Loving my backyard hangout spot, with my jean-clad butt plopped on a corner of the patio, not in a chair. My bare feet are in the grass and my toes are tapping and I am singing along to the Praise songs playing from my ipad mini. I’m posting this via mobile of course! My silver laptop, with letters long ago worn off the keys, awaits. The luxury of a full keyboard is a new one, after writing so much tapping via a tiny touch screen. That Birthday Dog is eating grass. Ugh. Best of all, the oven timer just went off, which means later today there will be a delectable chocolate cake. Maybe it seems silly to you to make all this fuss over a dog’s birthday, thinking, “Two years old, big whoop. He’s a dog.” It’s so much more than that though, as most things in life are. There are many layers and undertones. We bought Blue seven months into my husband’s two years and three month long cancer fight. That dog saved me. Blue got me out of the house and under the sky, at all hours of the day and night, walking, moving, and helped me take off the stress induced, comfort food eating, weight. A month ago my husband’s soul went to Heaven. He is no longer in pain. It was four weeks ago on Monday, but it is a calendar month today. Since I was a young girl being outside made it better. Whatever “it” was in my life, being outdoors soothed me from the inside out. I need the grass between my toes, the sun on my face and the breeze blowing my dark brown hair. Blue knows Outside Makes It Better too. He’s a really smart pup, my Blue. I love him more than I should, but that’s the beauty of love, you don’t divide it, you multiply it. A lesson from my mother. She’s really smart too!
~ Janean

September 26, 2013

“When your life appears to be the most stable and calm, unexpected changes will occur.”
~ quote from the book, “Understanding and Sharing” chapter 7, page 141

I’ve just begun to sort through the boxes that hold the remnants from my childhood bedroom. It was February of 1994 when I packed up my basement bedroom at 21 Jones Place. I remember the date because that’s when my parents moved to their dream house, a new construction built just for them. Today I removed a slim spiral bound notebook from one of the boxes. It’s an odd size, 7 3/4” x 5”. On the cardboard cover I’d written, “Ceramics” and my maiden name, “Janean Thompson.” On page one, opposite from the quote shared above, the upper right hand corner of my notes declare, “1-30-90.” That’d be from second semester of my freshman year in college. Eons ago. Light years. More than two decades in calendar reality, not based on dramatic storytelling time. Of course I found this quote today, “6-16-13.” One of many notes I’ve uncovered this morning that I left for my future self. That’d be me. The woman I am now. The mother of two boys, ages 13 and so close to 10, who sees photographs of that teenage girl with the mane of long brown hair and smile so bright, and wonders, “Who was she? Where did she go? What were her dreams?” My soul whispers in reply, “I’m still here. Look inside.” I’m trying to. My sister’s wise advice is, “Just be you.”

June 16, 2013

takin’ the train
and headin’ south
leavin’ town
just for the day
runnin’ to my heart home
where the eagles fly
and white tail play
goin’ to the big brown house
sittin’ high atop the bluff
the home place
thick with woods
and wild things
lookin’ out o’er the river
the mighty Miss-is-ip
Grandpa’s River
since always
travelin’ round trip

written Thursday, November 8, 2012
as I rode the southbound train from Normal to Alton, Illinois
the first leg of the trip

the weather report

it’s raining today
oh, how we need it
the dirt is cracked
the grass is brown
scorched earth
and withering crops
all around

it’s raining today
oh, how we need it
souls parched
from a long journey
through the desert
without respite
or the nourishing balm
of rain

it’s raining today
oh, how we need it
for even the deepest roots
thirst in times of drought
questioning
withdrawing
lashing out
forgetting
that tangled together
they are tougher
to break apart
by even the mightiest
of storm
realizing it’s better
if they hold tight
to one another
through this long desert walk
it’s raining today
oh, how we need it

August 26, 2012

I’ve been building a mountain
in shades of gray
with a dab of brown too
numerous pieces of paper
held together with glue
these are the scraps
in pieces and bits
they aren’t recycled yet
I may still need them
mountain building takes time
and more patience
than I knew I had
I can see the finished artwork clearly
in my mind
until then
it’s considered
a work in progress
sorta like the woman
using scissors, paper and glue
to build the mountain

July 2, 2012