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the springs are kind of magical.

Photos: Seth

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Fun fact number one: I made this shirt.  It is the most comfortable linen sack ever, which means I may never take it off this summer.  Fun fact number two: National Park Week began yesterday!  From the 16th to the 24th you can get into any national park for free, so avail yourselves, my friends, of the natural wonders your tax dollars help protect and maintain.  We did just that today and paid a visit to the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preservation.  It was a fun little hike with the kids and we were rewarded by a beautiful marsh and a lookout at the end (I’m under the lookout in the above photos).  It was windy, clear, and pretty damn near perfect. Next time we will definitely bring Banjo, too.  Hope you all had a great weekend!

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This weekend we piled everyone in the car, including the dog, and drove south to Sarasota, to see Grandma, Pepaw, and the gulf.  Seth and I snuck away for a date to the Selby Botanical Gardens, which were excellent and merit a second visit. The kids spent most of the time at the pool, where any trace of Foos’ paternal wasp roots were overcome by a conspiracy between the sun and her mother’s caribbean melanin. I loved it.  We took a backwoods way back home, which made me nervous.  For reasons I cannot explain, I feel ill at ease in America’s open spaces.  The barns and depressed towns don’t conjure up any feeling of nostalgia or even beauty, only of  mild panic and fear. Seeing a Trump sign for the first time displayed proudly on somebody’s lawn, didn’t make it any better. It may as well have said “I hate gays, women, and people of color.”  But we made it back to our nest safely, and I’m sure the only memories which will remain of the visit are of family and love.

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Photos: Seth

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We spent Thanksgiving in the Blue Ridge Mountains, returning to the yurt in Anna’s farm.  This time it was a little different, we brought Silas and Banjo, our pup, along. The trip was just as good.  The ride there was a comedy of errors; driving the wrong way for an hour, with the poor kids crammed in the back of the car with our car sick dog. Eventually, thanks to a vet tech friend, we discovered the magic of dramamine.

Our first day there, Thanksgiving proper, was spent roaming the hills and climbing fences. Yelling at my four year old to slow down! Filled with worries of a broken ankle while simultaneously overjoyed at the sight of her transformed, pissing in the bushes, running free. It was also the last day of my 20’s, and I spent that afternoon reading Philip K. Dick on the yurt porch and drinking wine.  Shamefully, Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said is the only of his novels I have read.  We started watching The Man in the High Castle, which is based on his novel of the same name, and I thought it a good reason to read the book.  It was also my first time reading a book on a kindle, and there were many times I caught myself licking a finger in preparation for turning a page that wasn’t there. It almost felt like books were my phantom limb.

The farm on the mountain, a place built for poetry, with its never-ending signs of renewal was as good a place as any to end a decade and start one anew.

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Photos: Seth

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We spent five days last week in a yurt, in the middle of a hundred acre family farm, deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. It was perfect. The mornings were filled with rooster songs, wet air, and a sun rise that stunned. At night, the fireflies lit up the mountains; it strained the eye to detect where the fireflies ended and the real stars began. The woman who owns the farm, Anna, and her partner Marco, were wonderful and welcoming. Anna’s father, Jim, also has a home adjacent to her property; he was beautiful and gentle. Mr. Jim was soft spoken, and I wanted to hear all the stories he wasn’t telling, because I knew they would be good and true. They gave us a run of the place, and a lot of privacy, too. It was awesome to see Foos have so much fun being completely herself, in a different environment. Seeing her interact with the farm dogs, Lucy and Beagler, her little eyes widen in both curiosity and fear at the sound of the coyote’s melancholy howl, and her delight at the fireflies, made me so grateful Seth gave her this experience. I can hardly wait to return.

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Photos: Seth