Bean Counters

by Stefani on 6-October-2008

I turned the radio off this morning. 

I usually like to listen to NPR's Morning Edition while I stir oatmeal and slather apple butter on biscuits, but it's gotten to be too depressing. I can't see starting the day off to the clanging gong of mudslinging politicians, empty promises, blame gaming, gloom and doom. 

I'd rather hear the birds outside my window and my neighbor chasing a giggling toddler around their drive. 

Those sounds are more hopeful. 

With bowls and spoons rinsed, and shoes located and tied, we walked in the woods. 

My men stuffed their pockets with acorns, their fists with blooming "weeds" and didn't think, not for an instant, that pockets should jingle or that fists are for dollars. 


They don't worry about money, and I envy them that a little. 

There, in the woods, gold is falling.

This is a fact that has nothing at all to do with the stock market or bailouts or a credit crisis, and everything to do with beauty, and the silent promise that this too shall pass. 

At home, all their collected assets decorated our table as lavishly as any magazine cover. 


These days the cool mornings and all the yellow fullness of fall keep us outside for our studies. 

My men are carefree, busy little things,  alternately working and chasing chickens, and of course, marveling at their good fortune – "Don't you just love all the things we gathered up for you Mama?" 

They read, and they delight in rows of numbers, while I delight in the fact that even as all the furrowed brows on Wall Street are calculating the future, there is no fear at all in my own little bean counter's adding and subtracting. 

There is only the miraculousness of order, the "magic" of math. 

Bean Counters

What more could a mother ask for her sons than that they may hold onto what they already have…  they are surrounded by gold that is free for the taking,  their tables overflow with bounty, their pockets are full of wonder, their minds are full of eagerness, their hearts are wide open. 

We are so very rich. 


Angela October 6, 2008 at 8:30 pm

Thank you for the perspective. The beauty. And the hope.

Hannah October 6, 2008 at 8:34 pm

Yes, you are. You certainly are.

amylouwho October 6, 2008 at 8:45 pm

Beautiful, as always. I love not hearing the constant chatter of the news. It is depressing. I like the chatter of my kids much better. Like you said, it’s hopeful.

Lynn October 6, 2008 at 8:45 pm

That was lovely. Thanks so much.

Mary Smith October 6, 2008 at 8:51 pm

You said it. Nature reminds us of the God of the universe who has His good hand in everything.

melissa s. October 6, 2008 at 9:12 pm

oh yes indeedy. i so love that you can extend the ‘this too shall pass’ mommy mantra to wall street. so, so true.

brit October 6, 2008 at 9:16 pm

fabulous tablecloths always help magic bean counters on. Hello favoritest sheet (mine is waiting to be washed and plunked down on the table in celebration of Autumn.

As for the rest. Oy.

Steph October 6, 2008 at 10:52 pm

*sigh* you are rich indeed

Michelle Cowden October 6, 2008 at 10:54 pm

I always look forward to your posts and I especially love this one.

silvia October 7, 2008 at 1:17 am

so beautiful.

Diana October 7, 2008 at 1:26 am

Such a beautiful post, thank you. THere’s so much beauty in the every day, in nature, in what surrounds us. And not on the radio and television.

Sarah October 7, 2008 at 3:28 am

What a wonderful perspective and commentary.

Holly C October 7, 2008 at 3:41 am

Oh, thank you for this wonderful post which reminds me what is really important in life.

You guys rock!

Julie @ Letter9 October 7, 2008 at 4:11 am

I am a firm believer in knowing only enough news to be aware of what’s going on, and then shutting it all off and enjoying the world.

Beautiful post. Words AND pics.

amy October 7, 2008 at 4:39 am

that was a great post gal! xo

kristin at prairie daze October 7, 2008 at 4:42 am


erin October 7, 2008 at 4:44 am

you know it.
{thank you for the package – it came late last week. what a wonderful surprise!}

Heather October 7, 2008 at 5:06 am

What a beautiful post. Thank you for the gentle reminder to enjoy the bounty that surrounds you.

natasha s October 7, 2008 at 5:18 am

Wonderful,wonderful post.
I too silenced the media in our house.Ssshhhhush I say.Enjoy the silence:0)
Have a great day

Aunt LoLo October 7, 2008 at 5:25 am

That is beautiful! Fall is my favorite season, by far…and you captured its beauty perfectly.

elissa Finger October 7, 2008 at 5:37 am

oh my. you’re going to make me bawl again this morning aren’t you? 😉

Natalie October 7, 2008 at 5:49 am

Made me think of Robert Frost:
“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.”

Mama Urchin October 7, 2008 at 6:16 am

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much happier the world would be if our currencies were sea glass and acorns.

Kathleen October 7, 2008 at 6:22 am


Casey October 7, 2008 at 6:24 am

Ah, this is like taking a deep, cleansing breath.

Thank you!

Stefanie October 7, 2008 at 6:38 am

I have stopped listening to talk radio and I barely watch the news. I try to enjoy my early morning catching up with blogs, they are my “happy place”.

Its times like this it is better to look at the good otherwise the bad will eat you alive if you let it.

Sarah October 7, 2008 at 6:49 am

Going to school in the good ol’ outdoors…absolutely delightful!

Tabitha Blue October 7, 2008 at 6:58 am

Such a great post. So optimistic and hopeful… what we all need right now!

erika October 7, 2008 at 7:04 am


tracey October 7, 2008 at 7:48 am


Thank you for helping reorient my day.

Barbara October 7, 2008 at 8:23 am

what a beautiful post, thank you!

Baba October 7, 2008 at 8:47 am

Great look on life mom. Good Job, keep it up. Yes, you are very lucky!

BusyDayCake October 7, 2008 at 9:08 am

I realized this morning that I need to tell you how much I enjoy reading your postings. I’m so intrigued with the blogging community, the power it gives me to post and to read others’ postings. I guess it makes me feel less isolated in the daily, albeit sacred, grind of motherhood. Thanks for sharing.

Katie October 7, 2008 at 9:25 am

Oh sounds like a Frost poem. Rich indeed!

As always, beautiful.

Colleen October 7, 2008 at 11:07 am

That was a beautiful post, we should all look at life through the eyes of children.

Regina October 7, 2008 at 12:43 pm

Thank you for this – I have been feeling removed from the angst in the news -and this helps verbalize why… when I can see the world through the eyes of a 3 year old, whose most valuable possessions are his books and stories, and who looks for the moon every night.

Ginger October 7, 2008 at 12:49 pm

I just received a pillow case that has become a market bag for my sister in the same pattern as your table cloth! Such a small world. On another note, we are so rich indeed – I love the gold of Autumn.

sarah October 7, 2008 at 2:28 pm


Kristi October 7, 2008 at 3:53 pm

ahhh, love to keep up you guys. Great pic of Ryder.

leslie October 7, 2008 at 7:18 pm

i actually got all teary.

when are you writing your book?

i loved this.

Brittany October 7, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Beautiful words, thoughts, feelings and images. Thank you for reminding us what really matters most. We too are loving the cool days spent gathering acorns and leaves. Happy Fall to you and yours!

Cassandra October 7, 2008 at 9:12 pm

oh my! Rich indeed. I tried to watch the vice presidential debate (on the computer of course since we don’t have TV) and it was just too much for me to handle. I’m just not one for propaghanda I suppose. Give me simplicity. Give me leaves changing colors and a kinder light. Give me my children and their wonder. Thanks for sharing yours.

hanna October 8, 2008 at 6:44 pm

You always tell things so wonderfully.

Grace October 9, 2008 at 9:50 am

thank you. this made me cry a little.

OMSH October 9, 2008 at 4:13 pm

And people wonder why I’m voting The Constitution Party this year!

Way to go – turning off the noise and listening to the peace. I would expect nothing less from you. 🙂

Paper Dolls for Boys October 9, 2008 at 6:19 pm

Wow. Your photos are amazing, your words are encouraging and you are my new vote for president.

heather jane October 11, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Oh, Yes. There really is so much more to life than jingling pockets and fists full of money, isn’t there?

Molly October 13, 2008 at 10:06 am

Stephanie, I don’t know why — no good reason, really — that I haven’t read your blog in a while. Today, having already commented once, I must tell you it’s like coming in over here to read a good chunk of a the ongoing story. It is SOOOOO good, this way. Heck, this way or everyday it is just plain good reading.

Are you writing a book, by chance? and if so … when do we get details?

Thank you. This post is the TRUTH! the happy truth.

ELK October 16, 2008 at 3:10 pm

you may not need encouraging BUT keep up the good work …parenting can the hardest yet simplest experience in life.

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