When I leave yoga class I pop on the phone and see a series of messages. “Mom… MOM… Mom it’s urgent please come pick me up… MOM help”. I know my son is smart enough to get professional assistance in case of emergency, but.

(Nels has always had panache when reporting traumatic events. A few weeks ago while tucking into some ramen I got a call: “Mom. I just fell off a cliff. I’m covered in cuts and bruises. … well. You can’t see them, though.”)

Home and Nels shakes his head at me, silently. For some reason he doesn’t want me to tell his father what the emergency was: some older high school boys, threatening Nels and his friends, and using horrible language. Nels wants to know if people can tell he’s different, because he’s homeschooled. Based on the homophobic and misogynistic slurs these boys were using, I can confidently tell my son he wasn’t targeted by any fault of his own.

It’s gorgeous out. Hot. My mother-in-law sent us artichokes; those have to go from their pots to the garden soon. My hosta is looking wonderful; a new hydrangea has popped up in the back corner. The mint plant is looking well, and my succulents need transport and cutting. Last year’s strawberries are looking spry, and the pumpkin bed is ready for this year’s crop – potatoes. I picked up two bales of sweetgrass today, to seed them. Phoenix and I backed down my way-too-narrow driveway today, and pulled the bales out for readiness. That’s about as butch as I get around these parts.

We’ve been down to one car for almost seven months. Today we limped the other to the shop. The fellow there grimaced and waved his hands, preparing us for the worst. Well. Our surviving car needs quite a bit of work, at that. I’m down in that studio stitching and cutting and ironing and getting things out the door, and getting paid. Supporting teenagers and all that: today Nels tells me: “I can’t *believe* how hungry I am!” as he steps into the living room with a sandwich, piping bowl of soup, and cut-up fruit.

A candle, incense, a hot shower. Night falls once again, in our warm and safe home.