…And One Day You Shall Die: A Life Lesson From Mommy Killjoy


I took my daughter on a walk yesterday, and she was starting to get tired. "What do you do when you're walking?" she asked. "Don't you get bored?"I told her that I listen to books, or I pray, or I look at the sky and think about things I want to write down."How do we know that Heaven is up and hell is down?" she asked. We'd been talking a little about death, and how she doesn't have to worry about it--because it's life that hurts, not death.She'd been taking her pulse a lot lately … [Read more...]

Life Drifts From One Party to the Next


Thanks to Elizabeth Foss's for creating the "Gathering my Thoughts" post, after which I've modeled the following. Outside my window:The weather could not be better really, sunny, 70 degrees, good breeze, cumulus clouds. Last week I almost fell asleep on the porch one night wrapped in a blanket with a book on my lap while my husband walked the kids to the tractor pull at the county fair. Every ten minutes or so I heard the gunning of a tractor motor and it jarred me awake a … [Read more...]

It’s Ok to Dream: A Reflection on Educating Girls and Using One’s Potential

Lady Power!

My husband and I ran the seven mile block Sunday, which I haven't done since before I had kids. I didn't think I'd be able to finish it, couldn't utter more than two syllables at a time the entire way, so conversations went something like, "Tall corn," and "Dead bird," grunting verbalizations of the points of interest we passed along the way. It was very romantic.Years ago, when my husband and I were getting to know each other, we went for a four mile run together, and I kicked his butt … [Read more...]

Baling Hay For a Good Time


The drive to my parents' house includes a country road that pretends to have two lanes, but is really only wide enough for one car. It's a terribly tempting road on which to speed because of all the short hills that, when you accelerate just so, send your guts up to your ears.So, I was speeding on those blind hills this afternoon, when I crested a hill, guts a-flying, and came face to face with a twenty-foot wide farm implement. You always know it's a possibility on this road. You've seen … [Read more...]

The Idiot Experience of Righteous Anger

One toad was harmed most certainly in the making of this photograph.

Last night, I came home from the store after dark to find that someone had left the garage door hanging open again. This is a raw topic for me, because the garage door is left hanging open with uncanny frequency, no matter that I've reasonably requested closing the door many times after the children have extracted their bicycles and toys.So, in my righteous indignation, I stomped out to the garage, and slammed the door shut, then slammed it again when it didn't stay shut, and finally, I … [Read more...]

“Reality includes religion; realism should, too.”–Christopher Beha

Christopher Beha, novelist and Deputy Editor of Harper's Magazine, discusses the problematic absence of religion in American Literature in an interview with Jesse Barron in Haper's Magazine:  "On a more practical level: the majority of people in this country (and on this earth) have sincerely held religious beliefs that they’ve integrated into their thoroughly modern lives. A quarter of the U.S. population — and 40 percent of the population of New York, where my novel is set — self-iden … [Read more...]

The Mission of Families in Reconciling “The Family”


Is it possible, or even desirable, to shelter our children while also acting as witnesses to a wounded culture? I want to live in a world in which adults consider children and their innocence first, and strive to make their passage into adulthood as gentle as possible. In such a world, worship spaces, public places and popular culture would be, if not tailored to our nations youngest citizens, then at least mindful of their presence, respecting the role of parents to introduce … [Read more...]