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Showing posts from January, 2024


 In early June I had my younger brother John up to a cabin.  He had come a long way to be there with me.  Where he traveled from, the sun rose over the ocean every day and set near the mountains. He could see them both from his porch. Here, in northern Wisconsin, was a small lake, not an ocean. There were no mountains-just a tree line that was sprouting furled leaves not long after the snow melted. And there wasn’t a porch with a view. You had to walk, with warm slippers and hot tea, out to the end of a weather-worn pier to catch the sunrise.  Which I did, while he was there.  I think it was the most beautiful sunrise I experienced in 2023.  I’ve learned that life is funny that way; the seemingly unremarkable moments-can become exquisite when you know…they are fleeting. Or when you face the harsh reality, that they are gone. I never made it to his porch across the world, when he was alive, to share the views he wanted to share with me.  But I’m realizing now that all along-we always we


 I’m grateful for those… Who share sunrises with me, or send them-you renew in me a sense of hope Who hike the trail with me-you help connect me to what is true Who travel with me-to the store, on a trip, in a relationship, or on the journey of this lifetime-you help me experience the comfort of companionship Who have been hurt by me-and hopefully forgiven me, you’ve humbled and softened me to be better Who have been my teacher-you’ve expanded my perspective Who have left me-in a business, a relationship, from this life-you remind me what matters to me, and what I need to care for tenderly Who work with me-on houses, buildings, cabins, businesses and financial plans-you teach me teamwork and how to think wider Who have interacted from a distance-on social media with a comment, as a stranger handing me your child to hold for a photo in India, as a reader of my book somewhere I”ve never been-you’ve shown me how connections matter Who have left this life too early-you’ve shown me what equ

Third Born

 This girl was the third born. The one who stayed behind when her sisters were dropped off at school and she was yet too young. Who hung out with me in the woods having warm peanut butter sandwiches and apple slices on a log when her sisters were learning to read.  She was the one who spent rainy weekends with me when her siblings went off to college. Who went away with me on spring breaks to warm beaches, and stayed home with me on snow days reading in front of the fireplace.  She is the one who held my dad’s hand as he was dying. Who held me close and held me up when another recently left this world. Who went with me to pick up each of our pups. The one who was by my side as our house was built, the cabin picked out, the mill fixed up. She is steadfast. Gentle. Kind to her core. She’s lifetimes wiser than me. And she is the best friend anyone could ask for.  Our life was blessed 22 years ago when she brightened the world with her birth. It has been glittering because of her being, ev


This is my younger brother John.  We received the devastating news that he died a few days ago. The shock of this is exceeded only by the overwhelming grief we are feeling. I’m not sure what to write here. The words are stuck in the deepest place in my heart. I’m sitting  in the quietest early morning hours at my cabin. The last time I saw John was around a trip here last spring, fishing together. He caught a northern and was happy about that. He let it go so it could keep living.  I’m looking out at the lake. At the place we floated…it is now empty, with only the reflection of the dying season stretching across the water. I’m gazing at the spot we sat in a small row boat only a few months ago…talking about things I don’t remember now because we both through it was one of many family trips we’d continue having together.  I was wrong. John was a strong person with the most tender heart I’ve ever met. He was witty. An extreme athlete, he read classic literature, was brilliant, both intel

Quiet Trail

 I’m drawn to a quiet trail where the pine needles soften the steps. Where the sky is honest blue and the leaves are unabashedly ablaze. Trout streams bantering their way down mountains. And folks on the trail share in hushed tones the reverence of all that is wild and free. #somewhereintherockies

I love…

 I love an off-the-beaten-path place where the town is small and the people friendly. You share a mug of beer in a bar with your favorites, a pool table and the locals. Where you r dog is always welcome. The hotel is old, the trail is steep, the air is pure and thin. And the day fades quietly behind a mountain. 

Last First Day

 The first day of school was always a monumental event in our house. The kids would choose their favorite outfit to wear. We’d curl their hair. Put on new backpacks in favorite colors. And we’d gather on the front porch of our house early in the morning and take first day of school photos. My parents would come. And we’d all wish the young ones a good good year ahead. The day would end with sleepy smiles and hungry tummies, waiting to share all of the ups and downs of how the day went over warm homemade cookies and nut milk.  This first photos is Kaiti on her very FIRST first day of school. That day held the promise of years of education ahead of her. Of dreams the size of seeds not yet even planted.  The second photo shows Kaiti on her LAST first day of school, ever. Taken this week. Her dreams that were planted and carefully sown, have grown, through the years, into something quite beautiful. And now this last first day holds the promise of wisdom gained and unknown blessing already

Beautiful Book Moments

 Being an author is often times a lonely experience. Writing is most often done solo-in a coffee shop, home studio, or along a stream and under a tree. But every once in an awhile there are these beautiful moments of connection. Like learning that my books share the shelf with a dear friend’s book, in a charming little store called, Field and Forage in a far away place in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan. 

A Good Dad

 A good dad takes his young daughter on early morning hikes in a wild field that would someday become a road. He guides his three young kids on bike rides on quiet summer Sunday mornings along empty sidewalks in a charming town. They stop midway to get donuts and chocolate milk. A good dad brings his young ones to the office on Saturday afternoons and keeps gum in his desk drawer as a surprise. They sing together on their car ride to and from. He brings a gold fish home for the one who is sick with a sore throat.  Valentine’s gifts for them all. Blows balloons for birthdays. He is Santa. And maybe the tooth fairy. No one could ever find out. A good dad is a good husband-gentle. Kind. Thoughtful. Soft voices with his wife as they drive before dawn on the long road up to the cabin, their young ones stretched out in the station wagon-drowsy but excited for their adventure.  A good dad says, “I trust them to make their own decisions.” And is understanding when the decisions are mistakes. H

Kindness as a Lifestyle

 When we would visit my dad in the memory care unit, we were never sure what sort of visit we would have with him. Sometimes, we’d peek around the corner and there he’d be, among the other residents. He’d glance up, see us, and a giant smile would spread on his face; we’d know that it would be a time we could reminisce a bit about old times.  There were other visits, of course, where we’d come to him in his wheelchair, and gently draw him out of wherever it is he was in his mind, and he’d look at us and offer a meek smile. My dad wouldn’t know who we were-he couldn’t place us as more than strangers. But here’s the thing…no matter if he recognized us as his beloved children or grandchildren, or if he thought we were strangers…every visit, without fail, he offered us his chair. Or something to eat. A stick of gum. He offered us his unbiased kindness. It didn’t matter who we were…it was who he was. He was kind from within.  When he passed, that stuck with us. The idea that even in the dar