Walk past a muddy puddle and she’s happy to roll in it all day. Put her in a clean bathtub and she looks at me like I’ve just announced there’s an international rawhide shortage. #dogs

Walk past a muddy puddle and she’s happy to roll in it all day. Put her in a clean bathtub and she looks at me like I’ve just announced there’s an international rawhide shortage. #dogs

My alarm went off at 3:20 this morning. I shoved the sweatshirt I slept in back in my duffle bag and tugged my hair into a ponytail. A 5:15 flight out of Texas meant I was at my office desk in North Carolina filing invoices by 9:20.

In a Dallas airport gift shop my eyes caught on a book cover titled “You’ll Get Through This.” Seems logical.

I’ve been to too many funerals lately. People tell you their purpose is for the living to celebrate the dead and grieve together. But I think that like a lot of ceremonies in modern culture, they’re just mostly tradition that we don’t know how to break.

I prefer my grieving the way it was last week, when my dad and I went for a long swim and he talked about his mom and my tears mingled with the salt water on my cheeks. Or the other night on a run when they mixed with my sweat until I stopped on my steps and buried my face in Pawley’s thick fur and allowed myself to imagine the sound of her voice.

I hate the tightness of funerals. The feeling of holding it in. People share touching stories and I force myself to count the petals on a rose in the flower arrangement or think about a grocery list. Anything not to think about how much she would have loved to have been gathered with this group. Anything not to think about how deeply this is hurting people I love. Anything not to think about the finality of death.

The truth is, of course, that the book title is right. You’ll get through this. Everyone does and has for thousands of years. You’ll eventually find the balance of grieving and moving forward. And you’ll go back to work and to play and one day you’ll be surprised it hurt this much because you can’t even remember what that feels like. 

I’d say I wished that day was today. But I think that if there is one (albeit small) benefit to funerals, it’s that they do remind you to savor every moment of this brief life. So I’m doing that. Because sometimes even hard days are good days.

Making Up Words

This morning I woke up before the sun rose to go for a long walk with my dad on the tree-lined sidewalks of the neighborhood where he grew up. Today we’ll both speak at his mother’s funeral. But, as the sky slowly grew light, we talked about jobs and yard work and this sticky, hot August weather. Back in her home that’s overflowing with people but feels empty without her laugh, we say things like “Is there sugar for the coffee?” and are bothered by a clogged shower drain. There’s comfort in the mundane on days like today. Because there are no words to express these feelings anyway.

Making Up Words

This morning I woke up before the sun rose to go for a long walk with my dad on the tree-lined sidewalks of the neighborhood where he grew up. Today we’ll both speak at his mother’s funeral. But, as the sky slowly grew light, we talked about jobs and yard work and this sticky, hot August weather. Back in her home that’s overflowing with people but feels empty without her laugh, we say things like “Is there sugar for the coffee?” and are bothered by a clogged shower drain. There’s comfort in the mundane on days like today. Because there are no words to express these feelings anyway.

I love really good fiction. While these two books couldn’t be any more different in their subject matter/writing style, they were both fantastic.

The Fortune Hunter is very Downton-Abbey-style-period-piece-meets-modern-soap-opera style drama. Typically, this wouldn’t be my favorite thing, but I really liked the way the author did two things. 1) She incorporated actual historical characters in ways that made it clear she’d done significant research. 2) She made the characters multidimensional—and with depth. There was no perfect hero or heroine. Just normal, flawed people who fell in love, made mistakes, hurt each other, screwed up repeatedly, and made it work. I like that kind of story. (Full disclosure: I also like stories that take place in England and this one did.)

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair was my favorite piece of fiction I’d read in a long time. It’s got murder and sex and mystery and intrigue. As a writer, I enjoyed that it was about writers. But beyond that, the plot twists, character development, and scene setting just made this a ton of fun to read. It was the kind of book that as a kid I would have definitely had out my flashlight under the covers reading it all night. Literally didn’t want to put it down and was disappointed when it ended. Definitely my top beach read pick of the summer. (Oh, and side note. This book was originally written in French… La Verite sur l’Affaire Harry Quebert… the title has a nice ring to it when you’re pronouncing Quebert French-style. Anyway, it’s been immensely popularly worldwide, but I was worried that it might have lost something in the English translation… I struggled with that in Larsson’s popular Millennium triology. But in reading it I honestly would have never guessed it wasn’t originally in English.)

Today I had seven courses with wine pairings for lunch at Dean & Deluca’s Wine Room. The best part was that the last savory course was pasta, steak, and bone marrow BUTTER. People who serve butter to put on top of beef after five previous courses are my kind of people.

You know, I hate Sundays because you’re just prepping for the hell of Monday. But you know what I’ve realized I REALLY hate? Tuesday. Because at least you’d prepared for Monday being terrible. But then Tuesday shows up and it’s f’ing awful and you didn’t even see it coming.
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Happy thoughts from Katie to kick off your week. (via thequotablekatieblog)

This is another blog I write sometimes. Which is to say, I basically take dictation from my friend Katie and put it into blog form.

“I told you that writing was like boxing, but it’s also like running. That’s why I keep sending you out to pound the pavement: If you have the moral courage to run a long way, in the rain, in the cold, if you have the strength to keep going until the end, to give it all you have and to reach your goal, then you’re capable of writing a book. Never let fear or fatigue stop you. On the contrary: You should use them to help you keep going.”

-Joel Dicker, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair

Obsessed with this book.

The Caribbean has curb appeal. (at Nevis, West Indies)

The Caribbean has curb appeal. (at Nevis, West Indies)

Supposedly, I’m catching a flight back to NC tomorrow. Debatable. (at Nevis, West Indies)

Supposedly, I’m catching a flight back to NC tomorrow. Debatable. (at Nevis, West Indies)

Family Vacation: The Non-Instagramable Version

Earlier in the week I asked one of our taxi drivers to buy me some of the local (illegal) rum. Yesterday, he left it with one of the hotel bell men for me.
My mom: Sarah, while you were gone we picked up your rum from some guy named Glendon.
Me: Great. How much do I owe you?
Mom: You need to go find and pay Glendon. We didn't pay him.
Me (with what I thought was obvious sarcasm): What?! You got the goods, but didn't pay him?? What, is this your first time buying illicit goods in a foreign country or something?
Mom (literally stomping off): I'M SORRY. I was TRYING to do you a favor, picking up your moonshine. That's the LAST time I do that again.
Family bonding, you guys.
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