Things are getting fuzzy in our neck of the woods. The bare branches that have scratched like long fingers across the winter skies are softening up. Their outlines are no longer in sharp focus.  The greening leaf buds are blurring the edges and coloring our views.

My mother, born on the first day of spring, was reborn into heaven in the spring fifteen years ago.  If someone had asked me what day my mother passed away, I’d have said April 13.  But I was a little fuzzy on the exact date – it was actually April 14, 2003.  Yet I am clear about so many other details of her influence – her love and encouragement, her creativity, her sense of style, her housekeeping and financial habits, and her uplifting ways – all those linger still.

I wrote every day through the whole month of the March Slice of Life Story Challenge again this year, something I began in 2012. I haven’t been writing daily this month, and my writing brain is already becoming a bit fuzzy. I am slipping away from the fulfilling activities of noticing, pondering, evaluating, and wordsmithing that I was beginning to develop. And I feel like something is missing from the core of who I want to be. Fortunately I know how to get back on that path.

We began a remodeling project at our home last week, with the hoped-for end result a new kitchen, bath, stair railing, deck, and wood floor stain. Before the new can come in, the old must go out. I am already a bit fuzzy on how our old kitchen looked, but I look forward to the new spaces with a concentrated clear vision.

We recognize fuzzy because we also know what is clear. Here’s to shaking out the cobwebs and gaining new insights along the way.

sweet girl

We are dog people.

Our family members have included an assortment of versions of the canine variety through the years. All have had names starting with M – Muffin, Magnolia, Molly, and Megan. Then came Maggie. The rescue dog who captured our hearts and filled our empty nest with a different kind of love.

Maggs had her own unique personality, but she was a perfect dog for us.  We loved her unconditionally. And she was devoted to us in return. As long as she was with us – sleeping in our bedroom, watching tv in the den, on trips to the lake – we all felt complete.

I could only imagine how lonely we would be without her.

Maggie came to us when she was five. She was scared of her shadow, but her tail wagged vigorously for us.  She didn’t care much for other dogs, or other people if they were standing (sitting was ok).  She came when we called her, unless there was a scent of interest enticing her away.

She was strong and fast.  Our previous dog had suffered from bad hips and digestive troubles, and her last days at 11 years old were tough. Megan had been an outside dog, and Maggie was definitely not.  So we knew Maggie would be different.

But she wasn’t.

Yet, when she was 13, we didn’t mind carrying her up the stairs, giving her joint medicine, even diapering her at night.  We were content, as long as everything else was comfortable for her.

But it wasn’t.

Maggie began to have digestive issues just like Megan had.  She wouldn’t eat the food she had always loved.  Eventually she wouldn’t eat the soft food we had changed to. She was shrinking before our eyes. Her bones stood out and her steps were slower and more hesitant.

We had numerous trips to the vet, lots of uncertainty, loads of tears. What was best for our sweet baby? How can love hurt this bad?

Maggie left us just before her 14th birthday. I like to believe she is running free in a better place, But I still look for her here, and I see her sweet brown eyes in my mind.  I can imagine the feel of her silky ears, hear her toenails on the wood floor, smell the popcorn scent of her feet when she slept.

Since we are dog people, we will one day get another pup. We can only hope to be so blessed to have another little friend with as sweet a soul as our Maggie.

She wouldn’t want us to be alone.


Our joyous

Easter Day

comes   at   the   end   of   a   week

filled   with   rejection   and   grief,

and   in   the


of   a   plan

of salvation

formed by

our loving

Father, who


His only Son

 for you and me.