After the heartache of the past week and a half, here are a few photos from Eve’s birthday party. How thankful I am for my family that helped me learn to love beyond the boundaries around race, religion, gender, and sexuality that some people have been trying to draw in heartbreaking ways since the election.
Happy birthday, dear Eve. You are loved abundantly. May you love abundantly.
Here’s a quickly-snapped still life from internship today.
I’m in the break room, working on paperwork, since the wireless network sometimes decides that the trip to my office space is way too far. We work it hard. I understand. There’s a comfy love seat in the break room where I can tuck my feet under me and work on termination summaries.
The leaves are just starting to change here. We have had some lovely warm days the last week, but the nights are getting crisper and the air smells of the change in seasons. Here’s the view from my front porch yesterday afternoon, in between clouds and rain.
As you can see, the garden has gotten a bit overgrown since the semester started, but intentional plants grow amongst the weeds. I love having found a lemongrass that grows here, the popcorn seems to aging as it should, and I am still getting lots of cherry tomatoes and some large ones as well. I think that beauty is one of the big reasons that I garden. I can grow jewels in the field next to the house. Continue reading “My late summer in western NY”→
Since I came home from Ireland, I’ve been working on not taking my phone to bed with me. It was a big step, which my Mennonite upbringing is embarrassed to admit, and one I might not have taken without the eccentricities of outlet placements in a very old Irish farmhouse. Since I’ve had a smart phone, (well, probably since I’ve had a cell phone) I’ve slept with it on my bedside stand and my smart phone was the last thing I looked at before I went to sleep and the first thing I’d reach for when I woke up, either in the morning or in those middle-of-the-night awake spells I sometimes have. While I was in Ireland, there wasn’t an outlet near enough to my bed to keep my phone near me while being plugged in. My phone needed to charge at night since it was my main camera and its battery was on its way out. That was the first time in at least a couple of years that I went to sleep without reading or internet-ing with my phone some beforehand and I was surprised (and not proud–see Mennonite note above) at how much I felt the lack of it initially.
Since I got used to falling asleep without phone-ing, and since more and more sleep hygiene studies say that screens at bedtime are bad for sleep, I’ve decided to try no screens in bed for now. Most days I’m just fine with it. I’m not sure how long it will last once the semester is running full force and I rely on my phone more to keep my life organized. One day at a time.
Sometime while I was in Ireland, my vision improved to the point where the world got deeper. I remember saying something to Bradley about being able to see that the clouds were layered, and I think at that point I at least partially thought that I was noticing different types of clouds on top of each other, but there’s definitely more than that. The clouds are deep and wide and long. And it isn’t only the clouds. I have to remind myself to keep my eyes on the road as I drive, because I find myself staring at the sky, the trees, the mountains, and all the space between them and beyond them. There is so much depth there.
I thought I’d give you an itty bitty glimpse into my Ireland visit, since one of the great joys is time with the kids. They’re fun, smart, adventurous, and (often) sweet. Besides giving you a glimpse of the kids’ personalities, you’ll also get to see some of some of Bradley’s handiwork. Bradley and Archer made a marble roller in the stump house that Bradley designed and made for the kids. In case you haven’t seen it, Martha took this picture of the stump house a couple months ago, before the marble roller was installed.
Last weekend, with the end of the semester being so close that I could almost taste the freedom waiting on the other side of six hours of testing, a couple friends and I took ourselves out for the new Mad Max movie. Have you seen it? If so, I’d love to hear what you thought of it. I had no idea what I was getting myself in for, spent a fair amount of time muttering, “good lord, this is stressful,” definitely threw my arms around one of my friends at least once, and I enjoyed it. On the way home, my art historian and librarian friend and I talked about how our skills would be of absolutely no use in the motor-head, dystopian desert world shown in Mad Max: Fury Road. I mean, they only need one guitarist and my basic guitar skills lean far more heavily towards acoustic folk than towards battle-inspiring metal. She said she’d probably end up as what the movie called a “breeder.” I figured that with my well-endowed mammary glands I’d end up living hooked up to pumps with the woman who produced the “mother’s milk” that grown men and women drink. These are obviously not jobs we want for ourselves. They would be grand wastes of our master’s degrees.