Roads in Transition, Part 2

On December 12 the National Park Service posted a news release to inform the public that Yellowstone’s interior roads would open on December 15, just as predicted. Yellowstone’s fall and winter travelers knew when the road crews would start to let the snow build, when they’d get dangerous, and when they’d be safe for snow machines. They knew. Sometimes I wish I knew. You know, about changes, about transitions. About the things I’m waiting for and the ones I’m dreading. I imagine that a little more information would help me hang on. Often, a more accurate assessment would be that I desperately {Continue Reading}

Roads in Transition

The sun dawned in the steely sky and peeked through trees veiled by the falling snow. It had begun the night before and lingered, fine and heavy, through the day. “It’s slick,” my son told me when he returned from his mid-day Calc class. I must have looked concerned because he amended his statement. “The roads were fine. It’s the parking lot that was bad.” Of course, the roads were in better shape than the parking lot—the DOT turns the crews loose before the first flake hits the ground. They work to keep the roads neat and tidy, safe surfaces {Continue Reading}


Once in a while, we encounter the remains of a colossal tree on the trail. Sometimes we find an immense trunk laying on the ground rather than stretched to the sky. Usually, though, it’s a remnant of a root system tipped into the air that gets our attention. We always stop when we see a tangled mass that once anchored a tree. They’re beautiful, but not in the traditional way. They’re gnarled and convoluted, but they’re strong. They’re huge so they can hold a tree fast in the face of intense mountain weather. They make me consider the condition of my own roots. {Continue Reading}

For When It Rains On Your Parade

A few Saturdays ago, I woke to thunder and began to pray that it wouldn’t rain. Seconds later, I realized that it was 6:30 a.m., the time when my post The Best Thing One Can Do  was scheduled to land in inboxes, mine included. I wasn’t following Longfellow’s advice for a rainy day. Sometimes weather is a painful metaphor for life. Trials don’t have to come from camping to do their work, and their work isn’t limited to relationships. Chesterton says to look up. Longfellow, to let it rain. And James tells us to consider them with joy. None of those are {Continue Reading}

The Road Ahead: October

My oldest childrenwere six and three when Jonah—A Veggie Tales Movie came out. When we went to see it, they hopped down the street toward the theater with glee. All their favorites were on the big screen: Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber, Junior Asparagus, and Archibald the, well, we never did decide what Archibald was, but he played Jonah. The movie featured a new character, a decidedly non-vegetable named Khalil, a little guy who struggled to find his own road and turned to motivational tapes to help him find it–tapes which featured a soothing voice that told him useful bits {Continue Reading}

The Intruder

A low rumble of a growl, that’s how it started. Our first camping trip found us buried further down a country road than I had ever traveled, stuck on one of those rural grassy drives between dusty gravel and green pasture. The little red Plymouth Sundance that I brought into our marriage lost the battle with the deep ruts that passed for a driveway. My husband’s manly Jeep from antiquity would have prevailed, but we wouldn’t have been able to hold a conversation during the drive. So there we were, in my vehicle instead of his—a vehicle stranded with its {Continue Reading}

The Single Seat

During the first months of the year, a friend and I directed a play together: Outlaws, Goldmines, and Whatnot. On performance day, I realized that our directing work was done. Oh, we had makeup to help with, questions to answer, and I gave what one of the boys called my Storming the Beach at Normandy speech but now it was up to the actors. They had worked. They knew their lines. They understood their characters and their place in the story. What they didn’t know was how the audience would respond. The lights went down and the actors took the stage. The {Continue Reading}

What Made Her Sparkle

My great-grandma was a woman of summer. She kept a garden and her table overflowed with its bounty. She picked berries for jam and to top ice cream. Once in a while, I helped her in the berry patch or the garden and it always shocked me when she showed up in pants. The garden was the only place I ever saw her dressed that way and even there she wore a dress over them, with a long-sleeved shirt and a wide-brimmed straw hat. She was dressed to work. Right there are four important lessons I could have learned from {Continue Reading}

Broken Bits

I will not be posting during  June. Of the months of summer, it is June when my children are least busy and I want to put aside the distraction of the internet for that month. Between now and then, whether we–you and I–find ourselves at the ball field or the office, on the bike path or on the road, at a BBQ or in the laundry room,  I pray that the moments of summer–especially the fragile ones–will be filled the hope of redemption.  See you in July. When our youngest was not quite four we traveled to the North Carolina beach. In {Continue Reading}