Alone again. I go through the routine: turn off the outside lights, raise the blinds on the front window, then open the blinds on the sliding glass door in the family room.
Today sounds like a good day for blueberry muffins. She’s upset about the blueberries even though I know she’ll eat them.
Trying to be flexible in my thinking. This week, cleaning day can’t be on Thursday and I don’t want it to be on Friday, so it must be today. And today is their short day anyway, there’s not much else one can do with such limited time.
11 am. Done and done. I head out for a 30 minute walk. No headphones today.
I take a picture of the blue house. I love the landscaping: tall, windswept grasses, huge aloes, and other large bushes and small trees that I can’t identify.
They have dark stone like this at The French Laundry.
Why are there so many people at the dollar store?
I take them to the park. They boys find some other boys to play basketball with on the court and the girls run off to the playground to do their thing. I sit at a bench and write. I can see the turbines off in the distance. I can see a lonely oak on a hill. I can see Mt. Diablo. I can see tall palms swaying in the wind. I laugh at how this is my new winter.
The fear is just a concern that I’ll feel a loss of freedom. But the truth is that in return, I’m going to gain so much more. So much more.
Roasted chicken and leftover baked potatoes with Alice Waters’ rocket salad. 2017 Kuentz-Bas Pinot Noir. Fun wine but not the most perfect pairing with the roasted chicken..
What’s for breakfast, what’s for breakfast?
I stir the milk and the water and the steel cut oats. I really hope they eat them because these are going to take so long to cook.
He tells me that the elf is hiding in a very tricky spot.
Bright morning sky. I’m beginning to learn the patterns.
I set to work on some things for liberated lines and decide to not beat myself up over how I forgot to do so many things. It’s been so long since we’ve run one plus the distraction and chaotic mess of a major move. Note to self: plan to do less the next time you decide to embark on a major life transition.
Ok. I can take a walk. I need to take a walk. I grab my coat and put on my boots (yes, I think these will be comfortable enough for work) and stick the earbuds in my ears. The sun is bright and the sky is blue and clear. Yellow is really yellow and orange looks like fire. It’s quiet save the intermittent sound of leaf blowers.
I spot more blossoms on the lemon tree and see way too much rotting and rotted fruit on the orange. I promise them that I’ll take care of them but that I just need to get through this season.
Leftover pork tenderloin, baked potatoes, a simple recipe of creamed spinach from Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food. They tell me that they’ll always eat spinach if it’s made like this.
There is so much to plan.
Please let it not be time to get up already. Oh, just. 1:04 am. I can go back to bed.
It’s just me. I set out the cinnamon bread from Trader Joes, plates, the toaster, softened butter, a bowl of grapes, a cut up apple. The extra effort is worth it. This is the first time we’ve all sat down to eat breakfast together in a long time.
Today, he leaves before we do.
It says there’s a 24 minute slow down but that I’m still on the fastest route.
And then there’s a turbine. The fog is still so thick and for a minute I feel like the earth is being invaded by giant aliens.
The cows are right up against the fence.
Not perfection, but excellence.
More flashcards. She asks me if I’m ready to be tested yet. No, not yet. I tell her to give me a few more weeks and then we can start.
The chicken parmigiana is a little bland. Needed more salt. But I’m the only one who seemed to notice. He picked a good night to be gone for dinner.
There is room for everything.
What day is it? Sunday. Oh, yes. Okay.
I let myself sleep in but it leads to anxiety about the to-do list for today. I need to go grocery shopping but I still need to make a meal plan for the week. But I also don’t know what this week is going to look like with this new job stuff. I’ll keep it simple.
I think I’m recording a message to her but look down and see that I accidentally stopped it 10 minutes ago. Is it a sign? Or should I jus re-record myself?
He keeps asking me if I am finding what I need.
The fog is still hanging low and there is a bright gray hue over everything. What grapes could they possibly be growing here? They all look head trained so most likely Zinfandel? The colors of the leaves are breathtaking.
Second store. Still slowly walking up and down the aisles. My eyes begin to swell with tears. I can’t find anything that I’m looking for. At least not a the price that I want to pay for it. Nothing feels familiar. I’ve been gone almost two hours already. They are tears of frustration. I’ll eventually figure it out.
Sometimes the feelings just leak out when you least expect it.
Two cups of tea and a long nap.
Salmon, risotto, asparagus. No one seems to be as hungry as I am.
Nervous. Is “nervous” the same thing as “scared”? I’ll be okay.
The three of them on the sofa watching a television show. Is it even 6 am yet?
Scones. I stick the butter in the freezer and set out the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cream.
Sometimes, the more crumbly, the better.
The heat of the coffee in my hands. Fog all around.
We have an owl. A real owl this time. It’s staring at us. Us at it.
Just a few miles down the highway and the sun begins to break through.
From the bridge we see sailboats and military ships. Oh, that was an island. Treasure island.
Fat pigeons. One glass of Malbec. Cheeseburger and fries.
We can’t find parking. Newbies. We go home without having achieved the goal. I relax into the reality of it. We came all this way and all I got to do was eat a burger. But it only takes us an hour to get home. And this is reassuring.
“…and you’re the sky.”