Life Softeners

I recently had the pleasure of reading Martha’s Vineyard: Isle of Dreams.  When the author, Susan Branch, buys a cottage on Martha’s Vineyard, she “inherits” all the possessions of the elderly woman who had lived in it for years until she moved to a nursing home and passed away.  Susan sadly concludes that among all the woman’s […]

Einstein on Fairy Tales

When I taught fourth grade, I assigned my students a nonfiction book report.  To my surprise, one little girl did her report on Cinderella.  When I told her Cinderella was fiction, she protested, “But I found it in the nonfiction section of the library!” Intrigued, I asked the school librarian.  “Yes,” she informed me, “fairy tales […]

A Heavenly Valentine

My sister, Amy, is a cosmetologist.  She once had a boss at a barber shop who daily criticized the women who worked there.  “You should wear more make-up,” he’d tell one.  “You really need to dye your hair,” he’d tell another. Venting, one of Amy’s coworkers said, “He thinks his opinion is fact!” With that […]

Magic in the Mud

Recently I passed a sign at a nearby recreation center that read:  “BALLET BELLY DANCING CLASS!”  A tiny remembering part of me lit up inside, whispering, “Maybe you should sign up.”  Simultaneously, every other part of me screamed, “Absolutely not!  You’d be miserable with embarrassment!”   That wee whispering part of me was born the first […]

Swaddled in a Christmas Coat

The first time I heard “Coat of Many Colors” by Dolly Parton, when I was just a girl, it struck me so deeply I began to cry.  I ran downstairs, with urgency, to tell my mother how much I loved her. Do you remember that song?  Dolly’s family was poor, so someone dropped off a […]

Can Coffee Make You Feel Closer to God?

It can happen beneath a starry sky, during a prayer of sincere thanks, upon hearing laughter spill from a tiny child, and almost always while watching the sun rise over the ocean:  heaven draws near.  I’ve been noticing the “thin places” all my life without having a name for them. While reading one of Shauna […]

Beauty Secrets from an Old House

Women sit or move to and fro, some old, some young, The young are beautiful – but the old are more beautiful than the young.” – Walt Whitman I remember reading these words by Whitman for the first time a couple of years ago.  As a thirty-six-year old mother, being neither very young nor very […]