this moment

{this moment}

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{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

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saving seeds

On Tuesdays we write letters.  I think I got the idea from Tuesdays with Morrie, though I don’t really remember what happens in that book.  Recently Miles actually just began writing them himself, which is as cute as it is convenient, being a scribe can sometimes be confusing -getting the write message down and all… sometimes my adult brain just makes it more complicated than it was meant to be.  The last two Tuesdays we wrote letters to a new batch of pen pals.  A pal for each of our family members, matched up so perfectly.  We never thought this day would really come.  I think we sealed the envelopes up with our tears.

A year ago from last May we drove down a dirt road and turned right at a statue of a little boy fishing, pulled up to a house that would become as comfortable to us as our own home in the year to come, then shared a good meal and a cold beer with its occupants.  It was a warm May-day with forsythia all a bloom and lilac scent wafting through the sky.  We sat in front of their garden, spoke of the work to come in it, and talked and talked and talked some more.  There were squabbles with our kids, but we were all good-hearted about them and they cooked so well we didn’t care how many times our Rowan pushed down their Owen, we would be back.

And back we came, and forth too.  My sweet friend, sister is more like it;  We shared so much this last year.  More than I think I can even begin to understand.  We shared the love of our children becoming best friends, seeing them fit together like peanut butter and jelly.  We shared the comfort in the companionship that our husbands found in each other, a rare thing for our busy, quiet men folk.  We shared knitting needles, recipes, tears, clothes, pillows, laughter, memories, patterns, joys, and concerns.  When this summer came around we shared a batch of seeds to make a cutting garden.   We shared a pregnancy.   Then those flowers grew right alongside our growing bellies and when our sweet little boys were born just two weeks apart we shared the shock and beauty of becoming a family of five.  Having this experience bound us in a way that only the petals and stems can understand.  We just are.

Her family had a chance to move on from this little sliver of a state, to something that provided them with certainty and consistency, and of course, of course, they took it.  It was always known this day would come, but for some reason I thought maybe, just maybe, it wouldn’t.  I helped her pull up her massive love lies bleeding, purple globe amaranth, the ever useful Calendula and all the rest of her cut flower garden a few weeks ago.  We both had our babies dangling from slings while we silently remembered all that we passed between our souls.

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My heart misses them in a way I never knew I could feel.  It really hasn’t settled completely, I can’t imagine not calling them up this weekend to get together and turn our kids loose.  Their friendship was my coffee in the morning and my ice cream out of the container at night. I am so grateful to have met them.  I know with the sureness that the world will continue to turn round and round that our friendship will remain.  Thank you Weeds for the most welcoming welcome a family could ever have, and the most spectacular year in my memory.  We love you all so, so much.

 

the crunch

Almost every leaf has given up the fight and is settled on the ground cozied up for the winter, ready for the big transformation.  The floor is a river of crunchy, slippery, foliage.  Paths that were once coated so thick in brush are now freed up for walking and exploring.  Moss that camouflaged its magnificence against the massiveness of summer is now shining in it’s glory.  Little trumpets of lichen, puddles of moss in star shapes, expanding disks, and the tiniest trees you every saw.  Gnomes land.  Fairy villages.  A rootless reminder that the green of the earth still remains, it just may hide for a bit.

 

 

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Autumn brings us in, yes, but mostly it sets me on a wild rampage chanting, “must go out!”.  The time is short before our breath is a fog and I intend on taking advantage of this slice of time before it’s too late.  This year I do have grand plans for tiny snow shoes, and short little skis, but I am not sure what that will look like with a little one strapped on and a few wobbly, rubber legs by my side.  But plans are plans are plans… and I like to make them.

After  a week straight of sweet, loving visitors, and more excitement than a three and five year old can probably contain, they are playing so nice together.  It is truly a sight to behold.  I have put out less fires than I have started lately,  (oh, wood stove humor…)  and it feels like it should feel.  It’s something about getting your cheeks pink with cold air and sitting by a crackling fire with a mug of something warm and a pile of books that just makes you get along.  Please remind me I said this in February, and I will come back here and make strike through-s in all my sentences.

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When things are so loud in this house of boys and the rain is coming down, or little balls of hail wont seem to let up, or the new chill in the air is willing us to stay in our pajamas, a little voice reminds me there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes and we slide on our rain pants or mittens or mud boots and head out anyways.

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reinforcements

I sent out  a may day text alert a few weeks ago pleading with my ladies from near and far to come and visit while my man-friend went on a long, long business trip.  15 days he would be gone… (4 down!  11 to go!) and I figured it would be best spent with some company scattered in here and there.  First up on the docket was my girl Jesse!  I am so lucky to have this sweet girl in my life.  And her little boy?  He knocks you down with his cuteness.

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I am not going to try to pretend this is easy without Lee.  It isn’t.  It is so loud, and so messy, and so hectic.  I need that reprieve at the end of the day, and tagged onto the beginning and end of each week to recharge.  But I promised myself I would take this trip in stride, one day at a time, and I would find peace in every day.  Even if it was only the briefest moment.  And I can tell you, meeting up with good friends to pick some apples, or staying up late with a buddy knitting, or receiving a hand delivered package of beer from a neighbor fills my cup so high I swear its spilling over.  In these four short days alone, there have already been tears (from all four of us) and tantrums (I won’t name names), but also a whole lot of laughs and sweet kisses.  These babies… they push you to the edge of the world they do.  And then when you are teetering on one toe at the top of the cliff looking down, they paint a picture titled, “Mama with wings” and then tear your chest open and kiss your heart.

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Parenting is a whirlwind of emotions, I really never knew before.  It is a whole lot of give, and rarely ever take.  It is mop the floor then smear it with honey.  It is wake you up in the middle of the night just to say I love you.  It is fold all the laundry than use it as a trampoline.  It is to have nothing of value, but at the same time care for the most valuable thing you can imagine.

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We had our first frost over the weekend.  And now my evenings are being spent perfecting the art of the wood stove fire, spinning on a borrowed wheel and drinking hand delivered beer with the music turned up loud.  For now, this reprieve will do.  In fact, I welcome it.  

 

 

and in the end

Leaves are piling thick around our ankles and tires.  The trees are turning to sticks; Bare sticks that indicate the long winter that is to come, but also that let a light fall to the ground that reminds me that the sun will not leave us all together.   The days are shortening so rapidly it’s hard to keep up.  We had to mend our chicken coop by the light of a headlight last night, and rose again this morning before the day officially started.  It is dark, yes, but that just makes the sun even that much more glorious.  She is dramatic in these in between times, she is.  We take note.

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We covered most of the vegetable garden with winter rye seeds.  I am not sure if it’s too late for them to germinate, but we will see.  I harvested all the things except the Jerusalem artichokes and the butternut squash, which just wont seem to turn tan, maybe this extra sun on their tough skin will do the trick.  I have a few more rows of garlic to set in place, and I still plan on setting a make shift cold frame over my spinach and lettuce.  Bulbs have been tucked in for the winter, hundreds of them in fact, and the slicing down of perennials and clearing away is in full force.

IMG_3987 Our seasons first fire is crackling this morning.  It isn’t terribly cold, but cold enough, and we have the wood, so we did.  Now the dreaming for next year can officially begin.  I so looked forward to this first year.  This time of mine to have a beautiful spot of earth to grow something of my very own, and it was nothing short of what I expected.  It was marvelous.  I just made a typo and wrote “I was marvelous.”  Of course I changed it back, but come to think of it, I think that it is true too.  We don’t toot our own horns quite enough, in my opinion.  I worked hard, I loved those little plants, so yeah… I was marvelous too.