We just wrapped up a weeklong family road trip, driving from Eugene to Logan, Utah (where John’s manufacturing facility is) and then on to Moab/Arches National Park and Bryce Canyon before winding our way home via some of the most desolate stretches of road I’ve ever been on. Like, “Next rest stop is in 273 miles and it is a 3-inch-tall sage bush.”

It was extremely humbling to be in these parks, particularly Arches and the nearby Dead Horse Point where you can see rock layers that go back 275 million years. I felt very small, gazing at this scenery, like not so much in a physical sense (although some of the formations are dizzyingly huge, it seemed impossible to capture any kind of scale in a photo) but in terms of … earth time, I guess?

There was this feeling of insignificance that was actually weirdly reassuring. It can seem like the whole story of the planet is people and what people do and say, but plot the entirety of human existence on that layer-cake of ancient sediment and sandstone and petrified wood and it would barely show up. My own life: a blip. I felt cosmically unimportant and enormously grateful; briefly untethered from the endless mental loop of fretting about the past and the future and my purpose in the world.

I am so lucky to be here, is what I kept thinking.

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Well, I had meant to write something vaguely meaningful about the school year finally winding to an end, but I suppose my main feeling is one of relief. I’m sorry for the things my kids missed, I’m glad they made it through and seem okay, I hope we all never have to do that again.

I’m pleased that summer is officially in full swing, although as you may have seen in the news the Pacific Northwest set a bunch of all-time heat records over the last weekend. We were camping near the Rogue River and thankfully had A/C in the trailer and good access to the water, but we did end up unloading the trailer in the heat of the day on Sunday when it was around 110° and HOOBOY.

(Yes, Riley towers over both of us now, which frankly seems pretty rude.)

In other temperature-related news, Dylan and I scored tickets to the Olympic Trials earlier last week when a generous neighbor gifted us their spots that they couldn’t use. It was super exciting to see the new Hayward Field facility, and of course being able to see the events up close was amazing, but holy shit it was so so so SO hot. Our seats were facing the afternoon sun and the heat seemed to reflect off all the concrete and plastic, it honestly felt like a major endurance event just to sit there in the stands — I cannot imagine what the athletes were going through. Apparently the Trials got delayed for several hours this past Sunday when the track itself was 150°.

We have a road trip to Utah coming up which I assume will also be oppressively hot, and so I continue in my endless quest for a bra that somehow does all the things I need a bra to do without being constructed from the kind of heavy sweaty-ass materials that typically accompany any boulder-holster worth its salt. Two sturdy helium balloons and some nice soft string, perhaps.

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