Monthly Archives: July 2009

Clam Diggers really are perfect for clamming…

I went clamming for the first time a few weeks ago. It was dirty and strenuous work, but it was a hell of a lot of fun! Honestly, it was six hours barefoot on a beach on a day I could have spent indoors at a desk editing spreadsheets. Complete win on my part.

Patrick had gone clamming as a kid with his family, but it had been perhaps 10 or 12 years since he last went. I was up for it, and we happened to stumble upon the best tide of the season, which was a Wednesday that we could both take off.

The Kenai peninsula is several hours away by car, and there’s always construction in summer, but we were quite determined that we could leave after work on Tuesday, get out to the campsite late that evening (thank goodness for that famed Alaskan summer sun, which provided good light at 1 a.m.) get up that morning, pack the campsite, drive over and get down to the beach, clam for several hours of the best tide, clean up, pack up, drive home, unpack the car, clean the clams, and go to bed at a reasonable hour so we could go to work on Thursday morning.

Let’s just say we got back into town exactly 24 hours after we had left it, and were in bed by 11:30 that night.

I declined to take my camera (which was having a battery problem) so I do not have any pictures of the wonderful and tiny old village of Ninilchik, where we went, but I plan to get some the next time we go out there.

We only caught about a quarter of our allowable limit, but it was a blessing. We would have been up until 3 a.m. if we had come home with 120 clams and had to clean them all. We’re the wiser for our trip, and several meals richer. We’ll be well prepared for the next time we go out, and we’ll probably not be as crazy as this time, taking only one day in the middle of the work week to do it.


Independence Day

I was in the car with my mother about a month ago, and I confided in her that this last year was extremely hard on me. I so rarely confide this sort of broad-spectrum weakness to my mother, it’s usually the moment to moment irritations and frustrations that she and I can find common ground with. She’s not particularly supportive if there’s not a definable problem that can be solved and I learned a long time ago that I’ll not find what I seek from her. Yet every now and then I forget and mention something and then wait in horrible, fascinating anticipation for her reaction.

She asked me if it was my new marriage;  I answered truthfully and thankfully that it was not.

She asked me if it was my new job; I said no, not anymore. It’s been excellent recently, now that all my complaints have been addressed and I feel more competent.

I told her some of the things that had been bothering me, and then I added that things were not currently bad, it was just that I was so tired and overwhelmed by all the things that had happened and I hadn’t quite had enough time to feel like things had settled down to normal.

She said a few things that hurt my feelings, but I knew she meant well. And then I went into my house and went to sleep.


It’s been a month since, and I’ve spent the majority of it ensuring that every possible moment of free time has been the epitome of R&R. I have been on “vacation” from life. I “lost” my cell-phone, I haven’t cooked unless I wanted to for fun, I haven’t seen any of my friends, I gave up on planting the rest of my garden, I haven’t cleaned or done laundry unless it was a desperation measure, and I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time simply caring for myself.

I woke up a day or two ago and realized I felt a hell of a lot better. Not perfect, not bursting with energy and motivation–just better. And wow, is my house ever messy!!!

With a three-day weekend ahead of me, I plan on inserting some structure into my life a little bit at a time, and perhaps washing a dish or two. My wonderful husband is on board for this endeavor, and we’ll be, as always, happy as clams staying home and tootling around the house.

My half-birthday is on the Fourth. My family used to get me cakes on the fourth to celebrate my half-birthday, and even though the custom has gone by the wayside, I still have a private little celebration for myself in my head. At any rate, like new years, this time has always been a good time to evaluate how the last six months have been, and how I want the next six months to be.

We’ll see, we’ll see.