When you come over the hill and down the drive at the end of a long week, THIS is what you want to see isn't it? This is my yard. The whole dang place is like this in varying degrees of wildness and pretty much thirty minutes out you're staring at this kind of landscape the WHOLE WAY. I really cannot see how on earth I could ever move to another place with a yard the size of a postage stamp and neighbors I can actually hear. Well, I can and I can't. It's a struggle at times. By the way, when you look at this, you are staring right at two of my neighbors. They're within an acre or two give-or-take, but you just...can't...tell...
The view comes with ambiance. Your really kinda need a trusty old truck--one that is running for no reason at all. It holds all your stuff. It hit 100,000 a long time ago and just kept on going. It gives you something to ponder and discuss on the front porch. The oldness makes it OK that there are permanent boxes of stuff living (neatly) in it. The windows need to go up and down easily because there is usually a five to ten degree difference in temperatures here than in Houston proper and humidity is also lower and somehow (I don't know how) the windows just need to come open (one of our trucks you still have to roll the window down yourself). It also helps to have kids around. They are good props for when you need to look like you have a reason to run around the house (literally) and lay in the grass. Watch for ants. Ant watching is a rarefied hobby out here. You will need music. My personal favorite is this gal: http://www.youtube.com/user/laurieberknervideos and "Walk Along the River" is one of my favorites. There is a lot of singing and dancing around here and if you watch this video, this is pretty much what it looks like. Our family is a family of musicians and scientists (usually both) and one dancer (me...well, there's Beanstalk) so music and science are viewed as equally important.
If I could meet only one person in the entire world...and only one...it would be Laurie Berkner. I have listened to her music now for seven years and it DOES NOT MATTER what is going on in my life--and I have mustered up some pretty miserable circumstances in my time--this girl can write music that makes me smile and sing and dance and be happy. No matter what. It is sold as "kid music." Bunk. Buy it. Memorize it. Put it on every device you own. It will make you happy. She's GOT to be one special lady and if she isn't I DON'T EVER WANT TO KNOW!!!!
Today was a good day. A "threshold" day. Many things accomplished, goals pushed through. New goals acquired. I am unbelievably insane in the "goals" department. It's genetic. So I have given in. The next goal is in mind and the next three-four years are optimistically planned out. Yes, I realize things can change and I am always open to that, but I have goals nonetheless. The bar is high. There is an unbelievable price tag on parts of it. (Dear God, can we please hit oil with our first test well??!!) I have no idea how some of that is even going to come together. Like--commuting to the medical center for three years...riiiiiggghhhht. I have NEVER known those kinds of things. I just have faith that if I am to go in a certain direction that the doors will close and/or open in the right places. Closed v. Open is just semantics like that "glass half empty/full" crap. My answer is "500 mLs is 500 mLs whether you just poured it all in or just poured some out. I can't really do anything about the part I don't have so why worry?" No one really asks me those kinds of questions anymore--unless they don't know me.
Most of the people who know me observe that I laugh, sing, and play a lot and am very happy. And you just never know what I'm going to say next. But they also say that they also thought I was very serious and knew very little about that side of me until they were "around." I just don't say much about it. Guess I should. Happiness is something that just IS when it IS. I think that's got something to do with how something, anything, could exist even before time began. It just WAS. The things I mull over, write about, and ponder are the things that are so much harder for me to understand and accept. I do not accept unhappiness. Yes, life gets frustrating and things can really suck at times, but is that really the way things have to be? No. Well over 90% of the "battle" is perspective. And it is a battle.
Perspective is hard. Just look at my term papers for this semester. The topics are (in no particular order): Euthanasia (legalizing it or not), Eating Disorders, Dieting (an evaluation of some particularly popular diets), Leprosy, and Publication Infringement. If there were five horsemen of the apocalypse...well, those would be them. That's what I get to finish up over this weekend. Such joyful fodder for thought. Geesh. There are things to study that lead to positive mental health, but quite frankly no one studies those (ok, no one in my current sphere of experience). Which is, in my opinion, why no one has any. Mental health, that is.
This is what Squib had to say today about our week when I picked him up after my last class:
SQB: You still stink....but you smell different. (I had to think about that...mixture of human/cat/pig...hmmm)
ME: It's been a looooooong week. Let's go hoooooome. But first we'll stop by Wal-mart and while we're there we can get you something special since you've put up with me all semester.
SQB: Can we get a purple and a (sic) orange marker?
ME: Maybe even a whole pack of markers. (I love it when he asks for things that way...he's so...specific).
SQB: And apples? (Because apples are such a delicacy like a coffee from Starbuck's, but I love that he thinks this).
ME: Yes, you can even pick out the apples yourself.
SQB: Wow. Did Buddy make damage this week? (Buddy has been clearing the trumpet vine from our land one tendril at a time. Good riddance. Makes me itch to think of it. Squib calls it "the damage" and takes great pleasure in burning it. Male fire ritual and all that).
ME: Yes, you are going to have to build a big fire tomorrow. And there will be lots of digging in the morning.
ME: Buddy wants to eat dinner at a restaurant, is that ok?
SQB: A westawant??!!! Yea! (He ate nothing, but did lick up a serious amount of ketchup. The rest of us had fabulous shrimp Greek pasta at this place in Willis, TX that is delicious!).
ME: Do you want to listen to music?
SQB: Yes. Loud, please. I will dance and play drums with markers (in my car...which is why it is OLD).
ME: At the same time? Performance art.
SQB: (The look on his face was like...."Duh, mom...")
And I was treated to a private rear-view mirror dance recital to my favorite song and he danced and danced until he literally fell asleep mid-dance. He woke up long enough to literally ask me if he could stay up longer. I said "sure" and put him down on the couch where he promptly fell asleep.
And now, so shall I...