I drove the 9 hours from the Bay Area back home, a drive that is gorgeous and endless and full of twists, turns and potentials for puking. I love that feeling of finally driving into the Mattole Valley, seeing it all unroll and undulate underneath us as we view it from the high road, I love the golden grass that moves in the wind, as if it is a part of an earthen ocean. I love the trees, deep green and dripping moss, love the Mattole River that splashes through. Love the ocean that brackets it all, hugging the forests and valley in a deep and final embrace.
So, with all this love in my heart, I came home.
And… holy cow, but I kind of exploded:
My brand new-to-us clothes washer?
Wasn’t working, something to do with the water lines
The electricity was off, we had to get diesel for the generator – and no electricity means no INTERNET and I can live without a lot but the INTERNET is not one of the things.
Yeah, those little cute suckers ate their way through a great many of our clothes and I’m not just talking about the clothes I wouldn’t mind getting rid of: those little critters ate their way through EVERYTHING: pillowcases, sheets, kids clothes, my clothes. It was pretty awful, like viewing a clothes-version of a horror movie: The Mice Attack!
MEANWHILE, although the dog trainers at CCI had told us all (repeatedly) that our dogs are dogs first and service dogs next, there was nothing to *really* prepare me for the difference in Kiana once her collar was off and she had full access to our yurt.
She’s on collar? Perfectly behaved, sits, heels, ignores pizza on the ground in front of her. Off the collar? SHE IS A WILD DOG out of Juvenile Detention.
She tore her way through 2 balls, the handle of the rocking horse that does not belong to us (groan), got into food from the trash, shat on carpet twice and oh, so much more. So much more.
The next day, I loaded all 3 kids and Kiana and drove the 2 hours each way to Target and Costco and bought a ton of plastic boxes to store the clothes in. Also bought some more health staples (cuz there is nothing like leaving your husband alone for 2 weeks for finding your fridge FULL of bacon and 20% fat-full hamburger. #slimkitty4thewin, y’all 🙂 ) I did that: I went to Costco and Target with 3 kids and a service dog on leash. I did that so well and so fine that people were pointing in amazement, like we were all 3 headed unicorns spouting rainbows, and I got it, man, I really did because more than not, I’m the mom with the screaming kids… this was rare form, 3 perfectly behaved little ones with one perfectly behaved service dog. [Pizza and popcicles and the fact that Moxie understands bribes now had something to do with it, but WHO CARES?! It worked!!!]
SO anyway, we came back and Mikey had fixed the washing machine, the water heater works again too. Plastic boxes protect our clothes, Kiana has her own toys, she’s calming down, our kids are so very happy here on our hill, and I thought to myself:
yes: the honeymoon is over.
I know what this place can be about: it’s about roughing it, figuring it out, trial and error. It’s about shaky internet access, about alligator lizards, mice in drawers, snakes in the tall grass. It’s about poison oak and outhouses and outdoor showers and home-butchered venison on the grill.
It’s about adventure, in all it’s messy glory.
It’s about life, gritty and raw and honest and beautiful, so beautiful it makes my heart clench up and my breath stop -beauty unfolding in us, beauty that surrounds us, beauty that beckons.
It’s about freedom and joy and the upsets that lace the sides
About new seasons, flowers and plants that I’ve never seen before
And ones I have, and am terribly excited to see spring into fruition
This is about life
and as the roses fade and drop, I am left with two thoughts:
1. Some roses leave rose hips, and with those more is beautiful and more can be made
Rosehips from roses.
and, 2. every fallen rose leaves a star in it’s place
Life lesson in there, I’m sure
Where once we had a canopy of roses, we have a canopy of stars.
The honeymoon is over
This is home. Warts and all, beauty throughout, it’s home and we love it.
I hope your weekend is full of stars.