Katie Andraski

Perspective: Mucking With Politics

Apr 27, 2021
PIxabay

Does your political life feel like you’re slogging through piles of horse manure? Perhaps my perspective about cleaning the barn will bring an image to mind that might help.


You need special tools—a pick that has tines spaced about an inch apart--the plastic ones hold up better than the metal--a scoop shovel, a broom, and a muck bucket or wagon. We invested in a wagon because trips to the manure pile are tiresome.

Perspective: Silenced

Mar 23, 2021
Pixabay

“You talk too much,” my mother said, one arm on the steering wheel, the other holding the rim of the window. “People just aren’t interested.” Wind smeared hair in my face.

Perspective: The Barn Doors Stick In Winter

Feb 17, 2021
Katie Andraski

In the winter, the barn doors stick. It’s as though the ground grows up and grabs the bottoms, but it’s the sun melting snow on the roof and the water drips, freezes, sticking the doors to the ground. I jar and jiggle them loose.

The other day I was irritated with Bruce and lost my temper. I shoved and yanked at the door, but it wouldn’t budge because I’d yanked the trolley apart. (The trolley is the gizmo that slides the door across the rails.)

Perspective: How I Listened When I Prayed

Jan 12, 2021
Pixabay.com

Even though we're done with Christmas, I'm stuck back on the story when Gabriel told Mary she was favored of God. He said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you. She was greatly troubled at this saying and tried to discern what sort of greeting that might be" (Luke 1: 28 – 29, ESV).

Perspective: Reflections On Advent

Dec 7, 2020
Katie Andraski

As the Northern Hemisphere pitches towards the dark time, we hang lights on trees inside and outside our houses. I think about how Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.”

William Paul Young, author of “The Shack,” said that “according to John’s gospel, Jesus said this during the great day of the Feast of Booths, when young men climbed onto lampstands seventy-five feet high. They poured oil and set them on fire.” Jesus, the light of the world, said this under gigantic torches roaring, that lit up Jerusalem.

Perspective: Good Neighbors

Nov 3, 2020
Katie Andraski

“Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation” (Ps. 146:3). This rebukes my obsession with politics, as I watch the latest political drama like a jet liner pitching toward the ground and I can’t stop looking, as it explodes. I worship this obsession like a cult.

Perspective: One Small Step

Sep 29, 2020
Pixabay

The day after Ruth Bader Ginsberg died, I joined a StoryCorps One Small Step conversation while sitting in my writing chair, my books and sunshine behind me. I worried that my partner and I would get snarled in an argument. I’ve barely begun to understand what it means to be a conservative and don’t feel equipped to argue the finer points. Besides, my mind goes blank.

Perspective: Little Bird

Aug 25, 2020
Katie Andraski

The barn swallows swooped over the field as if they were telling us where Little Bird was. Dutifully Bruce looked for him, knowing he’d survived the night. I thought about the saying: What is desirable in a man is his kindness. I loved my husband.

Perspective: Joy's Call

Jul 21, 2020
K. Kliche / Pixabay

“Redeemed humanity is still young; it has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough in the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life,” says George MacDonald in C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce. I can’t shake this image of joy months since I put down Lewis’ novel where he imagines what would happen if people could take a bus out of hell to heaven.

Perspective: I Asked For Wisdom

Jun 16, 2020
justcallmeang / Pixabay

“Could you send us an article?” Andrew Sullivan, the editor of the New Republic asked in a phone call. He was responding to a letter about how as a college instructor, I’d observed that I wasn’t sure young black men wanted to take advantage of the academic help being offered. I kept my voice calm. “Sure,” I said. Maybe this was my big break.

Perspective: Things Get Better

May 12, 2020

Fifty years ago, I halted my horse by the mandrakes, far from the house, so my parents would not hear my sobs. I stepped out of the saddle and sat on a maple, newly fallen. The National Guard shot thirteen students at Kent State. Four died. Just because they protested the Vietnam war.

As a toddler, my parents put me to bed before sunset. They left the radio on. I heard the words Castro. Khrushchev. Nuclear missile crisis. Cuba. The bald man Khrushchev shouted to America: “We will bury you.”

Perspective: Good Friday

Apr 10, 2020
Katie Andraski

“You’ll be gone by spring,” said the same voice that drove me to retire. I was afraid this might be true, that I’d be dead by the time the weather warmed. Recent estate planning put death on my mind. I’ve heard enough about the frailty of old age, that it’d be all right by me to leave here with my faculties intact.

Perspective: The Humblest Gift

Mar 3, 2020
Katie Andraski

Glory be to God for poop. After a forty-degree temperature change and full water buckets, across two days, I was relieved to see big piles of manure in the mares’ wet, dirty stalls. I was relieved to see buckets drained and bright eyes and soft hellos, sounding like huh, huh, huh, with a flittering of their noses, greeting me. 

 

Perspective: Allergic To Goals

Jan 21, 2020
TeroVesalainen / Pixabay

What’s your word for the year? Your dreams? How will you make them happen? It’s January. Many of us are plotting our year. Me? I get emotional hives thinking about this. Even “to do” lists make my pen itch. I leave no checkmarks. Weekly I write down goals from two years ago.

I can plan my day, then be distracted by a friend wanting to talk, an interesting article or three on Facebook. Bruce might want to go to town. The weather can demand a response that I wasn’t planning like “Sun’s out you should ride your horse, when I felt more like doing inside work.”

Perspective: The Gifts I Desire Today

Dec 17, 2019
Katie Andraski

The night before Christmas I used be full of anticipation. I’d listen to my mother wrapping presents on the ironing board, the thump of boxes, the screech of paper being ripped, and folded around her gifts in the room next to mine. She worked late into the night. I fell asleep hoping I’d see my desires fulfilled. 

 

Perspective: Another Take On The Good Samaritan

Nov 12, 2019
Gerd Altman / Pixabay

After Jesus said the law is summed up in “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. And love your neighbor as yourself,” a hot shot preacher type piped up, “Who is my neighbor?”

“There was a man beat up by robbers and left to die,” Jesus said. He went on to talk about how the hot shot preacher types walked on by. It was the outsider, the hated Samaritan who stopped and helped the man, putting him up at an inn with plenty of money for his care. Jesus told the hot shot, “Go and do likewise.” I bet Jesus knew who the man needed to tend.

Perspective: In Defense Of Prayer

Oct 16, 2019
Myriam Zilles / Pixabay

Lately, I’ve heard people mock the idea of thoughts and prayers in the wake of a tragedy, but I have seen the power of these prayers. Jesus says we’re supposed to bug God with our requests, and that we can ask him for anything. I have prayed for friends and seen their marriages healed. I have seen daughters take an interest in faith. I have found joy again.

Perspective: A Commitment Worth Keeping

Sep 3, 2019
Katie Andraski

I came this close to selling my young mare. She was five. When she was displeased, she snapped her big white teeth at me and she bucked, with the most beautiful light buck when I pulled her away from grass. I was simply leading her. What would she do under saddle? I don’t bounce. I don’t have those youthful anti-fear hormones. Not only that, she and my other mare roared like dinosaurs trying to kill each other. My friends told me to sell her.

Perspective: Is Trump A Prophet For Our Times?

Jul 30, 2019
Katie Andraski

Back in the day, prophets wore animal skins, ate locusts and honey, stood by rivers, cried, “Repent!” These days, Donald Trump calls us to repentance. After all, hasn’t he risen out of the sea of our culture like the beast in Revelation?

The fact we elected Trump as president points to our flaws as a culture. He’s a narcissist, convinced only he can solve our nation’s problems. But don’t we shrug off help, certain we can do it ourselves? And haven’t we made selfishness a virtue, calling it self-care or following our dreams, while our loved ones cry for our attention?

Perspective: Minding My Mouth

Jun 25, 2019
Katie Andraski

 

Perspective: Sacred

May 21, 2019
Pexels via Pixabay

 

 

Perspective: Turn Off The Noise

Apr 16, 2019

During chores, I turn the radio to NPR, because I’m fascinated with current events. My attention is so fixed I almost worship the whole drama. But what good does that do? I’m aggravated or saddened by events I can’t change.

Perspective: Listen To The Trees

Mar 12, 2019
Pixabay

Do you ever notice the trees in your life — the ones you look to without thinking? When I was a girl, I’d look to the white pines that bordered our road. They reminded me of great kings and queens. I’d look to them when my dad’s headlights flashed a mile away.

Nowadays there’s an oak I look to in the corner of Peterson’s field. Its branches tilt as though a south wind permanently blows. It catches light, especially the golden light the sun throws at slate storm clouds. Sometimes a rainbow.

Perspective: Be Kind To Your Veterinarian

Jan 29, 2019

Recently we spent hours at the local emergency vet clinic. A vet tech said she left on Christmas Eve, depressed, partly worried about our dog because he’d won her heart. We told the vet to see what she found when she opened our dog.  

 

Perspective: Easing The Grief At Christmas

Dec 19, 2018

 

“The harvest is ended, the summer is past and we are not saved,” rattles through my mind like a chant this holiday season. I have bowed under the yoke of chronic grief laid across my shoulders every Christmas for years. My grief was too smelly to allow me to sit at the table.  

Note To Myself At Twenty

Nov 20, 2018

 

 

Note to myself at twenty: 

 

What's More Radical Than Resistance?

Oct 16, 2018

 

The seething anger between Americans frightens me. Pundits are saying we are as polarized as Americans before the Civil War.

 

What would happen if we did something more radical than resist? Instead of staying with easy outrage, what if we mined for common ground? I’m not sure the powers that be want us to find it, so let’s resist them.

 

How? Remember we are more than our politics.

 

Pick who you want to talk with.

 

Machetes, Mean Speech, And Genocide

Sep 11, 2018

The machete slices through the weeds, the stems bleeding milk, a plant toxic to my horses. When I read about people calling President Trump and his supporters Nazis, I hear the opening credits to Hotel Rwanda -- “The Tutsi rebels, they are cockroaches…we will squash the infestation.”  

 

The Other Side Of The Blade

Aug 7, 2018

 

Aren’t wind turbines graceful, like gymnasts doing cartwheels? Don’t they make environmental sense, better than smoke stacks burning fossil fuels?  

 

Dorothy's Gifts

Jul 3, 2018

It seemed like all my friends were getting married and I was always a bridesmaid. 

I was on my way to graduate school. A family friend, Dorothy Harro gave me two gifts. 

The first was a set of Pfaltzgraff dishes that I still use today. She didn’t want me to feel left out with all these weddings. She said she was proud of me and my independence.

The second was a day trip to go canoeing on Schroon Lake in the Adirondacks. We marveled at how mysterious a black line of rain looked. 

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