nyc in 72 hours

there is nothing i can say about nyc that would even begin to express the vibrancy of the city. so here is a quick 72 hour rundown. links and all.

arrive at jfk airport at 8:00 pm Thursday evening. take a taxi into manhattan. get dropped off in the west village at the jane. our hotel for the next 3 nights. it is nestled right along the Hudson river. survivors of the Titanic stayed here. it is designed to be like a ship, each room it's own little cabin.

weary from traveling, we decide to order room service. my favorite is matt's response when i suggest it....."so you just call, and then you order.....and then they bring it to your room?" uh, yeah, that's room service. but not just any room service, cafe gitane room service. unreal. maybe my best meal ever. then we slipped into bed for the night. only the club downstairs was thumping till dawn. hmmmmm may need to rethink our room choice.

friday morning begins with a coffee and croissants at a little no name cafe. fueled up, we are ready for my pilgrimage to perry street past carrie bradshaw's apt. no, i did not make a video like this crazy woman (some fans are so nuts). but hell yeah i took a picture. 20 blocks later, we walk through greenwich village, through washington square, past at least a dozen starbucks, then into soho for some window shopping. p.s. we saw a movie being filmed, the madeoff son killed himself that day and another murder happened in a soho loft. all in a day in soho. ate malaysian. had another coffee. walked our tired butts back to the west village to get ready for our evening out on the town.

after a quick "freshen up" we walk another several blocks to the metro stop. one seriously insane rush hour ride in the subway train and we are transported to the upper west side. we enter an alternative universe called lincoln center to see the nyc ballet and george ballanchine's rendition of the nutcracker. incredible. once in a lifetime. tired but floating we make our way back to the jane. did we mention the club right below us? by midnight when we arrived back at the jane, the club was just getting started. a soak in a luxuriously deep marble tub makes me forget about the noise. at least while the water is running. must change rooms.

saturday morning is 50 and sunny! a walk on the amazing highline. a fully relandscaped and redesigned use of an old elevated railway line. the highline leads right into the meatpacking district and chelsea, which of course is the perfect place to brunch. we seek out the park and are NOT disappointed. wow. but $6 for an orange juice, that's reasonable. then i ordered the mimosa for $10. after that, back to the highline for a free outdoor christmas concert by the nyc gay men's chorus. we sang our hearts out! gives new meaning to "don we now our gay apparel."

fast forward 1 hour. still walking, we stubble across billy's bakery and have the most amazing cupcakes. the buttercream frosting must have been at least and inch and a half tall. another subway ride finds us in midtown and in a completely different world. we came to see the rockefeller center and the tree. but what were we thinking?! 5th avenue around christmas is madness. we came, we saw, we got the hell out of there. insanity. so we take refuge in central park. it is dusk and we grab a pretzel to share, glad also to also share a disdain for crowds. the park is beautiful at dusk. matt takes the longest pee ever behind an old stone wall in central park (hilarious video footage, ask me i'll show you sometime). we see a woman get proposed to in front of the famous fountain. we walk past the pond, the boat house, and through the ramble. we walk from the east side to the west side and find ourselves once again back at the jane ready to collapse after 50 plus blocks of walking. p.s. we had remembered to switch rooms earlier that day. but no joke, the room was 90 degrees. we had to the turn the air conditioner on! at least that drowned out the noise of the hudson parkway below.

sunday morning brings the rain. the blizzard in mn gave way to heavy rains in manhattan. we dash to the drugstore (with all our belongings in our backpacks) to pick up an umbrella. then grab bagels to go. we each buy 2, saving the second for later in the day. later came 5 minutes after we finished the first one. those are some damn good bagels. eating bagels on a subway heading uptown makes you feel very new york. unfortunately i don't think we look very new york at all. we plan to spend the day at the museum of modern art and the guggenheim. moma is amazing. several hours still wasn't enough to really take it all in. i know it's cliche by i LOVE monet. sitting in front of the waterlillies brought tears to my eyes. while i dried my eyes, miraculously the rains stopped. again, with backpacks strapped, we walked 30 blocks through central park to the upper east side and into the guggenheim. another amazing exhibit. still, i sometimes find myself thinking......"i don't get it." call me simple, but pastel landscapes really do it for me. speaking of landscapes, it is dark when we emerge from the amazing wright spiral and so we begin again to walk.

by this time, my swollen belly and streched pelvis have begun to shout: dare i say it? "stop all this f$%#ing walking and hail a cab already" and so we do. we hail a $50 cab back to jfk. only to find our flight has been delayed. damn, if only we'd had him drop us at the brooklyn bridge then we would have seen it all.....

but i guess there is only so much you can do in 72 hours.



the pumpkin pie is baking and i forget for a moment about reality. it smells good, pure, wholesome. the pumpkin we grew together this summer out on the boulevard. the pumpkins that made people stop, look. we took such delight in watching them out our picture-perfect window. we giggled as they stood to contemplate the orange orbs. had they never seen a pumpkin before? then usually their dog took a big crap or dug up some of my plants. damn dogs. anyway, where was i? oh yes, the pie.

it smells amazing. what if you knew you would not live to eat another pumpkin pie from scratch? i know that her time isn't long. she has the breathing of a fish out of water as her lungs fill with fluid. she won't last through the night. thanksgiving without your mother. how will that feel? i guess a lot like it feels now.

this will be the 4th to die in one week. sometimes i can't stand it. sometimes i curse cancer and go out to the prairie and scream. sometimes it's just too much. the 84 year old saving her tears in a film canister. her husband of 63 years. gone. the tears of a 7 year old hit the quilt on her parents (scratch that, father's) bed. her tiny tears make the sound of a thousand fire hydrants exploding.

i wonder if i need to be saved. where will i go when i die? last week i listened to the story of his salvation. "she saved me" he said. "she showed me how to love Jesus." his wife, less than 90 pounds lay beside him in the double bed they have shared for 57 years. the morning sun comes through the lace curtains. the wallpaper peeling. the smell of the dog. damn dog. it tries to lick my hands. i wish i could push it away, but i am trying to be polite. he sobs over her withering body. they kiss and cry in eachothers arms. i feel like i should look away. but i am hoping they can save me.

but they can't. it's up to me. it's always only been up to me. i guess i still don't know what the hell i'm doing. each day i am getting a little closer to figuring it out. i just hope i die with poetry in my head and love in my heart. and perhaps some good pie in my belly......


many loves....

it's hard to sum up the flavor of this summer...

it's been a random series of events strung together

only by wine...

and the endless blue sky.

it's impossible to tell you everything. some are secrets. some are not.
bits and pieces of me scattered across the field. like haybales. my many loves.


then the rains came and i gave thanks

i am grateful for the heavy rain, the thick sultry air, the strawberries, the dill.
i am happy to have friends that fit like an old pair of danskos. who have walked miles with me and never grow weary of it.
i am loving peonies in every room of the house, and our new backporch.
i give thanks for my beautiful son and his sweet, sweet kisses. and my beautiful husband and his sweet, sweet embraces.
i am grateful to have taken communion with an old catholic czech, and held the hand of an aged iowa farm boy.
i love open windows and birds building nests and church bells blowing in through the curtains.
i am happiest when napping with my baby in the crook of my arm in the middle of the long afternoon.
i give thanks for laughter and sunburns.
and of course the rains that follow....


scant time

Psychically, it is good to make a halfway place, a way station, a considered place in which to rest and mend after one escapes a famine. It is not too much to take one year, two years, to assess one's wounds, seek guidance, apply the medicines, consider the future. A year or two is scant time.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves.


past titles

it's funny that each time i start to type in a new title, all the old blog titles starting with that letter pop up in the box. it's like a little walk down memory lane of all my old feelings, triumphs, frustrations. i'm still amazed at technology. but i'm still not sold.

i doubt anyone is still even reading this. this old blog. i'm obsolete. at least in cyber space.

i can't figure out how to stay in touch with people anymore. no, i'm not on facebook. i don't check my email very often. i blog even less. hell, sometimes matt has to check my voice mail messages because i can go for days without checking. i know this is terribly annoying. i understand, really i do. i am sorry. but the truth is, i'm not going to change. i'm like my dad. he doesn't know how to save documents, so he just prints them. he has 2 rooms FULL of paper floor to ceiling.

that's me. 200 unread emails. 5 new voicemails. the friend requests sent me into panic. it's just not for me. i'm sorry. if you want to reach me, stop by. i'm home. out back in the garden.


buried treasure

i sat down in the early sun to make my list of vegetables i want to plant for the coming season. i could easily jot down 15-20 different vegetables, herbs and flowers but as always, referred to my grandmother's old copy of "growing your own vegetables" book to jog my memory for less-common varieties. i have referred to it many times in the past, but this time i found a treasure buried within the final pages. it was an old rushmore state bank statement. it was creased and yellowed. on the back in my grandmother miriam's handwriting, i unearthed the sweetest little treatsure of a note written at the top, along with notes on how to amend her soil, and names like "kentucy wonder" beans and "mortgage lifter" tomatoes....

spring is nature's apology for winter......

were these her own words, or some old wives tale she had heard along the way?

in her perfect cursive, i saw into her inner world. i could feel her sadness. and i realized it isn't just my pain i am carrying. and i also began to fully feel just how much i am living her life, her mother's life, and her mother's life. one so drawn to creating a home, a way of life, but also one so consumed by the burdens of this work. i can picture her on some long march sunday feeling just like me. a mixture of hope and dissolution. a desire to plan for the coming season and to "dream" but also so tethered to the ground. what is this, this feeling that is passed down exactly? and how?

i couldn't shake the sense she was with me all day. i ached to talk to her. i ached to know how she survived. i felt her there, even as i walked along prairie creek, the sun so close i could almost touch it. the snow hanging in lovely rounded mounds over the creek below, looking like the curves of a pregnant body. i wondered how long before the sun would touch me. how long before i would become alive again. in the silence of the valley, i heard the running water and thought "ah, spring!"

and i did feel as though nature was apologizing to me for all it had done, and all of me that it had buried this winter.


flowers in february

matt and I don't celebrate valentines day. it's sort of absurd to think minnesotans should even get flowers in february. but IF i lived in san fransisco, and IF we weren't flat broke, and IF we even celebrated valentine's day, I would want one of each of these bouquets!



my birthday cake

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thanks anne!

i so solemnly swear

each year i vow to be a better human being. i make resolutions to be more patient, loving, compassionate, kind. but this year i swear it will be different. "a whole new you at 32" i declared yesterday in the car with 3 girlfriends and god as my witnesses. but then i corrected myself. it's not me that needs to change--it's my PERCEPTION of things, my life, myself.

"a whole new view at 32." i really mean it. i am BUSTING through old patterns, old beliefs, old assumptions. i am BUSTING through my old views big time.

this is my year to:

slow down
be patient
practice yoga
let go
be aware
walk softly
forgive some more
cultivate contentment
lighten up