I usually lay out my outfits at night. That way, at 5:00 in the morning when I’m trying to get dressed in the dark I can throw on whatever I set on the floor and hope that its all on straight (the same can’t be said for my daughter, it’s 5:47pm and I just realized she’s been wearing her pants backwards all day, eeke!) Last night I had a tough time and by tough time I mean I stood in my closet, in my jammies, and stared at my clothes for 20 minutes. This is what it amounts to: I have 3 denim shirts, 28 yoga pants, and a bunch of stuff. It’s bad.
I can remember the night I met my husband, I was wearing red Seychelle high heels, black jeans, a black sweater and a long gold necklace. I had a lot of money (because I was 21 and had hardly any bills) and actually liked to shop, so I had a lot of clothes. I actually woke up in the morning and turned on a light when I got dressed. Things were different.
The big dilemma in the closet last night stemmed from the fact that I was going into the city today. My boss and I were attending a workshop in Pioneer Square with some other businesswomen and I felt the need to wear something that wasn’t bought for the sole purpose that I could spill coffee all over it and get the stains out (I’m a barista).
After lots of minutes and lots of sighs I decided on the only new shirt I have (that someone else bought for me because I don’t shop) and a pair of jeans. The outfit turned out fine, even though I didn’t have a minute to finish my makeup or straighten my hair this morning, and the workshop was great. The only problem was that I spent the whole morning wishing I had worn my yoga pants, which reminded me of what my new “friend”, Tan, taught me.
You see, I recently watched the whole new season of Queer Eye on Netflix. Seriously, I watched the whole thing in 2 days. And though I’m not a straight man in dire need of a makeover, I did learn a few things. Tan, they guy in charge of fashion, kept having to have talks with their “project” guy about how important it is to take care of yourself for your spouse. He’d say things like, “You should be dressing nice and taking care of yourself for your partner.” Or, “It’s a way to say you value yourself and take pride in yourself.”
I’m not kidding you, I was watching Tan go on and on about the importance of looking good for your partner, while I sat in my jammies under the heat blanket Danny got me for Christmas, no makeup, hair about as poufy as it was in 8th grade and holding chickens in my lap when Danny got home. I sort of had an epiphany moment, one of those times where you see your life like its a sitcom and your cute husband walks in the door and there’s his wife watching Netflix under a heat blanket with chickens all around her.
And you know what, here’s the coolest part, I married someone that liked the girl in the red high heels and black sweater but loves the girl that wants to be a farmer and is raising chickens in the front bedroom. And, trust me, you can value yourself in coffee stained shirts too. Just sayin’.
So here’s my review, I loved Queer Eye, I hated Tan’s advice, and I learned that love really is blind. It can’t even see chickens.
A few years ago, while we were house hunting, our realtor sent Danny and I an email in the middle of the day with a few houses she thought we might want to check out. I texted her back that I like the third one. “I really think you guys should see the second one too,” she said, “It needs a lot of work but it has the nicest lot, the backyard has been totally landscaped.”
I looked at the picture again, “I think the yard looks kind of weird. It’s too green.”
We ended up going anyways, our realtor expertly talked me into checking it out, and Danny liked the way it looked. She was completely right too, it did need a lot of work (think pink and blue kitchen with loads of laminate wood paneling on every wall) BUT the yard was amazing. The lawn was big and green and perfectly manicured and……..it was made of AstroTurf.
Danny and I were moving out of a tiny house on a large lot with a backyard that was really just a field of dandelions we couldn’t cut fast enough. I actually have a real memory of being pregnant, trying to mow the overgrown lawn and then breaking down crying and laying on top of the hot tub cover. Not to fill a stereotype or anything but I do think that I then ate some chocolate, cried some more, and continued on. The point is that at this point in life, an AstroTurf lawn seemed like a dream come true.
Flash forward and here we are today, 3 years later, and I’m building a chicken coop for my growing flock at the bottom of our very green, fake lawn. My sister, Nicole, and I spent probably 4 hours today working on the coop. We laid down the laminate floor, put in quarter round, built the nesting box platform, made roost bars and started on the “poop tray” (that’s a real thing that will be real handy in just a few months). I am tired, I am sore, and really, the worst part is that I can’t even really show you guys a picture because all it really looks like is an empty shed with a few sticks in the corner and a box with some other boxes on top of it. I looked in it tonight and thought, “How could this possibly have taken us 4 hours?”
And then I sort of laughed/snorted to myself and thought about why I am building a chicken coop in the first place which led me back to why I bought chickens which led me back to thinking about my really, really green yard and then to writing this blog post. Here it is, it all boils down to this. I’ve decided……to be happy, right where I’m at, right now. And to do that, to appreciate where I am right now, I have to stop wanting to be somewhere else.
I look up homes for sale in the country all the time. I find a house that would be perfect, send the listing to my husband, and even sometimes drive for miles and miles just to see the place. Because I think it’s my dream to live out there. But the thing is, I know its not. It wouldn’t really be a dream come true because my sisters wouldn’t be a mile from me on either side. I mentioned this in my last post, but just like I made my family promise to never let me get a tattoo, I also made Danny promise to never let me move more than 5 minutes from my family. Its one of those things you just know about yourself. Just like how I know that in my dreams I live in the Snohomish valley with mountain views and horses and gardens and fresh air and quiet. And that quiet, fresh air would be oh so nice, for about 15 minutes, and then I would start to wonder what my mom was making for dinner or if my sisters wanted to go for a walk and I would be sad because I was out in the quiet country with my horses and mountain views and not here, where I live right now.
So here is what I’ve decided, I’m going to stop looking for houses somewhere else that I’ll never buy. I’m going to bring my dreams home, to this home, and have a little farm here. I’m going to plant flowers and grow things with my girl. I’m going to appreciate what I have and know that it isn’t perfect, but it’s real. I’m going to know that the grass is not always greener elsewhere, sometimes what we see as someone else’s really green grass is just astroturf. So don’t ever look at my yard and think it’s perfect. We’ve all got our problems, I’m sitting her with a sick girl laying on me and a Christmas tree on the side of my hosue that I can’t seem to put 4 minutes together to cut into pieces and put in the yard waste.
Instead of yearn for more, I’m going to sit on my half finished back deck and look at my AstroTurf yard, which now has loads of moss growing up through it and think about what my mom told me today. As I was walking her down through the grass to show her the coop progress, she commented on how the moss and weeds actually made my turf yard look “more real”. I then thanked her for finding the silver lining to absolutely every situation in life. I’m going to keep her words in mind as I work on bringing my homesteading dreams to this little house on the shoreline.
I don’t make decisions rashly. I just don’t. It’s a learned behavior. Once, back in 2010 I went on a trip with a friend to Savannah. The first day we were there we decided to get our noses pierced. Everything was fine for three weeks until I discovered a little bump forming on my nose. I called up my husband in a panic, “Danny, I can’t have a bump on my nooooooooosssssee!” “Calm down,” he told me. This coming from a man with two arms full of tattoos and a list of past piercings that beat out my three. “Whatever you do, don’t take it out,” he said, “it could get more infected. Just leave it.”
I yanked it out as fast as I could.
And then, I made everyone in my life promise me to never let me get a tattoo, because you can’t yank them off and I can’t do permanent.
This is just one of many experiences that have led me to realize that whenever I make quick decisions, I usually regret them. I used to make a lot of quick decisions, and then I learned to wait, and to really think things out. I think that is maybe part of adulthood, and maybe, just maybe, I’ve taken it too far.
I’ve wanted chickens for about the last 8 years. Since about 2010 (the year of the nose piercing incident) and have thought about it every spring since. Actually, I’ve wanted chickens a lot longer than that, but I have seriously thought about it every year for the last several years. I go to the Bothell Feed Store, look at the chickens, price out what I would need to get and then…..think about it. (I realize it’s weird that I hang out at the feed store which is several towns away because I live in a Seattle suburb buuuuuut I’m pretty sure that I should have been a pioneer/farmer so I’m really just living out my “authentic life”, I just know Oprah would approve)
Well, about 4 weeks ago on a Friday, my daughter and I went out to Evergreen Speedway to watch my husband drive his race car in a drift school (think The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) and as we entered the fairgrounds we passed the Monroe Feed Co-op. Isla and I drove by a sign that read “We have baby chicks in!” It was 30 degrees out and Isla and I were out in Monroe all day so we spent some of the time walking in the freezing wind to the Co-op and looking at the baby chicks. And then, I spent the rest of the weekend talking myself out of getting them.
On Tuesday, I went to work and decided I couldn’t do it any longer. I had a whole moment of self talk where I hashed out how I can’t live on a farm because I can’t move more than 3 miles from my family because I love them so freakin’ much and so I have to make my little backyard a farm. Some way or another. And chickens were a good place to start.
I picked up my girl and we drove the half hour out to Monroe to pick out our new little chicks. I couldn’t tell anyone because it had already taken me 8 years to talk myself into action and I couldn’t risk anyone talking me out of it. To my surprise, there weren’t that many chicks left (apparently people line up on Friday mornings to get their chicks first and so the majority of them were long gone). We chose 3, an Anacona, a Golden Comet and a Black Jersey Giant, and picked out all the fun stuff we needed to go with them. I think for the normal girl it would be like clothes shopping, but for this aspiring farmer, little chicken feeders and brood lights were the shopping highlight of my year.
On the way home I kept looking at my girl in the back seat. I have never seen a happier 5 year old. She held that cardboard box with her chicks and smiled from ear to ear. And it hasn’t changed since. Except we went back that Friday and picked out 3 more chicks (a Silkie, a Barred Rock and a Light Brown Brahma).
So, here we are, 3 1/2 weeks into this journey with 6 little chicks that are fastly approaching their awkward teenage years. We have Lily, Marigold, Bluebell, Rosie, Sunny and Brownie. I’ve started building their coop (which is another blog post all together) and watching my little farmer girl pick up those chickens with such confidence and let them climb all over her is the sweetest of sights. The best part is, I haven’t even had the urge to “yank” the chickens out of my house.
The other morning, Isla and I drove to Fred Meyer’s to get coffee and donuts. This is our family’s Sunday ritual, except usually it’s Danny and Isla. Danny was working on my Nissan that weekend so when I said I would drive, I knew I would have to take his car. Me and his car have a history, I’ll tell you about it in a minute.
I got Isla all buckled in, turned it on (it sounds a little like King Kong tearing through a city…but louder) and then started to back up when Isla shouted (over the sound of the exhaust) from the backseat, “Mom! Mom! When you get out on the road you have to really let it go! Let it go and drive fast, Mom!” She’s four. I’m scared.
But the thing is, I can’t let her think that only dads know how to drive fast, so we backed out, I put it in 1st gear and floored it. Danny asked me when we got back why I was tearing out of here so fast, he can hear the car from bed. I can also hear him coming home from work every night when he is two blocks away. That’s how I know to put dinner on the table.
So, now that my baby knows her mom can “really let it go,” I can safely go back to hauling around 16 kids in my truck, wishing it was a minivan, and still have some cred. The thing is though, every once in a while I end up driving Danny’s car. It’s a mustang. It’s red. It about ½ inch off the ground. Basically it’s a matchbox car.
One of the very first times I ever drove it was about 8 months ago. Danny must have been working on my truck because that’s usually the only time I drive it. I know it was a Saturday and I was going to work because I picked up my friend and co-worker Sarah on the way. By the time I had gotten to her house I had sort of forgotten I was in Barbie Ken’s car. I saw her across the street and she squinted at the red mustang that was roaring up to her, before she realized it was me and started cracking up. I pulled up, she hopped in and we.couldn’t.stop. I almost peed my pants laughing so hard at the two of us (one who doesn’t drive at all and the other that drives a 17 year old truck), at 6:30am, cruising through small town Edmonds in a red hot mustang.
We went to work, got busy, and I forgot again, until it was time to go home. We walked out to the car and did the weird sort-of-fall-into-the-seat thing you have to do in a car that is lowered to the floor. I had parked near the entrance of our work and our last two customers we had served were just leaving the shop. It was a guy about our age and his wife. We were still laughing when I put in the clutch and started the engine. The man, who was about 10 feet in front of us just stepping off the curb, jumped, squinted in the front window, saw it was us and yelled, “Holy Sh*t!”
I leaned out the window, “Sorry, it’s my husband’s car!”
I’m pretty sure they have a whole new idea of who Sarah and I are. And it’s totally inaccurate. But maybe, just maybe, they’ll think like my four-year-old and know that we can really “let it go”. Not a bad thing.
I limped/ran along and thought, “I just want this to be over. I just want this to be over. I just want this to be over.” When running, they talk about having a mantra. Something like, “You are a warrior.” Or, “She believed she could, so she did.” I spent the late hours of last night, the night before my first ever marathon, looking on Pinterest searching for what my mantra would be. I saw 84 different options but never really settled on one, thinking that I would use them all. Here’s the truth, the only mantra I repeated over and over and over was, “I just want this to be over.”
Somewhere in the second half of the race I remembered the conversation that I had with Danny and my mom last night and laughed, actually laughed out loud at myself. My mom was reminding me for the millionth time that 26.2 miles was far, really, really far and that she didn’t want me to hurt myself. She worries about my poor, blistered feet (that these days seem to always be blistered), she worries about my knees and she worries about why I would do something that causes intentional suffering. I looked at my sweet mom and told her that I had read a quote from a runner that I like, Tommy Rivs, and he talked about how when you run long distances there is undoubtedly going to be agony. That you need to accept it and roll around in it. “I’m going to roll around in the agony, mom.” I said to her.
She looked at Danny, Danny looked at her, and I knew they were thinking 2 things: Laura has totally lost it & it is SO TOTALLY Laura to say something like that.
For my part, I both love and hate that I am the person who would say things like that and totally believe it. Alas, it is who I am. So that was my plan for today, to run, be in agony, roll around in the agony and then hopefully come in under 4 hours.
Here’s how it really went. I woke up at 3:30am this morning, watched part of a Hallmark movie, then at 4:30 got dressed and left the house 15 minutes later. I arrived up at Hyak at 5:45 and checked in. It was freezing and I spent most of the next hour just walking around trying to stay warm. The race finally started at 7am and, although I haven’t run for the last 3 weeks due to injury, I felt good. I ran the first 5 miles just as planned, at about 9 minutes a mile. After 5 miles we were handed flashlights before entering the Snoqualmie tunnel. For 2.5 miles we ran in the pitch black, with only little mini flashlights to guide us. It was completely disorienting and I’m pretty sure I actually ran 3 miles because I was zigzagging all over the place, unable to run straight.
The next 11 miles went fine, minus the tiny rocks that were constantly finding their way into my shoe (I just left them because there was no point in taking them out, I should have had gaiters on). Mile 18 came and went and I was starting to hurt but still holding my pace. Ok honestly, I had hurt for a while but I was in the “rolling in it” phase and just trying to keep going. This is the point where I was telling myself, “I just want it to be over. I’m ready for this to be over. Can this please be over?”
I waffled back and forth between caring if I finished under 4 hours and just wanting to finish. Then somewhere in the 20th mile my knee konked out. I walked for a little bit and then tried to run. The pain was bad but I was able to limp along at a slower pace for a while. Then I walked some more. I thought about how much this sucked and how ridiculous this whole thing was and then I remembered a customer telling me to “enjoy it and have fun.” She told me that I had a little girl at home that I needed energy for and she was totally right. So this is what I did. I walked for a few minutes in the sunshine and then dumped out the rest of the gummy bears I had, a huge handful, and ate them all. I thought about how much I loved gummy bears and for a glimmer of a moment this thought crossed my mind, “This is fun.”
I still had 6ish miles to go and had an hour to do it if I wanted to finish under 4 hours. I tried to run, my knee was killing me and there were moments when I actually couldn’t run, so I walked some too. Then I would run 100 yards, and then walk. I was disappointed, and so, so tired and honestly, can I say it again, I just wanted it to be over.
Finally, it was. I ran in at 4 hours and 12 minutes. I turned around and saw my dad, who had surprised me and come to watch and I limped over to him. He hugged me, I smelled horrible, I was soaked (it POURED the last 50 minutes of the race) and waddled in my soggy shoes full of mini pebbles to have my picture taken and then I ate a grilled cheese sandwich and potato chips.
My dad drove me back to my car and told me how proud he was of me, I texted my mom and husband and sisters a picture of my horribly disgusting feet and then drove home, where I have laid on the couch all day with my feet elevated and icy hot on my swollen knee.
So yeah, I rolled around in that agony for a while and this is what I found out……that it is agony. Bottom line, I’m glad I did it, I love running and I wanted to check this off my list , but mark my words…NEVER AGAIN.
Breaking news: moms are tired. I mean really, really tired. I don’t care if you’re a stay-at-home mom, or a working mom, or a step-mom or a mom of a poodle. We’re all tired. The dads are too, I’m sure, but I’ve never been a dad, so I’m just going to speak for all the moms out there and say it, “Dangit (that’s the word I use when I’m really serious), I’m exhausted.”
But, something special happened this week. And to let you know just how truly special it is, I have to take you all the way back to the beginning of my mom life….4 ½ years ago. My girl does not take naps. She hardly ever has, and I mean even when she was an infant. I could pretty much say never and it wouldn’t be that far from the truth. I remember wondering why my little baby woudn’t sleep…why wouldn’t she sleep?! I talked to friends in my first year of motherhood and they would tell me how their babies would take regular, scheduled naps, every single day, not just when they got lucky. We would be hanging out and we would have to arrange it around their kid’s nap schedules, because they actually had them. It made me want to punch them (the moms, not the kids). Not really, but I was totally jealous.
And then, one day when Isla was probably about 6 months old, I went to get her from my sisters who were watching her while I worked. They told me when I got there that I should go lay down and take a nap. That they would keep watching her for me. I teared up with gratitude and then went to the bedroom to lay down. I remember laying on top of the covers with my head in the softest, most comfortable pillow and then……..hearing the faint sounds of my sisters’ voices. They were out in the living room, whispering so so that they wouldn’t bother me. I strained harder to hear what they were talking about. Ugh, if only they would talk a little bit louder. I laid there for probably 4 minutes, I tried closing my eyes, I tried counting sheep or horses, and then I finally got up and went into the living room.
“I totally get it,” I said, “I totally get what Isla feels like. Why she fights it so hard.”
“What are you doing?” they asked me.
“I feel like I’m missing out,” I whined and then jumped onto the couch in-between them.
Do you guys remember that episode of Growing Pains where Chrissy won’t go to bed because she’s pretty sure that her whole family is partying with cheeto’s and clowns and balloons in the living room while she’s supposed to be upstairs sleeping? It was just like that. I know Isla feels that way now too, and I’m pretty sure that’s how it’s always been for her. And I can’t really argue……or complain……because I get it.
Either way though, I’m still tired. But here’s where the special thing that has happened to me comes into play. You see, I live in the Seattle area, where most of the time it rains, or if not, it’s overcast and cloudy and cold. But for about 2 months out of the year, we’ll have days where it is be-A-U-tiful. Days when the sun is out, we are surrounded by mountain ranges that feel like they are looming over us in the most glorious of ways and our feet are literally freezing as we wade in the Puget Sound (but we go for the swim anyways). And, if we’re really lucky during those two months, we might even have a couple of nice days strung together. Like yesterday and today.
This is where the magic happens. Yesterday, after work, I watched Isla and her friend play at the park for a couple of hours. They ran into the library for a few minutes but were mostly out in the sun, running, skipping (because according to Isla, that’s what she does when she’s happy), swinging and climbing on things. Then, when we left to drive home, this happened…………………..
Then today, after work, Isla asked to go to the beach. “You know mom, the water beach?” she asked.
“Which water beach, honey?”
“The one where we had the carrots and hummus and an ice cream picnic?”
“Oh yeah,” I knew exactly what she meant because she was totally right in the details. We had gone down to the Edmonds beach and I had brought carrots and hummus and a root beer (because, you know, I’m all about balance) and then we had gotten ice cream cones (because I wanted to be extra balanced that day). So we hopped in the car, brought a bucket and a shovel and off we went to the beach for a couple of hours. And you know what? This is what happened on the car ride home…….
I swear, that is the sweeeeeetest face in the world for a tired mom. Because if her head is back and her mouth is open, I know she’ll even stay asleep when I carry her inside, which means, that I can take a nap too. Because the only other person in this house is sleeping, so I won’t miss out on a thing.
❤ A sand covered, sun loving girl
P.S. Danny says that Isla looks just exactly like me when she’s sleeping. She’s cute asleep like that, right? Totally, right? Sleeping with your mouth open is adorable, right? Please say yes.
Danny asked me the other day if Isla and I wanted to go down to Olympia with him on Monday. I, being who I am, got super excited and acted like we were going on vacation. Because I LOVE ROADTRIPS. Let me say it again, I love road trips. Danny, knows this better than anyone. If you put me in a car and act like we’re going somewhere, anywhere, I get excited. I’ll grab an iced coffee and a bag of Sun chips and be in Heaven. Danny, my handy husband who works on cars, buys a lot of car parts off of Craigslist and he purposefully tries to get parts that are about an hour away. If its anywhere up north, or even better, east, he knows he can take me along and I will think he is the best husband in the world with the most creative date ideas (like picking up a set of spare tires in Lynden). I will sit in the passenger seat of his car with stars in my eyes happily munching on Sun chips for two hours and he doesn’t have to spend a dime, or buy me a dozen roses or a diamond ring…..because he knows his lady, and all she wants is a road trip.
So, when he told me he had booked an appointment with his tattoo guy (who recently moved to Olympia) to get some work done, Isla and I packed up our stuff to come along so that we could hang out in the Capitol city and enjoy the sunshine. We headed out yesterday as soon as I got off work. I had my iced coffee in hand, Danny was driving and sweet Isla girl was all buckled up in the back seat next to her 4 stuffed animals and the baby stroller she had to bring to push her animals around in. We made it through most of Seattle, listening to music, staring out the window and talking about how we used to make this drive all the time.
Which we did. Well, Danny did. I was supposed to. Here enters the story of how I moved to Olympia, worked at Starbucks, quit and moved home, all in 72 hours.
Danny and I had been dating for about 6 months when he found out he could transfer from the community college he was attending to Evergreen State, a college an hour south of where we lived. Straight from the college advisor’s office we went to the Lake Washington waterfront, where I started crying, because I was 21 and the love of my life was moving away. Also, I was 21. He told me that, of course I was coming with him, or at least he wanted me to. Then I cried some more because I loved him and he loved me and also, did I mention I was 21? (I need you to give me some slack here).
A few months later we were making all of our big plans. My mom and I drove down to Olympia to check out apartments. Danny applied for classes and bought tie-die t-shirts that said “Evergreen” across the front. When my dad and I drove down a week before we moved in to check out the apartment and drop a few things off, I set down a box on the carpet and could actually see a gaggle of fleas jump up on to my arms. I screamed, almost threw up, and ran for my life. So, we had the place flea bombed. And then we packed up our U-Haul and moved.
I had gotten a job at Starbucks, and was going to start there the next day. This was the second disaster (the first being the fleas). I had worked in coffee for 5 years at this point, I felt pretty confident that I knew what I was doing but I had never worked at a Starbucks and expected it to be a little different. I specifically remember going in on my first day and having to watch a SUPER LONG video about the cleaning products that they used and in what order they were supposed to be used and when and how and how much to use and how to scrub a drain and then to wash and rinse and repeat. I sat in the back of the Starbucks, in a little office, staring at the computer and wondering what I had gotten myself into.
Here is what I know about myself now, but I didn’t know then. I don’t like rules. Especially a lot of rules that don’t really make sense to me (do you know they have different measuring cups for their ice cubes?!) The thing is, I’m going to follow the rules anyways, I just don’t want to be told to follow them. It’s a lot like telling a kid to color inside of the lines. It annoys me when you tell me to color inside the lines, and the ridiculous thing about it all is that I would NEVER color outside the lines on my own. I’m a total rule follower. know, I know, its immature and a character flaw and I’m working on it. Just don’t tell me I should work on it.
Anyways, I sat and watched this video with another new hire and then we worked out front for a couple of hours. The next day when I came back (day #2) the other new hire had quit. Maybe she had a problem with rules too? I don’t know, but I had to work out front and try to learn a million different Frappuccino recipes. It was horrible. I quit that night. I just couldn’t take it another day. And I missed my mom. And my dad. And my sisters. And it was Sunday (we had moved in on Friday) and I wanted to go home. Once again, let me remind you I was only 21?
My cute boyfriend who I loved to death, said he understood and I took off for home. I said I would come on the weekends and he would come up when he had days off during the week. And that’s how we rolled for the next year. Sort of in two places at once.
All of these things I was thinking about yesterday on our drive down, and I was thinking about how far we had come. How we had this cute, amazing, beautiful little baby in the back seat…….and then she started throwing up. And throwing up. And throwing up. I quickly grabbed my empty coffee cup and held it under her chin. After the cup had filled to the brim with Top Ramen noodles, I crawled in the back seat and smoothed her hair back with my fingers and cuddled her. I taught her the best road trip remedy, how you can stick your fingers out the window and it will make you feel better. She smiled at me, with little tears in her eyes and wiggled those little fingers in the breeze.
When we made it to Olympia, we dropped Danny off at the Tattoo shop and my girl and I hit up park #1 because there is nothing like fresh air to cure some car sickness. We played for a while, had lunch and a Pepsi and we gawked at the insane beauty of the Olympic Mountains and how they look different from down south. We drove to park #2, got my girl a smoothie and played near the lake. Then we drove to park #3 and swung and ran and climbed and hiked down to the beach where we took off our shoes and waded out into the Puget Sound. It was amazing, it was beautiful and it was so much better than the last time I was there. (Only sand fleas this time)
We picked up Danny about 3 hours later, with sunburnt shoulders (me) and sticky coconut smoothie lips (Isla), and headed back north, to home. I was showing Danny some of the photos I took of Isla and talking about how much fun we had had. “Olympia is such a funny place,” I said, “It’s like, it’s kind of, I don’t know, It’s…”
“Like you can’t put your finger on it?” He finished my thoughts exactly.
“Yeah, it’s kind of weird. We had so much fun but I’m not sure I could ever live there.”
“No Laura,” he quickly interrupted, “we already know that you could never live there.” And then he turned to me, with the sweetest smile on his face because he loves me and he understood, I was only 21.