My friend, Heather, came over and was kind enough to take my incubator, dehydrator, and mason jars as a sort-of loan. She will use them unless we come to a Blueberries for Sal place in our lives where I can blueberries and blackberries and dehydrate fruit and raise chickens. Then, I have permission to ask for them back. Such a settled life feels like a far-off dream.

Paul texted me during a windstorm. He mentioned going on a birding expedition to Texas. I’ve been applying for jobs online for him while he’s gone. What will happen with us?

I’m really at a loss as to what to say.

It’s been almost a year that I’ve been blogging. I’m looking back on what it was all about. I started off by turning down two jobs and going to Italy, instead. In Italy, I convinced myself that I was a writer. With all the sights to see, the exhaustion, the overload of the schedule, the stimuli of place and travel, the amount of people to a room, the lack of internet, these obstacles did not keep me from writing. I made the time to do it. I no longer dreamed of being a writer. Instead, I wrote.

Then, I returned and set up my family for homeschooling when I was offered a full-time job. I took it this time, because it was temporary. I took it to give my family some stability and Paul a breather. I struggled with my divided self: a public school teacher who longs to homeschool, a professional who wants to be a homemaker, a wannabe freelance writer with little freelance work. Through it all, I wrote.

Then, I lost my job and was relieved about it. But the drama of the house foreclosing was heating up. So I wrote about that, too.

Writing is now a habit. It’s as natural as correcting kids’ manners at the table.

As a writer, I sense that the smash-bang ending this blog really needs is to go on that trip I first dreamed about in the first post I wrote. To travel the states with our family, to homeschool, to wander, to search. I feel this journey is where all things have been leading. I really need some representation to do that. As I send out query letters, though, I can sense a lack of direction, of cohesion, of purpose. I’m unsure of how to proceed. It is a Catch-22. Without the trip, the blog seems only a long introduction. Yet, in order to do the trip, I need some sense that all of this writing is going somewhere — that it will … pay.

It’s hard to operate your life on a nebulous sense of destiny.

Did I ever mention before the story of John Stetson? He developed his Boss of the Plains hat while in Colorado, panning for gold. A cowboy bought it off his head for five dollars. When he recovered from tuberculosis, he returned east and spent all his money on manufacturing the B.O.P. Then, he sent it off to all the hat shops in the west with an order form.

And … waited.

I bet that waiting was excruciating. Did he chide himself for being an idiot? Did he worry about looking like a fool? Did he wonder if he had lost everything on a wild idea?

Then, the orders came pouring in.

Trouble is … there are probably 50 other stories where the orders never came in and people just had to pick up the pieces of their failed lives and move on.

How will mine turn out? Is it worth the risk?