A look back…

The departure of 2017 has left behind a welcome calm. As I navigate the first weeks of the new year, I have spent quite a few hours tucked under my fuzzy blue blanket in my worn overstuffed chair. Usually, the week between the holidays is mine to reflect, evaluate, and plan. This year, those days were given over to people I adore, as we flew across the country to spend precious time with my Oregon family. So, I’ve redeemed slow Saturdays, a snowstorm, and quiet mornings catching up with my soul after a year of turmoil and transition. Continue reading “A look back…”

A matter of focus…

I’ve been fascinated by photography since I was a small girl. My grandma and grandpa Malone always had the newest technology which meant they had a super 8 camera when I was a child, were able to snap Polaroid pictures and wave them in the air, and they had every kind of “instant” camera you could imagine. Thin wide cameras with tall flash bars on the top. Thick cameras with color film and a twisting flashbulb, and eventually they had cameras with the flash built in. Even now, one of my favorite things is to look through the boxes and albums full of pictures. It’s like diving into a time machine. Continue reading “A matter of focus…”

The middle…

the mess,
The emptiness
and discomfort
and letting it
be there
Until some
Light returns

– Ann Lamott

These words speak to a reality in my life these days. Life has shifted in new and uncomfortable ways. We are in the middle, deep in the dark place, before the turn. We left one certainty and have not yet reached the other side. In my favorite books, this is where the hero takes heart and stands firm in the face of insurmountable odds… and presses on to victory. Continue reading “The middle…”

Beautiful mess…

Not long ago, life took some unexpected turns that have had us hustling and running to catch up. We’ve spent time in hospital waiting rooms and stale cafeterias. We’ve shown up for a variety of tests, both invasive and benign. At the end of the testing we faced the verdict, which brought relief and a wait for a fix. We’ve prayed together and alone, we’ve updated everyone who cares, and we’ve had impossible conversations about what happens if the worst happens. I watched them wheel this man I adore past the swinging doors. That hour lasted a lifetime. When the procedure was done, they released us back into our lives. Continue reading “Beautiful mess…”

The real deal…

Tonight we gathered for family dinner. In my imagination, this is a time of bonding and genteel conversation. For a moment this afternoon, I thought maybe we could watch the debate. Maybe discuss national politics with rational, calm voices. Or maybe talk about international issues, or conflict areas. Although I’d love to spend time with the family in my imagination, they did not attend our family dinner. Continue reading “The real deal…”

The forecast…

It’s rainy and raw outside my window this afternoon. The wind is gusting through the trees around my house. I looked at the forecast, it looks like this might be it for today. We drove back from camping in the pouring rain, after a night spent listening to the sound of raindrops pounding on the roof. For some, this would have ruined the weekend. For me, it makes it perfect. Continue reading “The forecast…”

Observations about parenting teens…

The other night I spent some time talking with a friend. She’s raising a 14-year-old. Enough said. I was not particularly well-suited to raising kids. They are loud, opinionated, and often difficult. My three demanded all I had… and then some. We survived, but it hurt and I can still feel the bumps and bruises of the past few years. I did learn some things along the way that I am always happy to pass on. Just remember to take everything people have to say about parenting with a grain of salt. There is no simple formula for raising decent humans. We all do the best we can with what we have. In the interest of charity, here are a couple of observations… Continue reading “Observations about parenting teens…”