Trees of Transition

Comfort for people going through life transitions by sharing thoughts, photos, cards, and recipes.


28 Comments

Our Engagement Story: The “Train Guy” Asked Me to Marry Him!

20151023-153621-56181664.jpg

It all began at the College Avenue train station platform back in January of 2013 at 6am… One dark, cold morning as we waited for the train to come to take us downtown Chicago, Stephen stood next to me, and he started talking. He cheerfully said, “Good morning!” and then talked with me until the train arrived. His friendliness surprised me, and he seemed nice; however, since I had just started dating someone else, I kept things cool. We said “Hi!” to each other after that because we often sat in the same train car.

A couple months later, when I sat there talking on the phone to my long-distance boyfriend, after seeing Stephen looking at me, this thought ran through my head: “Why am I dating someone 1,000 miles away when there’s a perfectly interested guy sitting right over there!?” I shook the thought off and dated the long-distance guy until he broke up with me. I wasn’t ready for Stephen then because he both annoyed and intrigued me… (Early in the morning he talked loudly with his train buddies in the train, and he seemed to me like a boring suburbanite…I didn’t know that he had grown up in vineyard country, loved chopping firewood and the outdoors, loved God…I could sense that he was interested, but I had some growing up to do.) Over the next year and a half I tried going on over a dozen first dates with other guys (that never worked out, but) while running into Stephen a few times at church because his friend Lauren had invited him.

Continue reading


6 Comments

Blogging Goals: To Copy the Wife of an Ex-boy-friend (ish type of guy)

photo 2

Motivation arises from all sorts of places. Seven years ago, this guy and I never officially dated in my mind (so he was a friend who was a boy, and I thought we had lots of potential but he didn’t initiate beyond friendship), and I still don’t know what it was in his mind. After being friends for ten months, it still hadn’t gotten clear, so I just ended the friendship without a discussion. (Now I know that is not the way to do things, but I was learning, okay?)

Continue reading


5 Comments

Love Is…and Poetry Writing Tidbits

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

love flows in softly,

love begins through kindness.

love says “Good morning.”

love boards a train.

love rides behind you.

love wonders about you.

Love reaches out, “Hi!”

LOve takes you dancing,

LOVe flys you away,

LOVE holds you tight.

By M. H. Campbell

Thank you, Darlene, (at https://darlenescorner.wordpress.com) for giving me this challenge. I had fun, and I enjoyed reading your poem as well.

A friend asked my advice for how to write poetry, so here a few thoughts for if you are stuck and have to write a poem, but the ideas aren’t coming:

Continue reading


7 Comments

Getting to Know Your Mate Deeper: What ARE the Ways They Apologize and Feel Loved?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What does your mate need to say in order for you to feel he or she has truly apologized to you and made peace? Since I’ve been little, I’ve felt the need to hear someone say, “I’m sorry about forgetting to call you, will you forgive me?” And then I get to respond and in my mind, the situation has been resolved. Since entering the adult world, I’ve found out that not everyone apologizes this way…

Continue reading


6 Comments

I Walk in the Door and it Smells Spicy

20150128-092113-33673856.jpg
My boyfriend surprised me with a stem of lilies all wrapped up in tissue paper; now when I enter my home this one stem has enough perfume to fill my whole apartment with the spicy, earthy fragrance of star-gazer lilies. My boyfriend is the best!

20150128-092227-33747126.jpg

By M. H. Campbell

Copyright 2015


Leave a comment

I Wish I Hadn’t Said That….Grrrrr

Processing Regret from Saying Stupid Things To a Cute Guy

The first statement that I said that has haunted me a bit is “You remind me of a combination of both of my brothers.” I meant he looked cute like both of my handsome brothers and had some of their other positive qualities such as kindness, brains, and love for God.

I did not convey all of that background knowledge when I said, “You remind me of a combination of both of my brothers,” and if there had been any spark, it was gone after that, and he soon started dating his eventual wife. This reminded me that guys can’t read my mind and to communicate clearly!

 Another statement I said to a guy that I regret is: “Don’t do that! [Act very different when following God’s leading to do something.] Stay the same. Learn to integrate them so that it doesn’t feel like you’re two different people.” Reflecting back on this situation, I didn’t like feeling uncomfortable, so I tried to control the situation. The guy never did it again with me, but I see now how I wasn’t able just to let him be who he was. There probably was some truth in my observations, but I could have just trusted the guy and not cared about the awkwardness his actions were causing.

 Via text: “No, I’ll be awake for a while.” Letting the conversation stop there would have been best! Late night texting with a guy you are not married to is not wise. Thoughts turn to areas that you don’t need to talk about with someone you don’t know well.

When I think about these three situations, I wince a bit, have a twinge of regret, but then just decide to learn from the situations. I’ve said these things once and seen the results, so now I know not to do these things again. Three important lessons I learned from these experiences include:

  1. Guys can’t read my mind!
  2. Late night texting is not a great idea…
  3. Let the guy be who he is, and don’t try to change him.

Copyrighted 2014 by M. H. Campbell


9 Comments

Give Short Guys a Chance!

Ladies, Let’s Break Out of Disney’s Myth of Needing to be with a Guy who is Tall

In the movies, the stunning heroine marries the handsome and TALL hero, and they look perfect together. I’m guessing that in animation, there is some formula to calculate the perfect height ratio of prince to princess; however, in real life, there is no such formula, and we don’t have to give that idea power in our lives!
I’m just releasing myself from a mindset I had of believing I SHOULD be with a guy like my brothers (who are tall and handsome); yes, I desire to be with someone who makes my heart skip a beat, but he might not be the Hollywood version of a hottie, and that is becoming fine with me.

Think about it: If you are with a guy who everyone thinks is cute, you will have to work more at managing jealousy and feelings of possessiveness than if you were with a guy who is wonderful and cute in your eyes.
The world’s standards of handsomeness and beauty change, but the character of the person is what is most important.
I’ve found that as I’ve gone on dates with all types of guys that the shorter guys tended to be more real, more emotionally present, and more interested in me as a person. When a person has to work more for something, character (the values that drive a person’s life) is built, and out of harder situations comes empathy, care, and LOVE. There are many tall guys with these qualities as well, but some shorter guys may have an extra dose, and I value that.
So don’t just write off a guy because he is shorter or the same height as you. Tall does not need to be on the “must have” list; we all shrink as we grow older as well, so maybe you’ll shrink at different rates and even out!
It also can be fun–figuring out who needs to hunch or stand on tippy toes so that in a photo you don’t see the difference.
But seriously, there are shorter men out there with strong character, fun personalities, that are romantic, and if you are open, you could fall in love with one of them!

20141018-164424-60264209.jpg


Leave a comment

You Are Loved

The leaf, crafted with intention, landed there by the lake for me to ponder and remember: I am loved!

What does love look like?
Love shows up through the twinkle in the eyes a person when you walk into the room.
Love comes through the shape of a hug, a creamy rose, a heart, a crunchy leaf…

Look at the intricate beauty of a cottonwood leaf fallen to the stones, and see the creative message just for you: You are loved!

-M. H. Campbell

20141014-162207-58927997.jpg


Leave a comment

Coffee Shop Quartet of Conversations

It amazes me what connections happen if you’re open and just start conversations! Last week I walked into a local coffee shop, ordered a mulled cider with whipped cream, and found a satisfying corner in which to read and write. I made great progress reading a helpful book called The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People, then a stylish gal sat down on the couch across from me.

When she tried to figure out where the plug was for her phone in a case with 1/2-inch rivets, I helped her, and then we started talking about her phone case. That conversation led to talking about why she was here: to surprise her sister because it was Canadian Thanksgiving last weekend.

This lady with 4-inch heels, Tamara, loves horses, her five sisters, and knows over five languages. After a while, a guy with a cane who had lost his hearing aides came and sat down in our cove. He introduced himself as Peter, and we all talked about the weather.

Finally, Tamara’s brother-in-law came back and surprised his wife and daughter with their aunt! We all introduced ourselves and talked a bit.
The family eventually moved where there was more space, Peter told me about how going into the military is a good career choice, and then he had to get home, so my cove cleared out. Tamara came back to get her studded phone and said good-bye.

I’m so thankful we started talking! The care and life of the conversations just kept growing as more people arrived. A seventy-year old man grinned at the one-year old niece, and she laughed back. The sisters hugged and were so happy to be together.

The generations need to interact because it reminds us where we have been or where we are going. The smiles, stories, and hugs release life, and so now I’m more open and eager to have this kind of inter-generational experience again! All you need to do is find a corner in a coffee shop and start a conversation…

20141013-131723-47843227.jpg


Leave a comment

Roses, Donuts, and Dances

Wedding Lessons: Helpful Things to Know

Last week my sister married her best friend Danny!
Here’s some helpful and fun things that I learned from helping with my sister’s wedding:

-Ruth gave all of her bridesmaids a soft pink robe to wear as we were getting ready for the ceremony. It made us all feel special and beautiful. The dresses she had us pick from also looked great on all of us; a dusty mauve and we got to pick styles that fit us :).

-Make sure your parents get to the church! When we came down from our hotel room, my parents had missed the shuttle, so we all crowded into the limo, and we all made it to the church in time.

-At the ceremony in the church, just seeing how joyful and happy Ruth and Danny were made me beam! The Ave Maria made me tear up.

-Fresh flowers are worth the money. My sister chose roses, and their fragrance added to the beauty of the day.

-Donuts instead of wedding cake is a fun change of pace. My sister got The Donut Vault to drive their old-fashioned donut truck to the venue to serve amazing, moist cake donuts! Triple chocolate, chestnut, and wedding cake were among the options. My sister had two for everyone, and there were a lot left over.

-Live music and dancing added to the night. Danny and Ruth’s dance lessons paid off because they looked like they knew what they were doing. They are a handsome couple.

-Having over a year to plan gave my sister time to plan a gorgeous wedding. It also gave us time to get closer, so I’m thankful they took so long.

Congratulations, Ruth and Danny!

20140809-091744-33464348.jpg