Thursday, September 20, 2018

Throwback Year Five

I have a collection of black and white pictures of JT that hang in the living room.  I see them every day and they never fail to make me smile.  He was five when these pictures were made, a silly and busy little boy who was rather charming.

Those cheeks have gone the way of time, but the smile remains.  

That’s happy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Supremely Well Played

When Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court, I figured that Democrats would fight the good fight and lose anyway.  We’d have yet another Supreme Court justice well to the right of the center (and actual American public opinion), especially on the issue of the right to privacy and abortion.

Now that federal court nominations are filibuster-proof, a Democratic party short of 51 seats in the Senate is doomed to lose.  I had little hope that Republican pro-choice senators like Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins would save us.  Of course they would ask Kavanaugh how he felt about Roe v. Wade and of course he would say it is “settled law.”  Murkowski and Collins would act as if this was re-assuring while the rest of us would know that the answer was anything but since the Supreme Court’s primary power is to alter whatever “settled” law they wish to change.  Roe would quickly be unravelled and then we’d be fighting like hell to hold on to marriage equality.  Reasonable gun control didn’t have a prayer.

I wouldn’t say that I was sanguine about this prospect.  It would be yet another in the chain of horrifying developments that is the Trump Administration.  I would not give up hope and I’d continue to fight like mad to ensure that in subsequent elections there would be enough motivated voters to back our nation off the political ledge that is Donald Trump and his merry band of right-wing bigotry.  

In an office discussion, my boss and I made one of our one dollar bets.  He took confirmation for a dollar and I was sporting, taking the side of a “no” vote for Kavanaugh.  I figured the money was gone but I like to indulge in bitter, ironic laughter.  Clearly, I hadn’t accounted for Senator Chuck Schumer’s willingness to play political hard ball.  At every step of the confirmation process, the Democratic minority leader and his fellow senators have played the long-game on the Kavanaugh nomination.  Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris were heroic in their willingness to insist upon full release of Kavanaugh’s records as well as persistence on the very hard questions.  They played it so well that although I still expected confirmation I felt the Democrats had set us up for a longer term win, suggesting enough doubts about Kavanaugh that we could use the issue to encourage better Democratic turnout in 2018 and well beyond.

I also came to believe that the combination of Republican urgency to confirm and complete unwillingness to release documents related to Kavanaugh was an odd and troubling decision.  Of course, I find many GOP positions to be odd and troubling so this was no surprise.  Then we got the bombshell accusation about Kavanaugh’s behavior as a teenager and an accuser willing to step forward.

The GOP has its hands tied now: refusal to listen to Christine Blasey Ford will haunt them now and later; they know it and have devised a strategy whereby she is expected to testify before the Senate Judiciary committee on Monday next.  Blasey Ford and Senate Democrats want an FBI investigation, which adds time to the clock, a position that is both politically savvy on their part and likely the best approach no matter your politics.  Republicans, with an eye on the coming November 2018 midterm, want a nomination sealed and delivered before election day.  They know there is a coming accounting for their inexcusable placement of party over nation and they see Kavanaugh as one final reward before their caskets start being politically sealed for a generation.

And so we have a stand-off, not just between Senate Democrats and Republicans, but between a nation of women, most of whom know that Blasey Ford is telling the truth because we know the kind of courage it takes for a woman to come forward and tell her story.  I don’t believe that all men engage in the behavior that Kavanaugh demonstrated; I know plenty of men who are decent people drunk or sober.  I am willing to believe that Kavanaugh only did it once.  But I don’t excuse irresponsible teenage behavior that comes without regret and a willingness to change its ways.  My problem isn’t just the assault, it’s Kavanaugh’s unwillingness to be forthright about what happened.  

We are in a strange place as a nation, with a dishonest and dishonorable man in the White House, the leader of a party whose moral conscience is largely made up of cowardly jelly.  The Republican party can see its reckoning on the horizon.  When I bet against Kavanuagh’s confirmation, I never expected to win but it feels close and even if I lose my dollar and Kavanaugh is sworn into the Court, I have a powerful feeling that we are closing in on a reckoning that will change this nation forever.  I can already smell the hope and change coming our way.  

Monday, September 17, 2018

An Ode to Simple Pleasures

I am a regular reader of the Cup of Jo website and enjoy the sense of community that can be found in the comments section (that alone is rather a shocking notion, I think……but this is a site run by women with an audience of like-minded-women)  Last week, there was a post about the simple pleasures of life and readers were encouraged to list their own simple pleasures.

In the midst of the current political mess, my anxiety about the way forward, and assorted everyday worries, I do my best to keep positive.  These comments have been a lovely touch of found joy.  I’ve enjoyed it so much, that it seems silly not to share.  So here it is for you. 

Regular readers know that each month I change the “I love” list in the About Me section of this blog.  That list is an ever-changing collection of things that make me happy; my recent simple pleasures.  I started it many years ago as a reminder to find happiness where I can and it still functions that way for me.  I like a mindset that reminds me to find delight in my daily life.  That’s happy!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Throwback: Year 4

In some respects, it is like JT was born knowing he would be an only child.  His imagination was often his favorite companion and around the age of four he became the king of costumes, the better to aid his imagination.  That year, Santa brought him a pirate costume and he loved it at once.  Over the years, he had several more pirate costumes but this one started it all.  He was a proud pirate.  

Around the time that he received this costume we were driving to school when he announced, "as long as I have my brain, I'll never be bored, Mama."

“Yes, indeed,” I agreed.  He knew himself well at the age of 4.  In some of these pictures, he looks so very serious.  When they were first made, I imagined that I was seeing a glimpse into his grown-up face.  He was certainly determined to be a very serious pirate.

One with a sense of style, of course.  This first costume led to nearly a dozen other costumes and a boy who planned his Halloween celebration with the aid of his sewing grandmother and the precision of Eisenhower in advance of D-Day.  The costumes are long gone, though the boy with the imagination for a companion lives on, still comfortable for hours on his own.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

September Front Porch

The porch got a wash for the start of the school year.  The sunflower flag is waving.

So far, September has been warm and so the indoor plants are still outside.  The shefflura keep me company when I sit in the rocker, which I try to do in the afternoon.  

The fuchsia hanging baskets are looking a little weary but there is a bloom or two left and so they will stay up for the month.

The table has a blue gingham cloth, plants, summer flowers, my wooden village and some lovely fairy lights to make me smile.  Though school has begun and I’ll be out here less than I would like, the porch is my happy place and it remains as welcoming as ever for September.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Fall is in the Air

After some blistering and steamy heat last week, the weekend brought cooler weather.  Today is overcast and rainy; despite the green leaves and lawn, there is a hint of Fall in the air.

Soon, there will be leaves to bag and I’ll need to grab a sweater before I go outside.  I always enjoy the seasons and Fall is no exception.  Though I’m always sad to give up flip flops, cooler days and nights will be welcome.  I’m looking forward to Fall recipes (pumpkins! apples! butternut squash!), cardigan sweaters, sleeping with the windows open, and cozying up under a warm blanket.  

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Race Day: Smith College Invitational

On Friday afternoon, T and I made the trip north to watch JT run in the second race of the season, held at Smith College.  After a blistering hot week, the weather had cooled and the morning of the race was overcast with temps in the 60s.  The team was excited.

The start was its usual stampede.

The course was hilly and the team ran with a purpose, looking to send a message to some of the teams in their conference who were also present in the race.

JT ran well, shaving time off of his last performance and coming in 29:22.  It was a hilly course and he was especially pleased with how he ran.

His team did well; the women placed third and the men placed first.  T and I had fun and took him out for lunch after the race.  He talked a mile a minute about his classes and the team.  We drove back home pleased that he’s settled in so nicely.  

That’s happy!

Friday, September 07, 2018

Bulletin Board 2018-2019 School Year

I have a bulletin board in my office that is one part inspiration board and one part memory board.  Each August, I take the items off the board and then put up a new display.  All year long, I collect items for my bulletin board.  It’s a reflection of recent adventures, things I am or love and believe, and there are items that are there simply because I like the way that they look or the ideas they invoke.   There are always historical figures, flowers, and political buttons.  Last week, I put the new board together.  This week, I made some tweaks and now it’s complete.

I enjoy seeing it every day.  That’s happy!

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Throwback: Year 3

JT and I both started school this week, me for my 17th year at RPS and him for his 1st year at Springfield College.  Below is a picture of JT’s first year at RPS, in the fall of 2003.  I remember the day like it was yesterday.  He was nervous and clutching his Ninja Turtles lunchbox, which had a ham sandwich, chips (that boy loved him some chips), fruit snacks, a granola bar, and a bottle of water.  He held tightly to my hand as we walked to class but when we entered the room, he was excited and stepped boldly forward throwing an “I love you Mama” over his shoulder as he let go of my hand.  At the end of the day, he climbed into his car seat and reported that the best part of school was playing outside.  Then he fell asleep.

The Ninja Turtle lunchbox is long gone and playing outside has been replaced by miles and miles of running outside.  He doesn’t hold my hand anymore but he still says “I Love you Mama” when he says goodbye.  To the world, he’s a young man but he’ll always be my little boy.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

First Days and Fresh Starts

Every year at the closing ceremony for the Middle School, I watch 8th graders and their parents smile as they celebrate the coming excitement of high school.  For the most part, this celebration is dry-eyed.  Middle schoolers are in the midst of a confusing transition and the few parents wrap up their child’s time in middle school with the wish to have those years back.  But I know how fast high school will pass and I cherish the tweens and teens in my care, even when the journey is difficult.

Today is the first day of class at my school.  JT also starts classes at Springfield College, where he’s been for the last two weeks enjoying Cross Country pre-season training.  For him, it’s the first day of his next academic journey.  I’ve had many first days of school but I still enjoy the tradition of a fresh start.  This year it comes with the reminder that time passes quickly.  I plan a year to make the most of it.  

That’s happy! 

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Race Day: Jim Sheehan Invitational

JT’s first race wearing a Springfield College jersey was on Saturday.  I drove up to Fitchburg, Massachusetts to cheer him on.  The race location was a wooded conservation area with rolling hills and plenty of shade.  Race day was cool, the sort of conditions JT loves best.

College cross country races are an 8k.  JT trained all summer and he was ready for the challenge.

He grabbed a stick and got after it.

He finished 38th in a field of 100 with a time of 30:06.  The team placed 5th out of 9 teams in the contest.  It’s a solid first outing.

Perhaps most important, he gave me a hug afterward and announced it was the most fun he’d ever had in a race.  So we’ve found his brand of joy in his college and I am most pleased about that.  Classes start on Tuesday, meaning he’ll now be a student as well as an athlete.  It’s been a happy to start to his first year of college and I am so very grateful for these blessings.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

September 1: Garden Hostas

A typical summer around here results in lots of August heat but not enough rain to keep up with the heat.  By this point in the year, my hostas tend to look wilted and sunburned, a little worn out by the effort of keeping up.  But this has been a rainy summer and so most of my hostas are still looking rather nice.  

Lush, even.

It’s hard to say goodbye to a summer with this much green still in it.  But the students return to school on Tuesday.  Clothes must be ironed; shoes must be worn.  

Luckily, there are still hostas to be admired.  And admire them I will. 

That’s happy!

Friday, August 31, 2018

August Book Report: Miss Read

I’ve written before about how much I love Miss Read’s books.  Over the years, both the Thrush Green and Fair Acre series have provided me hours of happiness and companionship.  I love these books, the characters in them, and the feelings and sentiments they describe and nurture.  

I read a lot of books in August but in the middle of the month, as I got closer and closer to moving JT to college, it was the Miss Read books to which I turned.  I re-read a handful from the Fair Acre series, aware that they would provide a familiar and pleasing comfort and while I rode the roller coaster of emotions involved in sending JT to college.

True to form, the familiar stories made me laugh and provided happy comfort, a reminder that lives are made of many moments.  My favorite books are just this kind of story, an entry into a another world; one that feels comforting and comfortable with characters who are companions that linger well past the final chapter of the story.

That’s happy!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Throwback: Year Two

This picture was made at my parent’s house and JT was two, a year he spent talking all the time.   Every picture I have from that year is of a little boy with his mouth wide open, talking non-stop.  That year (and for several years afterward), he was also a fan of carrying small items in his hand.  In this picture, he has the plastic bin for a roll of film (remember film?).

I have a collection of photo books that I’ve used to make a picture of JT for every month of the last 18 years.  I don’t look at the collection often, but it’s a precious to me and I enjoy its existence.  It’s a Hermione’s purse of memories, moments, and stories; the history a much-loved child in a book.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Ready, Set, Bake

T and I have been gobbling up Netflix showings of the Great British Bake Off.  We love everything about it, even the week that features the horrid English delight in meat pies.  The challenges are great and the competitions are so charmingly English, with nary a whiff of smack talk and good humor all around as the contestants bake and utter the most-charming of English phrases.  The show is a delightful Angophile’s dream come true.  We love it.

The English bake a metric ton of things so vastly different from our American efforts and I’ve been fascinated with the abundance of delicious-looking items they whip out of their ovens.  I keep threatening to try my hand at some of these things and this weekend I got my wiggle on and did some baking.  I baked a Victoria Sponge and then cut it into smaller heart-shaped cakes that I filled with my own lemonberry jam and homemade creme patisserie mixed into freshly whipped cream.

They were pretty to look at and delicious to eat.  I don’t think I’m in line for Star Baker, but I made a jolly good effort.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

I make it a point to be polite and patient in commercial encounters.  It makes life nicer for all of us and it costs nothing to be polite.  But sometimes my patience is tested, as it was at the post office earlier this week.  

I was at my usual post office and a bit disheartened to see that the postal worker at the counter was the disgruntled postmistress, a woman known to us all for her brusquely unhappy manner at work.  I was the only person in line and though I know she saw me, she was busy talking to a friend and showing him a video on her phone.  I waited patiently and when she called me up I was friendly.  When she realized I wasn’t going to be cranky over the delay, she was friendlier than she had ever been; genuinely nice.

As I left I commended myself for my patience and kind nature, concluding that being nice makes the world so much better for all of us.  I was smugly pleased with myself for being polite.

I should have known better.

My next stop was the local market, known to me as the vile Acme because I don’t really care for it.  But I needed a few things and vile Acme was a seemingly quick stop on the way home.  I grabbed the bread and fruit that had brought me to the store and then decided to treat myself to some deli cheese.  The deli counter was manned by a friendly but soft-spoken woman who was clearly inexperienced.  She managed to slice the cheese without losing a finger and then could not figure out how to price it.  She spoke to me all along but no matter how much I politely asked her to speak up, I couldn’t hear a thing she said.  Five long minutes later, I took my cheese (priced incorrectly, of course) to the check out line.

I was third in line, behind a woman with a full cart and a man buying two items but paying attention only to his phone.  Under the best of circumstances, these lines are slow.  This was not the best of circumstances.  Once the first customer was finally loaded up, I breathed a sigh of relief.  Two items could be quickly checked out, I thought.

I was wrong.  

While two-item phone man stared at his tiny screen, the clerk at my checkout turned to have an off-topic conversation with the clerk at the next checkout.  This lasted through several iterations while phone man continued to look at his phone and I waited on a slow simmer.

When it was finally my turn to check out, I was friendly and polite and just hopeful I could make my escape before Labor Day.  On the way to my car I drew the obvious conclusion: this entire mess was all my fault, the legacy of being so smug about being nice to the cranky post mistress.  

I won’t learn my lesson, of course, but not because I haven’t had the chance.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Putting the Kibosh on Kavanaugh

As I understand the rules of the Senate, it requires 51 senators to be present in order to make quorum.  And quorum is required in order to move forward with all Senate business, including the matter of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

That being the case, McCain’s absence, though obviously regrettable, opens a political door for the Democrats.  I don’t mean to be cavalier or grossly political, but politics is the business of power and opportunity and without Senator McCain, the Republicans cannot make quorum on their own.  Vice President Pence can cast a tie-breaking vote but he cannot make quorum.  And without quorum, the nomination is stalled.  
In my mind, the path is now clear for the Democratic leadership in the Senate: hold the line on quorum until after the November 6 midterm election.  It presents the risk of seeming obstructionist (quite frankly because it is obstructionist) and some of the Democratic senators standing for re-election in states that lean Republican (Joe Manchin in West Virginia; Joe Donnelly in Indiana; Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota) may find the strategy problematic and risky.  But for each of those senators there are some facing re-election in competitive states (Claire McCaskill in Missouri; Bill Nelson in Florida; and Jon Tester in Montana) who could benefit.  All of them can claim to be taking action to hold the line against Trump corruption and a Supreme Court nominee determined to support presidential power even in a circumstance where the president is an unstable, corrupt, tyrant.

As I see it, we are in the political battle of our generation and all strategies and tactics must be on the table. So I am calling on the Democratic leadership to take the risk and lead.  This is your move, Senator Schumer, and I’d like to see you be decisive.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Throwback: Year One

As I transition to being the mama of a college boy man man child, I’m going to indulge myself every Thursday with a reflection on the last 18 years.  Last night, I was texting with my sister, who just dropped off her youngest child to start college.  I mentioned that I had spoken with JT that day and that it was nice to hear his voice.  She agreed and then noted that hearing his voice was nice but it wasn’t the same as having the smell of my baby.  

So true.  

I’d give a lot to smell that babine again; in this picture my lunatic baby is 5 months old.  I remember making this photo; he was freshly bathed, sweet-smelling, and happily shirtless.  These days, he smells less sweet though, thanks to his running habit, he’s nearly always freshly washed.  He’s sent me quite a few pictures of himself from the start of his cross country season at Springfield College.  It’s the same lunatic baby, just a little bit older.

He never did like to wear a shirt.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Of Course I Cried

Early yesterday morning we piled into the car and drove JT 3 hours north to Springfield College, where he will spend the next four years.  There was a pile of things one needs for college…..soft sheets and towels, a fan, laundry supplies, electronics, a metric ton of Cliff bars, running shoes and the paraphernalia of a runner, all of it surrounding my precious boy.  

The last few months have been a roller coaster of emotions as I prepared to send him off.  For the past month, I would look at him and find myself breathless with joy and pride in the young man he’s become.  These emotions were compounded by the realization that my daily life as a parent was about to change; this boy of mine will no longer rest his head in my home each night. In the last weeks, as the moments together grew more precious, I felt like holding on to every moment.

I cried at the very thought of separating from him and, as the day of departure grew near, I could no longer hide those tears from him.  Just looking at him was enough to make me cry.  But neither could I put those tears into words.  I’ll be sad not to see him every day, I will miss him (though, perhaps, not his voluminous laundry needs).  My house will be much more quiet. The cats will be at a loss for his presence.  I’ll miss making his supper and sitting together over that supper to share our days.  I’ll miss his presence.

But it’s time and he’s ready. He’s chosen a school with a community he’s excited to join, with academics that appeal to him, and a cross country coach who is pleased to have him on her team.  And if I had any doubts, they were answered on Sunday.  We unpacked his things and I made his bed (because of course I did) and then we hugged him and went on our way.  Two hours later he texted me this picture.

It's a photo of his running watch.  At college less than two hours, he’d gone on a a ten mile run with some of his new teammates.  He’s found his tribe and that is so very, very happy.  

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Living in the Moment

Twenty-four hours from now, we’ll be on the road headed north to drop JT off at college.  In the past week, I  have fed him all of his favorite foods .  There are cinnamon rolls baking in the oven as I write.  He’s excited and nearly packed; he’s more than ready.

I am alternately fine and then a tearful mess.  One moment I am thrilled at the coming chapter of our lives and the next I am terrified, riding the wave to the next emotion.  It’s exhausting and expectant all at once.  Fittingly, the last time I felt this way was was February 2000, as I eagerly awaited the arrival of the bundle of a boy I am about to launch into the world.

I’m trying not to mark these moments as “lasts” and just enjoy them as they unfold.  But good golly, for all the sometimes long days, these years have flown past.  And here I am getting ready to deposit my bundle into his next adventure.  I take deep breaths and marvel at the wonder of it all.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Feeling Every Moment

Early Sunday morning, we will load up the car and drive JT north to start pre-season practice for his first season of Cross Country at Springfield College.  On September 4, he’ll start classes there while I will go to the first day of school here at home.  

For the first time in 14 years, we won’t be at the same school.  For years, I worked at school with the daily prospect that I would see my boy…..walking across campus with his fellow pre-K classmates, running to the gym for PE, or in the lunchroom with his friends.  I have loved these years and while I’m excited for the both of us to start this next chapter, as each day of August closes, this beautiful passage from Ru by Kim Thúy echoes in my mind, “I never had any questions except the one about the moment when I could die.   I should have chosen the moment before the arrival of my children, for since then I’ve lost the option of dying.  The sharp smell of their sun-baked hair, the smell of sweat on their backs when they wake from a nightmare, the dusty smell of their hands when they leave a classroom, meant that I have to live, to be dazzled by the shadow of their eyelashes, moved by a snowflake, bowled over by a tear on their cheek.  My children have given me the exclusive power to blow on a wound to make the pain disappear, to understand words unpronounced, to possess the universal truth, to be a fairy.  A fairy smitten with the way they smell.” 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Solid Advice

I am something of a tearful mess as I pack up JT to head off to college.  He sees it, of course, but I’m a crier from way back and, for the most part, he rolls with the tears.  I’ve told him not to worry about me, that I will be fine (and I believe that).  Even so, the strangest things bring tears to my eyes.

Earlier this week, as we were in the basement doing laundry, I began to cry for no apparent reason, as one does.  JT sighed, patted my shoulder and reminded me that things will be fine.  As usual, I awkwardly tried to put my tears into words, to explain that these tears represent excitement for him, pride that he is ready, the fact that I expect to miss him, anxiety to make sure that he has everything he needs……the list could go on and on.  He listened and smiled and then said, “I know, mama, but I’m still here and we have to live our lives.”

And indeed we do.  So we started the laundry and headed back upstairs to live our lives, me confident that he is ready for the next chapter.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018


It’s a good zinnia summer and the hot days and abundant rains have given me a nice patch of flowers to enjoy.

When I step outside to pick a bouquet for the table, there are plenty of flowers from which to choose a colorful assortment.

I love these simple flowers and enjoy their cheery summer display.  This is the highlight of their season and this year it’s a really good one.  That's happy!

Monday, August 06, 2018

Real Life Conversations with KO: Mafia edition

The backstory:  I had a basal cell skin cancer removed from my face last week and the removal involved plastic surgery to make sure it looks good in the aftermath.  Ten stitches later it seemed like a bigger deal than I had expected and my sister and I exchanged a few text messages about the whole situation, starting with the reminder that this is my third basal cell skin cancer.

Me:  Slowly but surely I will carve pieces of my self off.

KO:  Hey those pieces turned on you so they have to be voted off the island.  You try to kill me, you’re gone.

Me:  That is now our family motto.

KO:  Sounds kind mafia but (shrugs shoulders emoji).

Me:  Mafia when you are 25 but I am 50 so it’s common sense.

KO:  That’s probably what they say too.

Indeed.  Meanwhile, the repair is looking better and better (and hurting less) and the stitches come out Wednesday.  I’d expect that I will continue to reap the rewards of a youth spent lying around the pool without sunscreen.  Which may be troubling for my health but is likely good news from a family humor point of view.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

August Front Porch

Each month, I plan the next month’s porch items with anticipation.  In the warm months (and I define this broadly, as I will sit aside when temps are in the 50s), the porch won’t just welcome me home, these plants and lanterns will be my company when  I am home.  When the weather is warm and I have time, I sit out here for hours, enjoying nature’s display. and my plants and flowers. 

In the Spring and early Summer, I hear birds as I sit outside.  Come August, the birds are quieted by the chirp of the cicadas.  The wave of cicada calls is lovely, the very sound of Summer to me.  It’s early August and humid heat has settled in around us.  Early mornings feel warm.  Days like these make it impossible to believe that cold weather will ever arrive.  Yet I know this is not the case and surely 6 months from now will find me stepping on this porch when I come home and then hustling inside to escape the cold.

For now, however, cold comes in the form of sweating glasses of iced tea and imaginary popsicles on a flag.

Plants are lush and happy.

There are fairly lights in the lantern and on the plants in the evenings, a display that I find utterly charming and happy, like a celebration of the everyday.

This year, I’d like August to last forever.  It won’t, of course, but out here it feels like such a dream is possible.

That’s happy!