Autumn and Family

A past Thanksgiving in the place that is now my home.

I’m not sure I can blame it on the season, but there is something about fall that makes me miss my family in far away places. Sitting here at breakfast with the husband, I even miss our  family members that live down the street. Maybe I’m thinking longingly of Thanksgiving gatherings. Maybe it’s the thought that the long winter is coming and we should see people now, before travel gets risky. Maybe it’s because life is so obviously changing for all of us and I feel the need to KNOW how it’s affecting everyone.

We do a lot of sitting and talking. Good stuff.

Mom and I were sitting in her living room, doing our sunrise chat one day this week. She brought up the fact that many of our southern family members had moved recently. They were in houses she had never seen, so she didn’t know how to picture them at home. We started reflecting on how much better we know someone if we have visited them in their home – or at least we think we know them better. We know where they sit to relax, where they stand to talk on the phone, where they let their cat in and out, where they set the table for a meal. We know a lot of things, if we’ve been there. 

This topic is also on my mind because it was just a year ago this summer that we moved.  For quite a while friends and family didn’t know where to picture us. Even scarier, we didn’t know where to picture us. We were kind of floating and fitting in. A year into being Hayward residents, I feel like we are gradually setting our stamp on our home. There are beginning to be ways that it reflects who we are, our interests, our activities and priorities. As that happens, I feel the need to be known.

I am grateful today, for all the times I’ve been able to visit friends and family in their homes. I’m grateful for the times I’ve been able to host them in my abode. Those sharing times add to my awareness of their personalities. I know the ones who find minimalism comforting, and the ones who surround themselves with ALL their treasures. I know who is handy with tools, who loves creative touches, and who spends most of their time outdoors. I love knowing these things.

 And since this is Saturday sabbath, I have to consider that God is leading me to think about what I consider my “real home”. What will I find there and in what style am I getting ready to decorate it? From what I have seen of God (who I believe came up with the idea of home and family), the good things here on earth are meant to show us, in a small way, what he will let us experience in the future. He is such a hopeful God. 

I know not everyone is comforted by their knowledge of family togetherness. Some have never known a family. Some would like to forget what they know of family.  If that’s you, I want you to know that when it is done God’s way, family is wonderful. My family experience is not perfect – no one’s is, but even the hard and sad times have purpose. They create a holy longing for the perfection that will come when God makes bad things good again. I think it’s that simple, maybe. Just sayin’… 



Hair adorns the top of our heads, most of us. And even if it doesn’t, it probably has played a pretty dominant role in our lives as one of those things we spend a lot of time on, but still take for granted.  We get it cut, curled, pulled, washed, and we put products on it.  We care about how our hats look on it, and have preferences as to whether it should hang in our eyes or not.  We have stories we tell about Rapunzel (“let down your hair!”), Samson and Delilah, and Absalom who had such ridiculously out of control hair that it got caught in a tree he rode under and literally was the death of him. We have people who support themselves entirely taking care of our hair for us.  

We make statements with our hair as, for instance, when our dreads hang out the back under our football helmets, or when our hair turns pink, purple, green or blue. We all refer to common sayings and know what we mean by “bad hair day” or “hair raising experience”, “get out of my hair”, “a hairy situation” or “turn it down just a hair”.

Our hair keeps us warm.

We cry when we get sick and our hair falls out.

Personally, hair has figured largely in my past.  In addition to not smiling in most of my grade school pictures, I can look at them and tell whether I was in my pin curl stage, my sleeping in rollers stage or my dry the hair over the furnace duct stage. I have longish, white/gray hair now and I can find a barrette, or an elastic hair band in nearly any purse or pocket of mine. I confess, almost any time I look in a mirror, it has something to do with my hair.

I lived with two daughters who have always had nice hair, although one of them was scarred emotionally by a perm I once gave her.  Okay, so maybe I gave a couple bad haircuts to the other one too.  And my husband has had the same barber for the last forty years – me.

I’m thinking about hair this week more than usual because we have had a three generational hair week up here in Wisconsin.  Not mentioning any names, but some of us just don’t have time during our normal lives to take care of hair. A vacation turns out to be a good time for some fixes. 

On one of the first days here, sitting around with my daughter and mother, I offered to take them both out for the procedure – if we could find someone trustworthy to handle our locks.  Mom told me about a relative in town at Salon Soleil who had done a good job for someone so I looked the person up.  I felt confident she was skilled when I found out she had no openings. My daughter and I went on her waiting list in case there was a cancellation, and thanks to the blizzard this week there were two of them.  (Do you wonder how some committed professionals make it 25 miles to their job in a snowstorm and count it as “just another day” at work? I do.) We caught up on family news in addition to having a pleasant time getting a head massage and being made lovelier.   

My mom had a regular stylist and today we spent a couple hours in her home salon getting her permed and styled. She had chosen a good name for her business, A New Creation.  I like the way all three of us look with our recent changes. It kind of does something for your confidence when you look taken care of and current. I think it was a good move and money well spent. And I’m just sayin’ it was a fun thing to do with my mom and my daughter.