Monday, February 19, 2018

And still counting (11,567-11,591)

a letter
an offer
a kindred home seeker
a contract
an answered prayer

Valentines with my kids
a good visit with my sister
hearts on the table
Violet, the cat at the nursing home
a tea and talk at the table with Jackie

her fun at a party
gluten-free foods
Spanish 2 textbooks in the mail!
a book of poetry
Erin's rendition of Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

the seed stitch
another piece of the Green Ember stories
stories that call to the heart
birds at the feeders

her little pigtails
glimpses of the little girl in her face
a slow Sunday, home
game nights together
hot cocoa in little mugs

her hair! that face!

getting ready for poetry tea with Jackie

Valentine's Day breakfast with the kids

Savor--not many years of this left

Violet the cat at the nursing home

exhilaration in the garden--warm temps, the stone walkway
perhaps the last of the season's snows?

wonderland, woodland in snow

mini mugs and hot cocoa like dessert

hound dog

games at the table

I'm so very thankful for the people in my life, an answered prayer for new friendships too in Jackie and Marietta; so thankful for the good days with my sister and the provision for her care; I'm thankful to homeschool my kids, that they hold on to these experiences to take them forward into their futures; I'm thankful for cuddles on the couch and laughter during Spanish lessons; I'm thankful for piano music in the rooms and her eagerness to double up on subjects; I'm thankful for honest talks and lots of hugs. I'm so keenly aware of how fast it goes, the emptying of the childhood jar of marbles, the weeks turning to years, with more behind us than ahead. I'm so very thankful for how close our family is.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Whatever is lovely

I was sitting with Erin last night, finishing up another book by S.D. Smith in the Green Ember collection (LOVE!). She was recalling a feeling (that this warmer weather spell had cast) and telling me how there was something about it that reminded her of the old house but it was here too--the wide opening of the windows in spring all throughout the house and how I would clean everything, it all just made her feel so good. She said it just felt right.

I look forward to it too--windows wide, warmth and freshness, clean slates. We had a taste of that the other day when temps got into seventy. I grabbed a rake anyway, despite snow in the forecast and no way to mulch the leaves, but I started anyway to rake the leaves from a nearby flower bed. Last year, I didn't even finish spreading the mulch mountain. The weeds were overgrown in most of the garden beds. Most things untended in the crisis of other responsibilities. I lost a whole year. (I lost so much.)

I look out across the property. I imagine the rumble of the tractor. I inhale the future fragrance of the field. I absorb the blue in the skies and my heart swells. I look to the garden, deep in leaves, and I know where the stone walkway lies buried.

We'll have been here seven years in August. Thank you, God.


Erin remembered a time when she and Lanie stuck a sign at the back door to remove shoes before entering.

Linda came in that night telling me, "I took my shoes off."

I nodded, not really understanding, not knowing my kids put a sign on the door. We don't require shoes off in this house. Our floors are hard and cold. I often wear shoes around the house myself.

At evening's end, I walked her out to see the sign on the door--childish scrawl.

"You guys!" I exclaimed.

But last night, Erin told me the rest of the story. How she and Lanie put snow inside of Linda's shoes. Oh. My. Gosh.

How I was trying to create an atmosphere of welcome and inclusion, and my kids were pranking our guest!

How I wished I could call Linda and tell her--and apologize! (I wish I could call her anyway.)

"It was Lanie's idea!" Erin ratted.

"You did it too!" I said.

"There's still a piece of tape on the door from that sign that didn't come off. It makes me remember it," Erin mused.

But I don't want her to forget--those Friday night dinners in all the seasons, flowers in a vase, wine in a glass, feasting at the table, the long talks afterwards, warm-weather walks around the yard, music in the rooms, the evening's end and the goodbyes and see you's. Don't forget that part. How Friday night was about hospitality and hearts and celebrating life together ... it was about inclusion and welcome and safety and love. It was about connection and belonging.

Everything happens around a table.


Wegmans had tulips for sale last week. I bought some and put them in a red pitcher.

from last week's poetry tea/luncheon
(I want to be myself again.)

Monday, February 12, 2018

And still counting (11,528-11,566)

Oh! Lunch with Anita!
a knit night with a friend
and a table full of experience!

a meet up with another mom for murder mystery activities
sitting tucked away with her talking about the real meaty things of life
and how we could do that, unashamed
a baby blanket that I've started over no less than twenty times
a house on the market!

lots of showing requests!
awareness of setting boundaries
friends' prayers that we'd escape the flu
and friends who get it that sharing flu is not cool
elderberry gummy bears

thick yogurt
a yes to a tea!
and a tea date on the calendar
10k step days
mall walking with Marshall's Mom

this time at home with my kids
trying new things
foggy days
warm fires
heart songs on the radio

66 Books
crochet kits in the mail
poetry in the mail
a wee one's healthy heartbeat!

oh, the pictures!
a fiesta salad
laughter late with Shane
Lori's better days
a friend who remembered Lanie's wish list

and the woman who was giving away an electric guitar
an electric guitar for my girl
spicy guacamole
good tea
tulips in a red pitcher

 trees robed in ice