This week, following the festival that was Grandma's 95th birthday, Seth and I put husband on a plane home and trekked off over the mountains, down I-5 and had a few days of looking around colleges, educating ourselves on a few local-ish options. We both learned a lot, about the process of applying to colleges, about the various campuses themselves, and what environments felt more "Seth" than others. We have the advantage of having friends who either are or were in the college admissions game; their advice has been invaluable. And I know we'll be back for more, friends. Prepare yourselves.
I am so grateful to have had this week with Seth. He and I have road-tripped many, many times over the years, all over the place. We have listened to many audiobooks, sung many songs together at the top of our lungs, and eaten more than our fair share of completely unhealthful food too. I am grateful for Seth every day, but getting to spend multiple days together is always special. Even when we got on each other's nerves, or one or the other of us missed the right exit and we had to backtrack, we still had a really excellent adventure.
I managed to keep on top of work emails while I was away, by borrowing a Surface from work, instead of the usual laptop. I am a complete convert. Seems odd to sit and type away on a Surface, referring to my iPad while I do that--I was working on one of my nonprofit volunteer projects while I was away, and had documents I needed to read on one device, while recording notes in a spreadsheet on the other. I thought Bill Gates and Steve Jobs would appreciate my ambidextrous approach to technology, but mostly, I was just grateful to be able to get things done. I'm not sure I will actually give the Surface back, I like it that much. I think one of the reasons it works so well for me is my love of all things touch-screen. But transferring back to my laptop, it's hilarious how many times my hand reaches up to swipe something on the screen. Creature of habit...
We came home to a yard that is bursting with springtime energy. That is to say: green! I was thinking today while pulling weeds, why can't we pull them once and then they'll never come back?! I agree, it's a little early in the season to be thinking like that! Ha. Seth and I got a couple of beds cleared of the winter leaves that blow through, and picked up potting soil and a few plants to start the flower pots. I am always so grateful for spring, but for some reason, I am ever-so-much-more-so this year. Why is that? It wasn't a hard winter, here in Washington. If I were on the East Coast, it might be more understandable. But we had it pretty mild.
Look what I found: lettuce, reseeded from last year!
Listened to (and inflicted on Seth!) some great work-related podcasts while on the road, and now that it's yard season, I'll be cranking up the audiobooks too. Nothing makes yard time go by faster than listening and learning. Happy me! I'm so grateful for technology (well, other than that dang Heartbleed thing. Blech.).
The whole of the Pacific Northwest put on a glorious sunshine show for us. It was most pleasant. I got to have breakfast with Jen on the morning we were in Portland, which was lovely; it was especially lovely to walk together to breakfast without an umbrella!
When we were at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, walking down the hall in the English department, I saw a bunch of photos of various poets, and the tour guide said something, "blah blah blah, photos all taken by William Stafford blah blah blah." What? How did I not remember that William Stafford taught at L&C, years ago?
I was first introduced to William Stafford as a poet in 1991, while I was in college, and I even got to hear him read that year, too. I have always appreciated and enjoyed his writing. He died in 1993 and I just read that he wrote the morning he died: "You don't have to / prove anything," my mother said. "Just be ready / for what God sends." Wow. That'll stick with me for a bit.
I'm so grateful for poetry. Can't be said enough. :)
Tonight I'm especially grateful to be home, with husband and Seth, with the sliding doors open and the spring air so fragrant. I'm grateful that the weekend is ahead, and while I'm sure there will be work of both the work-work and yard variety, there will also be sleep, joyous sleep, and relaxation, maybe another brief road trip, some good food, laughter and love. Yeah for weekends.
Hope your weekend is "yeah" too.