All posts tagged: Five Minute Friday

The Best Thing To Do When You’re Feeling Small

Today we’re going to see the newborn lambs. I told the kids that we were invited to Bella’s painting teacher’s farm. The lambs are just a week old. “Do you want to go with me?” Both were focused on screens when I asked, because, yes, we have a variety of them in our home, but they each looked up and made eye contact with me and declared : “Yes! We’ve never seen a lamb in real life.” So it’s a date. We’ll wear grubby shoes that can stand the muck and we’ll venture into February and farms. We’re city folk and although we have cattle dogs (these adorable corgis), the only herding action they get is with our Russian Blue cat and well, you can imagine how that goes. “Will they be small enough to hold?” I’m asked as I’m whisking my store-bought eggs into a bowl and chopping grocery broccoli for the quiche. Not a farmer. In the least bit, although I’m romanced by the idea for a moment or two. “Perhaps, we’ll see.” …

Living Like Lew #5 {A Construction Worker for the Kingdom}

I get weepy when I see old woodworking tools at yard sales. I want to gather them up, like so many priceless treasures and put them into my dovetail-cornered maple toolbox, where they belong. Covered in the layers of years and the grit of physical labor, those castaway tools represent something to me. The old planer that produces perfect curls of pine, scented fresh, that leaves behind a surface smooth. The hand drill that looks like the one I played with as a child, turning it’s bent handle to bore holes into scrapwood. The angled chisel that required a skilled hand to chip, chip, chip away the uneven spots. You see, my Dad, Lew, was a carpenter by trade and a preacher by calling.

What Clips Your Wings? {or, yelling at God}

What clips your wings? My youngest boy brought home an application to be a class representative in student body government, his first foray into leadership, politics, into submitting himself to the popular vote. The form says: List in this box text that describes why you should be considered for student leadership. His answers are adorable. But more than the cuteness of a nine-year-old stretching his wings in the confidence of his own flight is the profundity of his confidence. He is not tinged by doubt, he is untethered by past failure; his future is abounding in hope and choice and greatness. He lists his achievements  (in his best handwriting) and doesn’t see them as small, but sees them as toeholds and handholds to climbing higher. “I get to be line leader”; “I almost always turn in all my work on time”; “I am kind”. He is putting himself out there, testing the lift and strength of his confidence. The class votes next week on whom they’ll choose to represent them. And he may fail. A …

Where Your Feet Take You {Walking in Grace}

Before I learned to walk again, I spent weeks allowing my leg to bear weight. Eventually, the leg with the bone broken in pieces and rammed through with a titanium rod had healed enough to allow me to bear 100% of my body weight. I stood, holding onto a laminated countertop in the physical therapy office on my left leg. It pulsed angry, but I had grown used to the constant throb of pain. It ebbed and flowed and rushed and calmed, but pain was a companion to me. My first steps were taken while I held the arm of my therapist. She walked slowly and her arm upheld me. Baby steps. I was over forty and wanted to sprint through the recovery. I wanted to run a blur. I wanted to get on with it. But the it was this and the now required that I take small steps. In order to run, I needed to build muscle and relearn balance. I practiced walking without a limp in the hallway of my house. Walker …

Home {a glimpse into real}

Chicken pops and sizzles in fragrant coconut oil in the skillet. A vegetarian option, carrot-coconut-curry soup, simmers on the neighboring burner. I’ve got five omnivores and a temporary vegetarian in the house, so I chop and stir and saute to nourish each one. I’ve been cooking meals for over twenty years now. Tonight, the sweet and sour chicken I whip up from memory, adding a dash more soy or shaking in more brown sugar as I deem necessary. The soup is new, a recipe from a Ladies Home Journal that I picked up at the bookstore so that I could study the publication and consider submitting an essay about my dumb dog, Clarence, and how he’s taught me a lesson in unconditional love. Clarence, cornstarch to thicken, turn the chicken, where’s a spoon?…All this rolls through my brain and evaporates as quickly as the vapor swirl that rises from the soup-pot. There’s a stack of mail on the dining room table, right next to a pile of college art homework and a teetering tower of …