To Grandma

Dear G’ma,

A lot of people miss you. We talk about how it comes in waves, how we will be okay until we’re at the grocery store picking out bacon and the salty tears start to fall. You made the best BLTs in the whole world. I know they couldn’t have been that special ingredient-wise because they only consist of B, L, and T. It was almost as if we had even better conversation when we were eating them, like it was our special grandmother-granddaughter time so we better talk about the future and boys and memories we hold dear.

You were such an encourager of my writing and I loved that. You always asked me how my next book was going, but never made me feel badly when I didn’t have an update. “You’ll get back to it when the time is right” is something you’d say. You were right. I’m back to it now. I have a nice big desk in the new condo and my typewriter and laptop will sit side by side and I will click clack away, knowing it’d make you proud.

That’d be a wonderful goal…to do something per week that you loved. Sit in the hammock, feed the birds, plant some flowers, read a good book, make someone feel special, send out a note, go camping, drive to the beach, put Doug Hammer in the CD player, call my cousins, rock in the rocking chairs…I think I’ll start with lunch today. BLTs in the sunshine.




Grandma Dixie.

Grandparents are special, aren’t they? I’m seeing the early stages of this with my parents and my brother’s little ones. The relationship seems to be one of mutual delight and adoration and I couldn’t love it more.
I was soo lucky to have that relationship with my grandma for 33 years. Delight and adoration, and also admiration and friendship. My Grandma Dixie was the most loved and precious person I’ve ever known. She never met a stranger, so not only are her four kids, 13 grandkids, and seven great-grandkids mourning this incredible loss, I imagine about 40,000 others are as well.
spring road trip 444
Grandma and Grandpa traveled all over the world during their 63 years together. She sprinkled her southern charm worldwide. She genuinely cared about everyone around her. She made people feel like they were enough and that they were treasured and that their story was worth hearing. Talking about her in past tense is heartbreaking.

When Grandma had a stroke last week, I was so mad at myself for living so far away. I went to bed that night cursing the same mountains and golden aspens I was praising hours before…but then I thought about how I got my love of nature, seasons, traveling, and mountains from her. I love that.

Grandma was all about her merciful Savior, her family, NDBC, the Appalachian Mountains, Dunedin beaches, Gator football, daylillies, Mars Hill College, sensational rummy, watching pelicans fly, a liitttle bit of wine and crunchies at 4pm, and much, much more.

She kept snail mail alive and it made any day better. She left the most amazing voicemails and usually ended with “…Grandma” as if she was signing a letter. She kept all of us up to date on what everyone was up to. We loved the same piano music and enjoyed the same books, always having plenty to talk about.

I flew home and held her hand and told her how I want to be just like her, wine at 4pm and all. We sat in the freezing cold Hospice room for a week, and she kept hanging on, hanging on.

This morning, I told her I had to go back to “Ideeho” (as she called it) and that Dad was taking me to the airport. I then told them the story about when I sat with Grandpa after his stroke, he would say, “Where’s my Dixie? Should I go sit closer to the door so I can be there when she comes in?” Dad and I teared up. I squeezed her hand and said, “I bet he’s sitting as close to the door as he can, Grandma.”
Dad said, “And everyone will be thankful to stop hearing ‘where’s my Dixie?’ after two years!”

When I got through security, my mom called to say Grandma passed away peacefully. Thinking about their reunion leaves me completely speechless…

FB_IMG_1538882436883 (1)

prima facie.

[prahy-muh fey-shee-ee, fey-shee, fey-shuhpree-]


  1. at first appearance; at first view, before investigation.


Prima facie, I saw the father and his little blonde daughter on a dinner date and I smiled too big to be in the middle of the crazy Friday night rush.

My smile didn’t fade as I greeted them, because she was polite and darling and he was proud and attentive. I can’t fully explain the importance of this time between a father and a daughter, I just know it is special because I’ve felt it. I remember eating ribs with my dad after a softball game, just the two of us, and it stands out as one of my favorite memories in 32 years of life. It’s so silly, because we spent all kinds of time together every single day but for some reason, this moment really stands out to me. I’m sure it’s something about feeling adored and loved and treasured like only our dads can make us feel. It felt like there was no where else my dad would rather be than there with me.

When I brought the salads out, the girl was in the restroom. I said, “She’s precious.” He perfectly responded with, “She really, really is. And so fun. I took her fly fishing today and she caught FIFTEEN fish! She absolutely loved it.”

He was beaming. My heart grew fifteen sizes in that moment. When I returned to pick up empty salad plates, she was explaining her favorite book in great detail. He listened to every word as if it was the most entertaining thing he’d ever heard. She’ll never forget this night, I can assure you of that. She’ll remember what they ate and what they talked about and she’ll probably blog about it when she’s 32.


[sahy-nuh-shoo r, sinuh-]
  1. something that strongly attracts attention by its brilliance, interest, etc.

Where have we been?! I’m sorry, reader, we’ve been out frolicking through fields of wildflowers, popping Zyrtec, fishing with a handsome boy, and slinging a lot of prime rib. These are not sufficient reasons to stop writing; I’m happy to report that Pal and I are currently scripting a pitch for a local magazine. Stay tuned!

I ran across Mary Oliver’s poem called the Sweetness of Dogs again today and was so moved, I have to share it with you:

“What do you say, Percy? I am thinking
of sitting out on the sand to watch
the moon rise. Full tonight.
So we go

and the moon rises, so beautiful it
makes me shudder, makes me think about
time and space, makes me take
measure of myself: one iota
pondering heaven. Thus we sit,

I thinking how grateful I am for the moon’s
perfect beauty and also, oh! How rich
it is to love the world. Percy, meanwhile,
leans against me and gazes up into
my face. As though I were
his perfect moon.”

Ah, to be our pup’s cynosure. That’ll make any cynicism from life fade away into the moonlight.

Palentine’s Day!

I inserted this loving photo of Big Pal Small Gal for Palentine’s Day.


I then went to to find out the word of the day, assuming it’d be something sweet and romantic because it’s the 14th of February.

But the word of the day is “ship.” Yep, as in ” a vessel, especially a large oceangoing one propelled by sails or engines.” So I’m going to jump ship on that and post about Pal’s new Greeting Card venture.

He’s been working hard–posing, captioning, cropping, Googling CSS solutions and then editing CSS, or getting his small gal to do what he’s not in the mood for; he runs a tight ship. We love the idea of having a small part in keeping snail mail alive.

Soo here it is!! Take a look: Pen Pal Greeting Cards

If you have any greeting card ideas for us, comment below or send us at email at

P.S. I scrolled down on and I stand corrected:


[ship] Slang.

1. a romantic relationship between fictional characters, especially one that people discuss, write about, or take an interest in, whether or not the romance actually exists in the original book, show, etc.



noun [af-ter-gloh] 
the pleasant remembrance of a past experience, glory, etc. 

I am so unbelievably thankful that I got a week off to meet my niece and see the rest of my family during the busiest time at the saloon (seriously, thank you, Marcia and Amy!) I couldn’t have enjoyed it any more than I did. Baby Hannah is as precious as she is tiny. Toddler Jack was so fun, repeating everything and going a mile a minute, sometimes stopping long enough for Auntie Bethie to kiss his sweet little cheeks while he giggled. 

I was not looking forward to the airport crowds on the 26th. Who does?? The fun is over. The cookies are gone. Work is looming. And you have to be surrounded by hundreds of people feeling the same way. 

But here I am, on the first flight of my trip, thinking back to multiple sweet stories from the Tampa airport. 

After a few Christmas greetings, the lady at the check-in desk told me about her dad being stationed in Idaho and loving it. We discussed the 17° weather compared to the current 77° and she laughed as she said, “You can have Idaho all to yourself, sweetheart.” 

A woman who looked to be in her nineties was greeted by a man who looked to be in his twenties before going through security. He lifted her bag up for her as he said, “Please let me know if I can help you in any way.”

My coffee and I sat down next to a ten-ish-year-old girl and her dad. She was writing a song for her uncle. “I have fourteen lines written! I’ll take this part here out,” she pointed to her notebook as her dad read and smiled. 

“I hope he likes it!” she beamed to her dad. 

“He’ll love it, honey.”  

I thought about three-week-old Hannah writing a song for her uncle Spanky one day and my heart grew three sizes.

The gate seemed to only have enough chairs for 30% of us, so we squished in, sat on the floor, and leaned against our luggage. A stunning blonde was on the phone with her mom, speaking about four decibels too loudly. Normally, I’d be thinking, ‘just go walk around and chat and don’t make us all listen to your conversation.’ But this sweet girl was in love. She was telling her mom every detail of Christmas with her boyfriend’s family. She could not possibly control her volume as she said, “AND MOM, WAIT UNTIL YOU HEAR THIS PART!!!” I looked up from my phone and saw others smirking, listening along and perhaps remembering when they felt that much excitement about love. 

Maybe we are all basking in the afterglow of the holidays. Maybe as we wait to take off and are staring into space, we’re all thinking about eating BLT’s with our grandmothers, decorating sugar cookies with our fathers, losing in rummy with our brothers, shopping with our sisters, watching cheesy Hallmark movies with our mothers, losing track of time and closing down the bar with precious friends, or reminiscing about the ones we’ve loved so deeply and lost too soon.

Sometimes we don’t get to go home for Christmas and we have to muddle through somehow. This year, I’m so thankful I got to cuddle through somehow instead. It was a sweet, sweet trip, all the way through to the 26th.


[foo t-loos]


  1. free to go or travel about; not confined by responsibilities.

Sometimes it’s 18 degrees but you have to walk the dog anyway after a long night of waiting tables. Sometimes you try to rush it and jog a bit and fall on the ice. But then sometimes you see ten bright shooting stars within ten minutes. You run back inside, pour some wine, warm up the car, say to Pal, “Would you like to…” and he’s already up and prancing to the Kia. He doesn’t know the plan, he doesn’t have his own beverage, he doesn’t care; his answer is yes.

I love this about him. He’s footloose and fancy-free. We drive to a nearby  dark parking lot, blast the heat, and watch the sky in awe. No idea seems too quirky, and I’ve flirted with the line a bit.

Want to hike up this hill full of sagebrush to decorate the tiny pine tree on the tippity-top and have a snack and then undecorate it before hiking back down?

Want to pop some Jiffy Pop and drive sixty miles north to see what the sunset looks like over the Sawtooth Mountains?

Want to pull over on the side of the road when we see a bright yellow aspen grove and go sit amongst them and talk to ourselves about how lucky we are to have this one wild, precious, beautiful life?

He smiles like an oaf and plays along. He makes my life so much sweeter. A bit harder, too. But without him, I’d be in my warm bed sleeping instead of seeing the sky light up with wish after wish.









Here you'll find whimsical wonderments on's word of the day about traveling around the US and NZ, help exchange, meeting fascinating people, and now, my handsome polar bear, Pal.

%d bloggers like this: