Category Archives: friends

on blog guilt and lederhosen

It’s not as though I’m always away from the computer these days. In fact, I’m on it sometimes six hours a day for work, and yet I don’t seem to find the drive to post here. Some days I don’t go to my blog at all, whereas I used to visit it multiple times a day. I miss it. I miss this community, and I miss the act of getting my thoughts down, of coming up with something compelling to write about, seeing what all of my readers have to say. And because I miss it, I don’t know why I’m not doing it. I guess I’ve lost the habit. And I’m doing what I never thought I’d find myself doing: spending whole blog posts talking about why I’m not blogging. I don’t want to have to do that anymore.  I don’t know that I’m saying anything more than that I want to do this more. I’m going to do this more. I’ve written it down. I’m holding myself accountable. Because, damnit, this means something to me.

Now, onto something more interesting. I might have mentioned that we visited Humboldt about a month ago. When we did, we visited with an old mentor of ours. She taught the class that introduced my wife and I. When we had our commitment ceremony, she took credit for getting us together. When we were married during the brief period when marriage was legal in California, we wrote to her announcing her marriage. She wrote back telling us that she and her “housemate” had gotten married too–after a 35-year relationship. We had never known she was gay. Everyone always suspected it, but even her closest friends weren’t sure. Suddenly, this woman was coming out to everyone, even her students, because she was so happy to be married. She’s in her mid-sixties.

So we had a lovely visit with our mentor. She met BG for the first time, and he took to her like a grandmother. She adored him; in fact, she hardly said hello to me or J when she arrived. She just looked past me wanting to know where the baby was. It was so sweet. This woman has no children of her own, but she has had countless godchildren through the years, and it shows. She loves them. It was a treat for her to meet our son, for us to have her meet our son.

A week ago, we received a package in the mail from this mentor. As I opened it on one end, I saw what appeared to be an old belt. And then what looked like some leather gardening gloves, and I thought, What the hell? And then I continued to open it, and I realized that she had sent us some very old lederhosen.

In the package was a card that read,

Hi J & T–

Nice to see you and the little one. I’m sending these lederhosen–been in the family for years, but no little boys in our future, so thought I’d pass them along to you. He’ll grow into them sooner than you think.

Love,

Mentor

I think J and I both giggled a little at first when we saw the lederhosen, and then when we read the note, we were so positively touched that these lederhosen–clearly a family heirloom–were being passed to us. What a sweet, sweet gesture from this woman who really does see us as family. While I don’t know that BG will ever sport those lederhosen, they will certainly be treasured.

And before you go, here’s a cute bonus photo of BG because I know some of you are just here for the pictures. He positively loves swinging now:

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Filed under Baby Genius, friends, writing

finding our tribe

One of the reasons J and I moved out of Humboldt County and into the Bay Area was because we felt we were really missing out on our community of lesbians and particularly lesbian moms. We tried when we first moved here to meet up with some lesbian moms and moms to be, but we didn’t really hit it off with the ladies we met. They seemed fairly judgemental about our process (they went all medicated and got sperm from the expensive local queer sperm bank–and had two kids as a result, whereas we were still doing home insems with fresh shipped sperm). We tried contacting them one more time, but they never returned the email, and we knew it was probably for the best.

For the next year and a half, we just sort of gave up on trying to find our tribe. We have wanted desperately to be around other like-minded two-mom families, but we had no idea how to find them, and after our first attempt, we were more than a little gun-shy.

But then something really cool happened. The lesbians in our county decided to start a Meet.Up group. I promptly joined, and amidst the dozens of ladies in the over-fifty crowd, I started seeing profile photos of women with kids. Just a couple of weeks later, on the message boards, there was suddenly a “Moms With Small Children” board, and shortly thereafter, I started getting private messages from other moms and moms to be. I was cautiously optimistic about finally being in contact with potential tribe members, but neither J nor I could hide that we were very, very excited at the prospect of finally meeting other lesbian moms and that maybe, just maybe, they might someday be our friends.

And then came last weekend. We had our very first meeting with a two-mom family for coffee. We actually showed up early (which we never do), and we spotted them immediately when they came through the door. They were carrying their sleepy toddler, and we were working on finding out where to change our son’s diaper. The conversation was easy and everyone seemed fairly comfortable for a first meeting such as this. After their one-year-old daughter had clearly had enough of the coffee shop, we made our way to a park down the street where we continued to chat and get to know one another because no one was really ready for the day to end. It felt a bit like a first date–if a first date can be had with six people involved–and it was a success.

As we walked away, J and I were so relieved that we had really hit it off with these women. These ladies are smart and funny; they are into attachment and cloth diapering and co-sleeping; they’re really lovely and grounded–and most importantly we all seem to like each other.

And then, just a week later–yesterday–we were able to get together yet again, but at our home this time. Their little girl kissed Baby Genius and chased our cats. We read to their daughter, and they bounced our son. We were able to talk about everything from family issues to dealing with a heterocentric culture as queer parents to balancing work and motherhood to relationship issues. We talked about what we were reading and how that informed our parenting. We shared food and laughs, but more than that, we shared a very clear understanding of what it is to be two moms raising a child in this world. It was so, so refreshing to be amongst people who didn’t need an explanation to understand our lives because they live some very similar experiences.

It’s hard to even articulate how good it feels to finally be making friends with such a similar worldview, to see that our people really are out there–and not just in blogland, but in our very own community. Next week, we’re going to a bigger meetup with the larger group of “moms with small children.” Ironically enough, this group is being organized by one of those women we met two years ago, but that doesn’t matter. We both seem to be so much more open now that we see what this is like, now that we know what it means to be finding our tribe.

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Filed under friends, Lesbian Parenting

of appointments and showers and joy

I suppose I have let you all enjoy the peak into our bedroom long enough. It’s time I’m a responsible blogger again and start updating on what has happened in the past week–because it’s quite a lot!

Today we had a midwife appointment. It was the first of our every-two-week appointments (although this one was after three weeks in order to get us on even numbers). This week marks thirty weeks for us. Thirty. 30. Holy shit.

The appointment went pretty well. My weight once again was the same as it was when I got pregnant, and my blood pressure was 120/80 where it has been since appointment 2. I’m consistent if nothing else! Egghead is still measuring two weeks ahead at 32 weeks, and his heartbeat was around 140. He’s growing and healthy and everyone was pleased. We did have to discuss the fibroid issue with the midwife. She had spoken with our OB about it, and it seems that they are indeed located at the bottom of my uterus where they could cause problems during birth. That said, they are located toward the back of my uterus, so she and the doctor aren’t overly concerned and they both think it’s a matter of waiting until I’m in labor to see what happens. She doesn’t see a need to worry, so I’m working to tell myself the same. That’s a little easier said than done, but now I’m just trying to prepare myself for whatever sort of birth comes our way. Reading Birthing From Within is making that a little easier.

The bigger excitement happened last weekend, when J and I took a five-hour road trip up the coast to Humboldt where some friends of us threw us our first shower. What a fantastic weekend it was. We stayed with two of our very dearest friends, and we spent the whole first evening sitting around chatting, eating great food, and simply relaxing outside.

The next day was the shower. Since  it was being held at the home where we were staying, we left for a few hours to attend the local farmer’s market that we used to love so much, and we met up with a friend, his eight-month pregnant wife, and their two-year-old son. It was great to see them and especially good to talk with the friend’s wife who had had complications with fibroids during her first pregnancy (but also ended up having a natural birth). It was so nice to discuss this with someone who had been there, but it was especially good to see old friends in this environment.

When we left the market, we returned to our friends’ place where the shower was about to begin. While we were gone, our two hostess friends had prepared a huge brunch and had decorated with tons of flowers and candles.

FoodandFlowers

In just moments, people started to arrive. We haven’t returned to Humboldt since we left in February of 2008, and while a few of these women have come to visit us, most of them we haven’t seen since before we left. What a joy it was to see each one of them as they walked in. They positively doted on us, and my heart was so full, I thought it would surely burst. I have been very happy since I’ve been pregnant, but this made me positively buoyant.

TNicoletteErinBarb

Brunch was had, and one of the co-hostesses, our friend A, gathered the beads she had asked everyone to bring and announced that I was to make a necklace of sorts to focus on for labor. I admittedly have not yet made it, but it’s going to be this wonderfully eclectic string of beads that should help keep these lovely women with me. She also announced a writing assignment (since 99% of us are writing teachers), asking everyone to write us advice or great things they remember about their own moms. Reading through this box of missives later made me burst into frequent bouts of tears.

Writing

Later I was surprised with belly henna. All of the women there took turns painting a design or embellishment on my belly. This was my favorite part of the day, for I got one-on-one time with each of my friends.

BellyPaints

By the time the belly was complete, it was quite a masterpiece!

FinishedBelly

My wife added the final touch–the only text way at the bottom:

HeadDown

Sadly, the henna didn’t take well because of a mix-up in directions, but it was lovely to have this done and to spend this time with so many lovely people.

The gift-opening time was great as well. People were so very generous, but they also followed our requests to rely a little more on gently used items. This was fabulous because so many of them are moms and were able to pass on things from their kids (one woman gave us some baby clothes from her 20-year-old son!) as well as from their own supplies. One friend who had been gifted a Kate Spade bag when she was pregnant passed it along to us. Honestly, we could care less about labels (and nor could she), so we’re finding it hilarious to have this over-priced simple black diaper bag. We’ll certainly fit in amongst the label-conscious tourists in our current town.

In all, this was the best of days and the best of getaways. Our friends all seem so genuinely happy for us, and we were so excited to have them there to celebrate the coming of Egghead. There is nothing quite like being filled with the love and generosity of friends.

HappyTandJ

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Filed under Egghead, friends, home, midwife, showers

baby gear galore

We’re still here. It’s a bit of a crazy week. We decided to take a whirlwind trip to my mom’s house to celebrate our niece turning one. It’s so hard to believe that she’s already a year old, and it’s making us realize just how quickly Egghead’s first year will likely go.

Part of the trip involved meeting up with my mom at I.kea. We needed to pick up a crib mattress because we just learned that two of our dear friends went in on a crib for us! Wow. During the shopping trip, my mom insisted on purchasing the mattress, and not just the cheap, this-will-be-fine mattress we  had planned to purchase. No, she wanted to get the best they had to offer. My mom, in fact, has been extraordinarily generous. Today, she ordered the stroller we wanted, pictured here. It’s the City Mini (by Baby Jogger):

citymini

 

Honestly, we’re overwhelmed with the outpouring of generosity we’re experiencing. J and I work pretty hard to acquire our basic needs, and we have been working extra hard to acquire the basic needs to care for our son. Now, with all of the generous gifts we’re receiving, we’re almost completely ready for him. In fact, his room is starting to look more nursery and less office each day. Below are a few of the delightful items we have thus far:

DSCN0209

This pile of items includes our first two major purchases: carseat and moses basket, and then in the box is a swing/infant seat which my brother and sister-in-law gifted us (yet to be assembled).

DSCN0208 

Here we have a changing pad, animals, and comfort items, many of which have been gifts. The white bear was given to us by a friend in our first year of TTC. The giant crocodile is something J and I simply couldn’t resist. The blue giraffe is something my mom couldn’t resist. We all had a hell of a time using our will power in I.kea.

DSCN0211

And then there are some other special items. I started crocheting this blanket during my first trimester on J’s insistance. I was so worried that by doing so I would somehow jinx my pregnancy, but I just kept working on it, and last week, it was complete. On the right is a hat, which is the first of many I’m sure to make for this boy.

We also have managed to acquire a ton of used baby boy clothes. People who don’t even have kids–and some who are still trying–have been bringing us the used clothes of people they know. People we don’t know have been sending us clothes through mutual friends. It’s really remarkable, and there are so many cute items. We have literally opened our front door to find bags of clothes hanging on the doorknob from neighbors.

Honestly, sometimes I don’t know what we did to deserve such generosity, but we feel positively blessed that so many want to help us welcome our son into the world. This weekend we’re visiting our old hometown where the crib-buying friends are throwing us a shower. We have so many old friends attending, some of our mentors, former colleagues, people who were family to us for the years we lived in Humboldt. We’re both overwhelmed with excitement to see them and to be able to share this new chapter of our lives with them.

And so it seems, with just eleven weeks to go until our due date that somehow we’re going to have everything ready for this baby boy. Whether we will actually be ready is another question entirely, but baby gear he will have.

I just can’t wait to meet him.

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Filed under craftiness, Egghead, friends, gifts, kindness, the P word

Moonrise

This week I can feel my uterus rising like the moon above my pubic bone. It’s remarkable, and each day, it seems higher. I will be eight weeks on Thursday, which means just four more weeks of this crazy first-trimester, or what I am calling the longest TWW in the world (it is no surprise to me that others have referred to this time similarly). It will be four weeks tomorrow that I have known that I am pregnant. Looking back, it doesn’t seem so long. I hope the next four speed by just as quickly.

I cannot claim that I have been the best of partners lately. When J read the section in my post yesterday about retreats to napland, she told me, “Napland I can handle. It’s these frequent trips to crazyland that I could do without.” She’s not exaggerating, nor is she being mean. I’m insane. I can be going along having a perfectly fine morning or afternoon, and something will set me off, and I turn into crazy pregnant lady. It’s more than a little  unsettling, and I feel horrible that my wife has to deal with this. Me + hoards of pregnancy hormones = scary lunatic.

I’m told it gets better. I imagine once I’m not indulging in so much anxiety, that will help. It helps when I make sure I eat something substantial regularly throughout the day (including as soon as I wake up).  And it also helps when I just shut my mouth from time to time. I am less likely to get myself worked into a frenzy if I stay silent and just move my body. J is learning this and as a result has begun walking me much more regularly. Then there are days like today when I seem to need both the frenzy and the movement. After a bit of a tantrum this morning, J and I went for a good long walk in the oak trees during which I was determined to be angry, and after which I was a pleasant human being again.

We’re talking about a trip to Humboldt soon where we can be amongst the big trees again and get filled up by old friends. So much of the pain we are both feeling lately stems from missing our people–our old mentors, our very best couple friends, our poker ladies. We still haven’t found community here; we’ve been bad about meeting people and have been discouraged the few times we have attempted to do so. Not having those people whom I used to cook for on a nearly weekly basis–who used to fill our home with their lovely energy and laughter–is heartbreaking right now, so we shall seek them out and hope for some healing within the coming month. Sometimes I wish we had never left.

I suppose I am thinking about all of this because we are coming up on one year here. It has been a year of struggles and adventures too, but it is nothing like we thought it would be.  Whereas we used to have people over fairly regulalry for meals, I have not cooked for anyone but J in months. There were friends we used to meet at the local brewery to complain about students and laugh and laugh and laugh; now we inevitably go out alone. And yet, we are making a home here in wine country, and we will eventually find our people. I am looking forward to the prenatal and parenting classes we’ll soon be able to take, which will hopefully acquaint us with other parents-to-be. That, to me, sounds just great. I think we simply need life to feel a little warmer now. We need to feel a little less alone.

But I started this post talking about a newfound joy of pregnancy, so I don’t want to end on a sad note. I promised J today that I would try to be more positive, that I would try to enjoy this a little more. Maybe it will feel more enjoyable once we can share it more openly, once it all feels a little more real. For now, when I want to know it’s real, I feel that hard little crescent in my abdomen that wasn’t there even a couple of weeks ago. I try to bask in a little moonlight.

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Filed under anxiety, friends, the P word

Last Wasted Egg?

I’m overflowing with fertile signs right now, which means one thing: this is my last spent egg before we get started again.  We’ve got all the paperwork in (again), and with any luck, it will go through without a hitch (ha!). Believe it or not, I’m finally starting to get excited about this.

Next week we have our midwife appointment, and that too is thrilling to me. I can’t wait to see what she’s like in person and to feel another surge of positivity. (Who is this person occupying my head?)

I haven’t been temping. I can’t foce myself to wake up and stick a thermometer in my mouth at 5am (which is what I would have to do for any accuracy due to my early morning teaching schedule). I did it for a year, and I’m tired of it. I’ll do it again next month, I suppose, but I’m feeling whiny about it. Do I have to temp? J keeps scolding me, but I’m thinking I want to toss my thermometer out the window and never look back. I’m feeling like taking chances, like I don’t want to be bound to gazing at charts; they only lead to unhealthy obsessive behavior in me. Will someone give me permission not to temp? Please?

Tonight my mom comes for a brief visit, and Saturday we go to see some very dear friends of ours from Humboldt in their new place in a new town. We get to see where their wedding will be–where I will officiate my very first wedding–but more than anything, we get some time with people who have known us for ages, people with whom we can discuss annoying students, unresponsive and apathetic classes, as well as baby plans, homesickness, and all the rest.

Meanwhile, J is in a paper-grading marathon, and I’ve got to clean. First, though, I’m going for a walk. It’s a beautiful fall day, and I need to be out in it.

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Filed under BBT, friends, ovulation, ttc

emerging

I have been a bad, bad blogger of late. With school starting, my whole schedule has been turned upside down. I may be getting used to it though. Because I’m lazy, here are some bullet points to highlight my recent days:

  • I’m sleeping again, and that feels good. We’ll see how tonight goes (Sundays and Tuesdays are my big nights for going to bed early. I hate them. I’m a night owl. This sucks. I fear I’ll be pouting the whole semester long.
  • My morning students are zombies. I believe I may have to start teaching writing through physical activity–that or hypnosis.
  • The evening students are itching to debate. I’ve got to accomodate them soon or they may commit mutiny. That would be fine with me.
  • Saturday during the day, we went to a BBQ to meet some people from a social group associated with our church, but it was a flop. Everyone there seemed a little awkward, but the woman who had invited us (not the hostess) was one of the primary causes of the awkwardness. She’s gay and probably around our age, and for some reason we thought she might be a potential friend, which is why we went. Alas, she’s more than a little socially inappropriate–in fact, she’s downright rude. During our first real conversation at this event, she asked us how much money we make, insisting we couldn’t possibly make a living at what we do. (WTF?) She asked J why she would use a singular pronoun to refer to our cats if they belong to both of us. (Again, WTF?) There were many more weird and inappropriate questions that I can’t remember at the moment, but suffice it to say we were both extraordinarily uncomfortable. Rude woman got up at one point, and J gave me this “Let’s get the fuck out of here!” look. I asked if she had a migraine, and conveniently enough, she did (yeah, right). We snuck out, only telling the very sweet hostess we were leaving. So much for that social group. Oh well.
  • To make up for it all, we had our neighbor over on Saturday night, had drinks, played poker, sang, danced, and generally had a grand time. I don’t think she left until 3am. I guess we all needed to let loose.
  • J started school today. I miss her. For the last six months or so we’ve had a lot of time together–more than we’ve ever had, and both of us have grown rather used to having the other around. On the other hand, it’s really nice to come home from a day at work to a kiss from my wife and the aromas of dinner and candles swirling about. Home feels so much more like home when one spends a few hours a week outside of it.
  • On my “off” days, I’m still working online. I like those days because at heart, I am a homebody, but I have to figure out how to keep these days productive. It’s too easy to spend the day reading blogs and the like.
  • One thing I have found to occupy my time on my off days is walking with my neighbor. We’ve got a good routine going, and we’ve been mapping out some great walks using this site. I loooove the technology. I also discovered that a walk we took last week in 96-degree heat was not 2.5 miles, as I though, but nearly four. No wonder I was so red.
  • I’m enjoying coverage of the Democratic National Convention. J and I are political junkies. We worked on the Dean campaign last time around, so the last one was rather bittersweet, but we’re quite fond of Obama in general. J is very sad that she must miss so much of the coverage of the convention due to teaching, and I’m sad that we don’t get to watch it together. Alas, that is what the internets are for.
  • We will see our niece this weekend, as my family wanted us to come visit to celebrate our birthdays. We hope not to come back angered by a certain male who contributed DNA to the new generation in our family. That is unlikely, however.
  • We may have some new TTC plans. More on that later–maybe even later today!

Ah, yes. That’s my update. It’s long. It’s not so eventful. Such is my life.

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Filed under family, friends, Ramblings

Tree Huggers

Our camping trip was, like so many experiences lately, just what we needed. We had the opportunity to go home. That is, we went to the Humboldt Redwoods. J and I both spent over a decade on the Humboldt coast (I know; I’m revealing a lot here!), and most of those years, we spent loving the Humboldt Coastal Redwoods. So when the opportunity arose to go camping with our very best friends in one of our very favorite places, we were thrilled, despite the long, long, long drive. This long, long (long, long) drive was beautiful though. It had been months since we had seen mountain after mountain covered in giant trees, since we had been somewhere where heavy traffic was four or five cars passing by the same spot in over the course of a couple of minutes. Once we hit the Humboldt County line, we found ourselves breathing easier.

We arrived at our campground at Humboldt Redwoods State Park on Friday afternoon. J and I have a ritual to pop open a beer as soon as we arrive at camp, so we did. We enjoyed our beers as we surveyed the campsite and determined what we would set up first. Any time we arrive at a campsite for a weekend of camping, this feeling washes over me–this sense of freedom and peace. And this is what we were feeling as we set up camp amongst the redwoods, madrones, and oak trees that hugged our campsite. We built a fire, made some dinner, and even played Yahtzee! (Yes, we are eighty).

campsite at dusk

campsite at dusk

Our friends would arrive later that evening, exhausted, and we greeted them with a campfire and a margarita and warm hugs.

When we went to bed, J and I discovered that the air mattress we had borrowed was significantly less full than when we set up camp. This concerned us, but we aired it up again, and went to bed. Two hours later, we woke up on the ground, and I had a large stick in my back. We aired it up again. Two hours later, we awoke to the same phenomenon. We aired it up again. This happend two more times before we decided that getting up was more inviting than sleeping a moment longer on that thing. So we got up, made our french press coffee and a fire and breakfast, and all was better with the world.

Later that day, we headed to the river.

Eel River

Eel River

One of Humboldt’s greatest treasures, in addition to its redwoods (and its one very notable agricultural export), are its rivers. We found a sunny spot on the Eel River where we stared at the water (and even ventured in a couple of times). The four of us have spent many summers camping at the Van Duzen River (which feeds into the Eel), so we fell right into our old groove as we sat there talking, then silent, then laughing.

J, V, and N

J, V, and N

Our friend, N, walked with me along the banks as I picked out rocks for our balcony garden back home. He’s a geologist, so he identified them for me and told me their stories. This one is volcanic. This one shows a flood happened. This one is made up of fossilized microbes. These are the things we’ve always done together camping, what we will always do.

Our access spot to the river was just beyond a stand of old growth redwoods, so as we were leaving, I snapped some photos of some giants.

 

In groves of old growth redwoods, it is often dark. The canopy is dense and only allows filtered sunlight through to the forest floor, so often, one will see what seems to be a spotlight on a fern or a clover. It’s the most magical sight.

That night, we had a giant campfire. We sang songs, drank too much, ate great food, and laughed a lot. J and our buddy N had spent some time trying to patch the mattress earlier in the day, but to no avail, so our friends invited us to sleep in their trailer, and we took them up on it. Needless to say, we were grateful, even if we had to sleep apart. We were up early again the next morning and crept out without waking them back to our campsite.

We cleaned up camp and said a sad goodbye to our friends as they went back to our old hometown where they live and we prepared to go back to our new home. On the way, we opted to take the Avenue of the Giants. This is a road that parallels Highway 101, and it drives through some groves of incredibly huge trees. We stopped for a short hike at one of the groves. It was Sunday, and this was our church.

When one enters a grove of old growth redwoods, the modern world disappears, and thousands of years of history unfold before your eyes. The ground beneath your feet becomes soft and spongy from centuries of needles and bark falling from the trees (this special soil is called “duff”).

The air smells sweet, and the sun sifts through the branches of the trees. There is no better word to describe this than magical.

A few times, J and I stopped, held hands, and closed our eyes. Other times we walked, hand in hand, with our heads tilted toward what would normally be the sky, staring up and up and up at trees that rival skyscrapers.

We hugged some of these trees.

J hugging tree

J hugging tree

We spent time with one enormous tree that must have had a forty-foot circumferance.

We stood at its base, contemplating its age, looking up to try to see its top.

We couldn’t. We loved this tree.

We would stall as we walked, slowing our steps, looking up, then around, taking photos, trying to soak in every last feeling of wonder and enchantment, burning images on our brains of our trees. I wanted to stay forever.

But soon enough, our hike was over. It was time to drive home, away from our beloved Humboldt Redwoods, trees that feel like family, trees that feel like home.

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Filed under camping, friends, hiking, home, redwoods

Ramblings from Rev. T

J and I finally get to go camping this weekend. Our dear friends who recently came to visit us have agreed to meet up with us for a weekend camping trip in celebration of J’s upcoming birthday. We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to get out into the forest, stare at the river, and do nothing. To top it off, we get to go to our redwoods.

I know I’ve said this before, but the redwoods are what we have missed most since our move. There is something so enchanting about them, so mystical, so home. Now we get to sleep under them, hike amongst them, and generally enjoy being in their presence for a whole weekend. It will be lovely.

On another note entirely, another of our dearest friends called last night to ask if J would do a special reading at her wedding next year. J then put me on the phone, saying, “You’ll like this.” My friend then asked if I would officiate their wedding. Few people know that I’m an ordained minister, but I am. I’ve never done anything with it, but minister credentials are a good thing to have in one’s back pocket–just in case, you know. One never knows when one might need to perform an emergency wedding or baptize a child, or get out of military service, right?

Anyway, our dear friend has given me some time to think about this, but I will very likely say yes. The wonderful thing about this is that the man she is marrying is someone J and I knew she would marry before they were ever together. She was coming out of a ten-year relationship and so was he around the same time. They were drawn to each other, got each other through the pain of their break-ups, and eventually became a couple. They’re perfect together. I have known her since I was an undergrad and him since I was a grad student. We have all been colleagues and friends for years, so it’s a great honor to be asked to marry them. After writing all of this, I’m wondering how I could ever say no! Their wedding is next July. If our late-October insemination takes, I could be very, very pregnant by then. The thought of this tickled her. If it does happen in October, I’ll suggest they find a backup person of the cloth.

In yet more news, my brother is asking his girlfriend to marry him today. We love his girlfriend and can’t wait for her to join the family. They will be getting married in February. I hope I’m pregnant by that wedding too.

And finally, in another piece of unrelated rambling, I visited my new school yesterday and my new department office. I met the department secretary (arguably the most important person in every academic department) as well as the department chair. Both were lovely and sweet and welcoming. Imagine my surprise when they said, “You know, we’ve seen you before!” I looked at them inquisitively, and they continued: “You were on the front page of the paper!” (If you’ve been reading along, you’ll know that J and I were on the front page of the major newspaper here when we were married last month.) I imagine my face went scarlet as the secretary said, “Yes, we’ve got it right here! We were all so excited when we say you’re name. I said to everyone in the department, ‘She’s one of ours!'” When she couldn’t find the paper, she remembered that she had placed it in my file. If you were wondering, this is the photo that appeared in the paper:

My colleagues typically find out that I’m gay gradually (not that it’s any sort of an issue in California colleges). There is nothing gradual about this, and based on their enthusiasm, that’s fine by me!

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Filed under camping, family, friends, fun, good news, Ramblings

Good Medicine

Our dear friends stayed with us until about 5pm yesterday, when we had to send them on their way. We’re lucky right now in that they are working just two and a half hours north of us for the entire summer, so the trip wasn’t difficult, and we got a bonus day with them yesterday out of it.

These are our oldest friends. J has known our friend, Mr. H, for longer than she’s known me. Once J and I got together, Mr. H was heartbroken. He had been in love with J, and he was so jealous of us. After a short period of mourning, he dealt with it, and he and I became great friends. He and I can talk about the craziest things; we bond over fixing things. He’s just great, and for years, he was almost always present in our lives. For years, he was even going to be our sperm donor (obviously, this changed later on). In 2000, he met the soon-to-be Mrs. H, and she turned out to be the most fabulous person in the world for him–and for our friendship. She just fit right in with our wacky conversations and ability to laugh for hours. Mr. H performed our commitment ceremony in 2001, and Mrs. H helped me cater it. A year later, I was their wedding photographer.

After they got married, things did change for awhile, as friendships do. They had straight married friends to whom they were growing closer, so we didn’t see them very often. They also came into quite a bit of money, and that changed them. We had some rocky times. However, each summer, we’d go camping and find ourselves again and laugh until we cried and our bellies ached the next day. As things continued to change, Mrs. H became an integral member of our ladies’ poker club. Mr. H would bring us fresh salmon anytime he caught it. We weren’t as close, but we still had fun. When we moved, these friends took some time to realize it was actually happening, and when they did realize it, they were stunned and sad. They were there with us in the last days a few times, and when we went back to clean, they insisted we stay with them. They take care of us.

We hadn’t seen them since that night when we stayed at their house, so this weekend, was a great treat. Mrs. H was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, but she’s found this great holistic nurse/accupuncturist to help her through it (her doctors just wanted to keep her on hard core steroids and antibiotics), so she’s got this crazy diet, but we had fun  making our way through that this weekend. She was so excited that we were able to make her dinner without altering our own too much (incidentally, it was skewered grilled shrimp and chicken breast marinated with lots of our own fresh basil; a grilled medley of farmer’s market squash–later baked to make it super soft for her–with a couple of drops of sesame oil and some tamari; and white rice). Food was actually a great focus all weekend. We all ate too much.

The greatest thing about this weekend was the laughter. We had so many amazing moments. We sat in the park on Saturday and had a picnic while we told stories. Mrs. H told us about a time when she was a teenager when her dad decided she and her brother needed to wear helmets when in the car with him. We laughed and laughed. Later, we sat around our house and our cat, Pierre brought us all a live lizard. Much chaos ensued, as did more laughter.  We spent the majority of the weekend laughing and laughing while holding our bellies and letting the tears stream down our faces. This is what we do.

J and I needed this, and we could tell that they needed it too. We used to live just a few blocks away from each other, so when we had the itch to see one another, we’d call up or drop by, and we’d suddenly be having a barbecue and a bonfire. It’s hard not to be able to do that with them. They told us they drive by our old house all the time wishing they could stop in.

I think this weekend confirmed for us all that we’ll be the sort of friends who will last forever, who will get together in twenty years and still laugh as hard and still love each other as much. I didn’t know if I’d ever have that because I’ve never been great at keeping friends. In some ways, too, this was permission for J and I to move on with some new friendships as well. We don’t have to forget the old to bring in the new; we just have to be open to it all.

J and I are left feeling somehow revived this week. Our friends brought a little piece of us back, and they helped us bless our new home with love and laughter. Oh, how we’ve needed this.

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