Mountain Day…

Mountain Day…

Each October, students at my alma mater wait expectantly for the president to call Mountain Day. An annual tradition, the bells ring out to announce the cancelation of the day’s classes. Students spend the day enjoying the glorious autumn countryside. Tradition encourages students to climb a nearby peak where ice cream is served at the top (Hoodsie Cups all around). The view is spectacular, the company is friendly, and the tradition is an important part of the fall semester. Continue reading “Mountain Day…”

Outside…

Outside…

I was nine years old, in the middle of a summer at my Aunt Anita’s house near the Puget Sound in Washington state. When we weren’t out on the water in my uncle’s commercial fishing boat, long summer days were spent in their sprawling old home. Each afternoon when it was “time to play outside,” I could be found perched on top of the three cement stairs that lead to the kitchen. I would lean my back against the screen door and read my book. I could be forced to go outside, but they couldn’t make me like it. Continue reading “Outside…”

Small goals…

Small goals…

I am a big goal setter. We’ve spent the better part of thirty years crossing large goals off the list. Earn my degree. Visit New Orleans. Plan cross-country trip with my kids. Create a magical wedding. Buy our dream house. Each of these goals included layers of planning, orchestration, and implementation. Spreadsheets, color-coded keys, and planning grids have helped to make these dreams a reality. Continue reading “Small goals…”

Cultivating quiet…

Cultivating quiet…

We live in a noisy age. The phone beeps, the TV bellows, Alexa voices her opinion from the corner, the oven timer buzzes, and even the washing machine chimes let me know when it needs my attention. Beyond the actual noise in the house, our schedules often demand more than is reasonable. We can get pulled along in the rush of activities until our soul is battered and bruised by the sheer pace of our lives. Continue reading “Cultivating quiet…”

Church with littles…

Church with littles…

I sat in the third row on the right. The ancient pews created a wooden box around my three babies. I positioned myself at the open end. At least they were contained. On the other side of the divider, an older couple smiled indulgently. Behind us, my friend Allison performed similar maneuvers to manage the chaos of her three boys. Occasionally the sounds of army men fighting, “pew, pew, pew” floated over the wooden back that separated us. Baby Stephanie, crawled over the stained maroon cushion looking for a smiling face and open arms. Allie, sucked her thumb with one hand and rubbed her ear with another.  It was 10:30a on Sunday morning and I was exhausted. Continue reading “Church with littles…”

Fear of missing out…

Fear of missing out…

I can’t sleep when I travel. Instead of laying my head back and resting my eyes from the passenger seat, I drive. A few years ago, Keith and I drove to Oregon and back for our summer vacation. I drove almost the whole six thousand miles. I don’t fall asleep with the television on. I can’t relax while things are happening. I could lay on the sofa, but I would just listen to what was happening, afraid I might miss something. I can’t even fall asleep with music on. My brain is wired to pay attention. As a child, I would linger at the bedroom door, listening to adults talking in the other room, while I was supposed to be sleeping. I never wanted to miss a thing. Continue reading “Fear of missing out…”

By the sea…

By the sea…

As I walked down the misty beach, I was reminded of so many other days spent walking with my feet covered in sand, my hair blown back, and the worries of the world pushed away by the rolling surf and clear horizon. It wasn’t your traditional beach day, fog and mist held the temperatures down and the sun struggled to break free from the gray. But, for me, it was a perfect beach day. A day to reconnect me, to myself and the younger me who walked miles and miles on empty beaches letting the sharp edges of life be worn smooth by the effect of wind, sand, and sea. Continue reading “By the sea…”

The good stuff…

The good stuff…

He called in the middle of the week. Did we want to meet them for ice cream? Of course! There was something in his voice, something in the air. Keith and I smiled about the possibilities as we drove to meet them on a thick July evening. We ordered our favorites and headed over to the picnic table. As we spooned cold sweetness into our mouths. They shared their news. There is a baby on the way. My heart swelled. Their eyes looked huge. Fear tugged at the edges of their faces, but love and hope filled them up.    Continue reading “The good stuff…”

Workday…

Workday…

They gathered, a bit blurry-eyed. It was early for a Saturday morning. Brian was the first to arrive, he is always first. Allie showed up next. Steph and Tyler brought a friend, and Teddy stayed with Auntie Kim. In the early morning gloom, they ate donuts, swigged the coffee and hot chocolate they brought with them. They were here to help their dad regrade the long winding driveway. Ten yards of gravel had been delivered and the bright yellow tractor was on hand for the weekend. They were here to work. Continue reading “Workday…”

Savoring August…

Savoring August…

After almost thirty years in New England, I recently realized that although I am a fan of both October and May, it is August that has my heart. From beginning to end, August fills my soul. This year, I have enjoyed each of the 31 days, rolling them around in my mind like penny candy. Although it is my nature to jump ahead, this summer I’ve lingered over the golden light of August and allowed my senses to fully attend to sights, sounds, and delights of late summer. Continue reading “Savoring August…”