Two-Bit Musings.

Shh.

Just Another Day in Paradise, Yo.

. . .

Hi. How are you, Dear Reader? How do you feel today: body, mind, and soul?

Pause. Think. Answer honestly.

Me? I’m doing just fine, thanks.

I’m currently sitting on our RV love seat, clicking past the miles somewhere between Ohio and Indiana. Sweet Baby Snap is sleeping; Toddler Snap is hopefully about to do the same up in his car seat.

I’m sipping iced coffee, laughingly shrugging at the insane diesel prices, and singing songs from Father John Misty’s latest album in my head.

I feel good.

. . .

I just turned 35.

Seems kinda weird, like that’s much too old and much too young, all at the same time. Sometimes I feel like I’ve lived a thousand lives; I also feel like I’ve just been born.

And when I close my eyes and quiet my mind, I think about this life. I think about how much I value the simple idea of respect.

I want to show respect in everything I do.

Toward other human beings, animals, and Mother Earth herself.

I want to respect other people’s time. I want to respect their turn to speak.

I want to respect the public goods we all need, like clean water and food. Health. Education. The arts and humanities.

I want it to be known that I respect you because not everything is about me.

. . .

(shrugs)

That’s it for now.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer and artist currently residing on Planet Earth.

Two-Bit Musings.

Hi.

It’s 2022.

I started the year with a fresh spirit. On New Year’s Day I diligently sat at our computer desk, typing the beginnings of an optimistic blog post.

And then shit went sideways.

Again.

Pre-eclampsia hit at the end of my 32nd week of pregnancy. Thanks to an extraordinary medical team, our daughter was born at exactly 34 weeks, and needed only ten days in the NICU.

I’m also elated to tell you she’s pretty much perfect.

Tiny, yes. But perfect.

And I thank my weary body for getting us through.

Here’s to the next leg of adventure in this crazy-ass life, yo.

Happy New Year, Dear Reader.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer who obsessively buys washcloths.

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Two-Bit Musings.

October: A Month in Review.

So umm. . . yeah. I was going to do this for each month in 2021. This is the second time I remembered. Oh well. So it goes.

. . .

1. Trick or Treat, Yo. October is my favorite month, and pretty much always has been. It’s mysterious somehow, which comforts a literary old-soul like me. Toddler Snap and I have been out each and everyday, living it up. I try to capture the beauty of the leaves on my phone, but alas, the magic inevitably eludes the camera. We also carved our first Jack o’ Lantern as a family, and I literally tell my husband each day that it makes me happy in my young heart.

2. Small Comforts. Each day is different, Dear Reader. Sometimes I wake up feeling like a kick-ass SnapDragon, and other days I wake up feeling like a termite-infested tree stump. So I savor every moment I can. I dip into the candy dish. I watch an episode of Frasier before bed. I remind myself that sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. I remind myself that every feeling comes and goes.

3. Time for a Trim. It’s no surprise I’m a fan of the simple life: give me my SnapDragon Family, some quality food and cinema, and I’m good to go, yo. There are only so many hours in the day, and I vow to spend them on people and things that enrich my soul. Ain’t nobody got time for bullshit, am I right?

I am just one person in this infinite universe.

And so are you, love.

So are you.

Wishing a Happy November to everyone out there!

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer who frequently orders drinks with extra ice.

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Two-Bit Musings.

A Welcome Breeze.

This & That from Yours Truly.

. . .

Hi! And greetings from my parked car.

I’ve got the AC chilling on low, Toddler Snap snoozing in his car seat, and a pumpkin iced latte within reach. Each sip reminds me of pleasant fall mornings in my classroom. Singing along with Regina Spektor as I readied myself for a day of chaotic happiness.

I smile.

. . .

1. All I can hear is the steady hum of my FJ Cruiser. I watch my fellow suburbanites scurry across the parking lot, to who knows where. A storm is brewing, and the gently trembling leaves on the pre-planned shrubbery soothes me somehow.

2. My eyebrows need to be plucked. It’s funny how I used to do this every day in college. Now the need only strikes about once a month. Funny how our bodies change.

3. I’ve always been a thinker. I suppose it’s hard to be a writer and artist and not think about things until your stomach literally hurts. And I’ve been privileged with the gift of time. Even at my busiest, I’m never worried about where my next meal will come from or if I’m physically safe to leave my house. This allows my mind to reflect, to grow. It allows me to wonder what kind of wife I am. What kind of friend, daughter, and sister. I think about these things, then I think some more. Who am I?

4. I’m pregnant. Yep. The Littlest Snap is scheduled to be here in late February. Here’s to an uneventful, full-term delivery. #ptsd

5. I saw a picture of a pot-bellied pig today that made me ridiculously happy. It was so big and chubby that it almost looked like a cartoon. I wanted to give it a hug, and name it something like Stanley or Walter or George.

Wishing you well, Dear Reader. Take time for joy today.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer and reader of delicious paperbacks.

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Two-Bit Musings.

The Good Earth.

RV Adventure: Stops 6 & 7.

. . .

Custer State Park, South Dakota

The Badlands, South Dakota

. . .

Hello, Dear Reader!

Let us rejoice in the fact that it’s a new day: a new day to savor all that is this journey we call life.

‘Cuz the earth spins on.

Time & Terra, 2021.
The Badlands, SD.
Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

After visiting with The Fam for a week or so, we packed up The Sweet-Baby Berkshire and began the long journey home.

But rather than heading straight east, we first traveled north.

With the AC working overtime, we drove straight through Wyoming. It really was scenic, I tell you. When we first crossed over from Colorado, there were buffalo grazing in the fields, as if on cue. They looked stunning, even from a distance.

And South Dakota greeted us with what felt like record high temperatures. We set up camp for a quick overnight at Custer State Park, and after Toddler Snap explored the playground for a bit, we called it an early night and settled in for an episode of The Terror. (Because, yes. It’s my new favorite thing in life. So good.)

Then the next morning was a fairly quick jaunt to Mount Rushmore!

Untitled, 2021.
Keystone, SD.
Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

(shrugs)

It was neat.

We of course took the obligatory selfie photos. And I bought a postcard of the workers who constructed the massive sculpture.

Because #workersoftheworldunite

Then it was off to the town of Wall, South Dakota. We visited the iconic Wall Drug Store, and ate a simple but tasty lunch in their café. It was pretty crowded, so we kept our distance as much as possible, then hit the highway for The Badlands.

And, wow. What a scene, man.

The Edge of The World, 2021.
The Badlands, SD.
Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

This is literally where we camped.

Ball of Magic, 2021.
The Badlands, SD.
Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

Not bad, huh?

Anyway, we’ve been on the road (well, away from home) for two and a half weeks now.

We’re missing the kitties—and all of the little niceties that make our house a haven—but we’re truly having a grand old time.

I mean, how lucky are we that we have this RV? (How lucky are we that we can afford diesel for this beast!)

Because time is so very precious, Dear Reader.

And I aim to spend it on what matters.

Family. Friends. Travel.

Art: Photos, paintings, and jewelry. Music! Cinema! And of course, fiction!

Real, delicious food.

Real people. Real stories.

Real life, yo.

There is still so much to do and see.

(she smiles)

. . .

Stay tuned for more SnapDragon adventures from the road!

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer, artist, and colorful sneaker enthusiast.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for all kinds of craziness.

Two-Bit Musings.

Here and There.

RV Adventure: Stops 4 & 5!

. . .

North Central Kansas

Just South of Denver, Colorado

. . .

Hello, Dear Friends.

And greetings from one of my favorite states: Beautiful Colorado!

So Much Sun, 2021.
Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

We’ve been here for about four days, after a brief but lovely visit in Kansas.

Our family lives in both of these locales, and we’re all currently reunited here in our RVs.

Baby Snap—I really should change his nickname to Toddler Snap—is loving every minute of it.

The Great Outdoors! New houses to explore! Playgrounds! Dirt!

But most of all, it’s such a treat (for all of us) to be around family.

To just completely and totally chill out.

To roast weenies on the campfire (while I eat avocado and cucumber sushi) and share stories from visits past.

To catch up. To listen.

To remember all we have in common.

Because all we have is now. And I aim to enjoy it.

More soon!

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer who loves all kinds of birds.

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Two-Bit Musings.

Splishing & Splashing.

RV Adventure: Stops 2 & 3!

. . .

Kickapoo State Recreation Are. Oakwood, Illinois

Brookfield South City Park. Brookfield, Missouri

. . .

Hi!

I hope you are well, Dear Reader.

As I write this, we’re crossing into Kansas, my husband’s home state! We’ll be staying here for a few days, and Baby Snap will get to enjoy some family time with Grandma, Auntie, and Cousin!

Anyway, Stops 2 & 3 were quick, yet nice.

. . .

Well. . . Stop #2 in Kickapoo was nice, but unbearably hot. We managed to visit the playground for a bit, but then it was back into the AC. (And that sucker was working overtime, let me tell you!) So sadly, we didn’t get to enjoy much of the grounds.

. . .

Stop #3 in Missouri was much cooler! In fact, it was my favorite spot thus far. The park had a small row of maybe ten spots for RVs, on a first-come-first-served basis. We had hookups for electricity and water, and it only cost $20 a day (and we paid via The Honor System, which made me feel happy in my young heart.)

Also, about a three minute walk from our RV was a community pool!

(claps in excitement)

Chlorine Heaven, 2021.
Missouri.
Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved, yo.

Baby Snap was on Cloud 9, yo! And so was I.

I love pools. I love water.

I love the smell of sunscreen, and the occasional smart of a lifeguard whistle. I love buying ice cream and soft pretzels with cheese from the concession stand, all for a couple of wrinkled dollar bills.

Classic. Summer.

And seeing Baby Snap splash about—and sort of swim for the first time—was truly a precious moment for our family.

Oh, and he devoured an entire ice cream sandwich! Respect.

. . .

Stay tuned for more, Dear Reader!

Wishing you all of the happy summer vibes.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer and artist who loves the simple things in life.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for her take on pretty much everything.

Two-Bit Musings.

On Friends.

Feeling Fine, 2021.
Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

This past month or so has been filled with visits from those who were starting to feel like long-lost friends. (Pandemically speaking, that is.)

It truly has been joyous to see so many (vaccinated!) loved ones after at least eight(ish) months of diligent social isolation on our part.

And I’m not gonna lie: it was a little hard at first. A little. . . weird.

How do I talk to people other than Sweet Husband or Baby Snap?

We can actually eat at restaurants again?!

What the frick am I gonna wear?

And then, like strumming the G chord on an old guitar, things fell right back into place.

. . .

Friends.

Ahh.

I’ve had a bunch throughout my 34 years on this planet.

Many stayed only for a time; a few have graciously remained.

And when we’re together I’m reminded of what friendship really means:

Listening.

(I could probably just end the post here. But there are, of course, other things worth noting.)

(clears throat)

Friendship is:

listening; always giving the benefit of the doubt; being honest; being humble; not being afraid to sound stupid; nurturing; the sharing of secrets, recipes, and dreams; being bored together; laughing until one or more bodily functions kicks into gear; putting the other person first.

It’s a safe haven; a philosophical community; a shrug of the shoulders at her shortcomings.

A friend will drink with you; rub sunscreen on your back; drive an extraordinarily long way just to hang.

I am forever grateful to have these special humans in my life.

Looking forward to the next soirée, Dear Ones.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer and artist who lives in her native state of Pennsylvania.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for all kinds of goodies, yo.

Two-Bit Musings.

On Curls & Icy Beverages.

Pedestrian Garden, 2021.
Cape May, NJ.
Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

Wuddup, Dear Reader?

Greetings to you and yours, after my small blogging break.

I’m currently lounging (?) in the driver’s seat of my car. Baby Snap is snoozing in the back, so I pulled into one of a trillion strip malls on The Main Line. Starbucks in hand. AC blasting. I even scored a free Large Iced Caramel Macchiato, after a Medium was presented to me at the drive-through window. Grande, Tall. . . Whatevs.

Anyway! On to other business, yo.

SnapDragon’s List of Other Business, Yo.

1. I’m on countdown. I found out a few weeks ago that the contract for my employment is not being renewed. My last day is in mid-August. Oh well. I am grateful for what the job offered and the role it played in my life. But I’m ready for the next phase: Full-Time Homemaker. Artist. Writer. Online Entrepreneur. . . ? The SnapDragon Shoppe will be a thing. Stay tuned, my friends.

2. Sing out loud; sing out strong. My sister-in-law turned me on to A Musical Celebration, the 25th Anniversary Sesame Street video. And it’s friggin’ awesome. Instant smiles. Heart-warming nostalgia. Why do I feel like The Muppets make everything better?

3. One page at a time. With each passing day, I realize how much time every little thing takes. I mean, to really do something, and do it well. Showering; scrubbing dishes; writing an email; reading an article. And as I watch our son take confident-yet bow-legged-steps across the concrete, I remind myself that it’s impossible to get it all done. Focus on now. What I do accomplish, I want to be done right.

. . .

So as I sit here for another twenty minutes or so, sipping sugary coffee and waiting for my curls to fully dry, I smile.

The sun is out.

This moment is still.

And a bird soars past my window.

I’m alive.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer who never says no to a coffee.

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Two-Bit Musings.

Re-Snap: Just Go.

. . .

A Re-Issue from The SnapDragon Archives: Originally Posted in March of 2019

. . .

Little Old Me telling Little Old You to see the world.

Coffee at Picasso National Museum, 2018.
Paris.
Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

I experienced my first airplane ride at the age of 24.

There’s no extraordinary reason for the delay, really. I grew up in a working-class household, and it was simply more economical to drive a family of five to the Jersey shore each summer. And I loved it. Still do, in fact. Wildwood and Cape May will always have a tender, salt-water-taffy-scented place deep in my heart.

So once I was out of college, working full-time as a teacher and for the first time in my life had a little bit of money, I accompanied my boyfriend (who is now The Sweet Husband) to visit his family in beautiful Colorado.

It changed me.

In the almost seven years since that first mile-high adventure, I’ve visited 12 European countries and 14 additional US states.

I’m extremely lucky.

The Husband loves to travel, more than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s also handy that he loves to plan all of the logistics and is a bonafide carrier-pigeon with his keen sense of direction.

I love it. And I love him for so many reasons. One of the most valuable things he has taught me is that there’s an enormous world out there, waiting to be seen.

You just gotta go.

And aside from my time teaching, traveling abroad has been the most influential experience of my life.

Arriving in Helsinki, feeling so very far from home, felt like a bucket of cold water to the face. You are here. This is not just a place on the map. These people are living their lives.

On Isle St. Louis, we awoke to the aroma of freshly-baked croissants. I walked next door and in pathetic, broken French ordered four. Sitting in our tiny Airbnb kitchen, we spread buttery-soft cheese on those pastries and savored every. goddamn. bite.

We sailed across The Baltic Sea, gazing out at the expansive array of blue.

We hopped on train after train. The Netherlands. Switzerland. Italy.

Together, 2019.
Paris.
Original Photo by SnapDragon X’s Sweet Friend.
All rights reserved.

Each and every place I’ve been tells a story. There’s an ethereal feeling, like I’m in a dream or watching myself live my own life.

And when I come home, it feels different somehow. I’m different.

Traveling reminds me, in a comforting way, that our time on this planet is so very brief.

So how will I spend it?

I could stress about the cost of it all. I could park myself on the couch and worry about everything that could go wrong. I could vow to go “when the time is right” and 40 years from now wonder what might have been.

Or I could just go.

Because life is for the living, Dear Reader.

So go take a bite. Take a sip. Because it could all be over in an instant.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer, artist, and die-hard Paul McCartney fan.

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