I’m grateful for the end of summer and beginning of new things.  Sorta.

As a  swimming pool loving kid, the end of summer is mixed with a real bitter sweetness.   A pool after school is back in session but before Labor Day is a strange place; the heat is still in the air but the life is gone.   The light is even different, lower in the sky as the sun heads back to the southern hemisphere. It is quiet and peaceful and a little sad.   I felt the pang of end-of-summer sadness when I took the kids to the pool after school last week.  It was a jolt in that part of my heart that is still a teenager and took me straight back to the end of summer as a lifeguard: the college kids are gone back to school,  friends from other schools are back to school and the pool is not the center of daily life; it’s an eerie place.   It is a period at the end of the summer.  It’s over no matter how you feel about it.

I’m grateful for that sad feeling and remembering how fun teenage summers were.  Like it was yesterday.

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I’m grateful for Fall Ball.  I think it is the baseball player’s response to that eerie end of summer feeling they had when there were no more baseball games.  Fall Ball!  See, summer’s not over, we’re still playing baseball!  I’m not grateful for how dark it was at only 8:00pm Sunday night at Max’s game.  Also not happy about the 99 degree temps at that hour either.

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And finally, I’m grateful for the return of blankie.  It was lost for more than a week.   We were *this close* to having to say goodbye to more than summer – we almost had to sign off on Max’s little boyhood and welcome him into big boyhood fully.   Thankfully!!!, that didn’t happen.  Blankie was only lost behind a piece of furniture.  I’m not so grateful that no one in this family is thorough enough to have looked behind that particular piece of furniture during the many hours we spent in a search party.  Next time we will create a search map grid and follow it precisely as if it was Max himself we lost.  It would be well worth our time.  I am grateful for the squeal of “Mommy, Daddy, I found blankie!” when it was found.  Oh boy.   I love that kid.

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Some things end, some things never will.  (Dear Max’s Future Wife, please give Max as much comfort as this little blankie has.  It’s all I’ll ever ask of you. ;))

May God bless you with a restless discomfort
about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,
so that you may seek truth boldly, and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression,
and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for
justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer
from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that
you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able,
with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.

~Francsiscan Blessing

I swiped the prayer from the care site of a friend whose oldest daughter, 9 years old, has been fighting leukemia for 5 years; that’s most of her life if you’re really bad at math.

I am fairly certain I’ve never heard a prayer that rings so true.  I am so grateful for having read this today; and for the words that accompanied it from my friend who said she no longer prays for a cure but prays to feel and not detach from every last bit of her sadness.

Life is hard but not because we are doing it wrong.  Right?  It is full of restless discomfort and holy anger and tears for those who suffer and foolishness to believe we can make a difference.

I have been 100% sure lately that I can not make a difference at all.    So I’m praying for some more foolishness, apparently this isn’t enough:

My feeling towards Dan who ate the last of the granola bars I made for back to school…he’d be a fool to do that again.  He tried to blame Millie.


And on this topic, our pediatrician explicitly recommends none of his patients go on a trampoline.  Ever.  Well, we think there are way worse things in the world.  Like hatred and sitting on the couch playing video games.  Not that he recommends those things either but we can’t be perfect.  We are full of, at least *some*, complete foolishness.


To the extent that we are all educated and informed, we will be more equipped to deal with the gut issues that tend to divide us.  ~Caroline Kennedy

Yesterday was back to school for Grace (5th grade) and Max (2nd).
Here’s to hoping that our school will help them grow in the understanding of our responsibility to love our neighbors and to be giving, good Samaritans.


Our hearts are broken that the issues that divide us are keeping some kids from starting school this week.


I am extremely grateful for my kids health and friendships and beautiful faces.  I am very, very sad about the state of racial integration and reconciliation in St. Louis and even in our school.

Inhale and hold the evening in your lungs. ~Sebastian Faulks, Engleby

It cooled off a bit around here last night.  Dan is out of town and the kids and I had a nice, easy evening.  I took Millie for a walk and was ever so grateful for our neighborhood.  I am in love with this place on summer nights.

The historic homes pull me into a dreaminess about times gone by.  Who lived here so long ago?


And what is the story with this house?  with the families who were here before?  what were their days and evenings like?


The trees and the plants and flowers and the sprinklers and the sunset were all so peaceful.


I breathed it in deeply.  I am grateful that my family is so tucked in and safe.

Lift up your eyes upon. This day breaking for you. Give birth again. To the dream. ~Maya Angelou

I realized today one of the things that gets things going so much easier in the summer: the summer morning.  It is light out when I leave at 5:30am.  It’s light out when we come back in at 9:00pm.   It is easier to BE light when there IS light.  There is simply more day and more light within which to be a part of the world.

I’m grateful for the sunlight and warmth on my commute home from an afternoon working on a proposal:


I am so very thankful that Grace still creates little colorful creatures.  I love that she sees these in her mind’s eye and they come to life.


And I am so glad for how long the daylight lasts at the Kirkwood Farmer’s Market.  Long enough for everyone to enjoy the colors (and taste) of one of these:







Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him. ~Maya Angelou
I am so grateful for a lazy Monday afternoon.  I resisted every urge to fill our day with anything.  It was lovely.  The kids filled their need to read.

I worked on this little project.


And then we met this guy for a good old fashioned swim meet in the rain.


I actually felt relaxed all. day. long.  Wow.

“…the redness had seeped from the day and night was arranging herself around us. Cooling things down, staining and dyeing the evening purple and blue black.” ~Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

I am thankful for a good weekend that wound itself down in a wonderful way.  We ended a full week (Grace at sleep-away camp, Dad and Lad at Boy Scout camp) with a nice easy evening eating and playing with friends.  All of us got to play, even Millie:


The dads and kids:


Not pictured, the moms playing (aka talking):

:) :) :)

And the evening slipped in and relaxed us even more… this is the sky out the sunroof on our way home:


And the light from the summer sunset was gorgeous:




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