Warming Hut

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Yesterday, I had the gift of driving up to San Francisco, perfectly timed during the inauguration.  It was so different to listen to the proceedings without the visual that the tv provides.  I had a meeting in the Presidio at 10am, but snuck down to Fort Point to take in one of my most favorite views prior.

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It is such a majestic vista to me that I find myself close to tears every time I see it.  The enormity of the bridge.  The “International Orange” paint against the stark, clear January blue sky.  The beauty that lays just beyond.  I have driven the weaving roads to Point Bonita year after year and know the breathtaking views that can be seen looking back towards the City.  {So amazing that they even placed a mattress on the cliffs of the Marin Headlands for a commercial not too long ago.}

After my meeting I drove back down to Crissy Field, having read about the views and water access more times than I can count in Sunset or VIA magazine.  Due to the Federal Holiday, I parked for free and hoofed it to the Warming Hut.  I passed women in their 20s dishing about how to be single and independent, but open to a man.  I followed two gay men, clearly on a first date, sharing about their individual stories.  I passed 2 friends, bundled up walking dogs.  I almost was clipped by tourists on rented bikes, navigating the trails while trying to take pictures of the view.  I watched kites soar, kids play soccer on the green fields, moms chase toddlers and birds dive-bombing for leftover lunch crumbs.

I saw so much more because I wasn’t immersed in my own tribe.  I had no 2 year old of my own to chase as he bolted towards the water’s edge.  My 5 1/2 year old wasn’t filling every moment of silence with observations and questions and requests.  My dog wasn’t pulling at the end of her leash, trying to sniff out potential playmates.  My spouse wasn’t there to share conversation.  It was just me.  My eyes could take in the worlds of others.  My ears had space to hear conversations and the sounds of the waterfront.  My mind had space to spin about the meeting I had just left.  My feet could take me at the pace I set.

And yet….I missed all those other pieces.  I realized that as limiting as each person or element can feel some days, I miss each one when they aren’t there.  I can’t be or do the same things I once could when single.  Many days I can’t carry on a 3 minute phone conversation without interruption or manage a quick grocery store stop without an accompanying crier.  Somehow, though, I am learning that hospitality still can be offered in the midst of it all.  As this little phrase reminded me earlier this week—“Today holds BEAUTY waiting to be found.”  Today can hold beauty.  Beauty is there in the very middle of the chaos.


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I love that the Crissy Field renovation has included a beautiful 1909 building, originally a US Engineer Storehouse. Now, it is home to a cafe, bookstore & information center called The Warming Hut.  Despite yesterday’s gorgeous weather, there was a strong wind blowing and it felt fantastic to walk into the cozy 2400 sq foot space and soak in the ambiance.  I had a sriracha hot chocolate with cinnamon and a yummy sandwich from their cafe, enjoying the views outside while eating.  That little hut provided a bit of renewal—and I laughed as I left with my treats that I almost ran into this sign “Crissy Field:  A Place of Renewal”.

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The past few weeks have been filled with a lot of kid chaos and conversation.  Some lonely moments.  Many busy moments, despite a fairly empty calendar.  A few amazing surprises, some very real, felt blessings in the mundane.  And a huge helping of community and love and friends to glue it all together.  I think I’m going to try and re-brand our own house “The Warming Hut”.  Even when  you enter in and are pulled into a game of hide and seek or tag {sorry Rob, Emily, Bob and Jessica….you know the drill} or are lambasted with LEGOs strewn everywhere or the breakfast dishes still sitting in the sink, I hope that I can remember, that we can ALL remember, that our homes are potential places of renewal.  Warming Huts.

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This Week in Instagram Pics

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Drewsie Love

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Playing round after round of Miles Bourne with Alex (and tea and toast).  Felt a bit like afternoon recreation time at the nursing home, but can’t complain—outside on a January afternoon!!

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Lots of cooking this week….Deb Perelman’s Carrot Soup with Tahini and Crisped Chickpeas

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Bundled up Boys for a morning walk to Alex’s school.  There were some CHILLY mornings in California last week…in the low 30s!  

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Checking out the Grand Opening of the new Sunnyvale Trader Joes…Drew got 3 leis and 20+ stickers.

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Alex has been working his way back into the kitchen as I have put more boundaries back on his tv watching time.  Win-win for me—fruit salad! {as long as we survive the knife wielding}


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Drew has made my Instagram wall art project worth the effort.  He spends lots of time point out all sorts of things, even declaring my dear friend, Elena, as “Jesus”.

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Morning Art Sessions over the long four-day weekend.  Jesters, Kings, Queens, Princes, Princesses, Royal Horses, Royal Chefs….and on and on and on….

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Sudoku & Sunset Magazine in the Sun on Saturday (alliteration!!!)

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Surprise Visit from Summer Staffers on Saturday Night.  I know Matt and I were once their supervisors, but they truly feel like beloved friends.  I absolutely adore these folks.  


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Sunday morning boys on the way to church {late as always}

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Diaper Clad Boy, with lei and ski hat, offering me “hot coffee”.  What could be better??!!

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Soaking in the Bay, Alcatraz, the Presidio & the Palace of Fine Arts while listening to the Inauguration on Monday.  Rather magical.

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More cooking mayhem on Monday….Tomato Scallion Shortcakes with Whipped Goat Cheese

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Wisdom from my afternoon tea…

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Finally channeling one creative and driven boy on his monthly family homework project….decorating a snowman with recycled materials.  Introducing “The Snow King”.

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The amazing comment I heard today:

“Mom, I am going to write and illustrate for magazines when I grow up. But don’t worry, I will still live here. I will work hard all day and then come home at night. Even though I will be tired, we will all have fun being together.”

Must remember this when he turns sixteen and hates us.

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Tonight’s dinner (mostly prepared during yesterday’s food afternoon frenzy).

Pancetta, White Bean & Chard Pot Pies from Smitten Kitchen.

I am STILL full 4 hours later.

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And because it was so magical, I’ll end with Richard Blanco’s amazing poem, shared at the Inauguration.  This beauty should be listened to over and over again.

Click Here.

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