• Ramblings

    It’s a Big Bad World Outside

    Every year for a while when I was a kid… Is probably the worst sentence I’ve written in a long time. How do you say something happened regularly for a limited time during a specific and short period of life? It happened all the time sometimes for a little while. Anyway! My mom would all the time sometimes for a little while go to Ocean City, Maryland with one of her friends. I suppose it was her “girl time,” time to be free of children and step away from being Mommy. My sister and I would ask to go each summer because we were annoying, and it was a part of the ocean we didn’t see regularly. Most of our summers were spent in a tiny cabin-hut on the Chesapeake Bay, two and a half hours from the boardwalk. The bay was beloved but Ocean City had salt water taffy and really long bathroom lines. One summer, she agreed to take us along. One of the most exciting aspects of the trip was that we’d be staying in a hotel. We had never stayed in a hotel before. We talked about how exciting it was going to be listening to the waves and the…

  • Ramblings

    The Forest That Once Was Green

    For the past two weeks, afternoon temperatures here have bordered, if not surpassed, 100°F. It’s toasty. Literally. All the beautiful green grass, that not long ago I couldn’t wait to see chopped down, has been reduced to a sad, crunchy brown. There are some people in town that are putting up a valiant fight against the inevitable yard death; sprinklers can be heard whirring as the sun dips below the hills behind our house. Still, large patches of toasted lawn have started to spread like an earthy rash. Inside isn’t much better. We have one tiny air conditioner plunked into a kitchen window. It only has the power to cool a space the size of an average bathroom, so its efforts to chill the open floor-plan here are hugely unsuccessful. All it has managed to do is keep the house from getting hotter than outside. However, it never gets any cooler, and there isn’t even the bonus of a breeze. The heatwave is supposed to be dying down at the end of this weekend. The weather app tells me it’s going to be in the high 80s-90s instead of hovering relentlessly at 100°F. It’s not a great drop, but it’s better than nothing. Perhaps…

  • Ramblings

    Do You Want to Live in a Pretty World

    I know this isn’t the best picture. Sorry. It’s somewhere close to 145°F outside right now and I didn’t feel much like standing out in the sky oven to take a nice picture. Anyway, this is Phyllis. I don’t know why I named her, or call her “her.” Never mind me, I have a lot of quirks. She’s a poinsettia Brian surprised me with around Christmas last year. What are you supposed to do with a poinsettia after the holidays? If I have something that’s alive, I feel it’s my duty to keep it alive, no matter what. I once purchased a cactus from the hardware store and found a mysterious new plant growing in the pot a few days later. Not wanting to kill it, I transplanted the possible weed into a pot of its own. It grew into a beautiful purple basil plant. So, look at that, a story that doesn’t really belong. Who’d a thunk? Phyllis is thriving, sprouting new green bunches every time I look at her. I have to think it’s the encouraging way I talk to her every day, telling her how pretty she is. Some might argue that it’s the water I continue to provide for…

  • Geocaching,  Ramblings

    You Keep Spinning on Your Compass Spoke

    For most of my childhood we didn’t have a television. My mom would spend evenings reading poems and stories to my sister and I, as we sat, picking at the splintering wood, on our old front porch. She encouraged summer reading programs and the money she splurged on us was usually spent at Scholastic Book fairs. Later, when I hit my unfortunate rebellious phase and began skipping school, I would go to the library. I don’t think my mom even knows that. She undoubtedly thought I was hanging out with a Bad Crowd, smoking in alleyways, sketching my first tattoo. Nope. Library. Thanks to an early exposure to the beauty of poetry and the adventures offered in books, I love reading. It doesn’t matter what it is. If someone is blogging about the power of their mage in World of Warcraft, or how they’ve just created the very best homemade auger sealant, I’ll read and enjoy what they have to say. However, I realize not everyone enjoys very specific topics that don’t relate to them, so here’s where I give you a warning: I’m about to write about geocaching. Geocaching has been explained like this, “I use multi-million dollar satellites to find Tupperware in the woods.” That’s pretty…

  • Ramblings

    It Makes No Difference If the Sky Is Blue

    I started this post yesterday, the one year anniversary of the evening we drove away from our home in Connecticut, but then life got in the way, as it sometimes does. Anyway, here we go. I was the one to suggest going homeless, “We have enough money to buy a cap for the truck. We could put everything in storage and just go.” I’ve always been one to “buck the tide,” as they say, but it was a wild idea, even for me. Brian didn’t hesitate before agreeing, but I don’t think he took the suggestion as entirely serious. However, over the next few days, as we started talking about our options more and more, homelessness stopped being a harebrained suggestion and became the plan. The majority of my family lives in Pennsylvania while the majority of Brian’s family lives in Louisiana. Staying with either side would have relegated Brian’s job search to areas where we didn’t want to live. There are exceptions, of course, but most companies don’t entertain interviewees from across the country, especially in Brian’s line of work, with their penchant for multiple interviews before making a decision. Staying with family meant we’d have to settle. I am not much for settling. I try to…