Pretty Little Minister

“Well, aren’t you a pretty little minister? How old are you?” The grey-haired piano tuner had met me on the steps of the church, in the small New England town where I was serving, so I could unlock the big wooden doors and he could tune our grand piano. Bristling, I told him: “Twenty-four.”  Then […]

Spring Garden Tour

Beautiful “golden” sugar snap peas with purple flowers! They’ll grow to be six feet tall – whew! Not sure the peas we’ll harvest this summer will finally cover the cost of my sturdy “pea fence”. But maybe next year. Sheesh. Lovely little radishes. Delicata Squash seedlings peeking through their black plastic blanket! (Absorbs heat, which squash needs and keeps […]

Mother Heidi

It’s a strange thing not to have children, as a young couple. It’s even stranger when you have a house in the suburbs, flexible work schedules, a dog, and you generally like people and children. But Adam and I have decided not to become parents. We discovered we weren’t able to conceive a few years […]

Becoming an Oblate

I’ve spent the last year in formation to become a Benedictine oblate, at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, Wisconsin. An oblate is someone who promises to follow a monastic rule in their life in the world, while staying in relationship with a particular monastery. Oblates don’t follow a rule – in this case the Rule […]

Ashes to Go, 2014

St. Benedict did “Ashes to Go” again this year – we offer ashes and a prayer of confession to passers by, since so many people have become too busy for their spiritual lives, and because we believe church shouldn’t stay contained inside the four walls of a building. We were out from 6-9 a.m. We […]

Spring Bike Ride at Argonne

Growing up I rode bikes around my city neighborhood and the lakefront with my dad and my brother, but sometime in high school I got this (hopefully false!) sense of premonition that I would get some kind of spinal injury from riding a bike. So I stayed away from them for years. Now, living out […]

Tiny Houses and Hermits

When I’m stressed, I like to read books about hermits: Thomas Merton, W. Paul Jones, Karen Karper, Sara Maitland… I’m becoming my mother, a notorious introvert, who likes nothing better than holing herself up at home and speaking to no one all day long. I used to think she was a bit silly and even […]

The Scowl

When I’m deep in thought, I scowl. Adam used to ask if I was pissed about something. Some guy at a gas station once told me I should smile more. My chaplaincy supervisor in seminary inquired: “What’s the grimace about?” looking for some psychological reflection that might explain it. I came up blank, I’m afraid. […]

Woman in a Landscape

I took this shot and felt like there was something familiar about it. Was there some artist I was channeling? I don’t want to flatter myself here, just wondering about images of women’s faces  – with houses or a bit dwarfed by their landscape. Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic. Here’s a few images that […]

Pictures of the Vicar, 9pm

The night before we left on a short vacation last weekend, after church meetings we’d both had that night, Adam set up his tripod in the sanctuary to take some professional photos of me. It was strange to be putting on vestments, alone, at night, in the big empty church. These were for a newsletter […]