around here

  Soca, posing.

Soca, posing.

Last weekend, I was visiting a friend at her beach house in Galveston.  She was having a cook-out, and as folks were enjoying the sea air, she was running around with her camera.  I watched her as she captured her friends' smiles.

Suddenly she looked away from her viewfinder.  "Hey!" she said.  "Where's your camera?"

I shrugged.  "Home," I sighed.  "Honestly, I haven't had much of a desire to shoot lately.  For months, actually.  Since Harvey."

She looked at me like I'd just grown a second head.  And honestly, once I said the words, I couldn't believe it either.  But it was true.  I couldn't take it back.


Earlier this afternoon I was looking for a particular photo that I knew I'd shot, and as I often do, I search this blog's archives to figure out when I took the photo.  (Yes, that's how I archive photos -- by using the blog.  Yes, it's an inefficient way to archive photos -- do not follow my example.)  I didn't find the photo I was looking for, but I did stumble across a post where I shared photos I'd taken while at another dear friend's cookout several years ago.  

I loved revisiting them.

I think the reason I haven't had much of an inclination to shoot is because I'm just not inspired by my surroundings these days.  This apartment we're staying in feels so temporary.  I mean, it's a fine apartment -- exactly what we need for now, no more, no less -- but it's basically just a holding space:  somewhere to dump our stuff and collect our stuff until we move back into our house.  Things are crammed on shelves without much thought to presentation.  Rugs that I've bought and am saving to use in our new house are stacked against our bedroom wall.  Furniture we're slowly replacing is shoved in any free corner.  Art pieces we managed to save from our flooded house are hung on the wall, not to make our space feel like home; rather, it's just to get it up off the floor.  There's no thought behind it.

But as I looked at those old photographs taken at Trish and Carl's house, it dawned on me that years from now, we might actually have fond memories of this spot, this little crazy, safe space that took care of us as we rebuilt.  So today, for the first time in ages, I grabbed my camera, and ran around the apartment, taking photos of little vignettes, without any staging or arranging.

This is what our life looks like these days.  And God bless it. 

  Every summer, we give Alex a reading challenge, and if she does it, she gets a big "thing" -- a haircut, or in this case, the laptop that's required for high school a couple of months before the school year begins.  The challenge this year was to finish 10 books before the end of June.  She's already read these seven (!!).

Every summer, we give Alex a reading challenge, and if she does it, she gets a big "thing" -- a haircut, or in this case, the laptop that's required for high school a couple of months before the school year begins.  The challenge this year was to finish 10 books before the end of June.  She's already read these seven (!!).

  I have a thing for Moroccan poufs.  

I have a thing for Moroccan poufs.  

  I met   Jessica Murnane   when I spoke at the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, and adored her immediately.  She's the author of   this gorgeous cookbook  , which she kindly sent me.  It arrived this week.  I can't wait to tear into it.

I met Jessica Murnane when I spoke at the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, and adored her immediately.  She's the author of this gorgeous cookbook, which she kindly sent me.  It arrived this week.  I can't wait to tear into it.

  Friends sent so many thoughtful things immediately after the storm, and one of the things we received that I might not have ever thought to buy myself was this essential oil diffuser.  I love this thing.  It's on all the time, and the apartment smells great.

Friends sent so many thoughtful things immediately after the storm, and one of the things we received that I might not have ever thought to buy myself was this essential oil diffuser.  I love this thing.  It's on all the time, and the apartment smells great.

  Alex's guitar (that used to be my guitar, when I was 12 years old).  This was the first item we saved from the flood -- it came with us as soon as we waded out of the house.

Alex's guitar (that used to be my guitar, when I was 12 years old).  This was the first item we saved from the flood -- it came with us as soon as we waded out of the house.

  The cross stitch of  Shuri  and  Okoye  was done by my friend Mike Reynolds, aka   Everyday Girl Dad  .  I can't wait for this to have a permanent place in my home office.

The cross stitch of Shuri and Okoye was done by my friend Mike Reynolds, aka Everyday Girl Dad.  I can't wait for this to have a permanent place in my home office.

   I bought   this poster   soon after we evacuated from our home, to cheer myself up.  I think this is going to end up in our half bathroom in the new house.  You know, so that people can practice while they're in there.

 I bought this poster soon after we evacuated from our home, to cheer myself up.  I think this is going to end up in our half bathroom in the new house.  You know, so that people can practice while they're in there.

Speaking of home:  even while this apartment doesn't feel like home, I am keenly aware how infinitely lucky my family and I are to be healthy and together in a safe place -- a luxury that thousands of migrants and their children currently at the U.S./Mexico border do not have.  In fact, many of these children have been separated from their parents, are being held in abandoned and refitted Wal-Marts or worse, tent cities in the middle of the Texas desert.  The situation is nothing less than horrifying.

For more on this situation, and more importantly, how you can help, please check out my friend Liz's detailed post.  And please help if you can.