Just Life

Looking Back | July.

“Just, it’s kinda fraught and I’m not up for frought.”
~Stacey Swann, Olympus Texas

I snorted when I read that line a few weeks ago. Fraught is just such a great word, isn’t it? (especially when paired with “y’all” … which would’ve been inserted before that “I’m” if I’d been the one speaking 😉 ) and it seems so perfect to describe this month … starting to get out a bit more and then BAM! Delta variant … and for me, knee injury, and for others, a host of different things. and then … I look back at these photos. which might be the best cure ever for feeling fraught.

Of course if I’d read Rear Window (is that even a book?), I could probably come up with a good line from that … those hydrangeas on the 12th are just before the lake … and that was the last time I walked to the lake. With the exception of the three-of-us photo on the 17th, every other photo is from right here at home. Dark early mornings in the family room (last summer’s crocheted afghan warms my legs while I ice my knee), afternoons in my study (love seeing the shadows on the wall), and “quick tinkles” with Holly in the side yard where we still have magnolias and finally have hydrangeas!

A Gratitude List: more than one “rear window” view, time to rest, family who are friends who live close.

Life Giving: porch time!, lunch on a Saturday with Katie & Sara … just lunch (i.e., no airplanes, no car trips, no hotels) … and realizing this could be A Thing.

Life Draining: being fraught – again! – about COVID.

A (short) Happy List:

  • Opera Wednesday is back!
  • bookish Patreons and finally figuring out Discord (so much fun!)
  • using that crocheted afghan every morning
  • eating dinner at the table … and sometimes with a companion that’s not a book 🙂

In closing, on a positive note – which means I’m not going to ask what made you feel fraught – what’s helped you feel not-so-fraught? OR what’s a word you love? (and bonus points if you tell us why!)

p.s. y’all  – I am so far behind responding to comments I’ll never catch up. Please know I have read every one of them, cherished the encouragement and compliments, jotted down notes (advice, book recommendations, life hacks), and answered the questions in my head. I might take a cue from others and post those answers here … and I’ll try to do better this month. thank you for sticking with me!

11 Comments

  • Katie @ The Cozy Burrow

    Hmmm…. what’s help me feel not-so-fraught? Good books, of course! And knowing that any book that I want is only a few taps away on my Kindle. And — knowing that all of my close family and friends who are able to get vaccinated have chosen to do so. It’s not a 100% guarantee, but it’s so much better than it could be.

    I’m also enjoying Discord! It’s helping me feel connected despite not doing any of the video/zoom stuff. And I’m having so much fun figuring out the Novel Pairings patreon – so thank you for the introduction!

    No worries about the comments, of course. I had to declare bankruptcy on my past comments and start fresh this week (I heard Anne Bogel say that about someone’s TBR today and just loved it) — and I think a lot of us are falling behind with that, probably because summer is so busy!

  • Sharon Weiss

    My favourite word is donut! Here in Melbourne it has come to mean a day when we have no local Covid transmission. It’s been a month, and the biggest sheep show in Southern hemisphere got cancelled, but today was a donut day. I cried.

  • Kat

    Fraught… yeah, that is it exactly. I was hovering around angst, but fraught is a much better description. (We just bumped up to red on the CDC covid-map… and I have had some fraught prayers about my fears that October won’t happen….ok, maybe full-blown anger, rage, tears, and lots of whys…)

    But good things… yes there are some. I finished Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet and I needed that hope. That grace. All that goodness. I borrowed a copy from the library, but this is a hard copy book I want to have at hand.

    The other good thing is my little Sherman… who seems to know when “fraught” becomes overwhelming and comes to ease the fraught with some wonderful snuggles. Gosh, I am so thankful for his little self!

    Thank you so much for this post, Mary… it helped so much!

  • Sarah

    Fraught is a good word for how I’m feeling heading into August, what with COVID cases rising, having to go back to the office at the end of the month, and school starting soon. I really think my daily walks are what’s keeping me sane right now. I’m doing an average of 5 miles a day, which is just enough for me to get a little mid-afternoon sleepiness.

    My favorite photo from July is the one of Holly with Girl, Woman, Other — she’s looking at you like, “Mom, are you really going to read instead of cuddling cute little me?”

  • karen

    lunch on the porch definitely should be on repeat. I’m still adjusting to being near family and being with family. My sister and I are always up to something and I love it. You need to give yourself major grace with the comment replying. I think it’s nice that you reply (!) but you do not have to reply. Maybe do it one post of month so it eases into your schedule better.

  • Margene

    Olympus, Texas is the perfect example of “fraught”! I wish I had been able to make the discussion and meet Stacey. Your thumbnails are so colorful and I’m a little envious of your flowers and cool air. I would say the heat around here makes us feel fraught, as does the smoke (both of which have returned). OK, I know you didn’t need to know what made us feel fraught, but our garden is our balm for all things fraught. Tomatoes galore! My favorite words this month is “BLT”!

  • Jane

    Walking, gardening, making, and FaceTime with family helps ease anxiety.
    Your month looks full of family. What a blessing to live so close to many of your dear ones.
    Favorite words: caesura ( a pause), lavender (exquisite flower and scent) and riffle ( Words that sound like their meaning are intriguing to me. Please don’t worry about replying to comments. I feel the same – I get behind but I do appreciate them. Sometimes it is hard to keep up with everything.