SoCS: Around the Sun in 12

Three hundred sixty-five and one-quarter times around the sun. Twelve months. Another year has passed by and 2019 is almost finito. I thought I would take each month of the past year and share one or two things I remembered about it (good or bad) and see what kind of picture is left. January – Horrible winter month. I worked from home one day, toward the end of the month, because the wind chill was -50F (-45.5C). Brrrr. February –Read more

With Open Wings

As I sit on a cloudy afternoon, listening to a feline snore, I think of the past few days and the people I truly adore. I feel the love of family and friends and the season of His birth. The hugs, the smiles and hopeful wishes for peace on this great, colorful earth. Surrounded by a gentle spirit and the gift of open wings, the knowing glance of an expectant child while the church emphatically sings. Never mind the giftsRead more

Breaking for Pie and Family

  I’ll be taking a break from blogging for the next ten days to two weeks. The brother bought me a plane ticket to Washington, D.C., for a long Thanksgiving weekend. There will be food and drink and laughs and perhaps a ride or two on the metro or in brother’s car. I haven’t been there in about three years, so I plan to be focused on doing the many things as I can in four full days rather thanRead more

“Gee, that was stupid!”

“The words we use for ourselves and others have weight.” So said one of the worship team members a couple of Sundays ago. It’s a call for us to respect ourselves and others in what comes out of our mouth. To not call ourselves, spouses, friends, or family bad names. To grant peace to our neighbors and our negative thoughts. To verbalize love and acceptance to self and the human community. Overcoming religious, political, economic and ethnic differences when weRead more

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