Born of the desert

The desert has a distinct feel, one that makes each pore of your body gasp. I forget, as years pile up between visits, what this feeling is. It takes a couple of days to reacquaint myself with the arid mountains, weathered cacti, and unrelenting heat. But then, amidst misters and tank tops, I once again…

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Relational Crops

It was the fall of 1976, and it is likely I was wearing a “wrap skirt” that day when I showed up to help with hot lunch at the small Christian Reformed grade school where my children had recently started attending. In that kitchen, making hot dogs, I met Barb for the first time. Her…

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The Olive Branch

The last few nights I have been sleep deprived. I squirm under my cozy covers in an attempt to relax, but my chest feels tight, as if my breath is constricted. My body is weary. I attempt to ease my mind, as anxiety-filled scenarios swirl around my head like an annoying replay. After a long…

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Timing Is Everything

I had never been to Europe, more specifically London or Paris. I had come to love both cities through favorite films and books: visiting St. Paul’s Cathedral with Mary Poppins and the bird lady, visiting Westminster Abbey as I watched royal weddings on TV, and traveling to the Eiffel Tower with my favorite characters in…

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A Legacy of Love

It has been over five years since I wrote about my beach glass collection. Actually it was the topic of one of my first entries for Red Tent Living. I posted an impressive picture of that collection that is repeated here for your enjoyment. My beach glass is no longer clustered together as in the…

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Choosing Hope

Today, we made an offer on a house in the hopes that it will be our home. Surrounded by great towering trees, the house is a classic ranch-style home built in the 1960s. The prior owners started remodeling it so that it feels more contemporary. They tore down the original interior walls and opened up…

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The Tweens You Don’t Hear About

I was called a tween this week: the in-between years of parenting your own kids while taking care of your own parents. It sucks every bit as much as middle school. The night before, we received a phone call at 2am. It was not the first time. My mother-in-law woke disoriented, fearful of the man…

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Relative Age

Dusk was falling on another Saturday night in the Chicago suburbs. My siblings and I, all under the age of ten, had been entertaining ourselves during a long, lazy day at home. It was just before dinner and we’d pulled a gigantic floor pillow in front of the couch, jumping like acrobats from the couch…

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My Grandmother’s Hands

Twenty years ago, Chris and I moved our family back to Michigan, where we both grew up and where most of our family lived. I was glad we took the opportunity after getting married to leave and experience other places and people, and I was also glad to return when we did. By then, we…

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Maternal Line

“I wish I had more to tell of my grandmothers. It is terrible how much has been forgotten, which is why, I suppose, remembering seems a holy thing.” —The Red Tent, Anita Diamant As a lifelong Southerner and book lover, I am captivated by the works of Southern writers. My dream course in college was…

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