On February 1, I left Florida. A Cracker Barrel parking lot, a National Forest, a Walmart parking lot, a Texas State Park, a friend’s driveway, another Walmart, a Bureau of Land Management site, an independent campground, another friend’s street, a California State Park, an Army Corps of Engineers campground, and finally another friend’s driveway later… it was a long month. Twelve spots, most of them for a night or two, but the last one for over ten days now.

Sunrise in Arcata
Yesterday’s sunrise! The rain started again, but it’s been on and off yesterday and today, which is much more tolerable.

So what was the best? The first thing that came to mind when I started considering this post was the art project Kyla and I did together. Toddler B was excellent company, which was part of it, but there was also something so satisfying about creating something beautiful and concrete. I’m not a craft-y person at all, but I love having my photographs hanging in the van.

The morning I spent in San Francisco was also terrific. It was a combination of nostalgia for a place that still felt so familiar but a simultaneous reminder of how big and wondrous and exciting the world is. The universe felt rich with possibilities.

And then the night sky at Palo Duro Canyon State Park was truly amazing. I don’t have good photos — certainly not of the night sky, which is way beyond my ability level, but even my daytime photos didn’t turn out well. But this one shows something of the sheer sense of spaciousness.

Serenity (the van) parked at Palo Duro Canyon State Park.
It felt like there was a lot of room to breathe at Palo Duro.

Lots of other good stuff in the month, too — Vietnamese food with Carol, pumpkin soup with S, a fantastic Finnish hot tub experience this week, roller-skating, even having fun with laundry. Not to mention that yesterday I got to play with puppies! The next door neighbor runs a rescue group and one of the puppies temporarily visiting her managed to escape and make her way under the van. I got rather muddy in the process of getting her out, but then got to thoroughly snuggle a puppy for my efforts — totally worth it.

But I want to acknowledge the sad, too. My cousin unexpectedly passed away this week and I’ve been grieving much more than I would have anticipated, given our lack of contact. He had a difficult life, and I hadn’t seen him in years, but his mom is one of my very favorite relatives — one of my very favorite people, really — and so his loss feels closer. And because he was part of my childhood, it brings back lots of memories of other people who I miss. Good memories, though. Still, one of the things that I’m working on right now has much in it about the nature of time (theoretical underpinnings that the reader probably won’t ever see, but that I’m thinking about) — and it’s annoying that time is so damn linear. But I’m glad that someday I will be able to look back on February 2019 and be reminded of both the good and the bad.