Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Z and I planted a garden in early June.  We woke up at 6:30 every morning to fill multiple watering cans at the pump and carry them down the hill and into the garden to water all the plants, then repeated the process in the evening and sometimes the early afternoon. We put a lot of hours and love and a significant (for us) amount of money into it.  On the really tough days, working in the garden encouraged me. I had visions of a late summer and early fall full of amazing produce...a little pumpkin-carving in October...and being able to share our food with the families down the road. I have no experience with gardening at all and the whole process was fascinating. I was creating food! I felt like a magician.  Our landlord was even telling his visitors to come see our garden. South Dakota isn't the easiest place to grow things but somehow we were making it happen.

Last Saturday our area had a bad hailstorm and almost everything in the garden was destroyed. There was nothing we could have done. Our landlord said it's the worst storm he's ever seen in the fifty years he's lived there. Luckily neither of our cars sustained any damage and the house is fine. But boy, losing that garden hurt. And my initial reaction was to stop, give up, let the prairie take over. The idea of planting again, getting invested, and possibly losing it all was just too much for my heart to take. Z and I couldn't talk about the garden without crying and even now I'm a little teary.  I went out for a long walk yesterday morning and pounded the gravel. Around two miles, I started thinking about broccoli and cauliflower, putting in more radishes, trying some beets and turnips. By the fifth mile, when I was back in sight of the garden, I was enthusiastic about it. Maybe nothing grows. Maybe everything grows and we lose it all again. But we'll keep trying. I'm thinking that might be the big lesson South Dakota has for me.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


A 36 hour trip to D.C. with Z and my parents. A father-daughter Neil Young and Patti Smith concert and the next day playing tourist in a place where I spent some of my formative years. Then the drive home, and a hike with Z the next morning at Back Bay. We took the dune path this time and I loved walking through the trees, the sound and scent of the ocean getting stronger with each step.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


 Z and I made a quick trip to Fayetteville last week to meet up with his mom and brother.  Not the most novel route for either of us- I've seen those stretches of US-58 and I-95 more times than I can count- but the scenery was beautiful in a stark and kind of depressing way. I was especially interested in all the cotton fields.

From a distance, it looked like a thick blanket of snow covering the fields. I was too nervous to stop and take pictures of private fields but we found some cotton connected to an agricultural college just as it started to rain. After I took this picture, I turned around to see Z picking up an uprooted stalk and stowing it carefully in the back of the car. He is a born scavenger.

My mom was surprisingly excited about our souvenir and it's been prominently displayed on the stairs since we got back. It's a beautiful plant that sparks a lot of contemplation for me. Beautiful and useful, with a brutal present and past.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Denver, part 1

Denver, Denver.

Z and I took a trip to Denver to visit our friend T. I'm not sure I have the words to describe how much I loved seeing Denver and visiting T. It was all color, love, beauty, and joy. Glowing aspens in the Rockies, a poetry slam in the city.  I'll just stick a few pictures in here and hope that the aspens can convey what I cannot.

I managed to be both inappropriately dressed and inappropriately shod for the mountains. I'll pack better next time...because there will be a next time.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


May 20. After going to the markets in San Diego and San Francisco, the one here is a bit of a downer, particularly on a rainy day. But Z got to pet a goat named Poncho, so all is well.