lucyandme_outside

It’s not every day you feel like a rockstar. In fact, I think this is the only time in my 35 years I’ve felt like one, and it’s all because of a SUPA groovy 5 year old named Lucy. Last month, her family was going on a cross country road trip, and she asked her mom, “Do you think we can visit Jenny Sue along the way?”

So her really cool mom Sarah emailed me. I don’t know if I ever shared exactly where we live, but it’s basically in the middle of NOWHERE. Sure, it’s 35 miles from Taos, which is a cool town but also far from anywhere. We live at the base of the Sangres and look out onto what looks like a dried up ocean with an enormous sky. There is absolutely NOTHING for hundreds of miles out there. I often imagine a longneck dinosaur meandering thru the extinct volcanoes that have retired ‘out there’. To get to our house, you drive a ways on a 2 lane highway, turn onto 3 unmarked dirt roads, and when you hear a trio of Tanzanian dogs trying to out howl the coyotes, make two rights. Our little house and garden are tucked away in the thick pine forest.

lookingwestsky

So, basically, we’re never “along the way” for anyone.

But when you have a daughter who just melts your hearts day and night, you go out of your way for her. (I know this now!)

Back to last month…one early evening, a knock at the door, and in walks Lucy in her fancy dress, wicked cool glasses (that I want in orange), and her sweet, genuine, curious self. She comes up to me while I’m nursing Tulsi, and presents me with 3 rocks (I’m a rock lover), a drawing, a painting, flowers, Tulsi tea, and her copy of My Travelin’ Eye (for me to sign).

Melt my heart.

Lucy couldn’t speak a word for 5 minutes, but soon she made up for lost time. She got to see my travelin’ eye (which seems to travel all the time now that I’m a new mama and tired all the time, hee), and she took off her glasses and showed me her travelin’ eye. She told me how she was always afraid to walk down hills, and I confided that I (ever so slightly) bumped Tulsi’s noggin recently at a friend’s house with doorways and hallways…Ya see, us folks with travelin’ eyes don’t have much in the way of depth perception. We talked a lot about our travelin’ eyes, and I found out that Lucy is an artist, too! (and a very talented one.) I shared with Lucy that I have an appointment with THE ‘Dr. Dave’ soon (when I go to St. Louey) and I’m a little scared and excited. I’m hoping Dr. Dave can somehow help me once again, because while a travelin’ eye provides a lot of inspiration and amusement to my everyday life, let’s just say I don’t want to mistake a tree for being 50 ft away when it’s really only 5 ft away (like I did last year)… Note to self, in your next life, don’t throw your glasses away in art school because you don’t think you need them…

Lucy also told me not to be scared of eye drops, that they are pretty ok. (I squirm and wrinkle and squint like crazy with eye drops…even ones that don’t burn.)

Lucy’s visit came at such a sweet time — during this magical time with Tulsi AND painting the final spreads for my next book. She reminded me WHO my books are for and just what kind of positive effect they can have on people who read my books.

Before Lucy and her sweet family left, I read my book to her outside as the sun was setting. “OK,” she began in her sweet-n-quirky way, looking up at me over her glasses, “I’ve got questions.” (Her dad informed me she’d been saving up several questions for me.) “Did you REALLY see an elephant in a tree??????”

Yes, Lucy. I did. I see elephants in trees all the time still. :)

Thanks Lucy, Sarah and Jeff! Patrick, Tulsi, Oso and I hope you visit again. And Lucy, Oso can’t wait to play with you. NEXT time, maybe?