This morning and the day before the mulched garlic and winter rye covering the garden were so crystalized it looked like snow.  The chicken's waters are frozen shut and just barely begin to thaw in the short day before the sun sets back down at 4:30pm. The seat of the outhouse shimmers like diamonds, very cold, very unwelcoming diamonds. The sheep each have a circle of frost on the small of their backs when I throw them their morning hay. The car doors are frozen shut. I've been wearing ski gloves for morning chores. Such has been the ferocity of the frost on these early winter mornings.

Its hard for me to grasp the enormity of plane travel. It took the plane five hours to get from SFO to Philly on Tuesday. And then just 52 minutes from Philly to Burlington. It should take longer. I need longer. I can't go from eating fish tacos with my sister in the sand of the Pacific to slugging warm water to the pigs behind the barn in one day. I need weeks to move from one extreme to the other. I should like to take to train-ing across the country. Or better yet riding a bike, or a mule. But, for now, there are planes and I am so grateful that my parents and I are able to swoop across the country to see my sweet sister.

We spent the last week running from ocean to redwoods and back. Following my sister in the life she has so beautifully made for herself in the forested hills an hour south of San Francisco. It wrecks my heart that she has to live so far away. Yet her life there is so gentle and peaceful and filled with such gracious and welcoming people that I can't imagine her anywhere else right now.

So despite the rash manner in which I have been thrust by plane from cold to warm and back to cold again my anxious heart has been calmed to see Fiona living and thriving and loving. That is worth any amount of airplaned hours.


  1. aww, this is where i live! where does your sister live?

  2. I love California! So nice to get away


  3. the pictures really capture the moment. sister time is so charging!

  4. Welcome to California! I hope you enjoyed your visit : )

  5. Blue foam in the outhouse instead of toilet seat. Trust me. I can't promise it will make it luxury to go to the outhouse in the winter, but it helps, it so helps!

  6. very beautiful and such rich colors

  7. What a sweet sentiment, I love the way you talk of your sister and how much her happiness means to you. That is exactly how family should be.

  8. Fabulous pictures! I live in Santa Cruz too, where the redwoods meet the sea :). It is absolute heaven! Love your pictures of my favorite beach in Davenport! Did you find any sea glass treasures? Glad you're home safely :)

  9. What gifts you two sisters are to each other and to us.
    What a fabulous week. Big hugs to you and Nick.

  10. That´s fine, that you and your parents have the chance to take " a short ride" with plane to see your sister.
    For me it is a bit longer to see my real mum...she lives in California (1 hour away from L.A.) .....and I live in Germany....therefore it´s a long ride.. :)
    But anyway...the time we spent together is in our heart.....deep....and forever!
    Nice pictures!
    Greetings from Germany


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