Mountains and Ditches


I read an excerpt that asked the reader, “What would the title of your life be.”  I thought about it for a moment.  My life has been up and down.  My circumstances have dictated that I am either in the depths of despair face down in a ditch or atop most beautiful and inspiring mountain.  “That’s it!” I thought, Mountains and Ditches; the Story of an Eclectic Life! 


This recent ditch was a doozy, as we pulled ourselves out of the muck and pulled our faces over the edge we could see the most beautiful mountain we have climbed yet.  My, the awe inspiring view was spectacular.  Here we are making our ascent through thick woods that impede our view but that are keeping us safe and comforted with sounds of bird song and a meandering path dotted with pieces of wisdom.  Around each bend are people that we know, oh so many of them, all with outstretched hands.  Coffee cups and meals are gifted and shelter and encouragement put in our pack.  Pieces of the path lining up here and there as we focus on our journey through the pines, the occasional barb grabbing at us but then the fresh air and life leading us forward.


We turn a bend and someone helps my husband try to get a job, puts in a word, makes a recommendation, or simply utters a prayer for us.  We come across a stream and the crystal clear waters glisten and refresh.  We celebrate when I get offered a job at the library that works around my hours with the baby.  We walk on and enter a meadow.  A vast field of warmth and sunflowers and there are our friends willing to build us a shelter, one we can keep, and we are so overwhelmed and blessed that tears of joy water our view as we sit to rest on this mountain.


A letter in the mail brings ever more tears to our eyes with generosity that we did not expect but sorely needed.  The stars twinkle overhead and occasionally the wind howls with threats from the ditch below but we turn our faces to the stars and keep walking up our new mountain.  The mourning dove still sounds her song but glimpses of the eagle soaring overhead bring us peace and smiles.  It’s been so sweet to see so many of you around bends and trees.  Thanks for journeying with us.  May your mountain be filled with sweet birdsong and fresh air today.

A Simple Wedding and Promises


Those two have been crazy about each other for a very long time.  We moved to Parker when the children were five, six, and eight respectively.  There were several children in the neighborhood and never a shortage of antics, wars, camaraderie, and fun.  One of those children was Megan.  They moved away a few years later.  She still went to the same school though, and was in Shyanne’s grade.  Megan became good friends with Shyanne’s best friend, Kim and the three were often together at Kim’s house.  Kim’s brother happened to be Andrew’s best friend.  His name was Andrew as well.  They all had great times and a romance sparked between Megan and Andrew.  The problem was Megan was thirteen and Andrew was fifteen.  They were enthusiastically bound by youth and fate, a love affair that could not be extinguished.  Her parents did not want her to date.  We moved to another town.  Their five friendships were strong and distance could not separate them.  My grandmother said that Andrew and Megan would someday wed.  Her prediction came true.

black and white

In the past year we have certainly been dealt some life shattering blows, multiple deaths (including Kim’s), changes, sadnesses but there are always amazingly beautiful, life healing events that round out the circle of this life.  Maryjane being born was one of them.  The light of our life.  Our son’s wedding another.  To be present with him on the most important day of his life was a blessing and an honor.  One I did not take lightly.  A day remembering how we used to go to the coffee shop before school to get him ready for a long day of thinking, holidays celebrated with enthusiasm and magic, our many trips with the children seeing new things, walks and talks with my little boy.  Even though he is twenty-one, I guess I didn’t realize he had grown up until he became a husband and the day was sweet reminiscing and loving my child with all my heart as I sent cosmic wishes of health, humor, and a very long happy marriage to my son and this sweet young woman that I have loved for a long time as well.

with Teri with us

Their dream wedding will be on July 5th of next year.  Seven years from the date they started dating.  But they did not want to wait another year to be wed.  So on the 5th we met at a park in the middle of the day in Lakewood, a gorgeous patch of land tucked away from traffic, along a river with large cottonwoods and willows resting on the banks creating canopies and backdrops.  Megan’s mom, Teri, Doug and I, and Megan and Andrew walked until we found a lovely spot with luxurious slacken branches, the sound of the river, and geese as witnesses.  Teri videotaped on her phone and I silently cheered, Doug teared up, and Andrew and Megan stood close as they spoke words they had written in their own homemade vows.  From the heart and sweet as the sunny summer day upon us, they kissed with passion and relief after years of wanting to be old enough to be married.  The mothers signed the marriage license as witnesses and our little children were now Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Sanders.  How time whispers past us.  Such a beautiful and moving moment.

kiss married

A cake and champagne reception at Teri’s house followed with photos, brief toasts, and grandparents and parents conversing.  Our parents in attendance, our children, and dear friends, Kat and Rod, joined Megan’s family in a celebration of life and sacrament.


So, if you will, raise your coffee cup, or whatever glass you have and let us toast to Andrew and Megan that their marriage will be blessed and that happiness and laughter will far outweigh any rough patches, that the promise of blissful events will always trump the saddest.  May they be blessed with many children and many sweet memories!