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all but the cats write here ... to remember, to share, to mumble, to shout ... follow along by RSS or email if you like.

Filtering by Category: snippets

Housekeeping

bethany

I’ve never been the most consistent housekeeper, but you all pretty much know that by now. I do make lists often though, so will attempt to briefly update you on what we’ve been up to since the last post about the Land Ho! Art Sale in June.

The Sale is over!

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The Land Ho! sale ran for two weeks, and we sold a nice amount of work! Enough to get a good nest egg going for our Land Fund, even after paying off all of the costs of scans and canvas and paint and shipping supplies. It was a lot of work to get everything ordered, packaged, and shipped, but it felt good to wrap up that whole effort and call it finished. Big thanks to everyone who ordered something, or sent in a donation, it was mightily appreciated!

Finishing up at Keren and Bobby’s …

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After hogging Keren and Bobby’s basement and driveway and back yard for months on end, with all the forging and art making and sprawling that we seem to do, it was time to move on. We had to finish up some work first though that we’d started before the Art Sale became a thing, so we focused on the renovations in the basement that had been started before it was turned into a temporary studio and shipping center. Lots of trim and painting and flooring and sanding and door hanging before we had to call it quits because Michael had a Sol LeWitt job coming up in Cambridge Massachusetts … but first we had to get the trailer to Chicago so the boys and I could help out at my folks while he worked at Harvard.

Getting Out …

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Getting out of any long-term stay is hard, and leaving after 6 months is even more difficult. There was a torn awning to remove and dispose of (sadly), many tools to sort and stow, and a seemingly endless list of things to pack and dispose of and tend to. We badly wanted a few days to ourselves before landing in Chicago, but it seemed like the window was getting so small that we might not have more than a night or two on the road. We had to be there by Friday August 10th at the latest. On August 3rd, we got a call that my Dad had something that appeared at first to be a heart attack, and he was in the hospital. We prayed, packed faster, and managed to get on the road on the 6th. After a few hours of heading over the mountains, we knew that Matilda’s transmission wasn’t just sending out warning signals, it was in its death throes.

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After stopping for a night with Caleb and boys (pure bliss!) we tried to limp North but had to admit that we weren’t going to make it. We were forced into a …

Mini Transmission Vacation!

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It was now Tuesday August 7th and we were in Wilkesboro NC with just 4 days until Michael had to hop on Amtrak in downtown Chicago. It was now looking like Dad had open heart surgery looming in the next week or so as he had some afib and a faulty valve, and they were busy giving him tests to rule out possible complications. We had to find someone who could get and replace the transmission in a 1995 F250 in 2-3 days. We asked God to point us in the right direction, limped into a big truck body shop, got a recommendation for a transmission place in the next town that said they might be able to help, and landed in a VFW campsite nearby.

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After chatting with a friendly veteran, befriending the camp host’s 4 crazy dogs, and getting the camper set up, we took off to see if these folks could indeed help us. Matilda’s 20’ of red and white loveliness looked like the runt of the litter when parked among the rest of the trucks in Gear Jammer Transmission’s crowded lot. The mechanics came on out, crawled under Matilda and poked around, and made a few phone calls. After being assured they could get a new one and put it in in the next 48 hours, we hitched a ride back to our campground with the friendly owner.

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Before collapsing for the night, we took the transmission guy’s recommendation of a hole-in-the-wall BBQ place a short walk from our campsite, devoured a quiet and delicious meal together, and mused on the way in which we were getting my strongly desired “few nights to ourselves” before landing in Chicago. It was hard to fully relax with the worries about Dad and his pending surgery, which ended up suddenly scheduled for Friday the 10th, but it was still lovely to be on our own and puttering for a couple of nights. We got a purring Matilda back late on Thursday, and prepped for an early Friday morning start.

Dad’s Surgery

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Friday was our drive to Chicago day, and Dad’s surgery. I’d talked to him a couple times by phone, and knew he had no fears at all. We trusted that all was in God’s hands, and got on the road. He was scheduled for a valve replacement, a double bypass, and an ablation. He ended up with a quadruple bypass, a new valve to replace what they discovered was an abnormal 2-flap one, and a maze procedure. By the time we arrived in their driveway just before midnight, he was out of anesthesia and back in one piece in the ICU.

Michael and Harvard

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Saturday morning we took stock of the state of things at the house where my brother Stephen and his wife Rene and son Paul were caring for Mom, briefly visited Dad in the hospital, and then Michael packed up in time for me to take him to the train heading downtown, where he’d hop on Amtrak to go East. I must have messed up my Metra schedule while reading it on my phone in the truck the day before, because the train he was to catch only ran on weekdays, and at the last minute I had to hightail it into Chicago to drop him directly at the station. The prospect of Michael being gone for 5 weeks while I was helping with Mom and Dad and the household, while also parenting and homeschooling, loomed large, and I tried to get my head around how to handle it all as I drove back to the house.

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Michael dove deep in Cambridge where he was helping re-install a huge Sol LeWitt wall drawing in a museum on Harvard’s campus. A 5-story atrium with tight spaces and convoluted scaffolding and minimal AC was more challenging than some jobs, and between Harvard’s work rules and delays from the construction crew working in the same space, the job stretched to 7 weeks. Getting him back at the end of that time was pretty delightful.

The Scene at 4N405

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Since we arrived on August 10th, much has changed. Dad was in the hospital for another two weeks after we got here, and was more than ready to come home when they pulled the final drainage tube out. Mom took a pretty steep dive downwards after he went into the hospital, missing the connection of being with him daily, and having seen what happened to him when he passed out while at the park. Their bond is a huge part of what keeps her going, and without seeing him or being able to be with him at all, she lost a lot of ground and basically stopped being able to walk.

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Her care needs increased a lot as a result, and she currently needs 2 or 3 people’s help on a daily basis. They decided to move into the in-law apartment at my brother’s new home, which includes a flat floor plan and wider doorways, and plans are in motion to add a kitchenette and laundry to accommodate their needs. In the meantime, we have added a Hoyer lift, a wheelchair, and a ramp down the front steps to the household. Dad has gained strength steadily, and recovery is going well enough that he’s back to work and up to long walks and carrying boxes to the car. Those boxes would be the result of the sorting of his vast book collection down to one bookcase’s worth to take along to the new place.

 A telegram my grandfather Elmer sent to his fiancée Juanita for Valentine’s Day in 1937, 8 weeks before they were married.

A telegram my grandfather Elmer sent to his fiancée Juanita for Valentine’s Day in 1937, 8 weeks before they were married.

We’re currently taking care of Mom with a lot of help from my sister Martha, working on sorting and emptying the house of a lifetime of accumulation (it is minimal by most standards!), and preparing to fix the house up for sale once they move. There’s a lot to do, and we’re here as long as we’re needed.

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The land we had our eye on is still available, but we’re not focused on it at the moment. We’ve tried to just do what’s in front of us for years now, and the current situation is no different. There are needs, there is work that we know in our hearts is ours to do, and we’re in it with everything we’ve got.

Onward …

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One Thousand Days

bethany

We spent the 1000th day of being on the road in Brooklyn. The boys and I at least, Michael was working his butt off at UCONN installing a Sol LeWitt piece that day. It felt momentous to me, this getting into the 4 digit category, and kind of stunning. One Thousand Days. So many, that much of it is getting blurry, in terms of where/when/with whom, and … what year was that?

 DAY 2

DAY 2

The boys and I have kept journals since day one, though I'm the only one tracking the overall numbers. It kind of annoys Michael a wee bit, I think because the trip has become so very one-day-at-a-time that marking the overall duration seems pointless, or just plain distracting? I somewhat get that, but couldn't help myself in at least writing Day #1086 in my journal this morning when I curled up to write about yesterday.

Hitting #1,000 back in October made me shiver. How much have the boys changed in that time? What's growing, hardening, softening, missing, or coming into focus? Is Douglas's spine forever bent from curling up in his bunk? How on earth have we survived financially? (just fine, thank you God). Have I really slept in that camper for 850+ of those nights? Is Matilda about to croak in a pricier way, rather than just creak? Shouldn't we have visited more people by now? Was I really so self conscious about sleeping “in public” at a truck stop? What on earth do we have back in that storage space in PA, and is it covered in mold by now?

 DAY 999

DAY 999

Just for kicks, a few stats, as of 12/18/2017 … day #1086

>  Number of “people visits” we've made … 78

>  Shortest visit … 2 hours

>  Longest visit … 3.5 months*

>  Number of visits where it hurt at least a bit to leave … 78

>  Number of states we've been in … 41

>  Number of regular campgrounds we've stayed at … 57

>  Number of days just boondocking** … 71

>  Miles driven towing the trailer … 16,505

>  Miles put on Matilda in total … 45,345

It's funny, this tracking the days bit makes me focused in a way I never have been. More attentive to the passage of time in days, and only days. What's accomplished, said, noticed, felt, enjoyed, annoying, disappointing … it's all measured one day at at time. No schedule whatsoever to make us pay attention to weeks or months or semesters or vacation days left or hours worked or anything of the sort. It's a more profound shift than I had any idea was coming, and it has consequences.

I notice the temperature, the humidity, the insect sounds, the birds, the temperaments of my boys, my moods, my body's reactions to things, the health of the cats, the fragility of my nails, the color of the light, the spirit in which something is said, body language cues, how much stuff we have added since we left home (partly by how Matilda feels when she tows), how quiet my boys can be, how patient my husband is, how much I enjoy the boys' bedtime rituals, how media affects us all, how our relationships shift when we don't have media, how little most things really matter, how much I long for community, how delicious humanity is, how much I depend on God, how slowly I walk now, how grounded I feel, how at peace I can be for long stretches of time.

 DAY 1,012

DAY 1,012

Some of these bits came into focus on that thousandth day in Brooklyn … a day spent visiting friends and old stomping grounds. I was in the city I'd lived in for 9 years, but moved away from almost 5 years before. I never imagined I'd feel so differently walking through Fort Greene … evidence of a shift in perspective, almost entirely within myself. It's rare to get such a clear glimpse … the 1000th-day-me, seeing the Brooklyn-girl-me way ahead, disappearing around the corner onto Myrtle Ave. Feeling her to my core, and realizing how much she'd changed.

I've written and erased many many sentences about how I'm different now, but none of it is ringing true. Too pat or facile, or, quite possibly, incorrect. I feel the difference, but I can't pin it down really.

 DAY 1,057

DAY 1,057

Maybe this will help a little?

1,000 days ago I would not have ...

  • Bought orange and turquoise cowboy boots, and worn them delightedly and almost daily.

  • Not cared at 4pm where we were going to be for the night.

  • Not been particularly concerned about things like having $20 in our bank account and none in the wallet.

  • Any idea that 1,000 days later I'd still not have driven Matilda while towing the trailer

  • Wakened with the sun for weeks on end.

  • Thought it was possible to fit another 6 Nerf guns, thousands more Lego pieces, dozens more books, a keyboard, a remote control plane, a large backpack full of survival gear, costumes, a scroll saw and dremel kit and several more drills and many other tools, piles of 'walking' sticks, boxes of art supplies, and 6 more inches of Douglas into the trailer.

  • Had any idea there was such delight to be found in Unplanned Living. That it was desirable, delightful, softening, and addictive.

  • Woken up parked in between semis at a truck stop, and felt right at home.

  • Thought it possible that I'd struggle to remember what's in our storage space.

  • Been able to walk through Brooklyn after a delicious breakfast at Smooch with Susan, with my heart beating in rhythm with my feet … feeling 6 feet tall, visible, peaceful, and as solid and light and whole as I've ever been.

 DAY 1,086

DAY 1,086


Onward ...

 

 

 

* Not counting the first 5 months in Knoxville, figuring out that we didn't need to figure out any way to survive financially on the road, we just needed to Go.

** That means being in a place with no hookups of any sort, be it a rest area or national forest or roadside pullout. I don't count parking in driveways as boondocking, though we spent many many months parked in driveways or back fields or cul-de-sacs.

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Westward Ho! / Day 10 ... In Which We Get to California, Though a Bit Wilted

bethany

Wednesday, August 24

With the parks behind us, we had to do a bit of emotional shifting. It had been three days of visual overload … heart stretching, eye-straining, camera imploding beauty … and now that we were through the mountains and headed towards the flats of Nevada and CA the focus of the trip suddenly shifted towards the end point. Aran and Lexie's wedding, on Sunday, at The Presidio in San Francisco.

I didn't even remotely feel ready. Things were starting to boil over in the heart department, and the fact that we still didn't have a place to camp near SF (not a decision to leave till the last minute!) was adding to the stress.

This set the tone for the day, as we rocked our way out of our campsite and onto the last few pretty miles of Rt 12. We stopped at one pullout to stretch our legs and look at a lake, and ended up having a lovely chat with two couples that were touring on their Harleys. The chance encounters and conversations are always a delight!

Once we hit I15 and headed southwest at 75mph, it started heating up. The tensions seemed to rise along with the temperatures, and by the time we went through a wee corner of Arizona and hit Vegas, it was 99° and still rising. We took in a few miles of the strip, just for kicks, and then headed on into California. Finally hitting a West Coast state! Only took us until day #617 :).

We gawked at huge solar farms and endless tracts of windmills, wandered through a wee ghost town, winced at rising diesel prices, and found ourselves a cheapish campsite on the edge of the Mojave desert.

At 105° the boys ran for the pool in the gathering dusk, jumped in and yelped at the frigid water, and had to be convinced to swim a few laps before jumping out again. The cats found the hot sand disorienting, and didn't stay out long either. Michael and I spent awhile hashing things out once the boys were in bed, and survived it … every marriage takes work, and this was one of the heavy lifting days :).

lots more pics here

previous posts : DAY 1  / DAY 2 / DAY 3 / DAY 4 / DAY 5 / DAY 6 / DAY 7 / DAY 8 / DAY 9

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Two States

fynn

South Carolina

We were in South Carolina and we were going to my dad's cousin George's house. We were driving and the road turned to sand.  We got to the driveway so we went down it.  There was a hill, 9% grade, filled with potholes.  So we went slowly and made our way down the hill.  We got parked and ate supper.  The next day, George's daughter Eliora got back mid afternoon from school.  When she got back we turned on the hose and put it on the trampoline, and jumped on the trampoline.

At night, we played card games.  Me and Eliora caught a lizard and made a habitat for it.  After three nights, we left, but the hill was a lot harder going up than down.  But we made it!

Savannah

When we went to Savannah it was St Patrick's day weekend.  So the first thing we did was we went to up to the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum.  That was really cool.  The ship museum had lots of models of all the ships.  Then we walked up to the harbor and saw the US Coast Guard tall ship the Eagle.  The harbor was really crowded because there was a big party for St. Patty's Day.  Then we left the harbor and walked around the city and got some lunch.  

Then we walked back to the harbor and watched the tall ship leave.  First they got a tugboat to turn them around, then they opened the sails and went upriver.  But before that happened, a container ship came downriver and slowed the Eagle's leaving.  There are lots more pictures here.

Then we walked across town and went to a book store.  We looked for Nathaniel Bowditch's book of General Navigation.  Then we walked back and went home.

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10 things, one year, 4,517 miles

bethany

Christmas Eve marked the one-year anniversary of the start of this adventure, and over 4500 miles on the road so far.  It's been full of surprises, realizations, growth, and much joy.  Without further ado, 10 things that stand out for me about the first year of heartLOOSE …

1. Adapting to life in the camper has been way easier than I expected, in terms of the physical space and the ramifications that has on four people plus two cats. I've very rarely found myself wishing for something I didn't bring, and out-of-sight-out-of-mind is proving pretty accurate. The lack of kitchen counter was rather sucky until about two months ago, and now is no issue at all thanks to our reconfiguration of the kitchen table area! We have a lovely 6' long wooden counter that can either be 12” or 24” wide, and when not in use we have an extra wide couch area instead. Yay!

2. I didn't know how much more in love I'd be with my husband after a year of this, I was really afraid that we'd both miss personal time and space so much we'd get pretty cranky with each other. While that's happened a few times, it's nothing like I thought it might be. I love working with him and being with him more than ever, and actually parenting together? That's nearly a first … we so rarely were both with the kids at the same time in the past, other than a few evenings a week, and some weekends. It changes everything. In a very good way, and I love it.

3. People we visit are far more open than I ever expected. I wrote a bit about that last month, but it continues to amaze me. Open hearts and open doors … the trust, the vulnerability, the sharing of daily life in all its beauty and pain and sometime drudgery. Anything done together ceases to be drudgery though. Sharing the burdens and the joys for a bit is energizing, eye-opening, and delightful. It's a kind of intimacy that I had much more of when I was younger, and the sometimes false sense of connection I get via social media is no real replacement for face-to-face and side-by-side.

4. I thought we'd be on the West Coast by now! Twelve months and we're right back in the spot where we spent the 2nd night of the trip, in Knoxville?! While it is home base for us, I figured we'd have made it through a lot more states by the one-year mark. Hitting roadblocks in the first 5 months is the biggest reason for that, but we're also staying places longer than I anticipated. There's just more to do, and more willingness to let us do stuff, as well as the need for downtime.

5. Speaking of downtime, we do need it, a surprisingly large bit of it actually, in between visits. One or two nights on our own aren't enough … we need space to be just a family, to recalibrate our relationships with each other, and to concentrate on the things we can't do easily while we're “docked”. Things like writing, phone calls, do-nothing days, and getting stuff fixed and modified in our living space. And most importantly, head-space to figure out what's next, and take stock of the bigger picture.

6. I think I've learned more about myself in the last year than in the previous ten. A surprising and delightful side effect of getting out of my comfort zone, having lots of deep conversations and friend-mirrors, and being unbound from the usual constraints of time and expectations and commitments. I'm loving being unmoored, but had no idea it would help me see myself more clearly. Change of scenery, change of perspective. Similar to that vacation-inspired epiphany that makes you see your real life as needing a tweak or even a wholesale makeover once you get home. I've got an IV-drip of that going on. It's not all vacation mind you, and in fact far less so than you would think. But it's a real chance to gain viewing points, perspectives, and skills for choosing to act and react differently to things. Some of those things are absorbed just by watching relationships work, and some come by being introduced directly to new ways of thinking, healing, and interacting. A smorgasbord of information and knowledge.

7. Living one day at a time is easier, and more peaceful, than I ever expected. I knew I need to let go of a lot of things to make this way of life work, and yet I feel like the first five months of feeling stuck were partly because I didn't trust God to really take care of us. We thought we had to do more. Plan more. Become side-income wizards before we could take the first step. Hah! We just had to take the first step … and then the next one, and then the next one, and so on … one. day. at. a. time. Living on faith that if we do what's in front of us, and move on when we feel it's time to go, that it will all work out. And so far, it has. The blessings keep piling up … mostly in ways that have nothing to do with money, and everything to do with life.

8. It's become screamingly obvious to me that emotional work is just as important as physical work. For all of us. Not just the four of us, but everyone we meet. People are increasingly hungry for meaningful connections, and maybe I'm just extra hungry after two years of living without much contact with anyone but my kids for five days a week, but we need to spend time connecting. To listen, and not judge. To be heard, and still loved. To see, and speak truth. To hear, and understand. To learn, and change heart. It's all as vital as putting food on the table and fuel in the truck. We need to love, and be loved, and it happens best in person.

9. I love working together with my family. I know I'm repeating myself but it's true that it's one of the most personally delightful parts of this trip for me. Not to mention, I'm learning a LOT and reveling in that too … I do love adding new things to my skill set. It feels healthy, and good for all of us. We're not harnessed together, but we do dance, and it's deeply satisfying. We haven't yet gotten the boys to feel the same about it all, and while they never may, it's my wish that they at least learn how to work through all this, and then they'll be equipped to do anything they choose to apply themselves to in the future. They're not there yet though, and I'm hoping to find a better way to teach that, soon.

I just re-read the list so far, wondering what 10 should be, and it jumped out at me from number six …

10. I'm loving being unmoored … living the wandering life. I was not at all convinced that would be the case, and thought that being rootless would be a huge strain on my routine- and home-loving heart. So far, that fear is completely unfounded. I don't crave schedules, or a fixed address, or steady income. I do miss having a regular community, but I'm finding ways around that. I have no idea how long this will last, but I trust it to take me at least as far as the end of the trip, wherever and whenever that is. It's a bit like I've come over to the dark side (no plans! disorder! irresponsible freedoms! unconventional freaks!) and feel way more at home than I ever thought I would. My Type A tendencies (except when it comes to the boys' Lego habits and haphazard cat care) are in remission, and may stay there indefinitely.

It's been an exceptionally interesting year. One that has defied expectations, and slithered away from too much definition. It's been, simply ... rich, remarkable, gut-wrenching, savory, and full. Thank you God, thank you friends, hosts, family, and followers. Yours is the love on which we feast, the hope which we carry, and the work which we do.

Onward.

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Liberté, égalité, fraternité

bethany

I had a dream last night in which I was in some kind of school/college setting, and everyone else was wearing blue plastic watches given to them by the school, but I didn't have one as I'd just arrived somehow. I took my place at the end of a long conference-type table with all the other students, and tried to figure out what was going on and how to catch up.

 

At 5am the sounds of the highway next to us started to pick up, and I woke for the first time, the dream nearly drifting away from me completely. Daylight? Why was there warm light seeping through the mini blinds? I rolled over and pried two slats apart with barely functional fingers, and then remembered … we're camped in the WalMart parking lot … the lights never do go off, do they? The lights themselves weren't actually visible as the window was covered in beaded moisture, some of it drifting in rivulets down the pane. A night's worth of breath, condensed and pooling in the window frame. I felt hungry, slightly stirred up, and a bit adrift. Should I get up? Go back to sleep? How cold is it out there now anyway? I picked up my phone and wasted some of the last of its battery life checking the weather. Summersville WV, 21 degrees, but feels like 17.

I chose to haul myself out from under the two wool blankets, cotton quilt, and sheet that keep us toasty on most nights, flipped the covers back down so both Michael and my side of the bed would stay warm and Sparrow wouldn't be covered, and padded to the bathroom, past the green-wrapped bodies of my gangly boys half falling out of their bunks. A pretend flush (you hope you've peed enough to send the toilet paper down without any added water), and I scuttled back to bed, the camper swaying slightly with each step as we hadn't bothered to put down the stabilizers for one night and were still hitched to the truck.

Back to sleep? Why that dream? And the other really bizarre one about part of my toe falling off? Really? I want to write. I need to write. I wish I could write in my head while I half-sleep in that delicious skid towards the deep trenches of rest where you're too far under to dream, and then have it magically transfer itself into a word .doc the next morning. I need to tell the stories, and need to have them read. I don't know where I fit anymore. I haven't a community. Not one I can see, or one that sees me regularly at least, and worries if I don't show up. I feel utterly invisible, except when I blog. Or Instagram. Or post on Face Book. I have incredibly great conversations at every house we stop at, and love every minute of it. Then we move on.

I bring bits of each person along with me … snippets of conversation, memories, recipes, advice, new books to read, things to pray for, and the feeling that I was truly part of their household for awhile. Let in both the heart door and the back door. All in … briefly a very real part of their daily lives, and not just walking past the warm window casting its glow into the dusk, wondering how that family lived and what went on in their house. I can't tell you how many windows I've wondered over in my almost 45 years, it's tens of thousands by now I think. And now I'm actually getting into some of those living rooms, and it's the most fascinating thing ever. A growing trail of places that I know, and people that I love, from the inside.

So why am I dreaming about nondescript school life and feeling behind? Perhaps I have an inkling that living sans-watch, as we do now, is going to make it hard to integrate again into a more fixed life. So be it, but the watch was only part of it. They'd all been together for some period of time, doing life together, and I was just arrived. It's the community that I miss I think. The knowledge that I'm a part of some greater collection than just us four, and that I have a meaningful part in it. I have no doubt that I DO have that, I just can't see it at the moment. Can't feel it a lot of the time, either. It's a new kind of lonely. It always happens, and I just now realized that's part of the process going on in my heart. The more the love, the more the potential for feeling alone. It's happened at with marriage, kids, and how this. I'm stealing from one campfire to the next, taking treasures with me, and my heart now knows exactly what it feels like to stand in Jane's kitchen and chop carrots next to the sink while she stirs the stew and I watch her neighbors run their dogs in the twilight. It knows that Erica's probably planning her outing for Wednesday, and putting Kayla to bed in the next 20 minutes. That John's puttering around his basement getting tools for some project, and Marcie's taking the dogs out for the last time before bed, shivering in the cold but not quite ready to put on a winter jacket. The list is endless, the heart is stretching yet again.

I can't see the whole picture. I feel it being stitched together though, with heart strings and prayer bits and smashed fingers and new understandings and shared lives … I just have to get my bearings a bit every time the scene changes. Figure out how to assimilate what I gained, process what it all means, and check that my heart is intact and my mind still my own. I'm a fitter-inner, and historically have played the chameleon a bit if I'm not sure how my opinions will be received. This no longer works, and in some ways the constant scene-changes are facilitating the growing tendency to speak my mind. I'm just not sure what it's doing to the whole story. The one I'm writing without words, but with my life. I like to KNOW, and this I can't. I like to feel SURE, and that's now reserved for the fewest of the few things. I like to BELONG, but am leery of being boxed in or judged. So I'm gathering up the warmest stones and most interesting bits of fireside chat and relationship gold, and praying that when they're no longer wet from the current (and tears) of this journey, that I'll find them even more worthy of carrying onward.

 

I did go back to sleep, woke once more to eat a banana in the half dark, and then slept again till just before 8, when a brilliant sunrise started drying up the condensation on Michael's window and warming the room up a bit.

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A newsletter is born ...

bethany

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Greetings from Attleboro, Massachusetts, where we're staying with friends, working for a former neighbor of theirs, and warming up from an utterly delightful month in Maine.

Awhile back we put up a link on our website to the heartLOOSE newsletter, promising updates, tidbits not found in the blog, and extra photos and such. Not that our posts tend to lack photos, sorry I hear some of you are having trouble getting it to load because there are so many!  I'll see what I can do about that in the next post.

At long last though, the first newsletter has been sent out!  It includes a lot of small updates and links to things, as well as some where we are now/where we're headed stuff, wildlife sightings, and other wee stories. 

As much as we'd like to blog about every stop we make, it's just not happening.  There are still some in the queue even though at this point they'll be out of chronological order, but none of us are super fast writers, and there's some balance that we need to find between Living and Documenting. 

So the newsletter fills in the gaps between the bigger posts, and though we could tell many stories from each and every stop, Living just won't allow it at this point.  So if you missed the first one, but want to find out what's going on between the blog posts ...

 ... and have them delivered fresh to your inbox, no clicking required, other than one confirmation email that you'll get when you subscribe.

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

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