Two Years Today

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Photo Credit : Sula

Two years ago today, I climbed up the hill on Tex’s family farm to take my place next to him and promise that I would love him and be kind to him forever and ever. I’ve made a lot of decisions in my life, but the choice to be with Tex has to be one of my best. After the decision to hunt him down like a puma of course.

Often, when we’re lying in bed, on the verge of falling asleep, I’ll ask my husband whether the time we’ve been together feels long or short. “Both” he always answers, much to my pleasure, as I feel the same way. When you find someone who is your compliment, who understands you and supports you without question, time seems to stretch and bend in such a way that you can’t imagine your life without that person. But in that same way, the joyous ease of each interaction, each day and each hug makes the years slip past like water in a stream.  We’ve been married for two years and I’ve known Tex for three but it seems like both forever and merely a moment in time.

Two years on, I am still proud of the man I married; I still look at him and silently congratulate myself on bagging such a hottie. Meeting, marrying and procreating with someone, all within the space of twelve months means that life together is filled with surprises. Two spins around the sun later, the surprises still exist, but they’re fewer and farther between, yet I still delight each time I learn something new about my fantastic man. I love that his strong sense of character, that he inspires me to be a better more ethical person. His peccadilloes still make me smile; the way he throws himself entirely into whatever new idea, hobby or interest he’s infatuated with at the moment.

Michael J. Fox has been married forever. There’s a quote of his that he says to his wife which I often think of whenever I’m on the verge of being annoyed “Give me the benefit of the doubt; I would never intentionally hurt you.”  That sentiment is so true and so perfect for marriage. And also for Tex. My sister-in-law and I often comment that our men are never mean. But sometimes, if they truly despise a person, they won’t be intentionally nice. I love that I married a man whose baseline is intentionally nice. It makes forgiveness, and remembering Michael J. Fox’s quote world’s easier.

Happy Anniversary dear husband, thank you for two completely wonderful years. When we are only bones in the ground, I promise to still turn and whisper “I’m so glad I married you” at night.

 

My Gran, the Stage Hand

One doesn’t so much see the stage hands, because they dress all in black and their job description dictates that they remain out of sight, as notice the stage hands’ work. Stage hands are the reason that productions like “Phantom of the Opera” and “Lion King” exist. They work tirelessly to make sure that props are in their appropriate place, that sets are rearranged, they might even work to help light the production, depending how small the play is.

My Gran is the stagehand in the life of our family. During holidays and special events, she works tirelessly, out of sight. And much like the underappreciated, unseen soldiers of a theatre production, she doesn’t demand accolades. Her food has been both the backdrop and center of every get together since I was born. At dinners, the turkey emerges, golden and beautiful from the oven, the bird and my grandfather, who would carve the meat, would star in the show entitled “Thanksgiving Dinner”. During lazy afternoons spent on my grandparents’ deck or sitting chatting in their living room, the plates of appetizers would sit unassumingly on the table. No one goes hungry at my grandmother’s house. And no one goes home with their belt buckled either.

In the same way that my grandfather taught me how to tell stories and star in the show of life, my grandmother quietly educated me on the value and joy of being in the background. It was from my Gran whom I learned my love of cooking. She taught me that the best cookbooks aren’t the ones from a store, but those published by groups of church ladies whose love of God only just trumps their love for their kitchens. Standing next to my Gran, chopping vegetables to help prepare dinner for our family, I memorized her favourite recipes. I watched the way that Gran always had one eye on the clock, coordinating seven dishes so that each would be hot and ready at the same time.

Gran is an expert in setting the stage; she taught me that a beautifully set table is a form of pageantry. My grandmother would painstakingly explain over and over again, for my fumbling left-handed brain, how to fold a plain square of a napkin into a decorative piece for the table. She sets the crystal into place settings with the same care and discerning eye that an artist uses while adding brush strokes to a masterpiece.

Although she is often unseen in the kitchen, busily working, unlike a stage hand, my grandmother does not dress in black, rather, her appreciation for a beautiful home extends to her own appearance as a hostess. My Gran is always stylishly and impeccably attired.

Like any background worker in a production, my Gran wears many hats, one of which is costuming. My grandmother would often share her sense of style and taste with her family, through her sewing machine. From the time I was small, the dresses and outfits that I loved most were the ones that my Gran sewed. The most important events in my life have been marked by the dresses that my grandmother created: every picture day from kindergarten to grade four; the day that my feminist mother finally agreed that my sister and I could wear bikinis, causing my Gran to disappear into the basement to produce two identical lime green two pieces; my grade eight graduation, in a blue dress my grandmother and I made together; my uncle’s wedding, again in a blue dress created by my Gran, a deep navy that I loved and wore whenever the opportunity presented itself, and most recently a pink number befitting a bombshell. Each time that I pulled one of these many garments over my head, it was a reminder of how deeply I was loved. I would appreciate the care that went into every piece and sometimes recall funny memories from when the articles were made, like when my grandmother yanked the pink fabric of the bombshell dress back and forth to make yet another dart, her mouth full of pins as she muttered “your mother is a cylinder”. In my mother’s defense, I’m sure that my Gran meant a shapely cylinder.

In the same way that one begins to read the credits at the end of a film as you age, to appreciate the work of those whose voice is only heard through the setting of scenes and camera filters, through my late teens and twenties, my appreciation for my grandmother’s subtle storytelling grew and I looked forward to hearing her thoughts and viewpoints on a given subject. Though different from my grandfather’s showy, dramatic tales, slowly in my eyes, my Gran became a star in her own right.

This Post Is Late But Ten Months Ago So Was My Period and Those Two Events Are Kind Of Interconnected (Apologies to my Uncles and Granddad for referencing menses in the title) Geez this is getting long

 

SPOILER ALERT: I had a baby. Or at least I think I had a baby, it’s hard to tell because I have essentially made a tiny carbon copy of Tex. In my sister’s words “If he hadn’t come out of your va-jay there might be some questions.” Thus I have dubbed my newborn “Mini Tex*”. At any rate babies are super time consuming, thus any posts published in the past six weeks were scheduled posts that I wrote before our new person arrived so this post is late but I like to think of February as the “Love Month” so as long as there are still discounted chocolate hearts in stores, I figure I’m within the acceptable range for sending out valentines. This is why many of you receive “Happy Easter” cards in July.

Before I got pregnant and had Mini Tex, I was all “pregnancy and breast feeding are just another physical feat that one does with their body; I rock at physical feats”. I’m not sure whether to laugh at my pre-pregnancy and motherhood self or slap her for being foolish. I was far from a glowy pregnant lady. I was a nauseous, vomit fountain who was exhausted all of the time, yet despite all of that I enjoyed being pregnant. This was entirely due to how hard my husband worked.

Initially our household arrangement was that I cooked and did dishes while Tex cleaned and did laundry. Early on, it became apparent that cooking was no longer possible because I was too tired when I got home from work and also too ravenous. Tex might have lost an arm if he had asked me to keep to our agreement when I arrived home starving and foul tempered from hunger.

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Tell me there’s leftover lasagna! (Photo Credit: news.nationalgeographic.com)

Gradually even the dishes became impossible, as did my walks home from work. I never heard Tex complain, he merely picked up the slack silently, doing yesterday’s dishes while he prepared today’s dinner, texting me to see when I would need a ride home. He was amazing. The only reason I didn’t receive rides to work was because the lack of exercise would lead to restless leg syndrome and me becoming an antsy anti-Christ in the evenings if I missed my morning walk. But even on those days Tex would massage my legs and bundle himself up to walk with me in the cold winter air of the evening.

Relationship experts advise couples to continue to try new activities together. Until recently, I thought that was all hooey because how could I possibly love my husband more than I already did? I mean he checked all the boxes: Hottie- check, Super Hottie – check, Nice – check, Has a job that isn’t playing the accordion outside the liquor store- check. (For the record musical liquor store Abe, I am not judging you; I merely feel we would make a poor couple.) Pregnancy allowed me to love my husband as someone who I had no choice but to rely on. I pride myself in being independent; carrying Mini Tex around for nine months rendered me the opposite of that.

At nine months pregnant, I thought I couldn’t love Tex any more than I already did. Then I went into labor, and the only time he left my side was when I went into the women’s washroom. Labor is a lot like running a marathon only better because they give you a baby at the end rather than some bling and a bagel.

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I’m sorry cheesy multi-grain, as delicious as you are, if given the choice between your bready goodness and a newborn, you are not even the short straw. Photo Credit: blog.foodfacts.com)

Mini Tex was our marathon, and my husband was my coach who spurred me onward even when I was tired and couldn’t see the end. While I suspected that he could be patient and caring even under duress and fear, he shone brighter than I expected during those long twenty eight hours.

People don’t really talk about it, but breast feeding hurts. Like a lot. Possibly more than the actual birthing process if one were to add up the time and pain and lump it all together into one horrible day of bloody, painful nipples and engorged breasts. Again Tex showed his devotion to both me and his newborn son by placing boiling hot compresses on my giant, painful mammaries multiple evenings in a row. Watching the steam rise from the cloths, I worried for his hands (No amount of heat would ever be enough to hurt boobs with blocked ducts). “Unwashed, I was a blacksmith” he reminded me, replacing the lukewarm cloth with a hot one. I’m sure that devotion was there all along but during those early week when Mini Tex and I were still figuring out how to breastfeed, it wrapped itself around us like a comforting blanket.

I’ve learned to love my husband as a father. Coming from a farm, where from an early age, boys learn how to take care of not just animals but plants and the land, I had high expectations of Tex as a parent. Seeing our little boy listen with all his might to his Dad’s voice as he plays with him and tells nonsensical stories has given me another way to love this man. So for all of these reasons and for all of the ones we will discover together in the future, Happy Valentine’s Day Tex. I’m very glad I said vows with you on Lightninghill last August. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.

*Please note, I didn’t actually name my newborn “Mini Tex”, I feel his life will be embarrassing enough with me as his Mom.

 

Cowboy Quotables Part Two- Tex on Body Hair, Ballets and Love

Since Tex and I moved in together and got married, there’s been a period of adjustment. For example, previously, I considered soup to be the most important meal of the day, so I ate it every day, sometimes twice. By contrast, Tex is a real man, who considers beer a breakfast food and soup a dish that comes before a meal. After a discussion, it was decided that I would cook food that was not soup occasionally because according to Tex “There’s a reason they call it supine- you eat too much soup, you go tits up”.

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Cause of death – an excess of soup. (Photo Credit : blog.sgbinky.com)

My love of hot liquids extends to beverages as well. My extensive tea collection recently came out of storage, since then Tex has had some fun trying all of my teas, although he isn’t always enthusiastic about every flavour.

Tex- ~pulling out a tea bag from the tea chest~ “Purple calming chakra tea? Made with dragon fruit and the hibiscus flower, to soothe energies? What is this? I feel like if I drink it, my underarm hair might spontaneously braid itself.”

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Tex didn’t even want to think about what the tea would do to the rest of his body hair, or that’s it’s floral high notes might inspire him to pan handle with a bongo. (Photo Credit: rebloggy.com)

On the topic of body hair, I’m thirty-six weeks pregnant, which is to say I’m like Gaston from “Beauty and the Beast” but not in the sweaty, athletic, “watch me lift this tree trunk over my head” kind of way, more in the massive “will you please help me untie my boots” kind of way. This past week, I sadly informed Tex that I was now too big to shave my legs, because I could no longer easily bend to reach them. “That’s ok Unwashed,” said Tex curling me into a hug, “Why do you think I don’t shave my asshole?”

As I’ve said before, Tex is a manly man, who enjoys beer drinking, riding horses and knife making. He’s introduced me to his passions, hence how I spent Thanksgiving helping with a cattle drive. By the same token, I’ve introduced him to mine. We recently took in a production of the Russian Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” together. While walking back to the car, I hopefully asked Tex what he thought about the dance, thinking that perhaps if he enjoyed it, I might take him to see more ballets. “It was like Christmas on acid:” he replied shaking his head as if he still couldn’t believe it, “giant mice, some weird guy jumping around waving a stick and toys that come alive.”

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The Russian Ballet Company’s exact vision of that timeless Christmas tale. (Photo Credit : glogster.com)

I’m still not sure whether that was a critique or an endorsement of “The Nutcracker”.

Regardless of what Tex says, I know that behind his words are warmth and humour. Just after we got married this past summer, we were lazing about in our apartment and I turned to Tex and asked “How could your life be better?” He looked at me and drawled “Well I could have two penises” then winked, which was his way of saying “What a silly question, can’t you see how awesome my life is? I have a wife who is five months pregnant with my son, what more could a person want?”

From Far Away

I almost didn’t take the call. In fact I almost hung up the phone. When my behemoth, construction worker cell phone started to vibrate on my desk in the middle of the day I thought “Who is calling me while I’m at work?” The twelve digit phone number was a question in and of itself. Against my better judgment, I pressed “talk”

“Hello?” I said to silence.

“Hello?” I repeated, waiting a beat to conclude it was a telemarketer. The moment I was about to pull the phone away from my ear to press “end call”, I heard the words that only one person in my life ever says.

“The Great Unwashed”

There is exactly one person in this whole world who loves to say my full name as much as I do.

“Sula!” I half cried and half cheered into the phone. Then my words became a hurried conjoined sentence as my brain tried to right itself from the surprise of hearing that voice, her voice, the one I had been missing for nearly a month; “Imissyousomuch.Icantbelieveyou’recallingme.HowistheArctic?”

“What?” My beloved friend yelled from across the frozen country.

“HowistheArctic?” I repeated.

“You have to talk slower it’s a satellite phone.” She explained, her words staccato stripes through the crackly connection.

“How is the Arctic?” I repeated slower this time, my brain which was slowly catching up to the situation was able to process instructions and the limitations of incredible, new technology which allowed me to hear my friend’s voice over a distance of thousands of uninhabited desolate kilometers.

“It’s cold.” Sula laughed, “It snowed today.”

Knowing how badly that would affect her work and research, I apologized, then my brain finally recognized that I was talking to my cherished friend who was in THE ARCTIC, and blurted out another rushed sentence; Areyousafe? Isthecrewsafe?

“Orry?” Her voice, went in and out over the tenuous connection.

“Are you safe?” I enunciated loudly.

“Yes, I’m safe.” She replied.

“Is the crew safe?” I asked more tentatively, not wanting to hope too hard that she and thus we could possibly be that fortunate.

“Yes, we’re all fine and getting along.” She laughed in the way that only someone who understands how to foster easy camaraderie in the most terrible of conditions can.

A small lump formed in my throat from relief and joy at these last two statements, but then I remembered the sight of my friend’s hands when she returned from our true Great North last summer. The rippling scars that crisscrossed her skin, from small cuts received in the field, which in the cold climate that prevented adequate circulation, were unable to heal. “How are your hands and feet?” I asked worriedly.

“They’re fine.” She assured me.

Next she inquired about my medical condition. Last year, when life was hard, but truly just its run of the mill self, I didn’t warrant such luxuries as the sound of Sula’s voice from the middle of the tundra. Especially in the midst of antenna problems, this made already tenuous connections nearly impossible to keep. This year, an improved antenna bought me just under ten minutes of short shouted statements. I was elated.

I stayed late at work that night, and puttered about at home for an hour or so before I realized- I hadn’t called Sula’s mom, Mrs. Jackson. I rushed to the outlet where my cell phone was charging, the effort of holding the connection with the satellite phone having exhausted the battery.

“I talked to her today, she’s safe.” The words tumbled out of my mouth, I was so eager for Mrs. Jackson to feel my relief. While she’s in the Arctic, Sula and her crew are busy and although occasional calls home are permitted, they’re expensive – think 1960’s trans-Atlantic phone rates but adjusted for inflation. I had received one of her two monthly calls, thus it was my job to share the good news with everyone important in her life; for today Sula is safe, and her crew is safe.

Sula loves her work and is successful. Thus being her biggest fan (next to her Mom of course) I love and support her work too. That being said, sometimes being the person who is left, the one who can only worry about cold and polar bear visits and all of the other dangers that are inherent to the Arctic and thus Sula’s work, is hard at times, which is why short conversations, the knowledge that for the moment she is safe, are reassuring. Sula, ever the adventurer counts down until she leaves for the Arctic, the rest of us count the days until she returns. Safe travels my friend, 44 day until you are home once again.

A Heartfelt Valentine

I can’t remember not knowing Nadine*. She’s a family friend that’s been around for so long that she leaped the hurdle of friend and became family. When pushed to describe our relationship we say “mother-aunt” because she is as close as an aunt but she has stepped in to play the role of mother when mine was unavailable. In high school, when I was learning to drive and would get lost returning from the corner store, if my own parents didn’t pick up when I needed directions, I would call Nadine’s house, hoping to hear her soothing tones while frantically searching for missed turns. Her poor husband, Nadine raised two wonderful boys, both of them thoughtful, organized gentleman, while I was a whirling dervish of chaos and even harder to deal with when flustered, sometimes Nadine’s other half would answer the phone. During those fast paced conversations where I would shriek cross streets into the speaker of my cell, demanding when I should turn, it was difficult to say who was more confused by the call, me or Nadine’s soft spoken husband who was accustomed to his calm, mature boys.

Nadine is a person who is set to “warm”. No matter the topic, she has an interested question to ask. In conversations with her, you feel important and valued. It’s a quality I strive and fail to channel. Both of Nadine’s boys have her wry, quick sense of humour; it adds spice to every conversation. Today, on this day that is traditionally reserved for passionate couple love, I challenge you to find someone who has loved you all your life, to send some gratitude and warmth to.

To : Nadine

Happy Valentine’s Day. Yours is among the voices that I hear in my heart, one of the people that no matter how old I am, truly understands and knows me. I value my relationship with you so much. I’ve always felt this way, on weekends when our families would tour gardens together and the four kids; your two boys and Diana and I, would be given the option to ride in either your car or our parents’ vehicle, I would always choose yours. Sitting in the backseat as you asked me questions about school and my friends, I felt so loved. I used to imagine how it would feel to be your child all of the time. It was marvelous.

Now that I am older, I appreciate when you accompany my mom and I to our artisan shows so I can try on beautiful clothing for both my Mom and my mother-aunt. And best of all, it gives me the opportunity to listen to your sage words. You give the best advice of anyone I know.

From : The Great Unwashed

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of ones whom I hold so dear,I am want to share with the world.

Romance Should Not Equal Dead Raccoons, But In This Case It Does

After I wrote “Facebook thinks I’m Fat and Lonely” because of the number of dating websites and weight loss ads that were appearing on my feed, Tex and I created the following comment thread.

Tex on February 11, 2015 at 11:40 AM said:

Does this mean we need to post those nauseating couple Facebook profile pictures? Where we’re holding hands in a wheat field? Or maybe holding guns? Dead raccoons? I’m not very good at this.

The Great Unwashedon February 11, 2015 at 2:40 PM said:

Please can we make holding dead raccoons a regular part of our date nights?

Tex on February 11, 2015 at 3:16 PM said:

The novelty might wear off. Maybe we could wear dead raccoons instead. Or turn it into a game. Raccoon Toss!

“Step right up, step right up. Throw a coon, win a prize.”

I didn’t continue the thread because tonight’s Valentine is my reply.

To : Tex

I love you. You are the only one I want to chuck deceased rodents with. Games never get old with you, and if they did, we could switch to lobbing ungulates.

From : The Great Unwashed

Oddly enough, I’m certain Tex is going to love this. We’re a match made in flying, dead raccoon heaven.

Valentine From a Random

Ok I’m not a random. But I might as well be; when push comes to shove, I haven’t spoken to these people in person in well over six years. That being said, the ability to stay abreast of events in peoples’ lives whom you haven’t spoken with in years is one of the few benefits of the internet. This Valentine is for a family who I know(ish). I worked with the husband quite a bit for a couple of months and worked one memorable evening with the woman who would become his wife. Together they are quite possibly the most adorable couple I’ve seen, at well over six feet the gentle smiling man towers over his four foot eleven wife. The only thing cuter than their appearance is the warmth they obviously have for one another. It comes across even in pictures and short updates.

To : The Smiths*

Happy Awkward Valentine’s Day. I know we haven’t spoken in eons and I know that it’s early but I just wanted to say that. Your happy little (soon to be bigger) family brings me joy so I wanted to give some of that back.

I wish good things for your family. On electronic screens, I’ve watched the two of you and then the three of you move about the country, trying to find a place to call home. Though I never “Liked” any of your triumphant updates about jobs and opportunities, inwardly I cheered you on, egging the universe to bring more and better doors for your family to walk through. Because you both deserve it.

Though I only had the opportunity to perform a lot with one of you, the experience left an impression on me. Each day with that gentle giant was a reminder to always put forth my best effort, no matter what and of course to smile and be courteous (that’s one that I definitely need a reminder about). The two of you are so lovely, that when you found each other I think the world smiled. I still smile when news is shared about your lives. So Happy Valentine’s Day, may your enjoyment of that day be as great as your enjoyment of one another.

The Great Unwashed

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of innocent bystanders from my work live’s past.

There’s So Much Cheese It’s Like a Wheel of Gouda

Life has been good lately, so I decided it was time to send some thanks to the cosmos.Welcome to Day Ten of the Great Unwashed’s fourteen days of love and Valentines month.

To : The Universe

Happy Valentine’s Day. I just wanted to send you a short note to remind you how awesome you are and to thank you.

Universe, your habit of making kittens that are always cute is purrrrfect. Also when I’m in the woods, I enjoy listening to hoots of nocturnal birds. As long as you create those night-time musicals Universe, owls be yours. While we’re on the topic of animals, whenever I visit petting farms, I adore the hogs and kisses I receive from the pigs. It’s so good of you to express your affection that way.

Moving away from the topic of animals, I just wanted to say that just like Saturn, you are out of this world! I’m sure that I’m not the only one telling you this, I imagine the forests are asking in their tree voices “Wood you be mine?” In this month of love and affection I could even see inanimate objects like cars expressing positive sentiments, their tires turning safely over the snowy roads humming “I wheelie like you Universe!”

I once ate a pound of brie in one sitting. It sat in my middle like a rock-hard chunk of abdominal pain for three days, so before I give you a stomachache, I’ll end my card here by asking you one last question. Orange you glad it’s almost Valentine’s Day?

Much fondness and far too much dairy,

The Great Unwashed

A Valentine to my Best Lady

Dear Sula*,

I love you. I love you in a way that is so fierce, passionate and big, that for a time my WASPy family expected that I would run away with you and we would live together in rapturous lesbian sin. If I was even a little bit into girls, I would have bought a house, married you, and happily eaten the questionable wild game labeled “STEAK” out of your freezer every night by now. For the record, our children would have been beautiful. Also you really need to inform the hunters who you taxidermy for that calling muskrat or coyote meat “steak” doesn’t make it so.

Each day, I grow more proud of you. Your love for your work and commitment to science is remarkable. Little wonder that so many companies want to associate you with their brand- it’s clear that you and your arctic research are going places. The only person who was surprised by your decision to go back to school was you. When you returned from your extremely successful field season, the only person who was amazed by your ability to lead a crew of five people to collect great data in a camp without running water or electricity again, was you.

Sula also didn't have electricity here. She had the gall to call her visit to this place "a vacation" despite driving on a road so rough that it blew a tire. (Photo Credit http://northofthegrid.com)

Sula also didn’t have electricity here. She had the gall to call her visit to this place “a vacation” despite driving on a road so rough that it blew a tire. (Photo Credit http://northofthegrid.com)

Sula, you have a shine, even when doing something as mundane as cooking bear pizza, which to date is the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth, you emit a radiance that people flock to. My most cherished memories of the past two years were the nights we spent together eating dinner then crafting by your fireplace.

Your friendship has meant so much to me. You offered your house as a place of respite when my own home became a sad, scary place to be. I can’t count the number of nights that I stopped there on my way home from work, just to spend a short time with you and Maddie, to gather enough courage to face my life. Our innate understanding of each other brought me such comfort when my whole life was in upheaval. You are my favourite person to talk about everything with because of that.

I supported and was delighted by your decision to pursue your PhD, but even still, your moving away broke my heart a little bit. Thank you so much for choosing to store your furniture at my house, sitting on your couch, in the living room of my new home consoled me. Though you yourself weren’t there, the memories we shared were; when you learned to crochet left-handed in order to teach me how, the hours you spent afterwards sitting next to me checking my growing blob of stitches, the time that I glued my hands together making a scrapbook tree out of found materials, or when I would munch on lettuce leaves ripped fresh from the huge potter that always sat in your living room.

I will hold those evenings, and all the other experiences we’ve had together, dear to me always. I can’t wait to hear of your new arctic adventures this coming spring and for our conversations and visits to come.

Love always,

The Great Unwashed

*Names have been changed because I get grumpy when even one person crashes Sula and my time together let alone the whole internet. Back off interwebs, she’s mine.

Some of my family members have a weaker grasp of technology than me, which is to say, I occasionally arrive home to find them sitting in the dark because the contractor put in fancy light switches. The following instruction is for them. If you click on the picture below, it will take you to Sula’s website of science and wonder.

Photo Credit: northofthegrid.com

Photo Credit: northofthegrid.com