Ride

comments: 107

Ipad3

Ipad3

Ipad3

Ipad12

In the afternoon I ride my bike down to the mailbox a few blocks away. It's sunny and quiet, so quiet. I pedal slowly, looking around. Aimless. Unusual. It’s empty. I could ride right down the middle of the street. My old bike makes all sorts of noise, things clicking and squeaking, and they're the only sounds I hear. House. House. House. I roll past. My street has a few bungalows and a lot of houses that are called "English" by realtors here. They were built in the 1920s and have steeply pitched roofs, gables, dormers. Mock Tudor. Pretty. A lot of them are tastefully painted stucco. Mine is, too.

Ipad3

Ipad3

Ipad3

Ipad3

I ride down my street. A block away the houses are nicer and more stately, set further back on the property than ours, with long driveways and window boxes and ancient magnolia trees now in bloom. This part reminds me of the neighborhoods in old Disney movies, The Aristocats, maybe, or Lady and the Tramp, the blossoming trees frothy and pink and the houses old-fashioned and mouse-colored, with borders of lemon yellow tulips just starting to bloom. The street, strangely, has the exact same sort of set-up as the quiet suburban street I grew up on — it's long and stops at a T-intersection at both visible ends, and I'm often reminded of Forest Avenue here. I remember how many thousands of times I rode my bike up and down Forest Avenue, canopied by oaks and elms. Literally thousands of times over twenty years. I don’t know this street nearly as well as I knew Forest, though I’ve also lived here for twenty years. I’ve probably only ridden my bike here a few dozen times.

Ipad3

Ipad3

My brakes squeal as I go down the hill. I see Scott in his UPS truck. My buddy of many years. We're the only two around for miles, it seems. I've been out here for a half an hour, riding alone around the blocks, and he's the only person I've come across. He sees me coasting past and shouts through the open driver's door, "Whoa! Watch out! Everybody STOP!!!" I'm grinning like an idiot and I pretend to wobble, shouting back, "It's been a long time since I've ridden! You're right to worry!" My smile is huge and loose, my voice sounds crazy, and suddenly I'm crying, tears catching in my throat, a hot bubble of sorrow and stress. He's still out here, doing his job, and so will my husband be tomorrow. I should get back. It's too quiet, the sun is too bright, there aren't even any airplanes overhead, and I feel scared and small. I miss the world. I miss what it felt like to not feel like this.

Ipad3

Ipad3

Ipad3

Ipad3

Ipad6

Ipad3

It's been a hard few weeks all over the world. My heart is broken, aching and sore with stories of so many others' losses and pain, and the ache never leaves. "Every day feels like Sunday," says Amelia when she wakes up one morning, and although I smile and agree, I hardly know what day it is, what month. Maybe it is Sunday. I look at the expiration date on the bagels. They're weeks old, though the kitchen counter has been bleached countless times and everything else is spotless. Time has blurred into a long, strange ribbon of worry and grief and distraction, punctuated by so much cleaning and so many, many conversations. My phone is lit almost constantly, and it's exhausting. During the day I make tons of mistakes on intricate (for me) quilt blocks and sew face masks to donate out of the scraps.

Ipad3

Ipad3

We are all finding our way here, taking comfort in soft things, moving slowly. I am reading the book September by Rosamunde Pilcher and I am loving it, at least. Usually my go-to crisis-novels are by Mary Stewart, but a kind blog reader sent me September many months ago and I am grateful now. A steady stream of Lacey Chabert movies plays on the TV every evening, though we did splurge and rent the new Emma (for $20!) last weekend, and Andy and I both loved it. I actually watched it once by myself and then literally started it over again. I found it very moving, and man, this song, at the end. We just sat there listening to it and staring at the credits. I love that song. That song is so good. Occasionally we watch Italian Grandma making gravy, lasagna, pizza fritta. She cooks everything I remember from childhood and reminds me so much of my grandma Ieronemo. I Googled her and found out she is from Foggia, Italy, which is exactly where my grandparents were from. How amazing is that! I shouted with disbelief when I read this. Oh I love her so much and I feel better, hearing her voice. You must watch. You will like it.

Ipad3

I hope you are well and finding grace during these difficult days. I made a little pattern for you for free if you would like to do some easy cross stitch, or have a youngster who would like to learn. It's called Homeschool Sampler. I've been challenged by some teenage boys to make something way cooler than this for them, so I have accepted that challenge. If you have any suggestions on what to include, please offer them up. I don't want them to know I have literally no clue how to be cool.

Ipad3

Wishing you good health and all the good things these days. Thank you for all of your kind words and I send sincere gratitude to all of you who are staying home right now, and all of you who absolutely can't. I salute you and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

107 comments

Maria St. John says: April 08, 2020 at 11:02 PM

I don't think I have ever commented on your blog, though I have read it for years. You have a way with words that I believe the Lord Jesus gifted you with. These certainly are trying times. Fear and stress often want to come and steal my faith. They tell me God isn't with me. They tell me He is no longer in control. They laugh and mock and want me to run in a corner to hide. But the truth is God is still on His throne. He sees all and knows all. He is complete and endless love and He has got me. He has you to if you will invite Him. I need to rely on His love and faithfulness. I pray for you and Andy and Amelia. That the Father would watch over you, that He would be near to you. I pray that He would draw you under the shelter of His wings and give you peace.

susan maclean says: April 08, 2020 at 11:43 PM

I don't comment, but always consume your lovely blog posts. Here in Dorset, UK, we live on the main road to the West Country (Devon and Cornwall) which at this time of the year is usually constant. Now it's delivery trucks, work vans and the odd car. This is a gift (for the wrong reasons), for the garden is much quieter, and we hear birds talking to each other .. singing .. and we have a robin's nest in our shed. It's where the tumble dryer lives, so thank goodness for a lovely warm spell of weather as we can dry everything on the line outside and not disturb the robins. We can see the paint can on the shelf which is their front door (they built the nest behind it), and that's fascinating.
I love all your photographs and it's a joy to "read" you. Blessings from here to there. x

Thanks for this, for putting into words so many of my feelings.
Take care,
from a reader in Zurich.

Elizabeth Neal says: April 09, 2020 at 02:54 AM

For teenage boys I'd probably go with a very abstract pattern rather than trying to second-guess what they'll find cool. Or can you get a mystery element into it so they don't necessarily know what they're making beforehand. My teenager likes doing extreme colour by number pictues made of squares where you can't work out what it is until the end.

I like that the houses in your area are called English when they all look so American. I like the subtle but definite differences in how countries decorate and build.

Your photos are always so lovely... thank you for posting beautiful things for people to enjoy while the world is so crazy!

Speaking of watching / listening to cooking shows, my husband always says that he could listen to Jacques Pepin talk for hours... that he's so soothing, grandfatherly. :-)

Be well, you and yours. <3

Shari Witt says: April 09, 2020 at 05:47 AM

Thank you so much for the beautiful sampler. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt thoughts and photos full of the beauty of home and life and family. You are so soothing. I pray for the world. Things will surely never be the same as before. I'm very much hoping that your next little sampler for boys is more timeless than current games or technology. In my experience working with young people, their appreciation of goodness and comfort and beauty is so underestimated and trivialized. Please give them something timeless; a boat, a dog, a house, maybe a bicycle. Just a suggestion. Everything you do has beauty and gentleness and I love you for it. Please don't stop sharing. Your posts are a balm. From Shari Witt in Northern Kentucky

Alicia! I think you may have missed your calling! That was one of the most beautiful and soulful pieces of script I have read in awhile. Thank you also for the lovely pattern. I have long admired your creative prowess! Our family watched Little Woman last night which was such pure escapism and beautifully filmed. Highly recommend it! Take care.

I LOVE Rosamund Pilcher's books! They're perfect for when I want to escape and dream about having a scullery, some gum boots, an English garden, and an Aga in the kitchen. I always have cravings for tea and biscuits when I read her books. :-)

Thank you for this post, your photos, your words, and the pattern.
I asked my own teenage boy -almost, he's 12-. He loves science and llamas, so he said DNA is cool, and so are llamas or camels. See what you could do with that! I think it's great that they want to cross-stitch, anything actually!

Gaye Marie says: April 09, 2020 at 07:28 AM

Thank you SO much for the cross stitch pattern - so generous of you! We are going to get through this!

What a lovely cross stitch pattern! Thank you so much! It's darling! I cannot wait to see Emma! I've been listening to the free audiobook from my library and look forward to the movie. I will be checking out your other resources too! I found out through my DNA testing a couple of years ago that I've got some Italian in me that I had no clue about, Sicilian to be exact! I need to learn how to make Italian food now! Thanks so much for your lovely blog posts. Enjoying them so much!

Your words are the most comforting I've read in awhile, Alicia. Thank you. I hope you are finding much comfort yourself, when you can. Like others here, I warmly recommend more Johnny Flynn to you. I especially love the Country Mile album. Einstein's Idea always makes me cry, in a good way, with the tenderness towards his child and family in it. The Detectorists, if you haven't seen it, is the gentlest show around and sweetly funny...and so much healing green for the eyes. All of Rosamunde Pilcher's books are favorites, even the early ones which are much shorter and simpler, but always touching. And have you read Miss Read? xoxo

Marylouise says: April 09, 2020 at 11:22 AM

Thank you for sharing all the lovely pictures and words. I literally don't have words right now for all this, but I do feel, and what I'm feeling is beyond words. Ugh! Your cozy life and sweet as pie family is all our salvation. Thank you thank you thank you! Sending light and love and prayers for all of you to stay healthy and safe.

Thanks for the sweet pattern as well as the beautiful pictures! Your blog is one of my favorites!

Teenage boys ideas: skateboard, scooter, skate park things. I bet you could google and find a cool skate shop and look at their icons and symbols,etc. Different kind of hats that boys wear, hammock, motorcycle.
From a mom of two teenage boys.....

Christina says: April 09, 2020 at 08:19 PM

I peek back now and then to see how you all are doing. I second the recommendation for The Shell Seekers if you haven't read it before -- it's my go-to comforter for the mind. I think it's Pilcher's best. Sending love.

Bridgette says: April 09, 2020 at 10:10 PM

This little spot of yours is like balm for the weary soul, it is a respite in the storm of life. Thank you❤️

Gail, in northern California says: April 09, 2020 at 10:54 PM

You described so well what I'm feeling in paragraph three. I couldn't find the words, but you did.

Alicia, I used to follow your blog when I first started mine. I think we were both featured in the same magazine that month. It was such a joy to see Posiegetscozy on my email feed this morning, I visited immediately and enjoyed reading you as much as I always did. A delicious start to my day. Wishing you safety and kindness from across the pond.

I always feel calmer after reading your blog with its lovely photos. for boys, maybe skateboards, skies, snowboards, bikes, sport symbols, fishing, outdoor scenes (forest, lakes). Not that these are exclusive to boys, but they might like them.

Michaelanne Neal says: April 10, 2020 at 06:43 AM

Thank you for ANOTHER beautiful post!! Your words are always soothing to me. I LOVE all that you do!!! I have a teenage boy...I think crosstitched food motifs might be COOL! haha! That cinnamon bun picture has me inspired to see what I can bake for my beautiful boy today. Ive been floated to Maternity for the forseeable future, as my practice area has closed. It is truly amazing to feel the HOPE in a hospital during this time. We are fearful..but strong...and STILL smiling!!! I LOVE that YOU always bring a smile..You have an amazing gift to bring joy <3! Sending you love and hugs!

Anne Richardson says: April 10, 2020 at 08:34 AM

Thank you for your honest thoughts and feelings. I literally broke down and cried yesterday after 6 weeks of isolation. Your blog gives me a sense of friendship and connection.
I taught a class of fifth and sixth graders to embroider many years ago. It was “pioneer crafts”. One boy wanted to do an outhouse. I told him to go for it. He was surprised but did it. This was in a very rural community with a four room 8 grade school with no resources.
Blessings to you and your family and extra prayers for Andy.

I was so delighted to see that you posted. Your photos and words always comfort me - something I needed today. Thank you.

Kelly Fehr says: April 10, 2020 at 11:05 AM

My grandsons are 8, 7 and 5 and are all into rockets, space, retro-space shapes and night sky. These would be cool for their cross-stitch projects. Animals bearing their teeth would also be a fun idea, like a tiger or lion with their mouths wide open. Just a few thoughts. Nice to see you out and about. Fresh air is so necessary to keep fresh brains and hearts. After a while, we lose the ability to see far away, so going up and even just looking at the sky is important. (My husband was a sailor on a submarine 25 years ago, so we've had some experience with this confinement living.)

Lori Barker says: April 10, 2020 at 04:01 PM

Thank you for your time, your words that ring true for so many of us, for letting Andy go to work and care for others, and for the adorable pattern. I suggest some Mine Craft for the boys' cross stitch. Or maybe that is too young? Good luck and keep on keeping on. We appreciate you out here. Your photos and prose are reassuring in an unstable world right now.

Warmly,
Lori

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

post a comment

About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

Archives

Photography

Photography

Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.