I’ve been writing in a paper journal since May of 2017, after I was inspired to do so by my first hospice patient. She told me she wished she’d been better about keeping a diary, and subsequently was delighted to hear I’d started my own. “Keep at it, you’ll be glad you did,” she said, and I have, for the most part. I was diligent about writing daily for a while before petering out to a once-or-twice-weekly update, but I haven’t given up.

Like blogging, the longer I go between journal writings that more difficult it seems to dip back in, but both efforts are forgiving: if a page gathers some dust, so be it. It’s always there waiting for me.

Summer has been flying by, we’ve already packed so much in it’s hard to believe we still have August to go. John’s parents, our family, and John’s brother’s family went on a rafting trip down the Rogue river at the beginning of the month. Our foursome took a very long and very hot road trip to the Grand Canyon, staying in a remote ranch perched on a broiling but beautiful desert hillside. This weekend we’re going camping, our second trailer outing of the summer. The sunshine and long light-filled evenings feel like a daily gift, something to soak up and hold onto for dear life when the inevitable February doldrums arrive.

When we’re not on the road, I work mostly in the mornings, from the couch or a coffee shop. The kids spend their time watching YouTube, playing basketball in the driveway, crafting weapons out of plywood, devouring endless amounts of food, and arguing with one another. John comes and goes, sometimes working from his desk in the living room and sometimes out in the shop.

It’s an awfully good season of life in so many ways. Imperfect, of course — I would love for there to be less arguing, and for the one inside cat to stop peeing on the carpet — but there so much to be grateful for. I can see it in that journal I should write in more often, the pages and pages of not-particularly-notable moments that add up to a spectacularly unspectacular existence, a gloriously humble and happy home.


8 Responses to “Spectacularly unspectacular”

  1. Stacy on July 25th, 2019 10:13 am

    This is beautiful. You have unlocked a new achievement level of gratitude and peace and those are markers of a life well lived. I need to take some advice from you and journal more, and slow down. Congratulations on your beautiful and simple life.

  2. Sally on July 25th, 2019 3:03 pm

    I liked this very much, it resonates absolutely.

    I am terrible at writing anything even remotely like a journal yet can totally see how it both acts as a beautiful record for the future and as a way of being able to access appreciation for the present.

    Your Summer sounds wonderful.

  3. Carrie on July 26th, 2019 7:56 am

    LOVE love love this…”not-particularly-notable moments that add up to a spectacularly unspectacular existence…” – makes me teary-eyed and happy all at once.

  4. Suzanne on July 26th, 2019 8:31 am

    I love this. It’s so true – those little, unremarkable moments that make up a life are so beautiful and precious, even if you might not notice at the time. Glad that you and your family are having a wonderful summer, always happy when you post.

  5. Jules on July 26th, 2019 7:40 pm

    Said it before, bears repeating. Your writing is so real. Never flowery and all “prettied” up. Just real. Thank you .

  6. Donna on July 29th, 2019 6:13 pm

    What a beautiful person you are, Linda – it is reflected in your writing, that picture, your smile.

  7. TheRachelSyn on August 6th, 2019 9:00 am

    Linda, I’ve read your blog for years. So many years, since your boys were little. I’ve cheered you on from a distance. The lightness in this post, and your previous one about your trip to Alaska, brought me such joy. The internet is this funny place, where we feel like we know some people – the pals we make on Instagram, or the bloggers we’ve followed for eons. So, though I don’t know you, you’ve been so candid over the years, and I’m nodding in your direction and giving you countless virtual high fives. Thank you for the reminder to be present, and enjoy, embrace, etc.

  8. Shawna on August 22nd, 2019 8:04 am

    I took my kids (same ages as yours) solo on a hike of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire this summer.

    Don’t tell my husband, but it was my favourite family vacation ever. We had great weather, and met any challenges together (the physical hike, the fact that my kids left their packed suitcase with all their clothes, toiletries, jackets, etc. at home, the constant togetherness in close quarters), and managed to get through everything with a bit of grace and good humour intact. (Okay, my initial reaction to them forgetting all their stuff and having to replace it was not initially so graceful, but I adapted.)

    Getting through a gruelling 8-hour hike (I admit I overestimated how far we should go on day 2) really made me feel like we’re more resilient than we’d thought we are, and can pull together when we need to. Ditto the effort everyone put into getting along on the long stretches of driving and being in each other’s constant company.

    And after the hike we decided we had time for a spontaneous side trip to the coast of Maine to spend a day on the beach!

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