Over the course of December, every year, I tend to loose sight of my intended presence here. Which is mostly always a decent thing to embrace I'd say? To disconnect during a season that demands so much. The kind of break I plan on making tradition from here on out to give myself fully to the last folds of a season's end, carving time to exist in real time, regroup, reorganize and reimagine what I want to bring to this space in light of a new year. Exactly what I've been doing over the past few weeks as I await a new site that will replace this blog. I've been narrowing down tone and intentions I hope will best ground it. Figuring out how to make it slightly more structured and polished so that it can grow a bit with just enough sophistication only to complement the aspects I've long enjoyed and admired most about blogging in general. Which basically means there will be much of the same (a good thing, right?) in regards to: humor, home life, overheard posts, weekend adventures, every day musings, frivolous dwellings as well as the introduction of a few new series dedicated to regular book and film reviews, local points of interest, culture and political spouts, second hand hunting, style, and loads and loads of things devoted to the plight of home renovation because it's such a major part of our life right now and I am determined to shed light on how and where we find the means to do it all cheaply, on our own, under tight time frames and slight budget. So all the emails and questions I'm getting pertaining to the topic - please know they're coming, that I've been working to document both the demo and progression we've made thus far and even though I've got some catching up to do, I'm really excited to share with you where we're headed and how we're getting there -minus contractors and mass cash - to hopefully aid anyone else entrenched in the same endeavor as way of guided inspiration to hang onto along the way. Stay tuned. Things are messy but we're determined.
I also wanted to thank you all for the kind complements, advice and suggestions tossed my way in the post last month asking for your help. It was much appreciated and hugely beneficial to crafting a new site. As of now we're just a couple weeks away from it landing it so fingers crossed the transfer goes smooth. Seven years of blogging is like boxes and boxes of old goods needed to be sorted and put away.
As for new year sentiments - my thoughts are still muddled. The month of January can be heavy and usually I just sit back and ride it out. Bleak and slow, awash with old year reflections wanting to mingle with the new year potentials.
I consider the months past and what I've learned, tasted, seen, heard, accepted, embraced, rejected, neglected, feared, fathomed and faced, and I am tossed with equal parts pride and sorrow. For what I've gained and what I've lost. The gleam of these our first summer memories in a new place - unlocking the door to the house we dreamed about for so long. In a city we've pined for since we were young too. Sleeping on mattresses all summer long on the floor, surfing till their limbs gave up their skin turned brown and their hair light, naked Hayes collecting sticks and chasing birds, as months went on welcoming new kids into our crew, piling in and making themselves at ease amidst the the evolving chaos construction brings. Busting walls, picking up trash, soaking up the florescent sun sets from the harbor, the lake house in July and the cool bliss of that pretty ocean cottage breeze in Tomales Bay where we devoured oysters and sat in a steamed hot tub all day. Road trips with friends, tacos on the sand, Leon in New York! Heat waves, birthday parties, late night delirious laughter, and all the other lucky stuff attached to the plain fact of good health and new beginnings.
All of that weighed by the pains of grief that are sometimes almost impossible to escape in the span of twelve months. Losing the child hood friend we loved dearly. The one who made me laugh the most. Bright, weird, unmatched. The kind of person who's special magic gave reason for his demons. The last text he sent lingering on my phone all these weeks later. One that went unanswered. A fact that still breaks me every time I dare scroll past it.
As well as the expected let downs, and arguments, the lost causes, and dark days we all come to accept as part of our path. And the first heart ache at this house - one that I anticipated from the start, knowing that as much joy as we found in moving here, no home comes without it's own chapter inscribed in heartbreak. I wondered briefly, as is my nature, what the first one might look like the month we moved in.
The day after Arlo's 12th birthday showed me. Cleo on the edge of that curb across the way, on the rush of our school drop off, where my failed attempt to grab her before a car came rushing down the street played out in the absolute most devastating fashion. The vision of it clouding my heart the whole holiday season. One I still can't help but replay again and again because the fact of two ill fated seconds takes time to talk your brain away from at the end of the night. I miss her daily. And recounting all the ways she became my best friend in the five months she was ours only shatters me all over again.
So for now, in solemn gratitude I welcome this new year. Signing off with my last post until the new site takes it's place. Where I hope to see you all again. Along for the next chapter, the highs and lows, in good times and bad.
Thanks for reading.