Tag Archives: mountains

perspective. sometimes you have it. sometimes you don’t.

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It’s the dead of summer. Our swamp cooler went out yesterday, and I watched the thermometer tick up — 80 degrees in the house, hm. 85. 87. A drip of sweat on my back. Oh yes, time to call property management. CP was in his crib, crying, his hair matted to his head. I took him for a loop around the town with the car air conditioning blasting. A. opened the swamp cooler, and saw that the water pump wasn’t working. “Look,” he said, when I returned. “It’s really simple.”

The heating and cooling people didn’t call. A. drove to Home Depot and replaced the pump himself. “Twenty-eight dollars,” he said. “And the receipt flew out the window.”

We went on vacation to Michigan and North Carolina over the 4th and came back to the desert more exhausted than when we left. CP cried on the flights. CM had a few epic meltdowns. Schedules altered. A flight cancelled. Our car shined a warning light before we drove into Death Valley (false alarm). You know the drill. Travel, as much as I love it and seeing family, is draining.

At almost five months, CP is waking twice a night minimum. I’m running on empty.

We’ve been talking a lot about our next move when we leave the desert. It’s all up in the air, but even though it’s a year away, it increases our anxieties. Eventually we’ll end up back in the D.C. area.

“Let’s get a farm house,” I say. “Deep in Virginia.”

“Let’s build a tiny house,” A. says. I think he means it. “I don’t want a two-hour commute.”

D.C. friends came to visit last week. They’re journalists — one for National Geographic, the other for the Washington Post — and they have two girls who are the same ages as CM and CP. They rented a van for three weeks with a pull-down bed and a kitchen to tour around California. We made sweet potato and black bean tacos with an avocado pepita dip and the kids ran in the sprinklers.

“I’m really digging your life,” she said.

“We’re happy,” I said. “For now.”

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It was cloudy today, which put A. in a funk. It’s sunny 350 days of the year.

“I need a project,” he said.

We drove to Cottonwood Meadows this morning. The signs said it was bear country. We walked about 100 yards on the dusty trail before CM wanted to hang out on a log (“This used to be a tree, mama”). He didn’t want to hike anymore.

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So I wandered. And I found a tree with a hole in the trunk, covered in dried sap. And I snapped dozens of photos. Same square of the tree, different exposures, different angles. How each of us see the world. Some with golden hues, some black; some with smooth lines, some with dead bark.

When I returned to the log, it started to drizzle. CP was ready for his nap. CM had sand in his shoes. Two crying babies. Two parents, shaking their heads. Ready for the next laugh, sun and a bit of inspiration.

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beauty in the Eastern Sierras

I took my best friend (who’s visiting from D.C.) and the boys into the mountains yesterday. We hiked among the pine trees. Tiny snowflakes swirled — the air was cool and fresh. We ate a picnic of veggie wraps, apricots, bananas and nuts and dried cranberries on a rock. A marmot peeked at us as we walked the trail, and CM lay in the dirt and tried to write his name with a stick. And then we stripped off our winter hats and fleeces, slipped on flip-flops, and drove on — through open land under blue skies — to Bishop while the boys slept. There we had coffee, soup and quiche at Black Sheep Coffee and saw climbers with chalk on their hands. It felt so good being on the road during the week.

On Sunday, A. and I went to Horseshoe Meadows in the Eastern Sierras. (Photos below.) We walked along a stream at 10,000 feet, searched for fish darting under the weeds and enjoyed the solitude.

My awe of the mountains is increasing every day I go into them. I said to A. as we wound our way down the mountainside: “It’s OK. You can say, ‘I told you so.'”

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the glorious mountains

We hiked into the glorious Eastern Sierras yesterday. Onion Valley, north of Mt. Whitney, is only about an hour and a half drive from us, but it was my first time in the mountains since the fall. The smell of pine, the fresh air, the snow, the birds singing, the rush of a waterfall: I felt alive and rejuvenated. Happy Monday, all.

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