True Confessions of a Depeche Mode Fan: When the Stereo was an Altar and the Music the Voice of God
Thoughts on Finding Your Ideal Life

Currently: The 2017 Late-Summer Edition

feeling the edge of summer. It's still hot here, and it will still be hot. But summer is starting to crumble.


grieving the end of summer. I don't really know how to deal with this feeling; my whole life is either looking forward to autumn or enjoying autumn. Maybe because this was Nathan's last summer before graduation, and I didn't accomplish almost anything I wanted to? Or maybe because I've had two traumatic autumns in a row, and my psyche can't imagine that it might be a calm and lovely and happy fall? Or it might even be that if fall comes, can winter be far behind, and last winter was so dark that a new winter feels impossible to get through? I don't know. I just know the thought of summer ending gives me a lump in my throat and a sadness I don't have a name for. It almost feels like fear.

savoringthen, the end of summer. Putzing around my yard a lot, pulling weeds here and there, stopping to smell flowers, pruning and admiring and touching. Sitting on my back porch, admiring the last green of the mountains and feeling the last hot sunshine. Sitting on my front porch, soaking in the summer light in my trees. Walking barefoot in the grass.

Front porch

discovering that I actually do like salads. I've always preferred soup. But I've discovered that I like non-boring salads with lots of different ingredients that (this is the key) someone else makes. Current favorites: the California cobb at Zupa's and the raspberry chicken at Costa Vida. The thought of buying and prepping all of those ingredients exhausts me. But picking one up for lunch or dinner? OK! (I am still a microdipper though: I only like a tiny bit of dressing.)

eating lots of berries and peaches and the heirloom tomatoes my neighbor let me pick last night from his yard. And watermelon—I try to have a diced up watermelon in my fridge at all times, all summer long.

Orange cherry tomatoes

appreciating the late-August blooms. Daylilies, purple bells, columbine, cone flowers, clematis, daisies: all done blooming. But I still have petunias, which are like limpid puddles of fragrant velvet. And zinnias! I always plant pink zinnias, but this year I also planted some mixed-color seeds. I have a beautiful yellow zinnia that I can’t stop admiring! 

Yellow zinnia

drinking Simply limeade and/or raspberry lemonade. This is on sale at Target all summer so I break my usual don't-drink-your-calories rule. It's sour and sweet and so delicious; another summer-long staple at our house.

reading. My house book is The Last Neanderthal (a prehistory crossed with a contemporary) and my purse book is The Promise of Shadows (Greek mythology retelling of a YA novel about a harpy/human girl). Wait, what? You don't have a house book and a purse book? I like to always have a book in my purse so I can read whenever. Yes...I could switch to e-books and stop carrying a book around with me. But I just like print books better.

listening to Bastille, Bleachers, and Bush. Also Lorde. And yes: Depeche Mode has been on heavy repeat.

listing a bunch of stories I want to get scrapped in September. I didn't do much scrapbooking over the summer and I am ready to get back to it.

writing an essay based on an ah-ha moment I had when we were in Hawaii, and feeling determined to polish it and submit it somewhere. It's got dolphins and stretch marks and turquoise water and fear and sadness and joy. Too much drama?

thinking about all of the travel I’ve done over the past 15 months and wondering why I haven’t written much about it. I want to blog about those experiences!

practicing Spanish with Nathan. He is loving the language and picks it up quickly. It's good for me to remember it and speak it as it's helped me be brave enough to use it a few times at work. I enjoy our Spanish conversations, even if they're sort of halting and filled with gaps while we try to remember a word (or Google it!).

celebrating (very quietly) that Kaleb seems like a new kid now that he's started school. He is so much happier as a junior high student than he was as a sixth grader—I hadn't realized how unhappy he'd grown until I saw him start being his happy self again.

recuperating from taking the shingles off of our roof last weekend. It was hard work; my arms are covered in slices and scratches and bumps from the fiberglass; I have a bruise on my right shin and my left thigh from bashing the shingles against my legs, and my hands are stiff. But it was an experience I will never forget (and will likely blog about).

finishing up a few summer TV shows: The Strain and Turn ​both had their final seasons this summer, and then there was that newest season of Game of Thrones, which left me pretty conflicted.

driving our Corolla because we sold our minivan and haven't bought anything new. We can't decide if we should just drive the Corolla or get what we want (a Highlander). Are we being indulgent to get such an expensive vehicle? We can't decide. I might decide for us, though, once it starts snowing. Anyway, plenty of test driving and discussing our options and I can't decide: if we do get the Highlander, do I want silver or pearl?

training for a late-fall half marathon, although I haven't actually signed up for a fall half marathon. I really want to run the Rimrock Half but the logistics are giving me stress. Or maybe Snow Canyon again? And am I even strong enough anymore?

pondering my faith. Some recent experiences have left me heartsore and frustrated and unsure of what I believe. 

missing Jake but feeling like we've gotten closer and repaired some things that needed to be repaired, and feeling like he's finding a stronger emotional place for himself. Things are getting a little bit better.

missing Haley but feeling so proud of her—she's doing an extra year of college but will have two majors and three minors when she graduates next year. She's handled a full load of difficult classes and lots of hours of working with strength and courage.

appreciating the structure of our at-home family. Which isn't to say I don't miss my kids who have grown up and moved out. I do miss them! But as they have​ moved out, I am trying to enjoy how our family at home is structured and how it works. Haley visits, Jake visits, we still see each other and talk on the phone and text; they’ll always be my kids and I still worry about them. But my life feels different now that I am not actively taking care of their needs. Four people make a lot less laundry than six did! Seriously, though. One of my friends wrote on Facebook about how she felt like her world was ending because her oldest was moving out. I remember feeling that way, too, when Haley left for college, but finding on the other side that the world doesn’t end, it simply changes. The only way you can make peace with the changes is to embrace them.

wondering (hoping? dreading? anticipating? fearing?) if some long-pondered and discussed changes might finally be in the works. Time will tell!

How is your world currently?



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