Fare Thee Well, Ogres*

I have said “goodbye” and “see you later” and hugged many people tight many times in the past eight months, with more that happened this month. I’ve been mentally preparing to goodbye to some favorite humans officially since last fall, all of us thinking we’d have a year left—I started thinking of lasts and presents and then it sped way up and then mid-March came and we cried and loved the husband-half of this family who is moving across the country. As this goes live, it will have been nine days since we hugged the wife-half and babies a little harder and longer, saying to them, “See you soon.”

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My One Wild and Precious Life

“That’s wild.”

This phrase has been added to Urban Dictionary and is defined as: “another way of saying ‘that’s crazy’, but with more emphasis.”

Sitting in the coffee shop trying to write about wild in my life, through my perspective, the famous phrase—”one wild and mrmrmememr life”—digs through my brain.

I google the phrase and up pops Mary Oliver’s poem, “The Summer Day.”

I don’t believe I’ve ever read this poem in its entiriety. The last line is famous—”Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” And I never knew it stemmed from a day spent with a grasshopper, strolling through fields.

I took the above selfie on a bright, sunny morning in Boise, Idaho last June. This was mine and Ant’s second stint on the road trip. We’d just spent the previous day driving 12+ hours and a bazillion miles from Keystone, South Dakota and crashed in our Boise hotel at the stroke of midnight. We had gotten eight hours of sleep, partaken of the delicious continental breakfast, and had hot showers. The only thing missing was good coffee. (Oh man, Bordertown coffee is the bomb dot come you guys. If you’re crossing into Eastern Oregon from Boise, Idaho (or vice versa) please go there. Their iced chais are delicious. I will forever wish I’d gotten a bigger size and forever thinking about how to route any future trip through there.) I’m wearing my new Keystone t-shirt, the backpack Ant’s employer sent him when he’d first started working there, flip flops and favorite jeans. I took it because I wanted to remember this reflection of me.

This was our first road trip as adults outside of California. I wanted to remember the 12+ hour drive along the Snake River, the elevation sign that noted Mount Togwotee pass and us being 9,655 feet in elevation. I wanted to remember the snow still in the mountains in June. I wanted to remember the Grand Teton mountain range. I wanted to remember seeing Mount Rushmore in person, eating vanilla ice cream from a recipe Thomas Jefferson’s had created. I wanted to remember the human that had fallen in love with that seemingly random South Western corner of SoDak that “only” has Mount Rushmore to offer. (Not true in the slightest. those Black Hills are beautiful.) I wanted to remember being expectant of what our next drive would bring us. (Oof, Eastern Oregon.) I wanted to remember how much adventure seemed to suit me.

Last summer’s road trip definitely awakened something in me, in Ant too actually. It was exciting to see new places and what at least one state of the vaguely defined mid-West looks like.

I want to see the Pacific Ocean more. We live two hours away from our nearest beach and usually only go once a year.

I want to explore Tahoe more.

I want my City of Angels tourist weekend.

I want to visit more zoos, near and far.

We’re going back to SoDak this summer with Monica. This time, we’re going through northern Wyoming on our way there and will get to spend and entire day in Grand Teton National Park. And then we’ll be in the Black Hills for three days. I’m stoked to spend more time in this area, to actually see it. I’m hoping we can see other things along the way too.

But as I consider Mary Oliver’s question—”What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”—I hesitate, thinking about grasshoppers and fields.

I have never considered my life wild. I am a responsible, overall mature human. I’ve been referred to as an old soul more than a couple of times. I am the planner and “wild” feels like the opposite of that.

A year ago I would have told you that the wildest thing to happen was my upcoming promotion. But now…so much has happened since then. I left my office job in November. I’m trying to pursue the writing life. I get to watch my niece and nephew once a week. I want to write novels and blog consistently. Tennessee has been added to our permanent visit list. Ant and I aren’t necessarily tied to PTO or available vacation times; just internet. We’re also trying to become runners.

I think of wilderness, when I think of wild. I think of an adventuring party trying to save a town or finding the source of a problem. I think of Kettle’s wild magic. (He’s my miniature tabaxi in D&D.) (Stories to come on him.) I think of tigers and lions, maned wolves, red pandas, and so many other wild animals I’m learning about through the Rossifari Podcast.

I think of road trips and travel and vacations. Exploration. “The wilderness needs to be explored!” Russell declares to Mr. Fredrickson many times throughout the movie Up.

But as I looked though my camera roll at pictures from last year, I was reminded how beautiful my life is in between the road trips and Disneyland magic.

And then I remembered that there’s been so many times I’ve driven home from a game night or D&D session, movie night or holiday dinner gone late, or from the care home, or from one job coaching site to the next, and I think in pure awe, This is my life. It’s just this very raw moment of thankfulness to God that this is my life.

So, yes. I do want to remember that girl from last summer who drove through six different states and saw mountains and hills and animals she can’t wait to see again. But I don’t want to spend so much time dreaming or reminiscing that I forget that my daily life is pretty cool.

I’m a writer. I write for a living.

I have friends and family in Tennessee, Arizona, North Carolina, Oregon, and Montana. I have permanent places to stay and people to visit outside of California.

I have roots in here in this little NorCal area; that’s wild.

Laurisa and I just saw Anastasia on Broadway a month and a half ago; that’s wild.

I see my niece and nephew once a week. I babysit them. It’s less of an event now and more just our normal; that’s wild.

I will continue to buy succulents, plant strawberries, and water seeds and flowers to see pretty blooms.

I will continue to light up with it snows, when the moon looks cool, or when the sunrise and sunset—the sky in general, really—look beautiful. (Which is literally all the time for me.)

To answer Mary Oliver’s famous inquiry: What will I do with my one wild and precious life?

Well today, Mary, I will continue washing square things (blankets, towels, rags, etc.). I will pick-up my Red Robin leftovers from a friend’s house. I will pick up a library hold. I will pet our cats. I will eat dinner and play a board game or two with my husband tonight.

Thank you God for this “wild and precious life” of mine. That I am blessed with these seemingly simple things to do today—it’s wild. Thank you.

What do you plan to do with your wild and precious life today?


My writing group and I explore the theme of Wild this month. Read more stories on Wild from other Illuminate members:


Writing Process Notes:

3/18/22 // 1:26pm-2:16pm. Writing Desk, while eating lunch. Hobbit Hole Noises. Word total: 1180.

3/20/22 // 5:35pm-6:47pm. Writing Desk. Reread it and enjoyed it more than I did Friday lol. Edited and revised. looked for and added photos. Word count now: 1234.

What I Read This Winter

Where I share the books I’ve read from December 2021 through February 2022.

I’ve been doing much better reading the books Ant and I own during these past three months. I also started creating an Excel spreadsheet to catalogue our library. It’s a slow project, but I’m excited to see it through.

My reading goal was to complete 54 books. Thanks to my month off in December I came very close to achieving my goal, but due to our Bermuda Triangle week and spending more time with Monica, watching Netflix movies (Love Hard and tick tick…BOOM), Survivor, and playing board games, I fell just three books short—but I think it was the better option 🙂

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Finding Cozy

Tuesday, 10 days before the link is due //

Upon writing this, Ant and I took a walk today in 60-something-degree weather. We wore t-shirts (and not even a light jacket!) and opened our windows before we left. We watered our past Christmas trees—Bruce (doing okay) and Bart (if he doesn’t make it this spring, we may have to call it)—and then we headed to the park to take a walk.

Upon returning home from our walk, the windows remained open and I walked around the house barefoot for the rest of the afternoon.

When I first read through this month’s inspiration for the theme, I had images of Ant and I playing in the snow (during our Bermuda Triangle week*), the Christmas light glow, and wearing slippers and favorite pajama pants.

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Of Dice and Cats

Last Tuesday night I couldn’t sleep, so I got out of bed at 11 and wrote at my desk until I felt tired. I made very few corrections to this piece, just added connecting phrases that make it flow better.

I need to start remembering that June is a busy month for us. The weekend leading up Illuminate’s blog hop was Ant’s birthday-Father’s Day-Mom’s birthday-overnights all in one. SO. I missed the blog hop deadline, but the words are still worth sharing.


For whatever reason tonight is one of those nights where I am awake. My eyes are heavy and I feel tired. But I’m at my writing desk instead of sleeping. And so, instead of fighting it or watching Critical Role, I gave in and got up.

And I don’t know if it’s the words swirling around inside of me, wanting out, in ink, on paper, just out of my brain.

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These are the days // Volume 1, Issue 2

Memories for the days of 3/14 to 3/20.

The ones that are italicized represent what was happening a year ago this week, interspersed with the things favorite people on social media were saying.

I tend to do this with a lot things–I remember what happened a year ago on seemingly random days. This week in 2021 was a good week, healthy mentally and emotionally, spiritually and physically. We’re able to see people and hang out and it feels normal. This time last year wasn’t like that and I don’t want to forget what last year looked like in comparison, what we went through to get to where we are today.

These are the days…

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These are the Days: Volume 1, Issue 1

It’s dark and cloudy outside. NorCal’s expecting another storm tomorrow. I haven’t left the house all day (thanks new cycle) and the words are bubbling up, so let’s try this weekly reflection that Emily P. Freeman talks about and see how it goes for me. Memories from the week of Sunday, March 6th to yesterday, Saturday, March 13th.


These are the days of…

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What I Learned This Winter // December 2020 to February 2021

I have always been a recorder at heart. I keep planners and old calendars. I’ve journaled irregularly since forever. I went through a bullet journal phase. (I made my own versions in blank Moleskines. Multiples of them.) I love keeping a record of memories and events. I love being able to look back and see videos and pictures from where Ant and I were three years ago . . . five years ago . . . seven years ago. And I am finally committing to this season’s “What I Learned.” It originates from Emily, a blogger, author, and podcast host. She writes beautiful words and I’ve been a fan of her blog for awhile now. I just read her post on what she learned this past winter and was reminded once again that it doesn’t have to be extensive, in-depth, detailed, or an essay written about each thing.

*deep breath*

I’m just going to jump in and write this.

*exhale*

Here we go:

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