reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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the people with pompoms. [d.r. thursday]

and, in the miracle of the universe unfolding as it should, there was first fruit. i have to admit to my heart swelling just a bit. i peeked into the leaves of our two tomato plants and was astounded. many tiny fruit – little green orbs – had appeared, seemingly overnight. once again, we were going to experience the thrill of tiny-farming, a container garden on our old barnwood potting stand. just off the deck, tucked up next to the fence, canopied by the climbing ivy and right in the chipmunk trail to the birdfeeder, we were experiencing success. we are proud parents. and last night, as i snipped off fresh basil for our red pesto, i blew kisses, waving virtual pompoms, to these baby cherry tomatoes and encouraged them to keep on keeping on.

sunday morning we awoke to a flurry of activity on our blogs. with our coffee mugs in hand, we could see that hundreds of people were suddenly visiting certain posts and we ascertained that our favorite wander women had shared the cartoon and corresponding blogposts we had written with great pride about them. and – in a fun moment that was even better than hearing your name on the romper-room-mirror-out-there-i-see moment, they mentioned us on their video. we’ve watched every single one of their backpacking youtubes, their triple crown achievement, their biking, their supply lists, their rv-ing, their musings about aging and planning and adventure. nothing short of inspiring, we’ve talked about them a bit…ok, more than a bit. we shared with them the cartoon we drew, wanting them to know we are among the giant fan group they have, cheering them on as they are getting outside in the world. and then they shared our words. mutual pompoms.

there is power in sharing, power in being proud enough of, inspired enough by something to cheer it on. there is power in rooting for that which someone else is going after. it’s a synergistic power…back and forth and back and forth. kind of like how all cheering-on works. we encourage, we nurture, we are encouraged, we are nurtured. i found a note from my sweet momma recently. just a scrap of paper. on it she had written, “i know you can do it.” pompoms.

every new adventure – every fresh start – every launch – every foray – new fruit. vulnerable to the chipmunks – and much bigger monsters – but stalwart anyway. a few coffee grounds around the tomatoes will help deter those crazy chippies. we have plenty of coffee grounds. easy peasy.

i’m guessing the coffee will help with everything else too.

that and the people with pompoms.

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

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coffee mug viewmaster reel. [d.r. thursday]

inane information moment: i am drinking coffee out of this mug right now.

in a small shop on the main street of frisco, colorado (elev. 9075′) these mugs sat on a shelf and waited. since we are bring-back-a-mug (or cloth napkins or a rock or a big branch) people, it seemed destined to go home with us – a black mug with trees and the word “colorado”. how much more perfect can a memorymug get?

it’s visceral drinking coffee out of this mug. it makes me want to walk down main street, jaunt into the bookstore, find the trailhead at the end of the road. i merely have to hold it in my hands and i am in the high mountains, squishing the goodness out of every single minute we get to breathe in that air.

there are quite a few mugs in our mug cabinet. and this is after we pared them down, bringing cups to the church we used to go to for their coffee hour, which had a huge collection of people’s memorymugs. you’d wrap your hand around a floral mug and wonder who gave it to whom. you’d cup hot coffee and laugh at how many i-love-my-teacher mugs had been options on the rolling cart with the coffee urn.

there are some mugs that i simply could not have let go. a peanuts mug from the 70s, a mug from the cape, a handle-less clay mug from a potter in the north carolina mountains, two round glass mugs from which my sweet momma and dad sipped coffeetime, a charlie brown mug from h, the shayne mugs from my sister, our breckenridge cabin coffee mugs, the remaining unbroken snowmass mug, a couple mugs our girl left behind a few summers ago.

i guess that the point is what each of these conjure up nestled in my hands, steaming-coffee-ready. they are like a timeline of life, the viewmaster of the coffee world. click – another slide. click – another slide. choose your mug, choose your reel.

coffee is never just about the coffee. at least that is what i have learned in my life. it is always about the moments and, at risk of hyper-redundant-emotion-waxing, presence is what counts. for there is simply nothing better than sitting here – this very minute i am writing this – early morning, with coffee, under the quilt, dogga at my feet and d next to me, my mom’s old glass nighttable lamp on by our side, snow falling falling falling outside the window, holding every frisco memory in my hands. even if i have forgotten the tiny details of the trip, i can feel the majesty of the mountains and the way it feels to look across lake dillon and catch my breath.

the gift of this mug in my hands is that it delivers me there – just by opening up the triangle cabinet in the kitchen, selecting this mug and pouring coffee. though we are right here – at home – we are also right there. in summit county.

when we talked to 20 on the phone last night he told us he had only one thing of note he had saved recently that he felt worthy. expecting it to be a helpful hint of some sort, we waited. he paused and then quoted, “by replacing your morning coffee with green tea you can lose up to 87% of what little joy you still have left in your life.” (shah of blah tweet)

i suppose you could drink green tea out of this mug too. but why would you do that?

*****

read DAVID’s thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

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the best part of waking up… [merely-a-thought monday]

the conversation started just over nine years ago. emails back and forth and then texts. going back, reading, it is stunning to see how many times coffee entered the stage of our new relationship then, as if it were anxiously waiting in the wings or in the green room, one of the stars of that friendship that grew into love. we would send photos of mugs or cups full of coffee across the country, finding each other in our respective days, the places we were sipping, where we were headed. coffee became a locator. and still now, it was one of the joys of those early days, months and months and months of writing and wondering what it might be like to have a coffee together.

the tiny house had a coffee station. nothing run-of-the-mill and industrial, instead it was a sweet spot along a bit of wall bespeckled with signs about coffee. certainly this was an airbnb owned by someone who appreciates the finer points of first-thing-in-the-morning brew.

i think coffee is one of those things you either love or totally dislike. it’s not really a take-it-or-leave-it kind of beverage. my sweet momma and poppo could sit over coffee for hours. it wasn’t the cup of java that lasted that long; it was the coffee-sitting. it was conversation and quiet, it was waking up and catching up. it was at breakfast, at coffee-break time, maybe a cup after a celebratory dinner. i learned the goodness of coffee-sitting from them and miss those times around their table. coffee makes me think of them.

i know that, although my dad never met david, he is rooting every day for him. i’m sure he watches each evening as david sets up the coffee for the morning, his own practice back in the day. i’m sure he approves heartily when d pours mugs early in the morning, adding no sugar or creamer or milk or sweetener; he was a black-coffee drinker too. i’m sure he smiles and nods when d walks steaming mugs in to me, still with my head in the pillows. he is likely whistling, “the best part of waking up is [coffee] in your cup.” it took a long while for me to convince him that there was coffee that wasn’t folgers. we are big bold coffee fans. but when there was a ball jar sitting on the counter in our tiny house with the words “fresh folgers” on a lid it was me smiling, positive of the presence of my mom and dad.

it is the wee hours of the night as we write today’s post. i couldn’t sleep, so we decided to sit up and compose our blogs. david said, “should i put the coffee on?”. i emphatically replied “no!” as i have every intention of trying to sleep again once we have written and my insomnia turns to sleepiness.

besides, i so look forward to a bit of mountain-town light streaming in the windows in a few hours and hearing david’s voice as he offers me a mug, a cuppajava, as i pick my head up from the cozy pillows. and just like my dad, i can hear it: “the best part of waking up is [coffee] in my cup.”

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY


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never enough coffee. [saturday morning smack-dab]

coffee was a recurring theme in our early days. it does not have as big a spotlight role these days, sharing the limelight with wine and lets-try-to-drink-more-water. but back in the day of our writing-back-and-forth-and-back-and-forth it was a super star and you could see how often our bucks were spent on it in photographs taken of coffee cups around the country to send each other. (which literally gives me pause for thought, wondering if that is how starbucks got its name….)

these days? it is more of a guiding light, illuminating the mornings-after-little-to-no-sleep, the balm to heal insomnia, the salve of achier joints, the massage of slower starts. though it is not the only star smack-dab in our beverage list, it is a lifesaver. and there are some days when there simply is not enough of it.

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this SATURDAY MORNING SMACK-DAB

SMACK-DAB. ©️ 2021 kerrianddavid.com


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from jumpstart to coda. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

so much random learning

my favorite snapchat filter makes my face round and my eyes huge, adds giant john-denver-glasses and changes my voice.   and i love it!  using a filter makes short-selfie-movie-making less about how you look and more about how you could look:  with big eyes or ears or as a unicorn or years younger or years older or with different hair or as the opposite gender.  my niece wendy and i use it as a constant communication device; we are free to be as weird as we want to be or as funny or as playful.

when this filter disappeared temporarily – the one with big eyes and glasses and a voice octaves above my normal voice – i panicked.  making a video for wendy as just me was not nearly as enticing and i sadly thought i’d have to resort to simply texting again.  i wondered if i should write a letter to snapchat, but fear those at snapchat don’t read letters.  how antiquated.  alas, even without a letter of reproach from me, it reappeared and all is well again in snapchatland.

technology is throwing us all for a loop…well, those of us who were not born with it in our very veins.  we are videoconferencing for work, google-chatting for play, creating audio and video files to fill in gaps where people can’t be, using photoshop to create slides for iMovies or iPhoto videos, layering audio files on music software, creating youtube channels and pic collages, learning how to change wav files into mp3s into m4v’s, messaging people via text, email, facebook, instagram, pushing our little cellphones to their outer limits (or is it us we are pushing to outer limits?)

we are immersed and treading water.

so much learning.  oy, such a steep curve.  all in the name of staying in touch in these virtual times.  you can’t touch people but these laptops and ipads and cellphones are reeling from overuse.  (or is it my born-in-1959-middle-aged-brain?)

but for those of us with analog veins, coffee is still coffee.  and i am ever grateful for that.  it’s a necessary tool in this virtual world.  every day these days needs a bit of a jumpstart.

and as frank k. says, “that apothic.  it’s such a drinkable wine!”  yes, frank.  another necessary tool – the coda of the day these days.

jumpstart to coda.  and in-between, we tread, virtual wave after virtual wave.

 

read DAVID’s thoughts this NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY

 

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coffee. without fail. [two artists tuesday]

starbucks copy

coffee is how we start the day.  hot bold black coffee.  columbus says it’s way too strong, but this is from a man who makes coffee that his son says tastes like ‘sockwater’.  our coffee must be an acquired taste.

when we travel we seek out starbucks (and, to be honest, small independent coffee cafes as well) to stop and have a double espresso.  now that we are a teeny weeny bit older, it’s not as smart to have huge cups of coffee while driving long distances.  there’s a teeny weeny bit of an issue with not enough rest areas now.  so we try to be smart.

every single time we stop for a double espresso we take a picture and then we send it to 20.  we have pictures of double espressos in illinois and indiana, in colorado and wisconsin, in florida and georgia, in north and south carolina, in kentucky and tennessee, in connecticut and massachusetts, in new hampshire and rhode island, in new york and pennsylvania, in washington and idaho, in iowa and kansas, in montana and north dakota and minnesota, in missouri and california, in amsterdam and brussels, in paris.

coffee has always been one of our touchstones.  from the very beginning d and i spoke about and revered coffee, together.  i learned early on from my sweet momma and my poppo how to coffee-sit and it is with them in my heart, coffee in hand, we continue the tradition.

as each day ends and d sets up the coffeemaker for the next morning, dogdog listens for all the familiar sounds he knows that signal the end of the day.  he waits on the bed for his bellybelly and then time for sleep.  and he knows, too, that when he wakes we will sit with our hot black bold coffee the next morning.  without fail.

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

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not the fancy stuff. [two artists tuesday]

coffee pot copy

maybe we’ll go back.  this sassy coffee pot sits at one of our favorite antique shops and drew my eye.  we’ll be sure to know where to put it and, perhaps, how to use it before we maybe go get it.

we were on our way to cape cod and the sign salvage chic antiques stopped us.  four old aluminum coffee pots later, we left the store.  they are now part of a five-aluminum-coffee-pot collection on a shelf in our kitchen; instead of a canister set, these coffee pots keep all our different teas easily accessible.

anyone who knows us knows that we love our coffee.  anyone who knows us knows that we also love re-purposing old stuff.  but not the fancy stuff.  old aluminum coffee pots, old black vintage suitcases, old wooden boxes.  they are the treasures around us.  they hold special mementos, nespresso coffee pods, clothespins for the ukulele band, art supplies, rocks we have collected on beaches, in woods, from high sandstone precipices or red rock canyons deep.  they are history and they are new.  both true.

when we need a break, a few moments to lose ourselves, we will either hike or go to one of our local favorite antique shops.  things of worry will gently fall off as we walk through woods or aisles of things-that-remind-us of other times, memories, or maybe inspire us with a beckon to be brought home.

we choose carefully and deliberately.  for ourselves and for the gifts we get others.  it’s never the fancy stuff, but it’s the stuff that stops us, draws our eye, beckons to be purchased and re-treasured.

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

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photo by 20

 


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cheers. as we go. [two artists tuesday]

starbuckscups

anyone who knows us knows that we love our coffee.  every night we literally look forward to coffee the next morning; we even talk about it.

it’s no different when we travel.  friends, in incredibly thoughtful gestures, have given us starbucks cards that we load onto the phone (proudly, i might add, since that speaks to our APP savvy…ok, slight APP savvy.)  we drive a few hours and start looking for the signs – on the highway – or on the APP (which i have to say is sometimes frustrating since – it seems – the APP locator doesn’t differentiate what direction you are going and sometimes displays a starbucks cafe twenty miles away….and we get excited….only to realize it is twenty miles BEHIND us.)  but i digress….

pretty much every time we stop to get our double espresso (knowing sandy sue is rolling her eyes) we take a picture.  most of the time we send that picture (there are COUNTless photos of coffee cups on our phones) to our dear friend 20, although jen and others have received these oh-so-meaningful photos.  double espressos are good (called “doppio” if you want to seem really hip at the starbucks) because they make it possible to have lots of caffeine without having to stop at every rest area or small convenience store you pass while you are traveling long-distance.

we also love to find independent coffeehouses.  one day in asheville, north carolina we literally stumbled into a great little coffeehouse while trying to navigate through a town under construction after a stressful morning drive.  i found a lucky parking spot, parallel parked into it and said, “let’s go find some coffee.  i neeeeeed coffee.”  we got out of the car, looked around us, trying to figure out which way to walk and stared right into the window of a granola-organic cafe with sweet little mugs of espresso and great gluten-free vegan sandwiches.  ahh.  bliss.

if you’re traveling and want to keep in touch with us, text us some “cheers from….” with your coffee cups.  we can relate.

and today…a nod and so much love to my big brother, who loved coffee even more than i do.  i’ve missed you for 26 years.  i’ll always miss you.

if you'd like to see TWO ARTISTS copy

read DAVID’S thoughts on this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY – ON OUR SITE

cheers. as we go.  ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson

 


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this is us.

and now painting i don’t think i’ve ever binge-watched anything before. not even repeated viewings of my favorite movie my big fat greek wedding or even when harry met sally. ever. (oh wait. one time in minneapolis while waiting for the girl at her apartment, her roommates convinced me to watch a few hours of big bang theory, which i loved. but that was merely a few hours, so i’m not sure it counts as total binge-watching.)

but yesterday? yesterday was different. d and i celebrated our second wedding anniversary, sitting on the raft binging on a show we hadn’t even been aware of till recently. despite its emmy award-winning status, we were mostly unaware of this is us. But then everyone at ukulele band rehearsal was talking about it and we thought, “ok, ok…i guess we should watch an episode and see what they are talking about.” daena offered us her netflix account (or was it her hulu account?) but we ended up just streaming it on nbc.com, which meant we watched commercials over and over and over. these not only gave us time to talk about the show, but also to breathe in-between the segments of show. the punctuation gave us a moment to rest. just like in music. yeah, just like in life.

we started the day on the rocks watching the sun rise over the lake. it was cloudy and windy and the waves were just about splashing us as we sat on a flat rock clutching our thready-breckenridge-plastic-travel-mugs filled with coffee. (coffee tastes better in real mugs, we discussed on the rock. coffee aficionados that we are, we are experts on mugs and double-experts on thready mugs…ones that make us remember moments, places, people, events, simply breathing.)

a fresh pot of coffee later, with rain in the offing, we all four (dogdog and babycat too) got on the raft and started what ended up to be an out-and-out-major-binge of this show. i was reticent ahead of time to think i would get tied into it…a disbeliever of sorts. i knew that the girl and the boy have binge-watched shows of choice and, yet, didn’t think i could sit and watch for that long.

but as the day wore on and the snacks on the raft changed, my husband’s hand firmly in mine – all day – i began to see that this was indeed a show that drew me in. excellent writing, good acting, lighting that spoke to me, a music score that resonated….it all drew me in. well done. very well done.

we talked about the show as we watched, particularly after episodes as we pondered the next snack on this celebratory day, a day we had put aside to do whatever-we-wanted. the real-life-ness of it was painful sometimes. we could relate. we couldn’t relate. mostly, we could feel it. the sign of a good show.

somewhere in there i looked at d and said, “life is just messy all over, isn’t it?” nothing is neat or tidy or figured-out. nothing is really as it looks. nothing is easy. it’s all complex and layered and muddy and…stunningly beautiful.

a few nights before this anniversary we gathered at dear friends’ house with other friends. we drank wine, toasting our anniversary and john and michele’s as well. we had appetizers, looked at flowers in the garden, took pictures in golden sunsetting light on the lake rocks. we filled ourselves with dinner and conversation and laughter and, yes, dark chocolate. d and i spent a lot of yesterday reliving the days before our wedding, when our children and our families and friends came together to help us marry…in a church community we treasure, in an old beach house where we all danced and gathered for the food truck and wore glow necklaces around a bonfire. we marveled at the relationships with all of these amazing people. we marvel today at the same.

late last night we read our service together. we listened to the music we chose for the service…and we remembered. we honored that day. the song d walked down the aisle to – and now – made us have tears and gabriel’s oboe – what i walked down the aisle to – made us weep openly. 11:11 – the time of our wedding – is a sacred time for us. we notice it as often as possible. yesterday was one of those days.

david painted me a painting as a wedding gift. it hangs in my studio. it is called and now, same as the song i wrote him.  we are joined by hands in this stunning-heart-painting, our bodies touching, reaching forward toward the future. and now close-upeach moment in that time stretching forward will not be without stress, without things that are difficult or painful. but each moment THIS will be us. getting there – together.

this is us appeals to us. not just because it is truly a riveting show. but because this is us reminds us that THIS is us. THIS is life. THIS messy, complicated, incredibly blissful, excruciatingly painful life….IS us.

and now – on itunes