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…

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…

29: To The Wanderers

A few years ago, I paraphrased some of Jeremiah 29, the oft-quoted letter to the Israelite exiles in Babylon. While no one I know is in literal exile, it occurred to me then that many of my friends and students–all over the world and for a variety of reasons–find themselves in unfamiliar places, and are…

After The Wedding

Still I always look up to the sky Pray before the dawn Cause they fly away One minute they arrive Next you know they’re gone “O”, Coldplay After the wedding, we wake up slowly. Even Emily and I, who slept on the cool tile of the of the solarium, don’t immediately get up when the…

From Sausenburg

    The pavement bends up behind the Catholic church, and we leave the smallest city in Germany down in the valley, turning a corner to find ourselves in the bottle-green halls of the summer Black Forest. It’s been a long time since my trail map was a constant companion, since Emily and I traced these little diamond-marked…

Moving In

We didn’t always live on Mango Street. Before that we lived on Loomis on the third floor, and before that we lived on Keeler. Before Keeler it was Paulina, and before that I can’t remember. But what I remember most is moving a lot. Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street We finish just before lunchtime, then prepare plates…

Garage Archaeology

After an hour, the floor disappears. Everywhere I look, a fine layer of dusty paperclips, dusty books, and dusty teacups covers the hardwood floors of the Green Room, the office guest room which used to be my room, which before that was Noah’s room. Today, it’s a museum of my belongings, all dragged up from…

The Attic

“I’d have a stable full of Arabian steeds, rooms piled with books, and I’d write out of a magic inkstand, so that my works should be as famous as Laurie’s music. …. I think I shall write books, and get rich and famous; that would suit me, so that is my favorite dream.” Louisa May…