The empty, old house sat silent through the night, content with its current inhabitants.

The sunrise brought the wind, waking up the windmill. It started out slowly, a crooked paddle clicked on the frame.

“I love to move,” the wheel sang, clicking with rhythm, pleasantly at first.

“I can see so much farther than you.” It sang to the house. “Do you want to know what I see?” It didn’t wait for an answer. “They are building a new house on the hill to the east of us. The grass is getting green so I know the cows and the people will come back soon. It’s too bad they don’t fix you up, too. They could at least block your door so the cows don’t go in!”

The wind picked up and mill spun merrily in a building breeze, humming.

A bird lighted on one of the old house’s upper window sills, dribbling white down its side, making it look even more faded.

“At least birds don’t poop on me. If it weren’t for me, there would be no water around here. You never would have been built … our family never would have been able to live here. You know that, right?”

The windmill prattled on about its valuable contributions, most of them from the past. The house tuned it out, enjoying the warming sunshine.

“… and what about that time the bull chased Momma up my ladder? Whew, that was exciting! That mean old critter hit one of my legs so hard, he bent it. Pa built a fence around the house, after that. Remember how Momma built a short fence around my legs and called it the playpen, so she could have her babies outside with her. I loved watching those little ones play in the dirt.”

The old house sighed, windless days were few and far between. Mice and birds may be messy, but they were quiet. The wind hit a lull and it was silent for a while, but it never lasted long enough. Sometimes the days seemed endless with the old mill’s reminiscing. The sun was only midmorning.

“Do you remember the big ones’ names? When they first came, they had different names, but after the babies came, they were always just Momma and Pa, even to each other.”

“I’ve always envied you, you know. You got to be there for their meals, for the births … and the deaths. I could hear some things through the windows and the walls, but you got to see everything, even to watch them sleep. I loved that year they decorated me as their Christmas tree. They held hands and sang Christmas carols to me. It was wonderful.”

The wind died and silence settled back over the yard, everyone basked in the noon sunlight and good memories. Even the inhabitants, sheltered within the house, were content to be still. The house remembered, but did not comment on what a lean Christmas that particular one had been for the family. Yet, the folks had seemed happy enough.

“Remember when Billy climbed my ladder … and fell? There was nothing I could do.” The wind blasted and the wheel clacked crazily for a few minutes. The house wondered why that loose paddle didn’t fly off. Finally the wind let up and the mill became legible again.

“He died.”

The house groaned, as though the memory were weighted. A tiny creak cried from within. The afternoon sun calmed the wind to a gentle, quiet breeze. Again, silence spread over the small plot that had once been a place where children played.

There was to be one last draft that moved the old mill to speak. “Even though Billy died, those were the good old days. I never thought they would end.”

The sun began to set. The wind was dying and the windmill uttered its last thought for the day. “I wonder why they left ….”

The wind died to a whisper. The wheel slowed until even the occasional click stopped.

A remnant of white fluttered in the old house’s window for a moment; waving farewell to the sun, the day’s chattering reminiscence, and welcoming the quiet  return of now.






The Wonder of Water



Bubbling fountains, growing gardens,
Washed-out roads.
Stringy dog drool, solidified litter boxes,
The gifts of power and light.

Liquid diamonds tumble down desert ditches.
Complex Crystals powder-sugar the pines,
Spring rains whisper lullabies by which we sleep.

Lakes, ponds, rivers, and oceans
safe within their boundaries.
Deluges, floods, and avalanches
endanger us when they’re not.

Wet and gentle, dripping from a deer’s lips.
Wild and wicked: tearing the Edmund Fitzgerald in half.

Hard enough to walk on,
Deep enough to drown in.

The Windows in My House.


I love a house with many windows. The light flows in. The framed view expands my inner sanctum. The pictures change with the seasons. At times, I want to stay in and observe the bluster from a warm, dry spot. Other times the living picture bids me, “Enter. Live. Experience.”

Every window in my house has a different view. The east portrays the San Isabel Mountain Range and breath-taking, pink and blue sunrises. To the west, I watch deer drink from a blue tub in the pines. The north side shows me the barn and my white horses against the dry, brown dirt. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains, to the south, close my days with amazing, purple sunsets.

Friends are like windows. I love the perspectives they bring into my life. I rearrange my paradigms based on their insights, and expand my own thinking through theirs. They see a beauty I had not noticed, or experienced a pain so severe it makes me bleed – and I want to hide in my inner sanctum – but the trust in their sharing is real, touching my soul with the beauty wrought by their personal agony.

We are all windows for others. Our realities are ours alone. Even in our sharing, personalization by the listener changes the reality as it is aired. It is the gift of humans to relate our experiences and perspectives, to share, to grow, and to become … more.

May your house be blessed with many windows.

That First Valentine


That First Valentine

Was there ever a love so deep and so true,
as the one you gave your first Valentine to?
Was there ever a love so kind and so sweet,
as the one who kissed you as you fell sleep?

Remember the one who wiped away tears,
the one you thought would stay through the years?
Remember the warmth that lived in your heart,
that was healing and kind, right from the start?

First loves are the best.

Thanks, Mom, I’ll love you forever.  XOXO

The Magic in Ordinary

SamWyse & Beau in woods

A blond three-year-old boy,

a red and black, bloodhound pup,

a fat, black cat,

and an old, white horse

amble past my living room window.

The boy whacks at weeds with his stick,

the puppy grabs at the stick, dodging whacks,

the cat follows, tail up, above the shenanigans,

and the old white horse follows along for the company.

The four friends disappear from my window,

to continue their bonding in the warm, autumn sun,

making memories that live only in the subconscious.

Until, years later, an image triggers a vague memory

of long-forgotten, four-legged friends,

in another warm, autumn sun,

of sweet camaraderie between the species,

and the sun’s kiss on my neck, for a blessing.

Mr Binks


Welcome Mr. Binks to my writing staff. In this picture, he is munching a piece of potato as I puddle along on my keyboard. Ratties make great desk pets. They are quiet and often comical. Snuggling with Mr. Binks is great relief from”frayed brain” (aka: writer’s block). I find the companionship of his warm little body, asleep in my hoodie, encouraging as I peck away at my stories.

Mr Binks is my fifth and most charming rat. I usually have two at a time, but Mr. Binks came as a single unit. It may be why he is so charming …. He is the first rat I’ve ever taken to the vet (and that is saying a lot, because I am a total cheapskate.)

Here’s a fun fact for you: did you know that rats are the most popular pet (sold by pet stores) for twelve year old girls? (and, apparently, some 60-year-old female authors.)

Do you have something concrete, in your writing environment, that makes it more enjoyable? If so, what is it?

Write on,




Fourteen years of “Good Dog!”

Years of good memories were packed into life with this pup; herding cows, running competitive 5Ks, camping with the horses – running alongside while we rode and sleeping under the camper at night. She guarded cattle gates, got me out for my daily morning runs, and survived an “incident” with a farm truck, losing a back leg.

She showed up with her whole heart every time she was called upon. When I got a new running mate, Ol’ Peli struggled with depression but kept me in the #1 Mom Place to the bitter end. Her faithfulness amazed and humbled me. She greeted me with her toothy doggie grin very morning and every night; always ready to help with chores and barking her encouragements. Even when she was getting blind, she followed me everywhere I went, always laying within calling distance.

Have you ever had a pet so faithful? All those memories make that one day so much worse, yet I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

How does this pertain to your life story?  Write on,