A Week of Thoughts


From now on, when I think ‘happy,’ I’m going to conjure up an image in my head of our little lemon tree, blooming away. I have this feeling we’ll never really get any fully grown lemons with the way it continues to throw it’s energy into these fantastic branches full of blossoms, but it’s just so lovely - I don’t have the heart to pinch off the flowers for the sake of the fruit. 


And I’m thinking ‘happy’ right this minute. Because the bomb shelter is finally gone.

That’s right. You read that correctly. Bomb. Shelter.

To be honest, my guess is that that cumbersome cinderblock room that used to reside at the back of our garage was meant to be a tornado shelter - but the atomic era of the house and that NAME (shared with us by the previous owner of this lovely dwelling) meant that we couldn’t call it anything BUT a bomb shelter. 

Here’s the thing, though : the Mini barely fit in the garage with the bomb shelter there. So we knew from the start that there was no way the truck would fit. And that wouldn’t be such a big deal except that it’s April which means next month is May - aka, The Month in Which it Starts to Hail. All I’m saying is, we’d like to be able to park inside if we need to. Our grey vehicular lady is still Precious.

All day today our ears have been assaulted with the sounds of jackhammers and cinderblocks being pelted unceremoniously into the trailer that will take the remnants away. Eric and I poked our heads out a few times to sneak a peek at the progress, grinning like crazies because of all the extra space (so wide open! So efficient!). And 10 hours after the demolition began, there was silence again.

After the contractor had gone, I let Ponderosa out into the garage so she could finally investigate after all that noise. She blasted out to the middle of the space and then, realizing something had changed, spun a slow circle woofing under her breath and looking generally irritated that the bomb shelter had up and disappeared on her. Let me just say, she’s the only one sad to see it go.



When I’m working on something new, I think that I spend about 80% of my time just thinking through how I’m going to make it work. I can sit for hours, just sort of looking ahead with my eyes unfocused as I work through possible scenarios. Occasionally I’ll stop to jot down a quick note, but mostly it’s all happening in my head. Have I mentioned I’m an introvert?

So this bag I’m working on…I’ve already spent quite a few hours with my hands on the leather and wool - but holy smokes, it’s been taking up all of my brain power. How do I create the right texture? Shape? Color?

Today it’s all about color. Painting and dying and generally transforming this piece into the crocus-flowered beauty I’ve been imagining. It’s always a little scary, to lay down those first few layers of paint. I always think I’ve ruined it at the beginning - but I think it’s more that I’m seeing the piece in a new way. With a few deep breaths and a little more paint it all starts to come together.

Bits and pieces.jpg


I stood outside for a solid twenty minutes tonight playing tug with the little dog while a spring rain fell softly all around us, darkening the patio drop by drop. Though it was clear to the west, the sunset clouds all fire and light over the top of the neighbor’s fence, overhead was feathery paintbrush-streaks of grey. Petrichor, sharp and familiar, rose all around us. To my nose, there is no perfume that more clearly says, “spring.”


We broke ground on the front garden today.

6.30 am - We arrived at the Home Depot, hope hope HOPING they had a sod cutter we could rent - and lucky us, we snagged the last one. 
8 am - Our borrowed grass removal device was unloaded and Eric’s parents arrived to lend us a hand.
8.30 am - Lawn removal was in full swing.


By (late) lunch, the front lawn had become a pile of sod rolls in the driveway and the future site of the garden was a wide stretch of earth, so full up on potential I can’t believe it. A “free sod” posting on Craigslist has had people coming by to rehome the grass all afternoon - give it a couple of hours and I bet it’ll all be gone.

And now I’m taking a rest, because holy moly - those cute Swiss rolls of grass and dirt are unbelievable heavy. I blame our clay soil.

But here’s the thing - I don’t mind a bit that my arms feel like jelly. There is dirt worked deep under my nails and my palms sting in the way that says I’ve roughed up the skin almost to the point of blisters - but not quite. Soon they’ll be callouses, that extra layer of protection I’ll need to wield my shovel throughout the growing season. Another new beginning - how lucky I am to see it.


SUNDAY 4/7 (Today)

So that brings us to the end of another unbelievably long post. Wowza.

I realized last week that I was saving up all of my pictures and thoughts and ideas for the time I set aside for writing on Sundays…but all that saving just left me too overwhelmed to get the ideas out. So this week I wrote down the bits and pieces tumbling around in my head at the end of each day and…here you go. It worked, but again - so long!

So maybe, while things are happening lightning fast, it’s time for me to set aside more time still for writing like this. More blog posts, more stories. We’ll see.

Hayley JosephsComment