I got to spend a great weekend absorbed in some very fine skating. This was the first time I went to one of these events by myself, which was sort of weird but not entirely bad. Each of the four disciplines produced new National Champions that we can be proud of.
And I got to see my young friend Tim LeDuc skate pairs with his partner Cassie Andrews. Tim used to help me at his club competitions in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Even then as a young kid he was a warm and delightful person, now he's matured into a stunning young man. This was their first year at the Senior level. It's going to be lots of fun to see them in a couple of years.
I also spent a great night in a Hilton in Santa Clara, all by myself in a big king sized bed, room service and a bottle of champagne. It was heavenly. I spend most of my time being responsible, even though I love every minute of it but every now and then I need a night like that. I call it a healthy dose of ass kissing.
Now I'm back to my oh so responsible but excellent life. Back to my dogs, business, house, friends, shooting, creating and a very satisfying relationship in the making.
I found this photo in a pile of photographs I'd packed.
It so perfectly shows my heart. This perfect baby, the ocean breeze, the restaurant on the edge of the San Francisco cliffs, my joy, the exhaustion of my body and a sweet sadness of knowing what I traded for this baby.
Every Mother trades something for her children.
She makes a bargain with the universe.
She walks through fire and pain to hold a life in her arms.
She breaks her heart and steels herself to walk the hard road.
She is transformed from a kitten to a lioness.
Her senses are forever heightened.
Her gain is that broken heart.
In breaking her heart expands to hold love larger than she was.
Our new, gorgeous gate by Frank Whaley of Whaley Construction.
This spring I'll see if I can get some ivy to grow on the fence section and eventually it will weather to a silver color but right now it's wonderful. I really like the added privacy it lends to the back yard, my secret garden.
The boys are romping in the back yard now, racing around, barking and chewing on each other. I think they exist to make me smile.
Yesterday was my double nickel birthday, another milestone, another reason to reflect on life and love and how best to be who I really am.
I recently met someone who seems to share my outlaw nature which I have suppressed and virtually disowned for many years. I'm at times uncomfortable with his demands and yet intrigued and encouraged to stretch my boundaries. It's tough to try to be who I am when I don't really know exactly what that is. However, I now know that each person I meet is there because now is the time for me to learn something from them.
And a fine day it was, unseasonably warm, incredibly sunny, fragrant with lingering wood smoke and the mountain defining smell of pine. We slept in and went to the park later to play frisbee. The boys looked pretty hot after clearing the ball field of geese and chasing the frisbees so I let them cool off in the duck pond and then we headed over to the dog park for some social time - also known as sniff butt time.
With the help of a great and talented guy I've gotten a lot of the more complicated projects done around the house. The garage is almost ready for two cars and looks pretty damn neat and tidy. Locks work, curtain rods are ready for curtains, shelves are up and so is the really large mirror that takes up most of one dining room wall. The potted Turkish Fir has been moved back outside. We also have a really great door knocker. It's a cast piece by Michael Healy. I love people who do fine metalwork, this is truly a nice piece.
What an incredible year!
This time last year I was hanging on. I was just starting to make friends. The weather was awful, cold and wet and gloomy, it didn't seem like California. I wasn't really sure what I wanted. I had an idea forming, a wish for how things might be, and yet, no, I didn't really know what I wanted.
Do I now? Maybe, maybe not. It's true that the more you know the more you realize how little you know.
So what do I know now?
I know that having my very own space is gratifying and satisfying way down deep in my heart.
I know that each person has the capacity to love but that each person loves in their own way. Learning how our styles of love fit together is half the fun, sometimes frustrating, sometimes fabulous, always a learning process.
I know that rushing anything is a mistake, good things really do take time.
I know that keeping an essential vision of what we need and want is crucial to actually finding it.
I know that good friends are few and far between but that those few fill our hearts to overflowing and they are enough.
I know that we often do good things for people not because they are good but because we are.
I also know that a tiger doesn't change it's stripes and has big teeth and is often hungry.
I know that watching my children become adults is pretty freaking fabulous.
I know that pounding on a piece of metal makes me happy and a little sore when I miss.