Today I am grateful for clean water, exercise and endorphins, safe travels, and motherhood. Our son Sam is moved into his dorm room, waking up there for the second morning. We are here, at home, waking up to a different feel in the house for our second morning. It is really hard and also good in so many ways to drop your kid off at college, help him move in, then drive away. And that's all I have to say about that right now. These pictures say a bit themselves though. My sister Leonice sent me them recently, after she had come across them. Sam is probably about one, and we are at my Mom's house, out at the farm. It just happens to be one of his favorite places. 

The joy of independence and attention in the glider rocker. The perplexed look of "what next?" Sam at one isn't too different than Sam at 18. Joy in independence and beginning life at college and away from home. And the puzzling and perplexing layers of what is to come in terms of homesickness, football, c…


Living gratefully today, I am noticing the outline of trees against the backdrop of early morning clear skies. My feet on the rug beneath me help me feel grounded and stable. This is a wonderful quote recently on WORD FOR THE DAY It’s in that convergence of spiritual people becoming active and active people  becoming spiritual that the hope of humanity now rests. VAN JONES
As we wake up to a world fraught with pandemic concerns, the sorrows of ongoing injustice and racism, and the tension of political divisions, we also wake up to a world brimming with hope. 
Many emotions are converging in my heart on both a personal level and a professional level. We prepare to take our son Sam to college, leave him there to begin life's next chapter, and come home to our empty nest to begin our next chapter. 
My colleagues and I do what we can to prepare for an upcoming school year that will be like none other before it. 
I find calm in the words of Van Jones. I know today, if I …

Farm Fresh

Today I am grateful for laughter and venting and people in my life to share both with. In the last week I have enjoyed squash, cucumbers, onions, peppers, kohlrabi, and tomatoes that were just hours off the vine or pulled from the ground. This in thanks to family members and also local farm stands.Farm fresh. I didn’t know what a treat farm fresh was growing up. It’s what I knew. Eggs, milk, lettuce, strawberries, raspberries, beans, asparagus, chicken and much more were all enjoyed about as fresh as you could get them. New potatoes and creamed peas remain an absolute favorite, and something I will never fully experience as I did when I was a child. A treasured culinary memory.  The smell of freshly-cut hay or grass and clean sheets billowing in the breeze as they hung on the clotheslines are cherished sensory moments in my mind too. I smile as I recall other aspects of farm fresh living that didn't smell as sweet as hay or fresh strawberries or blooming gladiolas. They are apprec…


Today I am grateful for trees trimmed by others that help afford me a refreshed view. I am also grateful for phone conversations with my dear friend Jenny and two of my sisters. 
Circles. They are evident in many ways and symbolic of much. I am looking at the round shape of the planters on our patio and the plant life springing from them, and noticing the circular top of my coffee mug as I appreciate another sip. 
I ponder the meaning of circles without end, the strength of circles, the circle of life. 
The other day, our grandson Leo and I were running in circles playing football and trying to toss a bag through a round hole on a cornhole board. I took special notice of my wedding ring as Darcy and I recently celebrated our wedding anniversary. 
The first circle or chapter of our son Sam's life is closing as another is beginning. His childhood and time at home is nearly over. We have been key in this first circle and will take a lesser role in the next ones. But each will intertwine …

Shelves Restocked

Living gratefully today, I am noticing the various types of vehicles in our neighborhood this morning. It is garbage and recycle day. Workers at the golf course across the street are doing some tree trimming and the early morning golfers are arriving. I can hear and much is normal about the start to this day. Both are reassuring to me.
In the last few days I had made stops at more than one store, looking for a couple of items that I didn't think would be out of stock. In recent months we have gotten used to empty shelves, limits on some purchases, and the like as many ramifications of the pandemic trickle down. After frustration in my first attempts, I was treated yesterday to a single stop and the few items I was seeking were all available. 
Shelves restocked in stores at the same time that I am emptying shelves and file drawers in my office at school. We are advised to keep our desks cleared to make for easier cleaning, and in my mind less that could be susceptible to contaminatio…

New Stretch

Today I am grateful for my fingertips on computer keyboard and for clouds at play in the early morning sky. 
We are a few days into a new stretch known as the month of August. My husband Darcy, son Sam, and I are a few days away from a new stretch in our lives. Sam is heading off to freshman year of college and we are heading into that time known as empty-nesters. Sam is ready and we are ready, but like all new stretches, none of us knows exactly how it will go and how we will feel about it.
There is more uncertainty and worry because we are also in this new stretch of local, state, national, and international history known as the COVID-19 pandemic. It's a stretch we would rather not have to travel, but here we are and the road ahead is fraught with all kinds of new . . . some welcome, some unwelcome. 
I was out for a bike ride last evening and briefly enjoyed a new stretch of roadway, or I should say a freshly resurfaced stretch of roadway. It was smooth and the bike tires glided ac…


Today I am grateful for my husband Darcy and our marriage. We celebrated our 22nd anniversary with an enjoyable day trip yesterday. I am also grateful for the safe travels and the beautiful countryside.
Nature's beauty is a constant. My gratitude practice is a constant. The word that is coming to me this morning though is sporadic. Sporadic is defined as occurring at irregular intervals, scattered or isolated. 
My emotions have been a sporadic range in these last months. I guess it's good that the despairing ones--fear, worry, trepidation, grief, confusion, resignation, and the like aren't constants. And I will take what I can of resilience, strength, gratefulness, hopeful, and inspired when they come. 
I treasure the joy that scatters itself in the simple things. Playing a little football with one grandson and hearing the voice of the other. A shared meal with my husband and son. Writing motivations and aspirations that are bringing me to new territory. Connections with my r…