birchandpine birchandpine

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Kate Oliver  Mama + Wife | Writer • Artist • Traveler | Vintage Airstream Dweller + Renovator @themoderncaravan

This exists outside of what I can see, what I can imagine. It's there, and I like to think it's waiting for us.

A detail in our little kitchen that I walk past daily and often don't notice, except today I turned around and it was empty, the items that normally reside there or make the way there cleared out and packed away. A speaker, a phone, keys...or a small brass watering pitcher and a plant, it's changed throughout the last year and a half, the contents of this tiny arched nook, and now it's empty and noticed in its new vacancy, and isn't it lovely?

Of all the things, the camera was the thing to stop working when I dropped my phone yesterday. 😢

We were afraid to get uncomfortable, to lean into our life right now. It didn't feel real, some days and some moments, it still doesn't. When we stopped traveling, we were devastated. We had no idea how we'd get our dream back, or if we ever would. With our last $5000 dollars from the sale of our first Airstream, we bought our second within six weeks of being back home, with no idea how we'd finish it, poor as we were.
Now, after all the last year and a half has thrown our way - job loss, being broke as fuck, learning to co-parent with my ex-husband after years of heartache between us, starting our business in a now-or-never moment, we're really heading out of here. Our friends are planning a going-away party, and June is done and ready to go, and Ellen gave her notice at work. We've six more projects lined up over the next two years with destinations set, and a wait list for the next two years after...and we still hadn't budged. Our house looked the same. Full (full for us). Nothing packed, nothing sold, nothing donated. Intact. Normal. Regular.

We were afraid to let any of it go, afraid that we'd lose this dream, this reimagined dream, again. It was easier to keep living as if we weren't getting back on the road. We'd not kicked ourselves into high gear yet - to downsize again, to really kick ass on our clients' Airstream, to say our goodbyes for real.
We had to force ourselves to get uncomfortable. We had to tell ourselves - this IS real. We DID it. It only took a year and a half. We worked for it and didn't give up even when it seemed impossible, even when we were exhausted, we ARE exhausted. So here's to an emptying house, getting uncomfortable, the hardest work we've ever known, and dreams. We're headed out of here.

Mornin', friends! With just seven weeks until we hit the road, I seriously need to get things moving out the door, so today over @birchandpinegoods, I'm having a flash sale, and there are also sale prices on items in my shop (#linkinprofile). Three vintage rugs, pottery, baskets, decor, market bags, furniture and lamps (local-only), and so on. Hop on over to check it out and help me pare down and give some of my favorite pieces loving homes. 🌿

We're building cabinetry in our clients' Airstream and might like it. Or each other.

In the land of two mamas, two working mamas with a new business, today isn't any different than any other day. We aren't taking the day off and no one is pampering us, and I just did a load of dishes, made a grapefruit margarita, and I'm heating up leftover fajitas while the saw roars outside, where Ellen's building cabinetry while I prep food. I am keeping a watchful eye on the back door and a listening ear through the window, where Adelaide is playing with a next door friend. This is motherhood, here, today.

Happiest of days to all the mamas out there, wherever you are and whatever motherhood looks like, you are amazing.

Early rise and heading to work.

"There is no other way work of artistic worth can be done. And the occasional success, to the striver, is worth everything. The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time." "Of Power and Time", essay by Mary Oliver.

My girl makes these tees; and I love what she does. She's tough as a mother, running her businesses, mothering three boys, and being a nurse (how?), and she inspires the shit outta me. Lucky to know @thebeeandthefox.

"As cloth, if I am a cloth, the near-golden threads are surely lovely and shine the way they do in juxtaposition with the ones leading to it, the work of my bumbling fingers as I weave, oh, there's a loose thread here and a gap here, and they're there, I've moved past them on the loom now, because the weaving doesn't stop as the days don't stop and the world keeps spinning, and some days I weave quickly and it's adequate enough and other days, I give brief pause to look it all over and I see how far I've come, from the looseness of the beginning, the threadbare, the moments of vulnerability so painful, you can barely weave and there are sagging holes where you can't keep it all together..." excerpt from my post, Threadbare, on the blog now. #linkinprofile
Photograph of Lenore Tawney by David Attie.

Five years today with her, and what an incredible five years it's been. My life with Ellen is better, lovelier, more adventurous. With each other, we jump off cliffs and take risks and face the unknown. She stepped into our lives, Adelaide's and mine, knowing it was complicated - and gave us hope and light and love when we needed it most. I am so thankful that on this day, five years ago, she finally caught on to me flirting with her - and we started all of this. If you need us, we'll be celebrating by working on an Airstream for our business - can't think of anything more perfect.

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