Sunday, October 19, 2008

Feeling Peace

Tonight my husband took me out for a belated birthday dinner. Before we went to eat, he indulged my creative spirit by stopping at Hobby Lobby where I perused the aisles to my heart's content. I like shopping at this time of year; when rows of shelves are lined with oranges and browns, russets and reds.

The Christmas decorations are also up. Some people hate the appearance of greenery before the Jack-O-Lanterns and goblins disappear, but I love it. While everyone else was absorbed with candy corns and smiling pumpkins, I walked up and down the rows of Christmas trinkets, alone with my thoughts and plans.

With my husband busy at the hobby trains, I took my time looking through the hundreds of glass ornaments hanging on four rows of the store. As is tradition, I selected one for my daughter and son that detailed where they are at this point in their lives. They both have a box filled to the brim with ornaments from each year so that when they have their own homes and their own trees, they'll already have memories to hang on their boughs.

It was enchanting, walking around undisturbed with the entire section to myself and beautiful music playing in the background. It takes so little to make me happy.
This was a night that I felt great peace.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


He's in the 5th grade now, a tow-headed boy I've known for some time. But when you're eleven and on the brink of adolescence, it's not so cool to talk to teachers and grown-ups in the hallways anymore. I've watched him become more detached over the years in this growing up process; his innocence and openness gradually slipping away. And it's been a little sad.

But yesterday when I greeted him in the hallway, expecting the usual mumbled reply, he stopped and looked at me saying, "Remember the scribble game?"

Do I. Carol Dochow and I started it back in 1971 in our fourth grade classroom. When we had finished with our school work, we would play it at our desks. The first person would make a scribble mark on a piece of paper then pass it to the other. That person would then look at the scribble from every angle and add to it to create a picture. When I was older and had kids of my own, I taught them how to play to keep them occupied when we were waiting at restaurants or at the doctor's office. Even my husband and I played it a few years back when we had to wait several hours at the Mayo Clinic

In recent years I used it to entertain young children roaming around while I was taking money at ballgames. They would sit on stools at the large table with me and we'd pass the paper back and forth. It was fun watching them take on the 'scribble'. This boy in the hallway was one of those kids who used to find fascination in a simple mark he could transform into art.

I told him that yes, I remembered, and that it would be fun for him to show his little brother how to play the game while they were waiting on someone.

"I want to play it with you." he said.

It's amazing just how little children truly need. In a world where technology reigns and we are bombarded with all that is electronic, a young boy still remembers - and is drawn to - a magical world of paper and pen where he can see the world any way he chooses, and be the master of his own creation.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


I love this time of year when sunflowers dot the landscape like brown-faced angels embraced in golden halos.

To our east there are three fields filled with them, asking for a sitting to capture their loveliness.

I made it out three separate times to capture photos, though just have pictures from the first so far. The window of opportunity is only open a few weeks before they begin to hang their weary heads and the fields turn brown.

It is a once a year chance to capture their natural beauty in its pageantry and each year, I am newly thrilled.