If anyone asked me if I liked my life right now, my first response would be "No!" This morning I realized I wasn't writing because I was waiting until I had something I felt something that made me feel all warm and fuzzy to write about. The truth is that there are plenty of glorious pieces of this life to write about and I find myself focusing on the not so great pieces and I get blue and frustrated and lonely and don't want to write or say I like life.
The truth is I'm dreadfully lonely. I long for my home and community in Athens and Gainesville (which includes all the tight spaces, roaches, dirt, broken things, friends stopping by, garden, lavender, rosemary, oregano, bleating sheep, etc. Here, we feel very alone, but it means we have to find another gear. We have to get creative. And we do. George is so good at this. So very good. I focus on yuck, but when I get over it and wipe the tears and look around, there is such adventure here for us.
We are now in Tallahassee, Florida. Everyone said it would be hot, but five days after we got here, Tropical Storm Debby rested overhead for three straight days. It didn't pass 75 degrees and it rained and rained and rained. We thought we would go to the beach and play in the rain, but it was flooded and closed. We walked a trail covered in water, we ate lunch by the river and Amelia collected snails sucking on tossed oysters from the restaurant and George Wilder checked out all the fishing boats -- in the rain. Our dear friend Reagan came for a visit and we ate great food and laughed that Tallahassee on Tuesdays seems to be closed.
With the rain, we lost power, but only at night. There was flooding, but not here. There were lots of frogs to see. The kids loved that. Then it got warm, but it is only 90 today and I'm thankful for that. We live in the shade. It is cool in the house.
We have the chickens and no one to sell the to. We have lots of eggs. If you have any ideas about what to do with eggs. . . We will make a quiche and a lemon tart and eat eggs for breakfast again and again.
We worked in the yard with Aunt Mary. She painted a room and we ate delicious seafood. It was good to have her here. Someone that loves us and someone that didn't have to hold a baby that could pull weeds and paint. It was so sweet to have her here.
We have two farmers right up the road that sell their produce in the yard. I've been able to ride my bike to the produce stand for tomatoes and watermelon and onions. And there is a bike trail just two miles from here. I can ride it all the way to the city, but I'll need new tires first.
There are Farmer's Markets galore here. We've already visited two. George made a deal with a seller and we brought home four boxes of peaches at the end of the day yesterday. We froze tons of peaches and some are sitting in buckets fermenting . . . .
We met a lady with bees. We are thinking of some hives!
We've found swimming pools on hot afternoons and a local park has a beach at the lake. The children love to find the water. This is very soothing to them.
They miss neighbor Bill, they miss the Athens routine and the people always popping in and out of 140 Kentucky Circle. We went for a bike ride a few evenings back. Amelia fell and started crying. In a heap on the side of the road, her tears fell on my leg. She was sobbing big sobs. "The roads at our house in Athens don't make me fall." George Wilder chimmed in, "I miss Bill." Amelia said, "I liked the chicken coop better there." We had a good cry on the side of the road. Amelia jumped in the tub to cool down when we arrived home from our walk. The tears splashed into the water. Her heart heaved lonely. She wants us close by. She is finding her way though. She has been drawing beautiful pictures and thinking up big plans. She is such a help with the unpacking. My heart breaks, but then, it is also emptying and filling back up again. George Wilder wants to go and do. George took them to the IMAX to see a documentary and he LOVED it.
William doesn't know the difference. He just plays and laughs and tries to crawl. He scoots across the vast open living room floor. We haven't found a couch yet, so it is a big empty space.
Big Empty Space. That is it. We have a new canvas to fill. To me, it looks like a big white empty thing. It is naked and bare. I've cried a lot. I've not been very sweet when I could have been. I've tried to make it like it was, but I should be making it like it will be, but what I do know is that I am filled with such sweetness from the love that was given to us as we left Athens.
Our dearest Beka is sorely missed. Her beautiful smiling face that arrived to play and help and laugh and sing. My heart aches for my boon companions Kelly and Helen and their little ones. And Neighbor Bill. George's band members that always were happy to see us and be around the kids. Rebecca and her ducks and ideas and new projects always. Katy and David and her hugs and chickens and garden and lovin my little ones. Ashlie and her ability to somehow keep me organized -- more organized than I have ever been. Emily and wine. Newest friends Rita and Hank. Rita, I just want to soak up your wisdom and green thumb! Lisa and pool and always knowing what to say and the right time. Katie and Becky and Kristy and Casey and Hallie. Hallie, the other day, Amelia sang a song about you and Ben. Hilarious. Donna and Jack and Jazz and your wonderful ability to amaze my children and encourage us. The Bryants constant encouragement. I will stop now before I get carried away, but I don't want to forget the beauty of community and I pray for it here.