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The dog sees the ladies, chatting as they stroll through the grass, and it’s more than he can resist. They scatter and find safety up high, scolding him for his foolishness.

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When I walk the back road to the half mile marker, sometimes I can’t wait to turn back and head straight home, and sometimes I want to keep on going forever.

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Yesterday’s ponytail, still in her jammies, and her shoes on the wrong feet. She is my foster daughter, this girl who loves to laugh and dance and walk the back roads.

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Sometimes, thankful is not in the abundance of the list (food, family, friendship, home, turkey, pie), but in the blessing of a second chance or a new day.

This is grace.

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Mostly everything has gone to seed, or been mowed or harvested, or picked and canned. The last little blooms, misplaced in time, are a joyful surprise.

A final, sweet summer smile.

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Without many words to impress, what is left? A simple thought, single idea. The thing left, when the bones have been picked clean, is the skeleton.

Still pretty, and pretty interesting.

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I remember her saying, after she’d grown old, that she used to walk three miles to school and now she walked three blocks to the store.

Details don’t change the heart.

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