Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Gray Hair

The boys initiated TTPM (TeaTime in the PM). It's quite a wonderful activity and we all look forward to it. We turn on the lamp, sit and sip our tea and chat until bedtime. During one of these TTPM, Kelton was sitting next to me stroking my hair. He said, "Mom! You have a couple silver hairs!" I said, "Yes, I know. Getting gray is somewhat inevitable. I guess I don't mind." He looked at me, alarmed. "No, Mom, it's SILVER and it's absolutely beautiful! Silver is very valuable! It makes you even more valuable!" 

I do remember countless hours I spent in conversation with Grandma, talking about her days of youth growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania, her years during the wars, her marriage, motherhood, grandmotherhood... She shared so much of herself with me, usually sitting on the bed in her pantyhose, just getting dressed for the day. I loved her silver hair and all that it represented to me. Her beauty astounded me. So, as the years bring more silver to my head, I will try to hold onto these precious thoughts, and not resent what age, hardship, challenges and sorrow may try to rob from me in the seasons to come.  

The goodness that surrounds me is often too much for my heart to comprehend. 

The fingerprints pressed onto a 1000 year old piece of pottery... 

The gift of this place...

Written when I was in the Grand Canyon hiking last fall. 

I thought I would find you on the mountaintops, in the high places where I could see the world clearly. 

But, you have drawn me through the deep valleys that sometimes hold me in the darkness, the places where fear crawls at my heels, and I look up. I see you more clearly because you are the light that conquers the darkness, the hope that defeats the heartache and you fill me with courage that overcomes the fear. 

If you didn't take me through the valley, I wouldn't see the canyon walls with their resplendent grandeur filled with the color you gave them. 

You take my pain and you mold it into what you want me to be. I look up and see the stars and the glory that is YOU. Because of the darkness of the valley... 

God, I will meet you there. 

Friday, April 07, 2023


Walking along the Forest Service Road pulling "Lucky" his rubber duck through the water that had pooled there, Declan had the biggest smile on his face. He's so much boy still, even as every day I see the man emerging. I looked beyond him to our mountain displaying it's majesty so simply, so resolutely. In the darker days, walking through the impossible, I often find strength in referring back to these magical arrested moments.  

The boys and I have been constructing plans for road trips/camping trips/hiking trips we would like to take this year and in the next few years. We have all found the Lochlan is much more engaged and manageable if he has recently been adventuring. If we're being perfectly honest, though, maybe it's all of us who are more engaged and manageable if we're adventuring. :-) I think as we face some of the challenges ahead, giving ourselves things to look forward to is very important for our mental/emotional health. We decided to do a "trial run" camping trip to Utah with Aunt T where we took a lot of notes on what we would like to improve, what we most definitely failed at, and what we felt were marked successes. Overall, the trip was delightful and even Lochlan's teacher noted upon our return that Lochlan was more verbally engaged and happier in his studies.

I did, however, injure myself on this journey when I slipped on ice and fell quite a distance. My shoulder was dislocated and I now have at least 8 weeks in a sling. Grrr. I'm grateful I didn't break something. 

The boys never stop entertaining me with their wild imaginations and endless shenanigans. 

Declan drove on the forest road to my hill! First time! He was awesome! 

Hun, the Bear, taught a class on nuclear reactions. 

The balloon man lounging creepily upon the couch... enough to stop the heart for a moment. 

We are in the process of preparing to close the sale on our big house. We've also been dedicating many hours a week working to prepare our Octagon property for the inevitable flooding that we're going to face as the monsoon season approaches this summer. We've done a lot, but there is still much to be done. My shoulder injury comes at a very inconvenient time, but I trust that there is a reason. Hopefully, someday it will all make more sense. 

So, as we face the unknown, prepare for the tasks ahead which are likely to be difficult, if not impossible, and fight the fear which raises it's ugly head in the most inconvenient moments, I will savor these hours of wandering that we give ourselves periodically to recharge, restore and re-balance our hearts and minds.