Saturday, March 5, 2016

Unexpected Story: Wine Glasses

Last date in Observatory Park in 2004

In November 2004, Nick and I went on a date in Sydney. It was our last date before the end of our trip. The end of the five months when we met, fell in love, and went on the most incredible adventures. We walked the streets that had become so familiar and stopped in a number of stores to gather items for a picnic. We even stopped in a small gift shop and purchased two beautifully painted wine glasses. Late that afternoon we headed to our favorite park in the city and stayed for hours. We drank wine out of our new glasses, watched the sunset, and talked about what would happen next.

A week later, Nick left Australia. When I returned to my dorm room after saying goodbye, I found a note on my desk. In it, he explained that since we couldn't be in the same place right now, our wine glasses would stay together and we would pass them between us. Since we had planned that I would visit him in Minnesota over the New Year, he would bring the glasses home with him until that time, and so on.

New Year's Eve Party 2005. Australian wine glasses.

Sure enough, on December 31st Nick and I were at party in Minnesota. I was meeting all of his friends and we were drinking from our wine glasses painted with aboriginal art. A few hours and glasses of wine later, my glass was sitting on the kitchen counter when a girl swung her arms out. I watched, as if in slow motion, as my glass shot across the granite and shattered on the floor. Without a thought of composure, I crumpled over the broken shards and cried. I unintentionally made a small scene in front of Nick's friends who did not yet know me. Only a few seconds passed before embarrassment overshadowed my disappointment and I rushed out of the room.

In my absence, Nick's sweet friend, Myles found a tupperware container and swept the pieces into it for me. After I returned to the kitchen, explained myself, reassured everyone that I was fine, and cradled the plastic container- the party resumed.

When I left Minnesota at the end of that week, I did bring the intact wine glass and the tupperware container back to Boston in my suitcase. When I got home, they were packed in a box of fragile items and for years, every move, every apartment, the glass and the tupperware moved with me and then with us.

A few days ago, as I wrote about in this post, I pulled the glass and the tupperware out of the box. I decided that we should start using the one that is not broken and either make something with the broken pieces or finally toss it out.

Last night, we used the glass for the first time in eleven years and right before we went to bed, Nick knocked the glass off a table and it broke into pieces.

I did not crumple. I did not cry. But it wasn't until this morning that I started to laugh about all of this. So now I ask, does anybody have any experience with mosaic?

Both glasses in the tupperware.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Devote Yourself: March Forth

Today is the only day of the year that is a command. I know that because it is also my wonderful friend Erica's birthday. She wrote a guest post here and I wrote about her here. Her birthday on this day makes so much sense. Quotes about being brave and travelling have a tendency to remind me of her. She knows how to move through life and embrace each new experience. It is something I truly admire. Happy birthday dear friend!

What are you doing to march forth in your life?

Nick was working on our taxes today and filed me as an official business. Pretty cool!

Also, the other day my SIL Elise (whose Etsy shop is here) and I submitted an application to sell cold press coffee at the Portsmouth farmer's market. Cross your fingers that Lula Cold Press will debut this summer!

And finally, I have mentioned briefly before that I serve as a volunteer board member for a group called YP4M. It is a junior board for Big Brothers Big Sisters

Because you've probably heard of BBBS but maybe don't know exactly what they do or who they are, I'll share this snippet from their website:

For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18, in communities across the country. We develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people.

And YP4M functions in support of this mission. The biggest way we contribute is to put on one large fundraising event each year- the Stiletto Sprint. It is a 40 yard dash in high heels in the middle of downtown to raise money and awareness for a great cause. We rely on corporate sponsors, race registrations, and general donations to reach our goal. And the money goes a long way to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Hampshire. 

All of this to say that I am excited and so grateful to be working on such wonderful projects!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Space for Creativity: Bring to Life

Yesterday, I was listening to this podcast and I was inspired to go through boxes in my basement. Bins that are labeled "Kerin's Keepsakes", "Kerin's Stuff Fragile", "Kerin Wedding", and "Kerin Photos". I vaguely knew what was in them but not entirely. Between last night and this morning, I picked up each item and made a decision. I narrowed from four overstuffed bins to one. Some things I threw away, some I donated, and some really important items moved from being stashed in a box to actually being displayed in my house. Pretty awesome.

I also found something I wrote. I don't know when I wrote it. My guess is a year or two after college. I used to create things like this as an exercise against writer's block. I showed it to Nick and he said I should put it on my blog. Why not? What strikes me about the piece is my relationship with Creativity. It seems to be doing much better these days. But like anything that close to my heart, I'll always worry.

Bring to Life

Out of practice. I can only hope that the imagination which brought me so far as a child is able to be revived. I hope it is not too late to pull out the paddles and resuscitate. Creativity lies on the operating table: split open and spilling, spreading across the floor, creating a mess. I hover above it and try to recognize my old friend. I wonder how I let it get this far. I press down hard, waiting for a response. Nothing. I look at the screen searching for hope, waiting for a flicker to tell me- "you've still got it." Nothing. I try again.

If it is gone, then what? 

Creativity has been such a dear friend. All of the make-pretend games as a child, the fantasies, the dreams, and most importantly- the stories. When I needed an escape, I merely had to let my fingers fall. A-S-D-F-J-K-L-;. Squint my eyes and lightly move my lips. It was my secret recipe. Stir well and wait for my friend to tip-toe across the screen. I feel a surge of desperation as Creativity codes, right there in front of me. And although I am supposed to be the one in charge, the one controlling the room and the outcome; in this moment I feel helpless. 

What would the obituary read? What for my love of writing and Creativity have I to show? A collection of work- finished and pressed- not quite. 

So I approach the computer like a forgotten friend. I ask forgiveness and I type away. Line by line, I write blurbs of meaningless thought. But the letters are coming and it's more than I could ask for after such an extended break. "I did not forget you", I whisper as Creativity takes a tiny breath, so light and so short I almost miss it. 

I press again and remember so many late nights. A  spark would fill my fingers and I would fight off sleep just to type. The minutes tick by and all my thoughts meld and before I can try to piece them together, they are on the screen- unedited and exposed because that's how they fell. And I leave them just as they are. I used to think that somebody guided my words, that a visitor came to my screen while I slept and made my sentences flow better than I ever could.

I know if and when my sweet Creativity wakes up there will be lots of questions, mainly my reasons for not visiting. I do not have an answer. I guess I needed time for a break. Creativity would understand as long as it knew that I will not completely give up that younger version. The one that sat with words playing on her tongue until the room began getting light. I never want that to not be a part of who I am. I never want to let it go. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Marching: 7 Simple Shares

Playground in February. Pretending it is spring.
A few random things:

1. We recently painted the kitchen, dining room, and hallway. The entire house was a variety of tan and I needed to break it up a little. I am so happy with how it turned out! The kitchen and hallway are this color and the dining room accent wall is this.

After. Don't mind the phone charger and the few items missing from the sideboard.
2. Have you seen Home? It is Emaline's new favorite movie. I feel like I did not hear much about it when it came out. When I look it up, the reviews are mixed but my toddler loves it and so do I! It is funny and sweet with a positive message and a great soundtrack. You can find it on Netflix.

Nick and I went to a concert last weekend.
3. My favorite song from the opening act is this.

4. And my favorite song from the headliner is this.

5. The show was at House of Blues Boston. We have had friends complain about the venue before and we never understood. It turns out that the floor is great and the balcony is awful. If you ever find yourself looking at tickets to a show there, make sure your tickets are for the floor. Do NOT buy tickets for the balcony. Trust me on this.

6. If you are not yet watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, you need to check it out. It is informative, sharp, and seriously funny. It airs Sunday nights on HBO. Nick and I watch on HBOGO through our AppleTV and if you don't have access to that, you can find some of his best segments on YouTube like this, this, and now this.

7. Today starts a new month. If you are looking for some inspiration to start decluttering your house, check out this.