A little news...

Last week at a dinner party, I shared with some friends that I had been actively talking to people who don't share the same political views as myself. A few people thought this was particularly amusing. They wondered who I might talk to, how I went about this, and why I might do this in the first place.  I guess I am just curious and, ultimately, concerned for the future of my kids. It's much easier to grouse with your ilk, but if we can find common ground with people who view things differently we just might be able to inch forward.

So I have embarked on my own little adventure.  I don't think what gets said is as important as the fact that both sides embraced the experience with open hearts and ears.  I am so happy because, as I initially had hoped, we do have common ground.

I am not running for office, but I think there are so many other ways to use our lives that will make a lasting impact. This has just been one small effort on my part, but for now it feels good enough. Have I mentioned before that I am a big fan of good enough?

If you can make some noise on this piece, I would more than appreciate it. The more shares, likes, tweets, etc.,  that I get make it easier for me to get published again.  In the end, it all comes down to the writing, but I will gladly accept any help willingly given.

Crossing Party Lines

The language of love

One of life's most interesting lessons is learning how other people administer their love to you. Couples struggle because they don't speak the same love language. She wants words and comfort and attention and a thoughtful gift now and then and he wants warm food, regular oil changes, and sex....not necessarily in that order. Children can misinterpret consequences for not caring and parents confuse indulgence with love.  The trick, then, is figuring out how your actions will manifest themselves into gestures, actions, and gifts that adequately communicate "I love you" in a way your intended recipient understands.

More than once I have heard people say of a seemingly odd gift or gesture given with the best of intentions, "Doesn't (fill in the blank) even know me?"

But, speaking another person's love language can be uncomfortable, hard, and mystifying.  

For instance, I know my dad loves me and my family because he gave us a tractor.  I don't really need or want a tractor. The six acres we own is not ripe for plowing, and neither man in my little family of four is great with motors of any kind. But now we have a tractor.

My dad's story is embedded within this tractor. For every brush stroke of green and gold paint and every drop of oil and gasoline, for every part searched for and found, there is a little vignette of his life, a chapter to add to the book that is my dad. It is one full of hope and promise and sadness and rage.  Mostly though, this tractor is physical evidence of a man whose spirit has triumphed over bitter disappointments. My dad still laughs, has innate curiosity in how different models of old tractors work, and his heart can be light, in part, because of his love for John Deere tractors.  

I don't need to tell you that my dad and I do not speak the same love language. We fail miserably at adequately conveying in real time what we mean to each other. He's not afraid to tell me he loves me, but general conversation  that is satisfying to us both can be hard. 

We do accept, however, what we do have to give.  Me with my observations and ruminations on this little blog, and he, his tractors, always his tractors. We are more alike than different. We wake up in the morning with a new way of fixing, creating, deconstructing, solving, polishing...be it words or antique motors, we are both looking for a way to make our mark on this planet last.

"Here, doll. This is what I could do for you,"  is what I will think every time I see it.

This 1952 Model A might seem an odd sort of love letter, but it is infinitely better than no love letter at all.

10 Things I can't get enough of...

1. I can't stop reading this.  Junot Diaz is a Pulitzer Prize Winner and he just won a MacArthur genius grant.  Can I tell you how many times I have tried and failed to win Pulitzer Prize winning books? I won't, but this guy's genius for me is that I can read him without wondering what I am supposed to be getting out of it. He's got guts and grit and soul and he is probably more brilliant than I will ever understand and I do not care. His writing is a gift to us. 

2.  Sweet potatoes  and kale in curry sauce. I made up my own recipe, but it is similar to this. 3 out 4 gave it a thumbs up.  If you read this blog at all, you know who doused their brown rice with butter instead.

3.  The moment right after your kid has jumped into a pile of leaves. They are smiling and scratching at  what went down their pants at the same time.

4.  Sadly, I admit to liking this video because the band members dress up in silly animal costumes. It gets me giggling every time.

5.  Thing 2 with his head stuck in a book never fails to surprise me.  I wasn't sure it would happen, and today finds him oblivious to our crazy barking dog because he can't turn the pages fast enough.

6.  For the past 3 weeks, I have lived in a post card.

7.  Sunday mornings at the farm.

8.  The first sip of morning coffee in a quiet room.

9.  Signs of the times in Minnesota.

10.  Not a day goes by that I don't hear "Thanks!" or "I love you mom!" I. AM. LUCKY.