Commonplace

seeking the story in the ordinary

In this thick middle of the summer, time folds over onto itself, and everything feels at once new and nostalgic…*

1 when your children love the children of a dear friend
2 debriefing after a dinner party
3 neighbor kids cutting through the yard to come play

4 a poetry acceptance

5 uncontrollable belly laughter
6 a corner chat with the neighbor-turned-friend
7 chocolate chip cookies
8 pride at your physician husband being able to help a man who fell in the parking lot after date night
9 an evening shower

10 a surprisingly pleasant chat with the man behind you in line at the post office

11 a birthday full of memory and hope
12 a family drive
13 getting carded
14 belting it out behind the wheel
15 offering up a sincere apology

16 the family you find for yourself

17 summer camp
18 long talks, late nights on the porch
19 the good dirt of a day outdoors
20 gazebos
21 a reunion with someone you love
22 a happy letter from your son at sleepaway camp
23 when someone you’ve only just met thinks to bring you lunch

24 falling asleep to sounds of a thunderstorm

25 mutual affection
26 fresh sheets

27 an ordinary day

28 morning snuggles
29 a day of leaving your phone behind
30 the collective anticipation of a campwide blackout
31 empathy

*You can read more about my “good things” project and see all prior posts here.

A sudden arrival, a shift, a half year nearly gone. A pivot that reminds how swift the passage of time.*

1 wine & s’mores night with the neighbors
2 a new piece of writing in progress

3 late afternoon light through the upstairs window

4 small town farmers’ market
5 a kind, intuitive waitress

6 folding laundry alone at night in a quiet room

7 gloaming
8 Twitter on a day like today
9 sending out acceptances

10 a day spent more outside than in

11 first sunflower of the season
12 green tea ice cream
13 white wine on the deck
14 the quiet kinship among fellow restaurant patrons in the face of breaking news from screens overhead

15 overcast skies in summer

16 completing a grocery run in under 10 minutes
17 a minor league baseball game
18 freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies
19 a child’s successful first day of camp

20 a long email that reads like an old-fashioned letter

21 orange light after a rain
22 girls’ night out
23 a new baby in the family
24 looking through old photographs
25 sidewalk chalk

26 an impromptu neighborhood gathering on the corner

27 Debbie Gibson on the radio
28 shedding the front, showing what’s really there
29 kids catching fireflies
30 a summer storm

*You can read more about my “good things” project and see all prior posts here.

a season of farewell and reunion and remembering when…*

1 swinging against a navy sky
2 as-you-were-saying friends
3 how happy the person who finds the cash that slipped out of my pocket in the park will be
4 a bedtime heart-to-heart

5 when your spouse wakes you with an early morning kiss on his way out the door

6 a writer’s retreat
7 ice cream to end the night
8 sharing a soft pretzel under the setting sun
9 “book club”

10 tee-ball seasonfullsizeoutput_671e

11 crossing a lingering item off your to-do list
12 lunch at the local diner
13 when others see #onegoodthing
14 homemade paper from my man this Mother’s Day…feeling known & lovedfullsizeoutput_6719

15 a walk in the woods

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16 voting
17 reading together on the couch
18 seeing your son’s love for his sweet school
19 this tradition of wishing the other team wellfullsizeoutput_671d

20 public parks

IMG_0747 21 remnants of those who came beforefullsizeoutput_6715
22 tucking in my kids tonight
23 the local restaurant at the town crossroads

24 a friend crush

25 finishing a first draft
26 being back at Brown University
27 brunch
28 the traditional commencement procession
29 the sound of rain falling in the woods

30 reading something that makes you want to write

31 sitting in the shade of a tree

*You can read more about my “good things” project and see all prior posts here.

It was as if everything bloomed overnight, and I found myself missing the bare branches that offered a view of the farm.*

1 a glass of wine with dinner
2 laughing uncontrollably with my kids
3 seeing one of these signs in my part of PA

4 a rainy going-down-the-rabbit-hole kind of day

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5 weeknight water ice outing with my sweet family

6 handwritten book inscriptions

7 my child’s morning “I love you”
8 lying in the sunny spot on the carpet
9 writing long into the night, because it can’t wait

10 the familiar smell of your childhood home

11 in-laws you love
12 a response of “no, don’t worry about it!” after you accidentally bump into someone else’s space

13 a long car ride with someone you love

14 a quiet moment to conjure a memory
15 a dear friend showing up at your door
16 cozying up with all my kids on the couch
17 evenings outside

18 impromptu afternoon adventures with the neighbor kids

19 This, from my son: “You like making friends with strangers. Why?”
20 when the clerk slips an extra Dunkin’ Donut in there for you
21 neighbors always willing to lend a hand (or a ladder!) when you need it #ittakesavillage
22 getting in bed with a book
23 marking milestones with family & friends
…also: cupcakes made from boxed cake mix
…also also: post-hosting clean kitchen

24 yellowed paper

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25 coming in out of the rain
26 a call from across the street asking if I have onions
27 three boys in a bath

28 the cold underside of the pillow

29 the smell of mulch
30 meeting an online writer friend in real life

*You can read more about my “good things” project and see all prior posts here.

March is neither here nor there, a push and pull, a here then gone. A time of in-between—a march, indeed.*

1 standing barefoot in the rain watching my son wave to me through the school bus window
2 sharing an inside joke
3 a cozy day of never leaving the house

4 when the early sun casts the cornfields in copper light

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5 the comforting sounds of kitchen clank-and-clatter
6 speaking your mind to friends who love you anyway
7 a nightstand of books that beckon

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8 when your spouse surprises you by coming home early
9 finally kicking that nail biting habit
10 day care teachers who greet that last-minute pickup with a smile & not a smidge of guilt
11 a movie that makes you cry
12 longer light

13 the grocery store before a storm

14 a snug snow day with everyone home
15 fierce judicial opinions
16 antibiotics
17 a night out with the neighbors

18 a conversation where you cut through the crap and start to get someone’s story

19 a winter wedding
20 the thaw

21 a smile from a stranger

22 getting away from your kids just long enough to miss them
23 take-out dinner on the open road

24 five minutes of quiet, coffee, and a window by the rising sun

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25 stoop-sitting weather
26 clicking with a kindred

27 backyard hikes

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28 when your spouse empties the dishwasher because he knows it’s your least favorite part
29 going for a drive
30 finding a good handyman

31 dancing in the rain

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*You can read more about my “good things” project and see all prior posts here.

Jena Schwartz

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