Friday, February 25, 2011

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due...

So, I've had some help getting this blog started.

First, there was my mom. Way back in first grade I started whining that I didn't want to go back to school. I'm a little fuzzy on all the details, but I do remember thinking that my first grade teacher must have been going through what I now assume was menopause... 'cause the windows in our classroom were open all winter. And on Valentine's Day when I gave her a little box of those candy hearts, she happened to pull out one that said "Kiss Me" on it. So she did. In front of the whole class. Now, if you talk to my parents, I'm sure there are entirely different (and much better!) reasons they decided to keep me home in second grade and begin a lifelong adventure of homeschooling.  But it was through the guidance of my parents that I first began my love affair with writing to express myself.

Then there was my grandfather, Papaw Payne. No, he's not still around. But I sat faithfully (or maybe it was because we hoped there would be Oreos afterward?) with my brother Kyle through many a grammar lesson at his kitchen table or on the "davenport". Not writing workshop, or creative writing, or balanced literacy, or any of those fancy buzzwords we educators use today. Stone. Cold. Grammar. P's and q's. Diagramming sentences. Old school.

But between the three of them- my parents and my grandfather- I ate it up. Found my voice. Writing has always helped me sort things out. I've got several journals squirreled away on shelves in my home (and nobody had better read them till I am LONG gone!!). Writing for me is cathartic. Sometimes joyful, sometimes painful. Sometimes humbling or embarrassing to myself. 

See the AWESOME photo on the top of my blog? It was taken by an incredibly talented person, whom I have the pleasure of being related to. I don't know the specifics, but I do know we are cousins of some number (maybe 2nd?) on my Mom's side. Her name is Julie Abston, and she has a lovely website that you should check out:
If you live anywhere near the Montgomery County, IN area, it's worth it for you to contact her for your next family photos!  Talent like this doesn't come along often.

And there's my sister Bethany. I've been following her blog since its beginnings. I've loved that it's been a great way for me to keep up with what's going on in her family's lives,especially since I live so far away from them. She's been encouraging me to start my own for quite some time now. Take a peek at hers. There's a link on the top right of my page. It's called Crazy Days... Sleepless Nights. Besides seeing photos of some really cute kids, I'm sure you'll find something from the writings of this wonderful, witty woman of faith to encourage you.

So, there you have it, for starters. Some of the reasons I'm blogging. 

Welcome along for the ride!

Monday, February 21, 2011

This photo makes me smile. The joy on this little girl's face is contagious. It was shortly after Jim died and we were staying with Dad and Mom. It was SO COLD outside, and there had just been a sleet *not snow* storm. I'd packed so hurriedly when we'd left Michigan that I'd neglected to bring my winter gear. But I'd remembered hers. We'd been outside for a good 45 minutes and I wanted nothing more than to go inside. I was freezing my tuckus off!

But when you look at that face, how can you resist staying outside "Just one more liddle while, Mama. Pwease??".

I Heard a Sound Last Night...

Couldn't decide if it was thunder or something else.

It wasn't thunder.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


That's the word for how my home feels.

It feels bigger because the oppression of cancer isn't hanging over it. It feels vulnerable because the quiet strong protection that was my husband isn't here anymore. And it feels eerily empty, like something huge is missing...

Because it is.

But not sad, because Jim's pain is gone and he is finally at peace. It's hard to explain, really. I have a lot of thinking and praying to do and decisions to make as Marley and I figure out our new normal. But for today, the word is eery.