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}

Gifts

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}

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}

In The Silence

Morning is quiet again. Sort of. The distant whine is gone and when I step out on my deck, birds are all I hear. The cicadas started early this summer–not the usual ones, not the dog day ones, not the ones that make me sad. These were the Magicicada Brood III, the Iowa Brood, the ones that emerge every seventeen years. Their noise traveled through the woods every morning and stayed for the day. The ones in our trees were quiet until the sun hit hard, as though they wanted more sleep before they added their rolling rhythm to the collective drone. They slipped {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}

The Road Ahead: April

Sometimes the road curves. Some are gentle, bends visible from a long way off. Others stop my heart when their convoluted curve-ahead sign pops into view as I cruise along, a distracted driver relying too heavily on auto-pilot. Three mornings into April, the road stretches out straight as an Iowa highway. This will be a month filled with good things. It’s busier than I would like, but I know that both the busy and the good are temporary. And while I think I know what lies ahead, straight is not the same as straightforward and even Iowa highways sometimes take {Continue Reading}

Watch With Me?

During finals week of my sophomore year I noticed a two columned list, double-sided, on my college roommate’s desk. It was titled My Life From Now Until I Die. She had a lot to do. College is like that. So is life. In my first post here at Along This Road, after I accused my to-do list of eating my goals and dreams and declared that in 2013, it was going on a  goal-free, dream-free diet. (If you missed it, you can read it here.) While the internet bulges with information on gluten-free living, I had to make up the {Continue Reading}