Well I was at home a little bit ago for my sister’s wedding and that was pretty dang keen. Tenino is still living large out there and I got to catch up with my family and a bunch of friends. Everyone seems to be taking care of themselves, which makes me super happy. Not a lot more to say about it. But here I go anyway:
My Mom’s garden is looking pretty boss. She’s been working on it for a while now and it really blows me away. Our front yard used to be a normal lawn with a mountain ash tree in the middle. I would mow it for five bucks, and we’d play on stilts that my dad made out of some two by twos. At some point the cost of lawn-mower fuel must have gotten too high, so my Mom hired someone to dig a big hole and move everything around so we’d have a pond and all kinds of shrubs and stuff. For the first few years it was pretty sad looking, and now when I look out there I’m just blown away that I have such a nice place to chill out in my front yard. She said that when you start a garden you have to keep in mind what it’s going to look like in five years. Well, it looks good!
Being at home was pretty sweet. The best part was that now I don’t feel pressured to do anything. When my Dad tries to get me to help around the house, I can just tell him I’m meditating and that this is my career. I don’t come down to the river when he’s running the bed & breakfast, all telling him to come do sitting meditation, do I? Yeah! That’s what I thought! But really it was just good to spend time with my folks and my siblings and their partners. We also had a bit of a shindig at the end, and it was awesome to see so many different people that I haven’t caught up with for awhile. One afternoon isn’t long enough to say everything you want to say, especially to 20 people, but it is long enough to get that little connection check that says, “Yup, we’re still cool.” That was awesome.
We got some sheep-shearing on. My sister and Dad are the ringleaders of some kind of wool cartel, and once a year we have to harvest our crop. This is the most stressful thing ever. It’s a pretty good analogy for all the worst things in life: here you are, wanting no more than to help this poor sheep get out of its very hot winter coat. The sheep wants out too! He’s been rubbing up against everything in sight to try and get out of this oven he calls his fur. All we want is to help out, and let the poor dude go back out and play. But in our incompetence, and in the sharpness of our shears, we can’t shear him without cutting him all over the place, and generally feeling like a jerk. And then after you do the first one, you know that there are still nine more to go! And after the second, there’s eight more! And then after the third, you decide to hire a professional to come take care of it, and play bocce ball for the rest of the afternoon.
The only one who wasn’t exhausted by the whole affair was my buddy Sol. I met him in the photo program up at the University of Washington. I don’t know why or how, but it’s like he was born with a kind of disability where he can’t be as cynical as other people. Either that or he has a really overdeveloped sense of wonder. It’s awesome, and he’s great to be around. He’s the kind of guy who will pick up a piece of scrap metal from the side of the road and say, “This. Is. Beautiful!”, and I usually have to admit that he’s right. It’s contagious! Anyway he seemed totally immune to the stress of the sheep situation. I was making jokes about using psychic powers to calm our animal friends. Sol was probably doing it without even trying. He just held the sheep still, and watched the shearing with a look that said, “Human. Sheep. Wool. Shears… Whoa.”
So, my sister got hitched. I got to see my relatives. It rained, and I was happy to be back in Washington. I took a lot of walks over to the river where we used to play as kids. Now I’m back in Deer Park, getting ready to head back to France, but I have a few more posts to catch up on about what we’ve been up to over here. Until then, here’s a bunch of pictures that you missed if we aren’t friends on facebook: