Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Grateful for a Spring Dense With Community

Spontaneous dinner with Jesse, Jim, Ron, Jacob, and Ted. Meatloaf with roasted potatoes and sald never tasted so good!
One of the top things I am most grateful for, these days, are the communities that surround me in my daily life in Washington state. I am grateful that gatherings of loving people are not a rare occurrence. I am also grateful that the frequency doesn't dilute the love and joy that I receive from them. I love the balance I find - the giving and taking, sharing and listening, resting and reacting. I'm not entirely sure what I want for my future in terms of a career, but I do know that I always want to be surrounded by community and to be a part of building that community up.

After a book signing, popcorn, chicken, mozzarella whips, and kombucha on the dock in Lake Forest Park.
And sometimes, the house plays basketball.
Cheesemaking weekend in Bellingham with Mirai, Hannah, Sonya, Brian, River, Sky, and Steven.
Celebrating May birthdays.
Wood kiln firing on Lopez Island.
The kiddos at work.
Always into group hugs.
Climbing with Matilda and Cleo at their new home!

Monday, May 16, 2016

To Lopez Island via Sailboat

On Friday, I had the beautiful opportunity to "sail" to Lopez Island with D.M. I put sail in quotes because we never really sailed -- but we did motor all the way up there at a solid 4-5 knots.

My first exchange with D.M. went something like this:

Me: Hey, we can play cribbage. Maybe in the San Juans, Eastern Washington, a park or something?
D.M.: "Well hard to argue with those fine suggestions. I'd counter with a sail to San Juans and Cribbage."
Me: Cool.

So, around a week later, we went!

D.M. lives year-round on his sailboat and has for around five years and is a friendly ambassador for the sailing community.

He calculated that the trip up would take around 10-12 hours and doubted that we could use our sails. The wind would be in our face and, if we wanted to use it by tacking (sailing school finally comes in handy!), we would've gotten there in such a slow time that it wouldn't be worth making the trip.

We set off at six from Seattle, cruising past landmarks like Golden Gardens, Edmonds, and Kingston (crepes!). It was a bit choppy to start 1-2 foot waves, but nothing too out there. He was definitely right about one thing and that was that it was going to be cold on the water. I felt foolish packing so many layers but every single blessed one came to use.

Besides an hour when he took a nap, I was pretty useless. That was ok with me as long as I knew he was content with the circumstances. I knew he'd ask for help if he needed it. It was fun when I did get to be at the helm because I felt like a magical bad-ass. Truly. Even though I wasn't doing much, it was a magnificent blast to be absolutely surrounded by water in the Puget Sound.

There was Point No Point Lighthouse to the west, backed by the Olympics. Whidbey Island, the town of Maxwellton, was coming up on the right. Every song I played seemed to serendipitously mention sailing.

I was glad D.M. got up when he did because it was just as we were reaching where the Puget Sound funnels into a narrower flow that feeds into the ocean and the tide was going out. This is where we got to try and out chase waves. There was one time where we went sideways and my reality totally tilted and I liked that a lot. I could because between full faith in the boat and D.M., I was safe.

Eventually, 10 PM came and I was exhausted and D.M. encouraged me to head down to bed. This had already been arranged when we set up the weekend. I told him I couldn't, by any means, stay up a full night (we were sailing overnight, 6 PM to 6 AM) sailing. With bipolar disorder, a lack of sleep isn't an option at all. I was surprised at how well I slept.

Waking up was an odd sensation. For one, I was on a sailboat. For seconds, I would then remember that for every minute I had slept, D.M. was up on deck manning the helm and bringing us closer to Lopez Island. At one point I woke up and peaked my head up, for I thought I had heard him knocking for me. Half awake, staring up at a lanky 6' 2: tall man in a thick peacoat with the dark sky and stars behind him, it was hard to place reality for a second.

I went back down and next time I woke up, it was around 5:10 AM and I got up. 7 hours of sleep would do with a nap later.

He said something about Lopez Island and port and pointed east to the land. I got confused. Turned out we were already there. Welcome to Lopez Island. He navigated us into Fisherman Bay, tucked into the closest slip, and we were home for the weekend.

After he did the thing he does, we napped soundly. After an hour, he slept on (as he should) and I dashed off to see who I could find.

I Will Have Beautiful Feet

I can't say I've been too original with clothes, lately. I find a piece that's solid and comfortable and wear it out. Then I go onto eBay and find the same piece and get it again. Lately, this has been the case for J. Crew corduroy shorts and Van shoes. I got a pair of each last year and have been showing them no mercy.

I'm brutal to my clothes. My lifestyle is active and I see clothes as a tool to be used, not protected.

Shoes are something I can wear into the ground, but prefer not to. With my weak ankles, I need something solid to support me and my ankles start to role as the soles wear thin, at times. I've been  searching for months for my shoes in the identical print. Eventually, I gave up and came up with these new ones. It's fun buying the same shoe all over again to see how they wear and age.

I think they're quite beautiful!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May Day Twenty Sixteen

I've been living in various communities, besides my family, since 2011. I thrive living in a home with people of various backgrounds and passions and it's a great way to feel grounded in a big city like the one I live in (population 21,100).

Today, everyone got together to celebrate the birthdays of Mary Beth, Clair, and Caitlin. It was a perfect spring day to get outside and enjoy time together. One of the things that I love the most is the laughter that happens. We laugh so much together.

After lunch, presents, and affirmations, a few of us geared up for the first swim of the year in the creek! This creek is also where I first met my connection to the household, Jesse, back in 2006.

In a pack, we amble down the street, stopping to say "Hey!" to neighbor Justin and XL, his dog.

Down the water, we all stepped in with different reactions. Some of us found it not too cold and others found it to be next to freezing. And then, three of us splashed in. C and I did just a quick swim across, that was enough. E, on the other hand, could spend hours and hours on end in there if we let him.

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