The Good and the Simple

Hagrid in the lilacsCabin fever kicked our butts this year.  The gloominess arrived in November, when Thanksgiving turkey and football were replaced by fever, chills, and, well….  I’ll spare you the details.

There were a few bright spots to break up the grey skies, but mostly we hunkered in and crossed days off the calendar until the snow melted and the first blades of grass braved the winds.

Yesterday was the first rain-less day in a week.  For six days, we stared at the water rushing down the street as our part of the world accumulated 25 percent of its annual rainfall in less than a week.  Some days, the rainwater was peppered with pink blossoms from the surrounding trees.  Mother Nature was trying to tell us that even when she rains on our parade, she still provides the confetti.

The soul-crushing dreariness is finally coming to an end, and it’s time for gentle reminders and a list of what’s good and simple.




We’ve been devouring the Bones series on Netflix.  Jen and I are probably loving it more than Will, but he’s a good sport.  It’s nice that we’ve found a show that we can all enjoy together.  I’m having fun watching the relationship between Bones and Booth unfold.  We all like trying to solve the mysteries before they solve them for us.  (Note for the uninitiated:  Don’t even think about eating while watching this show.)

Now that the sun is peeking out a bit, you can almost hear the lilacs expanding and bursting open in all their fragrant glory.  I wish I could share the smell with you.

Will has found yard jobs, and he’s got money burning a hole in his pocket.  Pryor to the onslaught of rain, his golf swing had been pummeling his back a bit, but that will sort itself out as he gets out there more.  Oh, and it’s fishing season, so there’s that, too.  Wait, I don’t recall the last fishing season ever actually coming to a close. ;) Also, did you know that teenage boys don’t think anything of fishing in the rain?

Jen continues to make all the students and faculty of Hogwarts out of Sculpey.  Hagrid was a challenge that she met with graceful determination.   She recently made a couple owls, and then started on the three main characters (again) for her cousin.  I wish I had her confidence when it comes to creating.  She sits down with colors of the molding clay and assorted tools and before we know it, she’s ready to bake the next character, even as she can be heard saying, “Geez, I wasn’t sure how I was going to make the hippogriff, but it turned out pretty good.”

The change in the season brings a change in the menu.  All three of us look forward to pork tacos.  The pork is marinating right now.  We’ll fill a flour tortilla with shredded pork, black beans, Romaine lettuce, an excess of cilantro, a generous scoop of sour cream, and a squeeze of lime.  Maybe we’ll even be able to eat on the deck!

School is winding down.  Will and I continue to sweat over his Math book.  When going over his transcripts the other day, I discovered that he has an additional math credit that he doesn’t really need.  (Please don’t tell him.)

Now that the soil is drying out, I can head out to the yard with a cup of coffee and start getting dirt under my nails.  Oh, the therapy in quiet yard work.


I have a $2 mood ring that I found at a roadside tourist shop when the kids were young.  It stopped reading my mood not long after I bought it, either that or I’ve been in the same mood for seven years now.  (Ha! I doubt that. I’ve turned mood swings into an Olympic sport.)  Anyway, I was thinking I ought to be wearing that ring on the third finger of my left hand.  Instead of the rubber band snap to the wrist every time I have a self-defeating thought, I could look at that ring.  It makes me laugh that I like that cheap thing so much.  And while I do know that I’m worth more than a $2 dollar ring that turns my finger green, it also reminds me that I find joy in simple stuff.

Putting that ring on the finger that has long since lost its tan line is symbolic.  It represents me making myself a priority.  That job is mine, and mine alone.

Making myself a priority means creating moments in the day to do what makes my heart full –  reading Harry Potter, going for walks, digging in the garden, watching a show with the kids, connecting with dear friends, cooking food that comforts us, eating too much of Jen’s Lemon Pound Cake, and looking at Will’s Instagram page and being so proud of his creative approach to photography.

This stuff is simple and good.  This stuff sustains us.

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  1. Hey, it’s so cool that you like Bones! It is one of my favorite shows. Which season are you currently watching?

    On good days, I test as an INTJ, so I can really identify with the title character. (And eating while watching Bones has never been a problem for me. :-))

    Since you mentioned lilacs, do you know the Rod McKuen song “And to each season”?

    You are so right about the simple stuff. The older I get, the more I realize that this is what we truly need.

  2. Jul,

    Hi! Jen says we’re on season 2. Okay, true confessions… We three took one of those online quizzes to see which characters we are. Jen and I are Angela. Will is Booth. We’re still laughing. :) Will could eat spaghetti while watching that show.

    Nice to know you are an INTJ. Some of my favorite people are, including Jen.

    I’m leaving the blog to search for the Rod McKuen song.

    Wishing you lots of good and simple stuff.

  3. Hi Jesse,

    Angela is a wonderful character. No surprise that Jen and you are like her.
    INTJ is me on a good day. On a not so good one with less self-confidence, I am an ISTJ. Sticking to the rules, following a routine provides the security I need on those days. I am not particularly sensitive, so I guess it is the strong sense of duty that narcissists use to get to me.

    Hope you found the song. It is a fugue to Pachelbel’s canon in G.
    And to each season, something is special
    lilac red rose or the white willow
    young men of fortune, old men forgotten
    green buds renewing
    the brown leaves dead and gone

    The song also mentions a cat springing on to the window ledge. I hope that is okay.

  4. Jul,

    Geez, it amazes me what I continue to learn from commenters on this blog. Your perspective on the relationship between ISTJ and a narcissist is enlightening. Speculating here: A narcissist loves to call the shots and establish the rules (even though they seldom think rules apply to them). Once they find someone (ISTJ?) who eagerly follows the rules, they have reliable source. Would that be about right?

    The song was beautiful and very moving. No worries, I was already in tears before the part about the cat. ;) Reminders of Nina don’t bother me.

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