It was a dark and stormy night…

and the people came anyway.

Dude. Never cancel a hayride. Friday, I had considered emailing folks and warning them of the mud, the cold, the sadly lowing moos out in the pasture and the wind that had taken over TexasNorth. It’s miserable, I would have said. I did not call or email anyone, thank goodness. I, in my silliness, had forgotten that children have this internal heater that is specially reserved for swimming in Lake Michigan and also playing tag in a wet field with a glow stick and completely new friends. For hours. FOUR hours, actually. 25 children came… and I saw only 4 of them inside for more that 5 hot-dog-grabbing minutes the entire evening. I don’t understand it, but I will not question it again. It was fantastic.

To those of you who braved the weather and played with us Saturday night, thank you. It was such a blessing and such a BLAST to have you out here. To those of you who opted to stay home, we missed you… and we completely understand. There’s always next year… or later this month.

And to whoever- adult or child– lock the kittens in my car for the night… I would like to talk to you after class.

Last Thursday. Thank you so much for your comments and your emails. My lives as a ARMY brat, an outdoor ed science teacher, a rock climber, a ropes course runner, a Young Life staffer, a singer, and a crafter have introduced to me to nearly every personality, religion, and personal philosophy out there. Thank you for hearing what I was trying to say Thursday and for returning today. You are good, good people. All of you. And, I like you very much.

And finally, I’ve been thinking about books. There is nothing better than reading by the fire in Winter. Amanda has a list of her top books… I’d like to offer a couple of my own. It’s not complete, but so far:

best book ever… Five Smooth Stones, Ann Fairbairn
This book is out of print now, making it difficult to find. I do not understand why this book is not on every Senior reading list. Why? Why? Why? It is truly remarkable, touching, difficult, poetic. I have simply never been so affected by a single work before. It’s the story of a man named David and his life during the Civil Rights Movement. The metaphor is obvious here… five smooth stones- those that David used against Goliath in tales of old. It’s a good book. It’s my absolute favorite.

most re-read book… A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
I’m not a huge re-reader of books, but this is slowly changing. I read SO. MUCH. until about 5 years ago that my shelves are stacked with books I’ve read and left behind. Now I find myself going through them again with different eyes. This particular book I’ve loved since I was a child and have always come back to it year after year. I love it. It’s an old friend.
most favorite “new book”… The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd
I’ve read this twice now, listened to the audiobook once, and have seen the movie (love, btw). It’s just something simple and small that speaks to me in lots of places. It’s a beautiful book. Simply. Beautiful.


[photos: Ry’s new winter hat]

About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

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