My Life with God


I didn’t pack an ax.

To be honest, I don’t know if I’ve ever packed an ax, but I’ve traveled with one—because I’ve traveled with my dad. Several years before he died, we took a couple 4-wheeling trips to Wisconsin. He was always prepared, and I was especially thankful when we set out on a long day of trails as a storm subsided. But the weather never fully recovered, and we encountered a lot of damage along our route. We had to clear our path multiple times just to get through the trails. It was a good thing we had the tools he had packed.

I was at my annual writing retreat when his birthday passed this year. No one left the house that day due to snow, and I was the first to run an errand midday the following day. As I pulled out of the drive, I saw a small tree had fallen. On my way out, I maneuvered around it, but I stopped when I returned. It looked light enough to move with a little effort. I’d just push it out of the way. I tried, but as I pushed, I met resistance. I walked around to see if it was still attached. It sure was. In fact, less than half of the trunk was broken. Most of it was intact and not rotten at all. It surprised me it had fallen at all.

Maybe I could weaken it by pushing it back and forth. That didn’t work either. If only I had an ax.

I failed you, Dad. Actually, he’d just laugh and shake his head.

We can’t pack it all. One of the women at the retreat almost brought her snow boots but decided she wouldn’t need them. I laughed when she shared, because why would we need snow boots when we stay inside the whole time? Then we had a chance of 10 inches of snow, which we didn’t get, but I would have foolishly ventured out in my non-snow boots to sled. I keep a list of items to pack for my retreat each year. I suppose I now need to add

And this is how overpacking begins…

Perhaps I need to trust my usual preparation and organization and be content there will be some gaps at times. I’ll keep it minimal and creatively problem-solve along the way.

3 thoughts on “Ill-Prepared”

  1. Love this idea and your thoughtfulness that went into them. And the “F.R.O.G. Acronym is extra special! Do you know where I might find the frog pillow pattern?

    Thanks in advance!


    Sent from my iPhone



    1. My mom made the frog pillows when I was in high school-ish. She thought she lost the pattern but found it a couple years ago. It was tattered with minimal instructions, but she traced it on interfacing for me. I’m happy to do the same for you and mail it if you want!


      1. That would be lovely. If you email me privately, I can send you the address, and would be happy to reimburse for postage and copying.

        Thanks so much!

        Sent from my iPhone



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