A look back…

The departure of 2017 has left behind a welcome calm. As I navigate the first weeks of the new year, I have spent quite a few hours tucked under my fuzzy blue blanket in my worn overstuffed chair. Usually, the week between the holidays is mine to reflect, evaluate, and plan. This year, those days were given over to people I adore, as we flew across the country to spend precious time with my Oregon family. So, I’ve redeemed slow Saturdays, a snowstorm, and quiet mornings catching up with my soul after a year of turmoil and transition. Continue reading “A look back…”

Splash of Inspiration- December 2, 2017

The most important relationship in my life is my marriage. We’ve had our ups and downs over the years. We’ve learned a lot about communication and how to tend to each other’s hearts, mostly the hard way. We went to counseling years ago, and she taught us some basic principles of communication that we’ve practiced ever since. We are not experts at marriage, but we practice all the things we know and have found that it makes a difference.  Continue reading “Splash of Inspiration- December 2, 2017”

Grandbabies…

When I was a baby, my dad was stationed on an aircraft carrier somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. My mom moved home, to my grandparent’s house for support. I was the first one, and I was spoiled rotten… or so they’ve told me since I was old enough to understand. My mom tells me that my grandpa Malone hated to hear my cry, so she would lay me down to sleep and when I stopped crying, she assumed I fell asleep. Instead, my grandfather would sneak into my room, scoop me up and take me downstairs to rock me. Maybe, I was a little spoiled! My uncle tells me that Grandpa would take me to the local IGA and tell everyone how wonderful I was. I don’t remember any of this, but I have always been pretty sure that my grandparents thought the world of me. Continue reading “Grandbabies…”

A Central Organizing Principle…

“I’ve figured it out,” I declared to Keith. “I know what I need.” He raised an eyebrow at me. It had been months since the kids had left home. I was still rattling around our big old house. Sometimes, I felt like I could still hear their voices echoing off the walls. After they all left in a rush, I had sat quietly. Feeling the sadness, fearing the end. I was listless and avoided many of the things I had once poured myself out for. Evenings when Keith worked, I poured a glass of wine and retreated to my “studio,” which was newly decorated to finally declare it my own. There, I listened to audio books and knitted. Continue reading “A Central Organizing Principle…”

The road ahead…

It’s been 17 years since Mom called to tell us the news. Dad had prostate cancer. It was already metastasized. The doctor said six months to two years. The world spun a little slower that day. There were treatments. Dad responded to these treatments in amazing ways. We prayed for him and the cancer’s growth slowed. Every time there was an uptick in his numbers, there was a new treatment plan. Radiation, hormone therapy, and new drugs that promised time. He has been a true miracle. Continue reading “The road ahead…”

The crying day…

Portland International Airport (PDX) is the background to so many memories of my life. PDX was the airport I first flew out of, in the middle seat, squished between my grandparents. I wanted the window seat, but Grandpa Malone said I could get sucked out the window, so he had to sit there. I looked over my grandpa’s shoulder, watching the plane lift off, feeling the weight in my stomach and the pop in my ears. My grandmother ordered a seven and seven as the stewardess walked by. I ordered orange juice and plastic airline wings. Grandpa began to snore. Continue reading “The crying day…”

Adding to the family…

Rain dripped off the eaves as we peered out the window on Sunday morning. The forecast called for a little light rain in the morning. We were confident it would clear, in spite of the blowing trees, leaves, and sideways rain. When you plan a wedding outside, you plan for contingencies… the tents were in place, the food tables under cover, and we were still hoping to see the rain stop. Nothing was going to get in the way of this special day.  Continue reading “Adding to the family…”

She loves him…

I only have one son. From the time he was little, he was momma’s boy. Sometimes (often) he got in trouble in the primary Sunday school classes. He was a talker, a joker, and always on the move. I could tell how bad it was when I looked up to see his teacher walking down the hall toward me, and he was tugging on my arm to tell me how much he loved me. When I scolded 5-year-old Brian, he would drop to his knees and put his face in his hands as he wailed, “I’m sorry, so sorry.” When he felt that he was not getting enough attention, he would put his fat little hands on my face to bring my attention to him and say, “Momma, pay tension to me. Pay tension to me.” Continue reading “She loves him…”

Wedding hats…

The phone rang, my sister was calling from a pay phone in a North Carolina airport. It was 1989 and she was on her way to my wedding. The call was to ensure that I knew when her plane was landing. She said, “I just saw mom running to catch her plane. She had a huge bag and all I could see were some feathers sticking out of the top of the thing. Who knows what she has planned!” Keith’s young face went pale when I told him. He had no idea what to expect and his conservative New England upbringing had not prepared him for the women in my family.

Continue reading “Wedding hats…”

Learning to play…

A few years ago, in the midst of a crushing time at work, a colleague said she was learning that the antidote to stress and fatigue was not just rest, but fun. She said she was scheduling lots of fun into her time off. She found that she was more able to handle the complexity and stress at work after having spent her time playing. Continue reading “Learning to play…”