from jungle to snow

after three weeks in tropical costa rica, callie and i returned to the cold of small-town ohio, to visit with friends and family for a week, before returning to the virgin islands. 

it was surreal to fly from the warmth of central america straight back to snow. i think knowing we were only staying for a week made it much more bearable---that, and warm tea and (too many) hot cookies and days of cozy snuggles from precious friends and family. 

winter, you're alright sometimes ;)

snow globe on main street

and then north canton turned into a glittering snow globe. just before my unplanned departure.

my life is so much like a movie sometimes that i really seriously wonder at the possibility that there are secret people writing the details of all these wild things that happen to me. a script of twist and turns---atrocious lows, and their compliment of highs. i imagine these secret people watching, and laughing all the while.

...because all of these congruencies and serendipities, though frequent, still constantly baffle me.

like when i just happen to meet the perfect people at the perfect time. ALL THE TIME. and when awful things happen to propel me toward something infinitely more challenging and demanding, and thereby WAY more rewarding. and when I'm going through a significant change and the weather responds in the most appropriate way. and when the person i least expect to get close to suddenly rescues me and nurtures me and surprises me with all of the qualities I didn't know i needed all along.

when you open yourself up to the workings of fate, it has a funny way of making every little thing magical. i am so grateful. 

scenes from ohio

.

1. a harvest moon overlooking downtown canton and a lovely community of people i wish i could keep around me forever.

2. we went to a coffee shop to watch open mic night and soak in some local music. upon my request, john king came just to play us a couple songs. he is the sunshine of ohio.

3. a night of cheap beers and philosophical talks and private performances in an open garage filled with the smartest characters and most talented musicians i've ever met. these people are the real thing: all truth and sincerity.

4. i did a six day juice cleanse after i returned from europe. i wanted to kill something the first couple days. but then i got used to the feeling of starving and lost every pound i gained abroad (read: months full of cheap brie cheese and homemade french bread). pure nutrients did the trick. my body is still thanking me.

5. we went to cleveland to see the avett brothers and it was magical. halfway through the night, it started pouring buckets. steady streams came through cracks in the pavilion and raised the vibrations of everyone around. thunder growled and the crowd cheered louder. the avetts sang to us under the rain, on the water, with big lit up ships sailing behind the stage. at the end of their set, and before their encore, a huge ship heard our cries and blew its horn until the boys came out again. 

6. we accidentally rescued this puppy from the lonely pastures of Kentucky last month. i fell for her immediately. I named her Shiloh after the beagle in that children's novel I loved so much---the name I always knew I'd name my first puppy (I even wrote it on my bucket list). i diligently trained my darling little girl for two weeks and grew SO attached, even though i knew i couldn't keep her. i couldn't bear to cancel months (years, really) of half-sketched travel plans for a dog who deserves someone who can really take care of her :( so my brother will be taking her to florida soon and i just know she'll be happy there with his other beagle to be her playmate. but boyyy do i miss that perfect face!

In ,

film from a winter

i just found pictures from a winter here in ohio--captured on my canon t50 film camera. i'm kind of smitten with the quality of them and will definitely be taking more film this week, because ohio just looks real good in it. check out fall in film (there are bits of NYC and chicago in there, too).

my big brother flew in this morning! he'll be staying the week with us, which is nice because we tend to laugh incessantly when we're all together. and this home is such a cozy place for family to gather. it reminds me of christmas.

028104-R1-13-12.jpg
028104-R1-18-7.jpg
In

back to the mainland

i've been back in the states for a week now! it's been a bit surreal, to say the least. gotta love how you can get a nice dose of culture shock without even technically leaving the country (although st thomas sometimes felt a world away).

001+(13).jpg
stef's+camera+001.jpg

i flew straight into middle-of-nowhere ohio to see my mom last wednesday. i was not at all prepared for how painfully COLD it would be here. i had my mom bring me a big down feather jacket when she picked me up from the airport, aaaaand i haven't taken it off since... okay i took it off to shower. but ive showered less than i'd like to admit because this cold makes me cringe. #dontjudge

In