29 June 2012

st joe

last week about two-thirds of our crew jetted up north for a speedy trip to see the mister's sister&her hubby and my pals from our loony college days. these are the people who feel like home to me, and i can never quite get enough of them. (ps shannan and shelley, you two are also firmly on that list, like it or not. :) i solemnly swear that we shall swing up again to hang with you and your beautiful families.)

we spent the day in st joseph drenched in so much sky and lake you almost ached with blue, with splash fountains and swaths of sand, pirate ships and waffle bowls. the unflappable aunt kristin burrowed in the sand with my kidfolk, and gave me some lovely time off from mothering. she's grand, that girl.

i always love me some little beach towns, but this one takes the cake. st joseph is just the right amount touristy, wearing neatened lawns and surrey bikes and prices that make me woozy.

also, now would be a good time to insert a Helpful Hint: just because it's breezy-cool-seventies does not actually mean you should forego the sunscreen. i am still recovering from last week's crispy. oy.

Helpful Hint Number Two: if you're into pizza (and if you're not, we might have to rethink your friendship privileges), silver beach pizza makes cheesy pies that may very well make you cry. or sing. likely both. go at 4:30 on a weekday just as the crowd pours in and you'll get a table in less than a jiffy.

the Helpful Hints continue: if you later traipse about town to walk off eating-your-weight's-worth-in-cheese, you should maybe not stop for a rest smack-dab in front of kilwin's. and you should especially not pop into kilwin's 'just to quick look around,' because the second that waffle cone scent hits your lungs, you'll be crying uncle.

all in all, one of the sweetest days we've spent this summer.

dear st joseph,

you are so much sun and loveliness. let's do this again please, and soon.

the many owenses

17 June 2012

the luckiest.

it was 1985 and we headed up the street, dad in his fancy shirt and me with my hair careful-combed. my brownie troop (plus a whole lot of freshly spruced fathers) flocked to ms kissinger's garage-turned-ballroom, a melange of giggles and aftershave that signaled dad-daughter date night.

we twisted spaghetti and sang father songs that started off shy but ended at optimum volume, and so much would come later, all the teenage snark and boys and growing up and away, but it was 1985 and i only had eyes for my father.

you loved me something heroic then, dad, and somehow you've never stopped. happy father's day. i'm so glad you're mine.

11 June 2012


last week we headed west through miles of corn and the occasional horse farm to hike at our nearest state park. the jaunt itself was twenty percent hiking, eighty percent pitching rocks into the river, but after a long stretch of eventually, we managed to circle back to our van and waiting lunches.

little em continues to plug along. often i'm too close to the every day gritty to see straight, but when i give the past year a sweeping glance, our growth is something big. remember how he used to scream his lungs off during half our walks? we've heard nary a peep in ages, and now he'll even ask to race his older brothers and sister.

i, however, have been hormonal and weird these past few days, sporting maturity that would embarrass most twelve year olds. i've had many a stern talk with myself, mostly to the tune of nic, get a grip and soon, and then followed up those talks with asking God to get a firm hold on me because clearly i cannot be left unsupervised with my own attitude.

today we'll tackle some work about the house, then trek out again for Uncharted Territories. the morning fans out before me like a promise unwrinkled, and i'm a beggar again, shaking God down for the gumption to choose to smile and affirm and love enough for this day.

left to my own devices, i'm toast, but God in me? has so got this.


now spill: what does your tuesday have up its sleeve? and what has God been doing in you lately?

02 June 2012


the past few days i've been coughing in the sort of way where you fear for the future of your lungs, but as a Mother of Many Children on Summer Vacation, i'm not actually allowed to entertain illness.

fortunately, the kiddos have been pretty content to lie low this first week, adventuring in the backyard while i slog through mounds of kleenex and computer work. they are (mostly) low-maintenance, these youngish folk, adept at serving up family room forts and dart gun battles with lots of daring escapes.

meanwhile, little em and i had a conversation about our next-year-move:

little em: mom, we are going to africa?
me: yep.
little em: (face lighting) TODAY?
me: oh. no, not for a while. next summer, after kindergarten is done.
little em: (still beaming)

but i got to thinking about this, and here's the thing: little em's memory of africa is molded to the shape and tenor of his years at the care centers. so in his rendering of things, africa = tv and toys all day, punctuated by occasional cake. he is going to be a wee bit chagrined to find that he still has to brush his entire mouthful of teeth and attend school and glare at his green vegetables. i'll maybe let someone else break the news to him.

also meanwhile, elle's been honing her graduation skills. although this is all kinds of cute, i am thankful i have another eleven years to steel my innards for the Actual Thing.

[this was her first attempt at constructing a cap. she pitched this one and rescaled proportions and ended up with the pinkish one up yonder, but the original? is still my favorite.]

so clearly, we are off to another graduation ceremony tonight. what manner of weekend fun do you have planned?