Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Last month, the top of my hand was burned. I still have an indention in the blood vein below my wrist.

It didn't blister, but deep layers of brown, dead skin started to form. It was starting to draw up and tighten. I knew if it didn't get debride, thick scar tissue would keep tightening my useful hand. My scars don't seem to disappear, they grow keloids.

Craig had me soak it in warm water till it softened, then took a new soft toothbrush and BRUSHED off the dead stuff. My tender pink baby skin underneath screamed. I nearly fainted. He steadfastly kept at it, doing the necessary thing as I thrashed and groaned.

I let it rest a day, then was able to take care of the rough edges myself the next two times.

My hand is smooth and unscarred. No rough scar tissue is appearing. Summer sunshine is forcing the freckles out on the light pink skin already.

It hurt. It did! And I would do the same again for these results.

Friday, June 25, 2010


The Indie movie, The Sensation of Sight is one that I am unable to quit thinking about. Excruciating pain and exuberant joy mixed by a group of artists/compound pharmacists into a prescription for deep living and understanding. Compound pharmacists are a rare breed these days. 

David Strathairn's character seems strange. He trudges along throughout most of the movie with the questions following close behind. Wondering and wandering, but not hopeless. To me, he is brave and courageous for not separating himself from the pain, loneliness, lack of understanding, and unanswered questions. 

Unpredictable hope dangles dangerously in front of him, making him seem awkward at times, but only at first. He seems comfortable with being uncomfortable, which makes him eventually become irresistible. His pain creates massive doses of compassion and empathy which he absorbs for himself first, then offers it to others. He learns how to live in redemptive time, inviting us to join him. 

I rewound the end several times to take it in and absorb. I hope this ending quote won't spoil it for you. To me, this is an unforgettable film. I feel lighter, and can't help but wonder why. 

"Light ~ a basic element of the human environment. Cannot be defined in any terms. Simpler or more directly appreciated by the sense, than by itself. Light certainly is responsible for the sensation of sight." 
We may all still wonder why. It's the nature of man ~ the asking animal. We may be too afraid to live, too afraid to die ~ but never afraid to ask why. We may be alone and afraid, naked before one another, searching for something other ~ but always asking why. We may be searching to belong or searching to be lost. Searching for anything ~ and always asking why. We may be afraid of what may be found or of what may not, afraid of ourselves, afraid of each other ~ still always asking why.
 Well, I am weary of asking why, and yet I do. But I do believe that Chesterton put it well, The world will never starve for wonders but only want for wonder.
 Well then............... it seems to me that one can't help but wonder why." 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Not Alone

Holding the hose, I
aim for thirsty parts
where green sucks water
into itself for color in the making.
My lonely heart
drinks honeysuckle's
scent, compounded with
rose. I'm grateful for the
company which lifts
unexpectedly on
butterfly wings and birds
that sing. Eagles above
me, dog along side me,
perfume surrounding me.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Under the Umbrella

My tagline is ~ We don't live a Christmas letter life; if you don't either, welcome. 

I believe in excellence. Hate mediocrity. Even so, awards, trophies, plaques, and blue ribbons aren't lining our shelves.

We do have a room wall to wall with framed photos. Pictures celebrating memories we have in common as a family. Brita and Tessa have most the shelf room. They are our treasures, engraved on our hearts.

We have a drawer of love notes from our daughters.
We hug and cuddle a lot.
We still gather to eat a meal together once in while.
We sit around and talk.
We do chores side by side.
We laugh.
We pray together.
We argue.
We're messy.
We breakdown with real or imagined misery.
We have pity parties.
We play.
We fight.
We procrastinate.
We are ridiculously in love with our golden, Maggie.
Craig whistles.
The girls make music.

See how our days aren't filled amazing accomplishments. We're not on committees, boards, or listed anywhere. We're not on the cutting edge of anything. No one is following us or hanging on every word.

Slow days filled with the common, simple, and ordinary rhythms of family life ~ nothing stunning enough to make the grade for an impressive Christmas letter. 

Most of you know Craig and I had engine trouble recently. Coming home from vacation in Idaho, we
had to leave the truck to get the transmission repaired. Relay fashion, inconveniencing more than one branch of the family, we limped home.

This last weekend, we had to pick up the fixed truck in Oregon, eight hours away.

Our youngest, Brita, always has a sturdy savings account. She graciously allowed us to borrow enough for this unexpected emergency. She offered her gas saving small car.

As we left, we found a small cooler filled with two bottles of tea and two bottles of water - on ice. The gas tank was full. A fresh, unopened bag of hearty trail mix sat between us. Her car was clean and uncluttered. Lagniappe. Unexpected gift.

Tess is currently housesitting for some mutual friends. Adult to adult, friend to friend ~ she invited us over to enjoy the hot tub. We laughed like giddy children, steaming away in the cold rain. With perfect timing, she arrived carrying hot Peet's decaf in big mugs. Mine with warm cream. We could only sigh with contentment at such a lovely gesture.

I blame Craig entirely for the thoughtful and generous genes passed on to our progeny.

Coming away from both of these recent experiences leaves me with warm fuzzies. Our dreams for our girls were simple and few. Being capable of giving and receiving love was on top of the list, for it is the umbrella over all.

In spite of ourselves, and in spite of the rain which falls around us, we're covered. Love is a circus tent sized umbrella. Under the Big Top there's lot's of room. Come in. Welcome. It's so good to see you.

"You are our letter, written on our hearts....." ~ Paul

"For life, with all it yields
of joy and woe
And hope and fear, 
Is just our chance o' the 
prize of learning love ~ 
How love might be, 
hath been indeed, and is."  
~ Browning 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hungry Ones

Something about starving people opens my veins. Willing
donor, desperate to nourish them. At times, appropriate says
I must leave them hungry. Destitute and lost as they look.
Poster child for charity? Not that. Mostly their eyes tell.
Skeleton clacking with malnutrition under the fat.
Here a need, there a longing.  Hungry, craving more.
Dying for ~

Words unwrapped from between book covers. Food steaming
with homemade sensuality. Sex dripping with spiritual connection. Affection aroused by compassion. Empathy birthed from understanding. Encouragement without manipulation.
Love unconditional. Holy kisses. Poetry. Soul talk.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Stuff of Stiff Necks and Egos

We bloody each other by tearing hearts out 
from behind breastplate's weak spot. Grab a fistful. 
Eat it warm, still pumping. Nourish our 
egos this way. High false fronts, decorated fancy
 like a western town street. Only a movie set. Nothing
 behind the facade but props holding it up. The bad ugly 
never turns back into good again, no matter the 
proffered charms, favors, or money. No camera lens caught
the poetic lines of a life colored with lyrics, once shining 
with rainbow music. A poem panting, a song unsung, 
a maybe masterpiece crumpled up, ditch side. Gasping unnoticed, 
it bleeds, spilling a useless puddle in the brown flour dust
unable to grow anything anyways.  
The victor grows strong in that infertile
spot by sucking seeping red strength 
up through the straw of his growing weakness. 
Being neither artist, creator, nor 
savior - narcissistic need compels his thirst.
Charisma parades, but has its own false front
 held up by dry rot. Hollow strength, limp with cowardice. 
Lack of empathy - even for himself - keeps
  him impotent, full, yet painfully
unable to get relief from reckless rage. 
Stiff neck rectifies frustration; it supports 
keeping up appearances. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Fall in love? More like fall in like. My head toppled before my heart, then my body. I became enamored of this rare man first, because I knew he would:

-be faithful to one woman all of his life
-provide and care for his family first
-have our best interests at heart
-play with us
-not indulge in being angry, controlling or critical
-be hospitable
-decide and choose to love well

After years of my head observing and watching him, being his friend.....my heart opened to the possibilities of him being my partner and mate for life. My body followed joyously.

Mind. Soul. Heart. Body. In that order, you made all the difference Loverby. You have shown me the face of God. It is easy for us to love you for what you do. More importantly we love and respect you for who you are.

Thank you for letting it be me who is the mother of your children and the one woman......your one and only love.
Happy Father's Day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Still Blue

direct connection with electric
blue. eyes that looked once more
in the last, gasping hour, and saw. me.
his babygirl. beloved one. seeing, saying
the wanted words. i love you. just as if
he always had. ever the apple of his eye.
unbroken timeline on his part. i didn't know.
mine had gaps. black holes, bermuda triangle sized.
he repaired in one moment-a lifetime of questions.
just in time. before the end. i knew. thank you
daddy of the woodcutter's axe dance.
daddy of the black hair combing times.
daddy of the muscles, and army boot polishing.
daddy of the shaving sessions, mine without razor.
daddy of the big sop - sorgham, butter, and biscuit desserts.
daddy of the wide shoulder carries on hikes.
daddy of coffee with mostly milk.
daddy who loved the mountains.
daddy who didn't let me wonder if - forever.
daddy of the girl who misses him.
still. did i repair for him the gift
he gave to me - by saying i love you daddy?
daddy of the woman-child who needed to.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Heart Racing

If it's true a horse with a rider
is able to go farther and faster than one without -
then find my heart a winning jockey-
double quick. One without spurs, whip, or bit.
Sit him high and tight on the right ventricle.
Give us chomping room to burst open
the diastole gate. Slacken the velvet reins enough
to let vigor pump loud with purpose
finishing this race full well.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Barn Swallows Do

A glop of mud is carried to the brick ledge. Picked up and transferred by a beak. The other parent, probably heavy with eggs wanting laid, brings a sprig of grass to weave into the wet dollop.

It has a rhythm, this nest building. An imperfect rhythm, because it was our morning spot. The invaders made us feel like intruders, rocking away on the patio with our coffee. The pair of swallows seemed frantic. They tried dive bombing and fly-by aggression trying to persuade us to leave.

Feathers in my cup won't bully me into missing the show. No way. We didn't budge. If they were determined to have that spot for a nest, they'd have to let us be an audience. It was wonderful, as in full of wonder.

Every day we quietly watched them create a nest. The engineering and architecture bedazzled us. The mud half bowl appeared slowly but steadily on the wall.

They worked non-stop. We had to leave before witnessing their finished home. It probably is lined with soft down plucked from the parents by now. She might be setting on eggs already. The male will bring her food until the chicks hatch. Both of them will tirelessly feed their offspring.

Mom didn't especially relish the nasty residue they would leave all over the patio, but didn't have the heart to keep them away.

Baby swallows hang their little behinds over the edge to relieve themselves. They have this instinct passed down from ancient times - they won't spoil their home. The place they sleep, eat, grow, and feel safe in.... stays clean. I'm glad it didn't get knocked down before it had a chance to shelter life.

Mom has ponds that breed mosquitos. These swallows and their families keep the mosquitos down. Her hospitality will be repaid.

I had a bird's eye view of home.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Trail of Tears

We left Mom's house with booty. The bed of the truck and a small U-Haul trailer bed full of rocks. The truck had large melon sized lava rocks with a dusty pink hue. The trailer had red flat basalt pieces with lichen clinging to them, creating an ancient patina.

As we hit the pass going northwest towards Baker, the truck's transmission burned out. It was dangerous where it stopped ~ a guard rail prevented us from having a safe margin.

Tears streaming, Craig and I threw my hand picked melon babies into the ditch to lighten our load. He pushed the truck and trailer as I steered, until the guard rail ended. We had safe room to wait for the tow truck. Thankfully, Craig's cell worked in that spot.

We dropped the truck and trailer in a transmission garage parking lot. There was a nursery next door. I asked the owner if he wanted some landscaping rocks. We helped him load his trailer, emptying ours.

The only thing he said as he left was, "I'm glad I could help you". He had no clue what a precious cargo we had given him ~ free. Maybe he didn't know to be grateful? My affection, addiction, obsession, and lust for rocks was not his concern.

Craig's brother drove three hours to pick us up and pulled the trailer to his house. We spent the night. Brita drove five hours to bring us home this morning. Glenn generously returned the U-Haul to the vendor this afternoon.

The Oregon Trail crosses the highway a few times. There are places on the Snake River where there are interpretive centers for the Louis and Clark Expedition. Our wild west is full of history of pioneers and adventurers leaving everything familiar and striking out for new land. They suffered catastrophic losses. They endured hardship unfamiliar to us.

I only had to leave some some tear covered rocks beside the trail. We were rescued. I had a hot bath and pulled some frozen leftovers from the freezer to heat for dinner. It was inconvenient for everyone. That's all.

Gratefulness is able to grin in the face of trouble like this ~ it seemed like an opportunity, a reminder.

Traveling light is good.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cushions and Curtains

Our yard is full of sprouting, blossoming goodness for the future. The raised beds have lettuce, spinach, chard, basil, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, carrots, brussel sprouts, strawberries, peas, beans, and varied herbs tucked between. The asparagus bed and rhubarb patch is finished already. Oh, I forgot about the
squash, onions, chives, and leeks.

The borders are full of several varieties of blueberries, a large patch of thornless rasberries, and three varieties of thornless blackberries. A hardy female kiwi vine is growing, as are the grapes, and an eastern prince magnolia vine. I added a gooseberry bush and a currant bush today.

The two pear trees are setting fruit. I'd love to have a dwarf apple tree or two.

The flower beds are lush and full. I love the names of each and every plant. We have a strange affection for each other ~ the plants, birds, and rocks in my little corner of the world.

The wisteria is done already, but the clematis and climbing roses are going crazy. The yard is singing with life. I breathe in the clean oxygen and sigh.

We Pacific Northwesterners complain about the rain when it pours unceasingly. But it effortlessly makes all this green surrounding us. It makes a lush curtain and cushion for the harsh reality of volcanos, hurricanes, tornados, hailstorms, earthquakes, tsunami, sex trafficing, aids epidemic, homelessness, famine, ethnic wars, and oil spills.

I want to hide behind it and bury my face in the fragrance where the lady's mantle will catch my useless and futile tears. Mother may I?

We're heading off for vacation to Southern Idaho in the morning. 
Desert. Sun. Hot sun~soaked lava rocks. 
Lizard life for a week. 
Have a good week my lovelies. 
I'm off the grid.  

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Tugging on his sleeve
i take my thumb out of my
mouth long enough to ask
for another kind of comfort
which he must ask father for.
A miracle actually, a big and mighty
sort, rivaling or equal to the Red Sea
splitting or feeding five thousand.
This one needs more than a man
to fix. Two months of black oil
spilling in, out and through the water
main of living, a killing poison
heaving slick, black clad carcasses
one by one and two by two
lay dry caked with sand on
beach slick with tar balls.

This is no ark for the living, but a casket
without a silk lining. Close the lid
we can't look. Wait. Open the lid, please
do! Looking will bring courage to
ask for help supernatural. Someone
bigger, in control, who may choose
to act on our behalf in spite of and
anyways ~ someone who
might choose to grace us. This would
go down in history as a great story too.
Don't you want to be famous once
more, daddy? Can you hear my
plea, feel the tug on your heart?
I don't know this angry part of
you that sits back, looks away.
Show them the you I know.
The one who makes me feel favored.
Protected. Provided for. Helped.
You are I Am. Listen. Hear. Act once

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

There is a Man

There is a man who finds the invisible ones,
the needy, the unchosen, the hopeless,
the ones who want listened to, heard, picked, coached,
encouraged, and fathered.

He builds them up, highlights them,
spreads good words about them, shares
them like a rare find.

He endorses them, supports their efforts,
and finds something to applaud. He's the
balcony person for those who may not
ever have known this. He's a cheerleader
on the front lines rooting and hollering that
you'll make it.

He has his hand on your shoulder letting
you know he's right by your side. It's a
daddy sort of thing.

He has a leader's heart. He doesn't smother,
but finds time for the important things.
He is a role model for younger men to
honor and love their wives and children.

This man has a generous and noble heart
for those of us fortunate enough to be
included in the circle. If he could, I'm sure
he would wrap his arms around the world.

He is a friend, appropriate at all times,
across countries, genders, age. He
doesn't indulge in ridicule, insults, or
personal or emotional writhings.

His astute mind and sound wisdom
is ours for the taking. Free. He's a
giver, not a taker. We go back to our
writing, our families, our spouses, our friends, our
God ~ better for having read his offerings.

This is a tribute to Glynn Young. Our twitter community would not be the same without you. You are the good glue, the duck tape. Thank you, sir. I hope you hear the loud, "Well done son".

Let Down

Nursing human mothers and every other lactating mammal experiences let down. Let down is in between the time of bursting breasts anticipating the release of milk and the actual flow. Breasts actually ache to do this marvelous thing that nourishes precious offspring.

Calves, kids, lambs, and colts nuzzle around to latch on, then bump the bulging bag to start the flow coming as fast as they are able to guzzle.

Kittens and puppies rhythmically pedal the full sac with their forepaws, while making contented moans or purring.

Babies often put the up hand on the fullness that is giving them the answer to the question of the moment.

Let down is a combination of sensations, mostly a primal ache of release.

Without agonizing effort, this amazing miracle feeds one and provides reciprocal relief and satisfaction.

Sunsets and moonrises, eagles, bumblebees, butterflies, hummingbirds, shooting stars, water, art, music, poetry, gardens, words, stones, mountains, and love ~ these are the teats of God.

Nuzzle. Latch on. Suck. Butt. Nudge. Guzzle. Don't wipe your mouth so we'll see you lick your lips and purr.

When we see your milk mustache, we'll want some of what you just had.