Sunday, May 31, 2020

Around the Campfire, With You

Obviously it's been a rough week in the U.S. I've spent the last couple of days writing something about all of it (and stewing over what to say). I'll share that in the next day or two. I'm positive it won't be perfect. I've grappled with what to say. I feel horrified about the violence and injustice black people in my country and community have had to endure. I have felt like it would be worse for me to say nothing than to drop some imperfect words. I may be wrong about that.

I hope you are all staying safe, in all of your corners of the world. I love you.

It's been a strange year, and not really in the ways we usually prefer. But we'll be carrying on in Strangerville, where stories matter, because they make us laugh, grow, understand, and connect. I can never thank you all enough for helping me understand and appreciate that through your support and interaction on this incredibly stupid website hosted by an extremely outdated platform for the past 12 years.

When I write here or produce stories from you I like to imagine we've all gathered around a little fire in a small group of trees, off in some corner of a quiet forest somewhere. The burning wood crackles. We're sipping hot cocoa, or whatever you prefer. We're huddled close together in warm blankets. Someone is holding a flashlight and pulling us in with their account of something funny or sad or whatever exists between or around those two feelings. We never want the story to end because that spacethat atmosphere that the sometimes-exaggerated but always meaningful details createis home for us. A place where we are at peace together because we are together.

I think that makes me a romantic. And probably a little cheesy. For whatever reason that image of all of us, from every place and perspective, gathered in that way feels comforting to me today.

Please enjoy another one of those stories on this week's Strangerville.

This time in Strangerville, Meg and Eli were very patriotic in elementary school. And a woman tells the story of navigating the foster care system during a pandemic.
Foster, by Joy (music by by Gillicuddy)

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. Thank you Eli - for your voice, your romanticism, for providing a place for all of us strangers to feel less strange...especially at a time that life is strange, and sad, and all around odd.
    I will share my happy news - in the midst of a pandemic and husband gets to come home from Belarus, with our puppy. The kids are thrilled (understatment) and I am relieved and happy (even more of an understatement)!

    1. Yay!! That is such good news.

    2. I'm so happy to hear that, Kellie! I hope you'll celebrate over a hot pot of borsch!

    3. No - borsch will have to wait until we return to Belarus (as a family). 100+ degrees in St George is entirely too hot for hot Borsch.

  2. My very favorite blog on an outdated platform!!! So grateful for the human voice that you allow to flow freely in this venue. So many wonderfully connecting moments. Keep it up.

  3. This incredibly stupid website has been one of my greatest sources of comfort this year and this sweet post just made me cry. No matter what is happening I always know I can show up here and make sense of it with my internet family. Thank you for keeping this a priority in your busy life.

    Lovely Strangerville story today.

  4. You are always a light. Please speak, even imperfectly, because silence is agreement. I've been reading for the past eight years, and I've always found your blog to be a place of compassion, joy, community, and thoughtfulness. Please continue giving voice, and acting as an advocate. Thank you for this space.

  5. Shouldn't we be huddled in snuggies?

  6. I quite like your website. In fact, I just sent in a story to the Stranger email address.

  7. Happy for you and your family, Kellie! Yay!

    Sweet Strangerville today. Bless all the foster parents and kiddos out there. ❤️