Author Archives: dig

driveway picnic

My kids had this big idea. We would picnic in the truck bed in our driveway. Despite their charm and conviction, it didn't sound appealing. We said you guys can eat out there, we will eat on the deck. They ran back and forth from bedroom to driveway with blankets and pillows and dolls. Their trail a wildfire of mess and excitement. Of course their flames caught us. Of course we would all eat in the truck. In the sawdust, compost and puddles. Our neighbor turned six today. His grandma gave him a remote controlled car. It's held court in our hood all day, that car. It is the subject of negotiation and triumph, of compromise and defeat. As we were dining in the truck in the driveway, the birthday boy and his sister neared and joined our party. We ate friend rice and talked about being six, cheered for successful car launches off of curbs. Just before they left, the birthday boy grabbed my phone and snapped a few photos. retreated away form the mess, the piles, the lists retreated toward our daughters' earnest inclination into the bed of a small, old pickup truck last bits of late summer light gray hair at my temples, laugh lines mostly from my husband's humor bandaid on one bloodied knee she learned to ride a bike earlier today she took off and fell hard took off again, blood like a creek down her shin bone wait for me! she usually waits for her sister sometimes because I yell for her to wait for her sister her little sister, the one she leans into to make goofy faces behind their parents' backs in the truck bed, in the driveway on this night her little sister, the one that makes her the most furious the one she wants to spoon when she sleeps Continue reading →
Comments (8)

road trip, part 2: even little things can make great big giant shadows

>> click here to read part 1 << I am ready to write about all the things I haven't made time to write about this summer. Growth of tomatillos and children, renovations of home and mental space, plans for this month and in ten years. I haven't been here on dig as much because I've been there -- in the other important places in my life. I do feel nostalgic about this space as it once was, where I holed up late at night to write whatever stories flew out my fingertips every few days. And I do so thoroughly believe in the practice of making time to create without need of it becoming something. I tell my kids all the time to let go of making art that needs to be hung up. JUST MAKE. For this big need to have more unstructured, undeadlined writing, I plan to get back in here more regularly. I lost my time to contribute here for a few reasons: At my 36 years, I need more sleep. Two hours more per night. This has been a hard adjustment for me! But, oh, it's very necessary. The impermanence of it all fills my brain with things to write about and forbids me from leaving the story I'm living so that I can write a story about it. That sounds convoluted but I think you get it. GEO is growing and requiring more of my attention. See next paragraph. School started last week. Margot at public school, Ruby at home. At home! We, me particularly, have long been interested in homeschooling and am so eager for this adventure. Everyone is comfortable and enthused. It all feels great, which is a relief. I was so torn up about school last year at this time, spinning out over school options, wondering which was best for us. It took me a long period of fretting before it felt right. Ruby and I biked to get Margot at school a few days ago and she captured Life's Big Idea with this simple question: Mama, did you notice that even little things can make great big giant shadows? I feel hopeful and excited. I feel nervous and invested. I feel as capable as a parent who has never done any of this before can feel. Before I move into news on the home front, the Blogger in me must finish up our family road trip! In the spirit of brevity (ha!) and simplicity, I deleted all my text and will let photos tell the story of the last five days of our adventure. Continue reading →
Comments (17)

road trip, part 1: but where do people come from?

The air turned while we were away. Today, I am wearing jeans and yanking beets the size of my fist, leeks the length of Margot's leg, cabbage the circumference of Ruby's head. I have equal love for every season and because of this, I mourn walking away from summer (my baby-faced kindergartner, my quiet mama's girl) while feeling just right walking toward fall (my freckle-faced first grader, my loud mama's girl). We packed for our trip backpacking-style, meaning the bare essentials, meticulously placed for ultimate space-saving. We each had only a few items of clothing, everything folded and tucked into camping bowls and stuff sacks. And then we cut it all in half. Miraculously, it all fit -- camping gear, our personal stuff, big dog, four humans, food, water, bikes. Our rocket box was like Mary Poppin's satchel, sometimes like those jokester cans that look like beans but open to exploding paper snakes in your face. The day before our trip I diagnosed verticillium wilt on our 31 tomato plants. So, while Andy jengaed items into the car, I cooked sauce from the tomatoes I picked from the plants I pulled and threw away. It seems no matter how organized I am, no matter how hard I work and plan to leave at a certain time, I have an urgent homestead something to mix in with packing toiletries. This time, it was a heaping basket of ripe tomatoes. On the first day we traveled southwest along the Lochsa River to Lewiston, Idaho. Through wildfire smoke so thick it mixed with our words. Based on a suggestion from an instagram friend, we found a campsite. We promptly hopped in the tent where we rocked with the wind and exclaimed at lightening's strobe that sporadically illuminated our faces. The storm was fierce and strong and quickly turned into a regular ol' downpour. The girls held some fear that was easily distracted by mama snuggles in the down sleeping bags with headlamps and books. Margot began journaling on this day, using the new blank book and pen I'd surprised her with. What should I write? she asked. Write what you see, write what you know and don't know. Right what you wonder about, I said. Continue reading →
Comments (24)

Somewhere between Elsa and Katy Perry

My daughters watch themselves dance in the window reflection. Margot tucks her shirt in, untucks it. Sways her hips from side to side. Tucks it in again. Spins on one foot, her bejeweled plastic heels stomping the turn to a stop. Mama, when I am 12 I want to fly all the way across the country all by myself with no mom or dad! Ruby thinks she invented the side ponytail. She spends at least 10 minutes smoothing every hair into this intention every morning. The hairstyle changes in one hour. By the end of the day it's always down, a tangled mess of blond. Mama, I feel so beautiful. They visit my sewing studio in search of fabric for the day's cape. They play kittens, babies, school, family, princesses and vacation. They carry purses full of treasures on their shoulders at all times. Rocks, coins, lip balm, carousel tokens, tiny stuffed sheep, tinkerbell, drawings. Margot is 6 1/2. I remember wearing a 6x, remember my cat peachy folder, Mrs. Ryding, my mom's soft brown locks. My girl is promising swirl of thoughtfulness, rebellion, confidence and gumption. Ruby studies her sister, often torn by wanting to do what Margot does and wanting to do what she wants. She usually does what she wants. Ruby is a promising swirl of tenderness, earnestness, resilience and courage. I really want my own room but I can't even handle not sleeping with my sister. Ever. Our entire family knows every word to every song on the disney pandora station. The girls feel like they win at life, many times a day, Continue reading →
Tagged | Comments (14)

There’s Nothing To Be Afraid Of Sister

Who hosts a big ol' summer sale in her shop during the busiest season of the year the week before going out of town? This girl! (pictured with her children) Getting out the door is my nemesis but also my gift. Meaning, it takes me hours longer than I ever think it will and I am a crazed, unorganized, last-minute packer. But! I always succeed at getting out the door. Just like I can always carry one more thing, I can always squeeze one more task in an hour. I can always accommodate one more dinner guest. I can always get shit done when prize of Leaving Town glistens on the horizon. The day we left I woke at 5am. I went for a run, did all of our laundry, worked for a few hours, packed everything for a week of camping, planned meals and went grocery shopping and, by 3pm, my daughters and I were on the highway getting outta town. The house was unbelievably messy but I assured myself Andy would be bored and in need something to do while we were away. Or at the very least, proud of us for leaving at a reasonable hour and not forgetting anything. We usually go to Lake Mary Ronan for a week with my family but this year my parents couldn't make it and my husband couldn't make it so I changed things up a bit. Margot, Ruby and I camped for a few days on our way. We chose Rainy Lake. I think this will be a new tradition every year before Lake Mary Ronan because oh, we loved this lake and campground. On the first night, I prepared tofu curry and rice on our little cook stove. Something smelled funny, sounded funny. Continue reading →
Tagged | Comments (26)