Finding God in Updike Country

9294082808_489ce8bc7c_mIt took me more than a year of living out here to realize I am living in Updike Country. It just never occurred to me. The first time I ever read the Rabbit books, I’d never been to Pennsylvania.

All I knew was that Updike was writing about small-town America. Doesn’t really matter where, I thought. Could be anywhere. I didn’t think the specific location mattered much to Updike, either. I didn’t understand how it could have mattered. [Read more…]

The Severe Wind Event

I stood Saturday morning and looked up at the massive oak tree broken about twelve feet up the trunk and fallen on my roof. At eight in the morning the temperature was eighty-seven degrees and heading toward a high of 105. We had no power, and word was it would be out at least a week.

Another tree had smashed through the back fence and lay across the yard, its small top branches bent and broken on the far fence. The yard smelled like fresh-cut firewood.

Strange iridescent-green insects flitted around, bugs who normally live in the tops of those trees where we never see them.

Knocked from their nests, baby squirrels swarmed the yard. Small as hamsters they skittered and chirped and chased one another in confused play. There must have been forty of them. They are gone now, I don’t know where, but I have an idea—our neighborhood is not short on cats. [Read more…]