We’ve taken to watching a little football at our house on Sunday afternoons and when the talk turns to the Super Bowl, I remember the day I found some unexpected beauty in Yellowstone. Oh, I expected to find beauty, but not indoors, not around the television, and not watching football. In memory of that day, a repost–because great good is on my mind, and it can be found in the most surprising places. We dragged ourselves into Yellowstone’s Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel according to plan, just after midnight Sunday morning. We’d driven twenty hours and that last one was hard. We {Continue Reading}

A Little Thing

The littlest things make a difference, little things such as bits of scarlet in a tangle of brown on a winter’s day. It’s often true, what Blaise Pascal wrote: A little thing comforts us because a little thing afflicts us. A little thing can make all the difference. What little thing is making a difference for you today? Sharing this week at Thought Provoking Thursday and Unforced Rhythms. {Continue Reading}

Room, Or No?

The year I got married, my husband’s mom told me she’d read that the Christmas season brings thirty-nine additional items to a woman’s already overflowing to-do list. At the time I thought the number seemed a wee bit overstated but with age and experience, I’ve learned that the exact number doesn’t matter. Whatever it is, it’s enough. More than enough. We address cards and clean houses. We go to programs and the post office. We buy and we bake.  We decorate. We deliver. In no time, the pages of our calendars are crammed with concerts and gatherings. There’s no room {Continue Reading}


Fall is days from turning in its papers for the year but between the early sticking snows and arctic blast I nearly missed it. And not only its existence–I almost missed its gifts. Fall is my favorite season but it just didn’t look like its typical self this year. Neither did its gifts. Normally my list would include the stretch of glorious, crisp, sun warmed days of October. Not this year. The few we had moved by so fast I barely noticed. That has been the nature and challenge of this fall—moving fast. Our kids are getting older; their lives are {Continue Reading}

Before It Blows Away

  The screen door crashed and muted footfalls raced across the carpet. “Come outside and look at the sky before it blows away!” called my littlest girl. “Before what blows away?” “The sky, it’s beautiful! But the clouds are moving really fast. I’m afraid you’ll miss it if you don’t come now, before the clouds blow away.” I sighed.  What I really wanted to do was finish the dishes, but I dried my hands and followed my husband out the front door and up the driveway where we took our place behind our daughter. She gazed up at an impressionist’s {Continue Reading}

Rest Area Closed

Two years ago my family, parents, brother and sister-in-law, nephew and niece, along with the ones who live in my house–the whole tribe—made the drive to our current summer gathering place: Campfire Bay in Minnesota. That was the year that the Minnesota government shut down while it wrangled over the budget. Minnesota itself remained open, of course, but the interstate rest areas were closed. We didn’t suffer too much. The gas stations and fast food restaurants along the way filled the gap and provided us and the other interstate travelers a place to stop for a restroom, a drink, or {Continue Reading}

The Road Ahead: September

One Sunday I walked out of church into the late morning sun and noticed a friend’s sweet daughter prancing around near the street. She skipped right over to me when I called to her.  I got down on one knee so that we could see each other’s faces and we talked about the dangers of the street. At the end of our conversation, she looked at me with big eyes and said, “I like your mouth.” Um, what were we talking about again? Neither of us knew. Distraction is sneaky that way. As we enter this season of school and sports and {Continue Reading}

Soundtrack of Summer

I planned to watch this year. Maybe it was lack of competition from central air units, but this summer’s been all about sound. Here’s a baker’s dozen of my favorites: “Goin’ out!” followed by the banging of a door Frogs. Oh, how I love their way of filling the air with song. Birds. Ditto. Cicadas. The seventeen-year variety was novel enough and loud enough that they didn’t make me sad. The mews of newborn kittens, a sound we haven’t had here in five years The cries and rustlings of our newborn nephew Loons Motorboats Fishing line spinning out over the {Continue Reading}

Gifts of Spring

Bird song mingled with the rumbles of highway trucks. The force of green marching through the woods toward the house. Pastures dotted with red and black cattle and frolicsome calves on the hills. The sound of a sudden rain–the kind that starts out like it means business. The early morning changing of the guard between birds and  frogs. The sweet scent of a flowering bush carried on the breeze. Open windows, by day and by night. Especially by night. The geese and ducks which visit the pond. Light. More light. Early morning light. Redbud trees vibrating with bees. Cats stretched out in the {Continue Reading}