What a spectacular evening.  I’m going to try out this new office.  Looks like a nice place to write.

Summer has teased but seems to have truly arrived today.

Which is wonderful because it’s the last day of school!

Now when I say the last day of school, let’s be clear.  It’s not a, “last day of school, make sure you empty out your backpack and put it away till next September” type of last day of school.  It’s a, “the Tan children have all finished up their school days and after twenty years straight (22 if you count playschool) this momma is folding up her mom-of-school-age-kids license and not even thinking about making a school-bus run ever again” last day of school.

Well, after writing that I’m a little sad.

Nope, it’s gone again.  They were wonderful times (mostly) and I’m very grateful to live where good schools are close and safe and fun, but it’s also time for that stage to wind up.

My first two are boys so grad-year clothing involved a suit purchase at the beginning of the year which they could wear to everything.  I wondered what it would be like with my youngest a girl but she’s been very good to me and pretty grounded in her choices.  Whew. This was taken before the fanciest event, the grad banquet, and I was so proud to see this beautiful grown up girl shine.

For the actual commencement ceremony my eldest wanted to be there (such a nice brother) so he combined a short holiday in San Francisco with a flight home to see her walk across the stage before heading back to his home, which is sadly across the country.  He arrived late one night and the next morning unrolled his lanky body and reacquainted himself with the Tan nest.  The funny thing is that as soon as he comes home it’s as if he never left.  Glad he can stay a few days before heading back.

My middlest flew in the next morning from a six-month trek in mostly India and Nepal.  He’s a climber and apparently they have boulders and cliffs to climb there too.  He’s an adventurer and I don’t even know what questions to ask to start getting to some of those stories I know he has to tell.  Fresh from perching high in the Himalayas he had to temporarily resort to perching on the railings here.  Because why not?

Although I think it was a happy accident that he was flying home just in time for grad, he rose to the occasion cheerfully and that night hung in after a multi-day trip home.  Also a nice brother!  We watched the graduate walk across the stage wearing converse sneakers and ankle bracelets new from Nepal.

They’re a fun group.  So glad the boys made it home.  With one living away and one going off on treks and the littlest one heading back East for school in the Fall I am never sure when we’ll all be together again next, and so I think I’ve become pretty good at just enjoying it and enjoying these big people who seem to have grown out of those little ones.

So the Tan kids are officially out in the world.  Woo hoo.

Now after busy days I’m out on my side porch with the kitties, thinking this might be a good place to write a blog, especially since the house is cooking.  The kitties have joined me of course.  We’re all very watchful as we live beside a forest with coyotes but now we have a big dog next door and two young kids beside that, close to where the coyotes used to have a den, so we’re crossing fingers and paws and hoping the coyotes have moved a bit farther away .  The cats absolutely love being out here.  Since they couldn’t go out the last couple of summers this seems like an amazing treat still and from early morning they try and lead to me to the door to go out.  They are getting a bit older than when they were out a few years ago, so they stick a little closer to home mostly.  Because we sort of live in a jungle.

The sisters who don’t get along are so happy out here that they  even briefly forget they don’t really like each other very much.

And I think a lot about the “Facebook phenomena” where I guess we all talk mostly about the good stuff and our lives end up sounding like perfect fairy tales.  I don’t think I want to add to that so I had better mention that the mark on the window in the porch picture above is a massive delivery of bird poop, and one of the cats just barfed.

(But yay that we were outside! )

But now these honeysuckle are sticking their tongues out at me. Rude! I’m heading in.

(I’ll have the last laugh.  I’m totally going to design a honeysuckle canvas one o f these days.)

Life is not perfect but it is sweet.

4 thoughts to “Summer evening desk

  • Margaret "Taffy" Hill

    I just found you!! how lovely. enjoy all the canvases..
    I am 70. I have been stitching since I was 21.
    at that age, I was pg. the mother-in-law that I had back then worked part time for Maud Hundley Studio in Middletown, KY. she insisted that I learn to stitch since I was “a lady in waiting.” I am so glad she did.
    This hobby has filled a lot of needs. Now I have a totally disabled daughter from a 2nd marriage.
    I spend lots of time caregiving/sitting.
    your designs are so current and lively.
    do you ever think you would paint an herbal design? (another hobby-gardening)
    I look forward to your blog.
    Congrats on the grad and her brothers,,,,nice family.
    Sincerely, Taffy Hill

    • Jennifer Tan

      Hi Margaret, I’m so sorry it has taken me so long to get back here. Its so easy to fall off the internet and so hard to hop back on. My early summer evening desk has turned into a soaking wet space that gets dark by 6. But I guess that’s the way it goes every year, isn’t it.
      I think you get an award for the length of your stitching career, and I’m glad it is a happy thing in your life. I like to have busy hands too.
      I do have a few thoughts on future gardening designs, more general than herbal but that sounds interesting too. Will pop that back in my head and see if it starts to grow. I never know which ideas are going to come to life back there. It’s the best thing when I take a look back in the murk and there’s a fully formed design siting there, worked on unconsciously and just waiting to get painted. Rare but worth celebrating!
      Thank you for your kind words. I’m looking forward to Christmas when the grad and her brothers will all be here before they head back to school, work, and more travels. Sending you good thoughts as you stitch and care. xo

  • Jody

    Just saw the picture of you and the kids. You must be very proud. As usual your pictures and your new canvases are great. I think I need one of the pomegranates. Good luck in Dallas. I know you will do very well. Will be up your way in November.

    • Jennifer Tan

      A very late reply to say thank you and hi! I’ve been scurrying. :). I”m, like you with yours I’m sure, dumbfounded at the interesting cool kind people I seem to have had a hand in raising.
      If you feel like having a meet up in November would love to see you. It’s pouring here today to make sure the hills are nice and green for your hikes.


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