gravel road girl

Archive for the month “July, 2014”

This Must Be My Stop

train station single girlThe bullet train I’ve been on for the past six months has finally come to a stop.

I say that figuratively, of course.

And now that I have time to breath, to think, to look back, I realize blogging hasn’t been anywhere near the top of my to-do list. Honestly, I lost my to-list sometime in February, and it was too depressing to create a new one.  So press on , soldier!

Exactly what have I been doing that’s left me feeling like I’ve been dangling from the caboose? Nothing extraordinary, really. Just life, like the rest of you. But sometimes so much gets packed into such a short time that the scenery gets blurred and you forget to enjoy the ride. So here are my Top 10 stops along the way–


IMG_6294   JANUARY: Speech season is in full bloom!  And I just love my speechies! They drive me crazy, and they make me laugh. I want to duct tape their mouths, and I want to hug them. The hours are long, the pay is. . . well, nothing. . .and yet I keep coming back. That’s because, in the end, extra-curricular speech offers amazing opportunities for kids to develop confidence and grow a talent some of them never realized they had. There’s something absolutely wonderful about seeing that ‘newbie’ speechie get her first “1” at contest.  Speech season at North Polk goes from mid-November through the end of March. Buckle up, it’s a crazy ride!

IMG_6801FEBRUARY: Yeah, I turned 50 this year. At first, I wouldn’t have said this was a highlight. But God has blessed me so richly with family, friends, health and laughter that life at 50 is wonderful! I don’t believe in regrets. I believe in lessons learned and experiences shared. Life is too short to hang on to the mistakes.


MARCH: Kurt’s mom, Ardyce, passed away somewhat unexpectedly. She had been battling Parkinsons for many years, and, though her body was weak, her mind was sharp. She faithfully remembered everyone’s anniversary and birthday, and usually the card arrived early, not late, like most of mine. I remember one of the last times we were together, as we were getting ready for a meal, I asked her, “Ardyce, what would you like to drink?” “I could really use a whiskey about now,” was her quick reply with a smirk! Of course, the woman had never had a drop of liquor in her life. She is dearly missed.

APRIL: Ranger school–not like parker ranger. Army Ranger–sleep deprivation, food deprivation, cold, bugs, snakes, physical tests of endurance and strength pressing you beyond what you think you can do and then even farther. No, I didn’t do that, but my oldest son did. And even though I was miles from Georgia, my heart and mind and prayers were with him all 63 days. I know it was the prayers of many people that brought him through, and I’m more thankful than you all will ever know.


MAY: Prom billowed in on cotton clouds and pink satin! My only girl at her last prom. Sometimes life gets gushy and sentimental, and I love every moment of it!


We don’t go for traditional prom pictures.

What is this, you ask? Only the latest and greatest backpack designed for runners by Thaddeus B. Subra, second year industrial design student. (Sewn by yours truly) He amazes me with his talent and intensity for perfection. He sees everything a little bit differently than the rest of us, and that simply fascinates me.


Graduation strolled in with fanfare and family and much preparation. Ethan made it home from Georgia, and when the family’s home, momma’s happy.

JUNE: Before summer’s avalanche of activities rolled down upon us, we headed west for Yellowstone National Park. The “we” being Kurt, Tess, Seth and me. Very strange not to have the whole gang along. But we soaked up every minute from Wall Drug, South Dakota to the arid but beautiful southern Wyoming. It was a quick trip but stuffed full of memories!

IMG_8049She’s fine. She just has him wrapped around her little finger.

IMG_8083The indescribable beauty of the Beartooth Mountains

Farmers market every Thursday! It’s a love-hate relationship. Sometimes I hate the baking (but mostly the cleaning up!), but I love the market. Some of the friendliest people in the country must live right around Polk City!

bread pic

JULY: Really, how did my “baby” get so big? He can boast that he’s taller than I am now; I concede. As this train finally chugged to a stop, Seth and I got a chance to do something I’d been promising all spring–just a fun little trip to Winterset. So we visited the John Wayne museum (I can now officially call myself a true Iowan), had a picnic in City Park, and stopped for ice cream at Frostee’s. Ahhh, summer has finally arrived.

seth winterset


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