Less Than Ideal
The temperatures spiked into the high 90s and even broke into the 100s. Where I'm from, where most anyone's from, that's hot.
Sometimes I say I'm from the Bay Area and sometimes, the Silicon Valley. Both are accurate. Around here, when thoughts of housing costs start to make us feel dizzy, we steady ourselves with thoughts of the weather. Comfortable, mild, and without much variation is how it might be described. We are so often faulted for our lack of a proper autumn. -You can do better to insult us. We are comfortable.
The median home price in my city is $1.5 million. (Awkward Pause) But that weather though!
Rent for a 1 bedroom apartment averages $2800/month….but a hoodie sweatshirt is all you really need at the height of ‘winter’ so, we win, obviously. I think. We win, right? Wait, what?
Here is a problem, I expect mild. Stray to far to the left or right of ‘comfortable,’ that’s where miserable makes a home in my attitude.
As I write this, I'm laying in my bed roasting. At least, I was. This party has now moved to the back porch because I can't sleep and it's cooler, ever so slightly cooler, out here. There's the relief of a slight breeze coming off the bay, but the house is still full of heat.
Y’all we don't have AC. Almost no one has good ole AC in my city. It's a very rare to have central air in a home around here. Maybe a window AC unit, but real central air, unicorn. Insult us for that if you must. We already paid for ‘perfect’ weather so why should we also have to buy AC.
My children commandeered my fan. The hot air isn't even moving in my room. Stagnant hot air. Ick. Let's not even talk about it. Let's especially not talk about it if you have AC. I know you have AC.
Ryan had a painful twinge in his back this week. Just a little warning that something was off. We planned to head to a lake on Father's Day, a few days post said twinge. As he was loading up the van, his back went out on him. Twinge no more. I don't think I've seen him in such pain, ever.
He actually asked for some Advil, proof he was in agony. As he was laid out on the floor on Father’s Day with intermittent ice and heat, lake-day dreams puddled and evaporated quickly in our swelter. He could barely move.
We needed a plan B. Everyone had visions of stand up paddle boarding and lake swimming in their heads. Grilling on the beach and lazing in the sand listening to music was all penciled in. No more. I thought we were headed to the ER.
After an hour his back began to loosen slightly. Still in pain but able to walk, we opted for a pool day at Grammy’s followed by a backyard BBQ at our place instead.
It was hard to convince Ryan not to take care of all of us in his usual way. It was hard for him to let others do the heavy lifting or even not-so-heavy lifting or even just slight bending for him. He got away with a few chores without us all screaming at him. We didn't have to scream at him much anyway, his back was loud and clear.
We swam. We grilled. We let go of perfect. We let go of the plan. We let go of the comfort of things going our way. Especially Ryan, he was most uncomfortable. His back hurt but so did the thought of shutting down the plan.
I woke up this morning after a fitful sleep to the sound of an immature crow. A rooster. I fear my neighbors woke to the same sound.
It is difficult to tell what a baby chick might grow to be, hen or rooster. Hen is the only option we have. And though rare, mistakes can be made, future roosters can be accidentally acquired. Hunt has a condition incompatible with urban life, maleness.
That twinge that flares, that heatwave, that plot twist in the backyard flock. Embracing the less than ideal. We embrace not being fully prepared and accept that we do our best or as close to that as our imperfect attempts will take us.
We hope for a life that would never need AC. Mild, comfortable, just right. But that's not life. Not even in the Bay Area climate.
I smile to see my children swim and play with their cousins in the same pool that their daddy swam in as a little boy with his siblings and cousins. Uncle J throws them and they laugh and Ryan laughs. Kids break for watermelon and I try to get more sunblock on their noses but the tops of them burn anyway.
The same day that I wake to the realization we will have to say goodbye Hunt, I also find that Peck has laid her first egg.
We take another imperfect step forward.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. We are excited to be going on a road trip this summer. Follow our 4 week journey on instagram #greatringsummertour2017 . Last week I shared with my 3 favorite trip planning trips and soon I will share a few favorite things we are taking along. Get on the list here.
*I read 12 books in 2016 and have a goal of 24 for 2017.*
I am keeping a running book list. I have no interest in rating or endorsing these books on here but feel free to ask me about them if you are curious. It's just a list of fact. Fact being I finished the book. I only finish books if I want to, so take from that what you will. Below, I'll also include what I am currently reading with no promise of ever finishing.
Books Read in 2017:
1. Hope Heals by Catherine Wolf
2. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
3. Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life by Emily P. Freeman
4. In the Shadow of Lakecrest by Elizabeth Blackwell
5. Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
6. This is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warrnick
7. It's Not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You didn't Choose by Melanie Dale
8. Hope Sings: Risk More. Dream Bigger. Fear Less. by Susanna Foth Aughtmon
9. Queen of the Universe: Encouragement for Moms and Their World-Changning Work by Susanna Foth Aughtmon
10. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
11. Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying so Hard by Jennie Allen
12. My Reality by Melissa Rycroft
Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery
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