxing while doing the vacation-esque thing.  It's part of our jobs.  To have the little people around us experience life. 

Experience going under a wave with their "Auntie" Amy and having their momma have a mild panic attack watching from the sidelines. 

Experience telling stories on the boat while everyone laughs at you.  Those skills come in handy later in life when trying to make new friends in college.

Experience tubing with their dad. 

Experience watching their mom and her friend sing so loudly and freely with not a care in the world.  Or not seem to have a care in the world anyway.  That's the key. 

And no, I don't have kids of my own but I sure am around many sets of them in many different settings and I believe in the fun.  The fun which comes from not always making the smart choice about keeping things simple or miles driven. 

The fun which comes from grabbing the baby who really isn't a baby anymore but yet always will be and looking for fish as a distraction from the mommy clingy syndrome. 

The fun which comes from interesting fashion statements like brother's baseball cap and a baby doll's scarf. 

The fun which comes from fires in the evening air. 

The fun which comes from just doing it.  And sleeping later. 


There Was This Day

There was this day back at the very beginning of June.  It was a day of pouring buckets rain, like it had been for several in a row.  It was a day of long coffee time with Brittany.  It was a day of Karen showing up and forcing me to go along with her on a little road trip to get her bridesmaid dress altered at the home of an elderly lady in a small town north of here.  And when I say force, I mean force. 
She showed up in my driveway after trying to talk me into it for forty minutes while still at Brittany's.  She called me and said, "I'm here."  My reply was, "I'm not there.  I stopped at the grocery store.  But fine, I'll go with." 
Off we went in the pouring buckets rain to Ruby's house. 
When we walked in, I knew there was a reason I was there.  And the reason was Ruby was my grandma Gladys showing up to let me know she's still around me all the time.  Ruby's house reminded me oh so much of my grandparents.  There was the abundance of potted house plants all around with the half glass of milk sitting on the table from lunch which her husband was just finishing.  Grandpa Norman was there too.  
Karen and I followed Ruby up the orange carpeted stairway into her sewing room.  There was a Christmas Cactus on the windowsill and I said, "I love your Christmas Cactus."  Ruby was surprised I knew what it was and it set off the conversation of gardening, flowers, and sewing.  Ruby sewed all her own clothes as did her mother, a professionally trained seamstress. 
There were pins on the orange carpet and old photographs on the walls and we visited while that Ruby crouched down to pin Karen's dress up with the elbows resting on one leg stance just as Grandma would. 
There was a reason. 
Then we went with Ruby to the local greenhouse.  The greenhouse which has an entire section named after Ruby.  And she introduced us to her granddaughters who work there still and she showed us her favorites and I asked question after question because it was like my chance to ask those questions which I always wish I could ask Grandma Gladys.  She fired back with answers and plucked dead heads and leaves off the plants as we walked along while the rain pelted the plastic roof. 
On the way home, I thanked Karen for dragging me along on that trip and told her I felt like my grandma had been with me all day.  We both teared up a bit because she had felt something too.  It was simply special.  Our little afternoon with Ruby. 
I just finished watering those flowers in the July afternoon sun.  They are blooming and flourishing and of course include geraniums as those were Grandma's flower.  Now I don't just think about my grandma when I'm watering and caring for the blooms, I think of Ruby too.  I think of that entire generation of women.  And I hope that they will always be on my mind, in the forefront even. 
They belong there. 


Love Sparklers

Happy 4th of July!  May there be sparklers and sunburned ears in everyone's near future.  This is right up there with my favorite holiday.  Really they probably all are my favorite as I have a hard time choosing when it comes to parties and celebrating and theme colors and such.  But there is something about red, white, and blue paired with sunshine and family and fireworks.  There sure is something.   
I think we tend to forget we are blessed to have freedom.  It's been an always there right for all of us in my generation, never a question if we'd get to be driving home on a Sunday evening to the music we want to listen to blaring through the speakers on the car we chose to drive after freely spending the weekend out on the water with friends followed by dinner with family in the outside air.  All the while a hot air balloon floats in the sky up ahead. 
Never a question.  Freedom to work and play as we see fit.   
Because we live here. 
I have the freedom to believe in lip gloss and donkey kicks and sparkly objects and theme parties and taking pictures and writing words and book club and friends and family and working hard and simply running around to do as much as possible.  I have the freedom for all of those ridiculous things I do because of this place called the United States of America. 
On this 4th of July, go sparkler it up and give an extra cheers for our red, white, and blue. 


It Finally Dawned on Me

I don't know if it means something, like a certain milestone has been reached similar to the first time you ride your bike without training wheels which if you are me is a feat in itself but I digress.  Help, save, comfort, and defend us oh gracious Lord.  Now I really digress.  Back to the matter at hand.  A milestone maybe?  An official adult-ism possibly. 
For the first time, I packed my own coffee pot, filters, and grounds for the lake.  It's like the one thing I like to be able to control every day.  Who am I kidding even pretending there's only one thing I like to control.  But still.  Coffee in the morning is important to me. 
Not because I'm a snob about the brand, but because I am a snob about the feeling. 
The feeling of just risen with bed head and barely opened eyes to fiddle with the water while the smell of the grounds floats.  The feeling of pouring it into a good looking cup with the steam billowing up.   
The feeling of holding it in two hands while I sit in a lawn chair and enjoy the sun shining and the birds chirping and the breeze blowing and all that other hippy stuff I tend to relish right up. 
It has honestly stressed me out previously about the lake.  Where's the coffee coming from this morning?  Drive to town?  Find a neighbor?  That's a kind of stress I'm just not willing to take on while supposedly relaxing. 
So this time while we were throwing stuff in the back of the car, it dawned on me. 
Pack my own pot, water, and grounds. 
In those went.  Along with everything else but the kitchen sink. 
And on Saturday morning when Billy and I woke long before the others, I was a happy little lark with my freshly brewed pot sitting on the picnic table. 
I hippy styled it right up.  If I could have yelled out the sky while I was perched in my chair taking in the morning love, I would have.  But it was early. 
Instead, I took pictures of the brown eggs in the rising sun because love a duck they were pretty. 
Another milestone maybe?  Standing on a picnic table while at the lake to take pictures of brown eggs in the sun.  Which kind would that be?


Where did that month go?

I sat on my patio last night in the still warm air with the light that never seems to quite set this time of year around here.  Writing out thank you cards for my birthday shenanigans which occurred this year and it's not that I needed it because I tend to feel it always, but it was a reminder nonetheless.  A reminder of all the people surrounding me.  A reminder of the abundant blessings which have poured in this past year.  I'm thirty now.  And it was celebrated with this ridiculous surprise party thrown by Billy, my family, and friends.  To say I was blown over is an understatement. 
It seems that party kicked the summer off and it hasn't took a breath since.  The birthday, a road trip to the mountains of Montana with my partner in crime, a near perfect weekend at the lake, another road trip with three hilarious little people and a best friend named Danae, coffee dates in the morning with a forever friend named Kimberly, dinners outside with family, horse rides with my little sister, a cousin's wedding, shopping excursions with my fellow bargain hunter friend Brittany, morning runs with Karen followed by procrastination in its finest form...have all been filling my days and nights and all the in-betweens. 
It has been glorious.  Total summer bliss.   

Within that mix, I'm starting something new.  A second job.  It has me feeling all crazy and being simultaneously like yeah I'm so excited about this endeavor to wondering what in the hell was I thinking like I need another thing.  But then I have to remind myself that new is scary.  It's nerve wracking.  It's anxiety inducing.  Because it's new.  I'm a perfectionist so I like things to be just so right away.  New and I often don't get along because if you don't know exactly what you are doing, it's hard to have all little ducks in a row.  I've been doing a lot of self talking.  It goes something like this. 
Oh crap. 
No you can do this. 
Just figure it out. 
Oh crap. 
I think I will text my mom now. 
See.  You can do this. 
Keep going. 
Oh crap. 
He's right.  Yes, okay.  I'm on it. 
Oh crap. 
I could keep going...but instead I'm off to keep up the balance between enjoying the fabulousness of  the sweet and fleeting summertime here and this new anxiety inducing adventure.  Off to go self talk with a yes I can, yes I can, yes I can.  Donkey kick.  Fist pump.  Glitter sprinkle. 
"Every single day, do something that makes your heart sing."  Marcia Wider
I could not agree more.