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Learning from Parasites, Blood-Suckers, and Grinding Adversity

To everything there is a season, a reason, and a purpose (under heaven). Punches to the gut like unemployment, head lice, a scabies-like mite that once bored deeply into my flesh, and thousands of biting flies, all fit snugly into this category. Amazingly, I find myself loving each and every one of these occurrences in … Continue reading

The Power of Writing Letters

Each and every day, I wait expectantly for the mailman. I am fortunate to receive my mail as early as 8:30 am, and still this often doesn’t feel early enough. Anticipation builds and builds. Inevitably, I’m crestfallen to discover nearly useless junk mail. Day after day the scene plays itself out in the same way. Not … Continue reading

Grandma Lights the Way

One final breath. Then, with a subtle exhalation of release, nothing. She was gone. Her body remained, but grandma was no longer there. Born a century ago in 1915, this dreaded moment loomed for years. It seemed she had been around forever, and would go on indefinitely. Indeed, another lifetime like her’s takes you back … Continue reading

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Embracing the Challenge That Comes From Observing a Successful Unschooler

Families that choose the unconventional path of unschooling for their children are rarely boring. Typically they are utterly fascinating. After all, boring people rarely have the fortitude to do anything as counter-cultural as this. Ben Hewitt and his family provide a fascinating case study of this movement that I was previously unfamiliar with. I urge … Continue reading

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Keeping Things Simple Ensures We Keep Kids Moving and IN the Outdoors

Each and every day we need to be moving, physically that is. A perfectionist by nature, I’m working hard to not let a need for perfection squelch the “good enough.” This winter has produced an embarrassing dearth of snow in these parts. This has often made getting the kids outside rather difficult. Below-zero temperatures and … Continue reading

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In Requiem

99 years. Mere months from 100. 1915 – 2015. Think of the changes that transpired in her lifetime. She was around when Spanish Influenza ravaged the population. World War I raged. A revolution rocked Russia. The automobile was still uncommon, only possessed by a wealthy few. Most families in her neck of the woods didn’t … Continue reading

Slow, Nimble, and Fully Alive

A sense of timelessness emerges if we allow the rhythm of daylight and darkness to structure our days. The darkness at this time of year can especially encourage this state of near-bliss that finds us calm and unhurried. One is then able to take each moment as it comes, enjoying whatever it brings. This makes … Continue reading

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In Praise of the Spiritual Quest

Wild. Even the title is captivating. The story even more so. Cheryl Strayed’s story of becoming unhinged after the death of her mother is a real page-turner. The author’s path to being “found” involves a complete separation from her previous life as she hikes 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Thoroughly untested, the experience … Continue reading

An Urban Adventure for Sixty Cents

From this distance the sign advising of a bus stop may as well designate a hidden cache under the ice for a hungry explorer. I brave four lanes of traffic on Central Entrance in order to reach my destination. The sidewalk is snowed in and the bench is buried. My waddling motion with two heavy … Continue reading

Gratefulness In and Through Scarcity

From the forest, a vast boreal civilization, our family obtained our Christmas tree this year. As the kids went in one direction to hunt for options, but instead delighted themselves in sledding down a hill, I ducked, bowed, twisted, and turned through a tangle of alder. I was scouting a clearing, where the few balsams … Continue reading

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