Last night I sat down to write a break-up letter to this space, to tell it I was leaving to go pursue something more practical. When I started my photography business in the spring, I started a separate blog on the Brackish website, and I have some vague notion that I'm supposed to be spending more energy on it because it helps with SEO and Google ranking. Keeping up two blogs feels a little silly, and the idea of drawing a line between the me of this blog and the me of that blog seems a bit arbitrary.
I thought the solution was to retire Our Buzzards, to start writing on my photography site more.
But that idea made me sad.
Coming here to write and share in this space has brought me happiness. `While the internet gets criticized for sucking people in and distracting them from the present, I feel that knowing that I wanted to come and write forced me to stay present. It gave me a reason to pay attention.
I know I could do all of that in a different space. I know that no matter what house we live in, my family will remain basically the same. But I love this house, this space. Even if it is just a janky old blogspot address.
I'm not saying good bye. Not yet at least. Thinking this all through and spending too long rereading old posts has actually given me a renewed interest in keeping up on things over here.
On Sunday afternoons after church, Sena and I drive to Annapolis to work at Evergreen Antiques, the antique shop my friend Joanna bough earlier this summer. Sena dusts and polishes silver. She walks across the street to City Dock to get us iced coffees and Jamaican tea. When there are lulls, she goes walking around Maryland Avenue. Sometimes Geoffrey, Joanna's husband, takes her to go get a milkshake on Main Street. It's a sweet way to pass the afternoon, as I help ring up costumers or price clip on earrings.
On Tuesday, the shop had its grand re-opening, complete with a ribbon cutting with the handsome, young mayor, a bossa nova guitar player, and bottles and bottles of champagne. I stayed behind the counter most of the evening, while Sena wandered around with my camera, snapping away at her favorite bits and pieces.
I like Sena in that world. She's sweet and helpful and incredibly adorable. She wears her vintage dresses and helps me make videos of the shop. It is a damn fine way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
In November my youngest sister Abby is getting married. On Saturday, on a warm, beautiful evening, my mom and aunt threw her a bridal shower with all the causal elegance that they always manage to evoke despite their amazingly busy lives these days.
I showed up moments before the official start time and was of very little assistance. I had spent the previous two nights out of town shooting my first wedding, having spent the whole day prior behind the lens, I did a lackluster job for Abby's shower.
Everything was beautiful, sweet, and simple. All the details covered while still feeling effortless. Wine and lemon water. Caesar salad and the most delicious lasagnas from Giolitti's in Annapolis. Pound cake, strawberries and short bread cookies. And lots of babies.
It's hard to image my youngest sister married. Abigail, a text book "baby of the family," in a role that I have learned over the years carries far more weight than most of us realize when we stand to say "I do."
I am excited for November, to watch her exchange her vows in the church my mother and aunts grew up in. To dance and toast and celebrate. To see her in all her beauty taking on a big, beautiful new role.
I have a hard time talking myself in to trends. It's not to say that I don't partake; I most certainly do. But I do it with my fair share of embarrassment and self-doubt. Do I actually like these things or have I just been convinced I like these things?
Three years ago we bought this house. It was a short-sale that lasted almost six-months, which gave me plenty of time to agonize over decisions about how I wanted to decorate. I spent hours pouring over coffee table books, magazines, and obviously, Pintrest. I realized I was drawn to white rooms with tons of house plants at about the same time I realized that every women my age, on the Internet at least, was drawn to white rooms with tons of house plants. It was a disappointing discovery. I didn't want a house that look exactly like every other house, even if I had come to believe I really liked that house.
I allowed myself to indulge in the house plants, but decided to paint the the big, open room a warm yellow, in an attempt to evoke cheeriness. But I almost instantly regretted it. It looked dingy, especially as back drop to my mostly thrifted artwork.
Right before Alamae was born I bought two gallons of my faithful Simply White Benjamin Moore Aura paint, ready to turn the space light and bright. But my plans got thwarted when my friend Joanna, who has great, unconventional taste started critiquing the ubiquitous white houses shown so often in print and on screen. And I wholeheartedly agreed with her. There are too many houses that look shockingly similar. Yes, people should embrace color. And why are we all so afraid of being bold and doing something different?
But the thing was, I still wanted a big, white canvas to play with. So when last week's kitchen fire meant the insurance company would in affect pay us for our time to repaint, I decided that the white was finally happening.
And you know what, I'm really happy I did.
The curtains need to be rehung (this time a little further up and out just like Emily Henderson told me) and the art is getting moved around. And then maybe, if for a few moments I can get it looking spruced up, I might give the internet more of what it wants: pictures of houses with white walls and house plants.
It's been a slow reentry into real life after two full weeks at the beach. Made even slower by the fact that we had a small kitchen fire, with little actual fire damage, but a significant amount of smoke damage. My plans to return home and get cooking have been halted until we get a new range and hood. I've had to stay out of the house with the kids as a crew did a pretty lack luster job cleaning.
Even still, it's relatively easy to find the silver lining in the situation. No one was hurt. The damage was minimal. I get a new appliance when the old one was nearing the end of it's line. And I'm using the opportunity to give the house a refresh. That being said, it's made it impossible to return to any sort of routine.
The trip between home and Ocracoke, while long, has become so routine that it was ceased to feel like an adevnture of any sort. But last Sunday, we had lots of hours to kill on our slow wind up the coast because I had an appointment to take pictures in Norfolk in the evening. (Which turned out beautifully. I would love for you to go check them out on my photography website: Brackish Photography.)
We stopped for long meals and to take pictures of things that caught our attention. I showed there where I used to vacation as a kid. We pulled over to stretch our legs at a public beach. We listened to lots of podcasts and felt creative and inspired. It was one of my best drives north that I've ever had.