Down on the farm

mood: sleepy | drinking: water

tractor1

There is something about going back to the farm that never gets old.

I haven’t lived there for at least 15 years now (and have no intention of moving back), but I love to visit. Of course, the actual farm I grew up on is now home to strangers, and the big grey house where all my childhood memories took root is now painted a trendy shade of purple.

My parents moved to a different farm, 8 or 9 miles away from our old home, when I was just a year or two out of college. But they’ve been there long enough, and I’ve visited often enough, that it’s endearingly familiar.

This time I went back with Bean in my belly, and my sister and nephew in tow. The little guy is now nearly 3, and old enough to get really excited about things like tractors and horses and big piles of sand.

Every day we were there, as soon as my nephew saw my dad he’d say, “Papa, I ride tractor? I ride big tractor? I ride bucket tractor?” And my dad, the ever-obliging grandpa, would prop Jude up on his lap and drive a never-ending series of tractors up and down the driveway.

Watching my parents as grandparents is delightful. Although, as my sister pointed out on this visit, my mom would never have given us all those sugary treats when we were kids. We had to suffer through “chocolate chip” cookies festooned with nasty carob droplets. But my nephew? He gets the real thing. Plus brownies. And M&Ms. And ice cream cake.

Now that grandchildren are making their appearance, my mom and dad are beginning to rearrange their lives in preparation for an eventual westward move to California. Even if Jude were the only grandchild, they’d make the move, but now they’ve got Bean due to show up soon, and later this fall we’ll meet my sister’s second child.

It will be amazing to have my parents just an hour or two away, instead of thousands of miles. Just to be able to make impromptu plans that don’t involve plane tickets and rental cars would feel miraculous.

But I’ll admit it, I’m going to miss showing up at the old stomping grounds. I’ll miss the red barns and the Midwest accents and drinking “pop” instead of soda.

I’ll miss the thrill of seeing, after years of absence, sights that used to be as familiar to me as my own face in the mirror.

I’ll miss the sense of history embedded on every backroad. Here is where I learned to drive, as did my father before me. Here’s where I had my first kiss, where I earned my first paycheck, where I ran barefoot chasing lightning bugs.

I love San Francisco, and I have 10 years of history here, now. And soon Bean will be making all of her childhood memories here, in our little house by the sea.

But part of me will always be a farm girl, able to scale fences and bridle horses and remain totally unfazed by the presence of poop. And I wouldn’t change that part of my history for anything.

-Lo, back to the city life.

Double Digits

mood: celebrating | drinking: water, for now

bruce_lo_engagement

Exactly ten years ago today, there was a giant blizzard in Chicago that dumped several feet of snow on the city and outlying suburbs. The white stuff fell all day, delaying flights, wreaking havoc on the roads, and turning the whole landscape into a soft white dream.

And at 7pm that night, as the snow continued to drift and fall, Boy and I stood in a candlelit chapel and solemnly said our vows.

Ten years. Sometimes I feel like it’s impossible that so much time could have passed already. But then I think about how many lifetimes we’ve lived in the past decade, and it’s hard to believe that it’s only been ten years.

We’re celebrating tonight with a fancy dinner at a schmancy restaurant overlooking the ocean. And then, in a couple of months, we’ll celebrate more properly with a trip to Prague.

But for today, I’m going to remember the girl I used to be, the girl who stood there in white and pledged her heart forever to a boy. Seriously… look at our engagement picture up there. We were such babies! (Still a gorgeous picture, thanks Patti!)

We’ve done a lot of changing over the past decade, and a lot of growing up. I feel lucky every single day that we’ve changed in the same direction, that we continue to want the same things, to strive for the same goals, to dream complimentary dreams. It’s no small feat, I know.

And we’re going to need all our shared history, all our commitment, all our love, for the next ten years, and the next ten after that. Life never stops changing, stops moving, stops upending your best-laid plans. I couldn’t imagine, on my wedding day, what 2010 would look like, anymore than I can imagine 2020 today.

But we’ve taken it one day at a time, and discovered that’s a good way to live.

I always used to hear couples talk about how they loved each other more and more as the years went by. Standing there in front of all our friends and family who braved the snow (and thanks, again, all of you, for doing that, even if it meant crashing your car in the parking lot to do so *cough*Graeme*cough*), standing up there on that snowy Friday night, I thought I was full of love. But I’ve learned that there’s always room for more, and it’s true… I love Boy so much more now than I did when I put a ring on his finger. He’s become more than my husband. He’s my family.

And it’s not just feelings and hope anymore. We’ve worked on this thing. And that’s why, I think, it’s working.

Apparently anniversaries make you babble… I’m not sure any of this will make any sense to anyone but me. But I wanted to put something down in words, on this day. I wanted to say, “I love this man, and I don’t regret a thing.”

I think the girl who was me all those years ago would be overjoyed to see how well it’s all turning out.

-Lo, ready for ten more.

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