A Rock Home Companion – A Celebration We Hardly Understand

After spending so much effort in the reclusive and unsanitary world of potty training,

and after trying to remember my three-times-a-day vitamins and trying to read an important book, and rounding down over 1800 emails in my overwhelming inbox, and exercising 5 days a week, and teaching a child how to read, and keeping the laundry not only clean but put up – AFTER SUCH MUCH TRYING –

and wanting to go out to enjoy these,I put on bug spray, knee socks, old tennis shoes, shorts, and my new Africa shirt. I put a barrette in my hair.

We put on rootbeer and silly bands and silly faces.We put on hotdogs and baseball gloves, sparkler burns and smiles.

This year on Independence Day, we stayed at home as a family, and we left our phones in the house, and we ate prepackaged cookies out of the box. We talked about America.

And the fireworks screamed and boomed for hours, and we realized we’ve never known a thing of bombs, only color and celebration and life.

About me


Wild in the Hollow Book Club: an Introductory video
August 28, 2015
How Right Living Was My Brokenness: a guest post from Kelly Smith
August 11, 2015
Marriage Letters: On Home
July 06, 2015
A Final Haines Home Companion: a Secret I’ve Kept
June 06, 2014
On Broken Parts in Regular Towns: Alabama, Arkansas, and Haiti
April 03, 2014
On Losing Place
September 05, 2013
How the Light Peeks Through
August 26, 2013
A Haines Home Companion: A Little Eden
March 13, 2013
A Haines Home Companion: Alter
February 22, 2013


Sarah Mae
Reply July 5, 2010

Looks like perfection to me.

By the way, the first picture is oh so familiar...


Reply July 5, 2010

We spent a quiet fourth at home too...it was lovely. The bonus for us (we didn't realize)- we could see the town's fireworks from our back deck. The kids still got their bright and sparkly, minus the loud booms and crying. Perfect! (I am getting majorly tickled by the first picture...it looks awfully familiar to something in my own photo files...)

Reply July 5, 2010

A few things:

1. Do the vitamins sitting on top of the the book When Helping Hurts mean anything? Is there some hidden metaphor? Something I am missing? (and yes, everyone needs to read that book);

2. Thank you for publishing pictures of my profile, highlighting my... ahem... prominent nose (I do not like the term "large" or "dominant" or "Roman"; I ain't Roman, I'm 'Merican);

3. Thank you for publishing pictures in which I am clearly and undeniably handing fire to my 2 1/2 year old son (who was super safe, by the way, and didn't try to catch any trees, shrubs, or dogs on fire... promise);

4. How do you cross only one eye? Now that's some talent;

5. You looked totally '80s yesterday. It was Rad.

Elizabeth @claritychaos
Reply July 5, 2010

my heart hurts a little at this. we are so lucky to know nothing of the bombs, but so, so many do, don't they?

I love your heart, miss amber haines.

Kelly Langner Sauer
Reply July 5, 2010

We didn't really talk about America, but we did what we could do because we live here, and we stayed home and then we went out and made a memory.

And I have to admit, I actually cannot imagine EVER having 1800 emails in my inbox. Omigoodness. You need a secretary.

Thanks for sharing your rest with us.

Reply July 5, 2010

Thinking about your inbox gives me a headache :)
Love the new shirt.
And yes.... thank goodness we know not of the bombs bursting... and that is something in itself to celebrate.

Reply July 5, 2010

THis sounds like my absolute dream fourth of july day.

Reply July 5, 2010

i didn't think i could be more tickled at your post until i read your husband's reply. :)
it does sound like a lovely day, shirt, rootbeer, sparklers and all.

Ann Voskamp
Reply July 5, 2010

Knowing nothing of bombs and only celebration, I am glad you wore your Africa shirt on America day. Because that is what America is really about: Love.

I love the Haines.
May we all come to know much about Love, the capital kind.

All is grace and why don't I live like it?

Reply July 5, 2010

We are FREE! What a responsibility! Happy Fourth of July. I'm glad I'm not the only parent who's child had burns of the sparkler kind. I'm glad to celebrate freedom with you, a day later.

Reply July 6, 2010

Love what you did with the t-shirt! Are you trying to bring back a trend? Rad is right. Glad you had a wonderful 4th!

Laura@Life Overseas
Reply July 8, 2010

I loved this snapshot of your family's day, and I loved the recognition that our generation of Americans don't really know what we have in our country. I am living overseas right now, and I am constantly amazed by how people outside of the U.S. often view us. And some of the opinions are negative (I was in a language class, and the Americans got called "fat and impatient" while the New Zealanders got called "friendly" and the Thai got called "skinny"), but a lot of the world would still love to go there. We have it so, so good.

I just hate that it's taken me moving around the globe to realize that.

Thanks for the reminder. I love your writing.

Reply July 9, 2010

One of my favorite artists covers one of my favorite REM songs. I found it while perusing his new album "4th of July." It seems fitting to put here. The idea behind this post, the art, the late 80's, and the writing all seemed a good fit.

Joe Purdy » REM from The Voice Project on Vimeo.

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