Peace and War: a Tale of Three Mice

It began with a rustling in the walls. Then glimpses out the corner of my eye.

Then I saw one.

A mouse. In. My. Kitchen.

I went on red alert and did…well, pretty much nothing. I considered telling the apartment office that I had mice, but I just figured they would charge me pet rent.

So, I covered my butter, swept up my crumbs, and figured I’d live and let live. The uninvited guests didn’t worry me, and really, since I didn’t have any traps, I didn’t feel like making a special trip to the high-scale dollar store. (Did you know you can’t get out of there without paying $1.08? I mean, what kind of false advertising is that?)

And then came the day I found craters in my taters. Continue reading “Peace and War: a Tale of Three Mice”

The First/Last Christmas Tree

It was December and I was wearing shorts and sunscreen. There’s something wrong with this picture, I thought.

My family and I had just traded hemispheres, and this was our first Christmas Down Under. Only a couple weeks before, my parents, older brother, and I had stepped off the plane from the States onto New Zealand soil, where we planned to settle.

Christmas in summer was the new normal. Gulp.

When in Rome, right? Barbeque for Christmas dinner? Of course! Go to the beach after opening “prezzies?” Why not? Watch the Queen’s address after tea—naturally! Continue reading “The First/Last Christmas Tree”

The Martian Nativity

No one knew when it had started. Or why. But everyone suspected who…and that’s why no one attempted to change it.

We called it “The Martian Nativity.”

In my church—which I dearly loved—we kept a closet of Christmas decorations. Only the Lord and possibly a retired custodian knew how long some of those items had been there for…or from whence they had come. Deep in the recesses resided Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. They seemed like perfectly normal lawn ornaments: a dull plastic, hollow for illumination, and who knows how old. Every Christmas they were automatically propped front and center on the elevated platform, from the week after Thanksgiving until somewhere after the new year. Continue reading “The Martian Nativity”

Serving vs. Selling

So many thoughts rummaging around in my head these days, but one that has emerged in some state of cohesiveness to ponder with you all is about marketing. And yet it also isn’t.

Let me explain. I was reading a fantastic article about marketing by author and writing coach K.M. Weiland recently. (Or, more accurately, I was listening to its podcast while I picked raspberries.) Considering I’ve been there and back again with agents and editors, having come so close Continue reading “Serving vs. Selling”

One More Day – A Poem

“Heart, where are you?” I said.

But my voice came back hollow.

“Surely you’re not dead…

Don’t go where I can’t follow.

 

“Dawn can’t stay always away,

So turn your face to the sky.

Hope can’t stay forever at bay,

Awake; lift your head high.”

 

Only silence from the depth,

Just as still as before.

But this was life or death,

So I tried once more.

Continue reading “One More Day – A Poem”

Clean Slate

 

I’ll never forget the hairdresser’s expression. She’d just asked what I wanted done with my hair, and I’d said, “Whatever you’d like. I’m a clean slate for you to do what you think best. I trust you.”

Her eyes grew large in excitement, and I had an idea of what she’d looked like as girl on Christmas morning. Already, I could see her looking at my hair and calculating all the possibilities. Continue reading “Clean Slate”

What Moving Has Taught Me About Living

Moving can teach a thing or two about life.

I’ve seen a fair share of new addresses. While there are military and missionary families that have much higher stats than I do, I’ve moved abroad twice and lived in rental houses, permanent homes, guest houses, basements, and campers. And as I’m in the middle of a move right now, I’ve been reflecting on my last five years in this town and on all the moves I’ve ever done.

One thing I’ve realized: while it’s the time in between moves when we do our living, the moving process can show us how we’ve lived.

Here are the top ten things moving has taught me about living: Continue reading “What Moving Has Taught Me About Living”