How to see lady bugs in life’s road detour (or how to make lemonade out of lemons)

I saw the town’s community development director today. The last time he and I spoke, he was helping me begin my business as a life coach. “How are you liking your new gig?” he asked from the heights of his 6’5″ frame, referring to my work freelancing for the local newspaper. With a nod and a smile, I answered him.

It is funny how the route changes.

On Tuesday, my family and I left for vacation to the mountains of Arnold, to the snow, to the cold, to the cabin.

When we realized there was no cell phone service, when we realized there was no landline, when we realized there was no internet, when we realized Peter was not himself, we decided to go home earlier than expected.

The morning we headed out in search of reception to call the doctor, he returned to baseline, a happy, cheerful, dancing, bouncing baseline. We discovered Murphys; we discovered the cabin had DirectTV and, oh, how the old movies on TCM rolled!

We still left early.




And reveled in this instead.




Finding an artificial town square built a mile out of the historic town of Copperopolis, we meandered around and through and found the place where the roads go no further, where the wildflowers grow.




Today, after photographing and interviewing during an event for the newspaper, I told my daughter the story of how when I was a girl, I wanted to be a writer and I pretended I was a journalist with my office in an almond tree.

It is more like the trip to the cabin was the detour, one turn in a series of turns that made our vacation.

Like life.




The next day was spent at my parents’ house where my husband prepared a 40×24-foot vegetable garden while the kids and I picked, washed, cleaned and juiced lemons with my mother for next week’s lemonade stand at the City-Wide Yard Sale. The KitchenAid attachment used to juice three boxes of beautifully sweet Meyers lemons made the process noisy but fast.

With the return of Peter’s comfort and the knowledge gleaned in Chapters Four and Five from The Mindful Catholic, I felt peace return.

It read, “This awareness will certainly take in painful realities, but it will also keep you open to seeing the deep beauty that lies inherently in all of life.”

I think, when Peter’s good, I’m good. I think of the author’s guidance to make a “Sacramental Pause,” to breathe in the fullness in the moment offered to us.  I think of being less distracted, to stop working and look into the eyes of my child when she speaks to me.

This week I am savoring everything more.

It does not matter that we did not stay at the cabin.

It does not matter that I am not a licensed therapist.

It does not matter that I do not live in Minnesota.

It does not matter that I am not a life coach.

What matters is now…and Heaven…the very small and the very big. The details we will work out along the way.