What Life is All About

An amazing, ordinary day.

I had one of those amazing days today. The kind of ordinary day that reminds you just how good life can be.

I slept until 6 AM — late for me — and read in bed until the sun shined right through the window into my eyes. You see, I’d forgotten to lower the shade. But that didn’t matter because no one was going to look in my bedroom window. No one other than the sun.

I had my coffee and tidied around my little home. I prepped for my day in Wenatchee. I had a long list of things I wanted to accomplish and I’d even made notes the night before. I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed when I headed into town.

I loaded up the Jeep and sat Penny on the seat beside mine. We headed out. I got about a mile down the road when I realized I’d forgotten something. I turned around and went back to fetch it. Then we headed out again. I got about 10 miles when I realized I’d forgotten something more important. I turned around and went back to fetch it.

I didn’t mind driving the extra 22 miles because of my bad memory. I wasn’t in a rush. I was doing my own things at my own pace. That was nice.

I drove up to the lot I’m going to buy soon in Malaga. Along the way, I stopped at the lot next door. (The one my husband has photos of that I don’t own and never will.) There were three men working there with a big backhoe. The foundation for my future neighbor’s home was in. They’d chosen a nice building site with nearly the same great view I’d soon have on the lot next to theirs. I chatted with the builder and got his number and the name and number of his girlfriend, who had designed the custom home under construction. I chatted a while with the earth moving guy and talk to him about septic systems and perk tests. I got his card and the number for the septic system designer. It was nice to meet new people, to learn about folks who might help me build my home one day.

On my future lot, I gathered together some of the stakes the owner had used to mark the footprint of the house he’d never build. I took my 100′ tape measure and marked out the footprint for the home I’d build: 48 x 50 feet, right beside the end of the driveway. I marveled at how small that footprint looked on the vast expanse of land I’d soon own.

New FlowerI walked around with Penny, through tall weeds and wildflowers that reached my waist, thinking about where I’d put my beehives and my RV and my septic system. I saw yet another type of flower I’d never seen there before. I admired the view for a while and felt the wind in my hair on a day with perfect weather. I looked back at those stakes and imagined my new home rising above the wildflowers. I imagined sitting on the deck with a glass of wine, taking in the view.

I went down to Wenatchee and had lunch with a friend in a Japanese restaurant where they make a seafood salad just the way I ask. My friend put away an amazing quantity of food. We talked about business and life and what great a gig we had as cherry drying pilots. My friend bought me lunch; I left the tip.

Fresh Honey in the CombI drove over to a friend’s house to tend to my bees, which were living in his backyard. I was inspecting my new hive for the first time. I took my time prepping and suiting up. My friend kept me company and explained what I was seeing while my GoPro camera, set on a tripod, created a 1080p HD video of the entire inspection with our running commentary. Afterwards, I sucked the honey out of the wax comb I’d trimmed from the top of the hive box. No honey tastes as good as the honey you eat fresh, right from your own beehive.

I went to Lowes to look at appliances and cabinets and bathroom fixtures for my new home. I thought about washers and dryers and glass-topped stoves. I looked at refrigerators with drawers and dishwashers that could hold all of my dishes. I talked to a kitchen design consultant and set up an appointment to design my kitchen. I thought about how nice it would be to finally have the kitchen of my dreams — and how nice it was going to be to skip the decision-making ordeal with someone incapable of making a decision.

I ran into a friend of mine and her daughter. We chatted for a while about nothing important.

I stopped at Stans Merry Mart to look at Traeger smokers. The sales guy, who couldn’t have been much older than 18, gave me a thorough rundown on how they worked, what I could make, and how easy they were to clean. I thought about smoking racks of ribs and other yummy food. I came very, very close to buying one, but remembered that my deck wasn’t built yet.

I swung by the spa place to look at hot tubs, but it was late and they’d already closed. Another day. There was no rush.

I went to the supermarket to buy olive oil and flowers and salad fixings.

Drive In FoodAs I headed out of town, I saw the sign for Larry’s Boneless Chicken and decided to give it a try. It was an old-style drive-in restaurant, with girls that came out and took your order and then hung a tray with your food on your car window. The waitress was friendly and happy and smart; the food was good. Penny and I listened to the radio and munched chicken and onion rings.

I drove home in the summer evening light, when the sun was turning that golden color that makes everything look good. I looked at the green hills and the dark brown cliff faces and the blue river and marveled at how beautiful and full of life everything was.

At home, I put away my groceries and watched the video of my hive inspection on a 32-inch HD TV, reliving the highlight of my day, chatting with Facebook friends as I sipped a glass of wine. Outside, the sun was setting. The family of skunks living in the bushes nearby walked past my back window: a mom and six babies. Penny, who was waiting for them, barked.

Penny in BedA while later, I climbed into bed with my laptop to write this blog post. Penny, in her bed with her favorite toy, watched me through sleepy eyes. I thought about how nice it was to spend the day with her and how much she’d love running loose among the wildflowers at our future home.

Just another day in my life. Another great day.

People who go through life angry and hating and trying to take things that aren’t theirs from others who have done them no wrong are missing the point of life. In fact, they’ve missing life itself.

It’s not about what you have and how little you did to get it. It’s not about hating strangers enough to try to make their lives miserable. It’s not about how good you are at screwing over others. It’s not about getting away with lies or abandoning your moral standards to win something that really isn’t yours. It’s not about how much better you are than everyone else. It’s not about your last European vacation or your fancy car or the $150 you dropped on dinner for two the night before.

Life’s about the simple things. The things that make you happy. The things that make you feel whole. The things that are good and right.

Life’s about having a great day, a calm day, a day where you do what matters to you and you enjoy every minute of it.

16 thoughts on “What Life is All About

  1. Thanks, Martha. It was nice.

    It’s funny, but so many of my days here in Washington are like this — lazy days doing things I like and taking the time to enjoy life. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out that this should be my next home. I don’t know why I let someone else prevent me from making the most of my life in a place I really liked.

    I’m really happy to finally be free from what was holding me back all these years. But I’m sad for the folks who just don’t get it — especially the ones who used to get it but forgot.

  2. Just a suggestion. I would ask your general contractor about licensed kitchen designer and cabinet supplier other than Lowers or Home Depot who’s kitchen designers are usually not licensed. also Google either one for complaints.

    There seems to be quite a few cabinet makers and designers in the Wenatchee area.

    Exciting times are in your future as you start your new adventures.

    • Thanks for the advice, Dan. A few of my friends made similar suggestions. One local friend even recommended a designer that could build me a custom solution for about the same price I’d pay at Lowes. I’m exploring all avenues; not even close to getting any work done yet. Just looking at this stuff is helping me stay positive about my future.

      I agree about exciting times. They’re already exciting! Just the thought of all the work and plans ahead of me is fueling me to move forward with my life. I can’t wait to get things started!

    • I was happy, too. Weird how the little things in life can really make you happy. I wish everyone understood this — and could enjoy it.

  3. What an uplifting post about your day. Love it. And yes, it seems you’ve found a fantastic place to live that suits you just right. I’m genuinely thrilled for you. :-)

    • I just felt completely overwhelmed with happiness throughout the day. Like everything was finally right in my world. Such a wonderful but strange feeling. I had to blog about it.

  4. Bravo Maria! Your stories are humbling and refreshing. Love your bee stories too. Glad I get to check in periodically and be completely engrossed in your transformation. Life is good.

    • Thanks so much, Robin. I’m working on it. It really does feel good to shed the dead weight I carried around in my previous life. Maria 3.0 is a huge improvement.

  5. Home Depot sold us our appliances all at once at a great discount. I bought around Black Friday and they held them until we had a place to put them.

    What’s your water source?

    • And I can’t say enough how much Pinterest helped with the housebuilding process. I’d save samples and ideas to show other tradespeople, had everything on my phone. It’s so much easier to show a picture and say “do it like this.” And buy a $10 paint deck from a paint store like Sherwin Williams right away. You can pick out a chip that matches anything, like your rug, etc. Then you only have to carry one thing around as you are shopping. Well, two things, the paint deck and the decoder list of what paint chip represents what object.

    • I’ll definitely buy all appliances in one place. Sears does discounts, too. I don’t need the latest and greatest appliances with all the bells and whistles. I just need things that are reliable and have the features I use.

      Water is city, believe it or not. They ran the water line more than 2 miles down the road. (I’m 1.8 miles from pavement.)

  6. This is a beautiful post! I loved reading about your relaxing day, even the way you wrote it felt different. :) Thank you so much for sharing. The simple things are crucial. I’m so happy for you to now live more of your dreams. :)

    • Thanks so much. It was a really GOOD day, one I wanted to remember forever. How strange that we often forget the simple, relaxing times that make us truly happy and concentrate instead on “event days” that are often full of stress?

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