Quiet Thoughts: To Reach Paradisio, You Simply Need to Keep Walking

Photo: All Ursa Major wanted to do was see this tractor today. He would just not let me hear the end of it. Of course, I gave him what he wanted, but he won’t give me what I want, which is a nap!!


I fell asleep last night to the sound of raindrops landing on fallen leaves. It was the contemplation of the sound that put me to sleep–Hearing the hollow sound of the water hitting the now crisp and curling leaves is very different from the usual flat thud of water hitting thirsty earth. As the breeze brings more leaves from their branches, a passing shower in Autumn sings a very different song from her summer counterparts. This season inspires me in ways that I cannot fully express. Ironically, it also dampens all of my optimism: The lonely, gray, merciless and endless winter is coming. Not even my optimism can change the realities of that.

But when winter comes, I’ll have a warm place to hide. A little farmhouse 10 minutes away from where I am sitting right now.

We, finally, got our commitment letter yesterday. Some sucker gave us a mortgage. The selling family needs to install the new septic system and then we’re going to the closing table. I will own that cute little place on November 7th or 8th.

Paradisio is only Paradisio when you pass through the pearly gates, but the precariousness of this very long negotiation seems to be giving way.   Don’t congratulate me until I post a picture of my house keys. And remember, once we own this home, we can’t move in until the work is done. But at least I’ll only be negotiating with one person at that point rather than 5.

Can I make a confession?

I am absolutely falling in love with this place. I am sincerely and unabashedly falling in love with this area. We’ve hit peak foliage color and I find myself breathless whenever I look outside of my window. The colors are vivid, the smell is hypnotic, the temperature is perfect, the sound like a symphony. It isn’t to say that autumn in Maryland isn’t beautiful–but at least where I’m from, it is nothing like this. I almost feel like I’m cheating… There is a shame in this confession, a betrayal of sorts… but it feels so good to surrender to it. This is me, loving where I live with a wholeness that I haven’t felt since I’ve moved here. Maybe it’s the freedom of knowing that we are staying here permanently, or maybe there is simply a magic to this region… I fully understand why so many writers and thinkers choose this place as their home.

I want very much to write more today–but the boys are not napping upstairs and I am far behind on my day. We went back to the farm today–I just had to get out and be on this beautiful day–but being at the farm always eats such a large chunk of my day. So the baking I planned on doing has been held off–and that Portuguese sweet bread requires two 2-hour rises–and I need to get chopping for the spaghetti sauce soon. Both of those boys did a lot of walking today, and yet Ursa Major is fighting this nap and winning. i’m going to have a whiny, ridiculous, overtired toddler on my hands all afternoon and evening. Life comes with joys and burdens. There is always balance in the universe.

This is a good weekend for trying out new recipes. I’m trying to sucker mom out of a free dinner tomorrow (I’m terrible, I know!) but if I don’t get that, I have meatball sandwiches I can make. I also have a brisket in my freezer that I plan on throwing in my oven all day on Sunday. One of these days, when I just have obs and gobs of money for no reason, I’m going to build an outdoor kitchen with a smoker. Brisket isn’t really brisket unless it has been smoked. Now that is something that I’ll always miss about Maryland. Massachusetts BBQ just ain’t shit.

but these ancient trees are spectacular, and these rolling hills are breathtaking. I am in awe every day. But as I said before–even my optimism cannot outlast the cruel, cruel winter here.

Annnd, of course, if I am dealing with screaming babies, I won’t be writing–and next September is just around the corner. I have so much work to do! The good news? I finished my outline this week. The bad news? I have another outline and scene cards to do. Gotta get it done before November 1 when I get writing! Next month’s word goal? 80,000 words!

Can I close on a house, keep contractors in line, take care of my children, schedule the Christmas portrait, write the Christmas letter, serve Thanksgiving dinner, maintain this blog and write 80,000 words next month? Can I do it?

You know what? I’m just that freaking crazy. Hells yeah I can do it!

but right now, I have to get my babies. And leave you some pictures.

We couldn't find the goats or the cows, but there were Chickens in abundance... running away from my two over-excited boys.
We couldn’t find the goats or the cows, but there were Chickens in abundance… running away from my two over-excited boys.
Tell me that isn't beautiful...
Tell me that isn’t beautiful…
Again-- I've been to beautiful places. I can even imagine a few places that could, conceivably, be more beautiful that New England in the Autumn... I'm just saying that there is just something special about this time and this place. It is simply spectacular.
Again– I’ve been to beautiful places. I can even imagine a few places that could, conceivably, be more beautiful that New England in the Autumn… I’m just saying that there is just something special about this time and this place. It is simply spectacular.
So many things to look at while visiting the farm--but my sons would happily spend all day screaming and observing the tractors.
So many things to look at while visiting the farm–but my sons would happily spend all day screaming and observing the tractors.
I don't think that the boys could really conceive how large this tractor was.
I don’t think that the boys could really conceive how large this tractor was.
The only other machines that can make Ursa Major this happy are trains.
The only other machines that can make Ursa Major this happy are trains.
The best part of this trip was watching Ursa Major point out the different parts of the tractor to Ursa Minor.
The best part of this trip was watching Ursa Major point out the different parts of the tractor to Ursa Minor.
And Ursa Minor happily participating.
And Ursa Minor happily participating.
And Ursa Minor doing some point of his own.
And Ursa Minor doing some point of his own.
Ursa Minor screaming "Baaa Baa!" at the sheep was adorable...
Ursa Minor screaming “Baaa Baa!” at the sheep was adorable…



It is Friday and I have wishes. I wish my boys would sleep… or maybe that they will be kind to me in their non-sleep this afternoon…

Seriously, on this Friday I have wishes for you. I wish you a moment of contemplation–while looking at the silver of the moon or the brilliant blue sky. I wish you the crunch of dry leaves under your warm feet and crisp air blowing through your hair. I wish you a moment of looking at your favorite person (people) happy and walking in the sun. I wish you a confession–something deep and passionate and beautiful: in a mirror, in an ear, on a blog. Let something go out into the universe. You might be surprised what the universe will send you back. I wish you a night with the windows open, with just enough of a cold edge in the air to make you curl up deep in your covers. I wish you a plate full of rich and well prepared food, a well selected beverage to accompany it, and wonderful company to share it with. I wish you a few steps toward your own beautiful paradise.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Meredith says:

    Congrats!! So happy for you that it all worked out. And, closing so soon. YAY YAY YAY!!

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      DON’T congratulate me yet!!! Those folks still have to do the septic! And there is still mega paperwork to do. A million billion things can happen between now and then!!!

  2. haha mass BBQ. I can imagine. At least I’m close enough to shoot down and steal some from Missouri.

    So exciting about the house! Yeah, yeah I don’t wanna jink it for you, but holy hell you’ve been through the ringer on this one. Glad to hear it’s finally coming together.

    Sounds like you have a future engineer on your hands. And is it me, or have they shot up just in the few months I’ve been following your blog?

    Do babies grow fast? I know puppies do. Ours is getting too big to drown in a barrel, so I guess I better get off here and get busy with it. He’s such a brat. (Officially he’s not my dog; precisely why he’s a brat. He’s my father’s dog, and he refuses to train him). I feel your pain–I just want to stop babysitting it.

    Good luck on the 80k words. My lord, that sounds daunting. Wouldn’t it be nicer to writers if they asked for maybe 200 paragraphs, or 100 pages instead of a five-digit mountain? How much is 80k words?

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      So, like, we should totally talk about your feelings about dogs… Because drowning them in barrels seems really specific, you know? Or is that a midwestern expression? if that’s a mid-western expression, I’m still concerned…

      Is Missouri BBQ all that great? I’ve had St. Louis style ribs before and I feel like they aren’t my favorite. My in-laws are from Missouri, so I’m sure you know how I feel about it.

      And thanks, but don’t congratulate me on the house. This really has been a journey… at least I’ve been able to vent about the craziness and put it on the blog. It is just going to make that first day at “home” so much the better knowing how hard we fought for that house. (Or our failure that much more miserable if something goes wrong!)

      The boys are growing like weeds and eating like machines. I don’t know what to do with those two. Every time I turn around, Ursa Major is outgrowing something. I’m like dude… seriously… I can’t afford to cloth you right now. I keep dropping hints to the grandmas like “oh? He doesn’t fit that? Oh dear… guess someone should go shopping for him? Those 4T clothes I saw at Kohls the other day looked -Just the right size-.” I’m not even a little bit subtle!

      80k words is considered a “full-length” novel by industry standards. NaNoWriMo’s goal for writers is only 50k words, which is the size of a novella. This will be my 5th year doing NaNo and I’ve reached the 50k goal every time except for one (I was pregnant and very sick with Ursa Major). So I decided to push myself this time and get the entirety of my “draft zero” after in one month. The goal is 80k or whereever “the end” is. I wish there was a word count widget that I could put here on the blog!

      1. HAHA oh god no! I LOVE dogs, way more than people. I was being facetious.

        Grandma was from “Mizzeruh” so we always had good luck there. But we actually get pretty good stuff up here in the cornfields believe it or not. Some day, I’ll do me a South Eastern US trip for BBQ. I’ve had it just about everywhere else, and I’m no expert; but so far, I just know it’s all tastes good wherever I go lol.

        Ok, got it: the first rule about House Club, is don’t talk about House Club.

        Haha! Yeah, toootally subtle lol

        Ahhh, a novel I see. I read about NaNoWriMo a while back. It’s write a novel in a month isn’t it? Does it have to be all edited too, or do you dash it off and send it it as is? I can’t remember. It would be a riot to do if I had the time. Maybe that will be my graduation present to myself.

        Your posts tell me how many words each one is when it scrolls through my reader. I think the editor has a tracker. Ain’t you got Word woman? I’ll buy you damn Word if it will help you write your story. Cuz then I get to read it! Win win!

        1. K.C. Wise says:

          LOL House Club… I’m gonna have to sneak that into a post somehow…

          You only write the novel. You don’t have to edit it or anything like that during the month, too. The majority of participants don’t even achieve the wordcount goal. I can’t imagine trying to edit and junk in that time, too!

          I think it would be awesome if you did it! When do you graduate? A stressful month of crazy fiction writing sounds like a fantastic graduation present to me!

          I own a copy of Word 2013, thank you very much. I’m all fancy fancy with the pretty load screen and stuff and everything.. so yeah! I meant that I wish there was a widget in WordPress where I could put my daily NaNo wordcount up on the blog. So that way you can track my progress as I go! You could look at my wordcount and be like “Kyra, why the long blog post? That 2,000 words could have gone toward your book!” I’ll just write it at the top of my posts next month…

          1. after 26 years of trying, i have one term left this spring (i think). i’ve been informed any the government that they won’t give me any money. so, i’m not real sure! lol

            if i do graduate, first on the agenda is leaving here asap. i’ll write from wherever me and the dog end up.

            haha! gotcha on te word count. i’d just like a way to change fonts. i mean would it really kill em?

          2. K.C. Wise says:

            I’m SO cheering for you!! I hope that you get the monies so that you can graduate! What are you studying??

            I had never thought about the fonts before… yeah! What’s up with that? I think I’ll bring that up at WordCamp next week!

          3. Thank you. English. Well, I studied all the English. Now I have to study thirty hours of liberal arts stuff unrelated to English because, you know, I only already did that when I got my liberal arts degree. >:/

            Yeah. Fonts. Go get ’em buddy.

  3. Your kids are adorable! And good luck on the house. I know it’s not a done deal till the papers are signed and the keys are in hand. 🙂

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      Thanks so much! And thank you– I need all the luck I can get.
      And maybe a winning check from Publisher’s Clearing House or something… 🙂

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