The desk is cleared. I am ready to write again. My prayer is that you will be willing to read along once more after this very long span of silence.
What do you do with silence?
There is so little quiet in our easily-agitated lives. And though my writing voice has been silent, my life most assuredly has not, so I relish the thought of sitting quietly at this desk.
Why have I not been writing? That would take a long answer over a deep cup of tea, extra sugar. A short version would be a chronological list:
- Mom died (late 2019)
- I settled her estate
- We inherited the family home on the Lake Michigan bluff in northwest lower Michigan
- Covid and its severe restrictions in Michigan created a literal standstill
- We sold our Trout Creek home, and moved ourselves to the Bluff in a pandemic
- A one-time bluff cave-in of 20-25 feet, brought the bluff house to within 55 feet of the edge in a high-water climate
- Prayer-lots and lots and LOTS despite the physical separation from our church of over 25 years
- We decided to keep the property and initiate moving the entire house back 110’ to the rear of the lot
- Built a barn to hold house contents during move
- Remodeled the kitchen
- First Christmas at the Bluff
- Removed and stored everything from ground floor then demolished the entire lower level of the house ourselves (friends and family helped)
- Removed 50 trees (a very tearful day to lose our little forest)
- Found somewhere to live for 8 months (thanks family and RV!); moved out (homeless)
- Moved the house (see photo)
- Daughter Molly, our only child, was diagnosed in France with a blood clot in her brain (let’s talk sometime about how you can be calm and in a panic simultaneously); (clot still there, but she is better)
- Re-built the ground floor walkout side before winter
- Moved back in (spring ’22)
- Remediated the entire lot with new native planting and 24 trees (in a drought)
- Rebuilt the lakeside deck
- Celebrated with a spur-of-the-moment Happy Hour on the new deck with 40 friends, family
- Settled in (this has been nothing short of lovely over the summer)
- Molly and Stéphane visited in August and were engaged to be married
- Today: the house is nearly finished. At 82, our contractor moves slowly, so the back deck off the kitchen may have to wait until 2023. We also await EGLE ‘s (Michigan DEQ) sign-off on our permit.
- God and Mark have gently nudged me to start writing again. So, I have joined Redbud Writers Guild, a diverse group of women who write about faith in community and culture (link) I am hoping it will help me be accountable to regular postings!
- SO! Time to write!
I will be setting down to write some of the pent-up things that have been swirling in my heart and mind, and I invite you to come alongside and share with friends. Some will be written here at the beautiful and flourishing bluff space-to which you are all invited for respite. Some from an RV trip to the southwest in search of sun. Some from writer’s retreats. Some from trips to France.
No matter what, I hope to present you with heart-and-mind-filled pieces that bring God close, that describe his revelation in and to our world, that provide words of both comfort and challenge, and help create in you a refreshed desire to look for him in your daily life and relationships.
May it be a blessing to you as you stand on this side of the river.
~J.A.P. Walton, Ph.D.