A Haines Home Companion: Things We Write on the Board



Seth and I had a weekend away. He wrote about it at his new place, too, about how good it was for us. I must confess that I was a bit concerned. We were to be without cable and internet for three days. It was an immediate prick to me that I worried so much about my television stories. I mean, am I a granny or what?

We have friends whose parents have a cabin. Seth’s awesome mom watched the boys. I’m working on my book. After going to a movie and eating a nice dinner, we pulled into the dirt drive, and ten deer popped their heads up at us in a synchronized freeze. Seth stopped there, because there’s hardly a thing that makes my heart flutter like a bunch of whitetail. They move so fearfully and then jolt away, streak of white behind.

Before we left, I bought new perfume. We rarely get away, but I did this last time, too. He’s buys a beautiful bottle for me to associate with our time together. When I wear it back home, it smells like US – not the messy closet, not the to-do list, but us.


We didn’t take many pictures, we did wake with the sun. It rose in a pink halo over the hills. Deer dotted the treeline again, and the pond rippled like someone was blowing on a a bowl of hot soup. Two colors of flowers came into the yard of buttercups that day. It’s Spring when the birds seem to talk just to hear their own heads make song. It’s amazing how many things you can hear when you make room for the quiet. – the clock in the kitchen, the squirrels on the roof, fire heating the stones.

We read aloud like we love to do. We edited, wrote, revised, and then stopped to get warm under quilts. I remembered words like: “Call on the name of the LORD.”


We’re back home now and glad. We erased our chalkboard door and told the boys that we would write our thanksgivings there. They jumped right on it. Gratitude in our house is one of our biggest struggles. I don’t know any better way to fight complaints than to write down our thanks. So don’t think me grand; only think me desperate.

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They wrote “my bruthrs.”


We picked Seth up from work and drove a winding way through Arkansas countryside to a place called War Eagle for one of those family hikes we had to committed to take at the first of the year. One of mine gets rather floppy on a hike and would have us carry him if we would, and I’m not talking about the baby. But despite the grumbles, it was a great time.

There was a raccoon there that got so scared it buried his head beneath his body and pretended to not see us. It was small, but I know better than to mess with a coon. Those things will scratch your face up! I did actually poke it with a stick because I’m country like that, and it rolled over nearly snoring. That thing had passed clear out!



When it was over, and we made it back into the van, there was good air in my lungs, and even though it made me sneeze, I was grateful to be back with the kids. Sometimes their hands are so covered in mud. Sometimes their hands are like a Potter’s.

About me


kelly summers
Reply March 20, 2013

That's an awesome idea with the perfume!! I love the way smell is so strongly tied to memories. Also, I don't know which Tocca perfume that is, but I have Colette and it is amaaaazing.

    Reply March 21, 2013

    Colette is so yummy. Mine is Brigitte. :) And yes, I have a very strong smell memory. It's a strange little fact about me.

Reply March 20, 2013

Thankful you got away, worked on the book and hiked with the boys. Just thankful.

    Reply March 21, 2013

    Oh Linda, thank you. I love you.

Stephanie Keaty
Reply March 21, 2013

Just found u following A. Voskamp. Love reading this post today. I also have 4 sons. Chalkboard paint can sits in my pantry waiting to be applied to the beat-up door to the garage. I have dreams of inspiring words written....
Do u have a photo of your chalkboard door? I'd love to get a visual...

God's blessings abound, may we always keep our eyes open to His daily goodness.
Have a wonderful day.

with joy-

Reply March 21, 2013

This was so good. My favorite pieces of your writing are just seemingly effortless glimpses of the ordinary made holy. The way you see.

    Reply March 21, 2013

    I wish I were better at it. Sometimes it takes my sitting down to write it to see it, you know?

Reply March 21, 2013

Never poke a coon. Those things will MESS. YOU. UP.

Ain't nobody got time fo dat.

So true.

    Reply March 21, 2013

    Also, I feel like I should say that I didn't jab at it. I merely gently nudged it. I even tickled its little leather paw. It was a cute paw. I could see how someone would get confused and think she could snuggle with it. If one ever did that, she would surely be sliced to pieces.

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply March 26, 2013

"So don’t think me grand; only think me desperate."

I laughed out loud, the joyful laugh of knowing. I may have even clapped my hands.

You have a gift, Amber Haines. Love you so.

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