The Dream

There are a multitude of accounts on Instagram which advertise cheap homes. You can even further narrow that list down to accounts which show cheap foreign homes. I mean, foreign in an American sense. I suppose to the people which live in those countries they are local. Anyways, I happen to follow an account called @yourcheapdreamhome. They specialize in homes under $100K in far away lands.

They have shown everything from apartment living in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to balconied Grecian villas. From sunny Italy to snowy Sweden. And I always look at them and think, “Yeah, that would do for me.” But not really. That isn’t The Dream.

Sometimes you let yourself believe that you’ll have The Dream; that it will become real and you can live it. But most of the time, it exists as just that, a dream to reflect on and think about. A fantasia to fall asleep to, and a smile when you awake. But it is always there.

Mine appeared in one of their posts. It was a small cottage in the Liore Valley of France; a 2-bedroom stone cottage, with a garden and wood-beams. A place to live a quiet life, filled with bread, books, wine, and the sound of a fire in the hearth. I began to fill my head with those places; riding my bike to the bakery, speaking to shopkeepers as I bought what we needed for supper, writing in the little stone building. Sipping ice cold pinot grigio as I watched butterflies flit about in the garden.

If this year has taught us anything, it is that we can get by with far less than we thought we needed. The things I need are a cup of coffee in the morning, a glass of wine at night, health, food, and company. I have been fortunate to have all of those. I have been fortunate to have a job that I enjoy and is possible to do from home. I have heat in the winter, air conditioning in the summer. I have my health, and am happy with that.

Of course there are things that I wish I had; a more walkable/bikeable place to live, and a good grocer nearby. More time to write, and a good place to do so. But there are also things that are harder to place. I wish I had a good place for my children to play safely. I wish I had a community. I wish I had time.

Most of these items would not be fixed by picking up and moving to France, even for a cottage that only costs $107,000. I would be moving kids and dogs and a wife, however willing she may be willing to go. I would be making it a two-day trip back to see my parents, and having to navigate a foreign country where I only vaugely speak the language. And I still would not have time.

This is what makes The Dream so hard to pin down. By the time you can have that cottage in France, your list of things that the dream is fixing has changed. Perhaps you can no longer ride a bike, or your children playing safely is no longer a concern, or the tax burden is no longer worth it. The winters are too cold, and wine gives you heartburn.

The Dream is unobtainable, but that doesn’t mean we should stop dreaming. It means we have to keep working.

Until next time, stay safe and keep dreaming my friends.

The New Holland Solution

Hi all! Not Jeff here. You can call me Krisann, or Not-Jeff. Whatever works.

Thanks so much for joining me for this week’s guest post while our pal is off on vacation adventures. Doesn’t a vacation sound marvelous? Let’s all take a moment to be angry with Jeff together, for happening to be on vacation while the rest of us are not. Yes, that feels better.

For my part, I’m fairly certain the next vacation I take is going to be a sleepcation. I’m going to hire someone to watch my children, wake up with them at all hours (or at the very least, at their usual 5:30am… shudder!) and settle myself into a climate-controlled, housekeeping-assisted, fluffy bed. I’ll wake up as soon as my body tells me to. Then I’ll roll over and go back to sleep a little longer than that, because I’m in charge and my body doesn’t get to tell me what to do and this may be our only chance, body! Get in all the sleep you can! Now or never!

I digress.

Today I’m excited to debut the first of my new series, The Colonies.

This first story is actually a scene from a play, set in the future but acknowledging the modern contexts of progress, politics, and self interests leading to the repeating of historical choices, and in this case, flying in the face of one man’s hope for the species to evolve into something more noble. I’m sure we can all identify in some measure, at the moment.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me for permissions info if you have a scene group in need of performance materials. (Now Hark This!)

Hope you enjoy. PDF below.



Time & Recap

I had to go over to my parent’s house the other day.  No one else was home, but they had asked if I would stop by and take care of some “technical support” items that had come up in the last couple of weeks.  While I was there I experienced a very surreal moment; looking out the front windows at the block I grew up on, and thinking about time all those years ago.

Time is a strange thing.  It moves so slowly while we are in the moment, but so quickly looking back.  Other times, sitting with friends, the hours seem to fly, while others, a long lecture, the minutes trickle by.

I thought about playing baseball in my front yard.  About the swing set I had growing up.  I remembered riding my bike through the neighborhoods, and going for walks, and getting up for school.  I remember the sound of the dove that would coo in the backyard, and playing with my dog.  Of friends across the street and around the corner.

Of course, this is what time does.  Time is always the same, moving with the ultimate precision, and yet seems to move and bend.  Some events that were once immediate and important, are now so distant as to seem completely alien.  And others feel like they just occurred, though it has been years since I experienced them.

I look at my son.  Time must move so slowly for him right now.  But it is incredible how quickly he is growing up.  I look in the mirror and am amazed by the face looking back at me.  Our time here is short, but it can feel so long.  Use that time.  Make a difference.  Hug your kid.  Make someone’s short time here, better.

Make the world, better.

Let’s recap the week!

Please feel free to send an email at swordnquill at icloud dot com, or leave a comment below.  Would love to hear from any of you.

Until next week friends!


Life & Recap

It’s been quite a week. Pitchers and catchers reported for Spring Trainig, which is always exciting. The weather has been insane, with temperatures in either the 80’s or the 60’s and some rain to boot!  My little family has been pretty sick, and my work load is in for some new challenges.

It’s always nice to stop and take stock. Enjoy the moments as they pass. The host of a podcast I listen to, Chris Hardwick of The Nerdist Podcast, said, “Learn from the past, plan for the future, live in the present.”  I think that’s exactly right.

We can get so caught up in election years, taxes, work, and the myriad of disasters and “high priorities,” that we lose sight of life happening right in front of us.

So go hug a parent, watch some birds, take a breath. Challenge yourself to take a photo a day, write a journal, buy a new book. Take a moment to enjoy the day.


So let’s recap the week!
There is so much that has happened over the last few days around Apple and the FBI.  Please do some research. This is an important issue and one we should all be educated about.  Check out this LA Times article which describes some of the recent developments.

Also,check out last weeks post, Trip Planning.