Saturday, April 03, 2021

Good Memories & Other Welcome Company

My post from yesterday was written in haste, and finished abruptly. Paul and Janece arrived. I could hear them from my office, which faces the front of the house. When the first lockdown, and our own concerns, relaxed, we added something we call Brekkie Club to our social calendar. Paul picks up burritos, and we hang out in the driveway, sharing breakfast, chatting. We've done this, maybe, once a month. A visit can go for hours, because the company is so nice. It gets so the chance to enjoy laughing and sharing becomes vital. Sometimes we build a fire, because it's almost too cold to be outside, and some mornings we move our chairs around, to get out of the sun and glare. Mostly though, I just feel thankful for our moderate weather, which makes social distancing possible at all. We haven't felt as stuck as people living alone, or in an apartment building, we haven't been vexed by weather, or limited space. Between Brekkie Club, movie nights, and our own in-house social group, the year has been far better than it might have been. Now so many are getting vaccinated, and we have new things to sort about engaging, traveling, being social, and I feel almost as uncertain, concerned, hesitant, as I was a year ago. I am comfortable being patient about all of it, especially if we can count on Brekkie Club, or having company around fire rings, laughing and talking, a movie, or games.
As I was looking through my phone, wondering if there's anything worth sharing, I thought about how almost everything I've shared from the last year has been around our house. There have been lots of chickens, cats, goats, flowers, meals, and whatever craft I am immersed in. Right now, it's drawing cats, and adding embroidery to my apron. Out of curiosity I decided to look back... one year, then to 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016. What have we been up to, in one glimpse, at this time of year?
April 4, 2020. These are the daffodils, Carol shared from her garden. At this point the novelty of lockdown was wearing thin, and the isolation was leaving a surreal mark on me. I remember her gift was thrilling, and really opened my heart and actions around spring, Easter, making our home ready for a holiday. Bambi was finishing her quarantine in our RV, and we began making happy plans to celebrate bringing her into our home. And we had the new chicks! So much was unknown, and strange, and everything good felt poignant, treasured.
April 6, 2019. This was a busy and exciting spring, when Mike came and made all sorts of necessary, and fun, improvements on our home. I even got to make the odd little balcony a favorite new spot in our home, by painting the walls and ceiling, and adding things, like drift wood climbing branches for the cats. Chango loved the sunny space, and with the added screens we had no worries about cats getting out, nor mosquitos getting in. I've really moved in, since then! Now I have a spare bed in there, and it's where I go to work on painting, sketching, and star-gazing. It's as much a favorite spot as ever.
March 31, 2018. The BIG Banana Adventure, before Grant moved to Japan! I took a picture of Grant, Paul, Geoff and William, before they embarked, but I never posted about what happened, what they saw, and enjoyed. It definitely included the International Banana Museum, and other desert wonders.
April 3, 2017. Here is a memory that feels like a long long time ago, when Maria and I shared another train adventure, and brought Geoff along with us! We went all the way to Portland, Oregon. And on the way back we stopped and saw family in Albany. I have such a crush on Portland. I can't even write anything, because I am daydreaming about walking all day, about amazing flower gardens in every yard, and feeling eager to go out everyday and take in all the sights we could manage. I always feel like every moment is full, vivid, when I am in that city, and sharing it only improves the experience.
One more! March 27, 2016. The Young Folks. "Take joy, I wrote 5 years ago, "there is so much of it at hand." What a fine reminder. These young folks, our friends, our family, our opportunities, our ideas, plans, hopes, are wonderful sources of joy. I am so happy to find myself in good, and welcome company.


gretchenjoanna said...

Brekkie Club sounds fantastic. If it gets just a teensy bit warmer here, I'd love to do something like that in my back garden, that neighbors and friends could drop in to if they wanted, and bring/eat whatever they liked ... I've been wanting it for years and always seem to travel too much to make it happen. It makes me happy to hear of people gathering like that. Yes, your southern California setting is a true gift in these circumstances!!!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

You'll love it! Brekkie Club, and campfire nights, have been a treat. In the beginning, it was hard for me to be a host that doesn't serve anything, or let people in, or even hug her guests, and I thought those things were essential. Now, I recognize how quickly we can adapt and appreciate even a distilled version of socializing, with new "rules," different expectations. And with good friends, there is understanding and respect of the awkward boundaries, the limitations. Everyone is happy to share talks and laughs. I hope warmer weather and opportunities align for you, soon.

Janece said...

Brekkie Club is, how do I accurately describe it? It is a gift. It is joy, laughter, therapy, play, family, medicine, and nutrition for the heart and mind. Yes, VITAL -- good word!

The photo of your "art studio" is fantastic. I want to get back to my lil corner of paint and canvas soon.

I love the trip through the past years' spring months. <3

Teresa Kasner said...

What a wonderful family you have! How many kids do you have? How neat to travel to Portland via Amtrak - my husband was a railroad engineer and drove that engine on several occasions. I'm lucky, Portland is only 20 minutes from our country home.
((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Thank you, Teresa... I appreciate this family more than ever after this year we have come through, together! Geoff and I have four children, and Alex has been dating Bambi for 9 years. Did your husband love it, being an engineer, that route? I have had the pleasure of taking a number of train trips, and the Coast Starlight is by far my favorite. You are lucky... the Columbia River Gorge *out your backyard,* and Portland down the road... it's a good balance, I imagine.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Thank you, Janece. You and I both know how precious our spaces are, where we can make art. The best thing about coming out of winter is being able to take advantage of our outdoor/indoor areas. Your deck is going to be a real boon! I love the improvements you and Paul described. I was just thinking of the time when we tried plein-aire painting in our driveway... semi successfully? The tree kept launching pine needle missiles at us! But mostly I think it was worthwhile, and maybe we should do something like that, again!

Janece said...

Yes, the deck is going to be a real boon! After I log off my computer - I'm planning to take advantage of it this afternoon!

And, oh my yes!!!, let's do an outdoor art meet-up soon! The weather should be accommodating and I'm willing to endure and/or dodge the pine needle missiles. ;) Painting, sketching, needlework, whatever sounds nurturing and fun in the presence of fellow creatives. I had forgotten about that and now I'm inspired!