Strawberry rows

My dad has four strawberry rows in his garden. Each is a different variety: Honeyoe, Brunswick, Kent, and one other I can’t recall. (Sorry, Dad.) Two of the rows aren’t doing very well. The other two have made enough strawberries to (nearly) make him sick of them. This is the first year Dad has ever had successful strawberries after years and years of experimental planting.

Strawberry season meant life was zooming along from springtime into summer. David and I were feeling proud of completing a year in London. Dad was fussing over strawberries and bees and all his other projects. My brother’s wife was pregnant (and has since brought my little niece into the world!) Mom was enjoying herself as she watched my brother’s other daughter everyday. My sister was just coming home from a great first semester at Radford University.

Then on a Tuesday night in mid-May he collapsed at home by himself. The short of it: two of his arteries were extremely clogged, and the walking pneumonia (that he unknowingly had) wasn’t helping. Obviously he was admitted to the hospital.  Continue reading “Strawberry rows”


I’m here to teach your children, America.

Or young adults, I suppose. I find myself here in the Bay again! Hello, tacos! Hello, sunshine!

Right now I am procrastinating. I really do need to finalize my syllabi.

I am so thrilled to be here to teach another session of Pre-College at California College of the Arts. It’s 4 week studio intensive courses for high school students to earn a few college credits and to see if art school is the right fit for them. I taught last year and truly loved it. I’ll be on CCA’s Oakland campus, teaching drawing in the morning and a painting/drawing hybrid class in the afternoon. Class starts on Monday!

I arrived late Tuesday night into San Francisco International. I actually experienced a full 24 hours of daylight being so close to the summer solstice and with the 8 hour time time difference. The sun rose in London around 4:45 AM, and I was traveling while it set on the west coast around 9 PM (or 5 AM London time).

Heathrow Leah, patron saint of international travel and homesickness

Continue reading “I’m here to teach your children, America.”

Fredericksburg, Virginia to London

I’m writing to you from Heathrow Airport! We are taking a moment to have breakfast (lunch?) while we wait for Zeke to get through his customs. It’s about noon now, which is 7 am east coast time and 4 am west coast.

We changed our residency to Virginia yesterday, so I enjoyed 12 hours of being a Virginia resident once again. It felt good to root myself there while we live in London.

Milo, my Honda Fit, with his new plates

We got to spend so much good time with my family here in Virginia. My niece is growing like a crazy, little weed. Zeke spent his time playing in the field/yard and being around a big family/pack. It is painful to think about everyone, but we are so grateful for all of our people. I have decided to embrace my puffy eyes as a sign of love.

David, tiny niece, me, Megan, & Jason with canines Zeke & Kirby
She made some noises that sounded like "auntie"
Family selfie attempt
Pokey, my canine niece
Amanda, me, Momkins, & Washmo
Amy Friend brought us Chick-fil-A dinner & a show at the airport
Arriving: the River Thames!
Just like Love Actually--waiting in line for customs