The Friday Five!

1. Okay, seriously: it will NOT STOP raining here. I can’t remember such a soggy summer in, well, EVER. The ground is saturated, the sun has gone totally MIA, and all my tomatoes are getting moldy. Honestly! On the upside (always look for the upside!) we are getting a lot of use out of our rainboots while jumping in puddles. It helps that our entire YARD is a puddle, for the most part. Makes the jumping so much easier when you can, you know, basically just walk and make it happen. Most summers, we are in drought conditions, and I know there are some places that are dealing with fires and could REALLY use all this wet stuff. Just asking for a bit of weather equilibrium, you know, if possible. Maybe? *squish*

2. I started doing yoga regularly a couple of weeks back, and here’s the crazy thing: I really like it. Let me back up a bit. I have tried yoga classes before, multiple times. Mostly because I am a neurotic, jumpy and anxious person, always worrying, and people always feel the need to tell me I should “meditate” and “take yoga” and “Just calm down for Godsakes!” (I hear that last one a lot, can you tell?) Every time before when I did yoga, however, I’d get all stressed that I was doing it wrong. Also, my mind could not Calm Down and Empty Itself, instead racing like crazy even while everyone around me seemed to be just breathing and, you know, being. But I’ve been tense since my book came out, as I always am at this point in the publishing process, so when my friend Amanda told me I should come with her to a very slow and easy Wednesday morning class, I decided to do it. And here’s the thing: I felt better. During the class, and then after. Mostly because this particular teacher and yoga studio don’t make you (or me, anyway) feel like I have to empty my mind or be all Zen. If you can just get it in pockets, here and there, that’s good enough. (I like good enough. I need more of it in my life.) I just focused on what I was doing, and stopped looking around at everyone else and comparing my downward dogs to theirs. This week I’ve gone twice, and there’s just this tiny bit of peace, among the regular chaos, that I notice wasn’t there before. The other day, I was in class and the teacher was having us do this crazy stretch/arm sweep/bend thing, and everyone was struggling with it. I basically twisted myself and then collapsed. She laughed, and said, “Well, that happened. It’s all good.” This is my new mantra. Forget the OMs and the namastes. Well, that happened. And things will, and do. But it IS all good. Because it has to be. Right?

3. Lest you think I have become some kind of yoga-healthy-peaceful mind person, I WILL tell you that I made a chocolate pudding pie for the Fourth of July. The last time I made one of these was about fifteen years ago, for a cookout at a friend’s house, and it caused this HUGE fight between my husband and I, back when he was my boyfriend. I’d bought this can of spray whipped cream to put over the top of my pie, and stuck it in the fridge. At some point, he found it and basically inhaled the entire thing, so I had no fun, frothy top for my pie when the time came to add it. I was SO MAD that I never made another one. But I can forgive and forget (after 15 years, at least) so I whipped up another one for our low country boil we were having for the Fourth. I also pointed very dramatically at the cannister of Redi-Whip and said, “YOU DON’T TOUCH THIS!” to which he rolled his eyes, as he is super healthy these days and wouldn’t touch whipped cream even if you forced him. The pie, though, was GREAT. I found myself eating it the next morning with my coffee, and that afternoon out of the tin while standing in front of the fridge. (Truth: chocolate pudding pie tastes best when consumed in this fashion.) Yoga might be good for my brain, but pie makes me happy. You need both, I think. It’s like required.

4. This time next week, I’ll be heading up to Cape Cod, MA for our annual family vacation. I am excited about traveling WITH my family for once, and not leaving them behind, and about seeing my cousins, having some true clam chowder and digging my toes into the sand. I’ll also be working, if only for a couple of hours, when I do an event at Eight Cousins Bookshop in Falmouth on Tuesday, July 23rd. You can get details AND enter a contest to win one of the first places in the signing line here. I’m hoping to make this event a family affair, and know at least that my father will be there, sporting his Colby Realty t-shirt. At the event two years back for WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE, he was wearing a Wish Catering shirt from ages ago and some reader offered to buy it off of him. He was so tickled. I’m just hoping it’s not 100 degrees this time, as it was the last time I was at Eight Cousins. Thank goodness for A/C! So come out, if you’re on the Cape. It will be cool and my dad will be there. What more do you need?

5. I’m writing this from the waiting room of the place where I’m getting my car inspected, where I have been sitting with two women who are hitting it off like a house afire. (As we say here.) One of them is 85, the other 65, and they just realized that they used to live in the same small town in Pennsylvania. They are laughing and bonding and just having the BEST time and I am reminded, again, of why I love the South so much. Because you WILL end up chatting with someone just out of politeness and discover you have something in common and, sometimes, even part as friends. There’s been a lot about my home state in the news this week and lately that makes me sad, politically, but I won’t get into that here. I’ll just say I love it here, and I’m glad I looked up from writing this post long enough to join in their conversation for a few minutes. That is all.

Have a great weekend, everyone!