Friday, November 30, 2012

Wandering Wonder

Five Minute Friday
Five Minute Friday, today. The next one will be January, 2013. Sigh. Oh my. A deep breath, quick, before panic sets in. Before the unsettled nerves of all that has to be done in the next month, and all the unknown that spreads ahead in the new year...

But, today. Five minutes, right now, this moment.

Today's theme word, Wonder.

Go.

I wonder as I wander out under the stars...These words to a familiar Christmas song ring true to my heart.

I wander. I roam aimlessly through the days, the weeks, the months, the years. I keep busy. I do the next thing. I make lists (oh, I am good at lists!). I search to find a path. I blaze a new trail. I sit down and wait for someone to - please, oh please - show me the way. And, I get up and wander again.

As I go, I learn. I grow. I discover. I travel. I stay at home. I explore. I draw in tightly within my shell, keep my wanderings close, internal.

As I wander, I grow in wonder. The ocean waves unsettled on the shore. The mountain peaks, dusted with powdered snow. The sunsets coloring the town with peach and yellow and pink. Baby toes, growing quietly inside mama. A petal, unfurling into a splash of deep red. The full moon, glowing, illuminating across the dark sky.

So much, if I just open my eyes, awake to the wonder of it all. When I wander, my focus is down, on my feet, the path, trying not to trip. When I wonder, I look up, look out beyond myself, see so, so much more.

His mercies are new every morning. Ah, the wonder of it all.

Time is up.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Simple Christmas Links

Traveling Lighter.

 I haven't written much lately with this theme. Since we moved five months ago, getting rid of over half our stuff, perhaps I have relaxed and lost a bit of focus.

There are some very good blogs I read about minimalism. These writers live far beyond my meager efforts at living with less and they give me courage to renew my efforts.

This post, by becoming minimalist includes seventeen links to other posts about simplifying Christmas, focusing on the important things, not on things. This is a post to browse over the next few weeks, with lots of  information and ideas to absorb.

I appreciate the variety of perspectives in these blogs. There is not one formula, not one way to live with less.  Each writer, each family, each home, makes their choices based on a process that changes with life's circumstances. Sometimes with more, sometimes with less.


http://www.becomingminimalist.com/simple-christmas-links/


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Shout for Joy




"Thou dost make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy."

Psalms 65:8

joining the quiet Sunday community


Friday, November 23, 2012

Today, Thank You

Today's theme word for the Friday Five Minutes is Thank You.
LisaJo will be taking a break over December, so this is almost the last Friday Five for 2012.
The idea, write for five minutes, easy breezy - let the words flow, gentle, from the heart.

Thank You
     for today, another day to live and love and learn

Thank You
     for time that whirls and time that drags pokey

Thank You
     for the hope that there is adventure ahead

Thank You
     for the fear of what is ahead - that You will guide, always

Thank You
     for tough health conditions that cause us to slow down and pay attention

Thank You
     for winter blossoms

Thank You 
     for home, this home, our home

Thank You
     for sunrises and sunsets, the capital letter at the beginning of each day and the period at the end   (sometimes an exclamation point!)

Thank You
     for all here that gives us a glimpse into Your love and care

Thank You
     for the continuing challenge to list, daily a counting of one thousand gifts - and beyond

Thank You
     for awake, the word for me, for this Christmas season


Five Minute Friday

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Messy Thanksgiving, Part Three

Part Three, A Three Part Short Story

Wednesday


By noon, she felt ready. Almost. A few more tasks on her list, but everything was under control. She had cleaned the bathrooms, made up the guest beds, and swept off the porch, trimming some of the chrysanthemums that still bloomed. The day was cold and cloudy. At least I don’t have to sweep and wash the floors, she thought. She wiped down the front of the refrigerator and the stove and ran a dust cloth over the glass table top next to the couch. She looked forward to seeing the six grandkiddos all together. They hadn’t seen Greg’s twins since June. David, Becky and their two boys lived ten minutes away and they visited often. Jack and Kendra, with their two, Jessica and Ken, lived an hour away, not too far. Greg would be arriving tonight, the others in the morning. A houseful of noisy fun. She liked that.

Three o’clock. One last check of the lists. All crossed off. One trip out. She would stop at the florist to pick up the white osteospermum spoon daisies she ordered. And run into the grocery store to pick up the large white napkins she forgot to buy on Monday. With twine, she would tie them into a roll. Easy and simple.

Later, as she stepped in the door, out of the pouring rain, arms full of flowers and a grocery bag, the phone rang. She set the things down on the table. Dropped her wet coat on a chair.

“Hello?”

“Mom?”

“Hi Greg. I thought you would be on the road by now.”

“Mom. I am sorry. We are not coming.”

Silence. “You are kidding, right?”

“No, Mom, we are not coming.”

Silence. “Do I get an explanation?”

Greg answered in short, nervous, quick bursts. “Janet decided she wanted to have her own Thanksgiving. You know, in her own home, now that we have moved to this house, she changed her mind, said she wouldn’t come, wanted to stay home, keep the kids here, with her, on her time off from work, for the holiday.”

“Well, that is reasonable, except last minute. What can I say? Is this about not getting along with Kendra?”

“No, I don’t think so. Maybe, you know how they are together. She just said she wanted her own Thanksgiving. Mom, try to understand. I know you will understand. Please don’t be upset at me, or her.”

“I will really miss seeing the twins. I’m sure they have grown since we saw them last.” Sandy sighed. She tried to smile, at least with her words, but it was hard. Seemed these conflicts, lately, made family gatherings like walking on egg shells, afraid to offend, afraid to say the wrong thing, afraid, just afraid. She had wanted this to be different. And she thought it would be. Filled with laughter and fun, relaxed. Oh well, what could she do? Holidays could be messy. “Greg,” she said, “Say hello to the twins from me, and Janet, too, and have a wonderful holiday.” She didn’t mean it to sound sarcastic, but it came out that way, a little bit.

“You, too, Mom. Say hi to Dad for me.”

Sandy hung up the phone. She sat in the chair at the head of the table, looked down the length at the plates, already set, the golden gourds, the pile of flowers she had dumped at the other end. Four empty places. Should she rearrange? Wallow in disappointment? No, she thought, I’ll get the flowers in vases and water. No point in letting this ruin it for her, or for anyone else. 

Outside, the rain pelted the windows and the wind whipped the tree limbs. Darkness fell early, the storm clouds wrapping a dark, thick blanket over the sky. Again, the phone rang. Sandy looked at it, not wanting to answer. She heard her own voice, the cheerful message on the machine. Then, Jim’s voice.

“Sandy. Guess you are out shopping or something last minute. Our flight has been delayed…”

She grabbed the phone, interrupting his message. “Jim, I am here, sorry.”

“Oh, good, glad you are home. This storm is interfering with flights. I hope Greg will be fine on the road.”

“They are not coming. I’ll tell you later. When do you think you will get in?”

“They said about a two hour delay. I will call you when we board.”

“Okay. I want to take you out to dinner, to the pizza restaurant. I will meet you there, after you land.”

“Sounds good. I’ll call you, soon, I hope.”

“Be careful.”

Someone knocked on the front door. Oh, now who could that be, thought Sandy. She opened the door and saw her neighbor, a older woman she rarely talked to. “Evelyn, come in.” She helped her take off her wet coat.

“I am so sorry to bother you. I know you are very busy.” Evelyn looked at the table. “That is, ah, interesting. Straw bales and peanuts?  Rustic. But the table is pretty. I am so sorry to bother you,” she said again.

“That’s okay. My husband just called to say he would be late. Come sit down.”

“Well, we just had a big tree branch fall on the back of our house. Broke through the patio cover, broke two windows on the back side.”

“Oh, I am sorry. Where is Fred, is he okay?”

“Yes, we were in the living room. I wondered if you have some tarp or something we can put up over the windows. Not too much rain is coming in, but the wind is bad. And the cold.”

“I think so, I will go look in the garage.” She stood up. “Evelyn. I just had a great idea. Our son and his family called to say they are not coming. We have extra beds, all made up, and room at the table, ready. Will you and Fred stay here tonight, and join us for Thanksgiving tomorrow?”

“We couldn’t impose on you like that, don’t be silly.”

“It is not silly at all. Like I said, I have the beds all made, the places for you at the table. It will be much warmer here until you can get the windows fixed. Jim can help you, but with the holiday weekend, it may be a few days before they get fixed. Please, stay with us. That is, if you don’t mind a casual meal. And our kids and grandchildren. I thought the straw bales and peanuts would be fun, for a change. Comfortable.”

“I noticed. Wondered why you were doing that. Most people get all fancy.”

“I will get the tarp, then we’ll go over and ask Fred to come. Please, I want you to. I know Jim won’t mind. He will help you fix the tarp when he gets home. Oh,” said Sandy.

“What is it?” asked Evelyn.

“Well, we were going to go out to dinner. I was going to meet him after his plane landed.”

“I have a chili in the crock pot at home. Fred and I could still eat that, and come here after you and Jim get home. We would appreciate it, being able to stay here. It will be cold at our house with that wind and the damp. You are very kind.”

“Actually, it helps me not feel so disappointed that our son isn’t coming. I am glad you can stay with us. Very glad. You can see we have plenty of room for you.” Sandy pointed at the table.

“We will be honored. I wasn’t going to fix anything this year. Too much work for just us. Our kids are all busy, or too far away. We will enjoy being with you, being with your family. Much better than sitting by ourselves. Thank you.”

The scattered straw and peanut shells are evidence of my messy life, but even the messes are worth celebrating, and sharing, Sandy thought. I will accept this. An opportunity to help a neighbor, maybe gain a friend. I can enjoy what we have, use what we have, and share Thanksgiving, thankfully, with family and friends.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Messy Thanksgiving, Part Two

Part Two, A Three Part Short Story

Tuesday


When Sandy walked down the hall into the living room Tuesday morning, she wondered what her husband, Jim would think of their house. He was away on a business trip until Wednesday afternoon. By the time he got home, she would have it all set up and messy beautiful. Her email invitations had said, “Boots and jeans.” But would they imagine just how casual she meant it to be?  The floor needed more peanut shells, just like at their favorite pizza restaurant. In fact, she thought, that is where they should go for dinner Wednesday night. She would take him out to dinner. Get a few more ideas. Her son and his wife and the grandkiddos wouldn’t get in until late. She and Jim would have plenty of time to relax over dinner, talk about his trip, and enjoy some time together before the long weekend.

After her coffee and oatmeal, she spread the three lists out on the island, leaned on her elbows, her shirt sleeves rolled up, chin cupped in her hands. One list for what would bake in the oven. One for food that would be prepared and stored in the refrigerator.  One for menus, with added ideas for meals the rest of the weekend using leftovers. The tasks were already in order, prioritized by length of prep time and use of the oven. Normally she wasn’t quite so OCD, but she wanted this Thanksgiving to be easy breezy.  Certain people conflicts in the family had lightened up over the past year and she wanted, desperately, to be sure they stayed that way. But, not to worry. For now, start the pie crusts and mix the pumpkin bread. Turn on the oven.

Between tasks, waiting for the timer to ding, Sandy worked on the table. At each place setting she set out white plates. For place cards, she marked peanuts with a dark brown Sharpie, the letters of each person’s name. If the letters didn’t come out quite right, she smashed the shells and threw them on the floor. It wasn’t easy. She tried to make them fancy, ornate with swirly lines and flourishes. The bumpy shells were not a good writing surface, but she wanted to keep the theme. She decided that messy looked just as good, and it was better to fit each name on one peanut if she could. She experimented. Greg. Kendra. David. The longest name was Jessica. That took two peanuts. As she practiced and improved, the crunched, empty peanut shells deepened on the floor.

All day, the dishes rotated from island to sink full of soapy water and back again. Pie crusts baked. Pumpkin and cranberry breads ready to go in next. Sweet potatoes cooked, mixed, plopped into the baking pan, refrigerated until Thursday. Broccoli steamed, cheese sauce mixed, refrigerated in its glass baking pan. Water boiled, jello mixed with fruit, half of it chilled, then the other layer added and chilled. One by one, the items were checked off her list. She wiped up flour and spills and splatters, then made more messes as she worked.

For a late lunch, she made a sandwich and sat in the big chair tucked into the corner to admire her decorations, absorb the yummy smells. Bake the pies, almost done. She relaxed, imagined the room full of happy, comfortable people. To her, this work, this weekend was about reaching across the distance that was measured in more than miles.

As she was sliding the last pie shell full of liquid pumpkin on to the rack, her hand slipped, the pie tilted and splashed on the hot oven floor. It sizzled and smoked. Quickly, she set the pie on the counter and reached over to shut off the oven. That would have to cool before she could clean it out, then reheat it. She didn’t want the smell of burned pie overpowering the other wonderful aromas and interfere with baking the turkey Thanksgiving morning. She left the oven door open to cool faster. Well, it won’t take that long, she thought. She checked over her lists again. Almost done.  Not too bad, only one major mess to repair, then finish cleaning up the kitchen.

The cat came down the hall and stepped into the living room. She stopped and sat, looking around at the changes, unsure. She decided it was safe, took a few steps into the room. A peanut shell crunched under her foot. With the foot held in mid-air, she froze, like a dog at point, then turned and ran back to the bedroom. Sandy laughed at her. We won’t have to worry about her coming out here, she thought.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Messy Thanksgiving

A Three Part Short Story

Monday



Sandy finished the Thanksgiving grocery shopping in the pet department, piling two ten pound bags of peanuts on the already overloaded grocery cart. She smiled. No one would be able to guess what I am going to do with these, she thought.

At home, she organized the food, checked off her lists. This Thanksgiving dinner for eighteen would appear effortless. But, of course, it wasn’t. The work happened now, before. She had separate lists, all organized and thought out, what preparations needed to be made in what order. Some of the family would be arriving late Wednesday night and she wanted to be ready, then.

With the wood floors swept, the furniture moved back against the walls, she turned her dining room table at an angle, assembled the two folding tables and pushed them end to end at an angle across her dining room and living room.

At three o’clock the stake bed truck pulled up out front. She met the two delivery guys at the door.

“Where do you want these bales, ma’am?”

“In here, by these tables.”

“Inside the house, ma’am?” His eyebrows disappeared under the hair hanging over his forehead.

“Yes, they will be the seats for our Thanksgiving dinner.”

“Inside. Really? You know these straw bales are dusty, dirty, messy, right?”

Sandy laughed. “Of course. Yes, bring them in here, please, four on this side, four on the other side. Thank you.”

“Okay, whatever you say. It’s your house.” The tough delivery guys looked at each other and shrugged.

As the bales were moved, wisps of straw floated around.

“Sorry, ma’am.”

“No problem, that’s exactly what I want. Messy.”

“My wife would have a fit.”

Sandy laughed again. She wanted an unusual, a casual atmosphere. Unique. A memory. And they didn’t know about the peanut shells, broken open, scattered around. She felt like a giddy girl planning a surprise party for a special friend. A party where everyone has a good time and laughter echoes off the walls accompanied by the music of happy talk. Okay, she thought, maybe I am dreaming and being unrealistic. We haven’t had a peaceful family get together in quite awhile. Someone takes offense, someone irritates someone else, criticism flares. But, it is worth a try. I will do my part, and hope.

 Everything would be white or canvas or gold. Enough color, just in the food. And the people. The gold colored straw looked pretty scattered across the wood floor. She pulled more pieces off the bales and scattered them around. Then, she covered the bales with canvas drop cloths, their edges tucked in underneath. They would be heavy enough to prevent straw poking seated bottoms. Another couple of longer drop cloths covered the tables, hanging down the sides. Gourds she had spray painted gold were placed randomly on the table.

Oh, napkins. She forgot to buy white cloth napkins. Well, on Wednesday, when she picked up the flowers, she could go to the store and get the nicer, heavy, white paper ones. They would do. She added them to the list.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Giving Thanks


"...with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father..."

Colossians 1:11-12

joining the quiet Sunday Community

Monday, November 12, 2012

Operation Christmas Child


Are you familiar with Operation Christmas Child, sponsored by Samaritan's Purse?
This week, November 12 - 18, shoe boxes filled with toys, personal supplies, small games, any fun things kids would enjoy, are collected at churches, then distributed by Samaritan's Purse to children all over the world. Children, who would have very little, are delighted to receive these simple gifts.

If you go to www.samaritanspurse.org, you can put in your zip code to find the church near you that is collecting the boxes. There is a five and a half minute video to watch that shows the delight on the faces of children as they open their boxes. The categories are boy or girl, ages 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. There is also a list of suggested items for each age group.

A seven dollar donation per box covers the world-wide shipping and handling costs. If you pay the donation on-line, you can print out a label with a bar code to be able to track where your shoe box is delivered. Won't that be fun to know just where the box you filled with things to bring a smile to a child actually ends up?


Our daughter was here over the weekend, visiting. She wanted to put together some boxes, too, so we went to the store, had fun picking out items for different ages of boys and girls, then packed them up together. We played Christmas music and wondered where these boxes would end up, thinking about the children they would reach.


We delivered them to a nearby church this morning, and soon, they will wing their way to little hands, somewhere in the world.
Will you be able to put together a shoe box or two to bless  a child?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Value of Our Veterans

Henry David Thoreau said, "The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."





Our military veterans exchanged days, months, years - away from family, away from lives that were familiar and comfortable. Their exchange, in ways big and small, enables us to live lives of value, in ways big and small.

Political differences aside, these men and women have earned the honor of our gratitude.























joining the quiet Sunday community

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Quiet Calm Delight

 Five Minute Fridays! LisaJo inspires a word, and we write, five minutes, (mostly) un-edited, confined by the clock, yet free to soar and sail on streams of words. A huge part of the fun is connecting with other bloggers,  to read what they wrote and hear their voice.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
lisajobaker.com


This week: Quiet

Someone speaks harsh words to me. I do not lash out in words. I am quiet. Deeply quiet. Too quiet.

I stew on it, I think about it. The perfect words come two and a half hours later. The perfect biting, stinging, caustic reply. And I am grateful the acid words were not spoken aloud.

I go to the Lord. I sit quietly with Him. He hears my silent, unspoken words. His still, small voice reverberates through my heart: the tone of His love, the ringing of His mercy, the notes of His grace, like the last melodious pluck of a harp string, the sound hanging in the air, held aloft, heard even after the soundwaves are gone, quiet. Still.

I think of Colossians 1: 11-12. With calm delight (chara), say grace (eucharisteo). Those are the quiet words I want to say. A thankful heart, a heart of joy, a heart full of calm delights.

I want to say grace, to speak grace, quietly, with calm delight.




Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bake Bread, in a Crock Pot?

Yes! This is something I have tried a few times, with varied success. This recipe, from healthybreadinfive.com, does the trick.

Artisan Bread (basic recipe)
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbsp yeast
1 1/2 tbsp salt (I used 1 tbsp)
6 1/2 cups flour

Mix ingredients together with a spoon in a large bowl. No need to knead!

Cover loosely with a towel and let rise about two hours, up to five hours.

Dough will be sticky. Add just a little flour if needed to shape the dough into a round and place on a heavy baking tray.
This makes two one-pound batches of dough. Refrigerate or freeze half of it for another day.
Let rest about 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees, twenty minutes. Place bread in oven with a pan of water on the lower oven rack.
Bake 30 minutes until browned and crisp.

Crock Pot Version
http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2012/05/29/crock-pot-bread-baking-fast-bread-in-a-slow-cooker
following the recipe above:
Place a sheet of parchment paper in the crock pot.
Place half of the recipe, shaped into a round on top of the parchment paper.
If you are saving half for another day, it works well to put the other round on a sheet of parchment paper, slide it into a gallon zip lock bag, refrigerate, and it is ready to go for the next time.

Cover, cook on high, about an hour, check - when top of loaf feels firm it is done (my crock pot takes about two hours)
This gives a loaf with a soft crust. If you want it crispy, run it under the broiler for five minutes (watch it carefully)


This is a great way to bake bread. The timing is not critical. You can go for a walk, read a book, run to the store, get lost in a project, work in the garden - and when you come back, the house smells incredible and the bread - mmmmm!


Bread Sticks
Yesterday, I took the other half of the dough and made bread sticks.
Roll the dough out into a long rectangle. This will require more flour to keep it from sticking.

Spread butter and parmesan cheese on the rectangele.

Fold in half. Roll out again into a long rectangle.

Spread with butter and parmesan, again.
Repeat two more times.
Using a pizza cutter, cut the rectangle into long strips.

Pick up each strip, twist it into a spiral - perfection is not the goal here!
Place on greased cookie tray.
Let rise about 45 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees, about twenty minutes until slightly browned.

Delectable.



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Your Four Year Story


Whether your post-election response is throwing a party or singing a dirge, this post, by Donald Miller is well worth some thought.

"What do you want to have accomplished four years from now? Because four years from now is coming. And it's coming fast."
                                                                                  - Donald Miller

What are your four-year promises: to yourself?
                                                     to others?
                                                     to God?
 Lots to think about here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

To Spend or Not to Spend

Are you a big fan of sales?
Do you love a great deal?
Does a bargain excite you?
Does two-for-one draw out your wallet?

Do you want to know the best deal of all?
How to save the most?

Don't spend.

What we choose not to spend has great value.

You can't list the non-amount in a checkbook or on a ledger, but what we do not spend has intrinsic value. 

Have you heard of a no-spend month? My friend is doing this for November, and I know it is tough for her. But it is a choice, valuable not just for her finances, but for her character as well.

Some of us live this way, either by choice or necessity. Either way, it is good, coming into the holiday season, to think about our spending. To evaluate purchases wisely, carefully and honestly.

How? Use what we have. Re-purpose. Re-think. Discover gratefulness for all we do have.

And, if you are spending (not always a bad thing), a group called Pure Charity is sponsoring an event, now through December 25th that connects with stores, and a portion of on-line purchases goes to children in Haiti. A wise way to put some heart in our spending. 
Go here, to check it out: http://www.deidrariggs.com/2012/11/01/this-is-you-changing-the-world-booya/
Or, here: www.purecharity.com
As Deidra says, "This is you. This is me. This is us. Changing the world."



On a humorous note: I was cutting the ads out from today's mail for the photo above when our son walked into the room. He looked over my shoulder.
"What are you doing - writing a ransom note?"






Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Just Right Ending

"Peter's mother put her arm round him suddenly, and hugged him in silence for a minute. Then she said, 'Don't you think it's rather nice to think that we're in a book that God's writing? If I were writing a book, I might make mistakes. But God knows how to make the story end just right - in the way that's best for us.'

"Do you really believe that, Mother?" Peter asked quietly.

"Yes," she said. "I do believe it - almost always - except when I'm so sad that I can't believe anything. But even when I can't believe it, I know it's true - and I try to believe it. You don't know how I try, Peter."

from The Railway Children
by E. Nesbit


joining Deidra and the quiet Sunday community

Saturday, November 3, 2012

For the Love of Art


Our daughter has a new website to display her art and promote her commission work. She will take a photo you send her - a pet, a family member or friend, anything, anyone, really, and turn it into a drawing. She does white pencil on black, pencil drawings, or a touch of color in a black and white drawing. Her latest technique is to draw on canvas, like a painter would use, but she does her pencil drawings on it to create a more finished product. She loves a challenge, stretching her skills to discover a new technique and fresh abilities.

http://littlebitzoart.wix.com/littlebitzoart#!home/mainPage

Explore, browse through her website to see more of her completed drawings.

Granted. I am the proud mother. What do you think? Draw a black lab on black with a white pencil. Don't you want to scratch this lab behind the ears? I could take her home.

She also has a blog, http://littlebitzofart.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 2, 2012

Rooted

This is part of the Friday Five Minutes, instigated by LisaJo, aka the gypsy mama. What she calls a flash mob of writers, heart and soul, winged and free, writing for five minutes, connecting back to her blog, connecting with each other. It is fun - no pretences, no over-thinking, no detailed editing. Lovely. I look forward to this each week. I took time off, posting Thirty-One, A Novel, through October, but glad to be back.



Five Minute Friday
This week the topic is:

Roots

Did you see some of the photos from hurricane Sandy, of trees pulled up by the roots? Whole trees, big trees, their roots exposed and wild looking, like dread-locks, twisted and intertwined and tangled. Above ground. Not where they are supposed to be. Roots are meant to be snug and safe and tucked into the deep dark earth, soaking up nutrients and water, subterranean, giving the tree its life and its stability.

Roots. Some people seem to have them. They stay, planted, firm, right where they are, year after year. The same neighborhood, the same church, the same grocery store, the same car repair guy.

Some of us do not have roots. We wander. We move. We wonder what will come next. We find new sources of inspiration, new views, new perspectives.

Have you seen photos of a tree, fallen, with a new shoot springing up from its trunk? Just enough roots left in the ground to spark new growth. Roots, digging in, seeking life, rooting. Funny, I hadn't thought of roots, rooting. Pigs root, or our dog roots when she is making a nest of her blanket. Of course, roots root. Seeking, searching, looking, wandering, reaching out for what will give stability and nurture. Like our dog, when she settles into her nested pile of blanket, safe, secure.

When the storms come, we hang on, leaning into the roots.

Well, time is up. Went a little over, actually.