Trees of Transition

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


Misty Mornings and Thoughts on Home Change

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This week the mornings have refreshed me more than usual because of the wet, bright, mistiness that has met me as I walked out of my door. A couple days the sun shone brightly on all the new spring greenery, and a couple days the smell of rain and dew hung in the air as the sun fought to shine its brightest. All of these mornings remind me of hope and new beginnings…

My current season of life exudes hope; therefore, this weather met me where with how I was feeling inside: Excited, expectant (about finally being married!), a little sad (my Dad is doing better, but he is not like he used to be), mixed with great hope for the journey ahead.

The weather does help us process life. For example, last weekend my Mom held a huge garage sale to clear out her basement and garage. The first day was overcast, but dry, and dozens of people came to find the treasures. The next day, however, it rained; the rain started with a little sprinkle and progressing to large, steady drops for hours. Because my Mom and brother advertised so well, people STILL showed up and bought more of the things before a junk man took the leftovers away. My Mom repeatedly said, “It helped that is was raining because I’m sort of sad getting rid of all these things. The rain helped…” My Dad is already in Rockford, and my Mom is moving up there soon after she gets the house on the market, so lots of things have been changing. Continue reading


Running to See My Honey and Thoughts on Home

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Yesterday summer did a trial run here in the Midwest, and we got 80 degree weather! I finally ran the 3.5 miles from my apartment to Stephen’s place, and I stopped and shot a few photos along the way. The sun slanted its ray across my path at points, many people were outside–mowing or just enjoying being outside after many frozen days. The apple blossoms made me so happy with their snowy grace and lingering scent. Come, run along with me:

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On Hold? Just Start Dancing!


Ever have to wait on hold for a long time to figure out some business with an insurance company? Well, I had to do that today; I knew it would be a long wait, so I did some sorting of papers and some push-ups while I had my phone on speaker phone. After 40 minutes I started to worry that it would take hours to get through! The “on hold” music the company had was cheerful and they varied it in a fun way, so it didn’t get boring until I started hearing the first song in the loop again. Continue reading


I Appreciate How My Home School Mom Did This: Boomerang Learning (Especially on the Topic of Writing)

Home Schooling’s Black, White, and Gray Series 1, Episode 3

My Mom tells me that at age two I filled pages with squiggly lines because I already loved “writing.” My Mom modeled writing for me, and since her Mom was also a writer, the writing gift flowed down to me.
In our home school, Mom gave each of my siblings and I thick notebooks, which we decorated and turned into journals. This week I’ve been re-reading that journal, and it’s taken me back into the quiet home school life of when I was aged eight, nine, and ten.
I have journals that I started writing at age 8 and go to the present time. From about age 10 until age 25, I journaled about almost every day of those fifteen years, and I treasure those entries. Re-reading these journals gives me a stronger remembrance of my thoughts about being home-schooled, some of which I will share with you here and in future posts.
My Mom chose the type of parenting where she showed us how to do something (as much as she knew) and then, like releasing a boomerang, she let us go, and we would go out as far as we could, come back, touch base a bit more, and then go out farther the next time, eventually passing her skill level. With me she did this in the areas of sewing (she taught me how to use her sewing machine, and then let me sew!), cooking (I started helping her when I was two, and by age 12 I cooked a lot of our family’s meals), and writing. She still helps me with my writing at times, so we are still working together in that area. She catches mistakes and is an effective proofreader! The biggest thing my Mom has done as my writing teacher is being my encourager; she started when I was two and has never stopped.

This is a drawing of my Dad chopping firewood from my first journal.

By M. H. Campbell Copyright 2014

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A Year Since a Sudden Good-bye

I didn’t get to say good-bye to my brother-in-law before he died. He hadn’t wanted people to know how sick he was, so my sister didn’t tell family until he was almost gone. I got to the hospital 30 minutes too late. What made it real was seeing his shrouded form underneath the sheet that covered him.
I did make it in time to love and support my sister. I mobilized people and found a church where we could have a service to honor Don’s life.

Don had a great smile, he loved to give. He designed amazing furniture and was a true artist. He loved my sister and was her best friend for over 40 years. (This is making me tear up!)

He encouraged me in my career; he and my sister bought me fancy suits to wear to interviews. He was the first guy to buy me a necklace; I’m wearing it today.

He loved buying kids presents; he had a rough exterior, but a big, loving heart, and he is missed.

Good-bye, Don. See you on the other side.


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2013 was a Very “Life-y” Year


You may ask, “What’s life-y?” Well, it means pertaining to how life works: it’s messy, joyful, amazing, dreadful, painful, glorious, boring, humdrum, dirty, wonderful, and many more adjectives…

In the realm of romantic relationships, 2013 started with a guy (the Egyptian dentist to be specific) asking me out, and then a few days later calling it off. I let him know that was hard, and to try not to do that again if he wants to be with someone; he responded by calling me a “gem.” Then I moved on and dated someone for six months, learned a lot more about loving and trusting. In the summer he broke up with me, I took time to recover before getting to know more guys who had similar interests and Master’s degrees and who liked to read and teach…then 2013 ended with a bam: of a guy I was interested in letting me know he wasn’t interested anymore.

In all, I had a crash course in dating. Dating includes a lot of rejection, so I could look at 2013 as the year that started and ended with rejections, or I could look at it as a year where I really opened up my heart and took a lot more risks in regards to relationships. I choose to view 2013 as the learning to be risky year.

Other life-y things that happened include getting a job at a school I LOVE, and having wonderful leaders and co-workers. I got to work with the leaders of my church a lot more, and I transitioned through a change-over in leadership at the youth group at church and at my school. I finally finished my Masters of Arts in Teaching degree and got to graduate and wear the cool white and gold Masters’ hood.

My sister got engaged in Paris! My brother and his wife adopted an amazing baby boy in July, so I became an aunt! My older sister’s husband passed away suddenly the next month…I got closer to all three of these siblings…my younger brother’s band did even bigger tours this year and sound even better. A high school friend died suddenly. My parents were separated for six months and then got back together just in time for the holidays. I started writing more!

So do you see what I mean by 2013 being “life-y”? 2013 had all the facets of life bursting out of it’s seams: birth, death, love, grief, graduation, engagement, and fulfillment of dreams. 2014 is going to be so much better.