Wednesday, April 4, 2012



Here in the north, it’s getting to the end of fireplace season. Yeah, if you’re living in the South or out West, you’ve been done with winter for a while now. But in Wisconsin, winter keeps toying with us as spring plays a rousing game of peek-a-boo. This winter we had some cozy evenings up here in the North Country sans deep snow and logs crackling in the fireplace. But yesterday, as I was cleaning out those nasty ashes and soot from the bottom of the fireplace grate, I found myself mentally calculating how much it would cost to install gas logs. Then it struck me, that despite the mess, nobody at the end of their life is going to say, “I wished I could have sat around more clean, fake fireplaces.”

You can’t beat the real thing no matter how messy. Not in fireplaces. Not in life. Real life is sloppy. It's coloring outside the lines; its mixing colors; its full of oozing paste and glitter; it's sticky puddles of Kool Aid on the kitchen floor; it's chocolate ice cream stains on your best shirt; it's holes in your jeans; it's grass stains on your socks; it's Band aides on your knees; it's laughing till your side aches; it's staying up all night talking; it's tear-stained pages; it's sleeping with a child snuggled up close; and yes, it's riding a pink bike with a bum knee. Real life and real love is simultaneously exhilarating and exhausting, yet you can't wait to jump out of bed and get started with it every single morning.

How we spend our time should be thought out and deliberated over. Time is a gift that once gone, we never get back. I urge us all to spend what we've been given wisely-- on the the real, on the messy, on the jump-in-mud-puddle kind of things that in the end of our days we can honestly fall back on our pillow and say, "Yes! I'd do it all over again in exactly the same way."

May your day be filled with gooey, sticky, messy delight,


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