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  • Writer's pictureAlice Wyatt



PNW - east side

bookcases and rock tumblers

September rodeo


wandering feet

67 of us (and counting)

organized chaos

my family

You - So Much Love - Me

your family

chaos organized

43 of us (and counting)

deep roots

workshop tinkering

New Year's beach house

family photos and tea cups

PNW - west side


When plans are made to leave my cozy little nest, set out on a three-week road trip to visit family scattered across three states, I drag my feet, feel unhappy. I just want to stay home.

Yet as I drive up to each house, am met at the door with hugs and happy voices, "Welcome! Welcome. Oh, how we have missed you!", my heart rejoices. Home? Where is home? Home is where I am loved. Home is Idaho, Oregon, Washington, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, California, New Mexico, and Hungary. Home is family - family is Home.

Family is the best thing ever. Family is complicated. My daughter-in-law wrote me a letter soon after her wedding day. "What are your expectations of me as your daughter-in-law?" This question floored me. Expectations? I had none. Did I? It took me several weeks, but I finally responded with something I hoped gave her some insight into what it means to be a Lyons/Hutchins.

"In our family, we try to assume positive intent. We do not hold grudges. We extend grace. We let people live their own lives without interference. We love big and brave, and not always in the way one would expect. Our love for each other is anchored in God's love and is impossible otherwise."

This is an optimistic list, of course. Other than the last one, we fail each other, but not intentionally. The standard has been set by two sets of amazing parents, Mary and Jerry Hutchins, Art and Suzy Lyons. Our family foundations are anchored in their love for God, each other, and us. This huge group of people is a safe place to be all I am. They celebrate me, love me, admonish me, hug me, and pray for me. I don't know who I would be without them.

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