cornflower blue rain.

I love all of the seasons. I really, truly do.

OK, some of them I love, some of them I only like.

Fine ~ some of them I hate tolerate.

But I love the idea of all 4 seasons and I believe that my life would not be complete without them. I think the thing I love most about the one that I only tolerate is that it gives me pause to wrap myself up burrito-style and nap on the couch, hitch up my knee socks and daydream about the sunny months to come.

I'm anticipatory like that.

It's on my mind, that marginally tolerable one, because, well, I always hear the train a'comin'. I know it's rollin' round the bend.

In the meantime I vow to slip on my Capri's and flip flops and live these next few months as though they are a regular part of my life and not a welcomed interruption.

Last week we went for a drive. to the country. miles and miles of farmland. I'm not really a farmgirl, but I love the country. acres and acres of lovely. The plan was to meander around the countryside, hit a few antique shops, and eat supper at one of those old style diners. Where you sit in a booth and eat hamburgers and fries off Corelleware plates, circa 1980. This is mostly what we did, but the funny thing about plans, sometimes they are not our own and often turn out a bit different than what we would dream up. Almost every time I think I know what's around the corner, I am proven wrong. I've learned that being wrong can be the best gift ever.

Here's what I found stitched onto a tea towel in one of the shops, "Farmgirl is a condition of the heart." That is not me. But it got me thinking all kinds of crazy, swoony things. Mostly, it had me smiling and thinking ocean girl is a condition of the heart, my heart. I don't know what the roots of my ocean girl condition are, my dad was a farm boy. it was in his blood. it ran deep and he never outgrew it. he passed it on to my sister. I imagine there is more to being a farm girl than the fact that I love animals, hanging my unmentionables outside and working in my garden. And surely owning a caner does not a farm girl make.

So yeah, I'm an ocean girl.

But those cows, those barns, those rusty gates and all the spigots in the universe fill my veins.
They bring me to life in a different way, a really loud way, the calmest way ever.

I'm so thankful for all of it, for the buckled sidewalk of my new-ordinary days and the wide-sky sigh found just a handful of miles from here.

I'll take 'em both, thank you. This and that.
I don't have to choose.
I can be an ocean girl in the country and I can love every minute of it and never ever feel like a fraud.

I'm complicated like that, I know, right. I'm a little bit country and a whole lot ocean. It's the only way to roll. So, as I wandered around, I was at peace. I realized that I take all of this for granted, at times. I had no inkling when I was younger that I would ever be the kind of girl who swerves to the side of a lonely road just to photograph rows of corn.

We set ourselves free, along with buses of tourists and emotional pre-schoolers.

It was a cornflower blue kind of day. It wasn't indigo, it wasn't sky. It was somewhere right in the middle of the blues in the box of Crayolas. It carried the familiar waxy scent and the point was worn flat. Blue is blue is blue. We got rained on. We walked around in soggy britches and searched the sky for just one ray of sunshine. What we found was more rain and a sky that rivaled every single ding dang renaissance painting in the history of the world. Maybe the blue was bleeding out at the edges?

cornflower blue. rain.
cornflower blue rain.

The day began and ended, and in the between it somersaulted through its usual course of magic, unbridled joy, picture perfect moments, belly giggles, snacks, beauty, and unexpected heart-piercing pangs that result when the sum total of love in one's heart exceeds the available square footage.

Every day, it's a different mix.

Every day.

And I'm sure you've noticed my propensity for yammering on about these days of mine, serving up proof of their magnificence and worth via snapshots.

But you and I both know - they're only that. They're snapshots. Split-second clicks of a shutter that elevate the simplest moment in time. It's my life, sometimes it has a bow in its hair.

I could focus on the dirty socks or the weed infested garden, and sometimes I do.

But today?

I'm eating my pie straight out of the pan.

I'll remember that a bed of zinnia's almost made me cry.

I'll cut myself some slack for the times I got a bit spicy.

I'll remember that family is family, even with the drama.

I'll listen closer to the stories told all the live long day of times gone by, so that one day I will remember. and smile.

I'll drop to the ground and tickle a wily puppy tummy and gloss right over his canine-thug demands.

just sayin'.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

4 generous servings

1 can (14 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, half a palm full
2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco. (I use a little less)
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
Salt and pepper

* My additions (optional): Cubed, ripe avocado and chopped cilantro stirred in right before serving.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let stand at least 15 minutes for corn to fully defrost and flavors to combine, then toss and serve.


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