Sometimes the Road is Dark

We don’t always get it right out on the trail. We knew it would be close. Still, we hopped out at the picnic area, grabbed a late lunch, and prepared to hit the trail to Harney Peak, the highest point in the Black Hills. My husband filled our camel paks while I reached into our well-stocked supply of nutritious and frivolous trail food. And then, at 3:00 in the afternoon, after an evening and part of a long day in the vehicle, we set out for Harney Peak. It was a six-mile loop, estimated to take four to five hours.  {Continue Reading}

The Road Ahead: May

Sometimes it’s the road behind that illuminates the way forward. A year ago we had a rare May snow. It was wet and heavy and didn’t stick around. It couldn’t. Our orbit around the Sun was too deep into the warmth of spring. So far, this spring is cold. It could snow again this May. Chances are that it won’t but if it does, it won’t be like last year. As Aslan told Lucy, “Things never happen the same way twice.” Our circumstances change and so do we. From this May we can glance back. A glimpse of where I stand {Continue Reading}

Falling Down In Denver

Occasionally my husband’s job requires him to travel. Once in a while, I tag along. He works while I spend silent hours with books. Our trip to Denver was different. He worked and I discovered HGTV. Forlorn and neglected, my books sat in a tidy stack on the bedside stand rather than spread across the desk. My attention was fixed on the transformation on the TV screen as I watched room after room go from dull and dysfunctional to lively and livable. What were books compared to the interesting ideas I could apply to our recently moved into home? After two {Continue Reading}


Linking this weekend with Still Saturday and The Sunday Community. {Continue Reading}

Now to Him

Linking this weekend with Still Saturday and The Sunday Community.


Twenty Januarys ago, the flat monotony of I-80 delivered us to the foothills of the Wasatch Range of the Utah Rockies and the threshold of the Big Cottonwood Canyon.  As Dad eased to a stop at the intersection leading to the canyon road, we saw a disheartening sign spray-painted on the face of a rock. Tall red letters issued a desperate plea: Pray for snow. Those were the days before and the Weather Channel’s easily accessible ten-day forecasts and tales of doom. It was winter. In the mountains. Of course there would be snow. There was. Sort of. The {Continue Reading}

For This December: On Being Stretched

When my uncle and aunt left their Century Farm in Iowa to ranch in Oklahoma they offered me much of what had been sitting, unused for generations, in their attic. There were books. Heaps of them.  My favorites were the old ones with worn covers, among them a frayed copy of The Jungle Book with my sweet great aunt’s name written inside the front cover, old school books, and a book of my great-uncle Lester’s titled Darkest Africa. Over the weekend I moved a stack of books from the bedroom to the dining room. The ones with red and green {Continue Reading}

On Feeling Lost

Because I inherited my zeal for vacation planning from my dad, it wasn’t long after he invited me to go to the writing class that we began to plot the hikes we would take along the way. He charted our route, one that would take us into Yellowstone through the Tetons where we would revisit the trail to Hidden Falls. We’d hiked it the first time he and mom took my brother and me to Yellowstone back when we were the ages that our own children are today. Six years later, I hiked the same trail with an Old Faithful {Continue Reading}

Every morning

The Canyon Area is an outpost of civilization near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone boasting two stores, a post office, Visitor Education Center, hotel, gas station and campground. A slow drive down a wooded lane leads campers away from commotion and commerce into an enveloping lodgepole forest. Among the pines, loop upon loop of campsites string together like so many cul-de-sacs,  an exclusive neighborhood in the woods. Our name was on the board. We had a place to pitch our tent. The pessimists breathed their sighs of relief and we drove on, headlights peeling back a sliver of the {Continue Reading}

For This October: Too Fast of Speed

Calling my husband’s family a water-sport loving family is like calling the arctic North, chilly. They’re hardcore. He grew up on skis. He also grew up clinging to his dad’s shoulders as his dad perched on a chair which was balanced precariously on a plywood disk (the “saucer”) as it skimmed across the water behind a boat. Skis? Normal. Saucer? Oh my. My son, who has thus far been spared the ski-on-pop-on-a-chair-on-a-wooden-disk circus trick, did spend the young years watching every wakeboarding move made by his grandpa, his dad, and his uncle. They were – and are – pretty good. Back when {Continue Reading}