Showing posts from August, 2012

Hallelujah from the Not-Yet-Holy

So last week, I had the unanticipated experience of being reminded that one of my not-so-smooth edges is still, well, rough.And unfortunately, a friend was on the receiving end of the encounter.
It was my first week back at work after a glorious summer vacation (more about that another time, hopefully), and my colleagues and I had attended an “interesting” in-service (feel free to interpret the word in quotation marks with a derogatory slant).In a rare moment of inspiration, I decided to write an ironic response, and I had only an hour to crank it out.So, I hurried to my new office space, perched on the chair inside my little cubicle (which, by the way, is surrounded by three other little cubicles, all jammed into what used to be a classroom . . . the very picture of unnecessarily close quarters) and began writing furiously, hoping to finish the piece so that I could share it with one of my colleagues.I was doing one of my favorite things—creating, writing, in the zone, actually experi…


A valuable discipline, stretching.
The goal is to give the muscles a blessed moment to rest, lengthen, extend, give a little.
To allow our muscles to drape themselves—if only briefly— across the frame of our bones,  trusting them to do what they were created to do.
To stop the work of flexing, tightening, tensing, proving, producing, planning, taking, improving.
To cease, to release, to rest, to be. This is the stretch.
But in the middle of this release, I find myself grabbing. I want to muscle my muscles into remarkable looseness,  harangue them into extraordinary elasticity, prod them into proving just how stretch-y I can be.
See me stretch? Please, be impressed with this forced flexibility, with my tolerance for pain, with my willingness to push the limits of my God-given threshold.
My ability to make pain happen, to push through it—all the time smiling— I start to believe, sometimes, that this is what makes the stretch beneficial. When really, this is when the stretch ceases to be a stretch. Inst…

Royal Oak Inn

Here’s how one online review describes the Royal Oak Inn:“It's not a luxurious stay by any means, but well kept, tidy, and has all the basic necessities.”

The basic necessities.TripAdvisor got that one right.
Last year, the kids and I stayed here before our week at Camp Ozark, and I remember feeling a combination of things.
Amused at the earnest-but-dated d├ęcor of our kitchen-carpeted room;
Relieved/delighted that Mom and Pop establishments are still alive and kicking;
Charmed by the owners’ kids and their cousins frolicking in the middle-of-the-parking-lot pool.
Welcomed by the unpretentiously friendly folks who ran the place.
That night as I talked to my husband on my cell phone (since our room didn’t have one), I tried to describe it to him—the room, the town, the simplicity. But my words just didn’t do it justice.
But this year he’s with us.And after a 10-hour drive, our Honda Pilot rolled off Arkansas Highway 270 and in to the parking lot of this unpretentious 15-room motel in the h…