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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.

Everyday Moments

In the dim light of dusk, following the season's first snow, he unloads the dishwasher. Stacks of ceramic, handfuls of silver, and gleaming glass are put in place. She lies and listens, as if measuring her moments. Cupboards' metal magnets snap shut from shaky hinges...

We Carry Them Within Our Bones

We carry them within our bones. It’s no surprise we hear them in our voices. We carry them within our eyes. It’s no surprise we see their faces in our own reflections. We carry them within our hands and it's no surprise, for they long carried us. I can hear my...

Lunch “Hour” with the Pets

I really thought I was getting this down to a science... Walk in back door. Feed Fannie, carry Sam outside. Let him sniff. Move fast to add second load of wash. Leash Fannie. Grab baggies and treats as Fannie flings jubilantly around ankles and prances out the door....

Revelation At Dusk

It is not love wrapping its wooly fleece around my shoulders that wakes me It is not the bouquet of flowers left at the door that enters my thoughts It is not the knowing look in another’s eyes, giving my existence a sense of meaning, that crosses my mind. No, it is...

A Picture of Strength and Beauty

All the leaves fell off my spindly eighteen year old hibiscus after being jolted by the cold a couple weeks ago. I thought it was over for sure this time. But this plant has survived so much. Todd carried it back to the basement for its third winter there. The ol’ guy...

Gentle Landing

Soft and supple, the sweet scent of summer, the lingering taste of spring. I sit up to see where the stars have been replaced by vast extensions of light. Fingers unfurl from fists, fears tucked away in the daylight slipping out in the night until I pull the sheet...


It appears on the outside that all is well but there is much on the inside no one can tell One wears her burden on her face but another wears it well with grace We never know what the day may bring but we would do well to remember one thing The one who is hurting...

The Pumpkins Are Going to Make It

I think the pumpkins are going to make it this year. There must be enough in the neighborhood to keep the squirrels eating courses, traveling from house to house like we’ve always wanted to do ourselves: first course at Winnie’s, second at Connelly’s , third at...


I wake in the night. I lay quietly for a while hoping sleep will set in. Out of the corner of my eye I see slow, intermittent sparks of light pass the window. It feels at this hour as if I have access to other worldly powers. I lay in the silence for some time,...

Take Good Care of Yourself

I’d assume if you’re a person of a certain age, you have found yourself Googling symptoms x, y, or z at some point in your life. I’ve had a couple scares over my lifetime, or someone I love has, and have surfed through sites in search of symptoms that might point me...
“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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