A Little Sand Between My Toes

We took another phenomenal beach vacation to Carpinteria, California at the end of July. As always, the surf, sand, and wildlife were rejuvenating. Also, there’s nothing better than seeing your child share in your wonder.

I miss this beach already, so I’m musing over the photos and videos from the trip while I take a staycation at home (to use up the last of my vacation days at work).

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Splash Pad Smash Pad

Is it autumn yet?

The Smell of Sawdust

My Paw Paw Kelly (grandfather) liked to work with wood. He had a workshop in a shed beyond the swing set and the garden. He would make fanciful things mostly. My favorite was a little girl in a red dress sitting on a swing. He hung her in the front yard from a tree, and she always made me feel welcomed whenever we visited his bosky home.

Like Paw Paw (and my creative Maw Maw), I’ve always found working with my hands interesting. I like to learn new things and shape something into something else. Sewing, painting, photography, gardening, woodworking, writing, and so on: they all stem from a need to make.

Humans are awesome that way. But, sometimes we make without conscious planning. We gather our materials without wondering about where they came from or how they are created.

My friend Silas Kyler made it his mission to remind us. He took his passion for woodworking and turned it into a beautiful documentary called Felled and a how-to book called The Art and Craft of Wood: A Practical Guide to Harvesting, Choosing, Reclaiming, Preparing, Crafting, and Building with Raw Wood. Both offer a glimpse into craftsmanship from start to finish and a real plea to look at the possibilities in things we take for granted. Like the Lorax, Silas and his colleagues “speak for the trees” and speak through them.

Like my grandfather, they are carrying on a tradition as old as civilization.

I love that smell of sawdust, it evokes so many memories… and possibilities.

A Dash of Salt

I took the youngest kiddo out to the Salt River today to see the result of the water releases from Granite Reef Dam. We saw hummingbirds, bees, cormorants, and burrowing owls. And water, lots of water.

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Just Keep Swimming?

 

Warning: This isn’t one of my typical feel-good posts. I debated not posting it at all, to be honest, because it seems so different from my usual message of “Be true to yourself and just keep moving forward.”

That’s not to say this post is irrelevant. It’s very relevant to me and others who share similar experiences. It’s a part of who I am as much as the happy-go-lucky stuff is.

I need to share this. Why? Well, because it’s something that… Well, let’s just say it’s eating at me.

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Life Support

Water Users Site, Salt River, AZ
Water Users Site, Salt River, AZ

You don’t have to taste the water to know why this river is called Salt. You can feel the soft film of it on your skin. You can smell it in the soil as it beats against the shore. I always leave this place dirty, but never dissatisfied.

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Solstice Memories

Welcome to the holidays in the desert, where the trees change color in December, the ground is as dry as a cow skull against a cactus, and the temperature doesn’t get much lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit on any given night. This is my favorite time of year. I am from a colder climate, and even though I’ve lived in Arizona most of my life, there’s just something about stepping out into cooler weather that lifts my soul. I live for communion with nature! It is a part of my spirit that I cannot deny. So, on the winter solstice this year, I found myself with a few extra hours alone, and decided that instead of doing laundry and sitting in front of the television, I was going to make good use of it.

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