This Odd House the Book

To Grow Your Soul

I am a gardening wannabe. It’s the artistic part that appeals to me. Loading my Home Depot cart with pretty plants. Then arranging them around the garden, according to size and color and shape and texture and blooming time. However—and quite unfortunately—the science side of gardening eludes me. Oh, sure, I can place the plants… Read More To Grow Your Soul

Spiritual Growth, This Odd House the Book

20 Things I Might Have Told My 20-Something Self

Truth be told…I didn’t want to write this essay. Oh, I know. List-y essays are all the rage. That’s partly why I balked. The non-conformist in me. But, too, it feels reductionist. Because in listing out these 20 points, I am communicating—in an over-simplified sort of way—several of the ideas that I will be unpacking… Read More 20 Things I Might Have Told My 20-Something Self

The House, This Odd House the Book

Home Inspection (or What We Knew at 22)

When Peter and I purchased This Old McHenry House in 2005, we did what most wise home buyers do. We hired a home inspector to go over the place with a fine-tooth comb and tell us what needed to be fixed. The garage door didn’t close properly. The brick patio was crumbling. Among other things.… Read More Home Inspection (or What We Knew at 22)

Spiritual Growth, The House, This Odd House the Book

Growing Up in Good Time

  When we first saw This Old McHenry House in December of 2004, she was covered in a dingy white vinyl siding. All of her still-visible trim work was sloppily painted a horrible dark pink. She wasn’t pretty. But I thought she had potential. My suspicion was confirmed when we received a folder of paperwork… Read More Growing Up in Good Time

Spiritual Growth, This Odd House the Book

The Fundamentalism Factor

And…I’m back after a holiday break, hoping to post each Tuesday now until I see this project through. Thanks for joining me on the ride. Buckle up. Here we go… I grew up in a Fundamental Baptist world. Fundamental Baptist home. Fundamental Baptist church. Fundamental Baptist school. I know what you’re thinking. Okay, actually, I… Read More The Fundamentalism Factor

Holidays, Spiritual Growth

Our Cock-Eyed Christmas

This month I’m taking a break from my This Odd House writing project. Instead, I’m sharing a few little Christmas-related stories, linked up to “Tuesdays Unwrapped” at Emily Freeman‘s Go to her website to find the links to many more tales of Grace from her community. My plan is to pick back up on… Read More Our Cock-Eyed Christmas

Holidays, The Kiddos

A Sticky Little Gift

Last Tuesday I was a bit strung out. I had to make an unexpected trip into the city to help direct a rehearsal for the Christmas production I had written. Opening night was Friday, and the final scene wasn’t coming together. The pressure was on to sort it out. To make it meaningful. To pierce… Read More A Sticky Little Gift

Marriage, This Odd House the Book

On Dad and Dating

It’s been called an epidemic. And rightly so. The statistics are staggering. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 43% of children in America now live without their Father. And that number continues to grow. Research abounds on the possible effects of this reality—connecting Fatherlessness to everything from high school dropouts to substance abuse to incarceration. But more… Read More On Dad and Dating

Cerebral Palsy and Caregiving, The Kiddos, This Odd House the Book

Becoming Sibs

My mom loved to tell the story of when I was almost three and her belly was bulging with my brother and we were doing the laundry in the basement. Evidently, I climbed to the top of a mountain of dirty clothes and issued a decree. “Mommy, let’s name our baby Kenny.” Undoubtedly, it wasn’t… Read More Becoming Sibs

Cerebral Palsy and Caregiving, Parenting, This Odd House the Book

On Loss, Love, and Life

The four older Kimball sisters just after their mother died. “A time to seek, and a time to lose.” (Ecclesiastes 3:6) My mother’s mother, Grandma Ruby, was born on January 12, 1909, in a little house with a crooked brick chimney in the-middle-of nowhere, North Dakota. She was the middle daughter of five. And in… Read More On Loss, Love, and Life