monday gifts


Thankful for… 

ice cream.


my funny cousins!

when I look back at some things and think, yes, wow that was so very tough… but also see God’s faithful love shining through even then.

grace and patience.

the older ladies in my life, and their friends, I have a good bunch right now!

work! And lots of it.

saying goodbye to the beloved grouch couch. Which I felt to be ours by now by common law, and so when the actual owner came to reclaim it, I called it couch-napping, which doesn’t sound like a crime at all. Sigh! I get too sentimentally attached to things.



pictures I didn’t take this summer

Driving through Brandon, Nebraska late at night- a town too small for a lowered speed limit. There was a dusty haze in the air and a car rounding the corner coming toward us. The way the headlights shone on the telephone wires made them look like spider webs.

An old windmill on a hill, with the big electric wind turbines behind it. It seemed too obvious of a picture plus I was following my brother so I had to keep up.

a snow globe type of moment, only instead of fake snow it was real miller moths and instead of a snow globe it was a barn loft. Kalyn and I were posting a schedule in the loft and the combination of the door slamming and the lights coming on (and Kay’s screams) caused total chaos! The air was full of them. Of course it all happened too fast for a picture.

(related: my miller moth poem, and my father’s miller moth poem, for real.)

My friends, standing around talking a little longer at the end of the night, with the car still running behind them so all I could see was their outline in the headlights. It was windy and it just looked cool.

the mostly empty shelves and creepy appearance of our grocery store. It would be easy to take some bleak pictures there, something like “gritty realism of a small town struggling to stay alive in modern times.” But it’s my hometown, one of them anyways, and I just wouldn’t want to do that. Plus it’s not that simple. It’s really sad to go grocery shopping there though. (news story on the bella’s market financial issues.)

This green, rusty hinge at one of the farms we explored. It is totally something I would take a picture of but everyone was leaving me behind so I had no time.

A beautiful snow leopard, aka ghost cat, off the beaten track in the Himalayas. I mysteriously just wanted to stay in the moment, rather than take one little photo that could earn me a paycheck and probably some awards. Oh wait………. this last one isn’t me, it’s from a movie.

stranded in small towns


So, you’re stuck in a small town. What do you do? Good news, it’s the best place to be when in a scrape. People will go out of their way to help you. It will come very naturally to them because they do it all the time.

Things to do in the meantime:
Take naps, wonderful naps.
Help your friend paint her bedroom.
Eat mulberries and strawberries at every opportunity.
Go to the park.
Go to church.
Go cruising.
Walk in the middle of the street.
Have lunch at grandma’s house (she doesn’t have to be your grandma for this to work).
Rent a movie from the gas station (using a friend’s movie rental card because your family has racked up large fines and you want to avoid that liability. Been there done that!!)
Read auction flyers at the gas station while waiting for your pizza/calzones/mozzarella sticks.
Talk to people in the grocery store.
Ponder never leaving because of how nice it is to slow down.
Realize you have to leave or you’ll turn into a slice of gas station pizza.



monday gifts


Thankful for… 

sweet tea.

literary conversations with Val.

laughing hysterically over memories from our college days.

and realizing all over again how I’ve been gifted with friendships.


my amazing aunt.

goofing around and playing with babies.


prayers that have the word “help” in them a lot.

people who are patient with me.

“too much” coffee.

small town 4th

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helping with the climbing wall / exhausting myself playing with Finn for hours in the hot sun / cheeseburger / bounce houses / old cars / pizza at the gas station / checking irrigation pivots / commenting on beautiful wildflowers & how many there are this year due to all the rain / getting stuck in the mud / ingeniously getting un-stuck / cookies n cream homemade ice cream / amazing sky / watching the grant fireworks / sitting around swapping stories & eating leftover pie till way too late / kalyn and I drive back to camp.
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