Woman in Winter

Winter mocks her.

Despondency settles heavily on her brow like a sinus headache.

The steady drip of melting snow trickling off the eaves is just that: a trick. It will snow again. She knows this to be true.

DSCN1306  street view

Today’s roadway slush will freeze tonight into alien landforms. Walking outdoors is treacherous; slick ice with sloppy, wet, grayish-brown sludge on the offensive, ready to take her down. She despises shopping malls – if one more person suggests walking in one, she will scream. Besides, there is no time. She hasn’t seen her younger child since an early supper on Wednesday before he left for scouts, his shaggy unkempt hair incongruent with the neatness of the Boy Scout uniform. She lies awake late at night, trying to clear her mind and relax so she can sleep. Eventually, sleep comes – she suspects it arrives with a cast iron skillet like a cartoon fishwife.

Groggy mornings find her struggling (but not really – why fight the sleep that came so slowly?) to awaken. The children are already at school. She forces herself to go through the motions: shower, get dressed. She looks longingly at fleece lounge pants – too warm for sleep, they would be perfect right now. But she must leave for work and they are too informal for office attire, even for her. Wearing no make-up, she chooses nicer yoga pants that she hopes look like dress pants.

At work, she fakes happiness in a voice doesn’t belong to her. The more she accomplishes the further behind she feels. How important, really, is that particular task? Would anyone notice if it was done or left undone? She stays late at the office in a futile attempt to catch up, making mistakes that cost her more time.

She pulls into the driveway and turns the key, shutting off the engine. Life at home continued without her, of course. The fourteen-year-old has already shut himself in his room for the night. Her place is set at the table, her cold supper portion resting in serving dishes.

Rest. That’s what she craves. So much remains undone in her life: work, appointments. She sighs – and realizes that in the morning shuffle, she failed to take her medication. No wonder she is achy and sad. (There is no exclamation point because one of the forgotten pills is an anti-depressant.) If she takes one now, she will perk up and have trouble sleeping. It is better to wait for morning. Tomorrow is another day.


This post was originally written 4 years ago and left to languish in the “drafts” file. Today simply felt like the right day to set it free.



The Groundhog was Correct

I doubted. Silly me.

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Admit it…. you laughed.

So did I.

But then I stopped, and paused to reflect.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall

Who’s the busiest of them all?

Busy! Busy! Busy!

Busy! Busy! Busy!

Guilty as charged.

I am trying to set aside some quiet moments this season to reflect on why we celebrate Christmas, why we look for the perfect gift for someone we love.  I am trying to be intentional about Advent, this season of preparation. Today we light the “peace” candle on the Advent wreath.

Hope. Peace. Joy. Love.

In the midst of everything happening in our nation and in the world, I need the focus of Advent more than ever.   Peace be with you.



Dual Zone

There are lights on the tree…

DSCN8486  UP above the fireplace
…and leaves hanging from the mantel.
Dual Holiday Fireplace decor
The fireplace decor sums up the situation.  Honestly, though, it’s okay if it takes another week or two to get all gussied up for Christmas — after all, it was just a few weeks ago that I managed to put away the final few pieces of the Christmas decor from last year!






Hanging on




MTM: Tracking Autumn Views

On my way to work one day last month, I was stunned by the view of fall foliage looking toward downtown.

DSCN3455 Spokane vista in autumn, north hill looking toward downtown
DSCN3460 NettletonI knew immediately where I would go the next chance I had a few free hours with my camera — and then I cleared my schedule for the next afternoon.

There are a few places around town that still have streetcar tracks visible.  This part of the West Central Neighborhood includes Doyle’s Ice Cream Parlor which I’ve blogged about before. It’s been 28 years since I lived in this neighborhood but I remembered the amazing canopy of leaves and the streetcar tracks.

DSCN3461 overcast, websizedThe sun was alternately shining through and obscured by the clouds.

DSCN3463 sunny, websized

I had to drive in circles for a while, but I found what I was looking for — before the incoming storm brought wind and rain enough to bring down the leaves.

DSCN3469 West Central streetcar tracks





Growing Up

DSCN3483 (2)Last weekend the oldest parts of our church building celebrated 100 years as a place of worship. (The side in which I work was built in 1926, but the sanctuary was built in 1917 after the original church building from 1888 was destroyed by fire.)  With such a celebration happening, it was a treat to have The Engineer, The Author, and Little Foot come for a visit.  All that wasn’t the reason they came for a visit, but the timing was lovely.

It had been a month since we had seen them. Little Foot is growing up so fast, and if it’s possible (I think it is), he is getting cuter every month. The second anniversary of his birth will be in just a few more weeks. This boy melts my heart.  That bear is nearly as big as he is and it is his favorite toy. He talks to Bear and gives Bear turns playing with other toys. It’s really sweet to see.

Boxes make the best toys

The box with the coffee order for work arrived at the perfect time to be a toy for the weekend.


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Look! No Christmas decorations on the mantel — it’s a miracle! (Don’t worry, they’ll return.)

This evening SuperDad and I watched Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand in “The Way We Were” and then clicked on the director’s commentary. Not only does the film make more sense when you see the parts that were left on the cutting floor, but watching it allowed us to hear more of that haunting music and Barbra’s incredible voice. It’s such a story of choices. In a strange comparison of sorts, my 18-year-old baby boy is off camping by himself in the snow several hours away. He drove himself there after school in his truck, sent me a text from the nearest town and told us not to worry prior to Monday night.  He only plans to be gone two nights — there is school on Monday — but if his post-concussion syndrome (headache, lack of ability to focus) is bothering him, he wouldn’t be able to drive and would wait to come home.

DSCN3432 Senior pic 4x6 WEBSIZED

One of The Scout‘s senior pictures, taken on a day he wasn’t feeling well.

Not worry? Me? Hahahahaha… Um, no — I’ll be worrying if we haven’t heard from him by sundown on Sunday, preferably by seeing him in person at home. He’s solo hiking and snow-camping in the wilderness without cell phone reception. But what do you do? He’s a legal adult and a very responsible kid person. Still… he’ll always be my baby.
websshare SENIOR PIC, 4x6 or 2x3




DSCN3169 Brrr... websized

This was our view on Monday morning.

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We were not prepared.

DSCN3171 unprepared, websized


Too much, too soon


We received a few inches of snow on Sunday. It seems like a cruel trade for that extra hour of sleep. I’m currently vehicle-less while the hardworking minivan is getting winter shoes put on her feet. For the fun of mixing metaphors, I suspect she’s waiting in a long line at the farrier today — we aren’t the only ones caught off-guard.

There will be no NaBloPoMo happening here. If they scheduled it for February, then I would have a decent chance of being able to participate, but work plus family in November is simply too busy.

I’ll try to post more later this week.