I used to think in my early twenties that I would either make a go of the world, let go of my black and white, get elbow deep into the muck of the world, or move to Vermont...
I used to think in my early twenties that I would either make a go of the world, let go of my black and white, good vs. bad thinking, get elbow deep into the muck of the world, or move to Vermont... read more here

Author Archives: Lisa

Life… It’s an Act of Faith & Love

Life… It’s an Act of Faith & Love

So I sent six of my children off to school this morning on faith…  Yesterday, unfortunately like in so many places on different days in our world, our high school and many surrounding schools in town were in lockdown because of threats of violence at our very large high school.  My oldest son spent the morning and afternoon sheltered with lights off under a table in his English classroom far from the door and I spent the day on social media and news outlets praying and looking for updates.

The person who made the threats is still at large.  The school and grounds were scoured by police and deemed safe, but that man is still out there…

Yet today I still sent my sons back to school.

This week for us Christians is Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday at the end.  Tonight we celebrate Jesus’ last Passover meal with his friends, the meal where he lets Judas, one of those “friends” know that he knows what he has done, and to “go and do it quickly”.

What Judas has done is sell his friend, his God, for 30 pieces of silver.  Jesus is betrayed by one of those closest to him.  Whenever there is violence in this world, we too are betrayed by our “human family”.  Whenever we disregard people in need, choose to look the other way when someone is being bullied, or think jealous thoughts, gossip, etc. we too are betraying our “neighbors”.

It’s unsettling knowing the man who made the threats is out there, knowing there are so many Judas’ in our midst willing to betray us for 30 pieces of silver, and that sometimes I am one of them.  Sometimes I betray you with my words for a laugh, or in my thoughts to make myself feel better, or in my actions when tired and cranky and I am unkind to you.

I prayed last night for the students, the parents, the teachers, and administrators, and the police who were involved yesterday.  I also prayed for the man who made the threats.  I prayed for goodness to enter his life and that he might turn to peace instead of violence.  And still as I slept I dreamed of him, finding out who he was, going to law enforcement to let them know, I so humanly want that feeling of closure and its comforting sense of safety.

It was such a joy when all the kids made it back home yesterday and we were all under one roof again.  I processed things a bit with my oldest son who really seemed none the worse for wear for the day, though I think it really hadn’t sunk for him.  I tried to explain what happened, at least what we knew, and he told us his version.

When I felt he comprehended the day a little more, I ended with as much earnestness as I could saying: “That’s why we have to try to be the very best people we can be in this world, to bring as much good into the world as we can.”.  He then rolled his eyes at me, he’s heard it before from me, and I suppose it ends up sounding trite, but I believe it with all my heart…

Our goodness spreads.

I will send my kids to school, teach them to love deeply in service to others, let them know that when they fail sometimes and they ask to be forgiven they will be forgiven, and that they can start again and again and become the people God made them to be.

I will teach them to see the dark in themselves and the dark in others as an action, an action against good, and to recognize it.  To know that the often difficult choice and action of love is what will overtake the darkness in our world and our own souls.

Jesus, that man/God, didn’t allow himself to be crucified for nothing.  He did it for all of us.  He did it for yesterday, for a man with evil intentions, and for us with our good hearts, tired hearts, broken hearts, and everything in between.

With love from Vermont,

~Lisa

Alas, this sleepy town in Vermont, has been through this threat before 10 years ago, except then darkness acted and lives were taken.  I wrote a little about it a few years ago when we had roof issues.)

 

 

 

 

From Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday, VT Maple Sugaring 2017

From Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday, VT Maple Sugaring 2017

Our maple sugaring season here in Vermont tends to overlap some with Lent each year.  This year it happened to coincide perfectly.  We missed one run of sap in late February, our trees weren’t tapped as we had too many other things on our plate to get them in by then.  But by Ash Wednesday we had the trees tapped and the sap was running up from the roots again on the sunny above 40 degree days that followed freezing nights.

You never know what a sugaring season will bring.  It is all about the weather.  If there are too many warm days in a row, the trees start to bud and the sap turns and isn’t good for maple syrup any longer.  On the flip side you can be in a deep freeze for weeks and then only get a few good runs before things warm up for good.

Boiling sap is a labor of love, as I’ve explained many sugaring seasons here on this blog it takes at least 40 gallons of sap to get one gallon of syrup and boiling that sap off can take many many hours, not to mention the labor of collecting it!  By the end of the season, even a shorter season, we have been known to leave gallons of sap unboiled, out of exhaustion.

This is our 9th sugaring season here in Vermont, and it was by far the longest we have experienced.  It has spanned the full 40 days of Lent.

Lent is a penitential season, meaning it is a time to give some things up that might get in the way of your relationship with Jesus or add some things in that may add to it.  Lent reminds me of the tulip bulbs that are doing all their work under the surface just waiting for the snow to break, the sun to warm up, and then burst forth in glory.

What have I planted in the earth this Lent?   Well the snow this past March and some late winter fevers/colds blanketed our house and blanketed some of my Lenten practices/promises.  Just because conditions weren’t ideal doesn’t mean nothing is going on under the surface.

Lent may be over and Easter on the horizon, but my Lenten bulbs have not yet pushed up from the earth… they need a little more time in the dark and that is ok, I have faith they’ll make it to the light.  Hey, Easter isn’t quite here yet!

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This season we made double the amount of syrup we usually do and though we are a bit tired, there is a certain joy in persisting, in not letting any of that sap go to waste.  Also of course the joy to come of using and sharing our sweet syrup all year long!

If you want to get a peek into the last 40 days here, below are some pictures from our unusually long sugaring season and at the end I’ve included a little video too.

With love from Vermont,

~Lisa

 

 

My Mother’s Blue Eyes

I haven’t really thought about the light blue of my mother’s eyes since I last saw them 18 years ago.  Closer to my memory is the sound of her laugh, the harmony of our voices singing in alto side by side in our pew at Mass.  I often feel like I hear her now whenContinue Reading

Mom, the Pats Won the World Series

Mom, the Pats Won the World Series

Ummm and yes that was my title till my lovely husband corrected me.  Ha ha!  Properly humbled. Hi Mom, I thought it might be a good idea to write down some of the stuff we were talking about this morning.  Well the biggest thing of course is that the Patriots won the Super Bowl lastContinue Reading

Calm in the Storm…

Calm in the Storm…

Years and years ago I was 23, I lived on my own in a big old apartment with french doors that had skeleton keys and I worked three part time jobs to pay for the luxury of my very own personal space.  I ate ramin noodles and ice cream most days and learned to beContinue Reading

A Prayer for My Son, A Prayer for Our World…

A Prayer for My Son, A Prayer for Our World…

We have this little box with a sliding lid that we keep prayers for dinner in.  I made it years ago when the older kids were younger and we were just starting a tradition of saying a blessing before dinner.  Some of the prayers the kids made up over the years and others I collectedContinue Reading

Let It Be Enough ~ A Mom’s Prayer 2 Days Before Christmas

Let It Be Enough ~ A Mom’s Prayer 2 Days Before Christmas

I don’t know about you, but come this time of year, when everything is so busy and presents are bought though maybe not wrapped (I raise my hand here), I tend to second guess the gifts I’ve purchased for others and wonder if they are enough. As I sat by our wood stove this morningContinue Reading

I’m Amazing! or Searching for Simplicity in a Complex World.

I’m Amazing! or Searching for Simplicity in a Complex World.

Ha ha ha, no this is a HUMBLE brag 🙂  So my two littlest really needed some new snow boots this winter.  Even though they are not twins the 2 year old has caught up with his older brother who is 3 1/2 and they now wear the same size shoe.  Out at Marshall’s threeContinue Reading

You Wove Me In My Mother’s Womb

You Wove Me In My Mother’s Womb

I am amazed by the human spirit.  I am amazed by you.  Each and every one of you, whether you are at your best or you are at your worst.  I had an epiphany a little over a week ago on Saturday morning. It was a rare, slow start, sleep in till 7:30 instead ofContinue Reading

Autumn and my family tree.

Autumn and my family tree.

My mother was one of 14 children.  There were 5 girls and 7 boys plus one boy and one girl that died as infants.  I have cousins upon cousins upon cousins.  I was counting them last weekend at my brother’s wedding with one of those cousins and we came up with 47 though I’m notContinue Reading

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