I send out a “News from Sus[an]” newsletter by email every so often with updates on my writing, teaching and life in general. I try to put them out quarterly, but sometimes circumstances intervene, hence the gap between the January issue and the eLetter I just finished yesterday. (If you want to be on my eNewsletter list, send me an email and I’ll subscribe you. If you are and don’t, just let me know, and I’ll remove you.)
I don’t usually put the newsletter up on my website, but it’s occurred to me that I should. So here it is. Click on that link (or the one in the previous paragraph) and you should get the PDF, either downloaded or opening in a new window.
The eNewsletter is two pages long with images, it totals half a megabite and may take a few moments to load. Just be patient.
Which is great advice for life in general, and advice I’ve certainly been taking to heart since the universe in the form of three different injuries smacked me upside the head (literally, the last injury was to my face–with my own car door) and reminded me to slow down. No matter how fast life swirls around me, I’m determined to pause, take deep breaths, and not move faster than suits me.
It seems to be working. As I just told my Dad, despite glitches in permitting for the front-entry deck of my new house and the fact that the master bathroom in this house is still not done, and that I’ve had to set the memoir aside this week to prepare a talk for the Plant Select program at Denver Botanic Gardens on Thursday, I’m enjoying myself.
I’m enjoying finish work, even though it’s hard, the learning curve is steep, and it doesn’t always go smoothly. It’s going well, and I’m proud of my work. That makes it satisfying.
I’m enjoying building the new house, even though the glitches in permitting my front deck have meant a lot of scrambling around to get forms filed and then a lot of back-and-forth about possible solutions.
It’s still not clear what’s going to happen, but I have faith that my builder and designer and I will work with the city to figure out a solution that is aesthetically pleasing, environmentally friendly and allows an accessible house. It’s hard not to enjoy a house that’s as sweet as my new one is, even though it’s still at the gangly studs and wiring stage. Look at that view out my bedroom door….
(Yes, you have to imagine the deck at door-sill height. It’ll appear in time.)
I’m even enjoying working on the talk and accompanying digital presentation because, hey, it’s about gardening in a way that restores habitat for wildlife and leaves a patch of ground in better shape than you found it–inspiring stuff.
The truth is, I feel pretty fortunate. Yes, I have a house to finish. But it’s a beautiful house. I’m doing work my late love would appreciate, and that makes me feel closer to him.
Yes, I have two construction projects going at once, something I tried to avoid. But the new house makes me smile every time I set foot in it.
And yes, the landscape I love is still in a drought and the larger world is full of war and pain and global climate change. But it’s also full of love and light and hope.
The sidebells penstemon and needle-and-thread grass are blooming in my yard. A black-headed grosbeak was warbling down by the creek this morning. It’s the end of spring, summer is coming in a rush, and I’m alive.
That last alone makes me very fortunate. Walking with Richard through death from brain cancer taught us both to love life. All of it. That’s a lesson I hope to never forget.