She’s not a little girl any more.

Yet, Rachel will always be my daughter.  Even if her foot has been bigger than mine for over a year now.  Even if she gets taller than me.  Even when her hair begins to gray and her first wrinkles appear.


Aunt Jane and Maw-Maw Rachel came for our birthday celebration.


Sidney helped Rachel with her new watch.


Then Prairie helped her with her watch.


She requested something “flamingo-y.”


Sidney got a hug for those socks.


One of the best gifts . . . a camera discarded on a shelf, its first purpose fulfilled, finds a new purpose in the hands our girl.


The birthday girl gifted us with clarinet music.


Lincoln accompanied her on guitar.


Maw-Maw Rachel loved it when Prairie and Lincoln sang hymns.


Happy Birthday, my sweet Rachel, my daughter.

A poor wastewater man’s daughter

She gets dragged on jobs with her Daddy.

And sometimes they are not installing new, unused systems.

Sometimes they do maintenance on systems in use, systems that need trouble shooting, tweaking or filter cleaning.

On this day, they are checking and cleaning grease traps, which Rachel discovers is offensive to her nose.

Don’t feel too sorry for her though.

At the end of the day, she gleefully enumerated all the contraband her Daddy supplied her with to make the day palatable —

  1.  breakfast at McDonalds made arising in the early dark and entering the cold a motivational experience
  2. lunch at a campground cafeteria they worked at
  3. an over-sized cinnamon bun from Stick Boys to make the long drive home a bit less tedious

She also saw 2 dogs, one Sid knew was named Nollie.  Rachel took the liberty of naming the other dog Corey, because really, how can a girl pet and become acquainted with a dog without a name to address it?  She also met a friendly cat who sat on her lap,.  She named it Longtail, because  . . . .well, she is a practical girl.

To top it all off, her lunch experience was enhanced by this fellow . . .


By her smiles, chatter and good cheer, I doubt Rachel thinks there is anything “poor” about being the daughter of a wastewater man.


11 Years ago today,

you slipped from my womb and I saw you for the first time.

I met red hair and a gentle spirit and waited to see what more time would reveal —- who you would become.

You have become a girl with little time to be concerned with her hair or matching clothes.  You give no thought to hair still retaining the oil we put in to work out tangles or a sweater worn backward with a tag sticking out at your neck.  Why concern yourself with such trivialities when there are birthday candles with sweet dirt cake needing to licked?

You are busy and creative —- doing your schoolwork, completing chores, writing stories and poems, drawing flamingos, making art from trash, creating a whole world of characters with your sister.

You focus on the important things.


You are a girl who asks for very little, and you are joyful when you receive it.  You take joy in small things.


You love words and reading.  And you are not too self-conscious to be silly and laugh at yourself.


You treasure birthday cards and love to reread throughout the year, remembering the people who gave them to you.  You treasure memories and people.


You still have the red hair and gentle spirit, but you are so much more now.  So much more and so much better than I could have ever imagined.

I love you, my dear girl.