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deborah wenzler farris

not according to plan

stories and thoughts on love and loss

When things don’t go according to plan,

there is a greater purpose and plan unfolding.

Sweet Memory, Sweet Harmony

She said it was like the sound of sand pouring out. There was a crunching noise along with piercing pain, and then the sound of the sand. Pouring. Out. It happened on the first of my mother's last seven days. I have to wonder, when everything is gone but breath, will...

Morning Offering

Morning's first song, evening's final call, winged creatures, colors painted into trees, starkly outlined or mere smudges, streaks of sapphire, orange bursts of breasts. Their songs, symphonic reeds, trills waking us at daybreak, our 5:00 a.m. alarm. Or sighs,...

Rainy Windy Day

I open my eyes and wonder what words await while the sound of raindrops landing on the porch bannister become more apparent. The open umbrella left to dry billows like a chest taking in air. I inhale, exhaling as the truck idling beside the sidewalk out front pulls...


How completely stupid is despair. It doesn’t understand nor learn and it has no desire to. What boring company I sometimes keep. But it’s the one who does understand and has learned that it was in despair’s midst, resurrection lifted its head. What one may regard as...

When a Tree Falls, I Pay Attention

I discovered trees lying chaotically covering the sloops surrounding the bike path on our Holy Saturday afternoon walk to the lake last weekend. I thought maybe the trees had been struck by lightening. One in particular caught my eye, its remaining trunk and torso...

A Somewhat Tattered Leader Discovers New Life

Desolation and isolation close in on me. I wake every hour through the night, and wake in the morning wondering if God wants me to engage in more Zoom meetings. I know He is there when two or more are gathered in His name and crying out to Him. Or is this the time to...

New Territory

Look, blossoms and buds! Once dead now bloom, these wild violets and glories of the morning. Trees—shepherds of nature, towers of might—stand watching. Blades of grass—crowds awaiting—step aside. Pictures imprinted, embedded, reflected. These gentle whispers are...


Distraction. I can only imagine the hopscotch we are playing across the internet. I stop playing. I keep my routine. I begin each day in my corner of the couch, Todd in his. We drink coffee. He reads the papers and keeps me informed. I want summaries of local,...


They walked on the shoreline of La Saladita and she said she needed a coconut shell to carry the treasures she was collecting. Before she had even finished the sentence, she could feel his eyes roaming the sand. He found one within minutes and smashed it against a...

Do You Hear?

“Did you hear?” Todd asked. "The birds are back." We were having coffee in the space that has now become our home office. The lines between the two—work and home—have blurred beyond belief and I’m not experienced at this. Two days of working from home, I have...

“This is what I call a Master piece in every sense. Beautifully thought and beautifully written. I am always glad for my visits here.” –Sarah

Deb Farris

Deb Farris

Author / CEO

Deborah Wenzler Farris was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is President/CEO of Danceworks Inc., an award-winning nonprofit arts organization serving the Milwaukee region. Farris began her career in theatre. After twenty years and forty-seven moves across the country, she bumped into her husband, an old friend from high school, one night during a snowstorm while home over Christmas. They married in 1999, and she returned to Milwaukee with her son, Charlie. Several years later, they bought the house she grew up in, where they currently reside with their dog and cat—Sam and Mary. That encounter on the street corner in a snowstorm led to a homecoming that made this book possible.

Conversations With Dad – The Book

Layered with the author’s personal account of her walk with her parents as they aged and their health declined, Conversations with Dad grew out of time spent together—father and daughter—sharing the stories of those who paved the way for her. It is rich with memories of her father’s life adventures and career as a noted architect. Told with tenderness and humor, it is a love story—the love of a man for his wife and family, his love for his work and church, and the love of a daughter for her parents.

Purchase your copy today.

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