How are you?
If your current state is anything like most of the people I know, your honest answer is probably something along the lines of “good, mixed with some bad and some ugly”.
I hope this isn’t true for you, but for me, it seems every person I know has been touched by the tougher realities of life as of late. From health to happiness, a lot of basic standards of living for those I love have been put to the test lately and it seems we have found ourselves in a sort of communal hardship.
The fires that broke out early last week in both Northern and Southern California have truly brought that hardship to the forefront. Our skies have been smokey enough to obscure the sun. We’ve been relegated to the indoors, to our own locales, to hunker down and hermit our ways through this. And in those times, when the sky shines its ominous, apocalyptic orange light, it’s easy to feel alone.
But we aren’t.
In all this bad and ugly, we can still find the good.
Today, I found myself wanting just that: good. Just wanting a moment of reprieve. I found myself hoping to write to you about something uplifting, to take a break from the heartache and feelings of doom around us.
I took myself on a walk, despite the smoky skies to get myself into my writing rhythm. Since the beginning of this blog, each post has been born while walking. Like a dog circling to find the perfect spot to lay down, I too circle around the ideas circling me and this little dance always sorts itself in my strides. Once I return home, the ideas have settled and I too can settle into my perfect spot.
So, today, I took myself on a walk to sort out what I should say. However, unlike my normal walks, I spent the time trying to dream up other things to write about instead of acknowledging what was actually happening. I tried to block out what was there, ready to be said. I wanted to write something happy but my mind had already made her mind up.
And so, we made a compromise: yes, we could acknowledge the bad and the ugly and we also would lump on a little good.
Because the good is always there.
So, since I think we’ve sufficiently acknowledged the bad and the ugly, here’s a little good. Even they are a little silly, a little surface, here are some things, happenings, and reminders that have brought me joy this week. I hope they bring some to you too. Here we go, happiness train, okay? All aboard!
This look on our friend’s dog Atari’s face as he finally gets to get into The Chief’s lap:
Feeling absolutely loved by a kiddo you’ve known their whole life when she makes your coming to her house a calendar event (in hot pink, no less):
Seeing a little hint of blue for the first time in days:
Spending a night with life-long girlfriends that ranged from feeling very satisfyingly adult (we had an olive tray, you guys) to very satisfyingly juvenile (pop music sing along), to very happy and very sad. We ran the gamut and it was beyond healing to be around you loves (fun times/sad times not pictured as we were too busy eating olives, crying, laughing and singing. Oh how I love women).
Coming up with the best band name ever, and then having it immediately embodied in whiteboard drawing form by our young eavesdroppers:
Remembering full blue skies and full, deep breaths:
Cactus ears from your sister-in-law. ‘Nuff said:
Nature, in all her glory:
These ridiculous and adorable slippers my brother gave me:
Learning to make jam for the first time:
Laughing at the awkwardness of this toilet brand name (First Impression):
Laughing too hard to be able to take the photo:
Those kind eyes.
I had to acknowledge the hard, the bad, the ugly today because it’s what’s real for me and so many others right now and I’ve always tried to be real with you. As for you, I hope you are in the good but if not, I hope this brought a little sparkle to your day. Let’s try to spread it around. There is always good to be found.
Wishing safety and so much love to you and yours,
From Alaska by way of California.
P.S. Want to help? California and Californians would so appreciate your support. Please donate if you can. There are so many wonderful organizations out there but one quick way is to text “Red Cross” to the number 9099. When you agree to the transaction, your phone company will add $10.00 extra dollars to your phone bill this month. It’s easy (it took me a total of 10 seconds) and every donation, no matter the amount is important. Thank you.
P.P.S. Thank you, a million times over for those with boots on the ground. Firefighters, volunteers, citizens. You all are amazing and we so appreciate you.