They scare me sometimes, I confess. Or they have in the past. The tough-looking ones who are angry and sad at the world, bristling for a fight. Bored teens milling at store entrances, or jostling each other on the side of the road.Or the teen girls on the cutting edge of fashion, as I am…

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On a long windy gray pier in Duluth, tourists wrap overcoats tight and pace the length, peering down steep embankments to the treacherous water below. White freshwater gulls dive and parry for bread scraps, sounding like a coastal town. Giant oil and iron ships pass under the lift-bridge, while stern metal signs warn pedestrians to…

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How do you carve out time for family, without it ending messy and broken? It was one of those mornings. We had planned all weekend to spend some family time carving pumpkins. Saturday’s cold rain stole our motivation to purchase pumpkins. Sunday raced by with a bevy of teen friends over: guys playing games downstairs,…

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 Flaky pastry crumbs tumble off orange-vested autumn color. He eats with a surprising blend of seriousness and gusto. Focused on the apple turnover, he nibbles and chews. Focused on him, I snap photos and realize how this wild love for my son melts me inside. At the apple orchard, we purchase tickets for a wagon…

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It wasn’t so much that I saw beauty then, but I was clearing the way for it. That’s the way, isn’t it? I sat cross-legged in the chilly grass and dug my hands into the matted brown weeds. Several grass heads slid easily into my hands, but the roots remained firmly in place. The flower…

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 I pour myself another cup of coffee and hear a semi truck’s rumbling exhales on the road outside. A friend’s question has been tumbling through my head this last week and a half. “I know I can thank God for even the hard things in my life — and with hindsight now, I can see…

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Tangy sweet and sour sauce simmers and floats fragrant on the air. Mark is making supper tonight as I catch up on emails and computer work. Five-year old Daniel battles plastic robots behind me while picking up tan chess pieces. Morgan tiptoes up for snacks before being shooed away with the reassurance that supper will…

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The tops and corners of the trees where the sun’s gaze lingered longest turned crimson and trembled in the breeze. My five year old and I walked hand in hand down the pebbled path into the woods, our shadows stretching long against the browning cattails beside us. He scampered on ahead then, whacking branches with…

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