Mojave in my Heart

From a not-so childlike beginning in New York City to my child inspired world here and now

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some short thoughts and shots from the summer (summer is summer is summer 2016)

I am an end of summer, into fall, into winter, under the heavy blankets sort of person. I love nesting, putting on layers. I love being cozy. I love being outside in the cold, in the snow and at the end of it all, in my own bed.  It took moving to Colorado and 6 months (or more?) of winter for me to begin to truly appreciate the, ah, warmer seasons. This past spring-summer, I was feeling so full of joy and optimism having connected with kindred souls that I was throwing myself at the expansive summer months and travel ahead.

Many thousand miles around the country we traveled, spending quality time with friends and family.  Much, much to say. I’m still digesting it all, but for now summaries and photos. Stephen and the girls kicked it off with a camping trip in the Colorado mountains. The girls hiked above the tree-line and crossed snow fields in the summer. I stayed home with Happy to do some planning and while I wasn’t planning on it, I saw the sunrise at the dog park, each morning.

1st to Texas/Visit my friend, aka “Gert” for several days:  visited with my oldest girlfriend and her family. No pictures were taken since she’s the photographer and in fact she did take some awesome family portraits.  Little girls playing all-day-long, mamas catching up, pool mornings, pool afternoons, holding/loving/smiling at/adoring/admiring (you get the picture) baby Zoe, delicious dinners, a special birthday for my friend, and an all around A wonderful time!

Atlanta/Family re-group for a night: incredible pizza, a king-size bed for all, and an inexpensive, super-deal 5 star hotel, whereby after walking through marble lobbies with piano players, the girls exclaimed: “This is niiiice, BUT the Drury Inn is a lot nicer.” Drury Inn might be a 2-star, but they have a popcorn machine in the lobby.

North Carolina/Family and Roots for a few weeks: welcomed by family and a place, that feels so, so right, so much of the time is hard to put words to exactly. Even its challenging facets were comforting, such as the heat and the humidity. Imaginative play, quality time with grandparents, aunts and uncle, visiting with Great-Grandmother. Unobstructed BIG skies. Walks to the pond, feeding the ducks, farm stand, pickling, lots of reading with Gommie, with Aunt Wendy, games with cousins (Rat a Tat Cat, anyone?), rain, sunshine, friends and more friends. 4th of July in the country. Bunko, football and blankets. Fireworks in a big old field. The BEACH for A WEEK! Sand and sun, late nights and full bellies. Spy game?! Soooooooooo much fun. Clue: carbon paper. Ballroom dancing with cousins on sandy floors. Amazing talks with our nieces and nephew. Quality time with people WE LOVE. Stephen and I enjoyed sultry, but leisure runs together and profound conversations about faith, life, and the incredible gratitude we both felt.  In the wake of so many challenging events in the world, we really struggled through some deep thoughts. We walked the streets of our old town, knowing and feeling it was no longer home. It was hard, but an important step in our journey. Connecting with June, Joe, and John on Hale Street filled my soul – I feel so at home with them as do the girls and Stephen. Praying Mantis is for June.

Massachusetts/good ole Jack, college friends & their beautiful girls AND revisiting the way back past (colonial history and all). Maybe it is because I’m from the NE, although from nothing like western MA, the air, the trees, the roads are all just so right to me. Coincidentally my sister and husband were visiting Massachusetts the same time and so we connected in Cambridge. It was great. Playing around at Harvard Yard- spending time together. Period.  Visiting Groton, the last place I lived before NC, was not as emotionally triggering as I might have predicted. My senses were ON in countless ways, but I returned as a traveler with Stephen and my girls to visit a friend whom I’m convinced I’ve known in a different life and time. With the exception of lamb hearts being doled out upon our arrival (for Happy), we sunk into Jack’s world so seamlessly, so beautifully it is hard to accept it only took hours. And within a day my entire family was smitten with him and his dog almost as much as I am. Visiting with my sweet friends from college and their BEAUTIFUL girls was so life-confirming! To re-connect with friends from ones’ past and again, for it to work out so smoothly- like we’ve all been hanging out together for years, is incredibly precious and inspiring.  I hadn’t seen Amy and Brett  since 2005 and our girls played like they’d known each other for years, we talked like we were continuing conversations from the day before.  We hiked, washed dogs, chopped wood, made dinner, smelled the flowers and celebrated another birthday on the road. Book on the blanket, blanket on the lawn, we exhaled.

Click on pictures to see some of our summer. *Background: I recently destroyed my iPhone in an unexpected jump into the creek so THOSE photos are LOST, but my camera’s photos are here to stay! I’ve been so intimidated by my camera and the volumes of photos that I have been reluctant to photograph. YET, this is coming from someone who LOVES taking photos and started spending countless hours in darkrooms IN high school. Thanks to my wonderful niece  though I’m slowly being integrated into the 21st century with photographic  “work flow” and editing…






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Arriving Here in Colorado

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2 cars, 2 children, 1 aging dog, all the “stuff” we couldn’t fit in the pods, 1700 miles, a few days, speeding ticket, a hundred year storm (during which we lost our temporary tag), an unexpected stay in Colby, Kansas (loved the old downtown), a flood, missing pods… OH, we’re here!

With the recent move I’ve had thoughts of reviving my writing and posting here more. This part of our “journey” that  began years ago with dreamy talks of moving “west”, took root late July. Returning from our beautiful trip to Texas, we were inspired– the world IS still our oyster! While home felt as wonderful as ever, we were confused and challenged with immediate decisions which even a nice vacation could not make go away. The decisions were beginning to overwhelm us. I felt trapped and increasingly depressed about the situation. I tempered those feelings of despair with the reality that our life was extremely fortunate– we had a wonderful life! We were healthy, we had a wonderful home, a job, supportive family and friends. Maybe we just couldn’t have it all! Yet, it certainly was an inner conflict on a level rarely experienced.  I had a resolute position on what I believed I should be doing with my life…I should be with the girls right now.  Not pursuing that option would stand in contrast to one of my firmest beliefs.  Well doubt comes dancing about and settles in– second-guessing follows.  I was in a constant loop of indecision. Was I going to return to teaching in the fall? Would the girls go to preschool? Increasingly I felt as if I were having to make decisions that I really didn’t want to make, but had to make…



When doors really began to close, freedom descended! Initially of course I felt sick when those doors closed, no exaggeration. However, I also felt liberated–like well, now WE HAVE to come up with other plans! The future started to take shape even before we had firm plans. We talked all into the night every night, about so many things. We let the dust settle and many of our priorities remained crystal clear. We wanted to explore the homeschooling option more thoroughly and make our decision for the right reasons. We wanted to improve the job situation, the educational climate we lived in, we wanted to remain strong role models for the girls– to continue to live our dreams, to immerse ourselves in a place with more outdoor opportunities and mountains, maybe? Now we were really dreaming!


Stephen and I came together only by incredible leaps of faith. We began to see the signs just a step or two ahead of us very clearly and started making the plans and taking the very exciting yet incredibly stressful steps to put it into action. We sold the house, Stephen found a job, we reduced our belongings, found a new home for the feathered girls, said goodbye to family and friends. I do miss Durham in countless ways. I miss my first real “home” and think of it often. I lived there longest of any house! I miss friends and family, but I also feel so right where we are right now.


One small piece of wisdom that has evolved in these months is that when you take control of your life, you’re far more equipped to handle the obstacles, the disappointments and dramas, because certainly this has not been a bowl of cherries, but I’ve really never been happier.