April 20, 2013

Where it is Always Winter

Dear friends,

This winter is hanging on oh so long. Beneath the green vacation pictures and kids books is a stifled scream. We are so close to a completed re-build house. I can sense change ahead, and yet this hard, hard season is hanging on, so tight. I've been pretty comfortable in this limbo place. I don't really like the empty, unknown possibilities now lurking about. Will our next home feel the same? Maybe. I really have no idea. No idea if I can go back to carefree days so innocent. I catch myself methodically checking our Animal Humane Society page. When we have a house again will Cadi be there? No. no... but I have no closure. We think about replacing a vehicle; two doors or four? Are we always to be just two?

Bombs go off in Boston, and plants explode in Texas and this place. It is hard to live on this side of heaven. There is. no. safe. home. here. 

I feel broken. Broken and like this gray, howling wind existence stretches out too long. I want to hope. But I can't. Thoughts of blue sky days and green grass are so far away. I am tired and I know something needs to change, but what can change when you fear change itself?

Spring thaw and warm summer days will be treasured this year, for we have endured a long winter. We need a new beginning. I so desperately need a new beginning.

One day, in our heavenly home, maybe just maybe, we will treasure it all the more, remembering these hard days that fall like shadow. This race that is hard until the end.

God, sometimes I doubt you are here in this season. Help me to keep seeking, for in seeking you seed hope.

April 10, 2013

Mog The Forgetful Cat

I love cats. I love children's literature. I love all things British. Combine the three and you get Mog The Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr. How I have gone 30 years and not found Mog is beyond me, but there she was, happily awaiting my discovery at a little book shop in the mountains.

Classical cat behaviour and cute, simple illustrations drew me into the book. The humour is undeniably British, and especially funny to those who have owned and loved cats. Perhaps, especially funny to a girl who spent many years of her childhood drawing cat cartoons with her cousins.

Mog is entranced by the smells outdoors and forgets how to use her cat flap. Mog sits on top of the television. Mog accidentally eats an egg for breakfast... on the kitchen table. Mog forgets that she cannot fly like the birds...

Mog is loveable, relatable, and just about the funniest cat I have read about in many years. So funny that I had tears rolling down my face in the children's section of the mountain bookstore.

Mog books in our home are destined to be treasured along with the likes of Beatrix Potter and Richard Scarry. Perhaps one of these days I'll create my own little volumes to add to the collection. For now, I'll enjoy the inspiration, and hope I've inspired you to get to know Mog too...

picture credit: 1 2 3 4

April 9, 2013

Antiquing in Texas

One of my favourite little shopping places on our trip was Old Town Spring. We visited a quirky antique clock shop, an adorable fabric store in an old false-front building and many other unique little places. I only had my phone for pictures that afternoon, but in one shop we did discover that everything truly is bigger in Texas... even decorative vases...

Although we had already seen a snake, gecko, crazy leaf cutter ants and cardinals, the only armadillos and crocs we saw were these...

On our last day in Texas we made a point of stopping at a few antique places on our way back to the airport (trying to extend our time as much as possible of course!). Old buildings dotted the highway between Houston and Austin...

We did not find much in the way of antiques, but there were plenty of interesting old buildings to look in, and this cute outdoor cafe complete with twinkle lights.

Fields of bluebonnets lined the highway and I simply soaked them in, remembering the snowy ditches and icy fields awaiting me at home.

This is now my happy place as we attempt to slug through the loooongest winter ever out west... When I close my eyes I am instantly on my brother's back deck, listening to the birds, feeling a warm breeze and smelling all the newness of a true spring. Oh, take me back!

April 4, 2013


An hour and a bit out from Houston the road drops away and out you go to rolling sea.

Gulls and pelicans float on the breeze and sandpipers scuttle along the shore. On this trip the wind was a bit cool, but we were determined to soak up every bit of sun! No swimming  occurred, but a few of us waded into the water to hunt for shells.

Several people fished off a rocky pier. We wandered all along the beach, enjoy palm trees, bright blue sky and the sound of waves on the shore.

The sand was incredible and the beach extremely clean. We took a break for lunch, Schlotzky sandwiches (another first!) and continued beach combing.

After touring the Lone Star Flight Museum, it was suggested we try Miller's for supper. Fresh seafood heaped our plates, I tried some amazing fish tacos, and the ocean was in view right across the street. 

There is something so refreshing about the ocean, we really enjoyed our Galveston day!

April 1, 2013

Moments that matter

Fuzzy thoughts slide through my vacation-quelled brain; pick up milk, fill the washing machine, what to make for supper? plan Math lessons for the upcoming week, where are my glasses? I so need a nap, and oh! the sea-shells...

Math lessons are left as I trudge upstairs to go glasses hunting. There they are... not the glasses but the shells, resting in a sandy ziploc bag by the sink. I slowly fill the crinkly bag with water and sand spirals out to spin slowly down the drain. Warm water rinses over shell and I feel each crevice and crease. Row upon row, little creatures created each piece; alike yet different. 

This is what I want to teach; alike yet different, each one special and unique as layer upon layer and year after year we too are beauty created. One shell for each, a few minutes at the end of the day. A small moment, but may it be a moment that matters, even to just one.