Charging my batteries

I have always been a morning person but recently it’s been taking me most of a morning  to get fully charged.

I start with coffee but Vic complains that I’ve been drinking more than I used to, i.e. more than my share. Yet I still drink a bit less than he does. Why is this a problem? Can’t we just make more coffee? Well, the system we’ve adopted to make our artisan pour-over, deliciously strong coffee makes no more than 700 g of coffee at a time. (Yes, we weigh it.) If one of us needs more than our established share, we have to make another pot or partial pot. That’s too much bother first thing in the morning.

But coffee is just the start. I’ve been needing more than my established share just to do the next parts of my charging routine. Continue reading

Calling Grandmothers

One of the first things I decided to do after the 2016 election was to stop coloring my hair. In the months that followed, the light brown I’d adopted for the past 20 years, something close to the color I was born with, gave way to snowy white. I am delighted with my new look, the result of genes inherited from my white-haired father and grandparents.

I told friends that I’d been waiting to stop coloring my hair till I was pretty sure it was growing out all white rather than gray. But there were deeper reasons for choosing to go white at that particular time, even though I couldn’t articulate them at first. Continue reading

Extravagant beauty

With full awareness of all that is ugly in the world, I am obsessing about beauty. I don’t believe these thoughts represent escapism so much as astonishment. A lesson that has unfolded for me over the past year is that nothing in this world is to be taken for granted. And so I’m trying to keep my eyes and my heart open and when I do this the beauty of life nearly overwhelms me, as does the impulse to experience, create, and extend this beauty, which represents Love. Continue reading

Gap weeks

Gap years are the thing. My great-nephew hasn’t figured out whether he wants to do political science or biology in college, though he knows which college he’ll attend and has already been accepted. So he’s taking a year to work and figure that out. It seems that for an 18-year-old he has figured out a lot already and a gap year is a sensible part of the plan. Continue reading

Broad is the way to the Kentucky Derby

 

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My husband and I went to the Kentucky Derby last Saturday. This was surprising to some people who know us. It was also surprising to us. It is not something people who grew up rural Mennonite generally put on their bucket lists.

As if to confirm how out-of-place we should feel at such an event, the last quarter-mile of the long walk from our parked car to Churchill Downs was lined with preachers shouting repentance. Continue reading

Moving in, moving out

Today I took a break from unpacking boxes and moving furniture and packed my bags for Congo. I leave in three days.

We began moving into our new home nine days ago and yesterday it began to feel like home. Our daughter had played house, arranging furniture and rugs, and her husband had moved extra stuff and boxes upstairs, while Ethan, the two-year-old Entropy Machine, scattered cars, trucks, and improvised light sabers faster than we could collect and stash all the stuff of our existence. Hazel, 6, picked daffodils that popped up on a warm day and explored all the nooks and crannies. The house felt blessed and broken in by their presence. Continue reading

Being and Moving

IMG_3778 (1)It is March 13 and a fresh snow slows time as if to say, Let’s have some more winter before spring bursts upon us.

I could use a real time stop, to let me catch up with myself. Maybe that’s why time has been playing tricks on me. Like I was sure today is my grandson’s second birthday when it was actually yesterday. Continue reading

Boxing up

We went out today in search of boxes. Many, many boxes. I started packing with the boxes we have on hand and I didn’t get through the first of five bookshelves. We are buying boxes because we have made the rounds of grocery stores for boxes too often in the past. You never get enough that way. I will have enough boxes. I will be wealthy in boxes. Continue reading

Donald Trump, kickstarter

img_3032We are selling our beautiful house in the Michigan woods and plotting a move to the nearby city of South Bend, Indiana. We have many reasons for doing this and we have been thinking about it for some time but what prompted us to take action, to actually put our beloved home on the market and begin the rollercoaster of real estate searches, showings, and offers, has a lot to do with the election of Donald Trump and the stunning, fast-moving stream of events since then. Continue reading