Birthday girl…

A couple weeks ago, my family pulled off an epic surprise. To be honest, I didn’t believe they had it in them. We aren’t that good at surprises, and I particularly hate being surprised, so it hasn’t been something we’ve practiced over the years. But, they pulled off a beautiful party and gathered so many of my favorite people. I was totally blown away by the love and attention poured out that night. Continue reading “Birthday girl…”

Making connections…

I am a connector. There is nothing I enjoy more than bringing people together. I do that around my dinner table, through small groups, scheduled meals, and impromptu gatherings. For many years, the main way I accomplish this has been through weekly gathering. We’ve opened our home for the better part of a couple decades to small groups of people who make room for each other and prioritize connection through a weekly meeting. These small groups weren’t our idea, we first were gathered up in a group that opened up the world to us as a young family. We found that we weren’t alone. We found that behind the Sunday morning smile, other families struggled to figure it out too. We found company for the fun days and friends for the hard ones. We remain deeply connected to many of the people who have done life with us through these life-giving groups. Continue reading “Making connections…”

Grandbabies…

When I was a baby, my dad was stationed on an aircraft carrier somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. My mom moved home, to my grandparent’s house for support. I was the first one, and I was spoiled rotten… or so they’ve told me since I was old enough to understand. My mom tells me that my grandpa Malone hated to hear my cry, so she would lay me down to sleep and when I stopped crying, she assumed I fell asleep. Instead, my grandfather would sneak into my room, scoop me up and take me downstairs to rock me. Maybe, I was a little spoiled! My uncle tells me that Grandpa would take me to the local IGA and tell everyone how wonderful I was. I don’t remember any of this, but I have always been pretty sure that my grandparents thought the world of me. Continue reading “Grandbabies…”

What made life better in October?

My grandson- Teddy is the delight of my heart. His grin in the mornings make my heart sing and that wicked little look he gives me from across the room when he knows I will join him in mischief is delightful. This child is a wonder every day, but we recently took him to the apple farm where he picked his first apple, crawled around in the pumpkins, and enjoyed 2 new delicious treats. He destroyed an apple cider donut with two hands nom-nom-noming with gusto, but the look he gave me when I slipped a bit of maple floss (cotton candy) between his lips was priceless. I love watching the wonder of the world unfold from his perspective. It reminds me to slow down, pay attention, and enjoy the sweet bits. Continue reading “What made life better in October?”

A Central Organizing Principle…

“I’ve figured it out,” I declared to Keith. “I know what I need.” He raised an eyebrow at me. It had been months since the kids had left home. I was still rattling around our big old house. Sometimes, I felt like I could still hear their voices echoing off the walls. After they all left in a rush, I had sat quietly. Feeling the sadness, fearing the end. I was listless and avoided many of the things I had once poured myself out for. Evenings when Keith worked, I poured a glass of wine and retreated to my “studio,” which was newly decorated to finally declare it my own. There, I listened to audio books and knitted. Continue reading “A Central Organizing Principle…”

The road ahead…

It’s been 17 years since Mom called to tell us the news. Dad had prostate cancer. It was already metastasized. The doctor said six months to two years. The world spun a little slower that day. There were treatments. Dad responded to these treatments in amazing ways. We prayed for him and the cancer’s growth slowed. Every time there was an uptick in his numbers, there was a new treatment plan. Radiation, hormone therapy, and new drugs that promised time. He has been a true miracle. Continue reading “The road ahead…”

The crying day…

Portland International Airport (PDX) is the background to so many memories of my life. PDX was the airport I first flew out of, in the middle seat, squished between my grandparents. I wanted the window seat, but Grandpa Malone said I could get sucked out the window, so he had to sit there. I looked over my grandpa’s shoulder, watching the plane lift off, feeling the weight in my stomach and the pop in my ears. My grandmother ordered a seven and seven as the stewardess walked by. I ordered orange juice and plastic airline wings. Grandpa began to snore. Continue reading “The crying day…”

Adding to the family…

Rain dripped off the eaves as we peered out the window on Sunday morning. The forecast called for a little light rain in the morning. We were confident it would clear, in spite of the blowing trees, leaves, and sideways rain. When you plan a wedding outside, you plan for contingencies… the tents were in place, the food tables under cover, and we were still hoping to see the rain stop. Nothing was going to get in the way of this special day.  Continue reading “Adding to the family…”

She loves him…

I only have one son. From the time he was little, he was momma’s boy. Sometimes (often) he got in trouble in the primary Sunday school classes. He was a talker, a joker, and always on the move. I could tell how bad it was when I looked up to see his teacher walking down the hall toward me, and he was tugging on my arm to tell me how much he loved me. When I scolded 5-year-old Brian, he would drop to his knees and put his face in his hands as he wailed, “I’m sorry, so sorry.” When he felt that he was not getting enough attention, he would put his fat little hands on my face to bring my attention to him and say, “Momma, pay tension to me. Pay tension to me.” Continue reading “She loves him…”