Why It’s Crickets Around Here

by | Jul 20, 2012 | Uncategorized

A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.  The fluviatile trees next the shore are the slender eyelashes which fringe it, and the wooded hills and cliffs around are its overhanging brows.

~Henry David Thoreau, Walden

“We’re out of bread,” the store manager says with raised eyebrows. “It’s an anomaly. By 10:00am we were sold out of bread and that never happens.” It’s the third place I’ve been to looking for bread for our sandwiches for the road trip. I settle on Sara Lee instead of the bakery.

Today, I’ll spread wheat with egg salad and white with salmon and slather a few slices of doughy with peanut butter and Nutella for the boy who turns up his nose to the others.  Ginger snaps stack inside the Tupperware at the ready.

It’s a tradition, the food we eat on the 22 hours pushing pavement headed north. H’s mom loaded coolers with the same thing for him, when they drove from Phoenix to the family cottage in Ontario, Canada.

I’ve cleaned out the refrigerator, done the laundry, sorted through the mail pile, trimmed and mulched the garden, watered the plants, and asked the neighbor to collect the mail. We got hair cuts, collected dry cleaning, scooped ice for the cooler, made doctor’s appointments and drove a third time to the grocery store.  Deleted photos off my camera and stacked InStyle and Real Simple next to Walking on Water in the passenger seat.  And I think we’re ready.  Right after I fill those little bottles and place them in the overnight bag that we’ll push through the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC about ten o’clock this evening.

The van loads with golf clubs, kneeboards, and suitcases full of swimsuits and suntan lotion and I’m noticing what we’re not taking this year.

No Lego’s, blocks, matchbox cars, polly pockets, fishing poles with plastic fish hanging off the end or Saddle Club DVD’s in the van.  Just American History text books, IPods, To Kill a Mockingbird and gum in the back seat.

And the biggest thing we’re not taking? Our faithful Golden Retriever we lost to cancer in January. Winston’s furry tail wagged in unbridled expecatation of chasing tennis balls, long swims, and quiet walks with us for eight summers. He even pranced through hotel lobbies and rode the elevator.

And while time spins her cyclone around us, we’re clicking our heels like Dorothy and returning to the Kansas of our soul. The place where the trees blink their eyelashes and we remember who we are in the reflection of still waters. The “earth’s eye” will remember us, even if we have grown up a bit.

We’re going to dirt roads leading to ice cream under sun’s canopy and fire pits by starlight. The place where the arm of the internet isn’t quite long enough to grab onto our thoughts and the phone service is spotty. So, I’m officially unplugging here for two weeks.  And I’ll miss you.

I’m returning to sit in the lawn chair where I wrote my first blog post and had no idea how smitten I would be with the friendship of all of you. So, if I get out of my wet swimsuit long enough to make a run to the library where internet is a lazy resident, there might be a post here and there but I’ll be back on August 6 with regular posting. And while I’m away, I’ll be remembering you in my prayers. I hope you’ll do the same for me.

 If you’re new here, I’m so glad you stopped by and if you want to read more, below is a list of my top five most popular posts:

Surprised by Redemption

Because What You Don’t Know, Can Save Your Life

When Fear Take Over, Take Courage

When My Perception Isn’t Your Reality

Don’t Tell Me, Show Me

The winner of a copy of Grace for the Good Girl from yesterday’s post is Laura Hogelin, a first time commenter. Congratulations Laura!

Subscribe for Shelly’s stories and free resources here: https://shellymillerwriter.com/free-resources/


  1. Nita

    Enjoy your time away. Both the journey and the destination. 🙂

  2. Paula

    Will miss you too. Hope you have a peaceful time of renewal at your special place. I’m sure your mind will be swirling…..writing the whole time!

  3. Ells....ro elliott

    Have a wonderful trip and may it be refreshing body, soul and spirit. xoxo to you

  4. Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

    Will miss your words…but will be praying for you too. Take deep breaths of the light and joy there where the trees and water still remember you! 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Pam, I’ll be praying for you in the exhale.

  5. Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

    I love the photo of your dog and companion of years… Such a sweet face. I still dream of the dog I loved growing up… and miss her.

  6. Kris Camealy (@AlwaysAlleluia)

    Beautiful words, Shelly! Wishing you a restful and beautiful vacation, my friend. May you find the quiet spaces to dwell with Him, and many precious moments together as a family. *mpwah*

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I wish the same for you my dear friend, after the day you had yesterday. Look forward to catching up on what I miss when I return.

  7. Jillie

    Will miss you terribly, Shelly. But how wonderful for you to be getting away with your family to a quiet, unrushed place of rest. Enjoy.

    I presume you’re going some place in the Muskokas? I’m here in southwestern Ontario, so I’m curious just where you find your respite. 22 hours is a lonnnng drive!

    Bless you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      We’ll be in the Ottawa valley by the east edge of Algonquin Park. Beautiful country. I’ll miss you Jillie, look forward to catching up when I return.

  8. mom2sixtreasures

    What a great tradition to enjoy with your family!

  9. Helen

    Have a blessed time! enjoy the stillness…

  10. Dea Moore

    So grateful that you sat in that chair and wrote that blog post in that chair. I pray for new revelations and new layers of redemption, grace, and beauty to rise in the mornings and fall in pastels across the western horizon when evening comes late…and that you will see the beauty reflected in the lake, the story God is unfolding that is you. So thankful to have come here and found a new friend!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      And I receive that prayer and hold it close to my heart. Thanks Dea, appreciate you so much.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Heather, I’ve enjoyed the beginning of what I hope will be a long conversation with you.

  11. Lynn Morrissey

    Oh my! I’m having “Shelly withdrawals” already! =] After your trip, I leave for a week in Denver on a writing retreat, w/ no Internet access (a mercy, except for being able to read your posts). so I will just have to muse on your former entries. I pray that you have a time of wonderment in Canada, reminiscent of your precious past vacations and filled with exuberant new experiences–all the sights, sounds, and scents of God’s creation. As you let time spin her cyclone around you, may you and your family cycle down and let His Spirit unwind within you. May *your* time stand still in the stillpoint of God’s grace.
    I am so sorry about your beautiful dog, your faithful friend. It’s so painful when those tennis balls lie motionless. I’m glad God gave you this companion. Furry friends bring joy, don’t they?
    I’m glad you will have time to read. I love L’Engle’s book and mags are fun, too. Have you read Victoria Magazine? I think you’d really love it, and I encourage you to try for publication in it. Sounds as if you might be finished with Walden by now. I love some of Thoreau’s quotes, and this one which you shared. I must say you are a brave soul not to take more books. My husband often fears we won’t have room for luggage with all the literature I tote along…he bought me a Nook to help!
    I can’t believe you have written for only a year. You are amazing! Congratulations and bon voyage, Shelly!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Lynn, Victoria used to be my favorite magazine before they took it off the market. I subscribed for years. I saw it the other day and almost picked it up. My taste has changed since then, more contemporary now but I never even thought about writing an article for them. Thanks for suggesting it. And I have a whole tote bag full of books alongside the others, and a few journals too. 🙂 I haven’t read Walden all the way through. It sits on an end table next to the couch and I read a few pages here and there. It’s an intense read.
      I’ll look forward to connecting when you get back. Thanks so much for the sweet card btw.

      • Lynn Morrissey

        Truth be told, Shelly, I think the new Victoria is still finding its way a little. The writing was stronger in the original issues, though it’s still good, and it is still a beautiful magazine. Relatively recently, I had a little piece published in their “Reader to Reader” column, which would be a place for you to start. But if you want to just go for the gusto, try an end-page memoir piece. Your writing would fit beautifully there! I’m thrilled to hear about those journals, and I should have known there would be more books!! 🙂 And you have encouraged me to pick up Walden again. BN has published a wonderful line called The Collector’s Library, which boasts the classics (I have Walden , Dr. Jekyll and Mr. H., and some Austen).They’re near-miniature sized, hard-bound, printed on high-quality paper, bound in real cloth, gilt-edged, and with a satin ribbon. Very classy! 🙂 Amazingly, despite the small, leight-weight size (quite perfect for traveling), they are complete and unabridged. I tell you this because you could easily carry quite a few, and I’ve gone into detail in case your other readers would like to try them. Again, have a marvelous, God-inspired trip! Glad you liked the B’fly card! 🙂

  12. lolitavalle

    I will hold you in my heart and in my time with the Maker.

    I hope you will have the good time to spend in your Ontario heritage home, count the blinks of the leafy eyelashes upon the Earth’s eye, breath in and breath out to our Father up beyond the Blue Sky, and a resident of our Heart.

    God bless you trip and your stay in Canada. Sometimes it is a blessing when the arms of the Internet is not long enough to reach some places, isn’t it?

    We will be on the wait and panting for you redemption words as they come along, as time permits or as connection permits.

    God speed, Shelly and the whole gang. (Sorry that Winston is not around anymore, to accompany you on this trip).

    • Redemption's Beauty

      You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers while I’m away. We do miss our Winston, many fond memories of him.

  13. Patricia (Pollywog Creek)

    Have a wonderful time, Shelly. “Walking on Water” sounds like a lovely book. I’ve been tempted to buy it. I’d love to hear what you think of it when you return home.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Patricia, I have read it. I started a tradition of re-reading it every year at the cottage. So yes, it is good, you will enjoy it.

  14. tara pohlkotte

    enjoy. enjoy. enjoy and then? come back. come back. come back 🙂 I’m missing you!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      On my way home today (I’m catching up on-line in the car which a first) and its good to be missed, thank you Tara.

  15. ljbmom

    Well, I am missing you! I pray this time has been rest for your soul and cannot wait t o hear all about it upon your return, Shelly. Love to you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Oh, how you warm my heart Laura. It’s good to know I haven’t been forgotten while away. I’m headed back today, crossed back over into the US a few hours ago.

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