Sunday, December 8, 2013

All The Time

"How do you accidentally knock them off, Jack?" I frown at the 200 cookie avalanche. Danish butter cookies.

Jack's shoulders slump. Eyes round and ocean blue, a meniscus of tears, he blinks. "I, I," he stammers, all that cerulean love crestfallen down his cheeks.

"It's ok," I say, try to rewind, "stuff like this happens all the time." I speak and something like hope buoys us, something like walking on water. He grabs me around the waist, wipes tears on my sweater.

We eat the cookies.

And we read about the martyrs, the early church. Then on to chores, I wrestle the gangly landscape of a quilt through my machine.

"I might want to bring this with me if I can," Lucy says. I look up from the sewing machine. She tucks a mint green primer into her elbow, pats it. We Learn About God it says across the top.

"Where?" I say my shoulder pressed into the heaving heft of that quilt.

"Into jail." She nods, serious, cheerful.

"Oh." All that panorama of quilt and all I can see is her oval face, pleasant, purposed.

"So I can tell them about Adam and Eve and God if I can," she says. I feel it, the gathering of strength, the tracing of courage, the audacity of meekness.

I smile into the nucleus of her eyes, nod.

A rehearsal. She's planning the future.

That huge quilt sprawled over the dining room table, and still, I stare at that little girl.

Stuff like this happens all the time. My words come back to me. All the time, just below the surface, something strong and beautiful holds us.


5019. Our thirteen year old popcorn maker falls apart. Craig brings us a new one.

5020. Mom helps me pin the layers of my quilt into place. We eat peppermint bark popcorn, sip coffee, let the afternoon drape over the folds of the quilt. It's the one I started when Jane was a baby.

5021. I join the ranks of women who have machine quilted a king size quilt. I even sewed a binding.

5022. To my radiant wife, the note begins. I find it on my coffeemaker when I awake.

5023. "Mom," Myra announces, "when you warm the butter up in your bread, pretty soon it will get really juicy. Last time I did it, and it was really juicy."

5024. My mom and her sister meet at Grampa's to decorate for Christmas.

5025. I get Jeremy and Kimberly Sorensen's Christmas Album.

5026. I catch a Friday morning coffee with a dear, dear friend. We spur each other on. Encouragement abounds.

5027. Our Christmas tree dies. Craig gets us a new one.

5028. Jane and I sneak away to buy gifts.

5029. We get our family pictures from Miss Rose Emily. Love!

5030. We hang the prints as part of Christmas decorating.

5031. We listen to A Christmas Carol unabridged while we decorate.

5032. We listen to A Pilgrim's Progress. I didn't know it was written from prison.

5033. Jane braids a necklace for me, a tiny butterfly at the bottom.

5034. I make two gallons of spaghetti sauce. For all the joy of eating spaghetti on the coast, I want it again. I haven't made it in ten years.

5035. We skim into the crest of a new week, expectant, content.


  1. "Juicy" Bread... I LOVE this! I know exactly what she means.

  2. Butter Bread. MMmmMMM MM

    And considerations for what to bring to prison. Tells a lot about what is valued. Brings me to my knees.