I drove north on a side street, avoiding traffic on the main drags. Even though the main drags were more cleared, they were still slick and banked snow made for one tight lane of traffic, with lots of cars and drivers with places to be. I'd rather be alone and slow. I drive slowly.
I came upon a residential intersection. A truck ambled along, I yielded. Except, I didn't. Nothing in my seasoned snow-driving could stop or deter my station wagon from sliding toward the truck. I cranked the steering wheel, hoping to spin into a side-swipe, figuring that would be better than a t-bone. I was only moving at about 10 miles per hour. The truck driver didn't see me. He looked in the opposite direction at the 100 year old ponderosa laying on a crushed teal sedan. I honked, politely once and then obnoxiously. He snapped around and looked at me as I slid sideways toward him. We were both inching toward one another; we slid, no control but beautifully synchronized. He smiled. He was laughing. It seemed like he was next to me in one of those kid tea cup rides at the fair. And I laughed too. We made eye contact the entire time we slid. Nobody would be hurt. We skated sideways, in tandem, together - for many seconds - before he caught an edge and spun out, bumping the nose of my car. We pushed away from each other and stopped. I knew him. We hopped out and laughed some more, hugged and drove on. The only damage was my license plate: the corner dog-eared.
I smiled at the coincidence. Continue reading →
Snow has been falling here. More fell yesterday and then again last night. We have a blizzard storm warning for the first time in many years and are, quite literally, snowed in today with thick drifts blown tight to our doors.
I woke several times last night to the wind slapping snow against our bedroom window. More than once the growing, moving drifts sounded like a large animal slowly stomping across our deck. The wind is howling, shaking everything, reminding me just how much I love my flannel sheets.
Across the region, schools are closed today. This is rare but even towns with huge capacity to plow and plan can't take on a storm like this. It wins and we enjoy the feet of snow dropped over our landscape.
Continue reading →
I've been a little unsettled lately. About how I want my business to grow. I feel like I am where I hoped I'd be when I quit my job and jumped into self-employment. Things are moving and growing, opportunity rolling out her red carpet. I have been holding back, trying to figure out why.
I am not afraid of failure. I am afraid of a certain kind of success. I know famous people - in the blogging world, in the writing world, in the art world. And one thing they deal with freaks me out: people say really mean things to them and about them. I am not cut out for heavy disdain, for the gossip and rudeness I see on their websites and social media sites. My famous friends are stronger than me. I think about shutting it all down when I think of myself in that arena. I don't want to fight that fight. I am not "bigger than that." I don't "come back stronger." My skin doesn't "thicken." I am open and vulnerable and I like that about myself. Words can hurt my feelings and deteriorate my drive.
But I don't make choices out of fear! I mean, that is lame! (right??!!) I shine light on the things I want and they stick around. I don't engage with things that I don't like. Remember that Cherokee story about the hungry wolves? Talking about the online world: I don't have alerts set up to tell me when I am mentioned, I don't know who says what about me, I don't look at my analytics, I don't know about other people's analytics, I don't read about online trends, I don't know about the optimal tweet, share etc. Those things curb my creativity and assign a qualifier to me just being me. By the way, I consider praise to be as troublesome as snark. Do you think I am being a bad business person for not paying attention to this part of my industry? I don't. I am being the business person I want to be. I do my thing. I do it with integrity. I jump in where it feels good. I do read what inspires me, I do read what challenges me, I do engage in productive conversation, I do enjoy and crave criticism, I do listen to the voices that sing peace and momentum, I do self-evaluate all. the. freaking. time.
I got this comment on my last post. Continue reading →
We are doing a little website revamp. As with my home and my calendar, I am decluttering my online space. More white space. I've never created a mood board before and decided it would be helpful as a point of reference when choosing colors and arrangements online. Here it is:
Clockwise, items shown are my photos and things pinned by me on the world's most epic mood board, Pinterest (follow along if you'd like
!): living room
It has been so helpful! And has me looking around my home and environment at the patterns, textures and colors I choose to live with. I enjoy noticing the object and the negative space (hey! I've written about this before
); every little thing has its perfect place and I enjoy finding it, inventing it and then moving it again. And so begins a new series here featuring what catches my eye accompanied by a few details. Continue reading →
Montanans don't usually talk much about cold weather. It is cold here sometimes, every year. Most people I know love winter. My family loves winter. We bundle up and get out there. This last week was different. I mean, it was SO SO cold. We talked about it. Our frozen nostrils, our frozen doors, our frozen cars and other frozen stuff. We were cooped up, on lockdown, unable to play outside. We were stir crazy, our pets were stir crazy. We needed fresh air and exercise.
Thursday morning was the coldest and a young guy robbed a few Missoula businesses at gunpoint. There was a flurry of reporting. He might have been running with a gun toward the University. He didn't have a coat on. The coat thing really saddened me. I couldn't stop thinking about this desperate man running in -35 degree weather without a coat.
The University went into lockdown. And then a handful of schools, including Margot's elementary school and Ruby's preschool. I felt a gut punch of fear when I first heard of the lockdown, which I later learned was a lockin. I felt trust and thanks. I so appreciated our schools making the easy, smart choice to lock the doors. Mostly, I felt sad. Sad that my kids will grow up knowing about lockdowns and lockins. Sad that this shit happens. Sad for the stories - you know the ones - etched into my heart. Sad for that cold, running man. Sad for his mom.
Margot, Ruby and their classmates never knew the day was any different than usual because the cold weather had relegated them to the indoors anyway. I picked them up, all bundled up smiles.
This is a huge year of emotional growth for me, with my oldest daughter in kindergarten and lots of conversation about how we want our children to grow, what we hope for them. Among many realizations and affirmations, there is this: we are part of something bigger than just us, our nuclear family. I teach in Margot's classroom two days a week and it is important work. I have important relationships with these kids, fostered in just 2-3 hours a week. I love them and they love me.
I have cracked open into a whole different kind of mothering -- a more whole mothering. I am her mom, his mom, your mom. I am a mom. Without prejudice, without holding back, without rules. I believe that kind of indiscriminate love changes the world. I am learning from it right now in a kindergarten classroom.
Margot is about to lose one of her top teeth. It wobbles around when she talks like a rogue corn kernel. Thursday, when I arrived at her school, Continue reading →