Friday, October 28, 2011

my favorite season

I'm claiming Fall as my favorite season. In the Spring I claim Spring. All of my students claim Winter. Maybe one day. For today, I'll take Fall.

The way I can't seem to take enough pictures. Cold mornings and sunny afternoons. Leaves and more leaves. The aniticipation of Halloween and Day of the Dead. The last hurrah before the colors fade to white, before the inevitable freeze.

I'll take Fall.

Monday, October 17, 2011

eagle coast

So much to report since last I was here. An amazing evening on the Clark Fork with six gorgeous women. A raft packed with gourmet goodness, down bags, cozy clothes, really good coffee and pretty good wine. I didn't commit to the trip til a few hours before, ever caught up in the working mama's guilt, the weekend downtime that I so want to spend with my family. But the girls, ah the girls. How they feed my wacked out old soul. How I could talk to them forever and ever and ever. How the adventure of the rapids, of the outdoors, of being the kid sister to a band of bad ass river mama's, me on my knees at the foot of the raft while they paddle and steer my goofy self out of harm's way. The way they set up camp and build a fire like total pros. The way I marvel still at how strong and beautiful and worldly so many of my friends are.

So, as it always seems to go, the trip away was awesome. I returned to a Costco stocked fridge, salmon in a marinade, happy children and a confident husband. Sometimes I need to get out of the way. It seems to empower us all.

The next weekend my sister, Wendy, and her sweet girl, Piper came. Cousins in all their bouncy, vibrant, loud glory! While rain detained us a bit, we ended up hiking the "L", getting lost in an insane corn maze and visiting a pumpkin patch. Wendy's fancy camera captured lots of the moments absolutely beautifully. I am so thankful for our special cousin dates in Montana. I love having my people on my turf.

Jeff's folks have landed back in Missoula. They are getting settled and we are enjoying family adventures. Fled the rainy city and ended up at a hot springs on Sunday. We were quite a sight: chatty, wild haired girl, long lashed infant, old, old Poppy, excited Nana....I like the multi-generational travel. Makes the true meaning of family shine.

Of course, all these highlights coexist with the daily backdrop of work and shuttle and more work at night and dinner and messy houses and splashy baths and board book bedtimes. With deep breaths. With endless floor pick ups. With dog walks that sometimes feel like they are part of the to-do list.

I had less than an hour to hammer out some dog time before I grabbed Els from school. And I was hammering. I moved quickly up the mountain my brain full with the 90 reading tests I have to administer, the choreography I'm trying to get finished for Wednesdays class, what the heck I'd throw together for dinner, my upcoming business trip to L.A. when I'll leave my children for...gulp...three whole nights, four long days. Before I knew it I had made it to the giant cement "L" on the mountain and I sat.

And there they were. Floating on air. The crisp air holding their wings, cradling them while they coasted ever so gently above my head. Oh how I love the bald eagles. We see lots of wildlife around these parts, but these guys always grab me, hold me. Their grace. Their confidence. The way they seem to just let the wind carry them. Hold the moment.

So I picked a new song on my ipod, tipped my head back, and surrendered to their glory. Tried to coast along with them. On their tireless ride. Their strong cruise. Breathed them in. Tried to carry them with me as I entered back into the chaos. The way they just float with grace from one moment to the next.