Monday, June 30, 2008


Weather is a big obsession for my family in Minnesota. Conversations often begin with "I hope it rains today." Or, "I hope it doesn't rain today." There are many variations such as "I hope it rains today....a nice gentle rain". And on and on. I've been paying attention to the clouds lately. Maybe my cloud gazing is the residual after-effects of being the daughter of a woman who (according to my dad) has a crush on the automated weatherman robot on the radio. Being with my family this summer reinforced that my parents are obsessed with what falls from the sky. Here are some of my cloud pictures I took while on the road from the west to the midwest.

Monday, June 23, 2008

We're back where we began... yet beyond...

So, its been awhile since we tapped out any stories. There have been many adventures since our last posting in April so here's the condensed version... Our dear friends Mel and Jen came to visit from Lawrence for a long weekend. In between picnicking on crab legs and cold white wine in the forest and cruising in a '66 Bonneville convertible to the coast, we had some heart to heart conversations that led to clarity. After much careful consideration and dissecting of options, Aaron and I decided we wanted to move back to the midwest. The nutshell answer or WHY? is that our families and community in Lawrence mean more to us than the jaw-dropping beauty and energy of the Golden State. So on May 2 we pulled away from our cottage in the woods and headed north. We camped out and had such a terrific journey from CA to OR. We got to Portland where we were thrilled to meet Ivan Lee Arthur Winters....all of six days old. Our friends Kjirsten and James are the proud new parents. We got to spend some special, quality time with our friends there...B&B, Matt & Britta, Jessie, etc. Aaron turned 30 and we celebrated with an over-the-top deliciously inspired feast at Toro Bravo. We came soooo close to just stopping the journey there and calling Portland home....but......we headed east and spent another week on the road. We hit hotsprings in Idaho and Montana, explored Yellowstone National Park, The Badlands, reconnected with an old friend from highschool, made perfect omelettes over the campfire in the cast iron skillet, visited vineyards, saw the most incredible double rainbow against a backdrop of mountains, spent one night camping on the side of the interstate after the Chinook's battery exploded, and on and on.......essentially we had a fantastic trip. We stopped for some 5 cent coffee and a lame piece of pie at Wall Drug, were mystified and bewildered by the Corn Palace in South Dakota, and surprised my parents in Minnesota right around dinner time. We stayed with them for 3 weeks, helping out with lots of gardening, front step building, tree trimming, planting, etc. We transplanted thousands of native prairie plants for my brother Kyle and got to spend some quality time with him and his lady Crystal. We also got to connect with my aunt and uncle, cousins, grandma, and some of my old minnesota friends. We had 2 sleepovers with my niece Haley and spent a little time with Lindsey and Will. All in all a good time. We arrived in Lawrence just in time to celebrate my 36th birthday and reconnect with many friends that night, as there were a couple of art openings happening downtown and it felt great to just jump into the stream of Lawrence life. We went to Hiawatha for a few days after that to visit Aaron's family which was to meet our new niece Willow Ann. So, things are taking shape & moving in new directions with more intention, ambition and inspiration than we've felt in awhile. This is beginning to feel like an annual holiday letter so before I delete it, I'm shooting it into the internet ether....more soon.