Beginnings.

Today I wondered what the first thing was I had written about on this blog so I went back and looked. My first post was on May 10, 2011; I put three posts up that day to kick the blog off. It’s funny looking back now and remembering how and why this blog started.

I’m always jotting down my thoughts and trying to capture what I was thinking and feeling in a particular time and place. I wanted to share those thoughts and moments of inspiration with others–and that right there is how this little blog got started.

In May 2011, I remember sitting at a desk by the window watching the cottony fluff of pollen float down from a tree in my back yard; it looked like it was snowing in the middle of spring. For some reason that day watching the cotton fluff float around outside moved me to start this space and start sharing the words and pictures that make up my little world. At the beginning I intended only to write about nature and the outdoors–that is why I named this space Outside Air–because the outside air was exactly what I wanted to talk about.

On that first day I posted three entries I had originally taken down in my journal when I was at the ocean and Walden Pond. These were my first words and pictures:

Hampton, New Hampshire

The dark, water-laden clouds billow above taunting with stray drops of rain. The wind is strong, violent, driving and throwing the sea. The temperature is perfect; the beach is our own. The sky and the sea are the same threatening shade of blue-gray, tossing and reflecting off each other as they make the tempestuous transition into spring.

Hampton Beach, April 2011

Westerly, Rhode Island

The ocean rumbles, crashes, swirls, and spins. The waves lap, roll, build until they smash against the shore. This is a place of constant motion, constant churning sound—and yet it is quiet, peaceful. The ocean with its billowing waves sings a lullaby of rest. It breathes it briny breath and kisses my face with saltwater kisses. A tiny bird hops and frolics on the beach in the shadow of the violent crushing waves. A ladybug works on her tan. The water rolls in undulating, ever-changing shades of green then brown before morphing against the sand into perfectly white sea foam.  The ocean is timeless and yet never the same.

Misquamicut Beach, July 2009

Concord, Massachusetts

Walden Pond

Even the birds are quiet in this quiet place; they sing below their breath, in a whisper, as if showing respect for the beauty of quiet. The wind rustles through the woods, across the water making the trees sigh and yawn with the motion—that is all, the rest is silence. The wind is cold but the trees flirt, taunting the warm air to come—blushing crimson in buds ready to bloom.

Walden Pond

Those three posts on the same day were my only entries in May and I didn’t write again until the end of July.

You see, on June 1st 2011, a tornado came through our town and over our house. We had moved out of a downtown apartment in a not-so-safe city just a year before and were looking forward to our first summer in our home in this small town. We had a backyard for the first time and it was wooded with lots of big trees and a little stream running through it.

I loved our yard. Every morning when I came down to the kitchen I would look out the kitchen window at the yard and the trees and honestly thank God for allowing us to live here. I soaked up the morning light reaching through the woods across our lawn and I was really, very happy. That morning Darren and I went for a walk around the neighborhood before leaving for work. By the time we came home from work that night everything we loved about this place was gone.

Nearly every tree in our backyard was taken down and the brush and debris buried the little stream in the woods. Our entire road was badly hit with many of the houses having to be taken down and a huge area of woods completely gone. Everything looked different without the trees and woods. Instead of enjoying our first summer here we ended up using it to clean up our backyard and put everything back together around here. Even after cleaning it up it has never looked the same.

I was frustrated and disappointed and for a while nothing about the outside air inspired me anymore. I had no thoughts on nature and the outdoors that I wanted to share here. I kept waiting for the inspiration to come back but after a while I just gave up and decided to write about other things instead. I started writing about my thoughts on life in general and opened up about my faith and family. These weren’t the things I intended to share here but that’s the direction life took me that summer.

And so here we are now. Two years later and I think in some ways this space has come full circle. I’m back to sharing my words and pictures of the beautiful outdoors and still continue to share about life in general. I never imagined this space would turn into what it has but I’m thankful for each of you who come along with me on this journey and allow me to share my little world with you here. I am so very thankful for the ways you both challenge and encourage me along the way with each post. Some of you have been here from the beginning and some of us our new friends…I’m thankful for each one of you.

This space has been good for me. Here I have been able to articulate and share my thoughts and feelings and find out what others think of the same things. I have made friends all over the world and grown closer to people who have been a part of my life for years. I have grown as a writer and learned a lot about photography too. So thank you for coming along with me each step of the way. I hope I can continue to share with you for a long time to come.

Here are my latest pictures of the lovely, inspiring outside air ;]

DSC_0820{Lilacs in the front yard of our new house}

DSC_0836{Stopping to smell the flowers on a walk yesterday}

DSC_0740

DSC_0729{Our first garden}

Thank you for reading along with me, friends :]

28 thoughts on “Beginnings.

  1. Wow! Wonderful post. I have loved reading your words. Your journey and taking us along with you has been inspiring to me. Yours is a blog that I want to attain. I often tell hubby that. Thanks for sharing your heart and your photos, they are a blessing to me, as are you. DAF

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    • I’m so excited about the garden. Darren went out to check on it yesterday and said all the little sprouts have poked their heads up above the dirt. I can’t wait to watch everything grow, work outside in the dirt, and eat all of these yummy things when they’re ready!

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  2. Oh, Kari. I can so relate right now. I just returned from two tradegy’s. The sudden death of my brother-in-law, then the day after his funeral a tornado hit my sister’s neighborhood. We are going through the same thing. No power. Trees and powerlines mangled. She and I are quickly learning basic survival skills. Relying on God for each moment. Power will be up today, I think. I hope.
    I will never be the same. Don’t know when I’ll get back to blogging or even what to blog. But you inspire me. This experience is preparing me and I am already healing as I’ve witnessed God’s presence and practical help in this time of need.
    Your story was meant for me this very day.
    In the storm,
    Alexandria

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    • Alexandria, I was just looking at your blog for the first time and thinking how lovely and inspiring it is. I am so, so sorry about your brother-in-law and then the tornado too. Some stuff in life never makes sense but I’m thankful we at least have hope that there is more to it all than we can see. It takes time, but l life will come back together after the storm. It’s heartbreaking and discouraging to see a place you love torn to pieces but new life springs up bit by bit. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you go through all of this. I know God’s grace will hold you up when nothing else can. Much love, Kari Ann.

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  3. A beautiful and moving post. That’s life; the ups and the down, the storms the dangers the disappointments together with the appreciation of the beauty and the breath of fresh air. Wishing you many years together in happiness on this land you’ve made your own.

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  4. O. My. Goodness. I can’t believe what the tornado did to your yard! And your car! No wonder you weren’t too keen on nature for a while! It’s hard to really comprehend the destructive force nature can be when in England, where nothing that monumental really happens with the weather. Just constant cold (!). I’m also LOVING your vegetable patch. And that life seems fabulous for you now. (Although I must remember your previous post and contextualise and not get jealous of your amazing life!)

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    • Tornadoes really are wild. Thankfully our home wasn’t damaged so I don’t have too much to complain about, but ya, the woods (and car) were another story. I didn’t realize you are from England…we will be exploring London for a few hours before we fly out of Heathrow next week. Darren spent a few days in London back in college and he still talks about what an amazing city it is…cant’s wait to see it myself. I’ve wanted a vegetable garden for years and we finally have a good spot to do it at the new house. Now hopefully I don’t kill everything…I’m a bit of a serial plant killer but I’m trying ;] Life is full of good things right now and I’m very thankful…but thank you for not assuming everything is perfect and easy either ;] Hope all is well in your life too!

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      • Oo, exciting! Let me know if you want pointers on what is near Heathrow and fun to do. I’m close ish so know the area quite well. I’m so not good with plants either. And I’m too lazy to figure out why they’re dying! I just offer cups of tea and moral support while Danda gets on with it. He’s best at these things!

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        • We would love some ideas of what to do in the area. We will be getting there in the evening and probably looking for a place to have dinner plus we will be walking around for a couple hours the next day and will be looking for places to have breakfast and lunch so if you have any suggestions for restaurants and things to do, that would be awesome! I love that…offer tea and support…maybe that should be my game plan too ;]

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          • If you want somewhere nice to stay not too far from Heathrow, there are lots of lovely places on the river, like Richmond, where you’re near enough to London to get the buzz but still close enough to jump on a bus to Heathrow. Also, I live there so I’m bound to be biased. There’s a lovely hotel on the river called The Bingham. I’ve not stayed in the rooms but I’ve eaten at their amazing restaurant. Could be pricey though. There are other nice options, such as Richmond Gate Hotel, which is right on top of Richmond Park, a must-see if you’re in Richmond. There are a ton of good places to eat here – and also an award winning chocolatiers. Other areas near Heathrow are Hampton, meaning you could go to Hampton Court Palace. Actually there’s a small hotel, pretty much next door to the palace called, I think, Lion Gate Hotel, where I’ve stayed. Or you could head straight for the buzz of London City, though not as green and nature-y as Richmond or Hampton. PS Tea and support is definitely the way forward!

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            • I’m my gosh, I’m so hungry after reading that post…I’ll probably just wonder from one restaurant to the other eating all day ;] Thanks for all the advice. I just wish we had more time to check everything out but hopefully we’ll be back one day and won’t have to rush through so quickly. I’m just very determined to have a proper cup of English tea somewhere…and a biscuit…that’s what you have with tea, right?

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  5. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your life through Outside Air, it makes feel a little bit closer to you every time I read your beautiful writings! And you have lilacs???!!!! I love lilacs!!! Take a deep breath of their beautiful fragrance for me.

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    • Thank you for reading along—it is a huge encouragement to me. There is a giant lilac bush in the yard that I guess is almost as old as the 150 year old house…it looks like it has seen some history and some storms but it’s still so pretty and smells amazing. I was over there the other day mowing the yard and spent a few minutes walking around under its branches just taking in the fragrance…bliss.

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