Monday, November 23, 2009

Ian the Cave Dweller

A lot of fun can be had with two old futon chairs and a blanket!
(Those of you in Eric's extended family will certainly recognize these chairs and all the good memories you had doing similar things with them!)

Friday, November 06, 2009

More Leaves

"You make me glad by your deeds, O Lord -- I sing for joy at the works of your hands!" (Psalm 92:4)

Yesterday was a quintessentially perfect fall day here in northern Indiana: bright blue skies, bare branches wiggling their fingers in the chilly breezes, and fallen leaves dancing across yards and streets, just begging us to join them. So we did.
The boys and I grabbed our walking shoes and coats, put the oh-so-handy monkey backpack on the littlest one, and took a walk around our neighborhood, searching for and collecting different kinds of leaves. Of course, we stopped to play in various piles, rolling around and burying ourselves in the leafy mountains. When we got home, we laid all the leaves we gathered out on the dining room table and talked about their various colors and sizes. Then we pasted them onto a large piece of paper and made a collage. Here's what we found:
I think I count seven different kinds of oak leaves there, three or four different maples, three or four elms, one tulip/poplar, one redbud, one peony, and a vine leaf. This little exercise really made me want to re-learn all my Indiana trees! Isn't God's creation amazing and beautiful?!

Thursday, November 05, 2009


When I was little, probably about two or three, I had a traumatic encounter with leaves. I was walking across a gravel church parking lot with my parents one Sunday, wearing a brand new pair of white Mary Janes with adorable pink stockings, and happily kicking up little piles of autumn leaves that had gathered on the ground. While walking over one such seemingly innocent pile, my right foot was instantly sunk into a wet, muddy puddle, which filled my beautiful shoe with cold, blackish water all the way up over my ankle. My lovely pink stockings were ruined, and my shoe never regained its former luster, thus forever being mismatched with the left one. I have since come to step gingerly around such potentially deceptive leaf piles.

While I remember this incident every single fall, I was experientially reminded of it the other day on one of my bi-weekly walks to campus for the class I'm teaching. As I was rounding a curve of one street, a large pickup truck came barreling around the bend at a most unsafe speed. This forced me to hop quickly into the long pile of leaves in front of my one of my neighbors' houses and walk there for a few steps. Lo and behold, what happens, but that I step on the edge of the road which was expertly hidden by the leaves, trip rather ungracefully, and fall onto my knees in the middle of the leaf mountain. I'm sure the big, burly guy in the pickup truck got his laugh for the afternoon. However, nothing was hurt except my pride and whatever faith I had gained in leaf piles.

This got me to thinking, though: isn't most sin often a little like those hidden puddles and drop-offs underneath seemingly fun piles of leaves? You're walking along, shuffling through and kicking up crunchy leaves with the flourish of a three-year-old, and having a blast! Then, wham! Your foot discovers something nasty the fun leaves were hiding and that discovery completely messes up your walk...and potentially ruins something forever.

I don't really know where I'm going with this except that it just reminded me to be careful about where I "walk." Something that looks so fun and innocent can be hiding something sinister. So, I guess we should all just walk through leaves at our own risk...or maybe avoid roadside and parking lot piles altogether.