Monday, April 30, 2012

One thousand gifts and still counting (2901-2935)

boursin mashed potatoes
a train rumbling past the windows of the restaurant
dinner out with grown-ups
a sleepy child secretly waiting up for our return
island coconut coffee pods

birdsong in the morning
grace on sleep-empty days
a delicious aroma of scented candles in the car
a friend with good gift-giving instincts
an open Friday

coconut muffins
good rains
longer daylight
gardens of lilies
an impromptu visit with old neighbors

Amy's friendship
windy days for warm kitchen talks
helicopter seeds
wine bottle candles

dinner with Linda
her birthday song
a little boy's delight of vanilla scented bathroom
easy tears
the story of friends like sisters

surprise birthday parties
celebrating loved ones
a last-minute babysitter
(oh, those mashed potatoes)
three desserts when I just wanted a taste

aging faces of infrequently seen friends
Joel in the driveway
her smile in Uncle Jeff's arms
an expecting friend
a good homeschool review

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Be my sister

In sales, they talk about mirroring someone to gain rapport ... mimicking body language or speech to put a client at ease. I think people who spend time together, or admire someone, also copy gestures and sayings. I noticed it in action the other night in a woman across the table from me. Celebrating a loved one's birthday, I sat across from her friend and was instantly aware of mannerisms they shared, the tilt of the head, the facial expressions, even the pronunciation of words.

"I can tell you two are very close," I said. "Like sisters."

"When her sister died last year, I told her, 'I'll be whatever you need'," her friend said. "And she said to me, 'Be my sister.'"

The depth and beauty of this heart-felt request of one who had experienced tremendous losses in one year went straight to my heart. I relayed the story to a friend across my kitchen table yesterday. Tears in my own eyes over fractured relationships, the quest for closeness, love's reach out to stillness.

My friend told me how God has perfect timing to fill the holes in our lives. When family isn't present, he gives us friends. Friends like sisters. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dinner among strangers

Shane is working late tonight. I decided it would be a great opportunity for a girls' night out. We bundled up and headed down the road for dinner in a restaurant. I sat in-between my two best girls. We got drinks and salad and pizza. We talked and sprinkled pizza with extra cheese and hot peppers. Tables around us filled up. We ate together, texting pictures to Shane of their smiling faces and how we missed him. His seat at the foursome empty. Around us, strangers.

Into the car to get girls into hot baths for a late-night movie date in the living room. Complete with mani-pedis. And s'mores.

One thousand gifts and still counting (2876-2900)

a field of buttercups
and Erin, small, sitting surrounded and plucking
meeting a new neighbor
tractor rides
the smell of freshly cut grass

a garden to prep
new herbs planted, gifted by Linda: bay leaf, thyme and oregano
friends in a Bible study
encouragement by email
navel oranges

juicy, ripe cantaloupe
chocolate chip, white chip cookies in the freezer
my kids' delight over a favorite
buttercups in a cup of water on the table
a woodpecker in the front yard

wind chimes
a new opportunity to serve at church
sore shoulders and back from yard work
clean laundry

good hugs
jump rope games with the girls and Linda
play with new friends
her mama love songs recorded and saved
her little hand waving from the garden

Monday, April 16, 2012

One thousand gifts and still counting (2849-2875)

training wheels off
a daddy's steady hand behind her

heart-shaped flower blossoms in the garden for us to find
a reading bench for two
Aesop's fables
a chocolate bar to share
my garden helper, Erin

peanut butter cupcakes
pizza slices
a night out after church
visits with friends this week

double play dates on Sunday
encouragement for new endeavors
doggie fever (oh, coonhounds!)
a late-night visit at David and Anita's

how gentle and present she is with the girls
his years and insight
that he calls me daughter
a gifted bowl, for grace

two bottles of Vouvray (one to give away, one to keep)
salted caramel chocolates
a new Bible study, Angela Thomas Brave
her insight on thorns
new joy for old trials

Friday, April 13, 2012

Oh, Friday

Up earlier, caffeinated sooner, showered and dressed. A lengthy phone call about books, taps on my leg for attention and interruption, snacks served. I send them out because the sun is shining and it's a beautiful day.

In a quiet house, I watch them scooter and bike in the driveway. Scamper through the garden. Lanie's bike a colorful blur in the sunlight and her streams sparkle. I think about how good the simple things are. Somewhere a neighbor is riding his tractor and cutting the grass. Cherry blossoms lay strewn across the lawn like snowflakes. A hawk was perched on a branch right outside the dining room window. Purple-shaded petunias are planted in the window boxes. Today's lessons piled high next to me, but first, life. Good life.

Lanie runs in, jacket off, cheeks flushed, gets a drink. Erin follows. And they both run back out. The captain's bell rings and rings. I hear squeals and laughter. These are the sounds of home.

Monday, April 9, 2012

One thousand gifts and still counting (2831-2848)



an aunt's flowers in the garden

farm trip with friends

animals to feed


and races

deliveries by a neighbor

his 76th birthday

the tree Joel likes

a hair cut

Easter with family

my dad

garden egg hunt--go!

that garden
a happy day

Monday, April 2, 2012

One thousand gifts and still counting (2812-2830)

music from a music box in a 5 year old's room
a ceiling up
a bowl made by a friend, for a friend
a late-night chat with Kristine

perspective, changed
little girls running all over this yard
the smell and softness of towels, warm, out of the dryer
Amy at lunch
chocolatey hands

a new do
a maiden voyage on the tractor
a cut dedicated to Shane, Cindy and Bob (my father-in-law)
an Easter egg hunt at a friend's
crazy worship

giggling kids and Happy Meals
hot water
a full day's work
tan lines on my skin from sunny days
a family date out to eat (tonight! celebrating 13 years married)