My Not-Writing Anniversary And Cow Endorsement

Hi everyone! I’m a little early for my two-year anniversary of not writing here, but Not-Writing Anniversaries should be celebrated for longer than one exact day.

Two years is a long time. It’s enough time to get a pixie cut and grow it out again. That should be a real measure of time and distance. My husband is rolling his eyes right now like pixie-cut-growout-time isn’t a scientific thing. If it was, NASA might be able to beat the Ruskies to Mars. Is that a real current event or a movie plot? I’ve lost track.

The struggle with my writing voice has been a long one. Sometime in my adult life, a shadow crept over me and stayed. Some parts of me came out and flourished, and other parts stayed tucked away like a forgotten love note.

Every single time someone asks me what I want to do, or where I need to get honest, or let’s talk about Goals Dreams Creativity Pushing Yourself Failure Whathaveyou, I think about how I want to write and should write and then I don’t. Instead I read or watch a movie or fall asleep. Gosh that sounds so lame because it is.

So. I’m back. I have no idea what I’m going to write about, but I know that God gave me a voice and told me to use that voice, so I will. I am. That’s both present tense and future tense.

Since I don’t have much else to say in this post, I’d like to end with a picture of a cow. I just love cows. Their eyes are big and warm, their eyelashes incredibly long, their bodies awkwardly rectangular. I wholeheartedly endorse cows. That is, the front end of cows. The back end is usually pretty disgusting and the poor creatures have no idea who or what they’re pooping on.

Sorry I ended with a preposition. I’m rusty.

 

 

The cow picture is titled “Cows” by Anders Gustavson. It’s his work and I didn’t fiddle with it, but I do think it could use a tad more exposure. Just being honest, Anders. He doesn’t know who I am, and I don’t know who he is, other than he must like cows too. But that’s my assumption and not his official position on cows.

The Joy Of Sitting Is In Details

Sometimes I disappear. For a few days or weeks things feel dark and heavy, and I become a turtle. I don’t say much on Facebook or Twitter. I don’t return calls or texts without hesitation. I don’t feel like visiting. Very literally, I cover up with this fleece Patagonia turtle blanket.

Patagonia Turtle Blanket

Sometimes it’s just a state of emotional being, but now it’s a state of physical being.

For all of my internal cussing and feeling ready to exercise several weeks ago, now I can’t stand or walk for long before there’s pain, so I sit quietly. There will be a surgery soon, but meanwhile, I sit. It’s perfect timing, since we’re all sitting through winter. Last week the kids were out of school for 5 days in a row. I sat. They ran amok. Inside, outside, sure, you can shoot arrows in the house.

Indoor Bow and Arrow

 

Otherwise, things are very, very quiet. My boys play outside or go sledding with their dad or make appalling messes upstairs. I sit, and in that, I’ve captured some of the quiet things that give me joy.

This is my University of Evansville sweatshirt, circa 1997. Call it old; call it full of character; call it loved. The countless classes attended, mornings thrown on without a second thought, tears wiped, places called home, phases of shelving and pulling the old standard back out again.

Ragged Sweatshirt Sleeve

 

The letters on the front are cracked. The style is large and boxy. If you forget how you wore sweatshirts in 1997, just remember Brenda from 90210.

Cracked Sweatshirt Print

 

These are my slippers. They are super cozy and stretched out because I often wear thick SmartWool socks with them. They may have cooking stains on them. The dog seems to think they smell good.

Old Slippers 1

 

Imagine how many times feet must sleepily slide in and out of slippers to rub them bare. The children’s coughs that need water, the calls for mama, the shuffling downstairs for a forgotten blankie, the surreptiously wearing them to preschool dropoff.

Old Slippers 2

 

It’s hard to believe that my first baby is now big enough, at age 8, to help shovel snow. He shoveled 3 inches of fresh powder by himself one day when my husband was at work and I was too hurt to do it.

Boy Shoveling Snow 2

 

I’m so thankful for the bits of growing green things in my house. Last month my dear friend Sarci and I visited a greenhouse together and I bought this Norfolk Island Pine. Walking through a greenhouse in winter is one of the healthiest things we could have done.  The smell of dirt and living things, the humidity, the sun’s warmth intensified by taught plastic walling.

I highly recommend a dose of green for your winter blues. The homemade Valentines in the background don’t hurt a heart, either.

Norfolk Island Pine

 

My life and I have fairly taken over my husband’s reclining chair and the table beside it. Pictured from left, clockwise: A Valentine, an Army figurine, my favorite handmade mug by my friend Amy at Mudroot Pottery, multiplication flash cards, a Chinese inspired lamp, Entertainment magazine, The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet, and a coaster that says Eat, Drink, and Be Merry.

Let me tell you, The Pillars of the Earth is not just a fabulous book. It also saved my sanity during a 7-hour ER trip. The idea of leaving those characters after decades of life together (their fictional decades; my real-time week) almost broke my heart.

Coffee Cup on Side Table

 

When he came inside from the snow, this sweet face drank hot cocoa out of his favorite super hero mug.

Super Hero Hot Chocolate 2

 

Even when things hurt and feel dark, there is always the hope of a thaw and new growth. This reminder hangs across the room and is still legible, even when the sun reflects off the snow and glass.

He Is Like A Tree

 

 

What are the joyful things you see while sitting?

Super Hero Shoes

The day we bought these shoes, he studied the rows of kicks and his eyes lit up at these Super Heroes. Thank goodness they’re slip-ons.

Super Hero Shoes

Running, sliding, pedaling, sprinkler water, dog poo, mud, sand, dirt, blood, shoe flying off the swing, lost one, found one, dangling from a sleeping boy’s feet when I lift him out of the car and into the house. Cloth rubbed off a toe, balancing carefully along the concrete edge that borders the playground. Jungle gym, flying super hero cape–Batman, Super Man, Flash. Laughing, crying, whining, giggling. Popsicle drips, dropped ice cream, goldfish crumbs. Sweaty, wiggling toes, this little piggy went to market. Sneaking, jumping, shouting Boo. Walking, slipping, jumping, bounding, running barefoot when the sun shines and the tight shoes are forgotten at the bottom of the heap.