Sunday, January 25, 2009

Life on the Donkey Ranch

My three daughters and I have crash landed for a while at my parents' house, which is lovingly referred to as "The Donkey Ranch". Heber and Brigham are two miniature jack-asses which help fill my parents' empty nest and enhance the fantasy that they are living on a rural farm. Our family moved into this house when I was 13 and even though lots has changed, there are still lots of things that are still the same. One of my most effective strategies for getting through some of the hard emotional stuff I've been processing has been through humor. Here are some of the best things about living on The Donkey Ranch:

  • home cookin: i've been showing mom how to find recipes online, she's been teaching me all the important skills i refused to learn as a willful teenager. together we're keeping everyone very well fed.
  • the commute: okay, fine, it mostly sucks, but that 50 extra minutes each day of time together with my girls is very good bonding time. (when they're awake enough to talk)
  • missing pieces: there is no better place for me to scavenge for some of those missing pieces of my shattered identity than here, where i can dig around in my roots and sit quietly listening for the voices of some of my most helpful ghosts. a bit schizo? yeh, i know, but still helpful.
  • sunsets: when the sun dips into the Great Salt Lake you can see it from here and it paints the sky a warm mixture of peach, purple, and pink. softly brilliant.
  • marble counters, wood floors, one real and one gas fireplace, and a convection oven: lots of luxuries here that are just fun to relish.
  • Nana and Grandpa Jim: i'm wise enough these days to know deep down in my bones that nobody is around forever and the way my dad teases and the way my mom nurtures are memories i want my girls and me to have burned into us forever.
  • my monk cell: what i call my youngest brother's room that i'm sleeping in. unfinished and freezing, just down the hall from my girls but quite private. i'm actually loving it. it's a perfect place to meditate, pray, and dig.

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