Friday, October 17, 2014

The Backyard

I don't live in the country. We have neighbors, some of whom we annoy, sometimes enough that they call the police on us. And sometimes I just wish we could move away to a place without neighbors, without people complaining to us that our children's games kept them awake ay 9:30 on a Saturday night.

But if you look out our back door, you could believe for a moment that we lived somewhere rural, somewhere far enough away that the banjo riffs wouldn't be heard by anyone other than the people sitting around the campfire.

We live on the edge of town. We see foxes and deer and hear owls, even if I have yet to actually see one. We have a redheaded woodpecker and plenty of squirrels. There's enough nature that it feels like my kids are getting their dose at our fingertips. So they build makeshift weapons out of sticks and string, and they hide among shrubs and dig in the dirt, sometimes taking a nibble too ,well, Arlo does that at least.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Last year I was sad when my birthday came. I didn't want that year of my life to end. Twenty-eight was really good to me.

I know that life can't be parceled off into neat, little year nuggets, but it seemed like twenty-eight was full of good. And so I was sad to bid it adieu. That sadness might have accidentally doomed my twenty-ninth year. This year has not been one for the books.

I will state for the record, nothing bad actually happened. Well, maybe a few little bad things happened, but nothing so out of the realm of normal as to define this past year of my life as "bad." Anyhow, all this simply leads me to say, I was very happy to welcome my thirtieth birthday last Tuesday because like so many people, I enjoy a new beginning, a sense that there is a fresh start.

I think that the people who get the most freaked out by their "big" birthdays, i.e., changing of the decade birthdays, are those who aren't content with where they are in life, though maybe I'm just being judgy and smug. It has seemed to be that those who had some sort of expectation about where they wanted to be by a certain milestone have been the most likely to be upset when that milestone comes around and they aren't quite there yet.

Anyhow, I am perfectly content with what the past thirty years have brought me. I'm happy to be thirty. I've been ready. Thirty doesn't feel like a new stage. It feels like a continuation. I'll keep on keepin' on with my crew of people.  I'll have this baby in few months, and I will fall in love with her just like I have fallen for my other kids. I'll punctuate lazy afternoons and evening meals with trips to the beach and drinks with friends. I'll let my curiosity guide me from small adventure to small adventure. I'll read books and think thoughts and enjoy good meals and be disappointed and cry out to Jesus and do all the things I've done before and more things I probably can't even fathom right now. Thirty will be full of years as great as my twenty-eighth and as mediocre as my twenty-ninth. There might even be a year mixed in there harder than any year I have ever encountered. But hopefully, I will be armed with the wisdom I need to see my way through it.

So I end this decade the same way I began it, pregnant with a daughter and excited about what this year will bring.

Although the actual day of my thirtieth birthday was maybe the slightest bit muted, I got to spend last weekend with my best friend in her boyfriend's wonderful apartment, being fed every sort of delicious thing AND getting to sleep in, with nary a Weaver child in sight. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My Sister Married

My little sister got married this weekend. It was equal parts beautiful and stressful.

When I first started watching my sister Claire plan her wedding, I was afraid the jealousy beast might rear her ugly head, and that I might find myself wishing that I had celebrated my marriage with a bit more fanfare. As the months dragged on and the pressure mounted, I discovered that I was in no way jealous. Actually, I feel pretty smug for getting married without putting myself through that whole ordeal.

Claire and Andrew had a beautiful wedding. Beautiful. And I wish my sister and her new groom peace and happiness. I love them both with my whole heart, and I am eager to see them settle into this new stage of their life together.

As is so often the case at events like this, I didn't manage to capture many moments.  Maybe I'll poach some from the photographer if I ever get my hands on them. My children made me so overwhelmingly proud that day that I can only assume there were a few snaps capturing their joy. I think it's quite possible that Sena and Gus had the best time of any guests there.

And if it's not too much to send in a wish on my own behalf, I'm ready for autumn to take a slower, steadier rhythm now.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sweet Day Dreams

Sometimes I think I want to live on a farm.

The farm would be run on solar panels and heated by a wood stove.
And I would have so many chickens, dozens of chickens. We would eat eggs every morning in our great big, eat-in kitchen.

And maybe I would raise some pigs and have a few goats too. I would make cheese and yogurt, and top off my coffee with raw goats milk, straight from the utter.

And I would have blueberry bushes and blackberry bushes and an orchard full of fruit tress: peaches, plums, apples, pears, figs, nectarines.

And there would be a garden, though it would be the lazy man's variety, mostly stocked with dozens of varieties of tomatoes. And I would finally use my mason jars for something other than cocktails. I would learn to can tomatoes, and those tomatoes would be added to stews all winter long.

And I would plant a field of cutting flowers. And eight months a year, fresh flowers would adorn the table where we would eat our eggs every morning.

But then I wonder if that is actually what I want. I wonder if I would actually collect the apples and turn them into sauce.  Would I resent the goats that needed milking, the weeds that needed weeding? Would I miss the smell of the salt and sulfur? Would I miss afternoons on the beach and the knock of neighborhood kids at the door?

And so, I say in my spot, imagining fields of greener grass, grass that I am in no way responsible for. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

This Weekend We / At Claire and Andrew's

I set aside the weekend to help with last minute wedding plans. My little sister gets married in t-minus 6 days. I was certain that someone would require my time.

We filled up the van with things that needed transported on Saturday morning, but when we showed up at the farm, all wedding production was put on hold. Instead, we ate a good ole fashion country brunch, complete with Scrapple. We chased chickens and walked down to the pond. Gus got his first driving lesson. We harvested a few walnuts.

We spent quite a few hours doing very little, while Tom convinced himself that he could experience his blood pressure lowering. And since the placebo effect is arguably my favorite effect i, I think Claire and Andrew should be prepared for a lot of mornings and afternoons spent lazing about their home, while kids get plenty of space to roam. It's for our health.

My boys aren't country boys, but sometimes it seems like they should be. While Sena seems equally at home in cities, my boys have a touch of wild in them. Maybe it's something all little boys have. They are happy to replace shoes with baseball caps and going running after any animal that has the audacity to make its presence known to them.