gone to california

In June, Tom and I went to California. He won an award at work so they were sending us to Laguna Beach.

We headed out early to check out the desert.

And we brought Townes because when you’re used to toting five kids around, one infant feels like nothing.

There was a live I imagined that would be full of travel. Instead, I ended up with a life full of kids.

I’ve got no regrets.

But it sure was fun to do some exploring.

I packed tons of film but accidentally grabbed the digital camera, not the analog. And because I love film with all my heart, we ended up in a super Walmart in Yucca Valley on the hunt for a disposal film camera.

We loved the strangeness of Joshua Tree, cringed at the hippness of the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, and slightly feared the cold, rough Pacific.

studying my teacher

He is new here.

Or so they say.

But sometimes I look at him and I think he is

not

new.

He has been here.

He is much older than I.

But old

or new.

It doesn’t much matter.

I know he has something to teach me.

So I study the dents of his knuckles.

I study the rolls of his neck.

I breathe him in deep.

Lightly brush my hand across the tufts of his hair.

Listen to his shallow breathes.

Listen for his deep sighs.

Waiting for his lessons.

everything changes: in-home newborn session in Baltimore

Everything changes. And it’s mostly great.

The mornings take on a new importance. And days without plans feel thick with love and possibility, and days with plans feel like joyful respite from the boredom that sometimes creeps in. The boredom you never expected and try to ignore.

Most days you wake wake up hopeful. Tired. Yes. But hopeful too.

Everything is different. The coffee too.

Maybe because it’s colder now by the time you get to finish it.

You feel things deeper.

You get scared.

Your anxieties rear their ugly heads.

But you feel happiness in a way you never knew you could. A deep happiness that roots somewhere in what you think might be your DNA.

Nothing is the same.

It doesn’t need to be.

at the edge

I’m past the age when New Year’s is supposed to matter. And even when it did matter, it rarely lived up to my expectations. Eventually, I started to focus more the new beginning rather than the party. I love beginnings, so it’s been a fully positive development.

But this New Year’s I may have discovered the recipe for New Year’s success: a couple dozen committed people, some new, some the best of friends, far away from everything else.

They brought their gifts of food and drinks and their favorite records. We walked down the unpaved, single lane road to find the horse shoe crab marker, leading through a marshy path to a sandy beach. I tried my best to disguise the waddle that came with my ninth month of pregnancy, while my best friend carried Alamae on her back. The damp skies made the marsh grasses glow. We had to pull Sena from the muck, but there was hardly a complaint among them.

We came back to feast for hours on a perfectly roasted chicken, beautiful hand pies, smoky pork loins, loaded baked potatoes and fiery Thai soup. My friend Jean thought to bring 24 glass champagne flutes, and so when we counted down the final seconds of a tough year, there was a strange touch of elegance.

For the first time in ages I don’t have a resolution. except maybe to try my best to recreate the magic of that party next year.