Yet another re-blog to mark the 6-month anniversary of A Sawyer’s Daughter — just because…

A Sawyer's Daughter


Road tripping, either done over the weekend or as a means of travel over the course of several days or even a week or two, brings to mind the old maxim about enjoying the journey and not just the destination. To paraphrase Forrest Gump, when it comes to travel (especially via our nation’s roadways): You never really know what you’re going to get (or where you’re going to end up). Those less brave and optimistic about life’s twists and turns might read this with a negative bent. I, on the other hand, prefer to consider all the wonder, mystery and beauty in this world including the charm, goodness and generosity of those we might encounter along the way.

To my way of thinking there are two necessary components for enjoying a fun and rewarding road trip excursion (aside from a reliable mode of transportation, a full tank of gas and…

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Six months ago today, A Sawyer’s Daughter was born. To commemorate this momentous occasion, I’m re-blogging one of my earlier posts.

Blogging has been satisfying on so many levels and it’s hard to believe I was reluctant to begin in the first place. In just six short months, I’ve become acquainted with a number of incredibly talented bloggers from all over the world. More than anything else, I greatly enjoy reading other’s works and I’m in awe of some of the fantastic photography out here in The Land of Blog.

Thanks to all of you who’ve been apart of this process and have cheered me on along the way!

A Sawyer's Daughter

There are six girls in our family of which I happen to be the eldest. (Cue the snare drum — I also like to joke that while I’m the shortest of the bunch I also happen to be the cutest, smartest and most modest but I digress).

To say that we’ve been close would be a bit of an stretch. Our familial ties have been strained over the years due to the usual sibling rivalries, petty fighting and misunderstandings. Add to the mix that each of us is so incredibly different from the others and it’s no wonder tension is sometimes in the air at holiday and other family gatherings. For many years I felt jealousy, resentment and not a little confusion whenever I observed sisters from other families who were close knit or who proclaimed to be ‘best friends’. What on earth was wrong with US I’ve often wondered.

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In third grade, I began wearing glasses. When it was determined that I needed them to see better (one eye is 20/200, the other 20/400), my mother drove me to Capitol Optical in Mason City, easily recognizable among the shops on the north end of town by their signage: a huge pair of cat glasses that could be seen two blocks away. My parents were frugal to a fault and I’m sure they made certain I had the most inexpensive (read: ugliest) pair of frames that were available.

Sure, I could now SEE but at an aesthetic price. In high school, I ‘accidentally’ lost my glasses over the side of a bridge so that I could walk the hallways at school (until I could get my replacement pair) and sit in class without those blasted contraptions taking up facial real estate. That I couldn’t tell where I was going or read the chalk board was secondary. It was a stupid stunt but indicative of how much I thought not having to wear glasses would improve my appearance. Whether it was successful or not, I can’t say. I just know that it made me feel that it did, however briefly.

In my latter 20’s, I finally was able to afford contact lenses and the impact was immediate and definitely welcome. I loved not having to wear glasses! Over the years, it’s simply been part of my morning and evening routine to rinse and insert my contacts to greet the new day and to cleanse, disinfect and store them before bedtime.

Now, thirty years later, I have (finally) decided to have Lasik surgery done. Even with the surgery date scheduled for several weeks now, it was not until yesterday that I settled in to an acceptance of which route I would ultimately take. I queried everyone I knew who had already had the procedure done and to a person each of them told me it was one of the best decisions they had ever made. I even posted a question to my Facebook friends and after a comical, albeit frustrating exercise of telling people again and AGAIN that yes, I already knew I would still need reading glasses, I was thankful for their input and inspired by their stories of how glad they all were to have had the surgery.

My hesitation was rooted in one basic concern: the cost of the procedure and the knowledge that some of the people I spoke with had to start wearing glasses again after a period of five to ten years, although none of them expressed regret for having it done. On further examination, I learned that while some folks now wear glasses again, it isn’t all the time and they can, in fact, function well without them. Incremental changes in their vision made it necessary to wear glasses again for longer distances such as while driving. Another consideration is that three of my sisters – all of whom wear glasses again now but as described above – had Lasik done when they were much younger. Over the years, as explained to me by the nurse at the clinic where I’ll have the procedure done, it is likely their eyes have been stabilizing over the years. Since I’m quite a bit older than they were when they had it done, it’s possible that could be a factor in my favor. While there are no guarantees, of course, this information made it easier for me to come to a final decision to go ahead with the surgery.

Yesterday I was in awe of the realization that when I took out my contacts last night before bed, this was the last time I would ever do so. As I prepare for the surgery one week from tomorrow, I must forego wearing contact lenses just as I did prior to the pre-examinations to determine whether I was a candidate for Lasik. The space in my make-up drawer where I keep the cases for both my glasses and contacts will now open up, to make room for additional make-up, no doubt. Never again will I need to rush to the store to get more saline or make my annual pilgrimage to Target Optical to order my next year’s supply of contact lenses.

I am looking forward to many of the benefits (large and small) of unfettered vision: seeing the alarm clock should I wake up during the night, being able to read the shampoo bottle that sits on the shelf in the shower, having clear views of the people and things underwater while swimming and the freedom of going about my business each day or climbing into bed at night without the hassle of dealing with contacts or glasses. Truly, anyone with 20/20 vision who has never had the need for an aid of any kind in order to see, cannot comprehend what these small ‘gifts’ will feel like to someone who’s worn glasses his or her entire life.

People have told me it will be life-changing. I’ve made my decision and I am ready.


Farewell to fall and, depending on where one lives, hello to the beauty and bluster of winter. For some of us here in the Midwest, we’ve gotten an early taste of what perhaps awaits us in the long months ahead.

Autumn is my favorite time of year, chock full of warm and welcoming colors and that indescribable scent and weight and feel of the invigorating, crisp and, at times, brisk air. The inevitable cycle of the seasons dictates, however, that fall must give way to what comes next: snow, wind, ice and cold.

Enter the holiday season with all its pageantry, light, love, laughter and cherished traditions. Thanksgiving, that unique American celebration, replete with feasting, family, food and football, sets the tone for Christmas. More of the same and then some…

Childhood memories and nostalgia for what was (or perhaps that which we believe had once been) is a mighty force behind the potency of the Christmas holiday. We recall the eager anticipation and countdown of Santa’s arrival, the heady excitement of seeing the bounty beneath the tree come Christmas morning, the songs and carols that still make us smile, the red and green and gold and silver of holiday décor triggering a feeling of contentment unlike any other event of the calendar year.

The holiday season is upon us now, providing those of us in more frigid climes with a welcome distraction from the bitter wind-chills, icy roads and snowy driveways that winter promises to deliver in the weeks and months ahead. And yet, winter in December can be beautiful. Softly falling snow, the calm stillness of winter woods, frost on windows and the delighted cries of children playing outdoors, rosy cheeks and colorful caps, scarves and mittens to keep them warm.

Perspective is everything and I, for one, choose to embrace this transition from fall to winter just as I did when I was a child: filled with starry-eyed wonder and an appreciation of the changing of the guard from one season to that which follows.


A simple timer to switch on twinkle lights coiled up inside a heavy, green glass jar provides a gentle glow, casting subtle shadows and turns a darkened room into something almost magical. Whenever I sit in this room, quietly reading in my comfy chair, sipping a hot cup of chai and I hear that click, I look up and smile. Its warmth and blush of glimmering light always makes me happy.