Raw, adjective: 11. unprocessed or unevaluated: raw data.
The mister and I spent the weekend in the middle of the country visiting my sister and brother-in-law, meeting their (beautiful) new baby Junia, hanging with their toddling daughter Adah (that's them at right), and reconnecting with the fam. The six of us don't get to see one another very often, you know; my mother's in Nebraska, my other sis and bro live in DC, I'm in San Francisco, and the aforementioned sis is in Wisconsin. So it's always kind of remarkable when we're all in the same time zone.
It was a sweet weekend. Couldn't have been sweeter.
(Though — there's a reason we decided to head back in late September rather than, say, December. Just sayin'. Well-played, Meyer family.)
We got home to San Francisco about 2 o'clock this morning. Tired, but well-lived-in. Traveling is so often quite instructive for me, and for most of us, I imagine. There's something to be said for getting out of your usual space and being plunged into a different reality; it makes you see life, your patterns, your rituals, your resources, in a different light. So last night on the plane between snoozes, I got to thinking about a few big
Lessons Learned From Our Weekend in the Land of Beer and Cheese
- Do not expect to come home feeling light and open and flexible after a weekend in the cheese capital of the country. Back on the vegan wagon, my friends. Oooooof.
- Seasons are nice. Especially the kind that include changing leaves and crisp nights and precede heavy winters with legit blizzards, which you can avoid via quick retreat to warmer climes.
- In spite of that, the Bay Area is best. Witness today's incredible late-summer sunshine. Temperate climates FTW.
- There are actual real life Romney-Ryan supporters out there living amongst us. As evidenced by bumper stickers and TV news advertisements. Disturbing. Jarring. Upsetting. And weird.
- That said: there is a reason I live in San Francisco. 'Nuff said.
- My family rocks.
- Ditto the Cornhusker football team, which kept us rapt for 4 quarters before finally powering past the Badgers for a stellar fourth-quarter win.
- Football is more fun to watch outside in the backyard under the glow of twinkly lights and the rustle of autumn leaves and the crackle of a fire pit than inside on a couch.
- No matter how much I hear it, that wide-A'd nasally Chicago accent still just doesn't do it for me. Apologies, folks. Add that one to my list of regional accents that I would never let a hypothetical kid of mine develop (also including: Jersey, Southern, Long Island).
- (Ok, I'm a bitch. So sue me.)
- Running makes you tight. With limited yoga-asana practice time, I ran a couple of miles 3 different times over the weekend. For the first time in awhile. And ohhhh, mama. Do my hamstrings and my hips remind me of that today. Oy.
- Long plane flights suck. Even on Virgin America. And especially when you're delayed 2+ hours and have a belly full of veggie chili and dirty martinis and have to teach in the morning.
- Babies are cute, and hilarious, and exhausting, and charming, and inspiring, and terrifying, and sacred, and sweet.
- I am more liturgically old-school progressive ELCA Lutheran than I realized.
- You know you picked The Right One when his meeting the fam for the first time is effortless, easy, and laughingly comfortable. Good job, babe.
- College towns are the best. Love the wholesome buzz of football and youth and intellect and simplicity. You feel more acutely the rhythms of the school year there. I am grateful to have grown up, by and large, in some-such various heartland college towns.
- Gluten-free beer and quinoa pasta are two of the greatest inventions of the last decade.
- It's hard to find Kombucha in a 7-11 off of I-90.
- Who charges an interstate toll for $1.10?!? (Cough cough, Illinois. So weird.)
- Rituals matter. And music can thread timeless nostalgia and bittersweetness throughout our lives in ways that can sometimes trigger a tear or six.
- There is delicious raw vegan food to be found at a charmer of a place in Chicago called Karyn's. Hit it. We did — twice.
- Goddamn, am I glad to be home.