Lest We Forget

Take up our quarrel with the foe! To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high! If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields. from “In Flanders fields,” John McRae I was twenty-five years old before I heard of…

Using the Car

I’ve never much liked driving. I realize that this probably puts my American citizenship at risk—a dangerous thing to do at the moment—since automobile affection seems stitched into the fiber of our national being. We’re the nation of the Model T, of giant parking lots and the infinite chain of interstates, of drive-ins, drive-throughs and…

The Time To Be Slow

Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening, like a tree which doesn’t force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them,…

What Can Go Right

Sometimes traffic—the maddeningly unpredictable flow of that greatest annoyance, other cars–can tell important stories. I like to think I’m in control of a great many details regarding my life. Of course I know, in a proper Christ-following way, that God is in control, but lately it’s Seattle traffic that reminds me that sometimes I’m quite…

Ideal World Problems

My phone knows I’m pregnant. Like many moms my age, along with the time-consuming social media and practical tools, my cell phone is currently host to a handful of pregnancy-related apps. My hospital has its own app reminding me about upcoming appointments, and in a moment of uncertainty earlier this week I downloaded a contraction…

Mini Pumpkins and Not-Forever Houses

It was a great day when I discovered that Trader Joe’s sells small pumpkins for 69 cents. America and Germany are tied in their veneration of pumpkins. In Germany, I could go to the market and find five kinds of pumpkins suitable for making various types of soup. That’s pretty much what you do with…

Broken Bowl, Beautiful Bread

I knew what had happened before I saw it. The familiar crash, gravity precipitating a collision between ceramic tile and ceramic dish, and then a groan of disappointment from the dropper. Usually, to be honest, it’s me dropping stuff, but this time it was my daughter, a toddler who remarkably has broken only one mug in…

Calling, Passion and Tally Ho

We turn off the road toward the workshop, hearing only the faint clink of hammer on wood from across the field. Past a high fence advertising a “dangerous work site,” we pick our way through a forest of felled and sliced oak to where the ribcage of a boat perches under a roof without walls….

So We’ll See What Happens

“Um… I may have found a house.” The text message from Timmy, detail-sparse but full of possibility, blinks across my phone as soon as I connect the in-flight internet, somewhere just beyond Minneapolis as I fly home from Emily’s wedding. Through the brief exchange that follows, I learn of the couple whose job is taking…

Everything Beautiful

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11 After the ceremony, we drift under the pavilion, searching for cold drinks and shade. I suspect this day isn’t terribly hot by midwestern standards, but I’ve been quite literally chilling in the mountains of Washington State for the ten days since our return to Germany, so…