Nineteen years old.

Today I was riding shot gun next to Lacey on our way home from the beach. Lacey is my little sister. She is 19 years old and recently dyed her hair the color of Cheerwine. It was red and messy and free. She was singing to the radio.

Just then her phone beeped. I read her the text so she could drive. Mom had forwarded her something from a conversation with our neighbor, Mrs. Rhonda. Mrs. Rhonda used to watch our brother Bradley after school. Lacey knows her well from walking to her house each day and talking with her by the door while Brad got his shoes on and tried to find his glasses. Mrs. Rhonda also happens to be the mother of a boy Lacey loved loved loved in high school. She loved him after high school too, but she moved away and some sad things happened and after a million back-and-forths, she trained her soft-heart toward a strong-resolve to stay away from him from now on. She has succeeded in her distance for a long time. I would even say she is happy. She is drivin home from the beach with her red red hair, just singin along.

I read the text aloud. Simply put, Mrs. Rhonda said she loved little Brad and misses him. (Mrs. Rhonda is a tough love type of lady that hardly ever gets mushy about anything, so this is a big deal.) She also said she really misses Lacey. And then, just briefly at the end: “I know my son misses her too.” 

I could feel it hit her in the stomach and just like that I looked over to see a few tears behind her sunglasses. I cried too.

I just knew. I knew because a million times in my life I have driven along, singing to the radio, and been blind-sided just like this. I knew because I was her. Her with the dyed hair and the sun tan and the fresh resolve to keep her tired heart moving forward. Mostly, I knew because I love her so big that I felt it in my stomach too. I wished I could show her: it gets better.






Someone Must Be Stretched Out…

Update: Our stuff is in Texas. The lease is signed. Now we’re here in Reston, VA with Emily and Barry for the rest of the summer. Ken has an internship with the Navy in DC, and I’m hanging out with Emily and little Colin, searching like mad for jobs in Austin.

My first full day here, I asked Emily about the little path that runs next to their place. She told me it goes all the way to the capital. That’s right, she meant DC, the District of Columbia, the capital of AMERICA. Of course my very next question was “Can you ride a bike on it?” You can, which means I have not ceased to dream of it since. A few days later we borrowed one of Uncle Jeff’s sweet old bikes, which is surely from the early 90’s and very purple, along with a white helmet–complete with rainbow squiggle across the side. So vintage. He helped me pump-up the tires and adjust the seat and today: I was out that door and on the path.


This isn’t your typical city path: each tree planted neatly in a row, supported by a mechanically timed sprinkler system. No way. This place is wild. These trees and vines have been tangling and growing and reaching for sunlight since long before I was born. They are vivid in the thick Virginia air, and they are not alone. There are butterflies, bees, red robins and all sorts of other things I heard but didn’t see. In other words, nothing here is depending on human life or machine to water and sustain it. It’s nice to know that this was home to them before it was to me. It exists all on it’s own. This is another world. Even the breeze is alive with some humid language that seems to tell me I am only a piece in its history. As I raced down the first big hill, I stood up tall on my pedals and let the rush of air explain that to me.



It reminded me of a poem called “The End and The Beginning,” which describes how every war zone eventually becomes a tranquil place again. I was the person in the very last stanza, who comes to look at the clouds, separate and ignorant from all that happened on that very ground before.


This path was built over civil war ground.
America divided in half, and fought against itself here.


If you’re more into learning from Signs written in English than Rushes of air speaking in humid tree language, then good news for you: they have signs and cites along the way to explain history to you. That’s how I learned that this path is called the Old Dominion Trail. It used to be railroad tracks. It used to be stuff underfoot of Army Generals like Joseph “Fighting Joe” Hooker, who passed through here exactly 150 years (and 2 days) ago on his way to Gettysburg. Turns out he had to resign the next day because of an ongoing feud with Army headquarters, so watch out, Fighting Joe was a pretty feisty guy.

Herman Melville, author of “Moby Dick,” once went through here on foot as well. While I ride along humming to myself, a free woman in the middle of the day, he passed through at night, warily searching out the infamous, most hated Confederate in the North, Lieutenant Colonel Mosby. Afterwards, he wrote “The Scout Toward Aldie,” which describes these very  trees in the night as “a globe of leaves,” and “moon-tinged—with crook’d boughs.”

So even though I know this path will become a home to me here, it also belongs to another time. To other people. To older moons. And I love that really, it can never be all mine.


The End and the Beginning
Written by Wislawa Szymborska
(translated from the Polish by Joanna Trzeciak)


What happened to Lyndsi Shae?

Sometimes I look at pictures of my friends in high school. We are at the beach on spring break, shooting blow darts across the room at a styrofoam boogie board. We are eating pancakes on Saturday morning in our pajamas, painting our jeans before we all move away to college. We are driving through town at night with the windows down, angsting it out to punk rock love songs. We are longing for SO much and not knowing how to explain what it is we are looking for. So we sing U2 all the way to the coast “and I stilllll haven’t founddddd what I’m lookin for…” The thing is, I look at these photos and feel like I could go right back there, with those same people in the same cars and the same music toward the same Atlantic Ocean. And I would love it. I could be that girl again with the pancakes and painted jeans.

But I would feel a little different, and why is that?

What has happened since then that’s got me out of the angsty car and into other routines? Into going to bed before 2am and paying more attention to my schedule than my blog? Some might blame it on growing up–say I’ve lost myself and my young passion. They would see my life now compared to my life then and think, where did she go? Where is her freedom? But it doesn’t feel like that to me. It doesn’t feel like I’m lost. It feels like I have found so much of all that stuff I was looking for then, so much that I no longer have these insatiable impulses that keep me up all night singing and driving to the water. So much that I can sleep, and go to work, and do the laundry, and all these things that were so boring before, and yet still feel fulfilled. My freedom lies in stable things, safe things, things that do not fade away or threaten to elude me. Because I served my heart out on my mission and found lasting homes for all that passion I couldn’t seem to express before. Because I fall asleep next to Ken who is staying with me always. Because I wake up to God over and over and over. I always knew who I was. But now it is easier to be that person.

That being said, man what I wouldn’t do for those painted jeans and a weekend at the beach.
I will always be the girl with sand on her feet and a notebook in her hands.

Identity Perpetual.




iden·ti·ty (noun) \ī-ˈden-tə-tē, ə-, -ˈde-nə-\
1 a : sameness of essential or generic character in different instances
   b : sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a thing : oneness
2 : the distinguishing character or personality of an individual

per·pet·u·al (adj) \pər-ˈpe-chə-wəl, -chəl; -ˈpech-wəl\
1 a : continuing forever : everlasting
(1) : valid for all time
(2) : holding  for life or for an unlimited time
2: occurring continually
3: blooming continuously throughout the season