Snow day number seven.  It’s been 15 days since last day of preschool. This causes a momma to do some deep deep reflecting…

  • I’ve decided that preschool IS an essential service. Balance is necessary. Without you preschool I have lost mine.
  • Red sauce should be a controlled substance. The damage it can do to table cloths, furniture and carpeting is uncanny. We should consider an age limit for this.

Zombie Apocalypse


If you know my husband you know that it’s a form of endearment if he wants you around for the Zombie Apocalypse. He’ll say things like, ” That new neighbor looks like a piece of work. He’s got a pick up truck with fishing and gun stickers on it. Not really sure what I think about my neighbor having a gun, but I bet he’ll be helpful during the Zombie Apocalypse…I better go meet him.” I’m not sure if he really thinks the Zombie Apocalypse will come to pass, but he sure does talk about it a lot. For example according to him, I will be really valuable during the zombie apocalypse because of my stealthiness. When he appreciates this quality in me he calls me a ninja; when he doesn’t, he asks if I’m an assassin. “I’ll never tell.” I say.

We got snowed in for the blizzard of 2016 and I have yet to be accused of being an assassin, which I think is evidence of things going well. Given my need for exercise, nature, and quiet we agreed I’d trek through the paths to the store while he manned the fort.

There’s something about the woods I love. Unlike the roads already covered in ash, the tree lined paths glisten with snow in the days after the storm. Today, the grey clouds gave way to blue sunny skies. The patted down paths twisting and turning through neighborhoods and shopping plazas feel more personal than the roadways somehow. I bump into a mommy friend with her daughter. They are thoroughly cold and worn out from sledding which makes me smile.

Then I arrive at the grocery store and looked around,

no milk


no veggie 1

and again.

no veggie 2


With just an image or two, the quickly setting sun, and a suggestion of an inevitable outcome repeated a few thousand times utopia quickly turns to dystopia.

I ran into two mommies at the checkout that I knew, but, I noted,  the beauty of interconnectedness is lost in fear. The impromptu rescue party of husband and kiddos seemed equal suspicious, given my explicit directions to hold down the fort.

I couldn’t help but feel heavier on the way home: four grocery bags, a toddler, a husband and a baby. We made our way through unlit paths and focused on not tripping on now crunchy snow. The sled was broken, toddler’s gloves were sokin’, the kids were cold.I worried about dropping the baby in the carrier as the toddler and grocery bags alternated falling from the sled into the snow.

We try to laugh in our house. I don’t really think I need to worry about zombies chasing me through the snow. But when I got home I did allow myself a hearty minute to focus on the power of suggestion and the subtle pervasiveness of hate and fear.

Several years ago my husband and I started on a journey to lighten the load of what weighs us down. Sometimes that’s been things, and sometimes it’s been people. Either way it has been hard to seek hope rather than fortify against fear.  But in light of living in the shadow of the Zombie Apocalypse-I’m so glad we have.




Snowy mornings


For 1,000 different reasons there’s still no place I’d rather be snow bound than this little town.

Neighbors who build igloos, friends who walk the trails bringing snow gear, unexpected stop-ins, pots of hot chocolate, sledding on the neighboring hill…

Trading notes on what’s open, sharing ingredients so everyone has food…

Counting my blessings and not my curses.

28″ of snow fall






Baby Girl’s First Snow Day

Snow day 2016

Baby girl and her dollies looking at their first snow day.They are clearly in awe of the depth of this experience. Yes, that is earth you see through the snow.

On an unrelated note there was apparently a rush on eggs at the Trader Joe’s yesterday. Please explain this to me. Do other people sit around eating dozens of hard boiled eggs on snow days?

#eggfreehome #theydoitdifferentdownSouth #perspective

Words to Live by


Grandma told me when I get to the end of my rope, hold on. So, at first, I held. Then I had children. Now I write because children understand what’s important in life.

I make my way in the world by the words I fall back on. I make a world for my children in the words that I write because the world will be made by our children.

  • We don’t tear down
  • Mommy loves you ALWAYS
  • Sharing means caring
  • Everyone is learning
  • Everyone makes mistakes
  • Everyone has accidents
  • Someone who is crying is having a hard day
  • On cold days we have hot chocolate, on hot days we have popsicles, on hard days we have a chocolate milky talk with mommy

My Story Hangs

Copyright Alex Chalkley photography

Copyright Alex Chalkley Photography

My son punched his way into this world with fist extended, was laid upon my chest, caressed my cheek, looked me in the eye and seemed to say everything that mattered. Hello. I love you. In that instant I was in love with his fast breathing, his puffy face, his tenderness and his ferocity.  I will forever see him through the lens of our first introduction.

On the walls of my home, my story hangs. A three-month-old stares at me from a picture over the bar.  I focus on his deep blue eyes and that crooked grin he still sometimes flashes. In the background I see my hug and the soft blue fuzz of a coverall protecting him from the February breeze on the Old Town waterfront.  He was an agreeable model despite the cold. He slept in a stroller and on a blanket; smiled in our arms and even attempted to walk alone.

His eyes changed. They are still magnetic, but I can see that by a year and a half those deep blue eyes are something different. Once dark and solid, there is only a dark blue ring that surrounds what looks like a frozen ocean. I wonder if they’ll last. This picture pierces me. This picture hangs near the center of the living room wall. This link between my baby and my almost boy. I stare at that living room picture every day at least 100 times.  I try to describe the color of that blue, the white of his face, his whitish blond hair. I try to remember that day.

On the trails of the battlefield at Manassas, he ran. He picked up pebbles. He shared with giggles. He pushed his red sports car and watched how it would roll. He snuggled on daddy’s lap for a story to be told. He was full of baby chubs and loving kindness. When he looked at Miss Alex while giving her flowers and seemed to wonder what her reaction would be, it was 100 years of my future heart breaking I was feeling when I at last realized how intertwined we really are.

On the wall of my home, our story hangs. Those battlefield memories mark the time, I realize, is now gone. Those moments seemed so infinite and tangible, but proved illusive, like fingers trying to catch the golden sun. It was a day in mid May, comfortable as the trees swayed to let in then shield us from the morning sun. It marked the beginning of listening to instructions and the end of needing Mommy to yell, “rough terrain” ahead. It was  long after running backwards had been accomplished, just after all words in books were repeated and around the time that a wakeful toddler would tell me with a sob that baby needs his pa.

But between there and here are millions of moments, thousands of pieces of him, hundreds of things I’d do anything not to forget.

He climbs up next to me on the couch. His arms and legs are impossibly long now and missing that baby chub. He asks what I’m doing and if I want to play with him. Of course, I smile. His red race car now rolls through the land of imagination. Lego Mommy and Daddy take turns driving it over the curves of the couch before it becomes a hay baler for farmer Greenie to mow the cushion fields.  Once gifted pebbles have turned into life lessons about what we toss and what we hold. Meanwhile books still edge out television in our household.

When day is done and I sit alone, I know these memories will fade. Others I’ve forgotten will come into focus. As time goes on these images with their stories and their sweet composition will mean 1,000 things I can’t yet predict. Reminders of the beginnings of some things, moments that mark the end of others: a month before the death of a cousin, weeks before a pudgy tummy holds another baby. These images mark time. They document stories unfolding;stories like pebbles that mark a path that’s coming to light.

I will admire these pictures that hang from my wall, bathed in light that shines on meaning of feelings even now I can barely trace. We will live more. We will take more. We will try to remember what they meant and how they felt. We will tell stories. We will pass on pictures and with them a history that roots us in the earth, that sways from the winds, that grows with care and bends toward the light.

* A big thank you to Alex Chalkley for capturing our memories in your pictures.