Why I am making you practice your violin

Without fail, after the lesson with her beloved teacher, my 8 year old loves violin.  Without fail, after a recital she also loves violin.  Without fail, when she plays with other kids who play violin, and they have fun together, she is swelling with pride about her ability. this video is too dark, but you can…

A different Advent celebration.

Christmas has always contained some amount of stress. Panic sprung as the wave washed over and traditions were left floating in the sea of life around me, left behind perhaps to be picked up next year. There’s the advent calendar that didn’t get attended to daily.  There are the books never read, the movie we forgot to watch, the…

the story

because perhaps i have been here so long, the story can’t be told without the pictures. and because i have been here for so long, there are so, so many pictures. some so old, you may have seen them before. but regardless, they tell the story of lives.  firsts.   and of blessing granted. pictures…

Prayer for some small things, and some big things.

An author I thoroughly appreciate is Brian Doyle.  He wrote Mink River and The Plover.  I haven’t read one of those, but the one I did read I wished it would never end.  He is a Portland author and his book took part on the Oregon coast, which is a place that has some magic…

Graduating.

Traveler, there is no road.

Make the road by going.

By going, you make the way

Playing Candyland.

When a 6-year old calls out to you, “Let’s play Candyland!”, how do you respond? Someone in our house is continually trying to throw Candyland away.  Trying to convince the kids they are “too old for Candyland,”  (whaaat?) Perhaps the most important part of my job these days is saying, “Ok, Candyland, not Uno?” and…

At the Trappist Abbey, my shorty ‘n me

Sunny fall Friday’s are priceless.  When the wind is low, the temperature is not too cold and the leaves are all just the right color.  It is the best time of year for taking pictures, no other time of year has such color and lighting.  I also miss exploring new places desperately, and the opportunities…

No kids

When there are no kids, the dog gets walked. When there are no kids every drawer gets organized. When there are no kids, there are no conversations with the neighbor girl about sitting. When there are no kids, old chores, piles and details scurry from industrious mothers. When there are no kids mom and dad…

The Year of Living Domestically

I guess I was about 13 or so when the movie “The Year of Living Dangerously” came out.  I watched it and at that point, I pretty much knew what I wanted to do with my life.  I wanted to be a foreign correspondent, a journalist in another country.  Well, since I foolishly believed people…

El Camino

Not much interested in bucket lists. It is enough to live right among family and friends, it is enough.  I have little girls who fill my days with coils of silly giggles falling around them as they play in myriad imaginative ways when reunited after school.  I have a puppy who needs walks and a…

Art.

Today my oldest went to camp for the first time.  Coming home was hard for her, but after the evening rolled on with the predictability of meal, conversation, bath, pajamas etc.  all resumed the rhythm. But then, right after the bath part and before the doughnut hole for dessert, a big, slobbery, tail-whomping, tongue-hanging-from-side-of-mouth DOG…

Giving it away

So anyone who has ever walked outside their home may have come across a beggar. And in some places, like here in Oregon, the beggars have learned that perching themselves at freeway exits or near where alot of cars have to stop and then start can be a good place to beg, because people give…