like a comfy old chair

How simple is the careless freedom of summer. Happy little ducks on the pond. Cutting the grass with a temperamental push mower. Picking fresh cherries for a pie. Lighting sparklers for Independence Day. Camping in the Eagle Cap Wilderness of Oregon. Small moments and exciting events alike accentuate the goodness of this season. 
A couple weeks ago, Charlie and I celebrated our second year of marriage. We both had to work long hours on our anniversary and then rush across town for Bible study. But afterwards, we made a point of eating a good meal and building a campfire in our backyard. Mosi slept in my lap while Charlie roasted some old-fashioned frankfurts and kept the mosquitoes at bay. Of course we looked back on the past two years and laughed at the seasons we've been through and the things we've done. We were living in Nebraska during our first anniversary, which is crazy because surely that was many many years ago!? 
"Remember when we climbed the water tower with Greenville friends?" Charlie asks. Of course I do. Someone had called the cops on us and I ran into an electric fence multiple times trying to get to our car. 
"Do you remember the first breakfast we ever had as man and wife?" It was at a very mediocre Bob Evans in southern Missouri. Even as newlyweds we seemed like an old married couple. To this day, we play scrabble and cribbage. I collect houseplants and Charlie is always puttering around the house. (I've seen him more than once, walking across the backyard with drill and hammer in hand.) We've changed a lot in the past two years, (hopefully for the better), but I pray we will always have a sense of laid-back coziness in our marriage. Kinda like an comfy old chair you can sink into. 

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oh deary

(Right now I am reclined on my peacock blue love seat, wrapped up in a fleece blanket with Mosi sleeping beside me. Sunday morning couldn't be cozier!) 

Sometimes I wish I could stay home more often and lead a slow, unhurried life. I wish my mornings were focused around meditation and quilting. But wishing is not going to change anything. As it is, we wake up at 5:30 AM to do the chores and pack lunches. I drop Charlie off at PCEI and drive over to the Credit Union where I work. (Someday I will start my own business and devote all my energy to creative projects.) We work all day, we make the commute home, and for a brief couple of hours we garden and catch up on housework before bed. 

I'm not intending to sound negative or complain. Truly, I am extremely thankful for jobs that are both challenging and enjoyable. The paychecks we get make it possible to travel and host family and friends. And for the first time in our rambling, roving life together, I can feel a sense of permanency and contentment - our roots are growing and deepening. 

And oh how I love our little home! It is so perfect for the two of us... (and perhaps a future Baby Herrick if the stars are so aligned.) Chickies and duckies live very happily in the backyard, eating worms and chasing moths. They know Charlie is the food-provider so they follow him around the yard like the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Mosi has learned not to stalk the birds or she will get sprayed with water, but she still loves to sit under the lilac bush and watch them from a distance. All-in-all our home is a peaceful, happy place; a space to decompress and relax after long work days, which is something a home ought to be. 

(The pictures below are from this spring.) 
Lilac Lemonade
Crab-apple Blooms
Mosi's Loveseat
Picking Flowers
Three Little Ducks

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where he works

I've decided to add to this blog every weekend. On an empty Saturday, I can curl up in my favorite itchy green sweater and stroke the sweet kitty in my lap. I can tap out the words that fill my mind till they overflow. 

When we woke this morning, snow was falling quietly in huge heaps. Bundling up in coats and hats, Charlie and I drove to his work place to use the table saw in the shop. As a Valentine's gift, he is building me a doll house model of the yurt we are going to live in someday. Measurements have been calculated and recalculated. Now, it is time for the fun stuff like figuring out where our kitchen will be and whether we will have a loft or a private addition. 

While Charlie makes a big racket with the table saw, I explore the environmental institute where he works. Following someone's fresh snowshoe tracks, I cross a foot bridge and arrive at the office building. It's a cute, homey building with houseplants in the windows and piles of rubber boots by the door. Charlie's desk is messy with field guides and scribbled notes. A snarling, stuffed raccoon sits in the corner of his office area which makes me laugh. It's a funny thing to have on a desk, and it reminds me of the fat raccoon we hit with our car last summer. I study the books and papers and gadgets Charlie has collected around his computer. His disheveled, outdoorsy life makes me fall in love with him all over again. His passion for nature is something I deeply admire. 

For the rest of the afternoon, Charlie and I fight over the space heater in the shop. Even though my boots are fur lined, my feet become numb with the cold. Charlie's fingers are red and dry from working. Finally, we decide pack up and drive home to eat dinner and drink hot chocolate and watch Netflix. Mosi sleeps at our feet and we are tucked away so happy and warm. We have it so good in this snowy wonderland called Moscow. 

Of course, Life isn't always snug and cozy. This Monday I have a dentist appointment I'm not looking forward to :) Every Sunday evening we carry our dirty laundry across the courtyard to the laundry room. Long work weeks bog us down and drain our minds. I'm still getting used to a regimented office job with scheduled lunch breaks. Every evening and weekend I have to force myself to create and seek adventure - or my camera will sit on the shelf collecting dust and our car will stay in the driveway. Sometimes, I dream of a carefree life, where I take photos for a living and Charlie keeps our farm running. A life that still leaves us drained and exhausted, but in the most wonderful and fulfilling way. 

Until then I am content. Content with being gloriously poor and rich at the same time. 

moscow idaho
moscow idaho
moscow idaho
charlie herrick
laurel herrick