Sundays | Thawing Out





I have been in a funk. I’m not sure if it’s seasonal blues, or if it’s just the weight of the world bearing down. There’s plenty of heartache and hurt in my family and friends circle at the moment, and instead of using that proximity as a caliper of measuring how frankly lucky and blessed we are, it’s mostly just dropped one wet blanket of disaffection after another on top of me. I’d gotten stuck.

Things kind of came to a head yesterday when Kel and I took the kids to try and come up with a Christmas card picture.

To begin with, we didn’t have the vision for the picture. We were starting off behind. We’ve both been busy as of late, and the ideas we’d tossed around for a Christmas card picture–because, you know, these things are supposed to be meaningful pictures, the kind you hang on your fridge for goodness sakes–well, those ideas weren’t working out. They were too complicated or required more planning than we had time for.

But we kind of had a hunch about shooting pictures downtown, so we packed up everybody in Christmas Best Clothes and trotted into town, wagon and reindeer stuffed animals in tow. I carefully parallel parked, and then we found ourselves in front of Statesville’s historic courthouse, greened up with fir wreaths and lights (which were off, you know, because it was daytime and all).

It kind of went downhill from there. Continue reading “Sundays | Thawing Out”

The Opening



Memorial Day weekend is the opening to summer that Labor Day closes.

(Author’s note: the following was originally published on May 27, 2013.)

Years ago, I wrote a meditation on the fall that contained some version of the line, “If Fall had an archway, this would be it.” And a similar line would work here, that Summer officially started this past weekend.

All around us, the community sprung into motion, as if the spring season had pent up some untapped reserve of kinetic force. My friends filled their Facebook and Instagram and Twitter feeds with reports and pictures of movement, point A to point B, fun all along the way, pictures of barbecues and lake outings and beaches and camping and Nascar races and parties. The pumps are running at all of the swimming pools, and thousands (or millions!) of us braved the temperatures, this spring more fitting in October than May, and splashed around in glory.

As for me, I left work Friday around lunch and picked up my golf clubs, inspired by a friend who was doing the same thing, and drove straight to the little county course near our house. I bought a pair of hot dogs, and a cold beer, and a bottle of water, and a bucket of range balls, and a round of nine holes. It had been about two years since I’d been out on a golf course. Better to ease into it. Continue reading “The Opening”

Fall Meditation



Here comes the cold, crisp fall:
Bare feet retreat to woollen socks,
and darkness falls on younger clocks
as August sees her summer leaves
awake in orange glow.


It seems every end of summer begins a season of anticipation–four, blissful months of anticipation. September starts the school year new; October is a house full of goblins counting down to one big haunting; November the turkey season beckons, and then, December’s darkness bookends the days towards solstice, and Advent leans towards Christmas.

But summer! Oh how the summer burns down into embers, and how the first cold mornings awaken something inside from a deep, forgotten slumber. Fall is the best time for good beer. Bring the spice. Soon it will be okay to turn the oven on and bake–it won’t warm the house too much like it does in July. I cannot wait for a day cool enough for chopping wood.

I cannot wait for football–not that the sport itself means much to me–but the games themselves, the communities of people together, the time for wearing college sweatshirts again. Continue reading “Fall Meditation”