10 Things I Learned in June


1. I still love reading books out loud.  On a recent road trip with PB, I started reading “The Boys in the Boat” and now every time we get in the car, he asks, “Did you bring the book?” Back in our homeschooling days, I used to spend afternoons reading books aloud to the kids. I had forgotten how much I enjoy reading out loud.

2. It’s nice to take a break from TV. Usually, about this time, we are tuning in to Brewer games, but they’ve lost more games than any other team in baseball (except the Phillies).  Sitting on the deck with a book or taking a bike ride is way better than anything TV has to offer in the summer.

3. James Taylor still has it. He’s 67 and released a new album this month.  His music has provided the soundtrack for some of the most significant times of my life. I brought all his albums with me to Michigan State when I was 17. I’m glad he’s still giving me songs to dance to in the kitchen.

4. Abraham Lincoln was a real leader. PB and I went to Springfield, Illinois and took in the Lincoln historical sites. Since it was just the two of us, we were able to read every plaque, listen to every documentary film, and stroll down every street Lincoln himself walked, without any kids begging to go back to the hotel pool. They don’t make politicians like Honest Abe anymore.

5. Biking is more fun when you don’t have to pedal uphill.  PB did a little research and found a company that sells battery powered motors for regular bicycles. I know cycling purists would probably gasp at the thought, but I’m loving that little button on my handlebar. Biking is fun again.

6. When I think I’ve learned it all, there’s always more. I read the gospel of Mark in June. I’ve probably read that book 30 times, but I still was able to take twelve pages of notes. There is no limit to the richness of scripture — it keeps going deeper and deeper.

7. It’s sad to say goodbye to a member of the family. Bo, our dog, started having some serious health issues, so we had to put her down.  PB bought her a Happy Meal on the way to the vet, so I know she went out happy. Food was Bo’s love language. For all of my complaining about dog hair and poop in the yard, I do miss the afternoon walks and waggy welcome when I walk in the door.  Rest in peace, Bodacious Bojangles Bo-Sox.

8. I should have been an editor. I can’t stop myself from correcting typos and grammatical errors, whether it be in the local newspaper or on a billboard on the interstate. I sent an email to an author that published an article riddled with misspelled words, offering to edit his work. I haven’t heard back.

9. If God doesn’t give any new instructions, carry on as is. I’ve asked the Lord what to do with this blog, this writing thing I can’t shake, this compulsion to put down thoughts on paper.  I’ve pestered and begged and pleaded for some direction.  I got nothing. I’m taking the silence to mean: there are no further instructions, so carry on.

10. Babies are a wonder, every single time. Ruby is our sixth grandchild and sweetness just seeps out of her. I always wondered what my family thought when I was born. I was the 11th grand on one side of the family and the 7th on the other. Now I know – they were just as enthralled and enchanted and amazed at little me, as all the others that came before. It never gets old.