the exact same view
a few months ago
And since we’ve no place to go…
Let it snow.
the exact same view
a few months ago
And since we’ve no place to go…
Let it snow.
To be thankful
when it’s genuine.
And sometimes even when it’s not.
But I wonder if the best kind of gratitude
is the kind that can hold
thankfulness and longing
gratefulness and grief
abundance and loss
together at once.
Because it breaks my heart
when I see
thankfulness thrown over
or our own pain
like a Hello Kitty band-aid
on a broken arm
with words like
well just be thankful it’s not worse
put on a happy face
stop your whining.
it could always be worse.
Let’s remember that.
And let’s not forget that
it is worse
for so many others.
But where we are right now
And sometimes where we are
is honestly hard
to be thankful for.
So on a day like today,
let’s be oh so very
that we are lavishly blessed.
Many of us have more food
than we know what to do with.
And most of us have many people
and are loved by.
But let’s be thankful
or anyone else
for maybe not feeling
all the time.
Don’t you think?
Happy Thanksgiving, friends. I am beyond thankful to have so many of you in my life.
This weekend I got to share all kinds of beverages with all kinds of friends.
And, for every cup I raised, the fingerless gloves were on – as they will be from here on out. I’m freezing.
Thank goodness for the warmth of good people.
Yesterday I spent the entire afternoon with one of the really good people: R-girl. We left R-boy in his football happy place and headed out to the spot where we can most easily get creative and be productive: any warm and cozy coffee shop.
We ordered steaming mugs of our signature beverages, spread out across the table, and got to work. R-girl forced herself to do homework while I indulged in the kind of writing that doesn’t usually happen around here. My own.
Not that it was all business for us. We threw in plenty of people watching, twitter browsing, general analyzing of life, and overall giggling. The girl does crack me up. And inspire me. I am endlessly fascinated by her thoughts and perspective, and I feel exceedingly lucky that I get to hear them.
Although…it wasn’t quite enough sustenance for me. Soon R-girl was hearing me whine about needing more food. And a nap. She mostly ignored me – or told me to suck it up until closing time – by which point I practically needed to be carried to the ice-cold car. Fortunately, R-girl drove, so I could rest my head and dream of the food that was now only minutes away.
That girl is an extreme, marathon, hard-core coffee-shopper. I clearly need to build up my endurance (or bring a pillow and some snacks) to keep up with her in the future.
Thanks to Maeve’s Cafe in Northeast Minneapolis for letting us camp out in the window seats until the sun went down.
And thanks to R-girl for being such a warm and delightful (although slightly cold and heartless) companion on a frigid November Sunday.
My workload lately has been a bit over the top.
As in, when the sun comes up, I’ve been at it for hours. After it sets, I’ve usually got a few more. Occasionally I forget to breathe in between. But let me be clear. I am not complaining. I am doing some fun projects, I’ve got great clients, I get to work from home, I am my own boss, this is just a temporary season of busy-ness, and last year at this time I was having the exact opposite problem, with my first-ever client drought in 14 years of freelancing – during which time I was waking up with panic attacks in the middle of the night and wondering if I should just head down to Cub Foods and start a new career as a cashier.
So. Not complaining.
But, needing a break! And yet… what, oh what could be worth the risk and sacrifice of playing hooky for an entire afternoon…?
BANGbang Salon. I mean, come on. The name itself, people? Right? And the logo?
So that was my Tuesday afternoon. And let me tell you, the only thing I love more than absorbing myself into a hip, creative atmosphere with hip, creative, absolutely delightful friends is…
I can’t remember.
Oh, yes! Now I remember. It’s all that PLUS catching up on the latest fashion mags…
and enjoying a hot cup of tea while being fussed over by (and sharing a heart-to-heart with) the very talented Miss Ashley…
and savoring this view, which is way, way better than it looks in the picture because the only way to catch it is while you are comfortably reclined with your neck resting on a warm towel while someone is massaging your temples and running hot water over your hair…
Here’s to happy hair, friends. And taking breaks. And getting your beautiful back.
P.S. You guys seriously need to get yourselves down to BANGbang even if it’s just to check out the artwork, which is curated by the salon and features crazy talented local artists.
Or heck, just come join me at their Holiday Trunk Show! (P.S. Check out the flier I designed:)
because I have bumped up against a few,
I’ve been thinking about
Or maybe I’m actually thinking about truth.
Like how easy it is
to twist it
or color it
or withhold it
or reframe it
or ration it
or hide it.
And yet how none of those things can actually change it.
(Or can it??)
I am usually a person who can see the both/and.
But I’ll admit
I can’t quite figure out how it works
when two people
have an entirely different version
And there is only room for one.
Are both sides always true?
Is someone always untrue?
Is it all about perspective?
Or is there an ultimate, bigger truth that transcends our meddling?
And, if so, how do we find it?
And what about those times when we
are so deluded
that we don’t even realize we are lying
even to ourselves?
Which brings me back to lies.
What are they, exactly?
Not telling the truth?
Not telling the whole truth?
Not knowing the truth?
And do we lie because we are
desperately needing something to be true, whether or not it actually
And who the hell knows.
Because that is the nature of a lie.
We don’t know.
But what I do know for sure, from experience, is this:
when the truth is messed with
and especially when
a runaway untruth
eventually, suddenly, and mercilessly
those of us in its path.
and not much else
And how refreshing
when someone offers
a cup of pure, clean, honest, unfiltered
Even when it’s costly.
Because it often is.
Here’s to truth, friends. Here’s to finding yours and speaking yours. And here’s to those of you who do.
Hello, friends. It would take me pages to express just how intense the last few weeks have been, for many reasons. But let’s skip right to one of the brightest spots we’ve had around here in a long while…
My niece Kareese, a sparkling ray of sunshine from Southern California, recently finished college and has been traveling the country for the past few months – pointing her Honda CR-V in all kinds of new directions and seeing where it takes her. For eight days in October, she parked it at R-house, and got her first taste of Minnesota.
Besides reminding me how warm and comfortable it feels to have another adult sleeping in the house, Kareese brought out the tourist in me, finally getting me to a few places I’ve always meant to go and never have…
There was something magical about being with someone who is standing on the threshold of now and tomorrow.
Who admits her fears and moves toward them anyway.
And who pauses long enough to survey the landscape.
Get her bearings.
See the big picture.
Thanks for showing us how it’s done, Kareese.
Here’s to bravely heading into the great unknown, friends.
I never have.
I’m just not a fan of endings, even though I know from experience that endings – even (or maybe especially?) hard ones – lead to new beginnings.
Closing one door opens another.
Letting something go leaves space for something better, richer, more real, more right. Blah, blah, blah, whatever.
Can’t we just get to the fresh beginnings without the sad endings once in a while?
Anyway, these days, when I’m walking up to my front door or glancing out my bedroom window, I’m very aware of an ending right next door.
Neighbor Janet has moved away.
I hope she knows I don’t like it.
And that she is missed.
P.S. This is not the first sad ending in the blue house next door. Do you remember sweet, beautiful Betsy?? There was no one like her. You must meet her, here, in one of my very favorite posts from the past.
Here’s to finding some happy in your endings, friends.
Last week R-fam headed west.
She’s been begging to visit for over a year. I’ve been resisting. For many reasons… Some quite real and logistical. One pretty close to my heart.
But that’s a story for another time.
For now, it’s the story of R-adventures.
Like how I followed a hunch and dragged R-boy away from a bus stop and through a random neighborhood—because I had a feeling we might stumble upon Seattle’s big shy recluse.
And how I was right.
And how some bus stops were bigger than others.
And how we just so happened to choose the most glowing, golden evening of our trip to climb to the top of the city.
And how R-girl looks when she walks away.
Confidently and gracefully ahead.
Off on her own.
And how R-girl loved the cappuccinos and the gray skies and the clan of photographer friends she finally met in person and the city and the views and the school and the possibilities and pretty much everything.
And how we found blue trees.
And how I had the best hot dog ever on the streets of downtown, with fresh peppers, cabbage, potatoes, and onions grilled right in front of me and loaded on top. (And, no, I didn’t eat the bun…)
And how a certain magic spot on campus can transform any noise you make into your own personal sound show.
And how it took ages for me to convince R-boy that I wasn’t tricking him about this and he should try it. And how he finally did. (And how, although he won’t admit it, he was kind of impressed.)
And how R-girl and I discovered the real live golden girl. (And I do mean real and live. Check the eyes.)
And how we ate some too. Although not at this particular tourist-trap seafood restaurant, which sort of sucked:
And how R-fam, and a bride, and a half-naked man being arrested by police all shared the same alley for a moment.
And how everyone in R-family made it through the whole five days without getting sick, even after some shaky, questionable moments on our first travel day.
Which all added up to a wonder-filled trip that may doom me to be a grieving mommy in a year from now.
But in this moment, I’m a very happy one, feeling incredibly, amazingly, crazy blessed.
P.S. See the rest of the adventure on Twitter or Instagram at #rfamhitsseattle.
I am a darned lucky girl. And I choked up more than once at the realization.
But I have one friend in particular who sends me cards all throughout the year – for no special reason other than she came across another card that sums it up exactly.
Last week, she did it again.
Don’t you think?