Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Today is Kansas Day. For as long as I can remember, I've marked January 29th in my mind as a day to take note of my heritage; a day to be proud of where - and whom - I come from.

For 147 years, she's looking good. Happy Birthday Kansas!

(As I've been battling the flu the past two days, I don't have the energy to write much so have linked an earlier post above. )

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Sunrise to come

One of my favorite parts of being a Kansas girl is the never-ending horizon. I once heard that a sailor from the prairie feels at home adrift on the sea because of the endless sky and wide open spaces.

Each morning as I leave for work, I'm treated to a canvas that is never the same; a gift that transforms from minute to minute with prismatic bursts of color. I'm always checking through the window to see what waits outside the back door...and rarely am I disappointed.

Tomorrow brings a difficult day. With a loss of a friend and a trip back 'home' we will spend our day shrouded in gray. May the winds of time bring peace to us all, sweet memories to sustain us and new sunrises of hope for the future.


I found this old post from September of '05 while going through some of my writing. It makes me long for the lazy nights of summer...

I love this time of day: twilight, dusk, sunset, eventide.....when everything is edged in rims of gold, silhouetted against an everchanging canvas. All are still, all at rest. A time to lay down worries, a time to be at peace. The witching hour...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Enough Love

There's something about this picture that I love. I think it is the candid moment of sharing between my children and their dad - being oblivious to my shot - that warms me.

They love their father. Even though he lives three hours away he has been a big part of their lives through the years, traveling to ballgames, plays, concerts and simple 'moments' so he can share in those steps that they're taking.

They've never had to choose whom to love. From the time we separated 11 years ago they've known that there was an abundance of love, not only for them, but from them. I remember saying, when they were very young, that the wonderful thing about love is that it never runs out; that there is always enough for everyone. Because life - and love - isn't a competition, and the differences between a couple should never overflow to affect the heart of a child.

So when my daughter and son talk to their dad on the phone....or when they see him in person, share a hug and a kiss and say to each other, "I Love You," I feel it too. Because they are loved, and because they are given the freedom to love, their world will always be a place big enough to share.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A New Look

Some of the most ordinary things can look special from a different perspective. Sometimes you have to digress from the beaten path to see things in a new light. Even an old battered windmill can become a thing of beauty on the hush of a stilled wind against an azure prairie sky...

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Taste from the past

When I was a little girl living on the farm, we used to go up the hill to Sam and Sibyl Carey's house. There Sam would let us children have a sample of Horehound candy; a cross between tea, molasses and root beer. I loved it and savored it, as candy wasn't something we had often back in the 1960's.

In a nearby town at a small dollar store, I found this beloved sweet hanging on a rack amidst the Twizzlers, Lifesavers and Starbursts. It is my choice of candy over the newer tastes with their bright colors and fancy packaging. I'm not sure if it's because of the actual flavor or because of the loving memories associated with its introduction into my life. You cannot find it at the large superstores or name brand shops. But once in awhile it shows up at the hardware or tractor supply stores; places that too, bring back fond moments of childhood.

I took some to school so some of the students could try them. Most made a face and threw them away, but one or two enjoyed their unique flavor. Like the Littmus Lozenge in the book, Because of Winn Dixie, it carries something extra underneath its sugar-coating. For me that is simpler times on the farm, the innocent joy of childhood and the love of good neighbors.

And all that in a small piece of candy...

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Staying positive

When I first started this blog I wasn't sure what I was doing or what I would post here. I loved to write and take pictures and with the encouragement of a friend, I stumbled into this new and amazing world.

Everyone posts for a different reason, but it didn't take long to decide that I wanted this to be a positive place; somewhere that people could go to read words of encouragement and hope. A place that would reaffirm their own blessings....a light in a sometimes dim world.

A few days ago, I wrote about a couple of things I've been battling. Nothing major or life-changing, but inner struggles that tug at me emotionally. And I made a friend cry. She was so upset, knowing that I was upset...and I hated that.

So that post now sits in my draft pile as a reminder to keep things positive and to remember that I truly am fortunate for all that I have, for those whom I love and for those who love me.

It's cloudy outside, but here on the inside, the sunshine has returned...

Friday, January 04, 2008


The Christmas decorations are still up at home, including the tree. I can't bring myself to take it all down just yet. The holidays were such a special time - a respite from the craziness of the world outside our front door. It was so nice to sit at home with my family, having no place to go. I guess I feel that once the decorations come down, it's "business as usual."

This picture is one that lingers with me as well; two smiling faces of a Christmas past. Like a sweet bouquet, I love to savor the fragrance of those innocent days when I could fix their problems with a kiss and a cookie.

Though time moves ahead - and rightfully so - it's OK to steal a precious moment from yesterday....then STILL a moment from yesterday....and linger there for just a little while.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year's Eve

Typically on New Year's Eve, we gather at either my sister's or brother's house to celebrate the past year and ring in the new. It is always a fun time as we pass out hats, horns and confetti to the kids and indulge ourselves with merriment at the prospect of seeing another new year filled with joy and love.

But this year, one of my daughter's dearest friends was in the hospital, recovering from complications from her December 1st appendectomy.

It was nearly 8:30 when we stood outside her room, waiting as her
mother, one of my good friends, talked with her father and the nurse. Her twin brother and my son were also with us and we stilled the laughter bubbling over as we anticipated her joy at having New Year's Eve visitors.

I wish I had a picture that showed the smile that spread across her face as she saw my daughter walk through her hospital room door. But then I would've missed the moment. They are very close - these two girls - and it is a friendship that is a blessing to them both.

Our two families are connected in a way that never fails to warm my heart. Our sons are in the same class and play basketball together, sharing their friendship since we moved here in 2001.

Cathy and I both work at the school and have shared many moments of laughter and togetherness with our children and their activities, and she is a friend whom I value and treasure. Even our husbands have a history. When my husband, James, was a child, he lost his home and all his belongings in a fire. Cathy's husband, Jim, gave him a new truck that he had been wanting, unknowingly prefacing a family friendship that would resume in the years ahead.

We donned silly hats, watched the celebration at Time's Square and brought in the New Year with sparkling grape juice, lots of hugs and shining confetti. It was a very special night that will long be remembered.

But then, with friendships likes these and a smile like that, where else would we be on this New Year's Eve?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A Happy Anniversary

Originally written in 2006, this is a repost for my wonderful parents...who today, celebrate their 59th anniversary.

Fifty-seven years ago on January 1, 1949, my mother and father slipped off and were quietly married in a small church with only the minister and his wife as a witness. Neither wanted the production of a large wedding and truth be told, I'm not sure they would have married under those circumstances!

Mom was a secretary working at McKesson's in Wichita when she met my dad; a soldier returning from the army where he had been stationed on the Aleutian Islands. They began as friends, getting to know one another first, then love followed, resulting in their marriage and setting the course for this journey.

From 1951 to 1964, six children were born; my siblings and me, and we began weaving the tapestry of our lives. Each child remembers things a little differently, from different places in our pattern, but from my view, life was enchanting; a never-ending circle of love, warmth and happiness. We were safe, valued, encouraged, taught and wanted. We were our own community of entertainment and merriment and that continues to this day. Even if we weren't family, we would choose one another as friends and companions on this sometimes joyful, sometimes difficult path through life.

As the years went by, grandchildren were added to the mixture; twelve bright, beautiful people who now range in age from 11 to 24. There are countless photographs of Mom and Dad with each and every one of them, but this one captures the essence of the relationships; Mother holding little hands and in the midst of what is going on while Dad smiles and is ever near for guidance and reassurance.

Because of them, we are us; a family rich in faith and hope and love. We are bound to one another through blood, but close to one another through our hearts.

If Webster were living and could re-define "family", there we would be, in living, brilliant color. How blessed we are that out of all the people in the world, an ordinary man met an ordinary woman and from their love came an extraordinary life.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad.....how fortunate we are to have our path lit with your example of what it's all about.