Happy Anniversary (Knock on Wood)

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On Monday, Rich and I celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary. Part of me is totally in awe and wants to shout it from the rooftops. But I was raised Presbyterian with a minor in superstition, so even the thought of that freaks me out.

I’ll admit it: when someone on Facebook writes a gushing post about how perfect and incredible their partner is, I can’t help but think, “Who are you Continue reading

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Fifty Shades of Grace

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Last fall, my husband added two raised beds to our garden. As a child, Rich loved walking into his parents’ yard and eating berries plucked from their raspberry patch. He wanted to give our kids (and himself) and same experience now.

He finished the beds in October, but planned to wait until spring to plant the bushes. Every time I looked out our back windows, the empty boxes struck me as barren and ugly, so I asked if he would mind me borrowing them for the winter. I figured we could fill them with spring flower bulbs and have an abundance of easy blooms in April. I hoped that having a gorgeous crop to look forward to would help me when I inevitably struggled through the bleak months of winter. Continue reading

Unexpected Flight

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The drive to my kids’ middle school can be absolutely magical. The road hugs the side of a meandering creek, and depending on the time of year, we see some spectacular wildlife. In spring and summer, we’ve looked down the creek to see five startlingly white Snowy Egrets gathered to fish. We see Great Blue Herons camouflaged in the shallows hunting their breakfast. Perhaps most striking to me are the plain old mallard ducks, still floating in the icy waters all winter long. I see them as I drive by, in my layers of clothes, still shivering though my seat heater is blazing, and I marvel at their ability to float all winter with a soggy bottom.

Right now, late fall, is miraculous for the variety of birds we see as they pass through on their way south. I can’t name any of them, but I enjoy their variety nonetheless. Large geese walking the bank. Tiny black and white bodies bobbing on the water’s surface in impressive numbers.

Last week, I was driving to the school at what was, for me, an unusual time. It was late morning, and I was returning my son, Richie, to classes after Continue reading