neighborly {still + life}


You know, I'm still having one of those Novembers. (I'm glad it's not just me.) I woke up at 4AM this morning and thought "S*&%! I haven't written today's blog post." I am a complete hot mess these past few weeks. Also, have you seen this pillow that Christine found for me? Need.)

All of this is to say that this perfection of a bundt cake showed up at the oh-my-gosh perfect time. My hour of need, you could say. I have an amazing neighbor named Autumn who is seriously one of the most impressive people I know. We live in a town with a super heavy military presence, and these families never fail to astonish me. It's not an easy life, for sure. Autumn's husband, who is in the Navy, has been deployed since July, and Autumn is home with their daughter who is just under a year old.

It all sounds pretty challenging in and of itself, doesn't it? Seriously, if Neel had been gone for those seven months of Callum's life, I might have gouged my eyeballs out. Well, add to it that their sweet chick was born with a significant congenital disorder that makes nearly every single aspect of her care more taxing. This is not my story to tell, and I want to protect their privacy, but while much of their young daughter's life has been joy filled and delightful, there's little that hasn't also been hard work.

For awhile there, Autumn needed help with an aspect of her daughter's care each evening so there was a rotating schedule where some of us would scoot over and spend a few minutes with them. I cherished those times, holding hands with a sweet and kicky baby (if my "baby" kicked me now, look out!) as the woman who was at first just my neighbor took care of her daughter and turned into my friend. There's a serenity about Autumn that shines through, no matter how many trials she seems to face. And now? Her baby girl is smiling and babbling and laughing, and they're under 30 days until Daddy comes home. That serenity is combined with joy. It's pretty nice to see.

So Autumn made us a bundt cake. Seriously! Us! Baking makes her happy, she said, and she shared! That she has so much on her (cake) plate and took the time to think of us (and my son who has been devouring it for dessert and breakfast all week), well, that tells you a little bit of how special she is.

It's all relative, I know, but in the middle of my messy November, I'm trying to remember Autumn, and maybe I can touch upon just a little of the grace she so obviously radiates. Will I get close? No way. But I can try.

The good thing (and really, it's good for us all) is that tonight I'm going out with some girlfriends I haven't seen in ages. Neel was supposed to have minor oral surgery, but that got canceled due to jury duty so he and Cal have a hoagie-filled "Man's Night" (this is what Cal called it when he was little, and the name stuck) planned. The way they're carrying on, I may never come back.

foggy morning {life}

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When Callum was very young he went to a really hippie dippie school, and every time things got funky people would whisper stuff like, "Mercury's in retrograde."

Well. You can't stop hearing that phrase once you've heard it once, and as I gather, Mercury's now out of retrograde. Trouble is, I'm not sure I am. So many of us have been writing about having tricky Novembers or being in weird funks of alternating manic productivity and dolorous lethargy. I feel like I'm caught in an uncomfortable middle.

I am involved in some really fun creative projects right now, but should there be more? (My friend Candy would say, "Leap!") And if so, what? I guess I'm better at thinking of things than I am at making them happen. So lately I've been feeling frustrated with myself.

Also, November? What the hell. I am so messed up this month. You saw last week, right? And I never know what day or date it is, which never happens to me. Everything just feels in a midden.

The upshot of all of this is that I'm just going to get through this week and then it's Thanksgiving week, and all's good right? And then December, and everybody knows you shouldn't try to get your shit together in December. Maybe I should just accept that I'll tread water until the New Year. In the meantime, I think some thoughts on authenticity (I do have more to say about that), and keep taking pictures.

This past Sunday the fog horns were blowing and instead of lolling about lazily (coffee finally in hand!) the way we usually do, Neel came with me to the water to get some photos. We took a long walk after that and watched the gray burn off the river from all our different vantage points. So many moods the water has. I love that.