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Dreaming of Campfires

Dreaming of Campfires

I’m fairly certain that I have started at least 5 posts with, “on my drive to work, I was listening to NPR…” I was listening to an interview with Neko Case, who many people assume Neko is named after. I actually really like Neko Case, and I was acutely aware of her existence when I had my baby. Neko isn’t really named after her (there’s a longer story behind Neko’s name), but I like that my daughter shares a moniker with someone who is talented and beautiful and has a lovely singing voice.

I was listening to Neko Case talk on NPR about her bout with depression, and her inability to listen to music. Describing her feelings, she referenced her grandmother’s percolator, saying how the smell of fresh coffee would be a new reminder that no matter whether you were ready for the day, the day would push you along. Her analogy woke me up, in the very best of ways.

I will admit that I have gone through periods of time in my life when things have felt like they were falling apart, or like I’d never see the light at the end of the tunnel. Since becoming a mother, I’ve had a number of occasions where I’ve felt trapped in my own body, my head above the fog, scrambling to find patches of blue. But those small reminders: Matt grinding coffee in the kitchen in the morning, making waffles on a Sunday, a windy walk in Golden Gate Park, a night out with good girlfriends, a hike in Marin — they bring me back to Earth. There is something about everyday life, the things we take for granted — a bus ride, folding clean laundry, fresh flowers from the market — that can allow us to not get overwhelmed by the grandness of things. The big stuff. The hard decisions.

Dreaming of Campfires

There are days when I get all inside my head: about all of the things I want to do for Turntable Kitchen that I don’t have time do. About buying or not buying a house. About staying in the city or leaving for the ‘burbs. There is a trend in our culture now about always doing more. Being productive every second of the day. Leaving work only to be ‘back online working’ that evening.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I don’t want to feel like I’m missing these everyday moments because I am too busy liking other people’s Instagram photos or checking my email before I’ve even fully had the chance to wake up and take in the person laying next to me. I’ve caught myself scrolling through my iPhone while playing with Neko, or eating breakfast at my kitchen table, huddled over my computer.

Dreaming of Campfires

I’m trying to be better about focusing on the stuff in front of me. My daughter’s twinkling eyes, her two-toothed smile. My crane-your-neck-and-you-can-see-the-Golden-Gate-Bridge from a small corner of my kitchen window view (which otherwise faces another apartment building). The ability to hop into my car and go to some of the most beautiful places on Earth.

These are things I am calling the small big stuff, the stuff that dreams are made of. The stuff I want to hold close when I am old and frail and not so mobile.

These photos were taken on a camping trip Matt and I took before Neko was born. They remind me of all the simple things that really matter.

Posted by Kasey


Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • Kathryn

    So lovely Kasey and such an important reminder. Love the phrase ‘the small big stuff’; that’s the stuff that really counts.

  • April

    Very lovely post…words to live by!

  • Kasey

    Thank you, April! x

  • Kasey

    Thank you, Kathryn! I like to remind myself of this once in a while :)

  • erin @ yummysupper

    Kasey, I love everything about this post. I think you articulated a feeling that so many of us have. It just feels wrong that I spend more time online that in nature. I have been CRAVING camping lately. I love the silence, lack of distraction, slooooowness of it all. Thank you for the beautiful reminder.
    xoxo to you and your adorable family,

  • Gaby Dalkin

    love this post Kasey! I need to remind myself of these things too! It’s nice to just relax once in a while and put the distractions away!

  • Todd @ HonestlyYUM

    Such wonderful words Kasey. You really hit the nail on the head.

    P.S. I love Salt Point. Used to do a lot of kayaking up there!! :)

  • Kasey

    Thanks, Todd! I really want to go back was so beautiful and inspiring!

  • Kasey

    Thanks, Erin! I miss the quiet of nature…I hope to fill many weekends next summer with some sloooow adventures ;) Hope you and fam are well! x

  • Kasey

    Thanks, Gaby! I love technology, but there’s definitely a time to step away and just take in the bigger stuff in life. x

  • Kate Ramos

    I am always amazed at how you are able to have a full-time job, a new baby, and write such beautiful pieces for this blog. You may feel like you are never doing enough, but from this point of view I can’t imagine how you do all the things you do!

  • Kasey

    Thank you, Kate! That is so sweet. There are days, I get very, very overwhelmed. But in many ways, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m so grateful to have this space and the lovely people who follow it.

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