Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 


First thought:  U-Haul trucks.  I’m wondering how many times, starting when I was two years old, I’ve been a part of hauling our household from one place to another.


Let’s see:

  1.  Colorado to Blue Earth, MN
  2.   Blue Earth to Fairmont
  3. Fairmont to Minneapolis, 15th street
  4. To Oliver Avenue
  5.  To Milwaukee, Oregon
  6.  To Portland, big house with L-shaped living/dining room that I loved
  7.  Another in-city move, can’t remember the street name–Killingsworth?
  8. Ditto–near Grant High School
  9.  Back to Minnesota, St. James.
  10. Now I’m off to college, parents moved to Minneapolis
  11.  Parents moved to White Bear Lake, where I met Terry
  12. Married, moved to Stillwater, MN
  13. To North St. Paul, MN.
  14. To Minneapolis
  15. to Iron River, MI
  16. to house we bought in Baumgartner district of Iron River
  17. To temporary dwelling in Coopersburg, PA
  18. To and even more temporary place
  19. to house we bought in Perkasie, PA
  20.  to Brainerd, MN motel we bought and ran for three years
  21. to South Long Lake in Brainerd
  22. Back to PA, this time to Quakertown.

I think I got them all. My sister may remember something I’ve forgotten.

That’s a lot of hauling, and I’m happy to say we’ve been in our present home for nearly 24 years, which is a record for me.  I have every intention of my next major move being one where I take nothing with me, because God has a place for me.  Maybe my mansion over the hilltop 🙂



Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt


I was thinking recently about how long we’ve lived in this house–23 years, a record for my whole lifetime.  Relocating–moving–was just part of life when I was growing up.  I was “the new girl” more often than not as I went through the grades.  move


I was also thinking how moving helps pare down all the stuff we tend to keep just in case we might need it–someday—–

Our youngest son, now 42, is soon relocating to the UK.  His wife is there, finishing her schooling, and they’ve been apart more than they’ve been together in the time they’ve known each other.  He’s ready to make the big move now. He’s on his way here from California, and should be home sometime today.

Needless to say, I have mixed feelings about all this.  We love his wife. She’s a wonderful young woman, and I wish we could see more of her.  I already have one son living in Europe, and now there will be another.  They don’t ask me if this is okay with me 🙂  And really, I wouldn’t stand in their way.  They have to find their own paths, just as we found ours.

Sometimes I think about the parents who waved goodbye to the covered wagons until they disappeared over the horizon, knowing they would very likely never see their sons or daughters or grandchildren again. There is that possibility for us. I don’t like it, but I’ve learned to accept it.

Well, no sense in being maudlin about all this.  Dan will be here for about six weeks, trying to sort through his stuff, selling or donating most of it. So we’ll value the time we have with him, and wish him Godspeed when he leaves.




Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 


It has been said that being brave is to go ahead and do what needs doing even when you’re terrified.

I believe that concept applies to a lot of life experiences.

Having babies, for instance. I had four. I wasn’t terrified with the first.  Mildly apprehensive, perhaps, but not really afraid.

The next three times, I was scared to death. Sometimes when you know exactly what you’re facing, the fear intensifies.  Obviously, though, I survived each one.  Most of us do. And there’s nothing I find more  ridiculous than a woman who has gone through multiple childbirths who enjoys telling how she nearly died with each one.  Good grief.

For me, learning to drive was indeed a brave thing. I wanted to do it, but my dad was old-school, and never wanted any female driving HIS car 🙂  I wasn’t allowed to take driver’s ed in high school. Terry taught me to drive before we were married, and in spite of that he married me anyway 🙂

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I’ve never gotten over the fear of driving in heavy city traffic in unfamiliar places.  I won’t do it.  And the older I grow, the less willing I am to drive anywhere but places with which I’m completely familiar.

When we moved from Michigan to Pennsylvania, we’d been married only five years or so. Terry drove the U-Haul across the country, and I followed him with our car and our two little boys.  White-knuckled all the way. Chicago was a horror show. When we finally arrived, it took me a couple of days to decompress.  When I’m afraid, it manifests in anger.  Terry didn’t have the first clue why he was getting cold shoulder and hot tongue for supper.

So, was I brave to make that drive when I was so afraid of it?  I don’t know.  Maybe, but I didn’t feel brave.  I did what had to be done, with a four-year-old and a 18-month old for company, along with a lot of twangy, nasal country music on the radio. All I can say now is that I was so glad when it was over that all I could do was cry.

And then, of course, I had to learn how to deal with Pennsylvania topography, which is a whole different thing than Minnesota or Michigan. Come to think of it, I was nervous every time I had to drive somewhere for the first few months. Not brave. Not at all.

But one does what one must 🙂



PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Moving. Such a hassle.  Even worse when it wasn’t your own house you were packing up.

Mother and Dad had been lifelong packrats.  Three dumpsters full just from the basement.  Junk that “might come in handy someday.” There would be an  estate sale  for the farm machinery  and most of Mother’s treasures.

People were still bringing flowers and casseroles in memory of Mother and Dad. They also brought stories, often new ones that Sarah had never heard before. Wonderful memories. Thoughtfully, Sarah fingered an old, empty journal.

A good place, she thought, for recording memories.







We’re Moving

(Writing 101, Day Fifteen: Your Voice Will Find You
You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled forever (or taken over by an evil organization). Write about it. For your twist, read your piece aloud, multiple times. Hone that voice of yours!)

I knew in my heart that it was coming, but hope was still alive that somehow that little church in southern Minnesota would vote not to call my dad to be their new pastor. I felt bad about hoping so, because I knew he wanted it. And Mom wanted nothing more than to go back to Minnesota where there were close friends and even some family members.

I had been only 10 when we moved from Minneapolis to Portland, Oregon.  We hadn’t lived in any one house long enough for me to become attached, and I was very excited to be living near both the mountains and the ocean. For this midwestern flatlander, that  was a dream come true.

Now I was fifteen. I’d nearly finished my freshman year of high school at one of the biggest schools in the city. I loved it there. I’d made friends and was looking forward to being a sophomore.  I dreamed of being in the choir, and in the drama program. I loved my Spanish class, and wasn’t sure at all that there would be such a class in the little farm town where my folks wanted to take us.

There were other things I loved.  Above all, I loved being near the ocean. It has still never lost its magical appeal for me.  I’ve never gotten over my wonder at the size of these immense bodies of water that circle and nourish our land masses. I loved the rare ocassions when we could watch a storm over the ocean from the safety of a high cliff.

I loved Mt. Hood. Every day, it stood sentinel over the city of Portland and treated us to the majestic view of its snowcapped shoulders and peak.

I loved the roses.  I’d never seen so many roses in one place.  Every spring, the city chose a Rose Princess from among its dozen or so high schools. The lovely winner in that contest got to ride on the official Rose Parade float, along with her court of princesses. It was a major event, and one I would never see again.

The Rose Gardens were wonderful. I never got bored with strolling through the vines, bushes, and trellises overflowing with roses of every imaginable color and size. Such an abundance of beauty and perfume. And I would very likely never see it again.

Jantzen Beach was an amusement park that we enjoyed in the summer.  In retrospect, it probably wasn’t as big as it is in my memory. It was a great place for a youth activity or a casual date.  I don’t even know if it’s still there.

The Columbia and Willamette Rivers meet in Portland. We had friends who had a boat, and they took us out on the river often enough that I became almost as entranced by the water there as I was by the ocean. Almost.  River water doesn’t always smell too good near the city.

And, of course, there was my boyfriend.  My first real crush.  I know, I know. I was only 15 (almost) and what did I know about real love?  I knew as much as any 15-year-old could know.  I loved him as much as my age, personality, and experience allowed me to love, and I was heartbroken over leaving him.  I can’t even tell you how awful it was to say goodbye. I was sure there would never be anyone else, and I was destined to be alone for the rest of my life.

So.  The packing up process, one I was very familiar with, began. Lots of stuff got thrown away or given away, and as we pared down our household I said goodbye to some things I knew I would never miss. Still, it was hard. Those years between 10 and 15 include the whole process of emerging from “little girl” to “young woman,”  There were mementos that I struggled with emotionally, things I wanted to keep but knew I would never even look at again, in reality.

And finally, the day came. The church my dad pastored had given us a farewell, lots of hugs and tears and “promise me you’ll write.” I’d said goodbye to my friends at school. We still had six weeks of the school year, and I was dreading having to do it in a new place where friendships were already established, and the other kids had known each other all their lives. But time goes on, and soon we were on the road, heading to a new life and leaving everything I loved behind us.

I thought I would never be happy again.

I was wrong.