work and love
Well hello all you Love at First-Sighters!
(thank you for your comments, now I know it wasn’t just Cinderella).
Thinking about it a little more, I realized that when Dan and I met at The Steaming Bean coffee shop in September 1995, after exchanging numbers (i.e. I asked for his number), he rode away on his bike to his dishwashing job, and I heard a small decisive voice say, “I could marry that guy.”
And I did. Seven years later.
But I think of love at first sight like fireworks sparking between two people, drawing them together like some ineffable golden cord without the muddying of words. You know, like Cinderella and the Prince. And truly, my attraction to Dan was more logical. “We talked for two hours, and got to know each other,” I’d tell starry-eyed Rose. I was newly post-college and watching as all my previous beliefs (i.e. go to college, get a degree, start meaningful career, be fulfilled) crumbled to dust, when Dan told me how he’d just (at 23) burned his resume in a ceremony to mark the letting go of old beliefs and the welcoming of following his own path. Wow. I’ll have what he’s having. Naturally, my next thought after, “I could marry that guy,” was, “and someday he’ll dig me a kickass root cellar.”
But I’m curious about you Love at First-Sighters. Was it fireworks and golden cords without even talking? How does that work exactly?
Summer’s doors have swung open. We’re up at the first crack of house-finch song, and usually not in bed until Dan pantomimes two cartoon X’s across his eyes, gesturing to the floppy, overtiredness of Col. Mornings, the kids shoot up like rockets, and then march outside to perform their morning meditation of chicken care.
This is one of two barred rock hens (both named Shadow by Col, because we weren’t supposed to name this bunch so that when it’s time to—shhhh—eat them, it would be no problem. Right-O). Col always wears his blue sweatshirt outside because he maintains that Shadow comes running to him when he’s wearing it.
:: The chickens are officially outside now, which makes our 800 sf house much more pleasant, odorously-speaking.
Such goofy lovable birds.
:: So, remember that root cellar Dan built us last summer? Backstory here, and here. Well, unlike so many other of our big projects, it’s actually done and the 2nd part of the plan was always to build a shed on top. And Dan, being Dan (i.e. focused, efficient, productive, never been on Facebook) is right on it.
This is called “the deck,” construction talk for “floor.”
Apparently I agreed to a very small second story on the shed. We’re not exactly sure what the second story will be for. I’m thinking writing studio, the kids keep calling it their play house, and Dan is orienting the windows precisely onto the La Plata mountains to the north, which is a view he’s talked about since buying this house 15 yrs ago.
A rooftop game of Uno.
:: Dan found this pair of elk antlers at the very start of his all-day hike last Monday.
Still the pinnacle for him over career.
:: Thank you for your birthday wishes for Rose, you guys “know” and appreciate her so well. She got her ears pierced on her actual birthday and while she sat in that special chair, attended by 2 sparkly-spangly teenagers, back straight as a board, stoical game face applied like make-up, Col paced nervously outside the store window like an expectant father.
She got a zillion new earrings as birthday presents and can’t wait until the 6-week wait is over so she can change her earrings as many times a day as her clothes. God help us. My best “birthing day” present was at Zia for dinner when Rose leaned over to whisper to me, “thank you Mama, this has been such a fun day.”
Rose and I made a pony birthday cake, which due to the vagaries of vegetable-based food coloring, turned out a little like a set design from the movie The Day After (remember that one? About nuclear holocaust?).
Yellow nuclear grass and polluted purple pond. I don’t think the kids actually noticed.
Rose got, for her birthday, a 70’s-era doll house rescued by our friend Amy. Rose spent the first 2 days possessively denying Col access to it while Dan and I sighed dramatically, unsure how to open the floodgates of sharing is fun! On the 3rd day, they began seamlessly and almost absent-mindedly playing together (like they had forgotten their bickering sibling script), and Dan and I immediately dropped all other plans we had because you never wake a sleeping baby or interrupt harmonious siblings.
:: Every time I harvest a colander full of greens I subject Dan to a calculation of how much money we’re saving, I mean what do you think this one is worth – all full of chard and lettuce and bok choi? At least $8, and then there was Tuesday’s harvest, and…
:: Also, nettle/elk burgers:
:: How’s everyone’s hollyhocks doing? Being biennials, this is the year they will bloom. How fun it will be to hear which colors everyone got. Here’s what they looks like before blooming:
:: Dan did not lose his job after all (Thank you for all your great ideas for us!). Strangely, right as I was getting on board with Dan’s self employment plans of teaching archery/bow-making, writing for hunting magazines, creating art to sell, he got offered a different version of his current job (he is an energy auditor – evaluating the energy efficiency of homes/commercial spaces and making recommendations for improvements). It is a less attractive version but it’s reliable income at the lucky pace of three 10-hour days/week, and Dan is plenty happy to continue creating art and bows without the distraction of marketing.
My friend Kati was wondering if this was the Universe At Work: noting that we were ready to take a big leap, united with trust and courage, and then rescinding and giving Dan what he really wanted. I shrugged, not having ever thought of that, and frankly boring myself with my own logical nature. Work and love, is it magical thinking, random good fortune, the culmination of dedicated effort? Who knows?
All I know is that love is a true blessing in all its forms and methods of delivery.
* 6:35 am. I just heard Rose call, all scratchy voiced, to Col from the top bunk: Col, are you down dere? You down dere?
Guess it’s time to start the day.