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  • How to Get the Most out of A Day

    On Monday, August 29 th, 2011

    It’s a scant harvest of sweet corn this year. The rains deluging in spring, then giving up it’s obsession with us come June. From my post at the stove, out the window to the south, there the Farmer bends and bowsover the cornstalks like an offering,  the only way a life can reap a harvest. The Farmer brings in cobs and the kids husk it back to kernels, to the nugg...

  • figuring out how to forgive {your parents}

    On Wednesday, August 10 th, 2011

    When I carry our first babe home from the hospital, I carry him home alone. The Farmer can’t get off work. He works for my Dad. There were reasons why  – there was a crop of corn to get in the ground. I understood that. Understanding though didn’t mean that some of the sadness didn’t spill. I did keep brushing it back, all the way out to the car. And somet...

  • “There is but one cure…”

    On Thursday, June 02 nd, 2011

    It’s long after I turn the last light out. Long after that I hear the back door open and close. That I hear the footsteps. “Hey…” Who comes in through the door, comes in from the dark? “‘Night, Mom.” Ah… his voice. Firstborn. “You okay?” I can hear him lean against the railing at the top of the stairs. “Yeah…” He can’t know that Mamas hear heartac...

  • for the Mother of Teenagers who aches but a bit

    On Friday, May 06 th, 2011

    I had always thought there’d be more time. I had thought when they swaddled you in that cotton blanket in the heat of mid-May, that it’d take a whole lifetime to unwrap you a man and I couldn’t imagine, me but a child. Who knew a lifetime was a blink and you’d be so tall when I next turned around, son, your cow-lick still turning there?     T...

  • weekends are for the mess

    On Saturday, April 10 th, 2010

    And I’m in our bedroom stacking The Farmer’s freshly laundered denims when I hear the back door slam shut. Malakai’s in. And I hear his still-outside voice holler loud at Shalom over the brrr whirl of the pop-pop-pop-popcorn maker, “Popcorn? Did Mom really say you could make popcorn, Shalom?” And I hear it too when Shalom unplugs the popping pop...

  • Discovering the One Thing You May Have Long Forgotten About You

    On Friday, February 05 th, 2010

    When it’s time, I know, I can tell in my bones, the ways the knees ache, those joints with a clock of their own, and I drag my fingers through the hair, back from the temples, and I survey the room of the sprawled out legs, the stacks of books, the balls of yarn, the half deck of Rook scattered, and I smile and chime the hour quiet. “I think it’s time for bed, folks.” T...

  • it’s part of receiving the gift

    On Monday, December 07 th, 2009

    When the wall of the uterus contracted tight four years ago, sides of the stomach hardening like a basketball and the veins all pulled taut blue, I had pounded his chest, fist banging bone. Pain cramped hard and I thought the legs might give way. Farmer Husband had held me as the the skin stretched thin and he had leaned in close and brushed my ear with words. “Smile – you ...

  • Best Books for Boys: A Booklist Compiled by a BOY

    On Tuesday, September 01 st, 2009

    He said these are the books that shaped him. “You have to make sure they read these, Mom.” He’s the oldest of four brothers. He’s spontaneously come to me with them all in his arms, a stack of worn spines. I watch how he runs his fingers across their titles, how he turns to certain pages, passages, and his eyes remember. “I’ve sorted, and d...

  • Who Really Needs to Know?

    On Friday, July 10 th, 2009

    She comes knocking at 9:07, eight minutes early. She’s come for her kid brother, come to pick him up for Uncle Frank’s funeral. Farmer Husband’s still before the mirror, standing in shaft of sure July morning light, shaving off the growth of five hard days. Levi’s got the door. “Dad’s still showering up from the barn, Aunt Marian. I’ll...

  • Conversation: How Can I be a better Wife?

    On Tuesday, June 30 th, 2009

    I ask him at the end of the trail, the end of the weekend, the end of fifteen years. I ask him before we set out again. We sit under the oaks, green banners flying in the wind. There had been a pause in our passing of words back and forth and it was what I was really wondering, so I’d stepped out into the fear (who knows how’d he answer?) and just released the words, sl...

  • Gifts in Brokenness

    On Thursday, May 21 st, 2009

    I am especially broken today … fever and aching joints. Kind L.L. Barkat slips in with a good, thoughtful word. On Tuesday morning, I had a speaking engagement. Before I started talking, I went to the ladies room, as I told the women afterwards, “to get all perfect” for them. Standing before the mirror, tugging, flipping, lipsticking, I noticed a big wrinkle at the ...

  • Conversation: Fear’s the First Step of Faith

    On Wednesday, April 29 th, 2009

    We’re eating at the table, words mainly, the salty kind, and I never hear the cracking open of the world. Shalom’s still picking at her salad but the rest of us chew on Hebrews, the eleventh chapter. We each have a Bible, same version, open before us, Scripture handed out from the basket kept at the end of the window seat, from the real bread basket, always full for the tak...

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