I don't even know where to start with the Summer of Love.
I could probably just say "It's one of the best things I've ever done" and leave it at that.

But when have I ever opted for the succinct route?

I really can't even put my finger on the one thing that made it so fantastic. I think it was lots of little things. The perfect storm of awesomeness. Something like that.

The fun technically started last spring, just when I needed it most, and by "fun" I mean hours of crack-me-up plotting and planning and painting and putting together. and lots of time with my peeps.

The whole point in me doing this was to help take my mind off things too hard to deal with. being one of the Helpers was to show up on certain days and, well...help. So while I painted flowers and peace signs, they picked up my slack and promised to not to have too much fun without me. It was a blast! I felt like such a kid again...it all looked so familiar! It was fun to see how all of it flowed together.

Needless to say, every ding dang part of that float was cheery, colorful, deliciousness. We rocked it, straight up.


 I do believe this experience has served as key inspiration in my drifting toward a more peaceful state of mind. Of course none of this is news to you and it wasn't news to me, but there's something about sharing the same space with people you love, who have known you since you wore pig tails, to cement the things you already know to be true. They are rowdy and low-key and we share a few of the same exact quirks and they are my friends for life. Ready or not. I knew when I moved back to my home town that I always wanted to keep some friendy vibes. It's who I am. It feels like home.

So even though I went brighter and maybe even nuttier than usual, it is always fun and important to incorporate friend elements to keep me the same old girl that I've always been. Our little DVD, taken back last summer, came along. We found the perfect spot for it in the fabulous house in the woods, with a view of the barn. Everyone brought snacky things to share and bottles of wine. Our fabulous photo cake (thanks dude), completed the scene. This particular photo has been a perfect reminder to me over the past several months or so that we are still who we are. We're a family there and here. We'll always be a little bit hippie.

All of that to say? I'm still feeling a little bit nostalgic, a little bit rock-and-roll these days. These things come in waves. Sometimes it's music, sometimes it's photos. Right now? A bit of both. 

I totally loved it. It filled me up. I knew this would happen.

So when someone first suggested a get together I knew exactly what to do. I was going to make a DVD. capture the fun . forevah.

Friday morning rolled around and I still wasn't finished. These things come in waves, too.

Here's the thing, my tendency leans toward not showing something until it's *just* right. So yes, I dawdled. I keep thinking about the things I still wanted to do, the details, moving the photos, the yada yadas. Part of me loves the idea of a magical Big Reveal. Give me some wow factor, people! Give me a megaphone to scream into! Give me a DVD that is staged to within an inch of its life!

It's a nice dream.

But I'm finding that "that" part of me is fading a bit. I have bigger things on my mind. I'm not a perfect person trying to do things perfectly. My projects often include many flaws. You might as well just know it.

This morning I'm in one of those not-so-rare forms where I feel myself turning inside-out. And not just because the trees are starting to bud, there is more evening light, and spring is 36 minutes old. Most of my inside-outness is connected to last weekend. There was so much goodness. So many laughs provoked. So many heart piercings.

I was reminded again of how lucky I am to be on this amazing path. I'm lucky to have a handful of people on it with me. I'm lucky to have friends, who will spend the better part of a Friday evening strolling down memory lane with me. These friendships have revolutionized my life. I will enjoy these feelings every single day and twice on Fridays. I'm not even playing.

 All I'm saying is, old friends + cheese plates + wine + music equals a party. But that's just me. Good music stirs me up on the inside. I'll dive headlong into a bare-naked lyric and forget to breathe for a while. I love locking eyes with the souls of my friends, to sit still with our memories. It's always truth, born from a place of vulnerability and maybe even pain. I might understand it differently than it was intended, and that's alright. All that really matters is that it landed in that raw place of my heart for a while, the place that helps me feel my own life more clearly. Last Friday night was a gift. True, I'm prone to pronounced fits of nostalgia, but it wasn't just that. It wasn't just seeing faces that swept me back to cafeteria food and complicated nicknames. It wasn't just being in the same room with old friends. It wasn't even closing the night down with a tour and fire side chat.

It was all the pieces. Together.

So thank you, my friends.

And thank you, Gay. You throw a mean party.

coconut bread and salted honey brown butter spread


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