After six weeks away from the city last summer, our adjustment back to city life was a little rough.  The first night home, I lay awake listening to sirens scream down Pacific Avenue for certainly ALL NIGHT LOOOOONG while the neighborhood teemed with unaware people laughing and shouting almost as late as the sirens. Illegal race cars whining down side streets under the cover of dark … the sporadic gun shots that rattle our neighborhood day after day … a sad re-welcoming committee.

I suppose it’s not surprising that given this backdrop, my heart lingers in Eastern Washington farm lands and scenery peppered with abandoned houses and leaning barns.   I have really struggled to love the neighborhood we’ve lived in the last three years … but I’m working on it. It doesn’t help that the city constantly lifts the lid on weirdness and reveals how mad our world has gone.

No life has captivated me like that of Christ, and I notice how He gravitated between quiet solitude and the masses.  As I’ve gotten older and found myself in punching-bag-matches with anxiety, I sometimes think I could do without the masses anymore … but that’s not fully true.  There’s a draw to people … to love … to reach out … to connect … to affirm …

But for those days that it’s too much … for days when I feel crunched … I’ll come back here … at least for a moment or two.

Mourning Dove.jpg

I think if there was a way to calm this world down right now, I would urge everyone to the countryside for a long, long sabbatical.

Tekoa Mansion

This home in Tekoa, WA is now a bed and breakfast.

Moon over Tekoa

Years ago, a college friend freaked out when I brought her home and several of us went for an evening walk.  “I’m a city girl used to street lights,” she said.  “It’s so dark out here. I can’t stand this.”

“Get over it,” I told her.  “There are no thugs hiding in the shadows here.  Only peace under a canvas of stars.”  And an occasional coyote … and bats … but I didn’t say the last part out loud.

Colfax (above it all).jpg

This is a shot of Colfax from one of the neighborhoods on its steep hillside.  Sad watching it diminish; as Whitman County’s county seat, there is a rich history here.  Somehow, in all my years of shopping at J.C. Penny’s there (now closed), going to the county library, eating at the Chinese Restaurant or Zips (used to be an A&W), I never knew about St. Ignatius Hospital until this summer.  I didn’t get a good photo of it, but it has received new interest as part of haunted Palouse. (Click on the link for more info.) The building has been sold recently and there is a lot of hush, hush about its future, but rumor is that there will be one more haunted tour this year.

Deer Duo .jpg

City folk (at least where I live) don’t lack for deer encounters.  In Tacoma, they are a nuisance and will walk up to a rose garden midday, chomping away.  Still, there is nothing like encountering wildlife in the great Palouse.

Morning Owl 7-14-17

Like this owl …

Mule Ears (Donkey smokey day)

Or this guy.  Granted, he’s not a wild animal, but how could I ignore him? The smokey background is just that … smoke.  This particularly smoke had blown over from fires in Montana. Country life does come with dirt … but otherwise, it’s pretty close to perfect. 



And then there is all of this … cross-eyed cows … stunning sunsets … lake life … abandoned buildings … memories of dreams past due … hints of more to come. 

Country life
Dusty yet shimmering
Lonely yet peace-filled
Hard, hard work
A smudged window-view of heaven
Soft on my heart
I yearn for the country. 


Dandelions on Fire