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…

The First Day of No School

Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there, To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not, You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy. In order to arrive at what you do not know You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance….

Goodbye, Town.

From our last night in Kandern, Germany. (With apologies to Margaret Wise Brown.)   In the great green room There is a glowing world And a tiny spoon And a picture of kids, pointing up at the moon. There are two goldfish, and a bunny dish. And two paper stars, and a purple car. And…

What You Leave

“What’s it like leaving?” It’s the question of the month, a fair one to ask after eight years in missions, seven at Black Forest Academy. The answer, I mostly reply, is that it’s complicated. Because there are many kinds of leaving, and they all mean different things. Today—with our students graduated as of this morning…

Haunted By Homes

“No matter how you get there or where you end up, human beings have this miraculous gift to make that place home.” Creed Bratton, The Office Luci and I halt abruptly in front of the kitchen/toy/hardware store window display on Hauptstrasse, because I’ve spied a familiar word. Beside an elegant box containing three ceramic egg-cups and…

Home Is Where The Jam Is

I love to go out in late September among the fat, overripe, icy, black blackberries to eat blackberries for breakfast, the stalks very prickly, a penalty they earn for knowing the black art of blackberry-making; and as I stand among them lifting the stalks to my mouth, the ripest berries fall almost unbidden to my…

Grateful Goodbyes

Here are the hard goodbyes Love you ’til the day I die Here’s where regrets all fade Into the light from which you’re made And here is the warm sand Sifting through your perfect hand Here’s where you laugh again In the memory of a friend And here’s where you find the truth It’s the…

House Hunters: Kandern

  House Hunters International makes me dangerously smug. The House Hunters franchise, as far as I can tell, forms a cornerstone of the Home Garden Television mansion. The basic formula involves someone–usually a couple–looking for a house, then being carted around to three different houses by a realtor. At the end, the couple has to reach some…

How The Storm Tried To Steal Christmas

I’ve been trying to get around to writing about our candlelit Christmas for a bit now. Oddly, it’s not easy to set aside time for writing (or even thinking, sometimes), with a wriggly six-week-old as a loud and pleasant constant companion. I’m tempted to write in metaphor, some bit about light and darkness that would be…

Candles and Community

The house is cold at dawn. I wake and build the fires. The ground is white with snow. from “IV,” Wendell Berry On the night our daughter is supposed to be born (the “supposed to” determined by an oh-so-precise countdown that started way back in February), we have no electricity at Snoqualmie Pass. We’re actually more than…