Seasonal Life

I like all the seasons and can't really decide which I like best. How does one choose when winter=snow, spring=flowers, summer=fun, autumn=leaves ? I love whichever I'm in but, equally, get excited about the next. The same goes for the Colorado and Alaska seasons. Colorado means family, friends, my local coffee shop, our neighborhood park, standing dinner dates, church family, and fresh flowers from the grocery store... in fact anything fresh from the grocery store almost as soon as I could imagine wanting it. Alaska means slower life pace, being outdoors, opportunity to know a small set of people more deeply, almost eternal sunlight, time as a family of three (plus "Eddie the Adventure Dog"), adventures without seeking them out, anticipation of grocery day (lusting after fresh groceries for days before they arrive), and doing the most fun jobs we could've dreamed up. They're both great and we're happy wherever we are. As Brian Regan says, ""Grape! I'm gonna get grape, or cherry. They're both favorites, so either one is good, but if they have both, I'll get grape, because grape is a little more favorite. But if they don't have grape it's like 'alright it's fine, cause cherry's favorite anyway.'" One of its biggest appeals is the opportunity to reset that we have three times annually. It's hard not to consider, January 1st, what I might select as a New Year's Resolution, if I were the "resolutionary" type. I get this again around May 20th as we head toward McCarthy, Alaska and again the days leading up to October 1st when we return to our Colorado home. These three dates are natural opportunities to assess habits and determine how I might live more intentionally.

Every time we come and go, we're reminded how great our friends are. Starting around April, our calendar gets full of dinners with friends who say, "we need to see you again before you leave." It's nice. When we arrive in McCarthy, it's the back-at-summer-camp feel when you're catching up with all your buddies you haven't seen in eight months. Dinners with pals last until late late evening because we all forget (or just don't mind) that the sun doesn't go down till midnight. As summer draws to a close, there's a scramble to meet up with so-and-so one last time before they leave town and before we know it, we're leaving too. Once back down South, we're greeted with hugs and dinner engagements all over again.

We follow the sun. Colorado is known for 300+ days of sunshine annually. This plus its dry climate means winters are awesome (whether you ski or not); much better (in my biased, unexperienced opinion) for us than a dark and cold winter in Alaska. Conversely, summers up North give temps at 40-80 degrees and are coupled with 20+ hours of sunlight daily. We stay not-too-warm in the summers and not-too-cold in the winters.

There's lots to love about this lifestyle but it's not all coconut cream pie. Sometimes we miss the birth of a niece. Or a sister's graduation. Or a friend's wedding. Or an uncle's death. Sometimes we (or "I" - Austin doesn't have much trouble with this one) feel forgotten by whomever lives in the other state. But then we remember that we chose this lifestyle. We like the "soulrest"  and family-of-three space we get in McCarthy and the time with our families that comes with living in Colorado in the 8 month "off-season". I'm excited for Linde Girl to learn to live in a neighborhood and off-the-grid, to live with easy access to anything she needs and also to wait and make due with what she has, to live in a large community in which she's less known and within a small town where her words and actions are known to all.

I hope this lasts for a long, long time.

Sunroom Funroom

My grandmother's table from the 50s. Art easel. Green-and-white-checked-sink-down-into-it chair. Three walls of windows. Painted green "rug". This is my space. When The Lind is awake we play, read, laugh, and I chase and say "oh look! You found another thing you shouldn't touch." When she's napping I get to retreat to this room and read or draw. It's best on sunny days when I can look out the windows and zone out while watching joggers, walkers, and other passersby. I love my girl. I'm learning that I'm a better mom when I spend a little time just sitting alone in silence. This is a great space for that.

Photo Jul 26, 3 45 31 PM
Photo Jul 26, 3 45 31 PM
DSC_0764a.jpg
DSC_0764a.jpg

Revitalization: blog and home

According to Linde's Baby calendar, a year ago today she "visited the beach for the first time. She didn't mind the water but didn't like the breeze". Now, she laughs at the wind and loves the water. A lot as happened over the past 12 months and I haven't written because I've just been enjoying them. I feel like I now have energy to enjoy life and write about it so I'll be reviving this blog across the upcoming months! We moved in to our house the day we brought Linde Jordan home from the hospital three days after her birth. (Thank you, sweet friends and family for moving us in!) By that time our Colorado home was livable (read as: plumbed, floored, and mostly painted) but certainly not finished. Since that time, we have completed many more projects… And added more to-do's to the list. Enough has been accomplished that I now have before and after photos to show!

Our 1924 Bungalow had been a rental for all of its recent history; there was much renovating to do. I loved the idea of restoring the home according to its original state. But, changes were made that makes it hard to guess elements of the home's original condition, our style isn't completely congruent with 1920s vogue, and there are elements of other decades that we enjoy. So, we're giving it new life by celebrating aspects of decades through which the house has survived. Having a mashup of the years yields a generally "old" feel; our house isn't trendy... and we're loving it!

BATHROOM

In fall 2015, when we began renovations, the tub was immediately to your left when you walk in the bathroom door. However, the water for the tub originated toward the middle of the room instead of next to the wall, where you would expect. The toilet was cockeyed two inches from the tub's end so it would fit between the bath and wall. The sink was inset in a vanity that dwarfed the room. There were countless hooks around the bathroom such that you could hang every towel in your possession before having to wash any.

Austin ripped up the tile floor and vanity and after removing the tub, toilet, and hooks, set to work at rerouting all plumbing. Our brother-in-law helped him with the new flooring: hexagon tiles! We painted, added bead board, re-positioned our refurbished pedestal tub (awesome Christmas gift, mom and dad!) and toilet, installed a new sink, and "Voila"! We love how clean the bathroom feels - the black, white, and gray allow for changing towel colors easily. I think it looks timeless.

LIVINGROOM 

We hated painting the untouched fireplace but it seemed that, over the years, tenants had tried to clean the smoke-stained blonde brick and left further bleach stains that we were unable to remove. Thus, painted brick. Austin suggested a charcoal color and he nailed it! After stripping, sanding, and oiling the bilateral builtins and mantel we installed a fireplace screen a friend welded. Our friend Ron refinished our hardwood floors. Walls, trim, and ceiling were changed from a yellowish hue to high-gloss white trim, flat canvas-white/cream walls, and flat white ceiling. Crown moulding was installed and dropped a bit so we can hang pictures museum-style (thanks for the tip, Thompson's!) so no holes penetrate our plaster walls. Austin installed an outlet in my builtin desk so I can work with a charged laptop. And DONE again!

It's swell finishing something. Completing a project gives me a feeling that, I suspect, is alike to that of a gambler. I just can't get enough and I suppose that's why our to-do list only grows. More to follow!