“So what do you do?” was a common question last weekend at my college reunion.

I answered, like most of us do, by describing my job:
I’m a freelance writer and editor. I’ve been working on textbooks and technical materials for years, but recently I’ve been writing more about parenting and gardening and food. I’m also a writing coach.

I could have answered like this too:
I’m pulling together a lot of things that I love and starting a blog about writitomato-peach salsang and gardening and food. I’m planning online and in-person writing retreats.

I spend my spring, summer, and fall days in the garden as much as possible—planting, weeding, picking, dreaming.

I stand in steamy kitchens, filling jar after jar with jam or pickles or salsa or relish. I start with strawberries and work my way right through apples. I smile every time a hot jar seals with a ping and every time I open one to spoon some apple sauce or canned peaches out for my kids.

I scramble to figure out what’s for dinner most nights, trying to find some intersection between the food on hand, the time available, what my kids will eat, and what I want. I dream about leisurely meals with friends, catching up over a bottle of wine whilefall fairy house we chop and stir.

I help with fairy houses  and set up forts. I grumble over load after load of laundry. I read stories over and over and over again. I hold the two-wheeler so my big girl can start pedaling and find blankie for my little girl. I wake up too early to “Mama, is it snuggle time?” and go to bed too late so I can read a little, write a little, relax a little (play Scrabble on Facebook a little).

What do I do? I write and help others tell their stories. I garden and cook and can. I love and take care of my kids (and if I’m good, myself too).

So what do you do?