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life happens

Dispatch: Summer

Given it’s mid-August yet I have spent many a day wearing socks and a sweatshirt, it’s a bit difficult for me to identify with ‘summer’ at the moment. Here on the edge of the Pacific, it’s the season that isn’t (although we have had some PHENOMENALLY GORGEOUS days). I honestly haven’t seen the sun in a week. My neighbors call this Fog-Ust.

It hurts.

But, in true Me fashion, all is not lost. The sun is always shining. Somewhere. I’ve taken my weekly gallivant into the sun, to simmer in the heat, and knit by the river or similar body of water. Reed and I have gone camping twice now, with a third trip planned later this week. I don’t know if he’ll always remember these adventures from his young years, but I do hope our excursions to the wild side shape his sense of adventure for his life to come.

I try to make the most of my free time with Reed. We’ve been blueberry picking, discovered a new love for sushi (as long as we leave off the avocado), practiced our reading and writing, and spent endless hours simply snuggling. Our living room is cluttered with no less than thirty library books at the moment, as Reed is the proud owner of his first library card. I let him pick out his own books, so our selection is pretty random. This week, it’s all non-fiction jungle animals. (I never knew lemurs ONLY live on Madagascar!)

As for my new (old) home, I’ve made slow and steady progress. But mostly slow, to be honest. I still have a few boxes to unpack and many pictures to hang. Settling in isn’t easy, and the house has yet to feel like home. Dirt seems to accumulate faster than I can keep up. My filing needs, well, to be filed. The windows are still filthy.

Ah, life.

I have made a wee bit of progress on the garden. I even just planted another batch of peas and lettuce this past weekend. The pumpkins, planted late in mid-July, finally seem to be gaining ground and may even produce a pumpkin or two before the end of October. Even if they are still green, I will be happy. I have found gardening on the coast to be so much easier without the unforgiving heat requiring hours of daily watering. I now remember why I was such an avid gardener when I lived her last: it’s just so much easier. Aside from the daily war with slugs and snails.

My seasonal inspiration to Reflect is often synchronized with wrapping up large projects, and this is no exception. After more than a month of hard knitting, I have two shawls off the needles and my sweater is not far behind. For some reason, my projects seem to start and stop in waves. All at once.

I think I need a better work flow.

I always seem to get a little jumbled up when projects end. I have ideas for new projects. But no yarn.

Time to go shopping ASAP!

I’ve been making these little to-do lists every month. Kind of like a bucket list but more Down to Business. As I look back on my lists from the last few months, they all look pretty similar. So many tasks have been rolled over and over, still incomplete (um, window washing!). There’s just not enough time! I try not to drown in the overwhelming feeling that I am Getting Nowhere, that life is Passing Me By, or that these summer days are not unfolding as I had hoped.

Instead, I’ve come to realize I’ll get there. Eventually. Perhaps not all at once. Or on the path that I had envisioned. Everything doesn’t need to happen all at once. Or maybe even at all.

The important thing is to remember it is summer and, hot or cold, savor the light. The long days. The blooming flowers. My child.

It’s all there.

Transitions, Knitting and Otherwise

Knitting, like life, is full of transitions. We switch from knit to purl. Purl to knit. We cable left. Then we cable right. At first, as we learn and make our way, it’s awkward. Sometimes it gets better, and we find our groove. Sometimes it just stays awkward. And, sometimes, a project doesn’t work out at all. The yarn is wrong. The pattern is wrong. The needles are wrong. Or maybe they even break.

So we transition to a new project, hopefully learning from our mistakes along the way.

I have to say, when I bought my first house almost exactly 14 years ago at the ripe old age of 23, I never thought I would someday move back into that very same house, a mother, more than a decade later. An older version of my younger self.

Way back then (truly, I can hardly even remember, it feels so long ago), I don’t think I ever even paused to consider that I would someday be a mother. I was busy doing all the things young people do–going to grad school, working, talking on the phone (a landline, tsk!) with my friends at great length, and generally seeking out my path in the world. The internet was barely invented. Hek, blogs were barely invented.

And then life happened, setting me on a path that oddly lead me right back to where I started in a way I never really saw coming or imagined for myself at any point along the way.

The universe is funny that way. I have always found that the outcome that comes to fruition is the one possibility I never even considered. Not for lack of thinking or wondering (because I am a thinker and wonderer, typically over-examining all possible routes to the point of nausea…), but because that’s how life works. We set our course as best we can, but the winds of change–forces greater than our best intentions–sometimes blow us in other directions. New directions. For better or worse.

The path before me is unclear, and really I am just trying to settle in to my new (old) home, overgrown garden and all. When I decided to move, the first thing I loaded in the car was my stash of yarn. I don’t know why. Maybe that just made it feel real to me. If the yarn was moving, I was going with it. Now, weeks later, it was one of the last things to be unpacked. (And it still isn’t organized.)

I wasn’t sure where to put it.

It has a spot now. It’s on a shelf in a bedroom that long ago was home to my old roommates, two of which are still lifelong friends. It’s weird to see the yarn there, in their rooms. It seems misplaced somehow.

Everything seems misplaced somehow.

But then I remind myself that it’s a transition. And it’s only yarn.

Eventually, everything (and everyone) will find its proper place, which may, from time to time, move to a new proper place.

And that’s life.

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