Disclaimer: three weeks away means A LOT of pictures 🙂
1. Oregon. In particular the Willamette Valley and the Central Oregon Coast. We’ve lived in Colorado for about 25 years now, in this tiny house for the last 20, and love it here, have no intention of leaving, AND I lived the first years of my life in Oregon and love it there. Luckily even though Eric didn’t live in Oregon his whole life (his Mom grew up there and he finished high school there and eventually met me there in our early 20s, but they were also a military family who lived all over while he was growing up), he spent enough of his life there to know it, his family eventually all settled there too, and he loves the ocean as much as I do — which is A LOT. When we visit, typically in the summer, we can see most of our family AND get to spend time at the beach. Ringo did so good on this trip. Even though we were in the car for three days each direction and we “lived” in five different locations, as long as we set up his crate and there was a deck or yard for him lounge in and a good place to walk, he was fine. He also did his very best to break the “no pets on the furniture” rule every singe place we stayed.
1. Coming home. As much as we love Oregon, the beach and our people and the food and the ease of vacation, it’s good to be home. And even though I missed my peonies, Jen and Nora sent me lots of pictures.
3. Morning walks. Ringo has been doing so good, can go four miles without wrecking himself, and that makes me so happy. I also love that this time of year when I walk with Ringo, Eric usually comes with us. It’s still weird to have only one dog, especially when we walk together so only one of us is technically walking the dog, but there’s also a particular ease to it that I’m enjoying.
5. My tiny family, my tiny home, my tiny life. Vacation, being away from your normal space, stuff, and routine, gives you a different perspective on your “regular” life. And it doesn’t really matter where or how far you go, just that it’s “someplace else.” For me, I can see my experience more clearly from this different perspective, consider it with compassion and wisdom, and see the things I may not have been aware of because they were too close, too familiar. I can more easily connect to my experience with a sense of gratitude and discernment.
Bonus joy: Luna Sea Fish House halibut fish & chips, LeRoys’ Blue Whale pancakes, baked goodies from Depoe Baykery, Mo’s clam chowder, a big salad, sour gummy worms, hybrid and electric cars, the sound of the ocean, wildflowers, all the birds, coyotes and beavers, herons, washers and dryers, air conditioning, fans, trees, honey bees, recipes, bread, the little ones in our families, vaccines, clean sheets, a warm shower, houseplants, grapefruit bubbly sparkling water, streaming TV and movies (in Oregon, we had to watch commercials and IT WAS AWFUL), listening to podcasts, reading in bed at night while Ringo and Eric sleep.
Hello, kind and gentle reader! I am so happy to be “home.” I missed you! We had such a good time in Oregon, we extended our trip by six days, just got home last night. There are probably close to 100 things I could put on the list today, even though I mostly stayed offline while we were in Oregon, but I won’t — for your sake and mine. Still, it’s a long list.
3. 103 Bits of Advice I Wish I Had Known. “Today is my birthday. I turn 70. I’ve learned a few things so far that might be helpful to others. For the past few years, I’ve jotted down bits of unsolicited advice each year and much to my surprise I have more to add this year. So here is my birthday gift to you all: 103 bits of wisdom I wish I had known when I was young.”
5. Recent good stuff from Creative Nonfiction: 50 Years of Making Nonfiction Creative (“How all the different flavors of nonfiction transformed into a literary art”), and Misery & Company (“Celebrity funerals, social media condolences, roadside memorials, and more: tracing the history of how we experience loss—and how we share it”), and Punching Up (“Funny women are bringing serious subjects to the stage and revolutionizing comedy—and creative nonfiction—in the process”).
6. Fiction, memoirs, poems spring from 1,000-word challenge. “A. Stella Oloye, a Washington, D.C-based writer working on an Afrofuturism novel, was at a low point this spring when she learned of an online challenge she likens to a ‘gift from God’: #1000wordsofsummer. The rules: Set down 1,000 words a day for 14 days. Fiction or nonfiction, poetry or dialogue, inspired or uninspired, for a future book or simply for the sake of writing.”
7. The New Workday from Alexandra Franzen. “We wanted to find out, ‘How can we design a better workday — a day with less screen time, less stress, fewer interruptions, and more excellence in everything we do?’ We looked into research from UC Irvine, Harvard, Stanford, and the World Health Organization to find out, ‘What are the conditions that allow us to do our best work? What are the best practices, according to science?’ We compiled our findings. And we came up with a new plan.”
11. Black Women Thriving, a recently released report by Ericka Hines, J.D. and Mako Fitts Ward, PhD shines a light on the workplace experience of black women and the changes required to ensure black women thrive. Read it. Share it. Send it to your boss.
12. Life is Tough. Here Are Six Ways to Deal With Iton Lion’s Roar. “An ancient set of Buddhist slogans offers us six powerful techniques to transform life’s difficulties into awakening and benefit. Zen teacher Norman Fischer guides us through them.” Pretty sure I shared this already, but it’s worth another look.
16. Monumental Trees, “a website where people all over the world can submit their tree photos that you can filter by species and country.”
17. 1% and also, 1%. “We’ve been looking at Kaizen, a process of constant improvement. You can embrace a Kaizen way of life simply by bending down and trying to reach your toes everyday—provided you do it daily, you will undoubtedly continue to get better as you go along. Another way to look at this is known as the 1% rule: ask nothing more of yourself than to be 1% better than you were yesterday.”
18. What Matters to Rob Walker. “Debbie Millman has an ongoing project at PRINT titled ‘What Matters.’ This is an effort to understand the interior life of artists, designers, and creative thinkers. This facet of the project is a request of each invited respondent to answer ten identical questions and submit a nonprofessional photograph…Rob Walker writes the newsletter The Art of Noticing. His latest book is LOST OBJECTS: 50 Stories About the Things We Miss and Why They Matter, co-edited with Joshua Glenn.”
24. The Gatheringfrom Jo Hanlon-Moores. I love the story about her dad “gathering himself” and the notion that boundaries aren’t only meant to keep things out, but can hold things together, create a container for what matters, what is essential.
29. A House Story: What’s hidden in the planter. “We are stewards of the physical earth, but we are also stewards of society. Are we going to fill the planter with Arizona Iced Tea bottles and pass it off to the next generation, only for them to wonder why nothing can take root and flourish? Or are we going to plant the damn wall of slow-growing evergreen vines? I dunno, friends, I feel like this is a metaphor for something. The choice is so obvious, and we’re so very, very bad at making it.”
38. Jerrod Carmichael’s 12-Step Truth Program. “The very private comedian-writer-director made his personal life very public with his recent HBO special, Rothaniel. Now he shares what happens when you have nothing to hide.”
41. macrofying on Instagram, “21 year old macro photographer from Germany. Zooming into the depths of everyday objects to reveal new worlds.”
42. To Fare Well. “It is with a heavy heart, and after years of consideration, that I inform you that this will be the last post on the Son of Baldwin social media platforms. Here are my reasons for this decision.” He’s not wrong.