Recycling Day

LTD at the zoo

Around here, we call it “Living the Dream.” It’s code for taking care of the kids. There’s a loose knit group of us and we LTD weekly at the zoo or at the museum. We hit the park or a coffee shop. We love our kids and our time together. And swapping dinner recipes and tips on who makes the best cloth diapers is awesome…but we dads and moms also have little chats about hitting the road. Each of us has stories that involve bikes, backpacks, skies and canoes from the days before kids. It’s kind of fun to reminisce.

But you can’t get caught up in the reminiscing too much. We’re in a different phase now. Not only are there children everywhere I look, but we have to deal with jobs, homes, cars and trips to the grocery store. Grown up stuff.

Home, this past Sunday

We’re lucky to have a space big enough in our house that a little band can set up and play. A few nights ago, Breathe Owl Breathe rolled into town, dropped their bags in the guest room and set up their gear in the sun room. They’d been in California, Arizona and beyond. Soon there were fifty neighbors, friends and strangers gathered to watch them make music.

The hypnotic, meditative ‘Home’, from the album Climb In, struck an immediate, obvious chord for me as I leaned on the door frame leading into my backyard. I had to walk away from that song at Pickathon last year when they played it as an encore on the Starlight Stage. It’s so simple and so beautiful and I was exhausted. It was one in the morning, I still had work to do and I didn’t have time to be reduced to a puddle of tears. But on Sunday night, I couldn’t walk away from my own home. The song, I believe, is about love, aging and being together forever. Listening to a chorus of friends help Andrea and Micah chant “hooooome” was powerful. I know I smiled.

New age dog

Some time after midnight Sara and I were tidying up the house with cellist-vocalist Andrea. Her bandmates Micah and Trevor had slipped off for a late night of editing a new video for their upcoming release. I grabbed the trash and recycling and headed out to the curb. Andrea, feeling cozy in our kitchen after a few weeks on the road, said, “I want a trash and recycling day.”

The next afternoon, I returned some chairs to my neighbor’s house. She opened the door with a nursing baby in her arms and a two-year-old just waking from a nap. She asked about the band. I told her they seemed content and rested and they’d just packed the van and headed north into Washington. “Oooh. That sounds nice,” she said.

The grass is always greener, they say. But we couldn’t do this whole life thing without each other. You live my dream, I’ll live yours. Together we make it all work out. We’ll entertain each other with stories and songs, we’ll share meals and a spot to rest. Maybe we’ll even cross paths.

Breathe Owl Breathe on the Starlight Stage, Pickathon 2009
all images © Tim LaBarge 2009-2010


  1. I feel that for sure. The grass is always greener. I am so immersed in the remodel and school that I can’t find what would be greener, but I am sure 6 months into fatherhood I might be singing a different tune.

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