Eleven Now

Eleven now, your weight falls hard
to deck-boards,  sponging sunlight.
To grass for love of balls that jump
too high and roll too far.

And I slow down to kneel, to bend,
remembering with fingertips
the velvet of your puppy ears
and how they've never changed.

And I slow down in thanks for grace
in the form of a million tail-wags,
and greetings after longish days
and kisses undeserved.

Eleven now; I too slow down,
determined that when we look back,
you'll know I loved you well enough
to last eleven more.


The Empty Bath

Eating lunch this afternoon, I looked out the kitchen window to find a baby bluebird perched on the edge of the garden bath. My tiny nugget of garden time shrinks in the fall, so no surprise that recent rains had evaporated, leaving in the bath a brownish crust spattered with bright yellow field flowers. (Eva flings her treasures about with brilliant nonchalance).

Most birds see an empty bath and promptly fly away in search of another water source; I've seen this often, jotting a quick mental note about better bath-filling habits. With mom and dad bluebird waiting in the nearby pine, flapping their obvious disapproval, I was sure this would be another fly-away.

Not this bird though... Perhaps it was her youth; a naive, yet undeterred anticipation of provision - or perhaps she was simply very thirsty. But this baby just sat, and sat... and sat. In fact, you could say... she waited.

Through the years, my walk with Christ has, at times, reminded me of this picture: feeling as if I am sitting near an 'empty bath'. When prayer is dry, study shallow, connection rare, how often have I 'flown away' in search of another source? Such searches never satisfy though.

Perhaps I will take a cue from the baby bird whose tender anticipation made her sure that if she waited long enough, she'd be supplied with more than enough water to drink, and to cleanse her baby-fluff wings.

After all, she was right in anticipating; how could I resist for even five minutes? And if my heart is moved by the visit of a baby bluebird to an empty bath, what must be the heart of my Heavenly Father for his daughter who also, at times, gets thirsty and needs a 'bath'? I too will wait.


Motherhood: My First Year

My amazing Mother's Day present, from a husband who somehow miraculously continues to out-do himself in the area of gift-giving. I am humbled and so very, very grateful for him, our precious daughter, and the Beautiful One who saw fit to make us a family.



8 Months Home

My sweet girl... how you've grown!

July 10, 2008 - Homecoming

March, 2009



Thanks to Bill for remembering that I used to blog! ;-) I have been granted the gift of an hour for introvert time. Any kind of writing is better than the none I've been doing, so I will answer this tag...

Here is how it works:

Step 1: Respond and rework — answer the questions on your own blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, add one more question of your own.

Step 2: If all your blog readers have given up waiting for new posts, and your most faithful readers have now converted to Facebookism, just tag everyone who happens upon your post and be glad for what you get. :-)

1) What are you wearing right now?
Hey - what kind of tag is this anyway? My reindeer robe. That's right. Got a problem with that?? This is what I wear when I'm sure I won't be seeing any other (non-Rankin) humans until I have time to change. UPS guys and spontaneous friends: beware!

2) What is your biggest fear?
Oh so serious! Actually, this one might be morphing... It's been singing solos since I was 13; about time for a change, yes? How about a more sophisticated, adult-like, (and equally senseless) fear like: my child might one day declare herself a democrat. Oops! Did I just admit that? I hate it when people use these things as a free therapy session...

3) Do you nap a lot?
Um, please excuse me; it's time for my nap now. "Nap hard. Nap often." That's what I always say.

4) What are your favorite places to visit on a nice day?
Sorry, Bill; I'm reinstating the first question because my answer to your 'Favorite thing to cook on a grill?' is "Cook? Grill?" ;-) Perch Lake is my favorite place to visit on a beautiful day. Stately white pines stand in rows as strong, kind and watchful sentinels, reminding me of the sacredness of Grandma's house. Whispering sweet secrets to my soul as I float carefree in the deepest waters of the middle of the crystalline lake. Amazingly, this isn't embellishing.

5) What was the last item you bought?
A strawberry mango Tropicana and two pieces of pizza: (one, ham and pineapple; the other, pepperoni and veggie), for Eva and me before enjoying Underwater World at MOA last night.

6) What’s the last book you read?
A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (and Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media. Told you so. I also love How to Keep Your Inner Mess from Trashing Your Outer World, by Bill Giovannetti. Check it out! (Don't let my first choice scare you; my reading taste is quite diverse - I read Obama's 'Audacity of Hope' this time last year).

7 ) If you could go to the Oscars, who would you want to sit next to?
This is the one I'm skipping... I would never, ever, ever want to go to the oscars. Not because of reverse snobbishness - but because even the thought of high-profile conferences/social events where they don't judge everyone for what they're wearing or how they do their hair are enough to give me hives.

8) Instead: Have you ever had the experience of lucidly teaching yourself how to fly in your dreams, as described in 'The Shack'?
I hadn't known there were others, and am now obsessively curious about how many of us there are...

9) Has a celebrity’s hair cut ever influenced your own hairstyle?
Oh yeah. I regularly fluctuate between between Jennifer Anniston's layered look and Audrey Tautou in 'Amelie'.

10) What is one skill you wish you had, but don’t?
I have to agree with Bill here. Dancing. Hands down - same fundamentalist upbringing to blame. I especially crave this gift when watching Bollywood films.

11) If you were certain of getting an immediate, verbal, answer from Jesus, what would you ask Him?
This is my question... but I haven't a clue what my answer is yet. Maybe something about my nose... "Was that on purpose?" ;-)


Girl's Night In

My husband is so very good to me...



As Eva and I sat down to our ham lunch today, I decided to use the moment as a teaching opportunity:

ME: (Pointing to the ham on her plate), Eva, do you know what kind of animal that is?
EVA: Umm... Chicken?
ME: Nuh uh.
EVA: Umm... Cow?
ME: Nope - a PIG! (Snorting sounds ensue).
EVA: Thank you, Pig!

Ah, gratitude...