Poetry & Words

POETRY & WORDS :: It is early in the days of new grief

The grief will change usIt is early in the days of new grief, and the sorrow comes in waves, tidal, like the roaring surge of surf just before the crash, just before the sea glass scatters, rearranged, just before the shelled critters scurry backwards into the sand.

I lie awake in the stillness, awake until just before the periwinkle dawn. I’m afraid to close my eyes because I don’t want to forget. In the morning, I blink, I sit up, and for eight fleeting, transitory seconds, I’ve forgotten. Then the grief crashes in, then I remember, and the flood of tears roll down.

Maybe the grief will always come like the ocean’s tide, glistening like December topaz, glistening like the salty water that rearranged the Klamath coast every year. The river ran through it, always shifting, always flowing, always shaping the earth around it. Some years the driftwood arranged itself into gentle patterns and the sands fell smooth, sloping down gently into the brackish river. And some years the dunes rose high, and the winds whipped, and the gnarled branches of petrified wood were tangled in between the constant rise and fall of frothy waves.

Like the river against the stones, the ocean against the glass, and the mouth of the ocean against the changing shore, the grief will change me.

It will change us.

Every year, it will look different.

The river will continue to ebb and flow, the shoreline will be carved and smoothed, the waters will rise and fall, the glass will be broken and polished, the winds will breathe in and out.

He makes all things beautiful in His time.

Life in Photos, Poetry & Words

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: The Way Bodega Bay Makes Me Feel

Urban Outfitter Floral Denim

January 2013 - Aveline and I at Bodega Bay in California

January 2013 - Aveline eats a picnic lunch on the beach in winter

Gina taking photos at Bodega Bay at sunset

The California coast always makes my heart soar.

There’s something so special about
those cliffs and
that icy water and
the way the sky changes color every minute.

Liz, who blogs beautifully at Yellow Finch, was kind enough to post more of my words about the way Bodega Bay makes me feel.

Life in Photos

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: A favorite moment, one month ago in California

“…or at least let me
recapture the serenity of last month when we picked
berries and glided through afternoons in a canoe..

…I was in the garden then, surrounded by the hum of bees
and the Latin names of flowers, watching the early light
flash off the slanted windows of the greenhouse
and silver the limbs on the rows of dark hemlocks.

As usual, I was thinking about the moments of the past,
letting my memory rush over them like water
rushing over the stones on the bottom of a stream.
I was even thinking a little about the future, that place
where people are doing a dance we cannot imagine,
a dance whose name we can only guess.” -Billy Collins

Summer Vacation Tour, Travel/Moving

TRAVEL :: NorCal with Me: The Launch of the Summer Vacation Tour, a Virtual Travel Series

I am so excited to launch the Summer Vacation Tour, a brand-new virtual travel series! I have enlisted the help of some amazing friends and bloggers, and over next couple of weeks, they will take you to places like Costa Rica, London, Paris and more. This series wouldn’t be possible without their photos and perspective, so a huge thank you to each of you who contributed!

To kick off the series today, I want to share NorCal with you. It was really hard to narrow down what I wanted to say, since my love for this place is a whole lot bigger than I can convey in just a handful of photos. But, I’ll try… :)

THE SACRAMENTO VALLEY of NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

My top five things to love about the Sacramento Valley

  1. The people, of course! This goes without saying, since California holds a huge treasure trove of my dear friends and my husband’s family, whom I love like my own.
  2. The food! It’s less expensive, fresher, and there’s more variety than anywhere else I’ve lived. California produces more than half of the United States’ fruit, vegetables, and nuts. When you break it down to specific foods, the percentages are even higher — nearly 100% of the nation’s pomegranates, kiwis, olives, figs and artichokes come from California. The state also provides 90% of the nations’s avocados, 85% of the nation’s garlic, 75% of the nation’s lettuce…and the list goes on. This is all available to locals at farmers’ markets, and is reflected in the state’s restaurants, too, which are widely diverse in terms of different cuisines and different countries represented. (No, actually, not everyone is a vegetarian. Californians cook up a mean tri-tip steak, a cut of beef the rest of the US has rarely even heard of. My mouth is watering just thinking about it, and I don’t even eat beef!) Oh, and did I mention food is much less expensive there?
  3. I love Californian style. I love that Californians, by and large, are a stylish lot. Clothing and looks pop up in California long before they appear in the rest of the United States. In fact, our family jokes* that if one moves away from California to another state, one doesn’t have to buy any clothes for five years! (*very much based in fact)
  4. The weather in the area surrounding the Sacramento Valley is perfect. Spring is a gorgeous display of every kind of bloom imaginable, and definitely the greenest time of the year. The hot dry days of summer are countered by the refreshing Delta Breeze which blows in each evening and creates as much as a fifty degree difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures. Autumn’s crisp days and crunchy leaves swallow up the summer haze little by little, until it’s suddenly winter. Winters in the Sacramento Valley are cool, wet, and deliciously windy (although the strong winds which blow everyone’s fences down in December and January always seem to take people by surprise!) It regularly freezes in the Valley, and just 30-45 minutes away, into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and beyond, winter is white. An hour outside of Sacramento, snow is measured in feet, not inches.
  5. Is it cheating to say that a favorite thing about this location is…the location? The Sacramento Valley is right in the middle between the Golden Gate Bridge and Lake Tahoe. Enough said, right?

Favorite Places in Northern California -  Rural Towns Rural landscapes — Yes, California is FULL of the most gorgeous rural areas you’ll ever see. This photo was taken on the street we lived on before we came to Florida. Looks are deceiving, because this view is only a mile from city life. I LOVE that California is full of contrasts like that.

Favorite Places in Northern California - Lake TahoeLake Tahoe area in the Sierra Nevada mountains — From where we lived in NorCal, one could go the ocean and the snow in the same day — there’s that profoundly wonderful California contrast for you again.

Favorite Places in Northern California -  Point Reyes Point Reyes — If we’re Facebook friends, you likely recognize this as it’s my cover photo. I took this picture on our second anniversary, right before we hiked up 2,948,795,843,987 stairs to the Point Reyes light house. I was pregnant. It was a loooooong climb. But the view is one of my favorite in the world!

Favorite Places in Northern California - Bodega BayBodega Bay — I could write for days about Bodega Bay, and I’m still not sure words could do it justice (and that’s saying a lot, because I am a lover of words).

Favorite Places in Northern California -  Oak Trees and Foggy Sunrise Foggy sunrise shining through the oak trees — another photo from our old home in NorCal. I miss those trees, and the cool morning air that we definitely don’t get here in Florida.

So there you have it! NorCal, my favorite place. I can’t wait to introduce you to the other locations in this series!

This post is a part of the Summer Vacation Tour, a virtual travel series hosted here on Oaxacaborn.com. To ‘travel’ to other locations while I’m taking a brief break from blogging, click here. (Want to be featured in the future? Email me!)

Poetry & Words

WRITING & WORDS :: Guest Post on The Organic Bird Blog – On Contentment, and Living in the Moment

Do you all read The Organic Bird? Andrea Levendusky’s treasure trove of poignant, honest writing has quickly become one of my favorite places on the web. It’s truly worth adding to your reading list.

I’ve been so blessed getting to know Andrea through Facebook and Twitter over the last few months, and was thrilled when she asked me to pen a guest post. So, you can find me on The Organic Bird today, talking a little about the ways God is using my daughter to teach me about being content.

Thank you, Andrea!

Oaxacaborn - Guest Post on The Organic BIrd Blog - Motherhood

“I’m staring. It’s that time of the afternoon where all I want is another cup of coffee, but Aveline’s bedroom is right off the kitchen. She’s the world’s lightest sleeper; if I even think about that cup of coffee too loudly, I know she’ll hear me & wake up.

There is a pot of white beans simmering on the stove. I’ll add some sage and garlic in a bit. I’m not sure why I bought white beans. I nearly always cook black beans — black beans with onion, garlic, lime, jalapeño, and cilantro. Once upon a time, when I lived in my beautiful California, I added epazote, too. It grew wild around my front step.

But here, here in the land of my sojourn….” [continue reading my guest post on The Organic Bird blog]

//Comments are disabled here, so you can leave them on Andrea’s blog. :-)//

Inspiration

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop :: Red, the Color

The prompt for this week’s Inspiration Workshop hosted by Gussy Sews is…RED!

I haven’t linked up since my first time participating during vintage week, but I couldn’t resist this theme since red (along with black and white) was our main wedding color!

So, without further ado…a handful of RED pictures from our wedding…

Wedding rehearsal photo - groom in black and bride in red

Wedding cake on red damask tablecloth

bridal and bridesmaids bouquet with red bracelets

Red zinnias

All images via B. Sarah Klein

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!
Life in Photos

My seester is coming to see me!

See this? It’s my seester(in-law). As you can tell from this picture (taken in San Diego last year at cousin Julie’s wedding), we’re always perfectly behaved, and of course, we never goof around.

Especially in public.

Hannah and Gina

She’s coming tomorrow, all the way from California. I. CAN. NOT. WAIT. I mean, a year ago, she and I lived just a mile apart in the same pretty little California town. Today, she lives in my old house (what?!) and I’m 3,000 miles away. And last time she saw Aveline? The wee miss looked like this.

So yeah. I’ve missed her. This week is going to be all kinds of wonderful!