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Cemented In Time

I hate to admit it, but I have a routine.

I hate to admit it because part of the reason I came to this place was to get away from a routine and live a little.

But as much as I wanted to get away from regime, there are two things here I cannot not do every morning.

One is something I did before:

katie's sugar

Except now it looks like this:

But the other is something new.

I wake up almost every day at 5:30 a.m. here.  I’m not sure why – I think Erin is to blame.  But the first time I did it, I went straight to the window to make sure we were really… you know… here.

And this is the sight that greeted me:

View out window

Not too shabby, huh?

It’s no wonder I now routinely find myself walking to the window and peering through the curtains every. single. morning.

We’re not exactly roughing it here.

Take a closer look:

Notice anything unusual about the cement around the pool?

We discovered shortly after arriving that Gifford and Judy have a very unique way of remembering their house guests and interns.

The entire patio is surrounded by these.

Cement Signatures
Cement Designs and Hand Prints

They’ve been doing this since the early 90’s.

And for some reason, when the sun decided to show itself last Friday, they decided to include us!

Donovan was in charge of adding the date for our group of interns.  Turns out this was a lot of pressure.

Contemplating Cement Design

The rest of us dug on in…

And Donovan got started eventually…

I think we all felt pretty good about being commemorated pool-side when we were done, and we learned a little bit more about each other in the process.

Like Erin enjoys symmetry:

And I apparently lack spatial recognition skills:

And Matteo has gigantic feet:

And Robert has really nice handwriting:

And Donovan?  Well Donovan takes a really, really long time to draw in cement.

Maybe someday I will be able to come back for a visit and still see our legacy by the pool.

But even if I don’t, I’ll know it’s there.

And maybe routines aren’t so bad, after all.

What starts as routine can inspire traditions that reach back generations.

And, perhaps even more impressive, my new routine imbues in me the desire to greet each day with a touch more enthusiasm…

a bit more inspiration…

and yes, just a pinch of caffeine.


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the other Mrs. Barstow

What an absolutely wonderful tradition!! And great blog, too.


Aw, thanks. :)


Wow talk about leaving a lasting impression. That is very cool and unique way to have a “guest book” for people to sign.

Wish you success and all the best days ahead.


Yep! If I ever stayed in one place long enough, I think that would be a fantastic way to commemorate visitors.


OMG, that last picture is so beautiful. Actually, the earlier pictures are too. Very lucky you get to wake up to that every day!


Thank you! This trip is going by so quickly – I know that view in the morning will be one of the first things I miss.

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