the springs are kind of magical.

Photos: Seth



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.



Photos: Seth



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.




Photos: Seth



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.








Photos: Seth



We drove down to Sarasota to spend time with Foos’ great grandparents before they went back up to Massachusetts for the spring/summer. They are my ex-husband’s grandparents and I am very close to them. They were there for me when my marriage fell apart, and helped me out in immeasurable ways when I had to scratch the life I had imagined and start anew. Grandma and Pepaw are like fairy godparents and real grandparents all rolled in to one. They are very special and important people to me, and they are in love with my daughter.

This was our second trip there, but the first one where we really got a sense of the place. We spent some time at the Mote Aquarium, which I think i was more excited about than my kid. We had lunch at an amazing Cuban place, where we got the shank eye from our waitress for only ordering appetizers on super busy Easter Sunday (the guilt was real). We walked around the Marie Selby Botanical Garden, but didn’t actually go in because it cost a lot of money and we were in a hurry. It was beautiful anyway, and we plan on making it one of our stops the next time we visit.


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Photos: Seth



A couple of weeks ago we went to Madison Blue Springs for the first time this year. We drove almost two hours, were all excited about swimming, only to be told the spring was closed to swimmers due to high water levels. Curse you spring rains! We hung around for a bit anyway. I waded in knee deep (not swimming!), listened to the deafening silence, climbed a tree. I could have sat there all day, just staring, testing the rules. But we didn’t, the kids really wanted to swim. We drove to Ichetucknee’s Blue Hole instead.

Madison Blue is better.



Photos: Seth