Dear Children of Mine (aka Mother’s Day 2019)

This post has been kind of falling together for a few days. How fitting that it's ready to hit the interwebs on Mother's Day... Anne Lamott wrote this letter to her Grandson Jax at 4 months old: "Dear Jax: Yesterday was your first Thanksgiving, and it is time for me to impart to you the secret... Continue Reading →

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M’Tribe

I haven’t been writing much lately. Not enough time. Not enough brain space. Sometimes one has to withdraw from the writing to engage in the life. Let’s call it a Lenten switchup. I’ll be back after Pascha, I’m sure. But I have had great occasion recently to wonder with fear and trembling at the tremendous... Continue Reading →

Life and death and life again

"Within the heart are unfathomable depths. It is not a small vessel: and yet dragons and lions live there, and there are poisonous creatures and all the treasures of wickedness; rough, uneven paths are there, and gaping chasms. There, likewise, is God, there are the angels, there life and the Kingdom, there light and the... Continue Reading →

Ready

We've had another little snow hiatus. The Blizzard Warning begins soon. Scott took advantage of the lull yesterday, and cleared off a few of the vital areas. You know, for the preserving of the structural integrity of the dwelling. The house looks like this after his santa-shenanigans: Probably a good thing for the roof, and... Continue Reading →

Contrast

I was struck with the contrast of experience this week when my buddy, Andrew, from Andrew's View of the Week, posted a bit about how cold he was. He's from Cali, and he and I have... differing intolerances. He cannot abide the weather when it deigns to dip into the 40s. I cannot abide the... Continue Reading →

On the Eve of the End

This is it, folks. The third annual WWF Retreat is coming to an end tomorrow. Sad Face. 😦 To avoid confusion and possible excommunication, I'll just lay things bare: WWF in this version of reality means Writing With Friendsand Writing With Friends only. To commemorate the end of the world as we know it, I'd... Continue Reading →

Retreating with Nabby

Nabs, in her favorite spot. In 2010, we took our first trip into the Boundary Waters with kids in tow. Two years prior, we ventured in for our honeymoon, and resolved to somehow figure a way to get all the kids into the wilderness with us. Spoiler Alert: Careful readers will note that the Annual... Continue Reading →

Grief

This just in: Death, that wicked foe, hath overtaken him. My laptop is dead in the water. It would be generous to my character to say that I am saddened. I am, in terms more fitting of reality, getting grumpy. Pissy, even. Because while a hard drive and other miscellaneous parts are indeed on their... Continue Reading →

Focus

First sun of 2019. Well, there we are. One year up in flames, and another just kindling on the hearth. I've been thinking about my word for the year. For my first year or so it was Empathy, which never really gets old, at least not when you're me. But still, in the spirit of one... Continue Reading →

Bruce

Bruce, savin' the world... Tied up the Christmas movie marathon this evening with the annual viewing of Die Hard.  Indeed. Not a Christmas movie, you say? Oh, ho, ho! How wrong you are! There are very few movies that elicit quite this brand of Christmas cheer! I learned something new today as well. According to the... Continue Reading →

Down the road

The wood splitter is headed down the road, back home to the West Hill. For the last time of 2018. This means, for the uninitiated, that the wood for the year is complete. Or so we hope. Every year, we think we have a better handle on what we will actually burn in the coming... Continue Reading →

Gooseberry Strikes Again

That three-week jaunt out to the West Coast took a pretty hefty bite out of the old PTO bank this year. We managed to salvage a Boundary Waters out of the remaining shreds, but the annual pilgrimage to the North Shore was left with an empty purse. It is, however, completely unacceptable that a year... Continue Reading →

Once Again…

It's fall in Wisconsin. And once again the seasons take me by the hand and calm my soul. It happens every year. Summer comes, and I am filled with hope at the coming adventures. We saturate the months with more than the suspension can comfortably hold. There is down time, but it is barely enough... Continue Reading →

Sunshine, even on a dreary day…

There are sunflowers out my window. Not because I am a sunflower farmer, but simply because I planted hostas beneath my birdfeeder. You see, the resident chickens really like to scratch there under that feeder in the spring, for no matter how many birds we have, even of the ground-feeding junco variety, the intended beneficiaries... Continue Reading →

Is it time?

Dare I even ask? The birds have already made their predictions, and have made the journeys that accompany them, and I hope for their sakes that it is indeed. For almost a month we've had strangers at the feeders. Dozens of redwing blackbirds blackening the trees outside my window, trying their hands at sunflower seeds. European... Continue Reading →

Today… Theophany

The Manifestation of God. This is what we’re celebrating today. Just a few little words, loaded well over the safety line. Theophany is here, and Christ is baptized in the Jordan, by none other than John the Baptizer himself, who--I dare say--has no interest in baptizing the Messiah himself. I imagine he was feeling a... Continue Reading →

Tonight… Nativity

“The snow looks light and the sky dark, but in fact the sky is lighter than the snow. Obviously the thing illumined cannot be lighter than its illuminator. The classical demonstration of this point involves simply laying a mirror flat on the snow so that it reflects in its surface the sky, and comparing by... Continue Reading →

A Christmas Visitor

Last summer we had this crazed cardinal. He appeared one day on the back deck, chipping like a wild man. Incessantly. For weeks. Every day he would return, and every day he would march up and down the railing boards, from one end of the deck to the other, pacing, chip, chip, chipping at us... Continue Reading →

Chagrin

Work the brain before working the mouth. I've taught my kids this from the beginning, with varying degrees of success on the familial foot-in-mouth-count chart. Because the things that can come out of a mouth that has not tethered itself firmly to the brain can be embarrassing at best, and often hurtful to those you... Continue Reading →

Giving up the ghost

A heavy sheet of frost cloaked the ditch clover this morning. You could almost see those little alfalfa cells bursting at the strain, transforming from lusty stalks to creamed spinach beneath the blanket of white. Look past the beauty of the lace and arctic destruction, though, and one sees something more. The clover—the whole populace... Continue Reading →

Take Two

As I've said, I'm scrapbooking again. As I've said. But what I set out to write a few weeks back was not a diatribe on the virtues of skimpy scrapbooking. It was not meant to be only a physical confession of a swept-away hobbyist. It was intended to reflect upon the growing need within to... Continue Reading →

Cake and having it all

The seasons are turning fast now. The blue is growing deeper and the colors are falling off the landscape. We often miss the peak of the beauty, enjoying the magic of Lake Superior at the very time of year that the show back home is at it's finest. Circumstances and all that. Circumstances this year,... Continue Reading →

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