Link Love

Found a new blogger whose writing style I dig. This bit on transitions resonated a lot. (I feel a lot of change in the air as of late, and it’s contributing to some awfully toss-and-turny nights. This time of year is always a melange of nostalgia and potential-tinged excitement, I find.)

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Call it hippie-dippie if you will, but I increasingly love this astrology stuff.

Brene’s the wisest of ’em all. (And I’m so bummed I somehow missed the boat to hear her speak here at Town Hall in a couple weeks!)

Adorable. (I love clever people.)

I wish this wasn’t so darn relatable about our/my 21st-century over-connectedness.

With any kind of luck, I’ll be seeing a new fave Nathaniel Ratecliff this weekend!

Hope the weeks are off to a great start. Happy September manana (rabbit, rabbit!).

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Big June

My June? It was a LOT. (How was yours?)

It was a lot of everything, I don’t know how else to describe it—emotions, events, reunions, deadlines. Sometimes, life just can be a lot to take in, can’t it? This past month, I was constantly in motion…routine was not a thing.

I went to a beautiful memorial service for my sweet grandfather who I will miss so much. I went to an anniversary BBQ/celebration in memory of my cousin’s husband who has somehow now been gone a year (how can that possibly be?), and that stirred up quite a few things from last summer.

I had special, special reunions with my family (LOVE), my best and oldest gfs, long-lost relatives, super-fun visiting guests and then, in the interim, sweet reunions with my Seattle people, which has felt extra-special when we’re all spinning around one another in crazy summer-schedule travel mode.

In June, I took so many trips down memory lane (a couple literally), I pored over ancient, dog-eared photos, I heard old stories for the first time, I got closer to understanding where I come from and who those people were and are—the long lineage of genetics and events that have fused together to collectively make me me. (The older I get, the more this piques my interest…the more tales I want to hear.)

I have been craving rootedness and schedules and full nights of sleep.
And now it is July, and I am home. Yes, I am still busy, and I still have looming deadlines and umpteen events penciled in, but I am so, so happy to be here. I love the PNW so much, and I especially love it in the summer.

Life is full, but life is good. I am in a grateful place these days (and so grateful to be there), constantly astonished by how this beautiful life continues to unfold.

Wishing you summer days full of browned skin and tangled pool/beach-hair and deep breaths that feel easy and free, the way it should always be.

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A Midsummer’s Anti-Recap

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People keep asking how my summer’s been, and I don’t quite know what to say. (First off, why the past tense, people? I ain’t saying adieu to this season just yet!)

Also, it’s been so much, a bit of it all; it’s been everything. There’s no tidy response. It started off with so much unspeakable sadness, and it will end with a bittersweet ache, too (my brother and sister-in-law move to the UK next week!).

But, man, in between, there’s been so much goodness. Life is so full, so multi-layered, so surprising, so rich. I pinch myself sometimes—the deep-rooted connections I’ve made, the beautiful music I get to hear, the waters I get to frequent, the fiery sunsets I get to drink in. These days, I’m just really sitting back and taking it allllll in.

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“There are no simple answers in life. There is a good and bad in everyone and everything. No decision is made without consequence. No road is taken that doesn’t lead to another. What’s important is that those roads always be kept open, for there’s no telling what wonder they might lead to.”~D.J. MacHale

Ducks, Groundhog Day, Seattle Summer

If I could count the number of times I’ve been working on this patio as the amphibious Ride the Ducks-mobile drives by, silly quackers and hat-wearing driver and all…And I want so badly to be annoyed at the ridiculous, loud cheesiness of it all. And yet when I look up, those vacationing tourists onboard look so darn carefree and smiley (well the majority of them anyway), that I often can’t help but smirk-smile, too.

As they wait at the light in front of the statue People Waiting for the Interurban (a neighborhood fixture that locals like to dress up for holidays and birthdays and graduations and the like), the tourguide driver, like clockwork, pumps up the tunes:

“Ooga-chakka-ooga-chaka, I can’t stop this feeling…deep inside of me….”

It’s a bit like Groundhog Day, to be honest.

Ahhhh, Seattle summer, please stick around awhile longer. You are so breathtakingly beautiful, frenetic, busy, ADD, tranquil and magical—all at once.

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The Knowing/Holding On

There was a night when I was there, ironically, just a couple weeks before his death, and I knew. I just knew. I had no idea how quickly it would all unravel, but a sixth sense deep in my being told me to hold onto that evening. To be very still and very present. To soak it in. That he wouldn’t be with us forever—and that that night held something special. I hated my sixth sense. I hoped it wasn’t true.

We had been to the pool earlier that day—him having to lounge in the shade, a port in his arm and all. (A visibly sick man supervising his playful family from the sidelines. He was supposed to be in the pool splashing around with us. How did any of this make sense??) Instead, he lay to the side with his friend Steve on the chaise lounges, as they checked World Cup scores on their iPads and dreamed up Caribbean catamaran trips that the two couples would take later that fall, after he was well. Oh, the plans that were made for “later,” after he “got well.”

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On the way home from the pool, he whipped us into the parking lot of a local shopping center, popping inside to pick up dinner—delicious bratwursts from a local delicatessen—his idea. He, much like my cousin, always makes things special, makes things fun (even in sickness, when he felt his very worst). They enjoy the good things in life, and they enjoy sharing that with others, too.

We ate out on the deck, a perfect June evening. He DJ’ed—Jack Johnson, Zack Brown Band, sharing fun facts and tidbits as he shuffled through catchy, toe-tapping songs (he always seemed to know at least a little bit about everything and everyone). He couldn’t really taste the delicious brats, his taste buds so dulled, so he piled on the hot sauce and extra seasoning, while Jen and I relished the flavorful tastes of a quintessential summer meal.

Our conversations were not groundbreaking or profound that night, yet they were enjoyable and flowing and, most of all, nearly normal. For a moment of blissful escapism, it all felt normal.

Last night in bed, many of the emblazoned images of my second Chicago visit of the summer rose to the surface out of nowhere, washing over me. They include vivid pictures that will likely stay with me forever, memories I dare not taint with words. They are moments so raw, so tender, so sad and yet, sometimes, so eerily, twistedly beautiful. Parents saying goodbye to their son. A young mom saying goodbye to her life love, the father of her four children. Scenes one should never need to witness. Scenes that just weren’t supposed to happen. But they did.

How does one navigate sadness? What can you do with such immense sadness? Some emotions get a boost from good cries or the reading of inspirational quotes, etc. etc, etc., but with sadness, it just sits. Until it passes. And it gradually visits less often. It seems there is no other way.

I am now so very grateful for that summer dinner out on the deck. When it felt like everything, even though it really wasn’t—maybe for a moment anyway—would maybe, just maybe, be okay.

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Synchronicity

Synchronicity is all up in my grill these days, and I’m digging it. Call it hokey, woo-woo, pure coincidence, whatever…but I love this stuff. I feel “tuned in” (which, believe me, is not always the case), and I’m feeling grateful for that.

Summer in Seattle is sailing along with biergarten reunions, country music-fueled, sunset boat rides, birthday cycle saloon beer tours, “secret” shows in barn-like spaces, beach bonfire concerts, canal runs, park sits and so much more, and I currently feel optimistically open to discovering what the rest of this sunny season might bring.

Here’s hoping your summers are full of goodness so far, too:)

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“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.”~Charles de Lint

bienvenido, summer!

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*So far, just a couple days in, I’m digging this summer. I simply LOVE this time of year. May it be a radiant, joyful one for us all.*

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