On Clearing and Cultivating

Eight years ago, two months after we landed in a new place, spring unfolded like the twelve days of Christmas, each morning bestowing blossoms of a new color. Crocus peeked over the winter’s covering of melting snow. Creeping phlox draped over the rock wall and tidy circles of hosta poked through the mat of the previous autumn’s fallen leaves. A small band of hyacinth and tulips held their blooms aloft near the cluster of tiny grape hyacinth massed at the base of a tree, a tree that revealed itself to be a redbud. Daffodils danced betwixt them all and even at the edge of the {Continue Reading}

She Needed Me to Play

Sometimes, when we head west, we land for a few days at a cabin. In a meadow in Custer National Forest, it’s far enough from civilization that the siren song of phone, internet, and television falls silent, replaced by the gentler sounds of wind in the trees and water dancing over boulders. There, the weather unfolds in the sky rather than on radar. After a series of bright, high country autumn days, the sun succumbed to a veil of clouds which rolled in over the mountain, bringing with them a cold, splashy snow that blanketed everything it touched. It fell through the afternoon and {Continue Reading}

Adele and the Rearview Mirror

At our Christmas celebration the cover image of a magazine in my parents’ living room caught my eye. It featured Adele. I like reading about celebrities, usually in germ-infested copies of People magazine at the doctor’s office. I wasn’t at the doctor’s and this wasn’t People. It was Time magazine. All I knew about Adele was that she’s known for taking a different-than-usual celebrity path.  So I picked up the magazine and read about her decision to step back from the limelight for a few years after the birth of her child, that her next album will be released too late to meet the eligibility {Continue Reading}

Because Sometimes We Forget

Once upon a time I looked at the empty picnic tables at interstate rest areas  and wondered Who uses those?  I never saw them in use and our stops were always quick and utilitarian. Then J and I had kids. Each of our three children was less than a year before we carted them off on their first thousand-mile-one-way road trip. With the combination of little ones and that kind of mileage, I learned to see rest areas with new eyes. Beyond the continual requests for potty breaks, our kids needed to move, to get the wiggles out. At rest areas they ran. Down the sidewalks. Over the grass. On the {Continue Reading}

Why Summer Matters

A tiny ball of feline fluff has taken up residence in our garage. She moved in at the invitation of our youngest, herself a petite bundle of boundless energy. Our girlie made the little grey cat a bed, set up a feeding station, and installed a litter box, and then she set up a pup tent for herself. For two weeks she slept in a sleeping bag on a concrete floor because right now her energy is focused on waiting for the arrival of the summer’s kittens. Kittens don’t always arrive in the long glory days of summer. Sometimes they’re born in September and {Continue Reading}

Celebrating Spring

Spring is well underway and I’m celebrating. Some of these celebrations are borne from intention while others occur as naturally as breath. They are, in random order: Color Green grass and leaves, flowering trees and shrubs are here. They’ve created a feast for my earth-tone weary eyes and I am grateful. Time After a long too-busy season, life for our family slowed enough for us to take a deep breath. That same season, known at our house as robotics, may come again. We’re trying to decide whether or not to say “yes” to that and, if so, how we’ll approach it {Continue Reading}

What If?

My husband was away recently for a few days of out-of-town work and instead of going to sleep at reasonable hour, I stayed up and binge read the blog of a writer I’d heard interviewed earlier that day. I read her entire blog–all five years of it–over the course of two late nights. (Because what sane woman would need a good night’s rest when everyone in the family is just a wee bit off because a Key Member of the Household is gone?) On the bleary-eyed morning after the first night, I staggered down the hall, through the dark living room, and {Continue Reading}

One Step Toward Perspective

It’s early April, and here in the midwest, already spring’s verdant march across the lawn toward the front door is more than a hint or a dream. The bright landscape leaves no question that winter, though it could at any moment clench its frosty fist, has lost its grip. A new season is under way. Here at Along This Road and in my life, it’s a time of quiet, a silence I’m breaking for a moment to ask about your season. I ask because I believe there is a time and a season for all things and, for me, remembering {Continue Reading}

The Wonder of Winter

There is a time for everything. I know this. I believe it. The thing is, when a sliver of life overwhelms me, I forget it. I tend to operate on the assumption that whatever is going on in my life–good or bad, joy or sorrow–will last forever. The seasons, especially as they change, remind me that this is not true. Seasons give me hope. They prompt me to take stock and be grateful. These are the silver linings, the small wonders, the little comforts that have contributed to my sanity in this season of cold, of short days and long nights. Snow. {Continue Reading}