Does anyone need a drink?

Co “The Human Voice is the most perfect instrument of all.” –Arvo Pärt On Saturday, I had lunch with two cousins – one of which I haven’t seen in at least 30 years. Cousin Joanne brought me a gift: A few parental-related photos and a cassette tape. The cassette tape was from many years ago, when Joanne’s brother, Jim, made a tape recording of mom and dad. He asked many questions of mom about her family and growing up –Read more

SoCS: Framing the Week

As of today, I’m on vacation. December of 2018 was the last month I had a full week’s vacation. I’m so ready. Let me put a frame around what I have in mind in regard to the week’s agenda. Spending time with these two crazy kids. 2.  Sleeping in. 3.  Staying in my pajamas as long as possible. If I make it all day, I can award myself bonus points. 4.  Having a morning cup of sweet, milky tea outRead more

Gravy Goes With Everything

My earliest memory of Pauline was of her standing on top of a chair, screaming as a mouse ran across the floor. This would not have been the usual, stoic, keep-it-together mom that was obvious to me later in life. I do not remember other episodes of this woman being hysterical, losing it to furry critters or when life was a bit topsy-turvey. I seldom saw my mother sweat, but perhaps growing up the youngest girl in a family ofRead more

Identity: What Did I Miss?

I’m staring at the ID card I’ve had for several years. This card tells everyone Mary is a permanent employee for a state government agency and assigns an ID number. It also contains one of the few ID or driver’s license photos in which I don’t appear to have woken from a two-day drunk. ID stands for “identity,” but you wouldn’t learn much about me from the plastic rectangle that is clipped to a piece of wardrobe Monday through Friday.Read more

Processing 16 Years

Over coffee on Saturday morning, a friend asked me, “How are you processing?” She was asking about moving forward from my mother’s passing in February. A number of friends have asked this question in various formats, with concern in how I’m handling a new chapter of life. It’s a question that’s contemplative in response, at times difficult and at times easy to put into words, but I will try to answer. This is more than about mom, it’s a journeyRead more

Faithfully Home

  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 Mom found her way home last Friday, February 15, 2019. Home to her family of 15, home to her husband Evan, and home to her Savior, Jesus Christ. It was time for the dementia to take a hike and for Pauline to feel freedom from her physical restraints. Mom went peacefully in her sleep, a blessing that most of us desire whenRead more

SoCS: Tins of Memories

Tin of mom’s pecan fingers Clove-pierced ham Cinnamon and butter yams Brandy-soaked fruitcake Tastes of Christmas gone by Tinseled, ornamental tree Magical lights of color Ruby red poinsettia Presents not quite hidden Sights of Christmas gone by Tinkly angel candle chimes Noisy jingle bells Choirs praising His birth Ripping wrapping paper Sounds of Christmas gone by Tinged by melty marshmallows and chocolate Incense of midnight mass Piney needles of a fresh-cut tree Dough, sugar, butter baking in the oven SmellsRead more

Dear Santa,

This Christmas… I have a very long wish list, but it’s not all for me I do not desire pretty boxes under the faux needles of a tree I do not desire jewelry, a new bike or clothes or an expensive SoundTouch system they call Bose No, my list is for the intangible things that only the heart of Santa can bring The miracles that make small children beam and the positivity that encourages people to dream The things youRead more

My Pants

“Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants.” ~Kevin James~ It’s the day before the day in the U.S. when all citizens give thanks for their blessings. And eat like a roly poly pig on a mission. Turkey, mashed taters, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, warm rolls and butter, pumpkin pie and more. There are some of us that watch football on this day. Some that play games with family. Or go to the movies.Read more

SoCS: Precious

Precious Is the congregation of people under a church’s steeple in a mosque praying in a temple Precious Are the poor and meek and technology geek daughters of the rich sons of middle class Precious Multi-colored range of hues those whose boundaries refuse to hate the hateful or exist with intolerance Precious Righteous sinners lottery winners the far-flung right and the liberal left Precious Moms, dads, sisters, brothers grandpa, grandma, plenty of others family and friends acquaintances, neighbors Precious WisdomRead more

Her Hands

  “God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.” ~Billy Graham~ Long, slender fingers Touched by the passing of ninety-eight years And the slight wrinkle of a Shar-Pei Daughter squeezes memories of her childhood Of wars, depressions and political elections Of marriage, babies and Catholic faith A fleshy grip that once held adult refreshment Now holds a warming cup of thickened brown The digits shake dinner’s fork and spoon And point toRead more

Hope for This Season

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, I have a season of hope for you. I hope that you always have a roof over your head. I hope that you always have food in your mouth. I hope that someone is watching over you. I hope your friends are numerous. I hope your family is always supportive I hope you find a piece of joy every day of your life. I hope you always have a happy song in your heart.Read more