Angels looking after you

All day, all night, angels looking after you, my dear…

This is a song I used to sing to my kids when they were growing up. The “real” lyrics are slightly different, but we all make up words to songs, right?

This wooden angel looks out over Broad Street on L’Anse, keeping her angel eyes on all the happenings in our little town.

I snapped the photo last Tuesday morning. Next day we boarded an airplane and flew south to Detroit and on to Atlanta, Georgia. We rented a Nissan Rogue from Alamo and drove to Athens (home of the University of Georgia and the Bulldogs). Barry’s parents live nearby and we spent five days with them before visiting his nearby brother and wife.

We will soon be settled back in our little house in the woods (or perhaps even be there by the time you read this.) A winter snowstorm threatens the western Upper Peninsula so I’m hoping the angels will look over us as we travel. Traveling mercies, my friend Ruth always says.

I thought yesterday: what is the opposite of angels watching over you? The answer that popped up: when fear watches over us. When our mind creates “what if” scenarios. When we worry over what-may-happen rather than relax into a larger knowing of grace, no matter what happens. There’s a field of unconditional love and support that surrounds us. Worries sometimes can prompt us to take proactive measures, but much of the energy can be so unnecessary, don’t you agree?

May angels watch over you, dear reader. May the wings of grace flutter in between any worries or concerns that threaten to disturb your day. May peace bathe any anxiety, disquiet or unease.

Blessings as you travel through your day. Angels watching over you.

Posted in December 2021 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

When a river turns silver (and a long-ago shamanic dream)

We’re transitioning into winter now. Here is the Silver River just a couple of miles from our house. The river turns colors as the ice forms: black, white, silver. Years ago I used to wander down here and sit by the river on early summer mornings. Now the land by the bridge is owned privately. Once I dreamed about falling through the ice and getting trapped beneath it. A nightmare indeed. In the dream I died and turned into a skeleton–but then lived again. Some folks call that a shamanic dream, a sacred dream, a dream of new beginnings. I can’t look at this ice without remembering that long-ago dream. Have you ever had a dream like this? (Hope this isn’t too morbid for today’s Photo Short!)

Posted in December 2021, Photo shorts | Tagged , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

December light in our little house in the woods

When the low sun shines here in the Upper Peninsula at this time of year–and that’s a big when–light enters our house in long ribbons of luminescence. The winter can drag as gray skies loom overhead and lake effect clouds and snow blow off Lake Superior. We’re moving toward winter solstice now, just three short weeks away. Are you OK with seasonal darkness, or is it a challenge? Usually I am fine, but it sometimes gets oh-so-taxing.

Here’s an early December view of our living room with the kitchen behind and to the far right. Please note purple yoga blocks, the better to stretch, stretch, stretch. Which is what we sometimes need to do with our attitudes during long winter days. Thanks for dropping by our little house in the woods! (Brought to you by the game of Photo Shorts. Post one picture on your blog. Write something short. Go forth happily into your day.)

Posted in December 2021, Photo shorts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Magic of a winter bonfire in the woods

We’ve been saving wood scraps in a burn pile in the woods for maybe four years now. We didn’t want to light it during the summer or fall due to wildfire possibilities–but three inches of new-fallen snow is perfect. Twilight approaches: we grab newspaper, spruce kindling, lighter. Tonight we’re burning our beloved “bat house” that Barry made years ago when we tried to create bat habitat. Unfortunately, those darn bats preferred to snooze in knot holes in our old cedar siding. And these days you don’t see too many bats flying around; it seems many have succumbed to white nose syndrome. That’s sad, because bats eat all sorts of insects, and wee biting creatures can be unpleasant during mosquito, black fly, deer fly, no-see-um season in early summer.

Soon the pile burns, burns, burns! We carefully arrange more wood around the flames. Not too many all at once. It’s bonfire art. It’s sweet–standing around the fire, listening to the crackling wood, moving away from the smoke.

No marshmallows, no hotdogs, no s’mores. There’s spaghetti with veggies up at the house. We’ll tend the fire for several hours in the dark November evening.

Thanks for stopping by our bonfire. (This post has failed to be a Photo Short. It’s two photos and too many words to qualify. It’s a Photo Short wannabe, lol.)

Posted in November 2021 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Driftwood pyre over Lake Superior

I love stumbling upon these driftwood pyres, these pieces of beach art. A pyre, Google assures, can mean a pile of combustible material made for burning. It does not just apply to funeral ceremonies in India. This one overlooks Lake Superior over near Sand Point, just behind the Pow Wow grounds. They remind me of Solstice fires lit to celebrate the sun’s zenith and return. They speak of ancient ceremony, connection with nature, creativity, ritual, art, spirituality. I’ve glimpsed them on several secluded beaches over the years and they never fail to inspire. These questions swirl: Who made this? Do you feel the same way when you see one? What do you call them besides driftwood pyres? (Google says it’s a psychedelic Indie rock band from Minneapolis.) **Continuing the blogging theme of Photo Shorts. Share one photo on your blogsite–if you have one. Write something short. Then move on into your day.**

Posted in November 2021, Photo shorts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

“Can I help you? What would you like today?”

In our Upper Peninsula many folks own camps–a second little home, shack or trailer tucked away out in the woods or by the lake. How apropos that some enterprising business person here in L’Anse bought a cute little camper and called it “Camp Coffee”. Yesterday, as the snow drifted lazily down, I ordered a steaming hot cappuccino. Sometimes I chose oat or coconut milk, but yesterday whole dairy milk sounded appealing. No sweetener, just delicious coffee and whipped foaminess. What kind of coffee might you order at Camp Coffee or your favorite local stop? Or might you prefer a latte, hot chocolate or chai tea? What do you feel like today? (Thank you for stopping by today’s Photo Short!)

Posted in November 2021, Photo shorts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

I’m playing a fun game


Yesterday I started playing a fun game. Today I will share that game with you. We might call it Photo shorts. It’s a blogging game. You know I love writing 900 words about 900 different stories. But yesterday I decided to play a different game for awhile. Here’s how you play: Post one photo. Write something short. See how simple? See how fun? You can play every day, or twice a week, or once a week, or never. There’s only one rule. It has to feel fun. Like child’s play. You might notice your heart pitter-pattering with excitement. Because it’s only for kicks. Nothing too serious or fancy. One photo. Write something short. Then move on into your day. It’s berry berry fun. I mean it’s very fun. We’re never too old to play!

Posted in November 2021, Photo shorts | Tagged , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

No shopping allowed

Walking on the beach in Baraga behind the Pow Wow grounds. Ice cold late November Black Friday, 20 degrees F (-6 C). No shopping allowed, unless it’s for photos or beach glass or sun peeking through dark clouds. What’s more precious than shopping? Cold cheeks, vast aloneness in nature (until that fellow walker appears with his two dogs), smells of cedar in the nearby woods. Each step is precious in the here, now, and–you know what?–it doesn’t cost a cent.

Posted in November 2021, Photo shorts | Tagged , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Turkey interrupto & other Thanksgiving chit chat

When Queen’s Anne Lace dries it looks like stars against the snow

Thanksgiving, 2021 in our little house in the woods.

Snowflakes tumble from the sky joining their brothers and sisters in a skiff of snow on the November landscape.

Our wood stove hums in the basement heating the upstairs to a cozy 77 degrees at 9:34 a.m.

I need to traipse down our circular stairway and retrieve Tom Turkey from the basement refrigerator where he’s been thawing since last Friday morning. Usually–even if we thaw Tom for at least a week–he still hosts ice deep within.


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Posted in November 2021 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

All the blogs we cannot write

This post is dedicated to all the blogs we cannot write. All the stories we cannot tell. All the tales that never reach the light of our reader’s eyes.

There are so very many stories blooming inside of us that never birth into written sentences on a white page. My heart aches for these lost story-children.

All the juicy, meaningful, rich, beautiful complex tellings that never ever reach another warm reading soul–because the stories are too personal, too interwoven with another’s private life, too vulnerable, too raw, too messy.

I have a thousand–nay, a million–stories bundled up inside that cannot be shared with you, oh gentle reader. Many of them involve friends and family. There are boundaries that protect my loved ones, gates of safeguarding that provide security for relationships to stretch, explore, break open, pour out.

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Posted in November 2021 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 51 Comments