Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2023

A Good Thing?

  When I was a little girl, my mom and dad shared their appreciation for bluebirds with us. My dad put bluebird houses up in our yard, hoping to attract them. My mom needlepointed sayings with bluebirds on, and found small glass sculptures of the tiny birds to place around our house.   I think for them, those “bluebirds of happiness” truly did represent the peace and joy that was within the walls of our home.  When I grew up and moved to eventually land  in the house I now live in, I tried desperately to attract bluebirds. Put out houses. Bought a whistle. Bluebird food.  But…never one.  But over the past few years, with my mom passed and my dad declining, I would awaken many mornings to a soft hammering on my house. At the highest point on one corner of the outside in the cedar siding, a woodpecker was diligently creating a hole. Each time I’d see him working his way through the side of my house, I’d wonder how I was going to deal with this issue, for surely a hole made by a bird in o


  Back in the day… Before cell phones Before land lines were obsolete Before my mom died, She and I had a late-night code: one of us would call the other and let it ring only once (so as not to wake everyone as all the phones in the house would ring) when we had something to talk about.  The other would know to return the call. No matter what hour of the night.  We would’ve already spoken that day, and we were living only a few houses apart from each other so there’s a good chance we had visited too, but those late night calls-when the world settled down to stillness and silence…we would share what only mothers and daughters share.  It was such a simple gesture, those calls.  I probably took it for granted-the fact that my mom was just one ring away.  But those moments became some of my favorite memories.  My mom is gone now but still, I leave my cell phone ringer on at night.  I say it’s for emergencies  but I think equally so it’s for the non-emergencies-when one of my daughters feel


  I remember the huge auditorium I sat in, on a fall afternoon at UW Madison. It was the introduction to student teaching. The professor stood  in front of the room full of college kids eager to have our “first classroom.” He said, “If you aren’t asleep by  8 pm  each night because the day of teaching has exhausted you, you are doing something wrong.”  I distinctly remember shaking my head and laughing to myself saying, “there’s no way…”  I made it through seven years of teaching elementary students before I became a mom. I taught in what would be considered for many reasons, a non-challenging district. During those teaching years,  I made it to  7 pm  on good nights before falling asleep exhausted.  Fast forward to now. I’m no longer in the classroom. But some of my most favorite people are-my daughter, sister-in-law, and friends teach young ones in the classroom. I hear some of the stories-the above and beyond that teachers must do these days to help these young kids learn, immersed

Moon Rise

  “Do you want to catch the moon rise?” An invite.  The drive.  Walk on damp sand through fading light.  A small smoldering fire for warmth. Gratitude.  Picnic chairs facing east.  Nearly cloudless night.  Mugs of water handed out.  Winter coats.  A Great Lake.  Laughter in hushed tones.  Talking of old memories while making new.  Timing just right.  A moon that pushes up in shades of sunrise.  A cold Wisconsin spring night.  Lunar light stretching in a dazzling path.  Across water.  And time.  Connecting us.  Somewhere in a remote place  on a dark night - lit by starlight and moon beams.  A gift beyond measure. Surrounded by salt of the earth souls.  #priceless  #illtreasureforever Live Your Light

A Million Dozen Perfect Roses

  This rose is a part of a bouquet that I received yesterday. Brought over by a friend.  “We are putting the house up for sale, you know, next week. We needed flowers for photos. But now that the photos are taken, I thought you might enjoy these flowers. So I brought them…as a congratulations for your successful April Fools day yesterday,” she said.  But we both knew it wasn’t in celebration of my pranks.  It was because soon, when these friends move across the country, she won’t be able to stop over on a lazy  Sunday morning  to say hi anymore.  We won’t be able to meet on a trail and let the dogs run together as we talk about manuscripts and grown kids and life.  We won’t gather on a Saturday for a bonfire or game night. Run into each other in the grocery store. Or spend the day at a book store in quietness, just appreciating good literature and each other’s company.  I think the flowers she brought me was a reminder of what a good thing we had- small town friends who in their own ri

As If For the First Time

I arrived just before sunrise.  To a beach along the ocean.  When I stepped from the boardwalk to the sand I noticed shoes. Shed at the doorway of the beach.  I did the same-left my shoes. Then joined the others waiting for day break as we stood in silence and hushed tones. Some alone. Some holding hands. All waiting in awe for the daily great event as if it would be seen for the first time.  I’ve witnessed this in other places too-sunrises, of course, but I’m speaking of the shedding of shoes.  At homes where I’m the guest we slide off shoes as we hug and hand off flowers and wine.   In remote temples in the mountains of Colorado there are shoes in a small pile at the entrance.  At morning meditations gathering along the shores of the Ganga in India.  At a hut in Costa Rica.  On the back porch of our cabin where books are read on rainy summer nights.  I think this leaving of shoes at the entrance thing isn’t just for comfort. Or only convenience or even cleanliness.  I think it’s a wa

Adopt a puppy?

  I think these two have destroyed three couches? At least 8 rugs. Gnawed on walls.   Legs of tables.  And toes.  They’ve hidden shoes. Swallowed socks.  They’ve barked when I’ve needed quiet.  Jumped up when I’ve needed gentle.  Dragged mud onto white bedding. White rugs. White sweaters.  But… they brought happiness to my dad in his final days. Comfort to me and my daughters when our hearts were breaking.  They’ve protected.  Cuddled. Loved. And are-with complete and dedicated commitment-loyal to who we each are. No questions asked.  “Should I get a puppy?” I’ve been asked. my answer, when I think about couches and messes and sleepless nights… “If you want to understand what true connection is. What love is. What pricelessness is. Then-yes.  Adopt a puppy.” #nationalpuppyday  #isnteverydaydogday? Live Your Light

Oceans Apart

  Strolling the beach of the Atlantic. My 21 year old daughter alongside. Who once, seeming to me not so long ago, was a wee one, exploring the same water with eyes the color of ocean.   We come upon a toddler, standing knee deep in salty froth, for what was for us, ankle deep.  His chocolate curls stark contrast to the blue sky. He is holding a red plastic beach toy.  Behind him are his folks-who look to me to be grandparents. In the ocean-far too deep and far out for his liking, are his parents. Neither set was paying his deepest immediate need much heed.  Which was-to fill his plastic toy with ocean water.  He’s yelling to get attention, but no one hears.  So I say, to the boy and to the memory of my toddler daughter,  “I can help you fill that up. Would you like me to?”  I reach my hand out.  He looks up, with eyes as liquid as the sea, and nods,  Yes.  Expecting him to hand me the plastic toy, and solve his problem, scooping and filling in one easy swoosh, is exactly not what happ

Snowed In

  Possibly:   Late winter heavy snowfall. An Amazon driver delivers to a driveway not yet plowed.  She gets stuck. Without a shovel. My dogs warn me about a woman and a stick, struggling to dig herself out. Late, now, for her next delivery.  In a driveway not yet plowed.  It’s the stuff that lawsuits are made of.  Actually:  Early morning pretty snow.  Dogs tell me of a visitor, in our driveway, of fresh whiteness.  Strangers to each other- two women work together-using all their strength to heave a  mini van through frozen slush. Shoveling together. Strategizing together. Laughing a little.  “You press.”  “I’ll push.”  “Try this.”  “We can figure it out.” And “Yesss…”.  Waving to each other as she drives away, both a bit late, now, for our days.  But grateful, somehow, for the exchange. It’s the sparkle that Midwestern winters are made of.