You Need a Widgeon

When Becky wasn't much more than two and Huck was still a baby, we lived in a nice little town in Illinois, one that was a wonderful place to raise a family.

Except it wasn't where we wanted to raise our family.

There was nothing wrong with that small town; it was perfectly charming and filled with good public schools (the closest Catholic school was one town over) and truly good people, many we were blessed to call friends.

The only drawback to that small town was geographical. It was in Illinois while the majority of our extended family (and a huge - HUGE - Catholic school system) was in SW Ohio.

So we talked, Knute and I. Every night after wispy-headed Becky was tucked in and baby Huck was snuggled up, we talked and planned about how we could make IT happen.

How could be get back to Ohio?

Ohio might not be the most glamorous of places to some people* but to us it was an unreachable paradise.

Moving back to Ohio meant no more dragging of the weefolk (plus the two insane canines) back and forth across I-70 (5 hours) every two months to family events. It meant stability after years of moving with the USN from one port to another.

Moving back meant coming home, finally HOME, after so many years of being gone. And with two kids (and the thought of a third), HOME was where we finally wanted to be.

So getting back to Ohio became our personal mission; I, being the book nerd detail-oriented person I am known to be, pulled out my copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and re-read it with an eye toward our goal. I even wrote a mission statement for our family (oh yes I did).

And I began dropping Covey-speak terms into my daily conversations without realizing it.

One day as I lifted Becky onto the kitchen counter to get her shoes on, I chatted with her about how one lace crosses the other then goes through the hole - simple talk about a simple task.

"One day you'll do this, too," I told her. "You just gotta have a vision."

"A widgeon?" she asked me, her little lips puckered around the word.

I stopped tying her shoes, laughing but not wanting her to think I was laughing at her.

"Yup," I said, "A widgeon is exactly what we need."

Knute got a kick out of that moment when I told him later that night and we adopted it as our motto, one we still use today to remind us to keep a sense of humor about when we talk about vision and goals and pie-in-the-sky dreams.

Goal setting is something I do to a fault; letting go and letting life unfold as God has planned for me is something I'm not so good at doing.

It's a fine balance, isn't it?

Working and pushing forward each day toward one finish line or another versus living and accepting God's providence and blooming where I'm planted.

It takes faith and trust and the ability to laugh at myself when my widgeon flies circles around me.

I'm working on it...

*As a passionate adopted Buckeye, I do need to point out that Ohio has Cedar Point, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Kings Island, and Chad Ochocinco who is tearing up the parquet floor on DWTS. And then there's the whole OSU thing. And corn - we have lots and lots of corn fields. We're the heart of it all, baby.