Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Spring! Five Things I Love

Happy First Day of Spring!

As a lot of you probably know by now, we put an offer in on a house and this time someone took us seriously! So we're in escrow. We close on the 27th of April -- which is right about when I'll be wrapping up work on Winter Kill. So it's kind of an action-packed spring.

I'm still a little in shock.

But anyway, it's a good shock. I'm thrilled about the house -- and terrified that something will go wrong and we won't get it. I don't think I will really believe in it until we're unlocking the door for the first time and walking across our threshold.

It's been a while since we've shared one of our Five Things We Love and I thought the first day of spring might be the perfect time.

1 - Tacos.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN'T CHOOSE TACOS AGAIN? Okay, This is not intended to be an advertisement, but we subscribe to Blue Apron and I'm really having a lot of fun cooking right now. I'm putting BA on hold for the next few weeks while we get through escrow, so I will miss the enticing boxes of produce and packets that show up every Thursday evening. The next time I cook -- really cook -- we'll (cross my fingers) be in our new kitchen in our new house.

2 -  Vintage home decorating books. Wow. Whole chapters devoted to Where to Place Your TV.

3 - Sinking deep into a new project. Losing myself in that world of my imagination. Writing is such a weird thing. It's like intense daydreaming, only all the while your brain is observing and trying to translate the experience into precise and evocative words. It's a peculiar exercise of creativity and intellect. Keeping that perfect -- articulate--  balance of emotional involvement and dispassionate observation...I think that's what makes writing so different from the other arts.

4 - The way the air changes with the seasons.

Spring feels warm and young. It is fragrant with flowers and grass and sunshine. Autumn and Spring. Those are the two big changes here. Those are the ones you really feel in your chest.

5 - Change.

I hate change. But I love to force myself off the diving board anyway. I love the cold blue splashing
shock of it. And then how stronger and better you feel after you've been swimming in that change for a while. And how quickly change becomes the new normal.

So what do YOU love this Spring? What is spring bringing you this year?


  1. Oh my Gosh... Spring's here already? Awesome, I'm gonna enjoy the next few months then. :)

    1. Yep, spring has sprung. There's no putting her back in the box now.

  2. Yay for spring and enjoying projects and new beginnings! :-)

    Spring is almost here, here as well! after so much minus whatever. I love it when flowers start appearing, and the feeling of lightness (winter layers are heavy!), and light till late in the evening. Awesome books. New Mexican restaurant to try (they have chimichangas!) Oh, and spring morning air when it's still sort of quiet outside. :-)

    1. I love those. And you're so right about the heaviness of winter. Even the sunlight has a weighty feeling.

  3. I do know Spring is coming...just not here, today. Today is 2 to 4 more inches of snow in NYC. *sigh* But maybe it starts here tomorrow instead. :)

    I'm looking forward to:
    1. Milder temperatures after this cold, snowy winter
    2. Pansies in all their shades of purple
    3. Lying on soft green grass in Central Park
    4. Being able to exercise outside the gym
    5. Wearing my super comfortable athletic sandals

  4. I love change. As jarring as it can be at times, I love it. I think that's why I love teaching and why I live in an area with for seasons. Each season heralds new beginnings. New beginning for you and the earth. It's all good. This spring you're jumping into your new home, Josh. May the change not be as shocking, but warm and inviting, and everything you're hoping for.

    1. ummm...that's live in an area with four seasons. I don't even think I can blame that on autocorrect...:p

    2. I like your comments about change, Karan. They really ring true for me especially now in the midst of So. Much. Change.

      Really the only constant is the SO and the writing. My life preservers in a sea of change.

  5. Wonderful list, Josh. And I love the photos you've picked for this post. I agree with your thoughts about change. You made me think of a quote I saw a couple of days ago on Pinterest: "Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations." No matter how much you worry, you'll have your pool (and dream house) on 27th April. So, maybe not to worry too much any more? Rather try to concentrate on remembering to bring your swimwear with you the first time you guys walk across that threshold. :-)

    Here's my Five Things I Love list for this spring:

    1. New beginnings. I'm staring at my brand new juicer. ;-)

    2. Planning for summer. Things like what flowers to plant in which pots. Or which concerts to buy tickets to. And impatiently waiting for the barbecuing season to start!

    3. Taking long walks with hubby and Annie the dog, and watching winter turn into spring with all its perky noises and scents. And finally witnessing spring slowly starting to look like real summer. Our usual walk route crosses quite a few bridges and goes along the river all the way to the sea and back. When we walk it almost daily it's a lovely opportunity to watch nature (and people!) change from dull and grey to colorful and happy! :-)

    4. Not being forced to wear so many clothes on. I miss my sandals!

    5. Seeing hope and joy in my friends. The sweet anticipation for the things spring and summer months will bring to each of them. Being able to witness and share the absolute excitement of big and small turning points in life. Can you imagine that one of them will be happily setting up his wet bar in the end April?

    1. Your lists are always like a deep breath of fresh air. :-)

    2. Right back at you! :-) Sharing these lists (reading them and making them) always brings a moment of absolute contentment in the middle of busy everyday life. Thank you for making it all possible, Josh.

  6. I'm sick, so I'm not loving anything right now, apart from the fact that I'm still alive. However, 5 things I am looking forward to, once I am well enough to think about anything other than my own misery:
    1. Not having to dress up in so many clothes that I look like the Michelin woman simply to walk to the car. Happiness is when I get to stash the winter boots in the back of the closet.
    2. Seasonal foods available in the supermarket. Artichokes, asparagus, peas, greens.
    3. Being able to open a door or window for more than 30 seconds. Five months of living with stale air gets old.
    4. Watching life return: the flowers, the birds, the insects. It seems like the whole world is having sex with itself or something else.
    5. I would say, "being better able to get around," but unfortunately, it can be almost as difficult to get around in the spring as in the winter. I stepped in a puddle today (which was actually a mudhole disguised as a puddle) and ended up butt-down, legs up in the water. Not only did I end up with mud on my butt, but it was running down my legs onto my feet and I even got some in my hair and my face. The nearby construction workers and even my SO found this all highly amusing, but what's highly amusing about an elderly woman covered in mud? (I heard that.)

    1. I regret to say that I did gasp and then laugh. But I IMMEDIATELY was horrified again on your behalf. ;-D

      That's a great and very seasonally-focused list, by the way.

      I hope you feel better soon. And no more falling into puddles.

  7. I always put coffee on my lists, so you can say tacos...which Got me thinking....

    1. Fish tacos. From a food truck. In Hawaii.
    2. Coffee
    3. The Blue Apron dinners this past week were fab...I never would have thought to put apples in my hash. :-)
    4. Flowers, flowers, and more flowers.
    5. Cheesecake...cheese, cake...did I already mention coffee?

  8. Happy Spring! I say while I button up against the snow storm outside!

    This spring feels like a whole new beginning for me, which I find extremely exciting and motivating. The season (okay, slightly before spring if we're being technical) began with me finally being able to say, "I'm published!"

    1. My writing. I lost years to crippling writer's block, which is a very broad term I know, but somewhere a few months ago I found the tracks again, and the words flow and I'm so excited to write everyday. It's such an incredibly beautiful and complicated process.

    2. Not moving. For once! I realized the other day that I have moved at least eleven times in the past ten years. New Hampshire, New Jersey, all over NYC, Key West, Tokyo-- I've moved every single year and that is tiring. Now I've just signed a two-year lease, my apartment has been painted and decorated, and it's HOME.

    3. Deliveries. Josh, I've got Fresh Direct over in NYC. Groceries come to me and it's fabulous.

    4. Book, books, books. So many books. ALL THE BOOKS.

    5. Routines. I like routines. I admit I'm not the most spontaneous person, and I don't like interruptions. This spring seems to be welcoming in a now established routine that I like. Just enough chores to make sure food is cooked and laundry is washed, but I've more importantly settled into the writing and it's become an expected part of my day.

    Wow, that was a list. lol! Excuse me now, I've got my own novel to write... :)

  9. Josh you and my son would mesh so well.
    Right before grocery shopping. Me~ Danyon what would like for suppers this week?
    Danyon~ Tacos!!
    Me~ sighing Again!?
    Danyon~ yup.
    So come on over, we'll be having tacos...again. ;)
    I love your fives they're always so upbeat and optimistic even in the nervousness of the new homestead looming.

    So here's mine and thank you for asking.
    1. The time to spend as a stay at home mom and the hubs for asking me to do so. Don't get me wrong here. He's the first to fight for any woman to do as she wishes. I just wanted to be available for my son like my mom was.
    2.I'll chime in with Haldis above on numbers 4 and 5. Each mean spring to me in different ways.
    3.The look of Spring. The way the sun moves around is different, The way people move is different too. People are more open, I guess is a good word. They wave and smile a bit more. The early morning smell is cleaner somehow. Maybe it's all thingy, doesn't make it any less real.
    4.Sleep. Any time I can take a combat nap is glorious.
    5.String cheese and crackers. Good on the go snack.
    So yeah. There you go. Know that I'm sending good vibes and huge back cracking hugs for the new abode.
    Thanks for all you do for your fans Josh~
    gail staggs

  10. Congratulation on the house :)! That must be really scary and amazing at the same time. At least that's how I felt when I bought my apartment. At the possibilities in decorating... Anyway, have fun :). That was my way of not going crazy over everything.

    Five things in Spring:
    1. drinking coffee at my favorite coffee shop in front of the shop, in the sun
    2. new spring clothes in all bright beautiful colors
    3. sneakers, white, because there is no mud or rain any more
    4. spring flowers in the park, white, yellow, violet
    5. sun,sun,sun


  11. 1. Skipping one panel of the conference I attended today to sit on bench in the sun. With no jacket.

    2. The attendees of said conference (all ages, all faculties) peering at the sun or using their mobile phones to see the solar eclipse. There was a feeling of childish giddiness around.

    3. All the spring flowers.

    4. Spring surprise in my mailbox.

    5. That I could drive home today in my car. Alone. Instead of using the crammed train with all the sneezing and wheezing commuters. Thank you!

  12. Spring is for me the real beginning of the new year.
    Feeling the sun on my face. All colours very intense. The green of the leaves are fresh, not dusty. It is unbelievable how many different shades of green leaves can have. I close my eyes and see all this beautiful green. I am sitting the first time these year in a street café in the sun, reading, watching people, smiling over the young freezing girls in too light dresses. The sun is sparkilng on the water and I am so happy, that I am smiling so bright, that stranger look at me smiling too, wishing me a nice weekend.

  13. I've always thought each of the four seasons has its own distinct smell. My favorites are Spring and Fall. What I love about Spring is the feeling of rejuvenation and rebirth it usually gives me, although I have to admit I'm struggling to feel it this year. I walk at night several times a week for about an hour and this time of the year some of the streets are pretty heady with the fragrance of night-blooming jasmine (and fresh skunk). The newness of everything around me makes me realize that I'm right where I'm supposed to be at this time in the world.

    My Five Things I Love Today are:

    1. Lily of the Valley: A little flower with a big, beautiful fragrance. These are my Mom’s favorite flowers but they’re hard to find. We used to have them growing next to a bunch of Forget-Me-Nots under our lilac bushes back home.

    2. Random Acts of Kindness: Sometimes going through the daily grind of life is like a war of attrition. Pieces of your soul get chipped away and ground down by all the negativity life throws at you. When I see or read about or hear about people doing good for others, it always tugs at my heartstrings.

    3. Redemption: There’s a line in the Dolly Parton song ‘Travelin’ Through’ (which I love) from the movie ‘Trans-America’ that says: ‘God made me for a reason and nothing is in vain; Redemption comes in many shapes with many kinds of pain.’ Life can sometimes be a roller coaster of a journey and I’ve seen miracles happen.

    4. Family: My sister texted me the other day saying she had a dream I was moving to LA and that it made her feel sad because she wouldn’t see me as much anymore.

    5. Good Food and Drinks with Good People: A night out with good friends goes a long way to erasing the wreck of a day.

  14. 5 Things I love-spring edition
    1. Pussy willows. We had a old pussy willow tree on the farm I grew up on. My mom would always cut branches and put them in vases inside the house. I loved how the furry buds looked like tiny rabbits.
    2. Spring peepers. I love the sound of those tiny little frogs singing at night.
    3. The smell of manure on a field of freshly turned earth. I did say I grew up on a farm.
    4. Seed catalogs. I loved planning a garden when I had a garden to plan. Still love the seed catalogs.
    5. Kites. I love flying kites.

  15. Living in South Florida, I always hated spring. It meant our short respite of warm weather was over and the oppressive heat was ready to roll back in--if it hadn't already.

    But I moved to Oregon a week ago, so hasta la vista, South Florida heat. I think this is my first ever spring. And I love it!

    1) Foggy mornings. They're just magical, when it's 39 degrees and the trees look like ghosts and there's a mist hanging over the shaggy green fields.

    2) New leaves. I've never seen that particular shade of yellow green on trees, like peridot. And the leaves are so small and precious.

    3) Farm supply stores. Because nothing says "spring" like a center display featuring ten different breeds of fuzzy, peeping live chicks.

    4) Daffodils. When I saw my first daffodil in a friend's yard, I did a double take and had to ask her if it was real. (I was almost as stunned as the first time I saw a real poppy flower--I had never seen a flower that was neon orange!)

    5) Tacos. No, really! I happen to be eating some right now. They really know how to make Mexican food in this city. I haven't had it this good since I was in Mexico, no kidding. :D

    And I love that "change" was on your list, because I'm experiencing a lot of that right now. It can be nerve-wracking, but I am so, so enjoying it. Everything is new and--scary--but also wondrous. :)

    Thanks for your list, and giving us a chance to share ours!!


  16. Hurrah on the house! Beware the nervous breakdown over all that's got to be done between now and then--and how many papers there are to sign. I remember getting writer's cramp :-0

    Spring is: little green shoots of daylilies popping up; being able to walk outside without navigating ice and snow piles; opening my brand-new windows to air out the winter blahs; spring cleaning; spring clothes; Easter candy!

  17. 1. The slow awakening of the nature in springtime.
    2. Tiny buds on trees and bushes.
    3. Crisp, cold air and warm sun in my face.
    4. Taking off my heavy winter boots and wearing sneakers again!
    5. Chucking all the woolly clothes and find the light cotton shirts and skirts.

  18. 1. Melted snow.
    2. The smell of the dirt as its about to turn green
    3. The first day you can take off your shoes and walk on the lawn
    4. All sorts of men shedding their layers down to shirts.
    5. Remembering the parts of the city I lost to the ice and snow for three months.

  19. Five things I love for spring:

    1. Rain. We always need more rain in Texas.
    2. When it stops freakin’ raining all the danged time – because the Dallas area has unveiled, new for spring, our very own monsoon season, and now I can refer to my driveway as The Sinkhole without exaggerating. Much.
    3. Cardinals. They love the brush behind my house – which I know I should clear but which the cardinals love…see the loop? Should clear it…can’t evict the cardinals…should clear it…can’t evict… Not only decorative, but excuse-worthy!
    4. Barefoot Contessa cookbooks with lots of photos. Food porn. I’m not ashamed of this.
    5. New stories to feed the Kindle…thanks for that, by the way!

    Congrats on the new house! I love looking at houses and planning the décor and what I will do to the yards…but the actual packing and moving…even before I considered the idea of someone chunking my Grandma’s china and stuffing a dead guy in my moving crate…not so much.

    Good luck with the packing and the loading and the unloading and the unpacking and the frantic search for your mouse because somebody thought it would be funny to put it in the box marked “cat toys” instead of in the box with all the other random computer parts that have to be stuck somewhere together for the move…it’s all worth it! And be sure to take the time to revel in cooking that first meal in your new kitchen!