Monday, October 13, 2014

Pied Beauty

Pied Beauty, by Gerard Manly Hopkins
 
GLORY be to God for dappled things—
  For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
    For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
  Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;        5
    And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
 
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
  Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
    With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:         
 Praise him.

















Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Do You Know That You're a Person?

Do you know that you're a person?
Do you know that you're beautiful?
Do you know that you're a person?
Do you know that you're OK?

This is a song by Ken Medema which I remember from way back in my childhood, and for which I can find virtually no evidence on the World Wide Web.  This does not mean, however, that it did not exist;  it only means I  may be remembering some of the words incorrectly or incompletely.  Nonetheless, it's the song that keeps running through my head these days as I look at Ellie.  Does she know that she's a person?  Does she know that she's beautiful?  Does she know that she's OK? I think maybe she's beginning to get the faintest glimmer of an idea, and 30 years from now she'll probably still be working it out.










Saturday, August 30, 2014

Good Gracious Green Chile

This, friends, is what a miracle looks like:  a group of people, gathered outside of a grocery store on a beautiful late summer afternoon, roasting green chiles, in upstate New York.  When I saw the sign proclaiming an upcoming  "Hatch Green Chile Roasting Event!" at my favorite grocery store, I could hardly believe my eyes.  What?  Here?  I almost wept.  Yesterday, we pulled into the parking lot and made all the kids get out of the car to stand in the pathway of the smoke coming from the roaster and breathe in deep.  It was glorious and wonderful and beautiful, and I didn't even bother to tell the lady in the sombrero that serving cut up slices of green chile on tortilla chips topped with jarred black bean salsa was kinda strange.  "Let me try some of the 'hot,'" I said, "No salsa."  The taste of home flooded my mouth and I grinned.  Did I buy a case?  You bet your chile burger deluxe I did!  







Growing Up Too: Remembering The Salad Years

It dawned on The Mr. and me over this last week, that it was 20 years ago that we began our freshman years at Wheaton College.  Ho boy, how time flies...

Part of what prompted this reflection was discovering this archive of episodes of "The Salad Years" on vimeo.  Unless you were a Wheaton student of a certain era (namely, mine) you probably won't find them even remotely funny.  If you were, then they are.  Remotely funny, that is.  But, if you can get beyond the hopelessly outdated production and the dorky, only-from-a-Christian-school-humor, and the perms and baggy clothes, maybe you'll get a glimpse of what life was like for us, all those 20 years ago.  Life really was pretty sweet.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Growing Up

Perhaps it is the advent of a new baby in the house.  Perhaps it is another summer drawing regretfully to a close and a new school year looming close.  Perhaps it is just that I'm paying attention for the moment.  Whatever it is, I've been struck recently by how all of our kids seem to be growing up all of a sudden.  It's a bittersweet revelation.

Take this guy for instance:

Probably many parents can relate to this, but my first glimpse of him after the baby was born was almost like looking at a stranger.  He just seemed so big!  I looked at his hands and his feet which suddenly seemed enormous and asked him, "When, exactly, did you grow up?"  He just shrugged and said, "I don't know."  He celebrated his sixth birthday not long ago, and talks with knowing airs about being a Tiger scout and starting first grade.  My baby no more!

And this guy:


He was away at his first overnight camp when the baby came, and when the Mr. smuggled him into the hospital after visiting hours the next night, he was grubby and elated and seemed to have aged about five years in three days.  Not long after that, he sold all his stuffed animals to his siblings (save the one special teddy who he said he thought should be put away in his baby box) and cut his own fingernails for the first time.  It occurred to me the other day that his time in our house (assuming that he goes to college when he's 18) is already more than half over.  My heart broke a little.

And then there's this girl (the big one):


Not only has she become her sister's "adorer-in-chief", but she slid easily into the role of Mom's big helper, running to fetch diapers, clothes, mislaid socks, and holding the baby at every available opportunity.  Yesterday, she scrubbed out the bathroom sink with an old toothbrush and swept and mopped the kitchen floor, without being asked.  Like I said, this growing up business is bitter, and sweet.

And, of course, we can't forget her: 


At three weeks + a bit, she is already different from how she started, growing longer and rounder and lovelier by the day.  We think we may see the glimmer of a smile starting to play around her mouth. Tomorrow she may be painting her toenails or packing her bags for college.  We'll just have to try not to blink.



Friday, August 8, 2014

What's Making Us Happy This Week

We're all at least a little bit in love. . .





But then again, wouldn't you be???