Despite my oft-stated intent to Be A Writer, I will do a lot of other things instead of writing.

For example:

Played New York Times’ Letter Boxed (solved in three words) and Spelling Bee (14 points shy of Genius) instead. I didn’t click quickly enough to skip the headline about Joe Manchin killing any hope of social safety nets and American progress, resulting in an out-loud “ugh.” When my husband asked what I was ugh-ing about, I expressed some thoughts about what I would like to happen to Senator Manchin. My initial impulse being less than compassionate, I followed up by saying I hope something in his life causes him to transform into a champion of all that he currently stands in the way of. 

Did The Week magazine’s crossword puzzle, wondered if any person’s name serves as an answer as much as Yoko Ono’s. 

Remembered I meant to do laundry, so did that. 

Made some tea (Earl Grey Creme from Moonrise, a favorite).

Made more tea (Pukka Detox, a gift).

Did a New Yorker crossword. Ono, again!

Noticed the floor needed sweeping, swept.

Flattened the many cardboard boxes that had piled up. (A seeming betrayal of my commitment to buying local – in my defense, not all I seek can be found locally.)

Loaded the dishwasher in such a way that every item took up as much space as possible so that I could pretend it was full and therefore not wasteful to run. 

Finally I sat myself down in the big brown wingback chair, plopped my feet up on the matching “vegan leather” ottoman and here I am, Christmas tree glowing in the far corner, fan on the wood stove spinning with the heat, the sound of water sloshing around the dishwasher, yet another cup of tea at hand (Yogi Egyptian Licorice Mint), living room lights on as night has fully landed outside.  

This morning’s sunrise pulled me out of bed. A line of yellow sky stretched above the dark mountains and beneath a ceiling of clouds that turned from black to blue to pink to gold in the time it took the water in the kettle to boil. The sun cracked over the ridge line as I drove down the spit, lit up the cab of my rusty Tacoma, two surfboards in the back, wetsuit on the floor, heater cranked, coffee splashing out of the to-go mug with every pothole I failed to miss.

Looking west as one emerges from the dune forest

Later, Bobby, Nick, Nick’s dog Dom and I hiked through the dune forest for the first time in a while. I’d been a bit leery due to the increasing number of people setting up camps back there, which may be unfair as I’ve rarely had any encounters with the dune dwellers and the few times my path has crossed theirs haven’t resulted in anything other than a “hello” and continuing on. Times feel ever more dire, though, and given that drug use and mental health issues abound – I don’t know. I don’t want to vilify people already suffering and yet I’m unnerved to come across shacks and tarps and a clever albeit rudimentary windmill with an extension cord running down the side of a tall dune into the cover of the forest. I often think about how we have collectively decided homelessness is too big a problem to solve and so we keep averting our eyes, shaking our heads, looking instead at the beauty of the sky, the ocean, the trees, all the way to our warm house with the magazines and the wood stove and the apparently endless supply of teas and a computer announcing that the south winds and rains will continue and the chance to fling ourselves into the elements for fun will, like the words, come again.