Friday, September 26, 2008

Harley Today dawned a more subdued and darkened morning than most of the mornings since we’ve moved here. I began my day with my usual ritual – first, let out the dog. We both step outside the side door, which is positioned only a few feet from where the woods begin. As Harley stretches, I take deep breaths of the damp, clean air. I look upwards, through the leafy canopy, to see if I could discern any clues from the sky as to what the day holds. As always, the view is unfathomably beautiful. I continue to breathe in great breaths and watch as Harley picks a perfect spot to mark. I have trained him to stay off of all of Mary & Al’s hostas, which ring the yard and parts of the house. So he now faithfully goes over to the tree at the edge of the woods, or sometimes one or the other of the white posts (sewer?) where there is very little grass at all. When he is done, I take one last look skyward and breathe in one more gulp of fresh air before heading back inside. view through the canopy As much as I’d love to hang out on this stoop for awhile, the day marches on with its obligations and requirements. My computer is already powering up for the day’s work, and there is coffee to fix and Mojo our cat to feed. I make my way through these steps of my morning ritual still humming from my few sacred moments outside, and before long find myself perched on the top level of the house at my computer desk, gazing out the windows which overlook the woods and back yard. view from office window The rain has started to fall now, Harley and I both barely missed getting wet. The sound is wonderful through my open windows. There are many copper end caps on the deck posts which make a variety of drum-like sounds as the water strikes them. I am entranced. With great effort, I pull myself away from the view and begin to focus on the day’s work in front of me. Grounded in the sacred beauty of my morning ritual, it seems somehow easier to devote my attention now to the computer. After all, I have only to stop and listen to the drum beat of the rainfall, or gaze over the top of my laptop, to revisit the beauty and abundance surrounding this house and my little family. I offer up a prayer of gratitude, and begin my work day.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Welcome to my blog. Pull up a chair, or a pillow, or a piece of log, and join me in this conversation about rural life and coming home again. This blog is a means for me to share the experiences of country life with others. Or maybe nobody. It doesn't really matter to me if anyone reads it or not, as the joy is in the writing. Since I am a "newbie" at this, I'm sure I'll make some mistakes while I figure out how to post, format, and edit, and hopefully add some pics. I hope you will all be patient with me and help me along, since I know many of you are old hats at this stuff. So where to begin? My girlfriend Julia (who has a delightful store and blog on Etsy, called Red Otter said to me recently, "You should write a blog." And I thought, Yeah, sure, but when would I have the time? I have a full-time job, a husband, a house, a dog, a cat (maybe two cats now, more on that later), an alpaca, and a teenager for crying out loud - seems I can't hardly even find the time to read or create or nap or play. But the remark stuck with me. I have already started on a book about my journey raising Ciara these last 18 years. I even have a little reminder that pops up in my Outlook calendar reminding me to set aside a few minutes to write every day. If I can't squeeze an entire book out just yet, I should certainly be able to post a few blog entries at the very least. Heck, I know people with more children than I have who post regularly! (For example, my friends the Stutemans blog and adorable kid pictures here). Once her idea started to gel in my brain, I started coming up with all kinds of blog entry ideas. For example, why the title of this blog? I tried writing it down in as short a piece as I could muster - it turned into 1400 words, two pages single spaced! Yikes, nobody will ever read that! So here it is in a very small nutshell (possibly an acorn shell, as we have thousands of them littering the grounds around this house): I was born and raised in the country, just outside of a small town, on the shore of Lake Superior. I moved into a city (Duluth) to attend college, where I ended up staying for 18 years. More on those adventures in my first book. Several years ago my husband was offered a job in an even bigger city, Minneapolis. We settled into southern suburb, Burnsville. Nice place, but definitely not the country. In January, I bought an alpaca (more on this later, too). She lives on a farm 75 minutes away from Bursnville. So when Ciara finished up high school, we all decided it was high time to move back to the country. Whew, aren't you glad you didn't get the 1400 word version of that? I grew up believing I would always live in the country. It was the only place I ever felt totally at ease, at home, at peace. It took a very long time, two decades in fact, but I am back now. I have come home. Blessings -
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