I want to sleep longer but I know I have a long day ahead of me.
I can feel the the crispness in the air. I can see it too. There’s a stillness and the color of the light is different again. I love this changing of the season. Oh. Yeah. It’s the first day of fall.
We see a hawk gliding through the trees out back. I’ve already seen one of the cranes too. I don’t this view for granted.
I decide to rent two lenses for a test run on today’s shoot. I’ve been shooting with the same 50mm for so long. Do I need something different? Does it matter? What will I need if I continue to pursue this kind of work more diligently?
I’m an hour early. I blame the anxiety I have around being late. I find Hero Coffee and sit there and clean the lenses. People are popping in and out of this tiny spot. My chamomile is so hot I can’t drink it.
“We weren’t expecting you until 2.” And my heart starts beating and my stomach drops because I definitely do not want be here for more hours before I can even get started. I tell him I’ll start on exterior and interior shots until Chef gets back.
The dumplings. The bite of the celery leaves and the juicy explosion of gooseberries in the mouth. Insane. I tell him it’s one of the best things I’ve eaten in a long time. I wish them good luck because what I did taste was amazing. That’s not a happy accident. And I also apologize for the confusion and for them making it work.
The sun is so bright and the air so cool it seems a shame so go inside but I need to rest.
We’re number three on their list. The other houses have full finished basements and ours is unfinished and only a partial. I can’t control this. I hope they are somehow swayed by the newness and the neighborhood of our house. See, I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much.
Duck leg with a blueberry glaze and a hazelnut gremolata. Purple kale salad with goat cheese and fried chickpeas. Filet of beef with trumpet mushrooms and cauliflower. 2005 Bordeaux from Margaux and some champagne. Sherry with the whiskey date cake and a cheeseboard. Happy Birthday to him.
I can’t sleep. There is too much to do.
I clean out the bottom drawer, wipe down the inside with a wet wash cloth. This is the only kind of cleaning I can do until everyone wakes up. I have only two hours to get all of this done. I try to remind myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect.
It will be a long day.
Her vision did change and so she picks out a pair of bold frames: navy ombre Ray Bans. I wish I had glasses this cool when I was her age. I always remember this bit of advice I read in someone’s book where they say a prayer of gratitude when they pay a bill. I say a prayer of gratitude as she swipes the card to pay for the exam and the frames; gratitude for having the abundance to care of this for her because I remember the years when I we wouldn’t have been able to.
We settle on pizza for lunch. It’s a beautiful day: sunny and breezy and just warm enough to walk without sweating.
Our old Target is now a fancy Target. The kind of Target you could get lost in. The kids say they wish they still lived in Naperville so that this could be our Target. This is the problem with bringing them back: They always talk about how they wish we never had to leave.
The park is quiet because everyone else is in school. The boys play with the soccer ball, and she and I sit on the swings. We try to play with the Frisbee but the wind is too strong.
We see our old friends. It’s a good day for a visit. It feels like we’ve been gone much longer than a year. There are faces I don’t recognize. There will never be another school like this.
I keep checking my phone. I am trying not to obsess but I am because how could I not?
I tell him that I’m really grateful that some of the hard work we put in with the kids during those early years gave me children that I could hang out with today. I told him we should pat ourselves on the back because the three of them are really amazing and I’m glad to be their mother.
Well now the sky is just showing off.
Even with the case on the phone I can feel the cracks in the glass. I should probably get this taken care of sooner rather than later.
He’s trying to convince me that an education isn’t necessary because he just plans to become a soccer player. I don’t doubt in his abilities to be good enough to pursue his goals, but I’m not up for debating the merits of an education while sitting in the drop-off line.
I start cleaning and he tells me not to bother because I just have to do it all over again tomorrow morning. He’s right. But it’s cleaning day and that’s part of my routine. But I listen to him because he’s right and head out to work in the garden instead.
Green hornworms covered in larvae. Baby green hormworms wriggling in the soil where the spinach used to be. Seeing them gives me the chills even though it’s 90 degrees. I pick them all off and toss them into the wheelbarrow with the rest of the leaves and rotten tomatoes.
I decide that in order to pass the time while I clean up the garden, I’ll make up a story about the wife coming to see the house tomorrow. Maybe she is coming from a place where they have a very large yard and so her husband saw our house and the lot and maybe she gardens too and so this might be the right house for her. I think about her walking through the front door for the first time. I should get some pumpkins and some flowers for the porch. Yes. I want her to feel excited about her new home in this new place she’s never been before.
I tell him that see, I have prophetic dreams. This is the twin dream.
I feel like there’s not enough time today but I realize that it’s just nerves about tomorrow. I’m just ready for this to be the weekend that ends this part of the process.
The wind is blowing. Tomorrow the cooler temperatures will come.
“Trust in the divine timing of your life.”
The color of the morning sky. This is what I love about the changing of the seasons: watching for the shift in the colors of the earth.
Another no-cook breakfast morning for me because, once again, I’ve got three pots going, warming up foods for the kids to take to lunch. One wants soup, one wants beef stroganoff, another wants the leftover ravioli.
I meet her at the coffee shop and we take a walk around downtown. This is a little luxury. The iced chai is a little too sweet but it’s still quite tasty. Leaves are beginning to fall and they line the brick. If only the path along the river continued to stretch along the shores.
I get another load of laundry started before my sorority sister calls. She’s one of those friends you can just pick up with like no time has passed at all. It’s been at least 12 or 13 years since I’ve seen her. So many things about college did not go as I had planned, but KCook is one of the most right things and I’m grateful for it.
One big bowl of leftover chicken tortilla soup. This was a good idea. I am not always the best at feeding myself throughout the day but having food that only required a quick warming on the stove means that I’ve been satiated and full and that’s a very good thing.
I walk out in my bare feet. The garden needs so much attention. There’s a showing on Friday. A second showing and I just really feel like…not that things need to be perfect, but that they need to be just right for the wife who’s coming to see it for the first time.
And yet I don’t want to get my hopes up.
I tell him that I applied for the farm hand position. Because I just had to. We talk about how it could be a great launching pad for whatever I wanted to do in my career. It could open me up to new experiences and maybe a new path.
We are both exhausted by the question “When are you moving?” I always say, “I don’t know. My house is for sale. I’d love to be gone before the first snow fall.”
I’m definitely a 4.
A dream that I am pregnant with twins. It is true that there is a lot of internal work waiting to be birthed.
Pain in those back teeth. It’s the clenching. I just need to go get that mouth guard. I just need to figure out how to relax those muscles. What am I holding in the lining of my jaw?
Why am I reheating two different kinds of foods? Maybe this thermos thing was not a good idea.
Difficult conversations in which I have no say. At least I feel like I shouldn’t have a say. I think of how in the text message I said that I'm pretty non-committal these days. I’m just a little un-tethered.
It’s funny to me how I went from being overly anxious about the sale of the home to almost not caring. I mean I do care. I care every time I get another piece of paper from the school reminding me of some future event. I care when the kids ask. I care when I want to go run an errand but the house is a little messy and I have to straighten it just a bit before I leave. But I also don’t care.
It’s time to trade out this green wreath for something with more yellow and orange.
I want to stop and collect all of the leaves. Fiery maple leaves, dozens of them, scattered all over the sidewalk.
I can’t read to read this little book of wisdom.
We decide on a collection of essays by Wendell Berry. I’m looking forward to reading this.
Sudden changes in vision.