SOL 26/31: I Spy @ Starbucks

It’s spring break week, which means I can do my Costco run when they open rather than at peak shopping time on Saturday. I’ve got a little time to kill before the doors open, so what better way to wait than to swing in for a coffee at the next-door Starbucks?

People watching is always fun to do in a coffee shop. Two friends sit at a nearby table, catching up on families and work life. Another table hosts two friends who I’m guessing might be a middle-age daughter and her mother. They are smiling and laughing together, perhaps sharing stories of silly encounters with the grandchildren. Behind me sits a solo table with a man, his chocolate croissant, and and orange juice. He is soon joined by a friend and they begin discussing matters of current events and the dismal weather outside.

It’s a quiet morning in Starbucks. Everyone has a story and a friend to share it with. I share mine with you today! Cheers to whatever your day brings your way.

SOL 25/31: Hello Spring Break

Hello Spring Break.

Hello quiet mornings.

Hello second cup of coffee.

Hello recipes I’ve been wanting to try.

Hello spring wardrobe return migration.

Hello catch-up reading.

Hello family dinner.

Hello Lone Pine hikes.

Hello extra rest.

Hello lots of relaxing.

Hello Spring Break.

SOL 23/31: The Journey Home

It has been a wonderful 3 and a half days with my daughter and her high school choir, visiting Spokane and Seattle for their spring tour. Spending time exploring Seattle was great fun, but definitely a reminder that there truly is no place like home. At heart, I am a small-town girl. The hustle and bustle of big city life is fun to drop into, but it is not the life for me.

My quiet street, the grocery store, the library, and my school just a few blocks away make for a simple Norman Rockwell life (I could, however, do without the swelling property taxes, thank-you-very-much).

I live a simple life full of simple slices. Of course that isn’t to say that folks in big cities aren’t also living their own simple lives. Everyone can make the most out of where they are and what they do in that place. I am just happy and content with my little place in the world.

And I’m super happy that spring is here! February was brutal, but it made us stronger, and it will make us enjoy each and every warm day that melts the snow away that much more.

SOL 22/31: Exploring Seattle

I am currently chaperoning my daughter’s high school choir tour to Seattle. It’s been fun being with this group of teenagers from a small Montana town. Everything about a big city fascinates these kids. Tall high rise buildings, unique restaurants, and fancy sports cars are just a few of the eye-catching things that stop them in their tracks.

Today we visited the beautiful St James Cathedral. Our wonderful guide taught us about many details we might have easily missed without her knowledge and expertise. We viewed a painting from the 14th century, I lit a candle for my friend’s friend who is battling cancer, and we sat in awe listening to the romantic orchestral pipe organ fill the sanctuary with a beauty that was positively palpable.

The highlight of course was hearing the kids sing in this incredible space that is just meant for the joy of music! I was especially thrilled to join them on one of their songs that I actually sang when I was in this choir. Other visitors sat down to listen as well, mesmerized by the breathtaking beauty in their voices.

SOL 21/31: Listen Boldly!

It is Day 2 of my daughter’s high school choir tour. Tonight we are attending the Seattle Symphony. Last year we were in Calgary for her tour and attended the symphony there. I remember collecting words and phrases from the program to craft a found poem, so tonight it seemed appropriate to repeat the tradition.

Listen boldly

Shostakovich Symphony No. 5

Johann Sebastian Bach

A musical legacy

Reimagined in our still-new century.

Shapely melodic phrases

Opening cascades

Brief, rapid motifs

A work of introspective loneliness

In the face of approaching death

Restrained and contemplative

A meditation on mortality.

Experience the magic

Of music.

SOL 18/31: It’s a Yes / It’s a No

Coffee … it’s a yes!
Tea…it’s a no.

Thin crust…it’s a yes!
Thick crust…it’s a no.

Coke…it’s a yes!
Pepsi…it’s a no.

Morning…it’s a maybe.
Night…it’s a no.

Dogs…it’s a yes.
Cats…it’s a no (allergies in the family)

Non-fiction…most of the time, it’s a yes.
Fiction…it’s a sometimes.

Typing…it’s a yes.
Writing by hand…it’s a no.

These are just a few of the yes’s and no’s in my little world. Share one or two of yours in the comments!

SOL 17/31: The House is all A-Buzz!

My husband and I raised four busy girls in our house. All but one are gone now, and our youngest will be graduating in May. Gradually the house has become quieter and quieter as each daughter left the nest. With their departures, however, we have gained two terrific sons-in-law, and one amazing grandson. What this means of course, is that when they come back to visit, our house comes alive again!

This weekend was one such occasion. There was a lot of coming and going as our oldest daughter, husband, and son came for a ski race our husbands were participating in (more about that in my post yesterday). We have a large kitchen with a roomy island where it seems everyone always gathers to chat, to tease, and to laugh together. This is when I’m the happiest. Often, I just stand aside and take it all in. A smile on my face, and great joy in my heart.

Before everyone left this morning we gathered for a self-serve breakfast and more banter, laughter, and silliness. There is always a lot of “Remember when mom _____?” or “Why did you always _____?” as we recall memories, both good and bad, always finding something to laugh about together.

I treasure every visit home with my kids. For those of you getting ready to begin emptying your nest, do not dismay! Better days are ahead.

SOL 16/31: Chutes & Ladders on a Mountain

Today my daughter and I spent the afternoon on the top of a local ski mountain cheering on our husbands as they completed an A.T. (All Terrain) ski race. This type of race involves an intense combination of skiing down, skinning up, (aka, climbing up) removing your skis and boot-packing up super steep terrain while sinking in super deep snow, and even traversing a ladder across an embankment. Completing this 5-mile course is not for the weak at heart. These two, and the other racers have incredible endurance to stay the course of this challenging race.

The unique design of this ski resort is that you drive your car essentially to the top of the mountain. When you arrive at most ski resorts, the chair lifts are right there ready to take you to the top of the mountain. Here, you are already at the top, so the first thing you do is ski down, and then ride back up.

This meant that my daughter and I were able to be on top of a mountain as we waited for our husbands to complete the race. Taking in the beautiful snowscape around us was breathtaking. The bright sun reflecting off the white snow was almost blinding, and wearing sunscreen would have been a smart thing to do.

Here is a glimpse of what we got to enjoy on this March afternoon. You can see my husband making his way up the final 200 yards of the race.

No better way to spend a day here in Montana!

SOL 15/31: Poetry Friday! Make Every Day Count

Today for Poetry Friday we are being hosted by Heidi @ My Juicy Little Universe. She has a great in-depth post all about a group of committed young people who are actively trying to raise awareness about global climate concerns. If you are interested in learning more, click here to read her post.

We have just one week of school ahead of us before spring break finally arrives. I’m not sure where the last four weeks have gone – it feels like President’s Day was yesterday! I’m not complaining of course, but just surprised how fast the time seems to have gone.

Once we return from spring break, the rest of the school year feels like it slips right through my fingers. We have much more learning ahead – National Poetry Month in April is coming! Last year I had such a wonderful time introducing poetry to my kindergartners. My group this year will dive right into this genre, I am sure. I may even have a few kiddos who could understand and attempt haikus.

Ten weeks
isn’t long.
So much ahead!
Tricky Teens
Butterflies and
Oviparous animals
to study.

We will not
count down days.
Instead we will