Unwelcome thoughts


My living room has two forts and one mattress. 

The forts are new. 

The mattress is left over from a sleepover the weekend before this madness hit. 

I like to keep the downstairs tidy in case we have company. 

The forts might be with us for awhile. 



My daughter’s teacher calls.

She asks if we have enough food and a thermometer.

We have the former but not the latter.

Some families have neither.

Then they chat about books.



The grocery store is out of toilet paper when I go.

The cashier takes my phone number to call me when it comes in.

Halfway through unloading my groceries the phone rings.

I go back.

I only take one package, but I want six.



We haven’t planted a garden in two years.

This week I order thousands of vegetable seeds.

I pick up seed starter and compostable pots.

We consider getting more chickens as our two are past their prime.

Should we dig a well?



The kids ride bikes to the pond.

I walk behind them, my puppy learning to walk on a leash.

When we see neighbors we say hello but stand far apart.

Do they have it?

Do we?

RACHEL WOMELSDUFF GOUGH and her family ditched the city for a patch of earth in the Snoqualmie Valley. She seeks to foster shalom in her neighborhood by rooting deeply, connecting people, and practicing hospitality. She is a Master of Divinity student at Fuller Theological Seminary, a pastoral intern at a small town church that feels like family, and she can’t live without books, coffee, and mountains.


  1. My Dear, Sweet Rachel…Longing for before and after comes through as common and as very personal to your experience of now. Sending LoVe and thinking I may buy seeds and give some away. Thank you for this and so much more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think this may be my new favorite form of your writing! I love the simplicity and concreteness of your words and images. You should keep making these for the duration of this bizarre time!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I loved this and the format as well. It’s so comforting and it made me feel…less crazy. So many thoughts like this and ideas float up in this time. It’s lovely for you to name them and show the beauty in the mundane or awkward that is now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Rachel, so good to read this from you. It’s been a very long time since we sat together and shared. (sigh). Maybe someday again. Meanwhile, stay well, stay grounded, stay grateful. This is a special time to rest in the safety of our homes and our faith.

    Liked by 1 person

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