I would like to take a moment to issue a public service announcement: people of Duloc, the real Oregon Vortex is located in Milwaukie. I'm not going to say where, exactly, because I wouldn't be surprised if I had a stalker by now. But consider yourself warned. Tread carefully. You, too, could be sucked in. I consider myself an expert on the vortex because I live in it. It's a bit of a Hobson family phenomenon, or at least our little (relatively) branch of them--but I'm getting ahead of myself. We don't have balls that independently roll uphill or broomsticks that stand up straight unassisted. Our vortex is more of a state of mind. Within days of being in and around my familial home, your daily activities will be defined by the wolfpack and you will begin to describe your life in double negatives (I'm not going to say I started that trend, but I'm not not going to say I started it). You will find that HA HA can be applied to a variety of situations. You too will be calling everyone the worst. Some days you will find it impossible to not sing everything, including your own thoughts. You will find out that it does indeed suck to suck. Some days you'll say, "I hate us!" and at least once a day someone has to hit the deck. Usually Benny. 

The state of mind is definitely influenced by the state of our surroundings, aka the madhouse. I quickly realized that I traded out fun for another adjective with my move home from Louisiana--however, in the same way that fun wasn't necessarily that fun, mad is not necessarily that mad. Which is to say we are mostly healthy in body and mind, but the house is barely contained chaos. I like to think my mother is the barely containing part, because the rest of us are basically unadulterated insanity led by the mad man himself--no, not Jon Hamm, but my father. It's a sort of nice madness though--rather than be all sterile white walls and lobotomies we tend to be more on the domestic end of the spectrum. Maybe the constant disarray is because we're all creative and somehow brilliant, and thus we are prone to leaving one task for another and another, and that's why the yard and house are littered with sporting equipment and half-finished plans. Or maybe we're really all just easily excitable but also easily distracted, and that's a deadly combination.We also have a para-suicidal dog, and that's who I lay sole blame on for the amount of stray socks and shoes that are scattered everywhere. Also, anything that's chewed is him too. Well. Probably. Sam has her tendencies. 

Curiously though, every time I come home from my relatively peaceful existence in New Orleans I find myself slipping easily back into the vortex. Perhaps too easily. Sometimes people think I just fall right off the face of the earth when I get back here because virtually all communication stops and I am consumed by my family's life. Sometimes it's moderately disconcerting to me how quickly and without thought I am able to stop being an independent, really, and surrender to an old role. I throw that white flag up without a second thought when it comes to me time versus family time. It's all of us, all together, all at once, usually making fun of each other in some way or another. Whether this is good or bad for my mental health is yet to be decided. I try and carve out quiet time but it's tough to do when you live in a vortex. 

Or a cult, which now that I read back over this, is what I've just described. Whatever. Bring on the kool-aid. Or in our case, whiskey. Wolf pack. 

xoxo, Lauren