Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Windy Gap, Quiet Times and New Beginnings

Personally, I never went to summer camp. As an adult, I wish I would have had the chance. I'm not sure why it wasn't available to me as a youngster...maybe because I lived in the country where swimming and outdoor play consumed my summer days...and my parents never felt it was necessary. I'm really not sure...but none of my friends went away to summer camp either so it's not as if I felt slighted in any way at the time.

As city (okay...suburb)girls, my own children have been lucky enough to attend a summer camp or two. This summer Alissa and her YOUNG LIFE pals set off to North Carolina where she spent a week horseback riding, hiking, swimming, and mountain biking. But more importantly she answered some big questions. And I couldn't be happier for her.

"God enters by a private door into each individual." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
"God is the perfect poet." ~Robert Browning
"They say that God is everywhere, and yet we always think of Him as somewhat of a recluse." ~Emily Dickinson
"There is a God-shaped vacuum in every heart." ~Blaise Pascal

Thursday, July 16, 2009

one cool momma

Oh, to have boys and to be the mom who takes them to the barbershop and has their favorite teams etched right on to their heads! You are too cool, Lisa!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Another Good Girl

People who have pets will understand this post...especially those who have had that special animal enter their lives that forever changes everything. Montana was that pet for me. Although I have always had pets of one variety or another, none of them affected me quite like that silly black lab. Now that it's getting closer to the time when we will pack it up and head north I'm feeling her loss again....and I'm so sad that she won't be joining us this year. Boy, how she loved chasing the four-wheeler through the fields with her tongue hanging out the side of her mouth and that labrador grin etched on her face. Knowing those were her happiest moments on earth I promised my sweet girl that I would one day take her back...and someday I will...but I'm still not ready yet. In the meantime, this little furry pipsqueak has unexpectedly joined our family. Although she will never take the place of my Montana, she seems to know that I am in need of her the most and, as a result, is my greatest fan. I can't help wondering if Tana girl had something to do with her arrival.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Big DAY!

"Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car.:" ~E.B. White

Even with her newfound freedom, via her driver's license, I hope her life will always bring her right back here to me. I expect there to be some little day trips and excursions enticing her to drive away...with me in the dust...but I hope those separations are short and her homecomings happy.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


The Michigan waters and shorelines are littered with lighthouses. Thankfully, there are a few left along the reefs and coasts of Florida as well. The mystery and wonder that they encapsulate has always intrigued my thoughts. What must have it been like for those hearty keepers who lived such a solitary existence? When their duties were done, how did they pass the time? Did they select such a life because of their temperment or was it a choice of economics? I wonder if I would have been suited for life as a lighthouse keeper...maybe.

“Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.” ~Benjamin Franklin


I'm still teetering at that edge of that awful precipice...the one where if you step over the ledge your life will be forever a terrible way that you never anticipated, wanted or would wish on anyone. Without going into the details (created from both my overactice imagination and a series of unfortunate events that did create the very real possibility), I thought I had lost him. Or that something monumentally awful had taken place and he was horribly hurt without me there to comfort or help him. Catching a glimpse of that horrifying abyss shook me. Because to simply say that he is the most magnificent father, my best friend in the entire universe and an amazing son feels like I'm not fully conveying all that he is to me and those in his life. So, I'm not going to dwell on those little things that make me want to scream (toenails on the coffee table for one) and remind myself of that empty, shaky feeling from two nights' past because it confirms how very lucky I really am.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Florida Summer

I've finally learned to embrace the Florida summer. In all honesty, it's taken just about two decades to get to this point. Because for years I've fought loving it. A small part of me believed that I was somehow being unfaithful to the Michigan summers of my childhood...because they were truly fabulous...going barefoot in the silky grass, swimming for hours in the cool depths of the Black river, riding my trusty orange Schwinn ten-speed for miles on end alongside fields of wildflowers...I loved it all.

Now, through the eyes of my children (and my own inner child), I can truly wrap my arms around the bliss that is a Florida summer. I've discovered that regardless of the sometimes stifling heat, I'm often surprised by the rush of a sudden breeze that rustles the palms. I've come to relish with absolute awe a lightning-filled sky while wasting away a rain-soaked afternoon reading. Or wandering along the shoreline of the gulf feeling the powdery sand between my toes as the sun dips below the horizon and the relief of dusk descends. I love how Alissa has taught me to treasure the sensation of settling into the arms of my sky blue beach chair and to focus on the steady rhythym of the waves washing over the coquinas...again and again....knowing the water awaits when I need a plunge. And I really, really do love a Florida summer.

Monday, July 6, 2009


"Courage is the power to let go of the familiar." ~Raymond Lindquist

Stepping off the bus on Friday evening, a diminuitive Spanish girl bravely strode through the throngs of Spanish, Russian, French and Chinese students, American parents and their anxious children, and placed two soft kisses on either side of my cheeks. Barely able to utter the words, "nice to meet you" in her thickly accented voice, her demeanor humbled me. Only sixteen years old and halfway around the world embarking on the adventure of a lifetime without the comfort and familiarity of her own parents to guide her, but, instead, surrounded by strangers...who speak a foreign tongue and follow customs so different from her own...our Liliana. Her courageous grin remained slightly subdued, but firmly placed...and I was astounded by her instantly. And I had just met her. our country, home and family, Liliana.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

a little bit of dinner, surprises and fishing!

I was warned...when she was only minutes old. "This one is going to be feisty!" And the delivery nurse's prophecy has been realized time and time again during her sixteen years on earth. Now, that feistiness has been channelled and transformed into a tenacity and drive that leaves me both speechless and proud. She holds a standard for others that is often difficult to attain and maintain, but, as a result, has developed friendships and relationships that are true and real.

So, for weeks on end I planned her birthday so it would be memorable yet meaningful, exciting and touching simultaneously...she tells me I succeeded. I sure hope so...because she is worth every anxiety-filled moment I spent planning, each painstaking keystoke struck in creating her oh so special photo book, and every confused message texted to her friends (try planning a bunch of surprises with 16 and 17 year olds who change their minds hourly!!).

Happy Sweet Sixteen baby girl! 658.

Crab Bisque, presents, best friends and phenomenal music at Tommy Bahamas.

A surprise fishing trip with her best buddies!