1990: Another new decade. Over the last couple of years, Cal and I talked about building a house, then we bought a lot, hired an architect, bid it out, and selected a builder. But it’s not until February when we break ground that I understand we’re really going to do this. Being the go-to person for the project is a full-time job. In the spring, on a Sunday, I must choose where the light switches will go–this takes an entire day. Somewhere in here, my father buys me a car phone. He’s all about safety and believes the $1000 is well spent. In May I fly to Portland to meet Cal. The plane is so empty I’m the only one on a row of five seats. When the plane takes off, I lie down. Five hours later, I wake up as we’re landing. In June Cal and I celebrate five years. This is important. Again we spend a week in July in Ponte Vedra, Florida, which is where Cal spent his summers growing up. I am unused to going to the beach and seeing the same people I see at home. The last week of summer my parents offer to keep all the kids for three days. They even drive to Columbus to pick them up. The first night Cal and I stay up very late, lying on the floor of the den, playing albums on the stereo system I bought in law school–Eddie and the Cruisers and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Bella Donna, lifting the needle to play “Leather and Lace” over and over again. The next morning my mother calls at eight. Jack has fever; she’s bringing them home. The week after Thanksgiving we move into our new house.

27 days to 60


Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Mary Oliver