Hi, I'm Dawn Klinge, welcome!  I write here because doing so helps me to take notice of the sweet things in life.




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Cat in a tree


When I picked my daughter up from school today, it was with the greatest excitement and happiness.  I was so anxious to tell her the good news.  After four long days of being stuck 50 ft high in a tree, our prayers were answered, and her cat has finally been rescued.  The reunion was the sweetest thing ever- a remarkably healthy cat, purring and nuzzling her very relieved girl.  The days preceding this one have not been easy.  Very little sleep and a whole lot of feeling distracted and helpless have been the reasons that I have not written here in over a week.  Besides that, I don't like sad stories, so I was waiting for a happy ending to this one.  Today, we got our happy ending.


photo by Shawn Sears, Canopy Cat Rescue We first noticed that the cat was missing on Monday, but we think she ended up in the tree sometime on Sunday.  After looking around, we heard her crying, and finally discovered her high up in a neighbor's tree.  The crying was what tormented me.  I can't handle seeing any living thing suffer, having it be our daughter's beloved cat made it all the worse.  We tried many things to get her down....fire dept. (they don't come) a bucket raised up on poles, a bucket raised up with a rope pulley,  waiting it out, food at the base of the tree, one unsuccessful tree climber/cat rescue guy that scared her higher into the tree, a friend with a boom truck (but then it wouldn't work), and finally, Canopy Cat Rescue.     The guy from Canopy Camp Rescue knew what he was doing and he was gentle with her.  It was risky to send someone up after her, but we felt like if we waited any longer, she would die of dehydration.             

There was a whole lot of cheering when our hero safely put the cat in his bag and started descending the tree. 

Now we can enjoy our weekend.  It's going to be a fun one, with a wedding to go to!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend as well.


What's Up Wednesday- back to school

 Well, the kids are back to school, and this structure loving mama is happy.  Yay, for routines and schedules!  I don't even care that my days now start much earlier than usual (6am) or that I'm back to being the family taxi driver.  I like our school year schedule.

My daughter started high school yesterday.  Her new school is much smaller than most high schools in the area, but it still has 300 kids.  Overall, she said she had a great day and she likes her teachers, the students, and her classes.  The only complaint I heard had to do with all the waiting she has to do now.  Sharing a school with 300 other students will definitely bring about some lessons in patience that homeschooling might not have brought.  There was already a threat of lockdown, but it was for a mama bear and two cubs that were seen across the street.  I don't have a first day of school picture of her to share.  She let us take a picture, but she prefers not to share it...even though she did look really cute. 


Trent is back to homeschooling, fourth grade this year.  My little science loving kid is off to a good start.  So far, he says his favorite part of school is reading Diary of an Early American Boy.  The "favorites" picture that you saw at the beginning of this post is something that we also did a couple of years ago.  It was fun to look back and see what has changed and what hasn't. 

And finally, a tall ship.  There were a couple of these sailing around Lake Washington last weekend.  I wish that I could have had a closer look.  I've been on a bit of a history kick lately, so I was excited to see these boats.  The book, Undaunted Courage, about Lewis and Clark, is what has pulled my attention back to studying history.  It's a fascinating book.  I'll recommend a movie that I just watched too, from the same time period.  It's about William Wilberforce and the abolition of the slave trade throughout the British Empire, called Amazing Grace.  What a great story. 

 So that's what's up this Wednesday.  What's up with you?


A Fair Is A Veritable Smorgasbord


A fair is a veritable smorgasbord orgasbord orgasbord
After the crowds have ceased
Each night when the lights go out
It can be found on the ground all around
Oh, what a ratly feast!  

  -Templeton's song from Charlotte's Web

 That song keeps playing in my head.  I went to the fair this weekend.  The Evergreen State Fair in Monroe is a classic, 4-H animals, blue ribbon vegetables, tractors, scones, carnival, rodeo kind of event.  I've never been to this particular fair before, not having grown up around here, but it felt like home.  It felt like a necessary part to the rhythm of the seasons, the only proper way to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall. 








the story of how I met Jesus


Earlier this summer, I read something here, titled, Six Stories Every Mom Should Tell Their Kids. I tell my kids these stories, and some of them, like how I met their Dad, I even write down.. That's a big part of why I keep this blog...so my kids will know our stories. But I realized, that I've never told them, except in passing, my most important story- about how I met Jesus. And you, dear friends, I haven't told either. I'm sorry for that. I haven't made my faith in Jesus a secret, but I don't often write about how important he is to me. That has been intentional, as I have always wanted this space to be welcoming for everyone, no matter what you believe- and I still want it to be that. But today, I'm going to go out on a limb and risk a little discomfort. I'm going to tell that most important story-for my kids, and for you, who I care about too much not to tell......


I was five years old.  The tissue thin pages of my tiny new testament stuck together as I tried to turn the pages. I pulled a patchwork quilt over my head and shone a flashlight on the book as I squinted and struggled to sound out the words on the first page, Matthew chapter 1, which is more of a list, a genealogy with some long foreign sounding names. By the time I sounded out an entire sentence, I had to start all over again. It took so long to read that I forgot what it was saying in the first place. Earlier that night, I had raised my hand and gone towards the front of the church when the speaker had asked, “Does anyone want to invite Jesus into their heart?” He said that they had something to give me if I went forward. I liked free stuff, and I had enjoyed the evening of puppets and princesses and stories about Jesus, so I went. It was a new bible that they gave me, along with a prayer that I repeated, and an explanation that went something like, Jesus knocking on the door of my heart and wanting to come in and live there. I didn't really know how Jesus could fit in my heart and how he would get there, but I decided to worry about that later. Maybe that would be explained in my new bible. I knew that my parents would make a big deal out of it when I told them- and they did. They were very happy, but then they told me that I needed to quit reading my bible and go to sleep. Instead, I hid under the covers with a flashlight and read, or tried to, until I fell asleep. Years later, I would wonder if that prayer I had repeated had been real, or simply the childish response of a kindergartener who wanted nothing more than to please her parents and get a prize.


The excitement I felt on that night as a five year old, holding my bible and trying to figure out what this Jesus stuff was all about, is a memory that's sharply etched in my mind. It was the start of something wonderful that continues to this day. I don't remember much of my life before this time, and I don't have a dramatic “before and after story” to tell you. I have doubted the reality of my conversion at times, particularly in light of those cloudy motives and my profound lack of understanding at the time. But ultimately, I'm assured that in spite of all that, something very real happened. It was real, not because of anything I had done, but because this is when Jesus reached down and said, “you're mine.” I have felt his presence in my life ever since, sometimes strongly, other times, barely at all, yet always, he's there, loving me, pulling me towards him. That night of reading my bible under the covers with a flashlight, over 30 years ago, I remember the swirly pink and orange floral pattern of my sheets, my white and black cat named Cuddles curled up next to me, purring loudly, and I remember the decision I made, that I was going to love Jesus, and that I was going to get up and learn to read the next day- because I really wanted to be able to read my bible.


Eventually I was reading, but reading and understanding my bible was a whole lot harder than reading about Dick and Jane. In time, the little new testament with the tissue thin pages was lost and I quit reading it. I felt guilty about that.


Over the next few years, I would raise my hand and walk up church aisles often to repeat the “sinner's prayer.” I found that in doing so, it made people happy, so I kept doing it. I was also terrified of going to hell- and this prayer was supposed to be my ticket out of there. Still, at the same time, I didn't really want to go to heaven either. I had been taught that heaven was a place where we would worship God for eternity, which I still believe to be true, but worship, in my mind, meant standing in church for a really long time, while people sang songs that I didn't care for and clapped on the wrong beat. Better than burning forever, maybe, but not by much. I've since learned differently.


I felt terrible for having such thoughts. So I would try to be better, to read my bible, to pray, to be nicer, to do all the things that I believed would make me a good Christian. Learning that I had some wrong thinking, that God's love for me is pure grace, that there's nothing I can do to earn it, that my love and obedience to him is simply a response to what he has done for me first- these are all truths that I'm still soaking in. I don't need to feel guilty. My sins, past, present, and future, were forgiven that first time I prayed and invited Jesus to be in my life. By God's grace, I'm growing closer to him each day and I'm learning that Jesus has so much more to offer me than a ticket out of hell. He's there for me in my daily life, helping me and bringing joy...but it's not all about me. He does those things so that my life can be a reflection of his amazing love and draw more people to him. That's what it's all about. It's all about Jesus.



    But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. -Titus 3:4-5



There have been some long pauses in my spiritual growth, but Jesus has been patient with me. I think this idea of unmerited grace is vitally important to understanding how a relationship with Jesus works. Because as soon as we start to think that Jesus loves us because of something we've done to earn it, that's where pride comes in. And pride is just as much a sin as anything else. While some sins may have bigger consequences in our daily lives, I don't believe that God rates them. Sin is sin, and we all sin.  Pride is a particular sin that I happen to struggle with.  I may look like a "good" person on the outside, but I need Jesus just as much as anyone else does.  Nobody can be reconciled to God without accepting that Jesus died on the cross as a substitute for us, because he is the only one who ever lived without sin. He became alive again, and forty days later, went to heaven to be with God his Father, to mediate for us so that all people can be forgiven if we only ask and commit our lives to loving Jesus.  It's not necessary to understand everything first, before making that decision to love Jesus.  As a five year old, I did not, and I still don't, understand it all, but as I search for answers and study, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I grow in my understanding, and my faith becomes deeper.  I know that it's not a popular belief anymore, to say that there is only one way to heaven, but it's the truth, as told in God's inspired words, the Bible.


I know that this is a much longer post than usual, and if you read all of this, thank you. I really do believe that this is the most important story I have to tell. I also know that sharing something so personal can make people feel uncomfortable. Just know, that I share this because you're important to me, and I believe that a relationship with Jesus is available for everyone, and that, if it isn't already, it can be the most important story in your life as well. Your story will be different, but it's no less important.




Mt, Rainier Scenic Railroad

Another fun thing that I did with my family last week, was to take a ride on the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad.  It's a short two hour round trip on a steam train from Elbe to Mineral WA.    It felt like we stepped back into another era.  I really would have loved it if we all could have worn clothes appropriate to the steam train era...but that's just me.  I love costumes.  The trip was scenic, as the name suggests, mostly through woodland, but I must admit to feeling a little disappointment at not actually getting any views of Mt. Rainier from the train.  With the name it has, it seemed like we should have actually been able to see the mountain.  Oh well.  It was still worth the trip. 

 One other note, that I wish I would have known beforehand, is that cash is necessary in the town of Elbe.  It's a tiny little place and most businesses do not take debit cards.  We had planned to buy lunch before we boarded the train, but not having any cash on hand, we ended up eating gas station/microwave hamburgers from the only place in town that we could find that took debit cards.  I will not make that mistake again.

Here's what we saw....