Sunday, October 25, 2015


"I like sitting here snuggling you," I whisper, "even though I can't talk right now." Myra smiles. Adult conversation swirls around us. She's folded up like a map of the universe under my arm. She nods. I lean closer.

"I'm just trying to get a booger out of my nose," she whispers in full voice.

"Oh," I say from the corner of my mouth. I peek to see her cleaning her fingernails. Surrounded by a labyrinth of plaid, the old red couch engulfs us. It's a micro-universe.

"I got it," she says.

"Ok," I say.

Conversation splays in front of me. Craig and I talk principles and worldview. I try to listen more than I talk, but all the while this other universe unfolds just below the surface. Counterpoint. Many melodies at once, the chords interlock.


5616. Cerissa gives birth to a new life. Baby Theo arrives safe and perfect. Life resplendent greets us.

5617. "I cannot believe how sweet that baby is." Lucy whispers. She utters it absent minded as if still up that hospital room holding him.

5618. We have dinner on the farm and pick two boxes of apples, then swing from the rope up in the barn.

5619. I make a pan of lemon/lime bars from scratch.

5620. We start soup season with a stockpot brimming with chicken stock.

5621. Craig takes me on a date of thrifting, fast becoming a pastime of pleasure for us.

5622. Cerissa and Dan's kids while away the hours waiting for baby Theo at our house. Cousins, what joy.

5623. Mom and I have coffee and a morning of fall together. We gather groceries and run errands, laugh and speak life to each other.

5624. I start reading Oswald Chamber's My Utmost For His Highest. What a gem of a book.

5625. I finish knitting a bootie and hat set for Betsy.

5626. We thank the Lord for another week together. Character and love grows between us.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


"You are going to get very BIG," Myra says.

"Yeah," Joe says.

"'Cause people about your size get VERY big," she says. They nod, a collection of facts lolling between them.


"So if you forgive someone, does that mean they don't have to DO anything? Anything at all? Everything just goes back to normal?"

"Well, surely they have respond in SOME-way."

"But if they have to respond are you really forgiving them?"

"If you expect anything, is it really forgiveness?"

A debate. Theology circles our dinner table. Pizza and salad, brownies, pie, leftover dessert, we weigh and flex scripture against experience. Conversation flits like a flock of birds. Murmuration ensues.

"Surely they have to do something," someone says. "What if I punch you in the nose, and you forgive me, but I still say you deserved it? What then? Ya can't just go back to normal. Can you?"

"But God forgives us before we even ask," someone else says. "Forgive them for they know not what they do."

"But some people DO still go to Hell," someone else says, "even though he forgave them."

We turn it over again and again like a coin with two sides.

"When you forgive someone they don't have to DO anything," Jane pipes up. Childish candor becomes her; she speaks in step. "But in order to RESTORE the relationship they have to acknowledge it in SOME way," she says. Acknowledge. Restore.

The room hushes around her words. As if gathered from the four corners of the room, she synthesizes air down to a single breath. Forgiveness. Restoration. They form a bag of waters around us, sustain us and hold us, give us our first breath.


5606. Myra and Joe make me breakfast.

5607. Jack and Joe debone a chicken for me.

5608. Betsy continues to roll all over the house, pulling stuffing out of a hole in the couch, chewing on rogue flip-flops, biting up bits of paper, and calling whole conversations of Hi there.

5609. We wait with anticipation for the birth of my nephew, the children one big hoorah of excitement.

5610. We attend a funeral in Craig's hometown, his aunt laid to rest.

5611. New yarn.

5612. A polkadot headband for Betsy.

5613. Guacamole, we develop a signature recipe.

5614. We continue to pray for the fruit of the Spirit and watch our lives conform to the particular challenges that cultivate character.

5615. Each night rings in another victory: life together laid one brick at a time. We build castles of affection.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Wedding

"I think Aunt Laura is an interesting person to visit with," Jane says.

"Me too," I say.

The reception hall a splay of jubilee, Jane and I thread our way back to our table. Relatives and strawberry shortcake, music and dancing, a fall storm held off just long enough to complete an outdoor ceremony, my cousin got married.

Something happened there in the squirreling wind and sprinkling rain, an act of God: marriage. Corey and Olivia became a new unit of family. We watched and beheld the glory. A holiday of love, merriment ensued.

And in a small moment between Aunt Laura and the cousins I rarely see, I turn. There is Jane out on the dance floor. Flip-flops lost under a folding chair, twinkle lights holding the room, she breaks into dance. We all step into a new season.


5594. Corey and Olivia get married.

5595. Spur of the moment, I invite a neighbor to dinner. He accepts. And he brings three pies!

5596. I discover I love pumpkin pie. (?!)

5597. I lose my phone and then find it when the small diner next to the grocery store calls with it.

5598. A friend stops by out of the blue.

5599. I get hammered by a migraine and rise again.

5600. I discover how to knit a bonnet by Elizabeth Zimmerman.

5601. Craig surprises me with a date to a local pizza shop.

5602. We settle into the arms of autumn enjoying warm afternoons and brisk nights.

5603. I make one of the best lentil soups in years.

5604. Craig prints new family photos for our living room.

5605. We tumble into Sunday evening exhausted, spent, and full.

Sunday, October 4, 2015


Sigh. "Today has just been like a trial and a tribulation," Jane says. She shakes her head, curls swing around her, a bowl of steel cut oats slack at her hand.

"Yeah?" I say. I watch her from the kitchen door, Sunday afternoon bunched up around us. Her daily chore just barely finished: tidy the living and dining room.

"It's like test, test, test," she nods and whirls her hands in a wheel motion. Myra left oatmeal smeared on the table. Lucy splattered water on the floor. Jack didn't put his laundry away. Joe hazed the table in crumbs.

"I think you are doing remarkably well," I say. "It's always hard when you don't get enough sleep."

"It's just like I wish they could be staggered a little," she says. She tilts her head, sighs again.

"I know what you mean," I say. Chores, the act of laying down our lives again and again -- it's serious work.

She scoops a swath of steel cut oats and swipes it into her mouth. She gathers more bites, the tink of her spoon, marking the tock of time.


5587. My parents throw the annual party for summer birthdays. Another round of encouragement and love, it's so good every year.

5588. We take the kids out for bike rides. They burst with bliss.

5589. A neighbor invites us to can pears.

5590. Another neighbor passes on leftovers.

5591. We go on a walk and chit-chat with the people we see.

5592. A friend passes on hand-me-downs.

5593. We continue to step forward confident of God's goodness.