It occurred to me to check the other day how long I’ve been writing here. Turns out, it’s been eight years today. 2,922 days.

When I started, the house was over there, up the hill, an arm’s reach from the road. (That’s a picture of it, up there, the way it was when we moved in.)

That road, when we first moved here, was quiet. On our commute to work every day, we might be joined by one or two other cars. Many nights, on the way home, the road was ours alone.

Eventually, traffic picked up, the road got louder, and we decided either we had to move, or the house had to move (knowing full well that the road had already moved once in its history and was not likely to do so again in our lifetime).

So we moved the house. And began writing here.

When I started, H was just about finished with Kindergarten. In a week-and-a-half, she’ll be a high schooler.

When I started, my mother was alive, as were her parents.

When I started, we had an old dog named Phoebe, and this current goofy dog, my shadow, hadn’t been born yet. Neither had the cats. Nor the goats.

When I started, I was in my first year working for myself, and wondering if it was possible to make a living that way. I guess I’m still wondering that.

When I started, I didn’t know how to make cheese, and was proficient at making just a few breads.

When I started, I borrowed H’s point-and-shoot camera to take the pictures.

When I started, I barely knew what a blog was, and social media wasn’t yet a thing. I just wanted a way to easily share the status of our house move with our far away family and friends.

And here I am, eight years later, still writing.

And even though a lot of big things have changed, most of the essential stuff hasn’t. It’s still the three of us against the world, with a pack of animals to amuse us. The waterfall below the house still roars all night and all day. The house is still unsquare and uneven. We make chaos in the kitchen, spending days to make a feast that takes less than an hour to consume. And we enjoy the heck out it. We shop at the local food co-op, which we joined the first morning we lived here. We gather with family and friends for holidays and birthdays. We make messes, come up with grand plans, fall asleep on the sofa on a hot Saturday afternoon, and, for some reason, I write about it here.

I don’t fully understand why.

I don’t really know what this place is. It’s not a house renovation blog, or a food blog, or a farm blog, or a mommy blog, or a poet’s blog, or a photographer’s blog, or any of those things. It’s me, and us, our lives, what I’m thinking (or worrying) about today. What I saw today. What I read, or wrote, or liked.

It’s an eight-year-old, interested in language and pictures and making things, but, like me, not yet settled into what it wants to be when it grows up.

It seems a silly thing to mark this day, but why not? Marking time. Observing the moment. This is what we do.

Come a long way


This is my 500th post.

Little by little, post by post, we’ve come to this point, you and I.

What started as a whim on a sunny summer afternoon in 2005, as simply a way to share pictures of the house move with far-flung family, has come to this.

Back then, I only planned on posting some pictures. I had a point-and-shoot camera and I let it make all the decisions. I didn’t think hard about what to name this blog. I was so pleasantly stunned by how easy it was to start a blog, I just… started it.

And then, inch by inch, mile by mile, we covered some ground, you and I.

We watched a house move.
We went to work and school.
We took walks.
We took vacations.
We tried new things.
We baked a heckuva lot of bread.
We watched births.
We said goodbyes.
We sang.
We fiddled.
We danced.
We made cider.
We learned to milk a goat.
We learned to make cheese.
We sat at the table with friends.
We moved a lot of firewood.
We read books.
We shared secrets.
We admitted fears.
We took pictures.
We cried.
We mourned.
We giggled.
We celebrated.
We wrote.

This outpost in cyberspace isn’t much. It’s not widely read. It doesn’t change the world. It doesn’t matter very much. Yet it’s come to matter very much to me, as a place where I can sort out my thoughts, try out ideas, and be creative. It’s a very real place for me, where we can meet and talk, even though the conversation sometimes seems a little one-sided.

I hope you know you’re in my head as I write. I love when you comment, or send me an email in private. But even when you’re silent, I love just knowing you’re out there.

It’s a big ol’ world. It’s easy to feel lonely, especially on a grey wintry day. It’s a relief to know you’re there, all of you, living your lives, and, at times, connecting with ours.

I can’t thank you enough for joining us on this little adventure.

So, what happens next?

No big changes, no new goals. We’ll just keep on moving. More posts. More miles.


* To clearly see the component photos for the mosaic, take a look at the original photo.

What am I doing here?

I started writing this post weeks ago.

At the time, the title seemed apt, but now it feels like I should rename it, “What am I not doing here?”

Maybe the questions—and answers—are one and the same: Why do I feel compelled to write here — to write at all? And why haven’t I been doing it?

Why am I here? (Why are any of us here? ha…ha…ha…)

Well, to begin with, I started this blog to share pictures and information about our house move/renovation 5+ years ago with family and friends. Plus, I was intrigued by the notion of self-publishing on the Internet, instantaneously, on my own schedule.

Then the house was moved and, little by little, we finished that project and got busy living.

So, why am I still here?

  • To exercise my writing muscles. To learn to write. To be a writer.
  • To discover what I think. What I know. And what I don’t.
  • To communicate with you, my imagined audience. To tell you about me and my family and to hear about you and yours.
  • To create a record of Hyla’s childhood, so someday she can read about the little, everyday events that made up our lives, watch videos of her recitals, see pictures of friends, and recall the day the frost dragon climbed to the top of snow mountain.
  • Because, on a good writing day, when words flow and images become thoughts and then become paragraphs, I’m having fun. When I get it right, there’s hardly anything that makes me feel happier.
  • Because, as my friends Kelsey and Mrs. Dalloway remind me, I like life, and writing (rather than giving parties) is one of the ways I can express it.

I have plenty of reasons to write, but that doesn’t explain why I’m not writing. Haven’t I said before, here in fact, that I mean to write more, and more often, and better? What’s my problem?

The truth is that I do write. Every day. In my head. The problem is that I don’t give myself the time to put it down on the page. There’s always something else that should be done or could be done first.

Writing is fun work. Writing is a treat. The writing can wait until everything else is done, I tell myself.

Apparently not. Everything else will never be done.

So, enough of that. Let’s just get to it. Are you waiting to write? Or waiting to do the thing you love to do because you have to do all those other things first? Let’s see if we can steal even 15 minutes every day (and more if we can) to do the one simple thing we love to do.

See you back here tomorrow?