After visiting my family in Burke, South Dakota (population 670ish) last week I’ve returned home to Vermont and made a few discoveries. I thought I’d share them and maybe you’ve experienced something similar at some point in your life. As always, I would love to have you shoot me an e-mail and share your thoughts.
This is a mash-up of where I’ve spent the most time in my life.
South Dakota/23 years • Vermont/25 years • Massachusetts/Lots of summers/holidays
1) As a nearly 49 year old woman (October 12th) I no longer visit my childhood home feeling like a child. It helps when my husband comes with me. I feel more in touch with my adult life…and much less so when it’s just me and the kids.
2) My children are rapidly growing up and I’m no longer a parent of “young kids”. GOOD.
3) I don’t feel particularly old except that I need “readers” in every damn room.
4) I basically like who I’ve grown to become AND I know that I’ll spend the rest of my life getting to know myself better. I’m up for the challenge and hopefully the people I’ve chosen to date are up for it too.
5) Life isn’t easy and sometimes during the hard stuff all we can do is “show up” for our people. However, the hard stuff makes you grow and the good stuff is just pretty wonderful. And I’m slowly learning (very slowly) to let the bullshit slide. It isn’t worth my energy now.
6) At this age I am more deliberate about my time, my people and choices. I think “deliberate” feels awesome in nearly every context.
7) Sometimes this age feels like a second adolescence. I like it, my twin daughters and I are in it together—which is sometimes adorable and sometimes really NOT…but always interesting. One day they will find it all very funny, I think.
This photo is our shared sorrow over the end of the “van years”. I had to fake my sadness, actually. I now drive a VW Passat and I don’t really miss my van…except maybe listening to movies on road trips. But, now we listen to the TED Radio Hour, This American Life and The Moth on NPR. We save them up for our trips and they always provide remarkable discussions.
Here are a few links you might enjoy:
A great TED Talk on aging: http://www.npr.org/2015/06/19/414999589/why-should-we-look-forward-to-getting-older
This is an interesting site that was referenced on the TED Radio Hour last week—Stanford Center on Longevity. http://longevity3.stanford.edu/
Here is Kalisi, the red/blue heeler mother keeping watch over her pups while my daughter, Willa snuggles them all. These are the puppies of my niece, Kelsea Kenzy Sutton and her husband, Billie Sutton (obviously Game of Thrones fans). Kalisi’s puppies were a real added bonus of our trip to South Dakota and I hope these images of love tell the story.
They look like polar bears. My daughter Lucy with a pup.
OXYTOCIN is widely dubbed the love hormone, numerous other names have been given to oxytocin recently – hug hormone, cuddle chemical, moral molecule, bliss hormone even since researchers have begun to uncover its effects on behavior, including its role in love, in addition to its female biological functions in reproduction.
Kalisi & Kalisi (I just simply HAD to do this).
I had to post some more photos from my trip to South Dakota to see my family. Our dear friend and “neighbor lady” (always one of my husband, Jeff’s favorite South Dakota expressions) Margaret Ann took us to her farm south of Burke to plant some radishes, pick some spinach and check out the garden. My daughter, Lucy got some driving practice in on that trip as well. I wish the barn cats would’ve let us closer to the kittens, but this was as close as I could get. Thank you, Margaret Ann.
Thank you, Suttons. We had an amazing day visiting your spread! Seeing my Cape Cod raised husband, Jeff on horse was really cool and certainly will be a highlight of our summer. I would love to return the favor if you ever find yourselves heading east. Lobsters? Vermont Cheese? Ben and Jerry’s? Have a wonderful summer!
1. A side street in Florence, Italy
2. Dog Days Celebration, Burke, South Dakota 2014
1. HWY 10 in CALIFORNIA (Phoenix to Palm Springs)
2. TOWN NECK BEACH approach, Sandwich, Mass
1 & 2. An abandoned farmhouse somewhere in Gregory County, South Dakota.