Ten.Four Hundred & Fourteen

1. What I remember most about the dream is how in love I was and that his house had no foundation—it was propped up on stilts. 

2. Bacon too crispy. Hash browns too crispy. Kids made because there is not enough time for everyone to play x-box before the showing. 

3. I'm moving slowly because I'm waiting too long to drink my coffee. I take a minute in the kitchen to catch my breath and relax. I have plenty of time. There is plenty of time. 

4. Out we go again.

5. We ride in silence. I think of the words to the prayer and try to remember as many as I can but I can't remember them all so I just try to feel them with my heart. I think that matters too—the condition of the heart.

6. I forgot to water the garden. 

7. Somone is very interested. It's hard to manage your expectations and emotions when you hear that someone is very interested. It's hard not to let it take over your head. I take the book and go to the alcove and try to finish it. I do. But not without having to redirect my attention every 5 minutes. 

8. The way the heat traps itself in these stone corners. I can feel a breeze against my toes and my knees but the upper half of my body sweats. 

9. I am only in control of me. Things I can do going forward: send more "thank you" cards; write letters; be extra gracious when in their company; not hold their politics against them; be more firm in my boundaries and trust my own truth. 

10. Butternut Squash and bacon pasta never fails. 

Ten.Four Hundred & Thirteen

1. Now he has me dreaming of Napa again as a possibility. Could we do it? Maybe.

2. The skies are still low and gray and the tops of the trees are bending in the wind. There is no rain right now but everything looks so wet. It's been a long and very dry month. These are healing rains. 

3. Blender. Bulletproof coffee. Smoothie bowls for everyone. First, some homemade granola to layer in. 

4. The humidity didn’t go away though and so it’s sticky and warm while I write the pages. I can tell by how I feel that all that will get done today is what must be done. So groceries and a little bit of cleaning. A tiny bit of cooking.  

5. Candied walnuts. 

6. I want to rest but rest doesn’t come. Browsers. Dump old files. Find the pictures of the silks we died at the ranch. Remember all the mugs of coffee. Endless coffee. And how it didn’t affect me at all.   

7. Seared tuna over rice noodles.  

8. The way the sun blinds you real good before it disappears behind the hill.  

9. Riesling.  

10.  But we shouldn't go out of guilt. And yet, maybe it's the right thing. I do not know. Family is such a thing.

Ten.Four Hundred & Twelve

1. It did rain after all. Thank goodness. The earth is so dry. 

2. The way the lights blur through the tears on the window. The darkness of this morning. The quiet. I make the coffee earlier than usual and start a load of laundry. 

3. He's taking the kids to school. It feels like a 20-minute vacation. It's all about the little things. It really is. 

4. 11 am showing so we leave to have lunch in Schaumburg. 

5. I don't feel like myself. My body feels sour which is reflecting in my mood. I feel like I've been saying this over and over to myself for months. My body is telling me that it's not happy and I've been ignoring her and going right back to the cheese plate. She's craving good sleep, whole foods, meaningful movement. 

6. It's dark and it's cold and those are two things I dislike about most indoor spaces. I think of what we will call home in California. It doesn't need to be big (in fact, I welcome a break from cleaning so much square footage) but it does need a lot of natural light. A sense of space even if I am close to my neighbors. But light is a must.

7. Because the writer dreams never go away. 

8. I decide to cook up the Chicken Francese recipe that I keep seeing but have never made. I need a white wine so I pick up Italian Pinot Grigio and Vernaccia. 

9. So many tomatoes. I feel abundant in a way that I haven't felt in a long time. Attention leads to gratitude. I'm consciously trying to refocus. 

10. Between the house showing, 10 pounds of tomatoes, two rainbows and a heavy rain, I feel like things are about to turn around.

Ten.Four Hundred & Eleven

1. She said she wanted scones. I am going to try to make these scones today. 

2. Do I have enough coffee? Scones and then also he wanted a smoothie. I should have bought that $17 Oster blender at Target. But really I want the real-deal Vitamix or Ninja or whatever. But I really ought to stop using the food processor for these kinds of things. 

3. Rain?

4. I hesitate but remember that regardless, Thursdays are cleaning days and so it's best that I just do this. There is time for this anyway. 

5. I try to push away thoughts of us being here until winter. I think it would be easier if we knew exactly what the Plan B was for if we don't sell the house in a reasonable amount of time. What is "reasonable" anyway? Two months? Three months? Will they give us money? Will they pay the mortgage? Will they buy the house? This is the one problem with being the first: There is no protocol established yet for any of this. We are the guinea pigs. We are the ones crazy enough to do it. 

6. I bring myself to the front porch and feel the heat of the sun on the tops of my thighs. 

7. The best burger I've had in a really long time topped with aged white cheddar, bacon marmalade, bbq sauce, and an onion ring. 

8. Drop the shoulders. 

9. 11 am. 

10. I want my response to stop being "I'm just tired."

Ten.Four Hundred & Ten

1. It's the first day. 

2. There's no movement in the trees and the clouds are standing still. Some bird chatter. 

3. Bacon and hash browns and eggs for the ones who might want them. Hot coffee. 

4. Everyone is ready and there is still more than an hour left until school begins. I twiddle my thumbs. Decide to clean the kitchen and sweep the floor and watch the sprinkler. 

5. The three of them together. I forget how beautiful they are. And how big they are. And how soon, there will be no more first day of school pictures. Bitter and the sweet. 

6. I flip on a podcast and hop on the bike and go for a ride. The neighbor and I talk about the sweetness of freedom like this: a long walk to clear the head and make some space for ourselves again. I see the privilege and am grateful for it. 

7. Attention leads to gratitude. We don't pay enough attention.

8. Salad with a miso, soy, and ginger dressing. Miso soup. Wagyu beef and kimchi dumplings. Nigiri and Maki. A slice of scallop topped with pork belly. Chocolate molten cake with vanilla bean ice cream. Lioco rose of Carignan. 

9. I think about the way I've developed food memory over the last few years. A long time ago eating was for pleasure in the way that I loved how things tasted and I loved the feeling of fullness. Now, I eat to savor. I notice every texture. I think about the ingredients. I imagine the chef or cook up early in the morning prepping the ingredients for the day. I wonder about the origin of the ingredients. Eating becomes not only a sensory-filled pleasure, it also becomes an inquiry into the what and why and how.

10. They are back. We get home at 4:10. I do not like this later end time. I remind everyone that we'll be moving soon and so this won't even matter in a few months. Yes. We're moving soon. I am just so ready to go.