The Green

Last week I flew back home, back to where it all started, to get ready for the wedding. I got in late at night, and when I woke up the next day I couldn’t believe how alien the landscape, the landscape of my home, had become.

It is just. so. green.

Dense, eye-watering green that hangs heavy overhead. Beneath this canopy the air is thick with the fecund perfume of growing things and thunderstorms. The green, so wild and ancient, seems to muffle all the human buzzes and beeps of civilization, and at the same time amplify all the rustlings of creatures in the undergrowth, all the whistles and calls of birds. Even just driving down my suburban road, it made me feel completely alone, like the last person alive after the green has reclaimed the earth.

I had forgotten how much I missed this. Moving to southern California, it’s easy to miss the changing seasons in autumn, which basically doesn’t exist in Los Angeles. But it’s harder to talk about why I get so heartsick in June. After all, how could I possibly miss the summertime, living in LA? Summer started in February for me; I get approximately ten and a half months of summer a year. But when I walked out of my parent’s house for the first time, I remembered how it feels to wake up one morning and realize that everything around you is alive, and wide awake.

Photo by Ajaytao.

The Last One

Four years ago today, practically to the hour, The Boy picked me up for our very first date It was the first day of summer, it was Father’s Day, and I ate tart lemon sorbet by the water with him.

It’s always seemed so fitting that our anniversary was on the solstice, the longest day of the year. We fell in love in a haze of green, and gold, and lawn sprinklers, and trampolines, and popsicles, and fireworks (literal and figurative). I took great pleasure in telling people that our anniversary was Midsummer’s day, and I became as aware of the impending solstice as a child before Christmas. As you may remember, we originally planned to get married on this day next year. But when we started wedding planning just a few months ago, it quickly became apparent that June 21st was out for both this year and next, so we picked another date. Still in summer, but lacking the delightful symbolism.

So this is my last Midsummer anniversary, and in a way I feel like that’s emblematic of where my life is at right–where our life is at right now. We’re not kids anymore, and our love is less about popsicles and fireworks, and more about wool socks, and reading before bed, and remembering to pick up seltzer on the way home, and making the bed each morning; about my feet in his lap on our yellow couch, and all those soft little noises of domesticity. But of course, there’s still the popsicles and fireworks, too, and always that shimmering haze of green and gold.

Image source.

The Yard

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When The Boy and I first got engaged, I did that thing. That thing where you become obsessed with wedding inspiration on Pinterest, and your head is filled with images of mason jars, and glitter, and peonies. But as soon as that first wave passed, I realized something important: I do not care about having a real wedding. Do not misunderstand me: I love pretty things, and parties, and farms (I mean, seriously). But it was way more important to me that we have the kind of wedding where everyone has a blast, and eats good food, and laughs a lot, and maybe I would wear sneakers. And I could think of no better place to have such a wedding than in The Boy’s backyard.

That yard was a part of our relationship back before we even had a relationship. It was a long, hot day during a long, hot summer when I laid on the grass in that yard and looked at this boy who was still just a friend, and I thought to myself “I’m going to marry him one day.” That yard was the witness to so many stolen kisses, and late night bonfires, and spontaneous campouts, and Saturday dinners made on the grill, and drunken firework shows. We used to fall asleep on the trampoline on warm summer nights. I used to read my book on his back steps while he fixed someone’s car in the driveway (because there was always a car that needed work). I used to wake up early in the morning, and sneak out to the yard while he was still asleep, and pick raspberries and blackberries for breakfast. And there was a whole other ragtag gang of friends who treated that yard as their own, too, who came and went as they pleased, and the most wonderful kinds of commotions were always happening there. It was the kind of place where you could swing by on a whim without calling, and half of your other friends would already be there drinking beers. In short, it was magic.

So when I got past all the bloggy-glittery-mason jar stuff, I realized what I wanted more than anything was to walk out of his backdoors in my wedding dress, down the deck stairs, and across the lawn. I wanted to get married on a hot summer day in this place that had provided so much context for our love. But there was a hitch: the house was for sale. We just couldn’t bank on it still being around next year.

So The Boy and I did something really impulsive last week, and we’re still kind of reeling from the decision. We’re getting married this year. In July. In the yard. And on the one hand I have not spoken to anyone about anything other than wedding planning for five days, and sometimes I can’t sleep because I’m thinking about table runners. But it doesn’t feel overwhelming anymore, because once all this craziness is said and done, I’m going to walk across that yard and marry my best friend in the exact same spot where we had our very first date. And that feels like magic.

Ladle Love (+ News!)

Would you guys judge me if I spent 30$ on a ladle? Look at it. It’s a nice ladle. But then, of course, the madness wouldn’t stop there; I’d need the matching colander and slotted spoon, too. I guess I can assume that if you read this blog then you already had a pretty good sense that my priorities are not always in order re: useless objects.

Anyway, this ladle obsession is not completely random. As of last night, The Boy and I have a new apartment! It’s a teeny tiny cottage with dark hardwood floors, and the cutest little retro stove, and THREE yards (front, back, side), plus a covered patio, and room to plant in the quietest, most charming neighborhood in Los Angeles, right up the road from the most amazing store in the world (the first time I went there I nearly asked the counter people if I could move in). Basically, it’s my dream. Well, my for-now dream, anyway. So thus far I’ve spent the entire day reading about how to grow tomatoes and sunflowers and making lists of things we need to buy. The cottage is very small, less than 500 square feet, and it doesn’t have a lot of storage space, so The Boy and I are doing some serious thinking about simplicity and paring down on the number of things we own. But obviously there are necessities we’ll need to buy, and I feel like in such a teensy house all of our objects will have to be beautiful and well-crafted. But then while I was searching for nice-looking housewares, I found this ladle. And fell in love. And realized that when it comes to simplicity… I’ve got a long ways to go.

JOINERY soup ladle/28$

UPDATE: This has rapidly degenerated into a full-blown sickness. Also, I found the cheese grater of my dreams.

Our Many Homes: The Brownstone

Brownstone 3 Another home, another city. I must be honest (and I know I’m going to catch a lot of flack for this): I hate New York. I know, I know, greatest city in the world, blah blah blah. But I’m skeptical. This Onion article kind of speaks to my heart. I mean, I know that New York is home to all kinds of amazing food, and hidden gems, and bizarre secrets. But somehow, whenever I visit, I get so distracted by the sheer number of people all in such close proximity to me. New York is not an ideal destination for someone with severe crowd anxiety, such as myself.

But maybe if I had my own home, my own respite from the strange smells and the hard pavement and the throngs of people, maybe New York and I could finally start the love affair I’ve always known we deserve. I’m thinking a spacious brownstone in Brooklyn, or perhaps this delightful neighborhood. It place would be all eclectic glamour, but nothing stuffy: a gorgeous but cozy place with a loft for reading and a giant kitchen where everyone could hang out and drink wine and laugh. Because the most alluring part of New York, for me anyway, is the fact that most of my friends live there. Living on the other side of the country, I miss them all terribly, and my imaginary Brownstone would be the perfect place setting for wild dinner parties and games of apples to apples and oh, the cheeseplates we would have.

More homes to come next week, but in the mean time be sure to check out my Pinterest for more dream pads.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

Our Many Homes: The Vermont Retreat

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Part two! Today I’m all about the woodland retreat. Some converted barn up in Vermont with an open floor plan, 200 year old wood beams, and wide windows to look out across all our rolling acres of farm and forest. There will be a little writer’s shed in the back (like Roald Dahl!), where I can get away from The Boy for a couple of minutes. For whatever reason he seems to think that the two best times to start a conversation with me are 1) when I am reading or, 2) when I am writing.

We’ll come visit in fall, when the whole landscape is soaked with the blood of trees and the apples are ripe for picking. We’ll tap for maple syrup and eat pancakes until we burst. We’ll come visit in winter, and The Boy can go skiing while I curl up with my sheepskin blanket, my book, and my boozy hot cider. But my favorite season of all is summer. Summer in New England is magic. Sure, it’s oppressively hot and the humidity clings to your skin in a wet film. But the blackberries grow wild in the yard, the tomatoes hang heavy on the vine, and the fireflies flicker against the stars.

PS: How freaking rad is that pantry?

More homes tomorrow, but if you can’t wait until then you can always take a peek at my Pinterest.

Image sources, clockwise from left: 1, 2, 3

Our Many Homes: The LA Pad

I want so many things. I want to grow my own tomatoes. I want an entire closet for just my shoes. I want enough shoes to fit in said closet. I want my own land, land so big that I can stand on the back porch and hoot and holler and no one but the pigs will hear me. I want a home filled with love, and magic, and hidden nooks for curling up with books, and secrets waiting to be discovered. I want my purple house.

But here’s the thing: I have too many tastes, and ideas, and personalities just to fit in one home. I want a thousand homes, a million homes, a home in every port, a home for every mood. So this week, every day I’ll do a new post for each of my imaginary, one-day homes.

LA padToday’s post is all about my dream pad in LA. Los Angeles is my home right now, but I think The Boy and I would eventually like to move north where there are more trees and fewer cockroaches. There are lots of things about LA that I could happily live without: the traffic, the trash and grime, and at least some of the people (the ones who gladly live up to every LA stereotype). But there’s plenty of stuff I love about LA, too: the sunshine, the funky neighborhoods, the thrift shopping, the tacos. I could never say goodbye to all that, not completely.

In my fantasies, my LA home is a bungalow up in the hills around Griffith Park. On warm summer nights, The Boy and I walk to concerts at the Greek Theatre. Inside is all mid-century glamour: lots of white with gold accents and pops of bright color. We’ll put on Motown records and dance around in front of our huge windows that look out across the city below while we drink whisky out of these moroccan lowball glasses.

Tune in tomorrow for more housing dreams, or check out my Pinterest for inspiration!

Image sources, clockwise from top left: 1, 2, 3

 

California: I’ll Be Knockin’ On the Golden Door

Well what do you know, I finally got around to posting photos of The Boy’s trip to California! It was his first time in Los Angeles, so of course the firs thing we had to do was go to the beach. Actually, the first thing was tacos. But then the beach! Living in LA, there are many beach options, but I always choose to drive about an hour out of the city to Leo Carrillo. Not only is it a stunning beach (much cleaner than some of the closer ones) with caves (!), but the drive up there is pretty spectacular as well. You have to wind in and out of beautiful Malibu Canyon, and it’s actually pretty terrifying because it’s very narrow, and everyone drives so fast, and it’s a pretty long fall from the road to the bottom of the canyon. But that’s all the fun!

That’s my car! Isn’t she a cutie?

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A little late, but…

Happy Fourth! I would have posted this delightful PES video yesterday, but I was far too busy drinking beer. In my opinion, the 4th of July is a quintessentially suburban holiday, and should be celebrated as such. I was lucky enough to have a friend out in the ‘burbs, so I hung out in his driveway playing disgusting drinking games all day.

 

Video first seen here.