Well

Well, well, well.

It’s been a while. The thing is, I’ve been working on writing a book (a novel, no less!) and I’ve been not paying attention to this blog. Though it’s been long running- I think going on four years or so- I’ve been neglecting it recently.

At the moment, my idiot husky is attempting to eat a fly that is gallavanting around the room. I’m enjoying a glass of wine, contemplating the next few weeks.

Summer is almost over for me. School starts in a few weeks, and I’ve been in the classroom near every day for the last two weeks. Trying to get it all “just right” before I go back. Thankfully, I’m teaching my fort√©: Social Studies.

We’re renovating our house. I can literally hear Scott demo-ing something with the SkilSaw right now. Not sure what it is. Hopefully it’s not structura.

I don’t have much to say. I mean, I do. I just know it’s been so long since I’ve posted and I wish I had something more poignant to say other than, “Hey! I exist. I’m glad you’re still reading this!”

I’ll write something better tomorrow. Today, I just needed to break the silence.

-J

Dear Lily

Dear Lily,

When I read your name on the news story, I physically felt pain. Seeing your name and understanding we wouldn’t get to see you grow into the intelligent, kind, brave woman you were meant to be crushed me. I feel angry and devastated and sick and mostly distraught. I don’t even know how to eloquently put how sorry I am for everything you ever went through, for every moment you won’t get to have. I am so sorry. You were an incredible person and I will never, ever forget you.

Mrs. J

This Evening.

Sitting in my living room tonight listening to Spinning by Elephant Revival surrounded by dogs and meditating, marinating, contemplating this coming summer.

For me summer begins this Friday. It marks the first of seventy days of freedom. I want to celebrate it and so I am going to go climb the highest mountain in New England. I think I’ll bring the husky, I think he can take it. Most likely, anyway. Maybe I’ll go alone.

Looking at pictures of Jacks and thinking how good that dog was. So good. The best. He once chased a seagull out past the lobster boats at Kettle Cove, and he was so good I knew he would come back. He hiked every damn mountain with me. Every. Damn. Mountain.

I feel hesitant to bring the husky because he’s young and stupid and doesn’t listen but he does try. I do this a lot in life… previous expectations from others get transcribed onto my currents and that’s just unfair, y’know? My cat, Miss B, she’s fourteen and so good and patient but the kittens are assholes but they’re kittens, so shouldn’t they be assholes at least for a little while?

This year really was an accomplishment overall in my eyes. I didn’t get caught up in the blue, icy, wintery depression I typically do. I have been consistently working out. I chopped all my damn hair off because it was falling out because I can’t be content with what I had, which is brown hair, so I bleached the fuck out of it and I had to cut it which is shockingly a victory because it finally feels pretty healthy. I taught many students. I saw three of my favorite students graduate, one of which I’m fairly certain wouldn’t have without me. I got a new tattoo. I hiked some mountains.

But there was something lacking this year. I think it was poetry or art or beauty or the ocean in the middle of the night in July with fireflies surrounding me with the smell of sea roses in my nose or it was perhaps not as many adventures as I would have liked. And who’s fault is that? Mine, of course. Mine for sure.

And so here I am listening now to Mumford’s Wilder Minds and thinking about the things I plan to do this summer and feeling more and more excited about it. I promise myself I will have adventures. I will be adventurous. I will figure out a way to do some things I haven’t done before and frankly it’s been a long time coming and I can’t wait.

All these goddamn run-on sentences and I’m feeling like Holden Caulfield but it feels quite right tonight. I’m four days away from some Stuff. Not sure what, but Stuff.

Love

-J

This Morning

I woke up at four am on the dot for no particular reason. The sky was still dark, a cool breeze on my cheeks from the window I fling wide open before I go to sleep. I reached my arm out towards the outside air, letting a bit of chill under the blanket. Four in the morning is early for even me, but aside from the sleepy-leg cramp, I was okay with it.

Slowly making coffee this morning, thinking about mothers day and children and the animals and lambs and other maternal roles that I have had over time. As I sit here, listening to the birds outside and some quiet music,¬† I feel gentle and peaceful. I’m not sure what I want to do for the day, but it feels like a good morning.

My husband is, in many ways, the polar opposite of me. I tease him about working a “square,” job. He has to wear a button-up shirt and slacks daily. He is calculated, rarely impulsive. He enjoys routine and order. He likes to play video games.

Even though I razz him about his lack of impulse and his general refusal to go off the deep end and backpack around South America on a moment’s notice, I have to say… Scott is a pretty incredible human being.

He is loyal to a fault. He is a hard worker; even if he’s not quite sure how to do the work, he’ll pull up a YouTube video and figure it out. He is stern, fair, and gentle with William. He takes care of the morning chores in January. He lets me be myself without criticism; all of my impulses, acquisition of animals, tattoos, and dreadlocks… he is a partner that I am grateful to have.

Recently, a student of mine who comes from an extremely challenged economic environment walked to school through rain, sleet, slush, and snow in years’ old sneakers. He was soaked to the bone. He didn’t have any other shoes. He hasn’t had boots all winter. I mentioned it to Scott.

That evening, there was a box of shoes: Two hikers and a pair of Muck boots. The look on the student’s face when I gave them to him was at once tragic and uplifting. He was shocked.

The moment Scott knew someone was in need and he had the means to help, he did. No questions, no need for thanks, nothing. Just a box of shoes for a student who couldn’t afford them and wasn’t going to be able to.

I wish Scott had been able to give the kiddo the shoes and not me, so that he could have seen the change he made in the kid. I’m incredibly grateful for the compassion and genuine kindness he possesses.

End mushy rant.

On Getting a Puppy

I convinced my husband to let me get a puppy.

Before you scold me, saying, “Jenn, you have a dog, three cats, three sheep, two goats, and three chickens. Why the fuck do you want a puppy?” Before you say that… let me explain.

Yes, we have a dog. He is terrific. Doesn’t bite. Doesn’t shit in the house. Doesn’t chew anything. He occasionally will move my shoes, but that’s okay. It’s kinda funny. He’s loyal. Sweet. He listens.

He’s also lazy as fuck. For example, I took him hiking one time this past summer. Drove two hours to Mount Washington. The dog sat down and refused to walk upwards.

I can’t do that. He’s more than welcome to chill on the couch, but I need someone who will go with me and enjoy it. My husband is typically too busy, William doesn’t have the stamina, and I can’t keep up with high school kids. So… the natural thought progression would be to get a puppy.

So, I am.

And he is adorable.

And more importantly, he’s a Siberian Husky and he will be the ultimate hiking partner. And frankly, I’m excited.

I’m nervous, too. My best friend, my soul mate, my dog, my DOG, died last spring. It was devastating. I had to take time off work, I was so wrecked over this. He was the partner. Not just hiking, in life. He did everything with me. I feel like I’m starting over with a new partner, which feels slightly like betrayal. I know it’s not, but that’s how it feels.

William tells me I should name him Odin. Jury’s still out, but I’ll post updates as they come.

Pip pip,

J