White Spaces

You all know that I struggle with feeling overwhelmed by the shear magnitude of everyday life…and that I underwent surgery late last week. The irony is that I wrote a piece for another blog about the spiritual discipline of rest…and they published it the day I was under the knife.

Talk about forced rest.

But it was a reminder that even in life’s unexpected, we have the opportunity to view upheaval as rest. But how do we find a moment to take a breath? And why are white spaces important?

I invite you to hop over to one of my favorite blogs and read my post to find out:

http://www.mudroomblog.com/whitespaces/

Ode to In Between Places

Oh the places between here and there.

It’s not quite spectacular white winter or lush green spring. It’s that place where you’re not young or old. Neither starting nor finishing. We’re neither here nor there, but on our way somewhere.

If only I knew where somewhere was.

Continue reading “Ode to In Between Places”

There’s Something About Rain

rain
It’s been hot. Stifling even, and summer hasn’t even started in earnest yet. The sun over head glaring down, burning away at this crust of earth. The moisture in the ground giving in, and rising up in choking humidity.

But today, today, we awoke to the grey of coming rain. The air heavy in anticipation.

When the drops come, they come heavy, wrapped in a symphony for the senses.

The constant shushing against leaves, pinging on the Continue reading “There’s Something About Rain”

Adult-Sized Problems, Childlike Solution

Adult-SizedIt was a mixed up kind of day. Grey clouds engulfing the sun only to have the sun burn through, lighting the woods in snips and patches.

I could see my daughter’s bright blue coat flitting between the just leafing out trees. Hunting a critter, building a fort, or some such childhood imagining. The neighbor kid voices rose and fell in excitement until half blue with cold they all stumbled through my door in search of water, a snack, and an ear to listen to their adventures.

It had been a rough day. I was running into an issue with my editorial work. And then running into it again. And then again…Those days everyone has sometimes.

As I listened to my kids’ chatter, it reminded me of the times when the hill behind my childhood house was a mountain and the squirrels were bears chasing my brothers and I. Or when we were lost in the “expansive” woods, and horsetail reeds became scavenged salads—definite survival food.

I miss those times. Times when imagination bled into real life. Where anything could be imagined better. And I realized there’s something to a childlike perspective that we, as adults, need to rediscover.

Not that we can to ignore Continue reading “Adult-Sized Problems, Childlike Solution”

There’s Something About Thursday: A Mother’s Hands

It’s time for one of the two Thursdays of every month where I give a nod to the things that make us stop and say, “There’s something about . . .”

IMG_4962 (1)

It was 4 am and my son had a stomachache. We’d already been up together for hours trying to find something, anything to help relieve the pain. At 1 and then again at 3:30 we tried warm bath, which temporarily helped, but we couldn’t sleep there. Ice pack only made it worse, a warm rice bag prevented tears, until it cooled . . . and still no sleep. Even vomiting an hour earlier didn’t relieve his tear-filled, curled-in pain.

I sat wedged in a corner, exhausted, cradling my boy’s head, thumb tracing down his face—forehead to nose, forehead to nose. My boy’s eyelids drooped as he whimpered and grabbed my hand. His small hands still dimpled at the knuckles, mine starting to show the ridges of age.

I was struck by the familiar sight. This fusion of old and young is one I’d seen before. Continue reading “There’s Something About Thursday: A Mother’s Hands”

There’s Something About Spring Unfurled

It’s time for one of the two Thursdays of every month where I give a nod to the things that make us stop and say, “There’s something about . . .”

1

Spring. The warm air breathes life and this weekend, I drank it in. Weeding, prepping beds, setting up our trampoline, photographing all the life.

Every new leaf budding in a green so hot and bright it nearly melts the frosty morning on its own. The colors seem so out of place bursting above Winter’s dead debris. How yellow stamps out the cold snaps that carry Continue reading “There’s Something About Spring Unfurled”

Find Your Way

Finding My Way-3
I can’t believe that it’s been 3 years since I lost my grandma, my friend. My memories with her are still so vivid…

•  Garish orange, yellow, and green Tupperware stashed in her cupboard containing cookies stale from summer’s humidity.
•  Her fingers, knuckles swollen with arthritis, clutching a hand of cards.
•  Red raspberries we cousins snuck from her bushes.
•  The taste of her lemonade. No one made it better.

And later . . .

•  Her laughter crackling over the phone when she told me the stories of trying and failing to live up to her mother’s expectations.
•  The citrus smell of Constant Comment tea as we sat at her little table talking . . . especially after I found out my parents were splitting for good.
•  Her still form in the casket across the room. I couldn’t bear to get closer and really see.

This last weekend, before it registered that it was the anniversary of Gramma’s death, I started going through my grandparent’s WWII era papers. My grandfather’s sprawling notes about airplane props and engines, my grandmother’s diary from her college days, his denied request to be trained as a helicopter pilot in the 1950’s.

Finding My Way

It makes me think about the differences between my life and theirs. The things I wish I had and the things I’m glad I don’t.

Despite the fact I’m not quite done with my first book, I’m beginning to see pieces of the next one. Maybe I’ll find her again in it and get one last word of advice. “Find your way, sweetheart . . . find your way.”

Regardless, I’m thankful for the things my Gramma taught me and looking forward to talking with her again some day.

Love you Gramma. See you again soon.

There’s Something About Tuesday: Ordinary

Ordinary

I can hear the whir of the dryer just under the sound of the kids playing soccer in the front yard. Dinner isn’t made. It’s five o’clock. And I can’t make myself worry about it. I’m having too much fun watching the kids laugh as they chase the ball—my girl with focused determination and my dude with antics and laughter.

The sun is breathing the first heat of spring and my skin soaks it up. Sometime within the last few days the daffodils have shot out of the ground and the buds have tipped, nearly bursting with their glorious yellow skirts. And the robins, frogs, ducks, heron, and other fair-weather friends have returned in full force creating a symphonic cacophony of summer sounds.

I can’t get enough.

Except,

In two months time it will all be so ordinary. And it’s a shame that the wonderful ordinary will go unnoticed.

I’ll be tempted leave behind the wonder when the everdayness wears the glory thin.

Tweet This

So today, I challenge myself along with you to remember. Remember the blackness of the ant crawling across the sun warmed deck. The fluffiness of the first dandelion gone to seed. The smell of fresh air and dirt stained kids.

Savor today. Taste and see that it is good.

Tweet This

Now it’s your turn. Share your favorite wonderful ordinary with the rest of us…

Trust, Sweat, and Tears

Trust, Sweat, TearsI sat on the edge of my son’s bed, hands shaking, stomach roiling at the thought of what I had to do. String thread through my fingers, a loop hung in the middle.

His eyes were wide, tears brimming. It had to be done and there was no one else to do it.

The only reason my son sat still as I reached into his mouth, was because he trusted that I loved him . . . and it was, after all, only a tooth that needed to be pulled. Continue reading “Trust, Sweat, and Tears”

Why I Hate Christmas

IMG_4217I’ll be honest, most of the time I love Christmas. It is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year.

But the Christmases of my distant memory are often haunted with darkness and loneliness—a desperate longing unmet.

Perhaps that’s why I work so hard to make Christmas full and bright, as much for my kids as for my husband and me. A celebration of all the good, happy, pretty things.

Red and green. Gold and silver.
Polished up kids, on the best behavior.
Shiny packages, bright with promise.

For the most part, and for most December 25ths, the magic glitter of Christmas works. But any one day can’t live up to the burden consistently and it frays at the edges, threatening to rip open from the pressure of little sleep, excess sugar, and packing in too much in too little time with too many people.

It’s a wonder we ever make it through without falling through a chasm—a la Griswold Christmas.

Continue reading “Why I Hate Christmas”