Rocky cliffs and sandy beaches, books and art, farms, family history, and lots of animals, have been part of my life ever since my childhood in a town on the coast of Maine.
I biked to beaches where friends and I jumped waves, collected beach glass, and rode home, sticky with salt and sand. On one beach bordering a tidal river, we watched lobster boats chug out to sea and at low tide walked far out on sandbars with ripples like the ridges on potato chips.
In between the beaches, rocky headlands jut out into the Atlantic, and on one of those, the artist Winslow Homer once lived and painted his great seascapes. I grew up with stories of his friendship with my great-grandfather, and I often walked around the cliff path where Homer observed storms and studied waves.
Every week I pedaled my green bike to the library. There the special smell of books and paper, wooden floors, and dust, met me and drew me into the children’s room, where sunlight streamed through big, old-fashioned windows. I devoured stories about Maine, animals, and history: One Morning in Maine, the We Were There series, Charlotte’s Web, and Misty of Chincoteague.
I learned family history while shelling peas with my grandmother on her sun porch. On my dad’s side, two brothers arrived in town in the 1600s from England. My mother’s Scottish family first settled in Nova Scotia, then came to Maine in the early 1900s. These men and women farmed, fished, ran small businesses, and helped build the town through good and bad times.
After marriage, my husband and I moved to a farm of our own. Woodstoves warmed us in winter and boxes of kittens or ducklings and piglets in the spring. In the summer a pony named Champ munched grass in the field, while our goats and their frisky kids sneaked into the garden.
We planned to stay there, but the Lord had other plans; He called us to pastoral ministry, so we moved to St. Louis for seminary. And it was in St. Louis, teaching 4th graders, that God brought all my experiences and interests together into a love for teaching and writing about nature, art, children’s literature, and church history.
We’ve since lived many places, enjoying fields of wildflowers in the Midwest and sunsets over the Rockies. It’s hard to beat walking your dogs or trail riding in these beautiful places!
We’ve traveled even farther, and everywhere we study history and visit art and science museums, discovering God’s creativity and care. And in all the places He has taken us, it has been my joy to be able to teach and write about church history, art, and writing.