Mrs. Miller…an unforgettable teacher…and another in the series on trees…

A tree can have such special meanings and purposes.

You might ask what that has to do with a woman named Mrs. Miller.

"Mrs. Miller's tree"

“Mrs. Miller’s tree”

I have a schefflera tree sitting in my dining room which has endured. If you know me, and my “black thumb,” you will know that is a miracle. I’m so thankful to see that tree every day since 2006, to remind me of a mother figure in my life. When it gets new shoots every once in awhile it reminds me that life keeps marching on. Mrs. Miller’s daughter graciously gave it to me after the funeral visitations following Mrs. Miller’s death.  So many plants had been given, and I was so humbled when she called to offer it.

You see, this unique woman was my second grade teacher. As I grew older I realized how our lives have resembled one another’s in some beautiful ways. But I could never live up to most of the things she accomplished. She was a huge influence in my life

Mrs. Marguerite Miller. Most of the locals or those in Allegan county knew her. When my mom passed away she was one of my surrogate mothers. She also lost her mom when she was very young. The compassion she showed was evident by having all those little boys and girls write me letters. I still have every one that was given to me. They smell like pencils and crayons. Almost all the boys talked about studying magnets in class. The girls said they were sorry and drew some flowers. They are almost comical now. Some of you might remember “Think and Do” phonics books we did in elementary school.

A sympathy card which can still bring a chuckle...

A sympathy card which can still bring a chuckle…

We went on a traditional class trip a few months after my mom died. I was jumping up and down in the back seat of the bus when we hit a huge dip in the road. That little 7 year-old motherless daughter needed her and she knew the feeling.  When I went up to the front crying, Mrs. Miller’s arm was around me the rest of the way back to school.

After second grade was finished she sent each one of us a special story about the first man on the Moon, with a letter. She continued to teach us.

Story of the first man on the Moon.

Story of the first man on the Moon.

Her letter to her students.

Her letter to her students.

I became a second grade teacher after also teaching first, kindergarten, and special education. She took the time to visit my classroom. She did a presentation using those mounted owls that we studied. She must have been in her sixties or seventies when she made the 45 min. drive to do that for me. She gave me a children’s trade book that day, named “Owl at Home,” and wrote a note in the front of it. I treasure it. Generations continue on. I wonder if I will ever be asked to speak to a classroom who’s teacher was one of one of my former students. Will I take the time and effort?

Our second grade class, in the Hamilton Elementary yearbook.

Our second grade class, in the Hamilton Elementary yearbook.

In high school, we lined up at the elementary school for the annual Homecoming parade. Several of us who had her in second grade, escaped from our band teacher for a few moments to visit her as she was cleaning up and preparing her room for the next school day. She was all smiles to see us and remembered everyone’s name.

Once when I was a young mom, I took my own two boys to visit her. Mrs. Miller was a wonderful cook, and had insisted that we have lunch at her home. After retirement she was instrumental in the restoration of the old Allegan county jail and many historical projects in Allegan county. As we toured the jail, my youngest son had those “light up” tennis shoes on. She often commented in later years about how funny J was in those shoes. He’d stomp all over and jump from high places to see how often the shoes would light up. I can still hear her chuckle about him, thinking he was such a delight. She asked about my sons every single time I talked to her.

There was a small group of girls who kept in contact with her in later years. One day, we had a lunch date with her and sat outside to eat in a “booth” which was a huge swing. We took a picture altogether. It was Jane, Shellie, Sheila and me. Afterwards she took us to her home. After having a nice long talk, she walked us into her dining room. Four beautiful antique oil cruets were setting out on the table and we were told to each pick one as a gift from her. I have mine sitting on my bedroom dresser.

When my oldest son A was in basketball in high school, we took the long way to the game one time to grab a visit with her. She asked so much about his basketball which was one of her favorite things to watch on TV. She was genuinely interested.

A quick visit with a special teacher. She would say her hair was awful, and I have a lamp coming out of the top of my head.

A quick visit. She would say her hair was awful, and I have a lamp coming out of the top of my head.

Every year, a few of my friends and I made sure to go to the Allegan County Fair to visit her. She said she loved to work at the Historical Building on Friday and Saturday nights, hoping many of her former students would come by. Again she asked all about our families and jobs. That building was the first and last place I’d visit when I went to the fair, hoping to see her. It just wasn’t Fall, if we didn’t see Mrs. Miller. It’s not the same now, without Mrs. Miller…but her legacy lives on there. She was the head of the Allegan Historical Society and most of the reason we have the village area at the fair, which includes the schoolhouse, and the dentist’s office which used to sit in Hamilton.

Another time my son A was playing in a tennis tournament very near her house. I knew she was bed-ridden with cancer. I was reluctant to call, for fear of what I might hear or see. Her daughter answered the phone and gave the receiver to her mother. She would love to see me. As I lifted a spoonful of ice to her lips, she thanked me and asked how A was doing in tennis that day. She cared about my family till the end. My tears flowed freely when I got back to my car. I didn’t get to see her alive again.

Her obituary in 2006.

Her obituary in 2006.

A story which was published in the Allegan County News in July of 2006.

A story which was published in the Allegan County News in July of 2006.

The funeral was a beautiful tribute to a woman who had made a huge impression on her family, her students, and the community. They talked about her quiet witness of BEING the kind of person God smiles upon. Procession to the cemetery was slow. I drove alone and tried to stay back and invisible. Standing off to the side as the family had their committal service. Head down and tears streaming. I have gone back to gaze upon her resting place.

So that schefflera is a symbol of a woman who impacted me in huge ways. Yes, trees can have special meanings and purposes.



Her funeral pamphlet.


A lovely lady whom I adored.

A lovely lady whom I adored.

Mrs. Miller will always own a corner of my heart like a second mother. I loved her. Did you have a favorite teacher, or one that you kept in contact with? If you knew Mrs. Miller, please tell us a memory you have.




Special thanks to The Allegan County News, by Tim Keith, Aug. 16, 2006. Thank you to the Kalamazoo Gazette. Heartfelt thanks to Mrs. Miller’s daughter, Jackie. 




Posted in Allegan County Historical Society, Allegan County News, Childhood, Grief and loss, Motherless Daughters, Mrs. Marguerite Miller | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

A Harvest Night

That fall feeling was in the air. The smell of corn husks and leaves. The chill that makes you pull your coat closed. Maybe I was 8 or 9 years old.

Often I’d sit on top of the warm pile of corn, with the lights shining down and the loud roar of the monstrous drying machine above me. There was a gaping hole next to me where the corn was taken down, and then up into the unknown. It was shaken and carried up those long augers and into a bin where it was dried.

Breathing in that grainy smell was somehow soothing. There was a shimmer of corn dust hanging in the air, as the last of the sun’s orange glow lingered in the western sky. One would rarely find me without a cat on my lap. One hand on the kitty, picking up some corn and letting it run between my fingers like a waterfall down. At times laying on the bed of grain and letting it mold around me.

The youngest of six on a large farm. Everyone else was busy. My Dad and brothers were driving trucks and combines. My sisters were doing grown-up sister things. The one closest in age, was probably being creative on canvases in her bedroom.


The combine we rode.

Tonight evoked some memories. I’ve ridden with my brother countless times on the combine, but it’s been a while. As I climbed in, the orange in the western sky was still on display. As we settled in, the stalks were eaten up, the ears tumbled and were tossed about until they had to surrender. The corn dust billowed up and around the warm cab. The snow of this week was sunken down low. The lights near my brother were multi-colored, telling him a wealth of information about his labor. A labor he has enjoyed for almost all of his 70 years. The lights in front of us shone as bright as daylight.


The view from inside the cab. Notice the tracks of animals. This is your bread and butter!

We spotted a few places where deer had laid down or made footprints in the snow between the perfectly straight rows. Rows he had planted in the Spring were now ready for harvest. The hum of the combine’s immense motor was so intense we had to speak very loudly to one another. A comment about the corn yield, our sons and daughters, his grandchildren, or a call on the two-way from fellow workers kept coming. We had a pleasant banter about so many things, with barely a lull.

Occasionally the grain cart drove next to us. The hired hand knew when to get a load. He would go to fill up the semi nearby. The semi was driven to the farm a few miles away to dry the corn. The process has run as a well-oiled clock for so many years. It’s so natural to my brother.

This brother almost died many years ago, shortly after we lost my sister Audrey. The farm accident was terrifying. But my eyes witnessed the horror a few minutes after it happened. There were many months in and out of hospitals. Wondering if he would live, and what his life would be like if he did. Maybe that’s why there’s a connection between this youngest and oldest sibling. Although it’s never talked about, it is felt.

IMG_0055 (3)

Reminder to us of God’s faithfulness.

He still loves the land. He is one with the springtime and harvest. He watches the crops in the summer like a father overlooking his children. When he began these yearly cycles with his dad as a little boy, it became part of his being. I went on to other things in life, and he has continued to be part of the earth and land. It’s what he loves.

As I climbed down the steps of the combine tonight, I noticed the stars. After a long week of early November snow, wind and cold, the twinkling band was on display. The black expanse was dotted with tiny specks of hope.

Plodding through some snow and mud to get back to my car, I was reminded of the fall smell as a child. It will always remain a part of me too. A certain corner of my heart will always be reserved for the country and land.

I know God has been with us in the past, and will be in the future.

The hymn, “Great is thy Faithfulness” has some beautiful lyrics which come to mind…

“Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,

Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,

join with all nature in manifold witness,

to thy great faithfulness, mercy and love!”



Posted in Childhood, Farming, Siblings | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Reflections are 20/20–One year ago…

It seems like so long ago. Last Thanksgiving seems like such a distant memory. Now we’re almost upon another one. So much has happened since then. I feel that I am a different person and have learned beyond what I ever thought possible.

The words we heard on that day from my brother-in-law, were a balm for the soul.    One of my biggest concerns were for my dog. I knew I couldn’t keep Ebony where we were staying for the short-term, and I had no idea if I could keep her where we would end up in the long-term. He said, “We’ll take care of Ebony for the time you are at mom’s house, and more decisions can be made after that.” It felt like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. I didn’t have to put that dreaded sign out at the veterinarian’s office to give her away to strangers. There was one more worry out of my mind for now.

My mother-in-law, and sister-in-law, had made the generous offer for us to stay at their large townhouse with them until we found a home. We had the sale sealed on our Hamilton home, but hadn’t had our next home picked out yet. We kept looking but didn’t find the one that seemed right for us. We felt homeless and a little anxious.

Snow began to fall before Thanksgiving, and didn’t ever seem to stop. My husband searched and searched on line for homes, while I packed and sorted every chance I had. I sat in the middle of three boxes or bags most of each day…one for throw away, one give away, and a packing box. The packing tape dispenser was always at my side, but it never became a good friend of mine-I continued to cut my fingers, get the tape stuck on my clothes, curl it inside the dispenser, and it stuck to the floor. The ends of my fingers felt like sandpaper, and my hands were cracked, dry and bleeding. The labels, colored duct tape rolls, black sharpie marker, and my “moving bible,” which I was so diligent about were always within arms length. The routine was monotonous. My jeans got holes in the knees. I fell into bed each night with a backache. 


Last November, at our old place.

The house echoed with Christmas music to keep me company as the snow fell silently outside. Any other year, I would have reveled in the beautiful sight and sounds. But no time for that this year. Every time I filled a moving box, it seemed like a small victory as I carried it down to our basement in front of the sliders, which would be our “loading area.” The white stuff kept rising with the piles of boxes. How does one keep throwing and giving away so much, and still the stuff seemed to grow?

Twelve days before Christmas, I received an email from my husband-it said, “I think we SHOULD look at this house!” We looked, we loved, and made an immediate offer with complete peace. It was one of those times when God made it so clear we couldn’t miss it. The wait to move there seemed long with some setbacks. So we did move in with our family, and stored most of our belongings for a couple months.

The area I kept avoiding, was my sunroom. That room had been my sanctuary. It had been a prayer room, a craft room, a place to adore nature, where I spent time with my dog, have private phone conversations, talk with my husband at night, space for cooperate prayer and laughter with friends, a place to get on my knees in desperate prayer and travail. If I didn’t pack that room up, maybe the whole moving thing would go away.


Sunroom at our old home.

But finally, on the last day before we had to be out of the house, I asked Cliff to help me finish the last room. I could not get myself to do it without his organization and drive. So he helped me pack up my bibles, books, scrapbook materials, trinkets from my teaching days, cards to send out, and notes from writing and bible conferences I’ve attended.

Tonight, I sit in my new “quiet room.”  It is almost exactly a year from the day that the buyers made the offer on the house in Hamilton. I would never in my wildest dreams, imagine what God has done in this past year. He has been faithful, and continues to be true. Never did I think I would like a place as much as our old home. I didn’t think it would be possible to be happy anywhere else.


The new home from the outside-the glorious colors this fall.


Our living room with a beautiful fireplace.

God was faithful. It’s much more than I could have imagined. God loves me so much, that he brought me to a place that I am coming to love just as much, if not more, than my old home. It is cozy. We are healthy. We are in still in love after 30 years. He is with us. The blessings keep flowing. We can’t thank Him enough. 

Hindsight is 20/20….and one year ago today, we were about to take the house off the market and wait. But God had plans. As in Jer. 29:11-14, He says, “I know the plans I have for you says the LORD. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD…”

What have you seen happen in the last year? Are you in a “place” that you would have never imagined one year ago?

Posted in God's faithfulness, Moving | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Save A Painting For Me

I pick up the story that I wrote on my blog on June 24, 2014. (A Summer’s day that burned)

I’m told by writer friends much smarter than I, that “cliff-hangers” are ok in books, but not really on blogs. So I’m going back to part of the story.


This is my sister Audrey’s birthday.

November 3.

I don’t have the heart to write the actual words my Aunt spoke to me, but they were necessary. At my high school that day, my Aunt and Uncle told me about my sister’s death. Robotically, I entered their car. I tried hard to rationalize it away on that five minute drive home. This had to be some epic mistake. Audrey might be sick and it wouldn’t be as bad as they thought.

Our family had a very hard time talking about my mom’s death. Then right on the heels of losing her, we lost my sister Audrey too. I was 15 years old. This time, I understood what was going on. At the time of my mom’s death I was so young that I couldn’t verbalize my feelings and I was just lost in the crowd. This time, it was a totally different dynamic and I was thrown right into a blinding spotlight.

Arriving at the farmhouse, the car had not stopped before I was running to the front door. There in the front yard, was an ugly black hearse in the exact same place it had parked to take my mom away. I frantically got past a few family members, just in time to see the dreaded scene. Two black-suited men were carrying my dear sister out from upstairs. She was covered from head to toe in a white sheet. Out the front door they went, resolutely put her in the back, the doors made a loud thud, and the engine fired.


I stood there in the living room.


This. Could. Not. Be.

It was eerily like the day eight years earlier. Except this time, they didn’t take my mommy, they took my best friend.

The night before had been so real.

Last night, Audrey and I had decided to go down the road. I was jogging, and she was riding bike next to me, as we chattered like teenage sisters do. She was 18, and in my eyes could do no wrong. We ended the night with laughing and dancing to the new records she had acquired. She brought me into new worlds-the music groups of Eagles and Abba…the exchange students from Germany…the help with twirling baton…the late night “slumber parties” when things were whispered, giggling long and hard.

Audrey Marie, I still love you and miss you. Happy Birthday.

It would have been so precious to have more time. Maybe we would have traveled together. Certainly planned our weddings together and been maid of honor for each other. We would have possibly lived close enough to snuggle one another’s babies on our hips and go to soccer games together. We all could have watched you blossom into the incredible artist you were becoming.

Save a beautiful multi-colored painting for me, my dear sister. I’ll join you and mom at the pearly gates. The colors there must be beyond anything you could have imagined on your earthly canvases.

Posted in Grief and loss, Siblings | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A Life-long Letter From My Mom

I slide my hand over a treasure. It has the smell of “old books” mixed with a touch of cedar from the chest it rested in for years. Yellowed newspaper clippings are tucked between the pages. My mom’s life is portrayed in a pile of small diaries with black, red, white, green and brown leather covers. Now they are a testament of a life.

Before the age of 15 she began recording her life, writing daily snippets of information on a small page. She faithfully continued to write an account of her days for over 33 years. There is one book that doesn’t match the others-a spiral bound paper booklet which was given to her. During WWII times were hard and you used what you had.

These are a portion of my Mom’s diaries.

Unknowingly, she gave me snapshots of her life. She voiced the desire to my older sisters that no one would read them. They sat silently in the cedar chest soaking in that smell. So many years passed before we touched them. Our curiosity begged us to pick them up to get to know the mom who left us so early. Even now there’s a tinge of guilt intertwined with the knowledge that she would want us to know her.

Just as a quilt is made up of pieces of cloth which are sewn together, so are the stories she tells about her life. The bits of information she shares are woven together to enable me to know her. When reading these precious books I feel like there’s a warm quilt being wrapped around me.

Carefully lifting one page at a time, I imagine my mom turning a page and hearing that same swish. Since her cursive scrawl is difficult to read at times, I have gotten into the rhythm of her style of writing and her life flows into mine.

Her own mother died when she was eight. She was the oldest of five children. The relatives banded together to take care of them. My mom and her sisters were tossed about between relatives for several years, while her two younger brothers remained with a different relative. They all lived in the same town and kept in close contact. When she became a little older, she was expected to come back to help her father in his home. Mornings began early with cooking breakfast, then walking to school with her sister. Being a talented musician, she taught lessons for several instruments at the nearby music store. After school she would go there to teach, make supper for the family, practice her own instruments and study. Late at night, she put her pen to the page and days turned into years.

At 16 years old she was asked by mutual family friends to take on a housekeeping job. My dad was the 17 year-old farmer whom she described as “nice”, and she was the young woman who went to care for an ailing widow and her son. The job didn’t last long, but that was the beginning. The diaries tell touching tales of their courting, marriage and honeymoon a few years later.

Stories are told of the city girl who went to be a farmer’s wife. She wrote scores of short accounts of what it was like to be a wife and mother of six on a growing farm. With a cheerful attitude mom cooked, cleaned, gathered eggs, drove tractors, or worked in the fields. I can almost taste the “good supper and cherry dessert” she often made.

To know her was to love her. Unexpected visitors could pull up a chair at the kitchen table at any hour. She was never too busy to listen and share some coffee and cake. People were drawn to her like a magnet as if searching for her secret to serenity, amidst the chaotic large farm and family life. She was the family communicator as relatives all over exchanged letters with her. Looking for the best in people, she was friendly and warm. Although she fought fear, she worked through it and served in her church and community. God was her strength. She wasn’t perfect but I like to imagine she was.

My mom’s diary entry the day I was born.


Naturally, I am attracted to the page of my birth date in the diaries. I was my parent’s sixth child, so the event seemed to have a common aura. There are a few facts about my weight, time of birth, and how her body coped after the delivery. She mentions how her father “did not care for the name!” I chuckle as I remember how traditional my grandfather was and I appreciate the way she could incorporate some humor into her writing.

I often say that I “missed my mom”, whereas my older brothers and sisters “miss my mom.”  I was only seven years old when she passed away unexpectedly at the age of 47, so my oldest siblings had the privilege of knowing her much longer than I did. I hear bits and pieces about her from them, but hearing her voice in her writing is a special gift she left me. I am so grateful to her that she took the time to write this journal of her life. Holding the same books she held, breathing in the scent of the diaries, and seeing her handwriting is priceless.

I only have a few faint memories of physically being with her. But I am eternally grateful that I have little books full of gems. My sisters are able to fill in some information about the people, events or feelings which were going on simultaneously with some of the stories, and I’ve learned to “read between the lines.” I am thankful that she was around long enough to instill in me her basic moral and spiritual values. Those seven years of influence were crucial and I strive to be the kind of person that resembles my mom.

After mom had her younger children down for the night, she would slip into her nightgown before settling into her chair to scribble out another page. In her later years, she would write by the blue light of the muted TV, waiting for teenagers to come home from their dates and events. I was the tiny girl who would often sneak out of bed to curl up on her warm lap while she wrote with her blue fountain pen. Writing every night despite the time on the clock or her exhaustion, displayed a life of discipline. She faithfully filled in her last page, the night before she died.

The pieces of life are woven together as a warm quilt.

Extending mercy, writing, communicating, and the love of music are a few pieces of the quilt that I’ve inherited from her. My mom’s life on earth was short, but I’ve been able to glean wisdom from her writings which I hold close to my heart. Simply sliding my hand over one of her diaries reminds me to be grateful for a life-long letter from my mom.

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If a tree could talk, the stories it could tell… Part 2

That old tree. It held many a child in the length of it’s years…


Look closely for the chain still hanging from the branch.


As long as I can remember, that towering tree spread it’s branches over us. It stood across the street from my own farmhouse. A bunch of us kids from the neighborhood would use the swing that hung down from a high horizontal branch. The whirring sound of the wind in my hair as I went back and forth, pumping my legs hard. Sometimes, we would push one another, other times one of us would give or receive an “under-duck.” Many carefree hours spent under the comfort of that shade.

At times we’d get going so high, you would be level with that branch that supported the swing, and you’d feel that frightening thump like you were almost going to fall out the back. You know the one…”ca-lunk!” My stomach still lurches a little remembering that jolt. The red dents in my hands would ache after hanging on to the chains so tightly. The seat was a rectangular wooden bench.

My father and grandfather knew that tree. My husband’s grandfather knew that tree, and I suspect his father too. My whole extended family on both sides would have a story to tell. My generation knows the chill of those chain links between their fingers. Even in the summer, the first touch held that steely coolness.

One day, I snapped a few pictures because I knew it was the end of another era. My eyes felt moist.

Just a tree.

But not “just a tree” to many of us.

You see, this tree brought families together. It beckoned neighborhood children together. If this tree could talk, a whole book could be written. It observed many planting and harvesting seasons. Listened to children’s laughter and tears. Umpired baseball games. Heard the roosters crowing their song at countless sunrises. Smelled the fresh eggs being laid in the nearby barn. Weathered so many harsh Michigan winters. Allowed it’s leaves to change colors with each new Fall. Arrayed it’s green leaves as the Springtime would ease itself back into Summer. The breeze would make that “shurring” sound, as the rotation of the seasons would repeat.

But in our area, the Ash trees have all been slowly dying… A tiny ash-boring worm, with it’s armies of millions, worked it’s way into it. Once standing so wide, proud and healthy, it finally succumbed to the mighty invading army. Sadly, this Spring, it was evident that this monstrous tree we had all known our whole lives, was nearing it’s end. The chain that once held the swing was dangling lonely, as the first branches were being felled.

A daughter of the homestead taking one last swing...

A daughter of the homestead taking one last swing a few years ago…

For around 150 years or more, this tree stood. Now it stands in my memories. Goodbye big ‘ole tree. You were one of those constants in my childhood. You were faithful for a time, but my Heavenly Father is always faithful. And He will endure beyond all creation. It’s a comfort that can never be taken away from me. 

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If a tree could talk, the stories it could tell…

The trees in the backyard were “clapping.” It was a very icy morning in December, when all the branches on the trees were swaying back and forth in the breeze. It was making a sound akin to someone haphazardly playing the chimes on a drum set.

Several months before that, a bible verse was brought to my mind. Still having a hard time with the impending move and my emotions going in every direction, the verse was a hard one to swallow.

The verse was,

Isaiah 55:12

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (N.I.V.)


Having dismissed the part about “going out in joy” and hoping the house wouldn’t sell, I put it into the back of my mind for some time. My husband and I had the house for sale off and on for a couple years. We had just decided to take it off the market again until at least Spring. Whew. I was off the hook again for a while.

In the meantime, before we took it off the market, one last couple looked at the house, made an offer, and ended up buying it. I was suddenly in a mad scramble of packing, giving, and throwing away for the next five weeks.


The trees were “clapping their hands”


That December morning, when I opened the back door to take pictures and a video, the verse popped back into my mind.

Ok, God…I will be going out in peace-not so much joy, unless you provide a miracle…and we don’t have mountains, but we definitely have a hill, and the trees are obviously “clapping their hands.” I get it. You’re trying to tell me something here. 

God repeated himself, as he often does, to get our attention. We had not one ice storm, but two within a few days…right in the middle of trying to move. The second time, I opened the back door again, and heard the same type of noise. The hills were clapping their hands again.

It was a beautiful sight, as the sun was glistening like diamonds on the trees. The icy branches were clacking together and chunks of ice would drop down, knocking many other branches on the way down. The ice chunks were shattering into a million tiny pieces as they reached the ground.

Leaving the house on that last afternoon, I hugged Cliff in the garage before we each got into our cars. All the emotions of the preceding months came crashing in. I had asked him to wait for me, although he had errands and things to do. I didn’t want to leave the house the last time all by myself. The moment was short. I wanted to linger but didn’t.

God was faithful. He had Cliff lead me forth in peace. He drove out of the driveway ahead of me. We had peace, although I carried sadness. Part of my heart stayed there as I drove out for the last time. The future was uncertain, but I knew this was the right thing to do.

The hills were going to “burst forth in song” as they again would observe another young family enjoying the acreage and home.

Bursting forth in song on an October day…


My thoughts have gone to trees quite often lately. There’s been reminders about how significant they are. Yes, we see hundreds, maybe thousands of them in a days’ time, depending on where you live. Often I don’t give them a second thought. Trees can teach, evoke memories, and give us gifts. They are a wonderful creation.


Posted in God's faithfulness, Moving | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments