finding time…

Man, sometimes it’s hard to post an entry! I’ve been constantly occupied (in a good way, mostly) for the past week straight. I’ve decided that even though I have to walk out the door in a minute, I’m just going to write what I can and come back to it.

The vacation was fabulous. I needed it more than I knew. It was fresh and relaxing and bonded me even more to Jeff’s family. I love those people. I was thinking about how strange it was that we could all be cramped into a cabin with little privacy, craziness in the kitchen, one bathroom for 13 or so people to juggle, and yet still feel like we’re having a great time. It’s a miraculous thing, your state of mind. I sat on the beach for hours, I read, I swam, I hiked, I played with my nieces and nephews, we had bonfires and late night talks… it was fabulous.

On the first night we lit a fire at the lake and roasted marshmallows. Then I looked up and saw the starry night sky. It was so beautiful and awe-inspiring that I had to think that not being able to see that on a regular basis is just wrong. I love living in the city, but I have to say that the power of nature has always grounded me in a way that not much else can. It helps me to recognize my smallness in a world that would have me believe otherwise. I went for a walk with Vera alone one morning through the woods. We took a detour down a smaller path and everything seemed to quiet down. She and I were surrounded by huge trees and animal noises. She looked around, wide-eyed and beautiful, and I felt like- as hokey as this might sound- that we were part of it all. We aren’t meant to conquer nature, we are meant to respect and be thankful for it.

What troubles me in my daily life are man-made things. I get stressed about money or time or relationships or greed or violence. Granted, this is part of what helps me grow and makes me uniquely human. It’s good and I don’t want to give up all of that, and I don’t think I could if I tried, but maybe that’s why keeping a garden or just looking up at the stars is so important. We need to be grounded, brought back to Earth. There’s so much around us that wants us to live in our heads- and what a jumbled mess that is. I prefer to strive for another way of life, be it in the city or by the lake under millions of stars. I will try to be humbled daily, to drop all that distracts me and meditate, to live as sustainably as I can, to give thanks for all that I have, and to teach my children that this world is not ours for the taking, we are merely guests here.

Well, I guess I’d better dive in, eh?

August 5th:

August 6th:

August 7th:
So the day before we left our stupid dryer broke and we were left with loads wet diapers that needed to be packed. Dread. Anyway, I’d been pestering Jeff about a clothesline for months, and while I should’ve probably done it myself a long time ago, he kept saying he’d do it for me. Funny how the universe can nudge you. We both love it and have been using it for everything now. It actually seems to take less time, and sun drying those diapers is the way to go.

August 8th:
My sweet nieces and nephews. We spent practically the whole day on Lake Michigan and they were making sand castles and swimming up a storm. This is Joslyn stomping all over a freshly made sand castle. No one was upset in the slightest and soon enough they were all stomping on it. I think it’s funny that people have a desire to muck up sand castles after they’re done- all that time spent just to watch it tumble. I wonder what that says about us… Or maybe the sand just feels nice between our toes.

August 9th:
I love this picture of Jeff. Grrrr I love him. This was the small lake right behind our cabin. It was nice, much warmer than the frigid Lake Michigan, so Vera liked it (she swims like a little fish!).

August 10th:
Vera with cousin Marissa. She’s 2. Marissa LOVES baby Vera and was constantly wanting to play with her or hold her or give her the pacifier or something. It was so sweet. They will be good friends, I think.

August 11th:
Vera’s half birthday! It’s been six months already… I was just going about my day when I realized she was in the exact spot where she was born. Right there on the floor, February 11th, just a squirmy alien thing… my sprout.

August 12th:
Morning glories are back. They make getting up really early a lot more cheerful. My icon is from last year.

August 13th:
I’ve been getting into storing all the food we’ll want for the year. So far it’s just been freezing and drying- I’ve done strawberries, peaches, plums, nectarines, blueberries, and then yesterday I made a ton of pesto. Basil is drying in the kitchen and it smells lovely. Tomatoes are coming… oh boy. Anyway, it’s been pretty fuss free so far. Sometimes it’s a little hard if the baby wants me, but I’ve been pretty successful overall. It’s just time consuming is all, and I think Gretchen and I will have canning parties to make it a little less daunting.

August 14th:
We got our bushel of corn, and so I’ll be doing a combo of freezing and canning these suckers. Today I’m just doing the freezing part- which is easy. Tomorrow comes the canning.

So that only took me….7 hours to write all that. Haha. I’m doin alllllright.

Quote of the day:
“Never discourage anyone… who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.” -Plato

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