2016 Iowa Caucuses

DSC_0001Listen….

Do you hear that?

That is the sound of normal.

No more robo-calls, town hall meetings, multiple mailings, and endless political commercials.

The 2016 Iowa Caucuses are over.

The political season started in the spring and went into overdrive last weekend.

For months we’ve listened to candidates in cafes, courthouse lobbies, parks, college campuses, and private homes.

We shook their hands, asked hard questions, and weighed their responses.

We read, discussed, contemplated and ultimately decided.

And last night the entire world watched as we gathered in schools, and legion halls, and community centers across the state to make our choices.

We sat with our friends and neighbors, recited the pledge and cast our ballets on little pieces of paper.

Proud to be Americans.

Proud to be Iowans.

And today it’s over.

The craziest caucus season I can remember is one for the history books.

We’re back to seed, fertilizer, and pick-up truck commercials.

The phone is silent except for friends and neighbors.

And my Facebook feed is more weather, recipes and cute babies than political conversation.

And normal feels good.

Have fun New Hampshire! The circus is on it’s way!

 

Daddy Mechanic

IMG_3282Once our kiddos started leaving the nest in their own vehicles, we thought there would be fewer cars for us to keep running.

Silly us.

Now, my husband not only keeps them running – he does it from a distance.

In the last few months he has fielded a bevy of interesting phone calls and texts.

“Hey Dad – my truck is making funny noises.”

“Should there be a puddle of pink stuff under my car?”

“My tailgate is falling off!”

“Why don’t I have heat?”

“My brakes went out on the way home.”

“The car died.”

And every time he has patiently listened to symptoms, asked critical questions, and given advice.

He has replaced water pumps,  fixed tailgates, changed numerous tires, driven a truck with no brakes to the mechanic and calmed a panicked daughter – more than once.

His bedside reading shelf now holds the manuals for each of their vehicles.

As he was studying one of those manuals the other night, I commented, “It’s almost a full time job keeping those cars running.”

He just smiled and said, “But at least they need me.”

Smart man.

 

Let There Be Light

800px-Raggio_di_luce_(478959076)My husband recently purchased several LED light bulbs. I didn’t really pay any attention until he replaced the burned out bathroom bulb with one of the new LED ones.

I was surprised by how bright it was!

So bright that the bathroom that I thought was clean now looked dingy and dirty.

It’s amazing what light reveals.

Last fall I spent several days washing all 50 windows in our old farmhouse. It was late afternoon when I finally finished the ten windows in the sun room.

The next morning as I stepped into the room to admire my hard work, I looked to the east and was shocked to see that one of the windows was absolutely filthy.

Then I remembered a phone call that had interrupted my work the day before. In the distraction, I must have forgotten to finish that window.

What was unnoticed in the dusk, was painful highlighted in the full sun of the morning.

It’s amazing what light reveals.

Have you ever lost something in the cavernous depths of the closet?

Stubbed your toe on the bed while answering a child’s cry at midnight, then fumbled finding the door knob in the blackness?

It’s amazing what light reveals.

It both illuminates and exposes.

It can drive away the scary monsters in a toddler’s room at night.

It allows a plant to feed itself with photosynthesis and grow.

It guides ships safely into harbor.

Just a few weeks ago we sat in a dark church on Christmas Eve holding candles and reflecting on the birth of the baby in the manger.

The Light of the World.

“I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Why are we stumbling around in the darkness of unbelief?

Why are we being tossed around by the angry seas of circumstances?

Why are we allowing the monsters of fear, uncertainty, discouragement, and worry scare us?

We have the Light of the World!

Away with the darkness, enough of the night!

Let there be Light!

Photo credit: Raggio di luce

The Thirteen Days of Christmas

Thirteen days.

A house full of kids.

Four gallons of Chex mix.

Chocolate dipped everything.

An entire ham devoured.

Hundreds of games of Dominion.

Epic Minecraft battles.

Laughter.

Teasing.

Inside jokes.

Time with special friends.

IMG_4083

Late nights.

Lazy mornings.

Pots of coffee.

And now it’s over.

Matt flew out yesterday.

Pedro’s back at work today.

Dagmar’s preparing for next semester.

Christmas is put away.

The snowmen collection is out.

My house is quiet.

My couch is waiting.

My heart is happy.

And it is good.

The Force was with Them

What could be more exciting than watching the much anticipated new Star Wars movie over Christmas break?

Unless it was watching it with cousins.

 

934107_10205378772406331_584129743945622467_n

Especially cousins in costumes.

A whole slew of cousins in epic costumes!
10655443_10205378774206376_1961737165295592518_o

 

Everything from Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker to R2-D2.

886391_10205378781606561_7740527259416168034_o

Chewbacca and some Ewoks.

886368_10205378770646287_509271128307715090_oAnd Porkins and Biggs – two X-wing fighter pilots, just to name a few!

 

This wasn’t just a movie viewing – it was an epic event!

12440554_10205378778246477_19385176075833357_o

And yes – the force was with them!