Puddle Stompers: A Little Rusty

It’s the middle of summer and I feel like I’ve come out of winter hibernation. Ada had a few temper tantrums during our previous adventures, and after creative questioning to discover the workings of a 2-year old mind, I unearthed the fact that she doesn’t want the big camera along on our adventures. At least for now.

So, yes, we’ve been out exploring our rural world and seeing how nature has overtaken the inorganic, but I haven’t been able to share with you. You see, I take my word seriously….at least with our kids (and I’m working on cycling it through the rest of life). Decision making must be something else that you lose when half your brain cells get squeezed out of existence during childbirth.

We visited this rusty, gutted truck in the woods earlier in the week. Ada gleefully exclaimed “We found the truck! Great job, Mommy. You found it!” and expressed a desire to adventure again there with Daddy.

I asked, “How about we bring the camera next time?”

So, here’s our recent adventure that I can finally show you. Photographing in the woods is tricky with the mottled light coming through the leaves. I just blame it on the fact that I’m a little rusty (ha ha…oh, I’m so funny) from adventuring sans camera. It’s kind of like where I feel right now. Rusty. Stuck in one spot. Some days I just want to sit on the couch and wish the cacophony of little people would drown into the background. There’s no energy to get up, pack up, and take the chance that we can make it out of the house and back in one, sane piece.

I guess you need to oil the joints regularly and keep moving so you don’t rust and sink into the ground like this truck. Oil the joints regularly? Morning coffee and some time reading to get my head on straight. It’s a bonus if I can drink the entire cup hot and make it through reading in one sitting. Keep moving. Some days I have to tell myself not to stop. To go ahead and brush my teeth, get out of the house, empty the dishwasher yet again, and go through the perpetual motions. Because some days, going through the motions at least will help me not get stuck. And sometimes that momentum picks up and I actually accomplish things I need to. And that’s when I feel like I can rest.

We’re learning to rest at our home. To quiet ourselves, to be present. In that rest some of the most amazing ideas are born. Ideas for things of meaning that I want to do with you and show you. I guess not all the good brain cells ran for the hills in that labor and delivery room (just the ones that remember things and do math). We learn to rest or we’ll inevitably rust.

Puddle Stompers: A Little Rusty

Puddle Stompers: German

“What’s your favorite smell?”
“Soap. Fences.”

– conversations with a Puddle Stomper

I’m one of those strange people who enjoys the smell of gasoline, rubber cement and books. I found a new favorite smell today too: old homes. It’s the smell you get when you visit your grandparents and the house today had it. Strangely, the house was merely remains of stripped walls, an exposed wooden framework, ceilings open to the sky and plants growing out of the floor. But if I inhaled, it smelled like Grandma’s house along Alum Creek.

Maybe the more years we live, the more we start to take on the earth around us. Like the Volkswagen growing out of the ground on the side of the garage in these photos. Steamy windows, a broken headlight, and a license plate of a design that faintly calls from my childhood. Although I almost expect that if you fill the tank and give the engine a crank, the old car would roar to life. That’s the thing about those German (and Swedish) cars. My husband’s family all drove Volvo’s into the ground. I wonder if it’s because their Germanness found solace in the great engineering of those European vehicles.

If you know anyone of German heritage, you’ll most likely see a great mathematical mind and a black-and-white approach to life. It’s something I’m appreciating more and more. Steve has this amazing way he can discern certain situations and come to decisions. I guess you could say our marriage is becoming like these abandoned homes. Straight-lined structures and strong architecture with winding plants for floors and wall coverings. The vines growing on the strongest of the structure. I’m obviously the organic, beautiful plant with roots that hopefully are growing deeper by the day, and Steve? Well, he has a firm foundation that won’t ever be shaken. And I hope together it’s beautiful.

The stories that could be told from what went on in the rooms of the house. The reasons why it stands as it is today. Oh, the things that intrigue us! I know there are couples like these places. You can see it in the way they interact together and it is captivating. Worth exploring and worth adventuring to find more like it. So, thanks to German cars and the smells of Grandma’s house to remind me that life examples are everywhere.

Puddle Stompers: German