The Beautiful Mundane

Some of you may have noticed the yummy citrus August release bars have yet to be available for sale. I have them. They just need labels printed. I think I even wrote the website description weeks ago. But my world broke 2 weeks ago and everything is just...behind. 

lost a dear friend and neighbor. Someone I thought would always be there ripped from our lives in milliseconds, kind of loss. Her name and any family specifics have been omitted here to protect their privacy in this public space. But so many of you have become dear friends to me, so I wanted to tell you about her and explain why the emails haven't been written and the limited edition releases have stalled.

I have plenty of soap for you! And please do keep ordering as it gives my brain and hands something to do. 
But for now I'm here to say this person mattered so much and I want everyone to know about it.

We have almost zero photos of each other, together. Any photos shared were of our gardens or recipes, pictures of chickens or the dog, things we'd made we were proud of. Typically for her a dress she'd made, and a new soap design from me.

As my tears flowed, scrolling through 9 years of text messages, I was struck by the beautiful mundane of them all. We didn't talk about anything. And yet we talked about everything:

"Turns out 6:15 am is the best viewing time for the super blue blood moon tomorrow."

"Fresh snow and high of 17 in the AM. Want to try to run Wed/Fri this week?"

"I don't have cream cheese so I went brown butter frosting instead, adding maple syrup and bourbon :) "

Texts exchanged from bed at 6 am making sure the other one was actually awake for our run, or if we both decided we were crazy and just needed to sleep.

Texts about locking up the chickens, leaving the keys for this or that. Me bringing her a beer on a Friday night, or her asking me to come out and sit by the bonfire.

The last text we shared was about how much we both loved the cricket chorus coming from her backyard. And happily, there are so many texts where we each affirmed the other was, "the best neighbors."

She wasn't my, "best friend" but she was like a sunrise. Reliable. Consistent. Always there.

Darling, you are (I cannot say were, yet) such an incredible human in so many ways. We're all just a wreck and are going to do our best to make you proud and live our lives like you would have, full of ambition and joy and creativity and beauty. Thank you for living the beautiful mundane with me. I will be forever grateful that I got to know you and do life with you. I love you always. 

And to everyone reading this, do yourself and favor, and know your neighbors. Funny fact: the first thing I asked her for was soap. We had just bought the house and were doing all the reno/demo work ourselves and were filthy dirty. But we wanted to take a break and go out to dinner for my birthday. And we didn't have any soap. So she was in the backyard and I asked if she had any soap to spare. Told her we wanted to go to dinner and not look homeless. She immediately went a grabbed a bunch of hotel soaps and shamopoos and lotion bottles and passed them over the fence. And our relationship was born. We started texting when I was crazy enough to say I wanted to join her 5:30 AM running group. Shortly after people moved or had job changes - something like that. So it became just the 2 of us and I convinced her to move the running time to 6 AM :) And it stayed the 2 of us for several years! Until happily other neighbors started to join in 2019 and 2020. 
Giving and sharing and doing things together became the norm. She went to Indiana to pick apples, and gave us a basket of them when she got back. I gave her Swiss Chard from our garden and she handed over a slice of Swiss Chard Quiche she'd made a couple of hours later. She needed 2 eggs to make cookies, I passed them over the fence. She or I borrowed this or that, and would tell the other, "I left it on the compost bin," so the other could grab whatever it was later. It was like volley ball, back and forth, always something being given or shared or asked or passed over the fence. 
Know your neighbors. Ask them for butter or sugar so they know they can do the same from you. Get their numbers. Invite them over. Invite yourself over. Offer to keep an eye on things if they're out of town. Give them soap. Be honest with them if you need a hug or are having a bad day. Know your neighbors. It will hurt like hell if they get torn away in tragedy, but I wouldn't trade the last 9 years of knowing her for anything. O, and make sure you know several other neighbors who also knew and loved her so you all can lean on each other. That's a key piece too. So just know all your neighbors, okay? You might not be so lucky to find a someone like her, but doing life with someone you share proximity with even in small ways is a gift. I'd get my heart broken all over again if I had the choice. Because knowing her and loving her and doing life side by side with her is something I will cherish forever. 

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