Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ben Makes Aaron Laugh

This is so cute! Thanks to Anna for accidently uploading this to my youtube!

Yay for PA!

I just spent a few days on the East coast. First in Delaware at the Delaware Christian Writers Conference, then in York, Penn., visiting childhood friend Dave, his wife Allison and their son, Levi.

Above is a picture of the house where I lived until I was 11. It used to be green!

Yesterday was so beautiful that we went to a park. Levi loved his bubble machine!

By this morning, Levi and I were great pals. He called me "Djuze!" :) I just discovered that my mom and Dave's mom met when Dave was two weeks old. Dave was my brother's best friend. Five years ago Dave and Allison moved to Colorado Springs and lived here for a few years. And Dave now writes for Boundless. I had a wonderful time catching up with them and watching them as parents. It's really neat how the Lord has coordinated our lives through the years!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Me and Kitter at a Christmas party in 1985

I've been wanting to post this essay for a long time, but I was waiting until I could scrounge up a photo to go with it. Kitter (who we later called "Hoy") was the family cat whose life spanned 20 years of Hadfam history. I wrote this essay two years ago at the same writer's retreat I mentioned in my last entry. When I read the piece in front of the group, many reached for a tissue and several approached me afterward to share their own stories of beloved animals. There is something very special about a family pet.

She came to our family when I was 6. A beautiful, short-haired calico with neopolitan fur of orange, gray and white. We named her Kitter.

The calico was quick to purr and didn’t seem to mind grabby little hands or sudden shrieks and giggles. Photographs from a childhood Christmas party, depict neighborhood first-graders with toothless grins, struggling under the weight of a cat one quarter their size. She posed for 14 photos without scratching.

Kitter had six litters of kittens. In the days before animal control advertisements, my parents let her go un-spayed. And each time she socialized with neighborhood Tomcats, a batch of kittens soon followed — to my delight. My brother, sister and I learned how to stuff towels into a cardboard birthing box, and we watched, fascinated as the slimy objects — looking more alien than feline — emerged. When my youngest sister was born, we didn’t have any questions.

Shortly after I turned 11, we moved from Pennsylvania to Washington. I cried when I had to leave my friends. But Kitter went with us. She seemed comfortable in her new surroundings, and when we moved again a year later, she sniffed around the new house, found a sunny window seat and licked her white paws. She was right at home.

As teens, my brother and I learned to play the piano. In those many hours of scales and sometimes chopsticks, Kitter often curled up on the piano bench, adding her steady purr to the rhythm of the music. She loved my brother most of all. And it was common to see Matt sitting cross-legged on the carpet strumming his guitar while Kitter gazed up at him as if he were a Greek god.

When I was 15, we got a dog. Ace was a gentle collie-Australian shepherd mix. On the day he arrived, he jogged up to Kitter and received an I-mean-business swat to the nose. From that time on, he preferred taking the long way around rather than passing through the living room where Kitter lay on his large, cedar chip dog bed. We delighted in finding ways to lure him into her domain. At such times, he hung his head and ran for it, sidestepping her menacing paw.

As the two grew older, they developed an odd friendship. Ace still kept his distance, but they could almost always be found in the same room. Ace died the year my younger sister left for college. Mom said Kitter went from room to room, looking for her old friend.

Our family changed — I got a job in Colorado, my brother got married, my sister went to college. Kitter seemed unfazed by the changes. But she was happiest when her whole family was together. She’d plant herself in the middle of our family room, proudly watching the family she’d raised.

This past Christmas was our last with Kitter. She was 20 years old. Though mostly deaf, she still sat at the piano bench when Matt played. Christmas morning the whole family was together. Kitter purred in my lap as I stroked her calico fur. Nothing had changed really.

Copyright © 2005 Suzanne Hadley.

Friday, April 13, 2007

One Word at a Time

This week I am preparing several writing workshops I will be teaching next week at the Delaware Christian Writers Conference.

In my research, I came across a couple of writing exercises I did as part of a writer's retreat with Lauren Winner several years ago. The only stipulation for the following was that every word be only a single syllable. This forces you to abandon worn phrases and clichés. I'm surprised as I read this how well it captured my feelings.

I try to tell. I use words I know, things that have been proved true. I think so hard. I look up. I stew. I try and try but I can’t seem to change minds.

I know it’s true. At least I think I do. I live half the time like I do. From the way things look, you would guess I know it to be true. But then there are those times. Times when I doubt. And when I try to tell them, the words leave me. They sound trite or canned. I grasp but can’t frame the truth. I just know. I know so well. My faith runs deep. God has proved His way to me. I don’t doubt Him.

But they do. They mock Him. They scorn my Lord. They eat, drink, have sex, smoke, use drugs. Peace is gone. But life seems good in a way. There is a way that seems right to a man. That is not God’s way. God’s way seems hard.

Is that why they choose life with no God? Or make up their own gods. Serve them all day and night? And how can I show them the truth? I can’t. God must sweep in. He must touch their hearts. He must change their minds. But will he use me? What do I know? My faith feels small. My words feel weak. What can they do?

Give this a try. Tell me what you think. You may find words you did not think to use.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hadfam Pics

I found these while perusing various myspace pages. I present them to you with original captions.

Ben helping Grandma Scofield wash windows (photo by Anna)

Too much fun! (photo by Amy)

The Hadsters are up to something. (photo by Amy)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

7 Myths Single Women Believe

Sarah wrestled with God. For five years she had served as a resident director at a small Bible college. Each day, young women would knock on the door of Sarah’s small dorm apartment. The petite, soft-spoken brunette would fix them tea and listen as they poured out their hearts.

“If I could just get my life on track,” a 19-year-old would moan. “Then God would bring a godly man into my life.”

Sarah spoke encouraging words, but inside she felt annoyed. I’m in my late 20s and unmarried. What issue do you think I need to work on?

My article "7 Myths Single Women Believe" (fresh on Boundless) considers a few of the major lies Satan uses to trip up single women and leave them feeling defeated.

I began by collecting and considering some 15 myths and ended up including the ones I felt were most prevalent:

Myth No. 1: God will give me a husband when I’m ready.

Myth No. 2: God views me more as a useful tool than a beloved child.

Myth No. 3: When it’s the right guy, I’ll just know.

Myth No. 4: When I get married, then my life will begin.

Myth No. 5: Marriage will/will not meet my deepest needs.

Myth No. 6: There must be something wrong with me. If I could just figure out what it is, I could fix it and guys would start showing interest.

Myth No. 7: The older I get, the less likely it is that I will find someone.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Mike's Pics

Mike Pyle takes a mean picture.

Bruce's Pics

I present to you the genius of photographer Bruce Moore.

Quick Flight to Denver

Yesterday afternoon, Josh and I were planning to see Amazing Grace (again). But plans changed. His parents invited us to have lunch with them in Denver. The cool part: we flew! The only other time I've been in a small aircraft was when I went skydiving in October 2005. I definitely enjoyed this flight more. The flight from Colorado Springs to Centennial was about 20 minutes. I got to be copilot and took the controls for approximately one minute (before I got nervous and handed them back over).

We had lunch at the airport restaurant, which, along with delicious food, provided a beautiful view of the mountains and planes coming and going. Then it was a quick jaunt back to Colorado Springs. It's not every day I get to fly to Denver for lunch!

Josh and me looking very important.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Me and Kels

Photo by Mike Pyle

Kelsey and I got to be models yesterday for budding photographers, and friends, Mike and Bruce.