Family

41 posts
The Ministry of Sugar

He’s woken up from the afternoon nap and walked down the stairs. I’m in the kitchen with a tray of freshly-baked chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. The air in our kitchen is warm, the scent of melting dark brown sugar and cinnamon laces the air. He sits down at the red table and starts to eat. “May I have some more?” he asks.   And I can see the sparkle in...

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A mother’s love, some chocolate, and why you shouldn’t wait to say “I love you”

I learned a lot from my mother, as I assume most people who are blessed with good moms do. And there is something to the phrase "a mother's love" though I can't explain it.  In August 2015, my younger sister and I had flown from opposite coasts to spend some time with Mom in Arkansas. Our scheduled visit ended up being spent at the hospital and things were not looking...

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Around Our Small Table

The last two weeks of 2016 were full of family, snuggles, long days in pajamas and so many treats. So many treats.   I love the hibernation mode that we fall into as a family during the holidays. We play more. We stay up later. We sleep in later (thank you, Jesus).  We linger longer over dinner.  One night -- I'm not sure which, because don't they all blend together...

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One Thing You Need to Know Before You Name a New Year

“Hey, mom. So, I still have to look through some stuff but my passport wasn't where I thought it was. I was wondering if you, by any chance, saw it when you were here.” I receive my daughter’s message at 10:34pm on December 23, less than 24 hours before she is scheduled to board a flight in Raleigh, North Carolina. A flight that will carry her to London to be...

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Grief, Gratitude, and Turkey Stuffing

Thanksgiving was the first holiday we celebrated after moving to this old red-brick farmhouse in southeastern Pennsylvania. Tomorrow, we will celebrate our fifth Thanksgiving in this place. Is it any wonder I am looking back? Every year, we have roasted a turkey bought from a local Lancaster County farmer. I no longer attempt complicated new recipes because these turkeys are so flavorful. There are many reasons to take good care...

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Love at the Table

I still remember the first time I met her, emerging from the shadow of her garage to meet us at the car. Her eyes were the same piercing blue as his; or rather, I suppose, his, hers. I think I told her so right then. I don't know if he and I were in love yet but we were headed in that direction; he brought me home to meet his parents, after all. Obviously, something was...

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State Of Change

I am here in a state of change. We all share this common state, demarcated by zig zag borders. By intricate design and wondrous intent, our world is destined to change. Every single micro-moment. It expresses itself anew. Fluid, not stagnant. Tension rises and falls as we lean into and out of our status quo. Our normals rise up and say we are new, this morning. Every morning, like Mercy....

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Invisible Hospitality And An End-of-Summer Cake

Ten years ago, she confessed to me that hospitality wasn’t for her. The tasks that brought me life brought her only unbearable stress. She sloughed off a burden of expectation that wasn’t hers to bear. She said no to hosting friends for dinner and said yes to so many other good things. * Today, that same friend is mom to a houseful of kids. They arrived through birth and adoption...

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Pancakes, a Plate, and a Pair of Strangers

“These look good,” I texted my sister, and I sent along a link to Bobby Flay’s recipe for Chocolate Chip-Pistachio Pancakes with Salted Caramel Syrup (total time 55 minutes, level: intermediate.) I knew I wouldn’t make time to make them, but I knew she would the next time I came home. And she did, because she loves to cook and loves to experiment on our family. But, sorry Bobby, they just...

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How to Let Your Life Speak

On a sunny summer afternoon a few years ago, women representing four generations gathered around the dining room table at our family cottage in Canada.  The table was set with measuring cups, pie plates, a bag of flour and sticks of shortening. Before us, past a wall of windows, is a vast, still body of azure water we affectionately refer to as Round Lake. The place where generations have enjoyed...

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