October 3, 2006 - Source: Mark Wilson/Getty Images News)
Photo taken by Benny Miller
Rocks on Schoolhouse Beach
I Learned Life-ing from my Dad
Dora, Jennie, Luci, Kathy

Living in a Forest instead of a Yard

October 18, 2016

Reading through old emails, I came across this description which I love, entitled: LEAVES They are all over the ground, masses of them in damp earthy profusion. All over our yard. I love the smell of them, the moistness, the damp earthiness. The orangeness and yellowness of them. They are muted, not too startling, but sophisticated. Like the color of my favorite dress. It rained last night …

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To Vote or Not to Vote

October 11, 2016

I have never voted in an election. Not because I don’t care about my country. I care very much. I love this country where I live. I love its beauty; love the broad sweep of its land, the diversity of its people, its ideals of freedom and democracy. My great grandparents of ten generations ago, Christian and Elizabeth Martin, emigrated here in 1732, in search …

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An Unexpected Encounter

October 3, 2016

My first day in downtown Chicago, I rode the Metra from a nearby suburb into Union Station. Streams of people, dressed in Chicago Cubs shirts or baseball caps or carrying purses with Chicago Cubs logos, exited the train with me. A friendly blonde pony-tailed girl–she said she had off classes for the day and was going to the game–pointed me in the right direction. I …

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Though You Are Homeless: Lori Helmuth’s Story

September 26, 2016

“Though you are homeless Though you’re alone I will be your home”     (From “I Will Be Your Home,” by Michael Card) To Lori Helmuth, of Beaver Lake Camp, Ontario, these words by songwriter Michael Card reverberate. “Since I’ve been here in Beaver Lake,” she told me, “that song has become one of my songs. I’ve been thinking recently about Abraham: his home was a …

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A Math Teaching Aid: How to String Counting Beads

September 19, 2016

When I was in first grade, my teacher–an organized, no-nonsense woman–told us if we couldn’t remember a math fact, we should get out our box of crayons and use them to help us find the answer. Crayons worked well as a teaching tool for her–but maybe her natural organizational skills and disciplined classroom atmosphere rubbed off on her students. I am afraid if I gave …

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Every 15 Pictures

September 12, 2016

“What should I blog about?” I asked my siblings. They gave me various suggestions. “Yeah, maybe,” I said. “Sometime. That’s a good idea.” “Do random photos from your phone,” Elizabeth said. “Post every 15th photo.” “Really? But what if I get really terrible ones?” “That’s the fun of it.” And so here they are, the most recent photo taken on my phone and every 15th …

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Anniversary Secrets of the Best Dad and Mom in the World

September 6, 2016

Does anyone else remember making birthday cards for your parents adorned with extravagant crayon messages like: “To the best dad in the whole wide world” or “To the best best best best best mom ever”? I still feel that way about my parents! Of course they’re not really perfect, and of course I know they’re only the best to me because they’re mine, not because …

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How to Host a Fairy Party

August 29, 2016

What you need: A woods, or some other moonlit or mystical spot. Little girls Lots of imagination Our party started with these: Three porcelain shoes sitting in a row on my dresser, almost, but not quite big enough for a little girl to get her foot into. Madison tried it, and even tried taking a step, and yes, that is why there is a chip …

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I Can Do All Things

August 22, 2016

Ever feel like you are hanging upside down in life, swinging wildly by your feet and going nowhere? That’s how I feel today, with a book that needs written, a school year that needs planned (because school starts next week and I’m the teacher), and dishes that very badly need doing. My verse for this week, and for all the following weeks until I meet …

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Mouse in the House

August 15, 2016

Or rather, in my writing Hut. When I set my first mouse trap in my forest van sanctuary, I felt I was committing an unethical act akin to that of the American military rounding up Natives–if not in magnitude, at least in attitude. After all, this was the traditional territory of mice, woodpeckers, and poison ivy. I was only an intruder. (And the poison ivy …

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