the wind of my soul

This weekend, at one last family beach trip with some of my favorite friends of the south, I looked around at a sand bar that formed islands as far as I could see, I promise it might have been longer than a mile, at pelicans hovering just inches above the thick salty sea, at my children and my dear friends children nestled in close to one another floating and frolicking in tide pools with grins plastered to their faces, and at my own two feet sunk deep into the sand with a rising tide swirling at my hips.  “This place feels like a vacation”, I thought to myself. “Just when you are leaving.” I admitted.  Waiting this long to realize that is too long.  I will never make the same mistake.  I think  back on all my days with my two feet on the ground I realized that they are all just that.

A vacation of sorts.

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I am glad I am alive.


Moving magnifies the lack of permanence in life.  It forces me reflect on how big my boys were exactly one year ago when we went to the beach for a birthday party, or how my friends babies have grown so since we were last at a picnic, or how much I expected of my oldest when we moved here and he was a mere four months older than my youngest currently is.  It makes me feel the difference deep in my bones and wish that I had a better way to hold on.  But we don’t.  It doesn’t work that way.  You have this.  You have here.

Saying goodbye three times in three years is a lot.  It is sad to see tears in your dear friends eyes when you embrace them until you don’t know when, it is sad to sit in the passengers seat and shed them silently so your children don’t worry with a speechless husband at your side knowing not what to do but stare at the road.  But, more important than a fleeting moment of sadness is the idea that I have these souls speckled across the continent with a bit of me stored somewhere inside them.  And that I had the chance to have all these wonderful memories filed away in me.

IMG_2101 IMG_2120 IMG_2111 Motherhood forms a different type of friendship all together.  The camaraderie and understanding is uncanny to any other stage in my life so far.  We can commiserate and congratulate all at once all with the best intentions and with the eye of a common soul.  These children of ours, they give us so much to think about.  So much to search for and strive for.  So much to smile at.

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I am so grateful for the days we have had here.  Things became quite real to me last night, when handing over some houseplants.  This step of the process always makes the whole thing come to life.  Pictures are stacked in a corner, the walls are bare.  Knick knacks are safely tucked away and the rest awaits for the movers expertise.  Though a constant weight of sadness tugs at my heartstrings, and behind that is a layer of fear, I am ready for the adventure that lies ahead.


I listen to the wind, to the wind of my soul.  Where I will end up i think only god really knows.  -Cat Stevens

Thank you Georgia.  You have been good to me.

Georgia, I apologize.


Dear Georgia,

I realize home is where your heart is, and many hearts are in fact in your thick humid air, but mine? It is here on the salty shore of new england.  It never left.  No matter the eleven states I have resided in over the last ten years.  No matter the memories that are dear in my mind of all those lovely souls I have had the pleasure of meeting.  For a moment I thought perhaps it was the ocean I longed for, but you too possess the beautiful deep blue.  Than there was a time I just knew it was my family I needed.  While i do miss them so, it is much more than that.  For this morning, sitting next to a quiet open window with the dark morning sky blowing this curtain back and forth I can admit defeat.  It is just this place I miss with all my being.  There is nothing more you could do to convince me otherwise.

Here I can roll in the soft sweet grass.  No fears of your flesh-eating insects.  Here I can hear the gentle sounds of the night.  Here I can smell the salt.  Here I can remember that it takes a village to raise a family.  Here I can wear long pants in July occasionally.  And love it.  Nights are cool.  Life goes on minus the drone of the air conditioning system.  Here I take a dip in the sea on a moments notice if my heart so desires.  This place where my mothers gardens climb lattices so tall and bloom flowers so delicate and so intricate it takes your breath away.  This place where the seasons are so real and so ingrained in your body it takes only one days weather for you to know the change is imminent.  This is where I my heart is planted.  This is where I plead with the universe to let me be.  Let me show my boys and the love of my life why I know; I know so truly with every ounce of blood in my body that this is where we are meant to be.

Oh Georgia, you have your highpoint.  I promise, I do appreciate you.  I love your birds.  What is unusual here is par for the course in you.  I love your intensity.  The sounds are loud and high-pitched.  The marshlands vast and desolate but so full of life.  Your oceans are warm.  Your sea life is abundant.  I love the way everybody is a hugger, and a waver.  But, Georgia?  I must tell you the truth.  It is not just you.   You are not the only place where people are on the whole friendly.  Those lies people say about those states up north, about people being cold and quick and keeping to themselves is not truth.  Flying into my little state I saw every single person holding onto their window, smiling looking down at “their” house.  People excitedly speak to one another about where they from or this island here or that pond their.  The joy is contagious.

I promise I will come back Georgia.  But mark my words, there will be a day where we will part ways as well.  While your beauty is staggering you cannot compete.  I have made up my mind.

Yours truly,

The Yankee

on blueberry hill

What a way to welcome in the summer… Happy solstice!  The south finds blueberry season so much earlier than I am use to.  But I am certainly not complaining, it was just right for the day.  My boys were thrilled at every turn.  Christmas tree farm (holidays are exciting even on the first day of summer), golf cart rides, friends to frolic with, and of course, blueberries to devour.  So. Many. Blueberries.  Can’t say I am not paying for my lenience on the matter now.

The folks running the joint were extraordinary.  They gave me the low down on the history of their business endeavours.  People’s bravery never ceases to amaze me.  After living in their double wide, planting each blueberry tree and christmas tree as tiny seedlings for thirteen years out in middle of not too much Georgia, they were able to build a beautiful home on their land.  Mrs. Brewer refered to it as their “last house” so they wanted it to be just so.  And let me tell you, it was glorious.  The land around them was impossibly green and alive.  Quiet as a clam.  Still as the hot summer day it was.

They toured us around on their golf cart, letting Rowan drive who was absolutely beside himself, scoping out the best spot for us to pick.  Full of remedies, knowledge, and handy work were these two.  Between their ingenious hands free blueberry picking belt…

and remedies for spoiled fruit  (one part vinegar to ten parts water rinse) I was soaking up their every word.  Well every word that my two would allow me to that is.  Either way, I felt that southern hospitality sparkle on my skin.  This couple was just plain old kind.  The type of people you want to meet again.

We picked until there was no more room in our buckets.  I was reminded of this book many times as Miles peeked into my pail to get a taste for what was Mama had picked.  Of course, I swatted his hand away!  I had plans for my berries.  All the while Rowan was sitting cozy ravaging berry after berry.  Blueberry bushes.  Natures first babysitter.

When deciding the fate of those juicy morsels I could not think past last years blueberry peach jam.  But, this year I upping it a notch.  Drumroll….. Vanilla blueberry peach jam.  Yes sir.  This one is going to go down in the books.

First peel.  Immerse in hot water for about 5-7 seconds and dunk into an ice bath for a few minutes.  The skin will essentially just come off with very little effort.

Next, slice and dice.  I choose the coarse chop.  Some prefer the thin slice.  While some opt for the all out puree.

Add one tablespoon lemon juice per 4 cups of fruit.

Pour in ungodly amounts of sugar.  I would say 3/4 cup to about 3 cups of fruit.  I know.  I know.  Canning is precise.  But, the truth is I am not a direction follower.  Nor am I really much of a measurer.  (How can I possibly be a baker??)  Anyways, peaches are full of natural pectin.  So, in my experience, this jam is one you can estimate a bit.

Scrape a few vanilla beans in and let macerate overnight…..  More on canning adventures when I am done.