After several days inside my brother’s house, I moved back out to the van last night. My cozy tiny house is feeling very tiny this morning. And it’s astonishing how quickly I started taking hot water for granted. I began to wash my cutting board this morning without thinking and then remembered, right, the water pump is not on, so no water. And I could turn the water pump on with the push of a button, but the water wouldn’t be hot, because I didn’t turn the water heater on. Ah, yes, life in a van.

But I’m happy to be back in my van, even if it is feeling more than cozy (read: cramped and inconvenient), because it is also feeling homey and peaceful.

I read some sad news on Facebook, that bastion of unwelcome tidings, a few days ago. Honestly, I’ve started to dread looking at FB — it feels like a magnet for misery, at least in my feed. My immediate response was to pick up my phone and make a call, but my secondary response has been to spend a lot of time browsing my own history. Photographs and journals and blog posts, some lovely reminders of times past.

flowers growing from concrete

Flowers in Arcata

It made me resolved to take more pictures of human beings, though. I have lots of sunrises, lots of flowers, lots of scenery, and lots and lots of dog pictures.

My dogs looking cute together.

But not very many people pictures.

I don’t think I need them, exactly — I have the memories and sometimes I have the stories. This one is one of my favorites, but I do wish I’d written out the “But you have to wear a mask” part, because the memory makes me smile, but the details are lost. That’s okay, though, I still have the smile.

I dreamed last week that Bartleby’s new owner needed to give B back to me, because his circumstances had changed and he couldn’t take care of B anymore. He passed him over to me and B was matted and skinny, really skinny, and I felt horrible because obviously somehow I’d given B to people who neglected him. But then I was so happy to have him back! He snuggled into my arms and I promised him an immediate bath with a long blow-dry afterwards (he loved the blow-dryer) and plenty of food.

Then I woke up.

In a way it was a great dream, but it ruined my day. I told Suzanne during our phone call that death felt like that to me, in general, like every day you have to keep waking up into a reality that’s just not the one you wanted to wake up in. And there’s no way to make the universe take you back to the reality you had yesterday.

But that’s the nature of time, anyway. One of the stories that I remembered this weekend — no record of it except my own memory — was when Suzanne and Greg and R and I went out to Chinese food in Oakland when R was about two, maybe three. Greg walked with R, pointing out various things in the windows, and… well, conversing with him. Lots of adults aren’t really capable of having conversations with a toddler. They talk at the toddler, but they’re not about the listening so much. Greg listened to R, answered his questions, had a real discussion with him, and then told me my kid was amazing. Toddler R was amazing, and even though I am lucky enough to have Adult R in my life, I do sometimes miss Toddler R. But Greg was amazing, too, and I’m going to miss him.

Goodbye, senormoment. I wish you’d had the time to organize those photos.