in-between (itty bitty thoughts)

in-between (itty bitty thoughts)

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There shouldn’t be snow on my pumpkins yet, but there is.

Yesterday I took a picture of my pumpkins on the front step

and saw the Buddha statue my grandma gave me.

Buddha is smiling next to the pumpkins covered with snow.

Which is totally a Buddha thing to do.

It’s early for snow.

It’s early for temps this cold.

Hello, 2020.


Social media (no matter which platform you choose) feels like

a highway of billboards screaming people’s opinions and beliefs and 

my god it does. not. matter. what side you’re on—

screaming your opinions

is still screaming.

And in person,

the mood in the grocery store

the post office 

the bookstore

is quieter

but no one is smiling.

(Or are they? 

I can’t tell with all these masks.)

But a feeling is thick in the air.

People are angry and tired

and frustrated and exhausted in a

god, will we ever bounce back

kind of way.

And I don’t want to live in that.


But I also can’t live in a 

magical sing-songy world of

unicorns, puppy dogs, daisies

freaking cotton candy and lollipops

everything is great!

everything is fine!

its fine, really.

it’s fine.


So what’s the in-between?


Back inside the house my oldest says,

“if it’s gonna start looking like Christmas outside, I’m making egg nog.”

So he does.

I throw stuff in the slow cooker for supper.

I plunge my hands into the dishwater because it’s warm.

I find a recipe for pound cake.

I listen to the playlist I’ve named “Smile”,

because you can’t be sad when you listen to

I Got a Woman

or Cherokee Boogie

or Battle of New Orleans

or North to Alaska

or Get Rhythm.

You just can’t, you guys.


My oldest asks for help with a poetry assignment.

The youngest plays guitar.

My husband comes home from work

(outside in the surprise snow all day)

and we stand in the kitchen talking

as I stir supper.

“Your cheeks are red,” I say.

“I’m starting to warm up so I’m getting cold,” he says.

And we both laugh because

getting colder as you warm up sounds absurd

but we know it’s a thing 

when you’ve been out in the wet snow all day.

I see his shoes on the boot dryer, 

dripping wet.


And it occurs to me

that maybe this is the in-between.

This daily life.

And I wonder

if we all made egg nog

and did the dishes

and listened to old music 

and fed the stray cats

and read poetry with our kids

and listened to them play guitar

and held our spouses

and crawled into warm beds

after eating pound cake that was a little dry

would that make any difference

to the bigger picture?


Does the bigger picture even matter?

Or is life really just about

what happens in these four walls?


There’s more snow predicted today.

Eventually there will be enough snow

to completely hide the pumpkins and Buddha.

And I know Buddha will still be

smiling underneath the snow.

Smiling underneath because

I think he’s got something figured out

that most the rest of us just haven’t yet:

that no matter what happens,

you’re still in the midst of what happens.

And the


of your







casual and miniscule

snow-covered-pumpkin life

is where all the answers are.


  – Amy Dingmann, 10-20-20

Bookmark ITTY BITTY THOUGHTS and come back to check out what I post tomorrow! I’d love your thoughts on today’s post in a comment below or via email at [email protected].

In a world of extremes, where is the in-between? My itty bitty thoughts brought about by about snow covered pumpkins and a Buddha statue.




13 thoughts on “in-between (itty bitty thoughts)”

    • Aw. That’s a nice thought. Occasionally I work on a book called Simple Gifts which is bigger thoughts of mine…but who knows. Maybe it will all just morph into a little collection of lots of different thoughts. 🙂 Glad you’re enjoying the posts.

  • Thanks Amy. You are spot on again. Was beginning to feel very BLEGHHH today. Tomorrow my youngest turns 17. We are allowed 3 strangers (well not real strangers ofcourse). It is feels so odd you have to deceide who is invited and who is not. But we will manage. . Not all is lost in this world when an almost 17 year old (big lil Peep fan) wants a lady bug cake for his birthday. Is it?

    • I think a lady bug cake sounds great. I feel like I owe my kids re-dos on their birthday. They both “celebrated” (if you can call it that) right when things were first locked down early this spring. Perhaps we can celebrate doubly next year? O_o

  • This struck a big cord with me this morning! Thank you for putting words to my thoughts. My circle of what is truly important on a day to day basis has been becoming smaller and smaller, and therefore so much more meaningful and treasured. Newly surrounded by those that only value the superficial, I find it heartening to know that there are kindred spirits out there.

  • Amy, thank you for sharing these thoughts today. I’ve really been struggling with things recently (COVID restrictions and family drama), and this was just the poetry I needed to reset for my afternoon and pull me up out of myself.

    • I’m so glad you found it helpful. It was a nice reset for me to write them, too, so I believe that’s called a win-win. Thanks for taking the time to read my words. 🙂

  • Hi, Amy! Hubby and I just this very morning started to discuss the latest glum and dumb goings on in our society when we stopped and realized we can’t change any of it. All we can do is change (maybe “affect” is a better word) what we have going here in our own little oasis. If we make that the best we possibly can and actively appreciate it each and every day, maybe that’s the very best thing we can do. I think that goes right along with what you’ve said so well in this itty bitty daily thought.

      • Yep. I’ve been reading and catching up on you with this new format of yours. Thinking about all the conversations we had before you found your “little oasis.” It was well worth all the struggle, wasn’t it? Hugs.

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