Stacked Wood & Hearthfires

“There’s just something about the way he sings. It makes me think of when it snows outside, and the fire is warm, and Podo is telling us a story while you’re cooking, and there’s no place I’d rather be— but for some reason I still feel… homesick.”

~ Andrew Peterson, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

The things that made me happy in January:

New Year’s rain

Chattering with Elsie and the boys all about The Wingfeather Saga

Clearing off my bookshelves, lining up my to-be-reads for 2023, and returning stacks I’d borrowed from folks

Red hardback copy of Little Women

My new pack of classical CDs; Brahms and Beethoven making the drive to church something beautiful

Faint constellations that look like little saucepans

These few words on motherhood by Sarah

My students, who, at the end of our Inklings Writing Coaching semester, are now my friends

Walking Natalie’s campus with her, and the energy of a college basketball game


Relishing “The Carnival of the Animals” by Camille Saint-Saens — January’s song

How learning archery makes me listen to the wind

A bright fog

Planting bulbs along the garden edge

Playing late-night basketball

Long Thursday afternoon for stories with Papa Larry about the authors of Concord, Massachusetts— Alcott, Emerson, & Bryant

Blues hockey with the siblings, Natalie, and Christophe; laughing about good ol’ times in the backyard

Lila Joy, a new niece, born at home

Scooping her in a lilac blanket against me and her new eyes

Barrett’s bear slippers

Sunday church conversations with folks about family history, real estate, teaching, and trusting God with good desiscions

Fernando Ortega on The Jesus Storybook Podcast

Dad and Mom’s good questions and care to listen

Sunset like a January hearthfire

Window in the corner of the coffee shop, watching the river move and a train blow past

The neighbor boys out playing basketball at dusk and calling Trent over to join them

Psalm one

A full jar of flour

Squirrel darting along the pond banks

A fire in Papa’s stove and watching Little Women there, wind in the dusky cedars outside

Folding bread dough in the golden light

A big family meal and sleepover, with grilled deer backstraps, sweet potatoes, homemade bread, followed by muffins and coffee, a fire in the hearth, a skit by the kids, chess, books, and dominoes

“You satisfy me more than the richest feast” ~ Psalm 63:5

Saturday morning “treasuries” hunt down by the pond, where we collected pails of moss, twigs, acorns, and leaves

Papa in his leather coat, pushing a wheelbarrow of firewood up to the house, and his neatly stacked supply

Snow in the early light

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