Monday, July 18, 2011


I believe I was meant to live outside, by some sort of  body of water.
It is also possible, that I am part dog, because of my need for a fresh breeze on my face.  Believe you me, I love my air-conditioning as much as the next person, especially on a day like today with 87% humidity.  But, I have come to have more tolerance to warmth, if it includes a breeze.  There is just a better...smell...and fresh air.

It is also entirely possible that these parts of me have become a more intense need because of my move from Southern California to a place where living outside, near water, would mean having frostbite for half or more of the year.

But, still, I can remember my pull towards the water going all the way back to my childhood.
I can remember spending so much time in the church camp pool, floating, swimming, jumping, having underwater tea parties....that I wore the skin off the bottoms of my toes.  I remember my dad carrying me and my bloody toes, back from the pool to our cabin, a good half mile walk.
I can also remember my cousin and I making a pact that we were going to stay in the pool, at his house, from sun up to sun down.  His mom said we had to get out of the pool for lunch and not go back in for an hour.  We compromised by having our lunch and break in the raft in the middle of the pool.  I also remember being very sunburned that day and my aunt having to drive us to the drugstore to get some aloe for our poor backs.
I can remember beach trips that lasted until the sunset over the pacific.  And beach vacations in which we were back on the beach even after the sun was gone.
I remember being pummeled by the surf and riding the waves, and even once, getting caught in a rip current and being rescued by a life guard.

I was also raised camping and backpacking and llama packing my way around California, Mexico, Arizona, Oregon, and other various Western national parks and and mountains.

It seems that being outside is a part of my soul.

And here, in Indiana, as a responsible adult with a family and a mortgage and a job, my summers are fleeting.
And I find that being in the house (or come august 3rd, my office) on a day in which the sun is shining, makes me feel claustrophobic.   And so I get out.  I go to the beach.  I go to my best friend's pool which I truly believe she had installed just for me.  Or sometimes, I just sit on my deck and read and dream of having my feet in the ocean.  And sometimes, it seems like I am the only one that wants to get out.  But, more often than not, I can convince my boys to go with me.  And if all else fails, I walk around my yard and check on my plants.  It is not so much that I have become a master gardener (although my mom did laugh the first time she heard I was growing something), but, checking the tomatoes and the strawberries, and the squash, and the peppers, is an excuse to go outside when I don't seem to have any other reason.

Today, it was hot.  But, more than hot, it was humid.  The kind of humid that all you have to do is open the front door and you start sweating.  And I spent the morning being the responsible adult that I am, vacuuming, mopping, planting, mulching, laundrying.  Then, more for me than anyone else, I asked my boys if they wanted to go swimming.  And I was outside.  And I was the right mixture of warm and cool as I floated in the pool, my feet dangling in the water.  And I soaked up as much as I could.  Maybe I can get enough that I wont go through withdrawls when I have to go back to work?

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Thursday, July 07, 2011

Telling Stories

I am still waiting for my 300 photos I have taken of our vacation thus far, to be uploaded so that I can sort them and send some to facebook and play with them and make them tell a story.

In the meanwhile, I am going to share just one photo, and it isn't mine.  And it wasn't taken with a fancy camera or by a professional photographer.

But, the picture does tell a story.  It tells a story about the almost twelve year old who hiked four miles to this lake at 8200 feet of elevation in the Sierra's, snapped this photo with his ipod touch, hiked the four miles back to camp and said "I could do this forever."  It also tells a story about my middle child who has decided that he wants to be a Yosemite ranger when he grows up. It tells a story of Dash hearing tales from his great uncle and great grandfather, who also camped with us, about their adventures living near these mountains and traversing these mountains and fishing in these mountains.  It tells a story about passing the love of these mountains through the generations.  It tells a story about why I keep coming back, even though I live so far away.

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