James Webb and pasture plants.

Have you seen the amazing images produced by the various ways to see things with the James Webb Space Telescope? I could stare at those for hours. I don’t, usually, as life demands, etc., but I could. It occurred to me this morning as I cropped a photo from the pasture (my computer has thisContinue reading “James Webb and pasture plants.”

Several stories in one story; or, the other grievous thing that happened.

Four thousand words! Dear friends, and especially new readers, I have previously never written this many words at one go in my life — not in college papers, not in high school papers, none of it. Chances are good I will never do it again, but the existence of my five kids proves I shouldContinue reading “Several stories in one story; or, the other grievous thing that happened.”

And suddenly, it’s Epiphany.

And wow, how things have changed. Today, the kids went back to school after a slightly extended Christmas break — extended by a day on the front end by a reward day off for good testing scores, and extended by two hours on the back end by a reward late start for food bank donations.Continue reading “And suddenly, it’s Epiphany.”

Wait, there’s joy to be found in complaining?!

I’ve noticed recently a tendency of people in my community to do a lot of complaining. Nothing is off limits — leadership style, business decisions, house color — and it’s bringing everyone down. Even me. I like the optimistic side of life. I function better if I choose joy even if things are kinda crummy.Continue reading “Wait, there’s joy to be found in complaining?!”

Your feelings don’t matter — and that’s a good thing.

We finally got to leave for harvest recently. Like many harvesters, we saw the first part of our harvest run somewhat wrecked by weather conditions — drought last summer and fall, continued drought through the winter, the record-setting cold snap, a late freeze and then rain that started just in time to save some ofContinue reading “Your feelings don’t matter — and that’s a good thing.”

This — this! — is rural VBS.

It’s Vacation Bible School week at our church. Hope is three miles from a tiny town and five miles from our school town, so not in any town at all. This area is actually riddled with rural churches. If I tip my head to the side, roll my eyeballs oddly, and think for a second,Continue reading “This — this! — is rural VBS.”

On a serious note.

Speculation and anger are rampant regarding the idea of the 30×30 conservation proposal. There are very few facts available. Governors, who rightly ought to be in the know, are asking the same questions that run-of-the-mill citizens are asking. At our house, we spectate decisions made by agencies (mainly federal decisions made abstractly, not local agenciesContinue reading “On a serious note.”

I have a wish list.

The older our kids get, the more defined their gift requests and expectations become. Advent is the season of waiting, and wow, sometimes that waiting comes with a hearty side of whining! Personally, I have ambitions and dreams, and while some of them do come with dollar signs, I’m fortunate to be content with myContinue reading “I have a wish list.”

“Taking care of you makes me happy, too.”

“Taking care of you makes me happy, too.” People who spend time with little kids and PBS most likely know those words sung by Mom Tiger on “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” The show, the successor to my childhood favorite, “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” is an animated and updated version of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. “Daniel Tiger” isn’tContinue reading ““Taking care of you makes me happy, too.””

No pirouettes, thanks.

This Soils and Streams column first appeared in the Dec. 10, 2016, issue of the Kearney Hub. Seasonal traditions may not look typical Routine and tradition are part and parcel of human life. Many of these conventions pace hand in hand with a change in season. As we transition from fall to winter, Christians markContinue reading “No pirouettes, thanks.”