Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Trail of...shoes?

It struck me this afternoon that even a mediocre detective could deduce quite a lot about happenings around here by simply noticing the footwear left behind in almost every single room of our house.

First would be the big heavy boots with loose laces beside the door. Sitting in a puddle, one upright and one on its side, they speak of cold work done in the early morning. Inches beyond them lies a pair of smallish slippers left behind as smallish feet stepped out of them and into the missing pair of smallish boots--the muddy footprints remain.
A little further in and one notes large tennis shoes, untied but still holding the position of the teen boy who sat down and then walked away, neatly stepping out of the shoes and leaving them as if waiting for him to resume his slumped position at some point in the evening. On to the kitchen, where a tall pair of wooly boots sits beside a school bag, each stuffed with a warm mitten. Recess duty in February. Brrr...
And the lone ballet flat, sitting on the bed next to an abandoned sweater tells its own story--one shoe, while just right for today's outfit, is useless as a single. It teeters near the edge, ready to slide onto the pile below. Next to the pile lies another, this one with its mate. Wrong color? And which ones made the cut?

Room after room and shoe after shoe. It's like a trail of breadcrumbs that helps us remember where we've been.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Nineteen Years

Nineteen years ago today I married an amazing man. It was a small, simple ceremony attended by only immediate family members. Not a lot of fancy parties and rituals and trimmings, but filled with relaxed joy and love.

I think that's why I feel so lucky. Ours is not a perfect life, but it's perfect for us. We are not formal or fancy. We like things like hanging out at home with the kids. Our favorite vacations have been road trips. Yep--our family of 5 piled into the van, driving across the country, cramming ourselves into 1 hotel room, and stopping along the way at things like the world's largest catsup bottle (no kidding--it's in Illinois) or the barbed wire museum (again, for real! Kansas). Oh, and the Corn Palace...he wanted me to make sure I mentioned the Corn Palace.

Nineteen years ago I felt like I was the luckiest woman to walk the face of this earth, and I have to tell you that now, 19 years, 2 states, 3 homes and 3 kids later--I know I am. Yes, we go places like the Corn Palace. But this is also the man that took me across the country to see the Pacific Ocean for the first time on my 40th birthday. He's the person who encouraged me to grow into the person I am and together we keep growing into ourselves.

I can hardly wait for the next 19 years to start.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rising Up

She stood in front of a sea of faces,
keeping on as things crumbled around her.
Finding her way bravely,
not willing to give in to the desire to run.
We watched and waited,
silently urging her on.
She rose up and met the challenges,
finding her way to the end.
As the sea of faces melted away,
she sank to her knees.
And we rose up
to wrap arms around her and whisper in her ear.
Together we stood again,
ready to rise again, stronger.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


The snowing and blowing have started here, and I must admit to a little disappointment. Not because of the weather; because it's dark and I can't see it. I love to watch the snow--all sorts of snow. Last week, I read Cynthia Rylant's Snow to the kids at school and we spent several minutes reminiscing about past snowfalls and whether they were blowy and fierce or soft and feathery, flakes large and fluffy or small and stingy. Of course, my memories outnumbered theirs by a good bit! 
I don't know why I feel compelled to drop everything and watch it snow. But I do know that I've lost countless hours in my life silently gazing out windows, mesmerized by it. I can hardly wait for sunrise...