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….

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…

Home Is Where We Start From

Three days into spring break, I find myself on a windy hilltop, alone and reading poetry. At my back is the high outer wall of Rodborough Fort, a well-kept castle of indeterminate history or function, not open to the public but apparently available to lease. I text Timmy a picture of the castle and the…

Jet Lag

Monday night, 11:00 PM, and Luci has decided it’s time to be awake. Only our third night back in Germany, it promises to be just as dramatic as the first two, when our one-year-old daughter wanted to roll around our bed for a few hours in the dead middle of the night, before falling sound asleep and…

Homecoming

It’s only after we’ve been on the beach for a while, watching her little toes rake through the gravel, that I realize Luci has never felt the ground with her bare feet. I can count on one hand the times that my snow-born baby has been outside without a coat on, and she has never been…

An Experienced Novice

It’s hotter in Texas than we’d like. When we unfold ourselves from inside the narrow tube of the three-hour “express” from Norfolk, Virginia to Houston, we step onto the warm runway and breathe in the foreign, humid scent of February in the Lone Star State. Three flights down, one to go. Living overseas, Timmy and I…

Our Time Machine

Highway 20 is a time machine. An east-west corridor a few roads north of the bustling Interstate 90, along which we now live, Highway 20 is less traveled than the freeway, which goes eventually to Boston, and also than Highway 2, which goes to the faux-German village of Leavenworth and various other agricultural destinations. Highway 20…

Our Villages

“Raise your hand if you ever taught me in a Sunday school class,” Timmy requests on Sunday morning. I’m sitting in the front row of a fiercely air-conditioned sanctuary, shivering while outside the temperature climbs to 90˚ F before 9:00 AM. I’m not in Germany anymore. Where I am is Virginia Beach Community Chapel, Timmy’s home…

A Sunset

…But I didn’t want to say the heart breaks, even though I know it’s true & the breaking can be a good thing sometimes, like the way my heart shatters a little each time I think of my friends & how lucky in life I’ve been to get to know them, to have had the time…

Places as People

And having answered so I turn once more to those who      sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer      and say to them: Come and show me another city with lifted head singing      so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning. Flinging magnetic curses amid…