The teacher asked us to take notes.

I had no idea what she meant by that. 

Pauli saw the panic. 

She met me where I was. 

She calmed me down and step-by-step, taught me how.

I will never, ever forget her kindness. 

“Look for the helpers.”  Mr. Rogers said. 

I did. 

And I still am.  

In fact, I’ve become one. 

Camille Vaughan Photography


My car broke down. 

My dusty, musty, rusty ole’ van that has seen 10 years of abuse by children. 

Her rugs are crusted with smashed applesauce. 

Dead bugs lie unreachable on the dashboard but close enough to the windshield that I’ve had the privilege of watching them decay for years. 

And let’s not forget that my youngest proudly carved the first four letters of her name into the side of it at the ripe age of four.  

When faced with the choice of dumping five grand into a vehicle on her final wheels or starting anew, we felt torn. 

Ultimately, finances forced our hand, so to the repair shop our trusty van went, and in our driveway, a brand new loaner car, while we waited. 

So. Many. Buttons. 

The girls had to push them all.  Their eyes twinkled with excitement.

And, I admit.  It was fun while it lasted. 

The new car smell (similar to the allure of a new puppy!).  The magnetic phone charger (game changer). 

But I was annoyed when my car told on my speed so that my children called me out.  I needed my speedometer back.  

And I didn’t need my car to lower my side mirror to see the road when I reversed, thank you very much.  

I lived in a city and can parallel park in my sleep. 

Days went by and as the newness wore off, I realized I missed the familiarity of my old van. 

In the age of “House Hunters” in which we are encouraged to update to keep up with the Joneses, I found myself, instead, revering all that I already have. 

I walked into rooms in my house that I’d previously seen through a critical eye and I smiled.  Grateful for the memories made in each.  

I relaxed. 

No need to trade in.  

No need to keep up.  

Time to maintain.