Smoked In: Portraits

“That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality–your soul, if you will–is as bright and shining as any that has ever been….Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.”
― George Saunders

In winter, a frozen fog shielded us from the sun almost entirely. There were days when I was curled over my steering wheel watching for the yellow lines on the roadway, staring directly overhead at lunchtime and seeing the smallest pale light fight through what seemed like a globe of haze. Today feels similar, though I stand in the yard barefoot and in a sleeveless shirt and I’m looking at a blazing red eye in the sky. Alas, this means the blue bird days of summer are behind us.

This bittersweet season feels more like the romanticized writings of summer in novels―captivating, sweep you off your feet, dare to do anything, sun bathe naked, walk barefoot, and then…fleeting, gone. The nights are crispy now, cold only moments after the sun tucks itself away. I’m not sure if there has been one day this entire year that I haven’t worn a sweater in the morning or at night. So in Jackson, on the way back from our honeymoon, I buy another sweatshirt and wear it religiously. On the back it says Adventure is Worthwhile and it sort of feels like a get well soon card: Just ride it out for those really great days. It’s so worth the deep freeze and the choke of smoke. Love Always, Montana.

It’s funny how the portrait of yourself changes along with your lifestyle or landscape. Most evenings I sit with my feet perched up on our coffee table and I always notice the small brown dots just beside my ankle bones―evidence of a life I left in NYC, wearing ruby red heels that nagged me all day long in this particular spot. It’s been over two years now since I’ve gone and my feet, along with my whole being, are thankful. I’m the girl in boots, even at magazine meetings, and jeans and I’m fueled by iced London Fogs and―if it were healthy―chicken and waffles. I’m 26, I ride horses by day and write/edit for a magazine by night and days off. I’m a religious reader of high brow fiction, I love a good baseball cap, and there’s nothing like a good clean house before watching TV with Chris each night.

So we are here, going about our business with whirlybirds overhead, all of us against the dreary end-of-the-world backdrop of fading grays.


ME: Writer, blogger, farm mom, cowgirl, wife, sister, friend, aunt.


CHRIS: Structural Engineer, farm dad, snowboarder, gym-goer, pasta and pastry enthusiast.


Lucy & Raven, our sweet girls.


Evening chores…



Selfies with Timber. What a lover!


All grown up!


Willoughby, chowing down on dinner. 


My heart!


Our cape cod style farmhouse, my pride & joy. 


3 thoughts on “Smoked In: Portraits

  1. Kathleen lankford says:

    Think of you often and worry about all that unhealthy air that surrounds your beautiful slice of heaven. ” This too shall pass”. You are still a beautiful writer. Xoxo


  2. HELEN AGRO says:

    Beautiful tribute to life on your farm.
    Beautiful pictures.
    Hope the Fall brings some rain and color.
    Miss you guys soooo much!
    Love you!


  3. Lisa Gordon says:

    I truly hope the fires end soon, Chelsea.
    It was such a pleasure to see pictures of your family members here, and as always, you are such a beautiful writer.
    Have a great weekend!


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