COFFEE CUPS: 2021 THE BERKSHIRES, STILL

So close to what’s next I can see and feel it. I am four days from my second vaccine shot, I am then ten days to breaking out. I planned my first international trip in two years yesterday.

The waiting feeling has settled, the wanderlust waking up.

I know I will look back on this year of slower days, my close family 24/7 as a gift. My mother is 90 and my nephew is on the edge of childhood and tweendom.

The deep sadness, the disconnection is already fading and being replaced by a sense that, if I look deeply enough, I will see the good in the slow down – that elusive silver liner. Call this annoying, or call this surviving, but the ability to find the sparkle has seen me through 49 and 1/2 magical years. I lose it constantly but when I find it again, it’s even better for the discovery.

I have been trying to take time off from my day hustle, watch the birds at my feeder, just exhale for a moment. It’s a rare gift to have a open morning, a chance to appreciate the dawn and early spring in New England.

And so I did – and made myself a delicious coffee, of course.


2021: March, bringing back the wonder

March is a long month in New England, usually starts out in real winter and then a few starts and stops with false spring but then it really kicks off with a lot of mud, then finally a hint of REAL spring, the world waking back up from it’s winter nap (and then maybe a bit more mud).

The song birds wait for the sun and kick off the chorus that begins and ends each day. The light changes, it’s brighter and the trees get feathery at the end, leaves thinking about unfurling. Hope does actually spring eternal, everyone.

I took a walk yesterday, up a hill and along a river, in the pale sunshine and felt that little springtime lift people who live around here feel, the idea that maybe the hermit times are ending, that maybe windows cans stay open and jackets can be packed away. Just like the green shoots under the mulch, my soul stretched a bit and felt a flutter.

And with a smile on my face, as I stopped by the river, a tiny purple plastic egg caught my eye.

So many questions, where did this come from? who is it for? It looks fresh and not like an egg that had wintered in this log. I left it there and wished it well.

A tiny bit of wonder in the waking up world.


2020 The Year That Wasn’t

Not one shared word from me. Not one post. Here instead one month into the new year are the pictures. It was a lot of these beautiful moments and also a lot of unknowns, worry, tears, love, laughs and all the rainbow of feelings. Family and friendship.

I am ok. My family is ok. My friends are ok. There’s been a bit of collateral damage though and for that, well, sitting here in 2021, choosing to look forward and be here in the now. Much love to all.


2019: A year in pictures

I didn’t spend any time writing this year, except to friends and family which is really a tragic shame that I have to spend some time on to make sense of why that was so, not for you dear reader. Today, I was googling artists and writers that spend time doing what appeared to be nothing to give myself some comfort – most of the stories weren’t really so positive so I knocked that off and here I am. I can just say that sometimes all the stories in my head are so loud and twisted together, I can’t make just one stand alone – maybe this next year, I can get better at that? Here’s hoping.

Good news, while I have a boatload of cliches about this past twelve months, I am going to spare you all most of that and save them for my own time. I will just state clearly that the path to my next decade seems to have gone from rocky and directly uphill an endless trail in the dark woods, to a gradual climb above the tree line with a summit in sight, with amazing views and terrifying drop offs on the side of trail. I am almost there and the last ten years have for once, looking back, been more of the making of me than the breaking of me. I am braver, smarter, wiser than I was ten years ago. I am also more humble, more willing to laugh at myself and no longer trying to make sense immediately of all the lessons. I figure they’ll explain themselves in time. People have come, they have gone and come back and I expect they will all continue to do that. My constants are like redwoods, tall, strong, reliable and mostly indestructible.

I celebrate that more than you all could know and today, simply just enjoy a small glimpse into the past 12 magical months, before I start planning, sharing and WRITING more about 2020. Just breathing in what just happened. It was a year of so much – there was death, new beginnings, challenges, joy and a lot of love.

On this fourth day of the new year, wishing you all happy days on the trail of life, may the year be kind, joyful and if it sends you challenges, may you be brave, fearless and strong.


2019: Florida

Time away is time to clear out the cobwebs and to put my house in order. Distance from the churn of life. If I haven’t spoken of it here before, I should have. Lots has happened this winter and early spring and also a lot of nothing has happened. Suddenly the nothing is something. Somehow I misplaced the goodness of the nothing. The comfort of same.

Same job, same house, same life but I forgot that’s not bad news. It’s ok to feel settled. My friends. My family. My small town. My cats even. I actually kept plants alive this winter for goodness sake.

My thirties were so restless. I get tired thinking of it. New places, new cultures, I got a little lost.

I don’t feel lost anymore. I can see the benefit of playing the long game. This is new, people, and we’re going to see where it goes.

For now, I am going to have some more seafood and look at this view and warm my winter filled bones in this glorious sun.


2017: In like a lion, out like a ram

Winter cannot give up her grip on these New England hills. I am not going to be one of those surprised people that it happened again, happens every year. In a few months, when the green busts out all over, it is more than worth it.

Nonetheless, sometimes I feel a bit battled by the weather, life, possible disappointments, work stress. Today’s lesson is don’t under estimate the worth of a random act of kindness.

Just as I was preparing to wallow a bit in my pre-spring blues, the mail came. Random envelope with the driver’s license I wasn’t even missing yet inside it. With a note “I think you might want this back”. Thanks universe, you got this round.


2015: Cows, California, Cafes and Chalupas

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise, we harden.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Even if I didn’t write about them, I did have some lovely adventures and I love a sunset all over the world. Here’s 2015’s collection.

California for some calm and a birthday, Mexico for some chalupas and time with my cub, Michigan for a coney hot dog and some love, Cape Cod as a constant, rounding out the year with cafes in France, Costa Rican coffee and life in my cow town too.

Happy happy new year to all my loves.



2015: Mother’s Day, the woman who took me out my first door

Many moons ago, my mother told my father that if he was going to Europe to work for three months, well, then, despite being over forty and a new mother to two small girls, she was going as well. And so, the die for my life was cast. At 18 months old, I boarded a plane bound for Florence, Italy with my mother, her heart for adventure beating so strongly.  Know she’s never ever going to be the one left behind.

An endlessly curious observer of the world, her bravery has opened so many doors for my sister and for me. She left home for college when her father wanted her to just get married to nice boy, she got a job when she was not supposed to, she dated a wild artist (everyone knows this, it’s part of her tale), and when it looked she was never going to get married, she found her soul mate in a man who lived his own adventures, with a brain that would never tire her and who made her laugh.

Love is funny, so many kinds. My parents had an unlikely love story. They loved others who brought them both to their knees and then they found in each other the kind of love that is the foundation of everything, solid, unquestioned and constant. It’s taken me years of my own loves to understand what I lived with as a child. It’s taken me even more years to understand how there’s a part of me that was forged with an iron clad certainty, so completely loved and honored, that I never accounted for it. My parents loved us so clearly, without conditions, I never even noticed what an amazing start I had been given to this crazy life of mine.

There’s lots to say about what makes a mother great. They bring us into this world (with some help, not down on dads – my father was an incredible man) and they pick us up when we fall, they celebrate our wins, hold us tight, fill us with wisdom and then let us fly free from the nest. From what I can tell, there’s no right way to do it, lots of ways to do it wrong, but most of the time, the amazing mamas of this life, well, you ladies, you get it done and we take that magic and we make our own.

I don’t have children. I chose that path for a million reasons and none. Living a life of no regrets isn’t easy and the lack of a child might have been the one that I would have struggled with the most. The good bad news is that if I had spent my last decades consumed with what wasn’t happening, rather than being present for what was, well, there’d be lots of tears today. I hope I have triumphed over my own struggles to reclaim my past, my present and yes, my future. I live today in the present, celebrating the many small people that are part of my life and getting from them the promise of tomorrow. It’s not your garden variety motherhood but it’s pretty awesome and hopeful and so I’ll take it. My own sister’s journey to being a mother is pretty remarkable and her cub, well, he’s pretty much the best thing that ever happened to us. I can share a bit of that blanket of goodness and well, it’s enough for now. Never say never though. I am at least wise enough to understand my path is always surprising me.

On this Mother’s day in the USA, I honor the woman who is a sailing, kayaking, martini (gin never vodka) drinking, wisdom giving woman, who took me out my first door and so many more, who has given me the keys to unlock the world.

Love to my mama, on this hallmark card of a holiday, because even when I am rotten (and I still can be, so rotten), every day is actually mother’s day over here.

My mama