A family is a system. A house is a place. My sister and I have children (her first, my second) who are only a few months apart in age. Not long after they were born, our mother's cancer returned, so that year we made plans for a Christmas christening celebration in Memphis, thinking it might … Continue reading First Christmas.
"When you make a home for yourself, promise me you will not fill it up the first week with the entire Ethan Allan catalog. Find things you love; seek them out. If you can't afford what you love, then make do with what you have -- folding chairs and card tables -- until you've saved … Continue reading First things first.
A neighbor stoops to pet my dog (our dog, the littlest of our three), greeting him by name. It is a cool, but not chilly, late fall afternoon, children playing in their yards, lights beginning to turn on behind windows, streets laced with dog walkers out for a pre-dinner stroll. One of the children, a … Continue reading Many happy returns.
About a month ago I got a call from a friend who is also the chaplain at my daughter's school, asking if I would be willing to come speak to the girls in one of the daily chapel gatherings on the subject of gratitude. "Sure," I said, "as long as my daughter is OK with … Continue reading Acts of gratitude, and grace.
An actual family dinner conversation (and yes, I have shared this one before, but what follows it is all new): SON: [to MOM] "So, why'd you move all that stuff and mess up the big room?" MOM: "I need more space for my art and sewing and things. Maybe I'll have people over, teach a … Continue reading Family dinner.
When my mother died, you and a friend (a very good friend) loaded her furniture and books and clothes on a flatbed trailer and drove them to our new house, even though it wasn't quite ready yet. You packed it all, even her unmentionables, and hauled it by hand, without complaint, in the dark. You … Continue reading 14
We're going to need a bigger house, I said. You were not sure. The people who built this house and lived here for 52 years, the people who planted the twin dogwood trees in the front yard, they raised two children in this house, you said. But both children were girls, I reminded you. Our … Continue reading 16
It rained on Memorial Day, so instead of playing tennis, as I'd planned, I sat on the sofa with you, watched Trading Spaces and Nigella Bites while our son crawled on the floor and played with the red, plastic fireman's hat that he got at a Memorial Day parade and the green stretchy band that … Continue reading 17