When I was young, my parents were "back to the landers" meaning: they lived a simple life in a log home they built themselves with trees they hewed and fitted. We didn't have running water so we relied on the heat of a sauna to cleanse our bodies. There was a hand pump in the front yard where we could dredge up the sweet, irony tasting water which ran below the land my parents hunted and farmed. My dad sang in a rock band and my mom kept the home fires burning all day, 7 days a week. She handmade every article of clothing I donned. She gardened, canned, built furniture, did home repairs, and still made time to read a book to me before bed every night. I was a lucky kid in a lot of ways.
This past week, my mom and 9 year old niece were here visiting (which is the reason for my tardiness with the blog) and I tried to give my niece some of the experiences I had as a child. Sure, I took her to Circus Juventas and I bought her an overpriced Caribou Coffee- but I also took her to a laundromat and showed her how to find lost, overlooked, or abandoned quarters. She made $1.50 just patiently keeping her eyes to the floor! We went thrifting and I taught her that she can get twice the school clothes for half the price. And I wager that she'll be the trendiest kid in her class. I also took her dumpster diving. I know- this sounds like a terribly irresponsible activity to subject a 9 year old girl to... but she recalls it as her favorite part of her stay (a gal after my own heart!) We found so many treasures in that big bin. At one point, she proudly exclaimed, while waist deep in rubble, "one girl's garbage is another girl's treasure!" I bet she'll remember these off-kilter experiences with her weird aunt forever.
Sometimes the most valuable things are the simplest. I had 4 days with my mom & niece, and while they were here I put the rest of the world on hold. When it was time to say goodbye to them, the voice messages and emails were still there. But I recognize that it was really important for me to take a few days with my family and totally unplug. We all need that every now and again. I'll let you in on a little secret: Davey Hazard rejuvenates with a calming massage, Lenny Renegade with a long run outdoors, and Danny Rampage with a good Bourbon & enlightening conversation. Hopefully my readers have had the chance to do some restorative activities recently. If you have and you'd like to share how you recharge, tell me all about it in the comments. I love to hear from you! I get that we're all busy and that our phones & computers are a big part of our self-created chaos, but being given that brief reminder of simpler times was wonderful and necessary. I'll hold onto those memories long after my inbox is empty.