Welcome Home Wednesday.

Coming home after having run away from it for a month is a good-news, bad-news situation . . .

On the one hand, you get to see the people you missed, and the dog seems genuine in his enthusiasm.  On the other hand, your houseplants may have given up on you ever coming back, and the vacuum cleaner probably failed to run itself in your absence --

Which makes me wonder, 
am I the only one who sees this stuff?  
And can I somehow learn to not see it, like everyone else?

(If anyone is keeping track, Mark Trail is still on the same story line as when I left.  True story.  Which can only make me think that either I wasn't gone long enough, or time actually stands still in Lost Forest. Maybe both.)

When you've done nothing but think selfish thoughts, soak in the sunshine and hang out with your parents for a month while they treat you to lunches and afternoon matinees, the re-entry can feel a bit like a cold November slap in your greedy/lazy face.

Even if you readily admit 
you deserved the slap, 
it still stings . . . 

So if you, who diligently stayed home working and acting like a grown-up, have your Christmas tree decorated, lovely lights on your house, your packages mailed, AND all your work done for your February show, please keep it to yourself.  A smug smile will suffice -- no need to raise hands.  But please bear with me while I try to catch up. And I will endeavor to do so with minimal complaint.

Perhaps because my mind 
has had nothing but endless freedom
to wander, I've been thinking writing thoughts, and they seem to have continued across Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, and southern Minnesota -- the word tap continues to drip.

So while I sort mail, 
here's some writing for your Wednesday . . .


I cannot be everywhere
heart in one place, my head
in another entirely
body parts scattered, working
across worries, states, time
all of me wanting to just sit
with you, hold your hands
bodies touching, barely space
for both, but we fit
share one breath for a beat
trace the line of your life
my fingertip on your palm
and in that spot, that moment
find my pieces put together

-- smh

The lovely photo prompt comes courtesy of  Magpie Tales.
Follow the link to enjoy more.

And how could I not write about a couch when all I want to do is sit on mine?  Well, move it out into the sunshine and then sit on it.  Somewhere else.   
Like Hawaii, or Mexico or something...

Now there's that pesky laundry buzzing again,
and just when I get a daydream going . . . Geez!

Okay, I hear you. 

I'm growing 
-- er, I mean coming --
right up.



Thanksgiving Week Already? Eeek!

David Letterman said something the other night that I loved -- it was along the lines of:

The problem with children is . . .

they're our replacements.

Exactly.  You spend your whole career, not to mention the majority of your resources, grooming the person who is really there to take your job . . . and probably look better doing it.  Hmmm.

My personal replacements:  Hannah, Chelsea and Lindsay

On the other hand, they're irreplaceable.

It's a fact -- I can't imagine a world without my daughters, as if they always existed and we were just waiting to be introduced.  My favorite guests at any dinner party.  And they even like my cooking.

This is the first time I will not have any of them at my table for Thanksgiving.  That's the downside of running away from home -- you can't bring everyone else with you, and so you are forced to spend Thanksgiving without them.  On the bright side, for Thanksgiving I'll be with a lot of people I never get to see during the holidays: parents, nieces and their children, siblings.

Probably a good thing I couldn't have all of them together at once.  Too much goodness at one sitting.  No room for pie when there is so much happiness inside and everywhere I look.

 From the Hinckley Thanksgiving Placecard Archives

I hope your Thanksgiving is overflowing with all the things that make you feel thankful, Dear Reader!  Whether you can eat them or not . . .

(I'll be traveling home for a day or two, so Small Works will return next Wednesday or so, at which time I promise not to complain about the weather.  For one post.)

Until then . . .
Happy Blessing-Counting!



Sunday Scribble 2.0



you go this way, I'll go that
your way, mine
but if --  just if
we keep walking won't we
always come together
this thing that doubles
back on itself, our spiral
slowly unspooled, curling
toward one place
a knot pulled tighter until

there are no loose ends at all

-- smh

How can you not love that photo! Thanks to Tess at Magpie Tales.  
Click on the link for more and then -- deep breath -- dare to write your own! 

Or just go find someone to really kiss.  
Yeah, that's good too....

Happy Sunday!



Great Books.

Besides reminding me that my affinity for large fountain drinks is actually a genetic one, my visit home has also been good for a few other things . . .

For instance, I spent some time this evening in Dad's study looking at his books with him.

I have always loved his library, but this current version is "library-lite".

My dad's library is wholly responsible for my life-long obsession with all things words

My love affair began in the big house where his library contained floor-to-ceiling shelves, an exotic hidden wet bar, a lighted Geochron on the wall showing a map of the world in its current relation to the sun, a plush wig-hair rug, a leather couch with a very particular "library-like" smell, and nearly every National Geographic magazine that had been published in his lifetime.

 The library was the room with the 3 small arched windows 

I spent hours there -- trespassing --  looking at his books and reading things that were far beyond my young comprehension, ranging from off-color limericks to the world's great literature. I believe I may or may not have wrecked a few very old copies of Dickens and Hawthorne...I noticed they failed to make the cut in this latest incarnation of his collection.  (Sorry, Dad.  I was too young to handle them properly but if it helps, they had a profound effect on me). 

Tonight he began our conversation by confiding that his books make him feel terribly guilty. I could not imagine how that would be the case, but he explained that he feels bad about all the beautiful and worthwhile books he owns that he has not read.  He said that reading has now become something of a chore for him -- his eyes don't like to work so hard and it has become much easier to watch TV.

This made me sad because one of my dad's defining characteristics has always been that he not only read the dictionary and the complete Encyclopedia Britannica as a young boy -- just because that's the kind of nerdy thing he enjoyed doing -- but also managed to retain a whole lot of it.

The conversation made me think about how things change, and how our relationship to them changes as well.  And feel sad, but feel glad I'm here.  And also fortunate to visit a few of these old mutual friends with him -- even the ones with which we are not as well acquainted as we'd like to be.  Just seeing their wise, familiar faces has value. And feel a little guilty about the ones I have not read myself, but pretty glad for the ones I have.

And realize that time is not to be wasted and that words matter, the ones on the page and especially the ones we share with the people we love.

Thanks, Dad . . . lucky me.



Sunday Scribble.




I have no pockets
should have thought of that
when choosing what I would wear
should have known there might be
something to pick up, keep
take home, a souvenir
to remind me where I went
what I saw and how I felt
while you were here


This poem is a Magpie Tale.
Visit the site for more Magpie fun . . . 
and while you are there, write your own!



The view from St. George.

It's good to come home every now and then,
if only to be reminded where you come from.  For my continual stream of candy, cookies and cupcakes, for instance, I can place blame squarely on my mother.  The 32 oz. soft drink for breakfast comes from my father.  
(Hopefully I inherited a few of their good qualities, too!)

Anyway, it's a trip 
to bizarre-o-world . . .

when you find yourself suddenly strapped into the back seat of your parents' car again.  You feel a strange combination of really old, and still hovering around 10 or so.

"Quilting Mom", by 10-year-old Hannah

At least there's plenty of natural beauty here to bask in 
while I'm trying to make sense of it all and get my bearings.  

 upside down in St. George

About the time I master that, I'll be back to being the mother again in Minnesota, driving my own children crazy with my endearing quirks and reminding them where they came from . . .

I was a wonderful parent before I had children. 
I was an expert on why everyone else 
was having problems with theirs. 
Then I had three of my own.

-- Adele Faber

Hope you're enjoying my vacation too!
Happy Thursday!




Lies, lies, and more lies...

When I said Small Works would return November 4,

I had the best of intentions.  I truly hoped for that to be the case.
But it turns out that I was a liar.  Because it is now November 7.

That's the first lie.  The second must be every St. George weather report I read for the month leading up to my escape from Minnesota. Because it's cold here.  It was 78 degrees the day before I arrived, but now we're breaking cold records right and left.  The people of St. George must be wondering what blew into town and how they can arrange to send it back.


I should have known you can run, 
but you can't hide. 

If you're a Minnesotan, Mother Nature is going to be gunnin' for you 
around the beginning of November.  

Luckily I've had plenty of distractions to help me deal with the optimistic packing that has left me under-dressed and over-cold.  Utahns specialize in fine baked goods, so I've been drowning my sorrows in all-things-delicious since about 5 minutes after I pulled into town.  Which is probably a good idea, because when I get back home around December 1, the extra layers I have put on here are going to help me deal with what's happened since I left there.

Of course, when I planned the trip (bringing my blades and my weights and 2 pair of running shoes) I was thinking that I'd have so much opportunity for outdoor exercise that I'd go home lean and mean and able to wear my skinny black jeans all the way to Christmas and beyond.  Looks like that's probably lie number 3.  Oh well.  You have to be flexible when you're traveling...plans change.

But it's Monday, and no laundry!  
Life is a little chilly, but good.

Oh. So. Good.

(Hope your Monday finds you well...wish you were here!)

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