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
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winter dreaming

sappy Italian music on the record player. snow falling peacefully in big soft flakes. candles burning to stubs and melted wax puddling on the table. also, there's a fluffy grey cat sitting in the kitchen window watching the winter weather. I couldn't think of a better day for resting. Weekends are highlighted in bright pink on my monthly planner. That's because two whole days devoid of work are open for rest and adventure. Weekends mean poking around old antique shops and cluttered thrift stores; they mean sleeping in late and thick slabs of homemade sourdough bread for breakfast.  

On Saturday, we discover a lovely lunch spot in Deary, Idaho - a small town (pop. 500) tucked away in the mountains. Inside a creamery + bakery on Hwy 8 is a sanctuary of good food, simple decor and handmade goods. In one corner of the room are two huge floor looms surrounded by beeswax candles and cubbies of hand spun yarn - *drool*. I tell Charlie that "quiet, beautiful spaces are rejuvenating for the soul" and with a mouthful of cinnamon roll, he heartily agrees. 

On our way home from Deary, Charlie takes an unexpected turn and pulls over abruptly on the side of the road. "What are we doing?" I ask. He says "looking at some land for sale" and drives forward slowly - plowing through a drift to follow some narrow road covered in deep snow. Our Subaru makes it through without sliding around too much (and without snow tires too!). We've been looking at plots of land a lot recently - our desires to start a homestead increasing with each parcel. Nothing is stopping us of course, except we aren't quite prepared to build a home and start farming. For now we must be content with a tiny apartment and a 20'x20' community garden plot. Still, looking at the land, admiring the tall firs and envisioning a yurt home tucked away at the end of a long driveway - this dream of ours pulls at us every day. As spring approaches, I can't help "shopping" for chicks and Shropshire lambs while Charlie spends time on our house blue prints every evening before bed. 

Finally, we get home from Deary, just in time to freshen up for the Saturday night contra dance. I think the last time we've gone dancing was back in Missouri about a year ago. It feels so good to pull on my leather jazz shoes, and swirl around a few extra times just so my skirt flares out. A bunch of long haired hippies with big beards provide lively contra music and Charlie makes me laugh with his goofy dance moves.  In between tunes, the dancers wipe the warmth off their faces and step outside to cool off - laughing and talking - the yellow glow of lights outlining our faces. 

 The nooks of time between workweeks are filled with good things. Every shaping and memorable experience is written into my journal so that someday we can look back at the "days when we were young" and realize just how good we've had it. 

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moscow idaho photographer
moscow idaho photographer
moscow idaho photographer