Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wise Words for my Frazzled Heart

"To live content with small means, 
to seek elegance rather than luxury, 
and refinement rather than fashion, 
to be worthy and wealthy, not rich, 
to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, 
to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart, 
to hear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never - 
in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, 
grow up through the common. 
This is to be my symphony."

William Ellery Channing (1780-1842)

Wow, what great words as my anxious heart does not want to settle down in this time of transition.

On the way to Granite Park Chalet a month ago.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What Happens When Your House Sells

So, we decided we should "downsize" since we are truly empty-nesters and our life is in a time of Great Change.   And what I didn't really expect to happen (getting an offer on the house) happened less than a month after it was listed.  So, that's good news.  But I started to wonder what on earth I was thinking.
Where should we live?  What kind of place?  How can we find something by the time we are to close on our current house?

The great truth, however,  is that all through our married life we have seen the faithfulness of God to guide and provide and we do trust him now with the Next Steps for us.

I am busy going through all our belongings.  Which has led to some interesting finds.

The funniest was a "report card" Angela made for me when she was six.  

She gave me a grade in 3 categories:  
(Everything was spelled phoenetically, which interestingly enough, I don't know how to spell.)

     "snacks: needs improvement"
     "Behavior: horrible"
     "love: needs improvement"

I burst out laughing when I read this.  She was obviously upset about something, right?  When I called Angie to tell her I had found it, she had no memory of this.

So, I guess my behavior and love must have improved, because I found a letter she wrote some time later, with much more positive thoughts about me.

"Dear Mom,
I love you.  Thank you for being the best mom in the whole world! 
 You do so much for me!  
You brighten my day with your personality!  
You give me so many presents. You and dad are the stars of my life.  
Your loving daughter,

And I love her, too.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Recent Read

This is my favorite read of the summer.  Not that I have read much the past few months, I have to admit.
But this was an easy read with a little intrigue, a little romance, and a little cultural and ornithological education.

"For the past three years, Mr. Malik has been secretly in love with Rose Mbikwa, a woman who leads the weekly bird walks sponsored by the East African Ornithological Society. Just as Malik is getting up the nerve to invite Rose to the Nairobi Hunt Club Ball (the premier social occasion of the Kenyan calendar), Harry Khan, a nemesis from his school days, arrives in town. Khan has also become enraptured with Rose and announces his intent to invite her to the Ball. Rather than force Rose to choose between the two men, a clever solution is proposed. Whoever can identify the most species of birds in one week’s time gets the privilege of asking Ms. Mbikwa to the ball. Drayson's charming descriptions of the Kenyan wildlife and his sharp take on the foibles and follies of the people and politics sketch a rich picture of contemporary life in Nairobi. Fans of Alexander McCall Smith will delight in this transporting and witty novel."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


So, I've been Missing in Action since April.  Had a few things going on, like the wedding...

The reunion...

And hanging out with Bowman and his parents.

It was a wonderful summer and I am blessed.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

This week's diversions

So, if I do watch TV (not often) I always check to see what's on PBS.  And in the past few months I caught a few episodes of "Doc Martin," a comic drama about a London surgeon who moves back to his home town (a beautiful Cornish village) to become the GP.  He has a fear of blood and has no bedside manner, which makes me like him in some strange way.  I mentioned to some friends that I had started watching this show and they said they had gotten "hooked" and had ordered the DVDs.  Would I like to borrow them?  Indeed.  So, last Sunday I did something I have never done before: watched a DVD on my laptop.  And I got so engrossed that I watched three episodes in a row.  Have had no time since then to watch any more, but am hoping for some time soon to watch some more.

I also started reading Unbroken while we were away in Montana a month ago.  It was a great compelling read, but I had to return it to the library before I had finished it.  Fortunately, my name came up on the list again last week, so I got into it again.  I almost always read at bedtime but shut the light off at 11 or so.  This book had me so hooked that I was reading to well after midnight every night this week.  Laura Hillenbrand is a great writer and this story of an American GI in WWII is one of the most gripping books I have read in many months.  Thus book is not for the faint of heart as it records the torture Louis Zamperini experienced at the hands of the Japanese.  It will probably be on my "Top Books of 2011" list.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

March Getaway

Most people like to head south for a winter getaway 
but Doug and I decided to catch a bit of winter 2 weekends ago.  Just a wee getaway.
We had not had 2 days off together since vacation last summer. Headed north (Montana and Glacier Nat'l Park) on an Allegiant Air flight (those less expensive flights out of smaller airports) on a Friday evening.  Left 88 degree weather and found ourselves in freezing weather in a few hours.  
We had 2.5 wonderful days of doing something very different from our daily routine.  We reflected on life and the future and the amazing creativity of God.

We stayed at a cute little cabin in Martin City, where we were told, "People are renegades."  The cabin was really cute.  Unfortunately, the leg of the bed frame gave way as Doug sat down on the bed that evening.  "Well, never mind, I'll sleep on that side.  It shouldn't be that bad."  Well, it wasn't so easy to sleep at that weird angle, trendelenberg-like, so we pulled the mattress onto the floor at 5 the next morning for a couple decent hours of sleep.
But never mind, because we had this to see the next day. 

Doug enjoyed quite a few cups of his favorite brew.
We didn't make this snowman but he had no face when we found him and his arm was dislocated to we set that right.
We enjoy reading aloud to each other (especially on vacations) and started reading the book Unbroken, the fascinating and well-written account of a WWII American GI 
who was captured by the Japanese.
A few other weekend memories we came home with: the breakfast waitress whose name was Electra Omega ("my parents were a little weird"), the Irish band playing at the Belton Chalet, the spicy supper that Doug couldn't enjoy so the waitress replaced it and refused to charge him for the meal, the sound of geese flying north over Lake McDonald, the clear water of Snyder Creek flowing through the ice and snow.
We were blessed and refreshed.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Do you have a "Dementia Mentor?"

We all need mentors in our lives. I have many (and many of them aren't aware that they are mentoring me). In the past year I have been privileged to care for a beautiful woman with dementia. When I have dementia I want to be just like her. Why? She always had the sweetest disposition, never complained, was always thankful for something or someone, and always spoke kindly to everyone.
While I was away last weekend, she passed away. I don't always cry when my patients die, but I cried when I heard she had died.
Daughter Trisha sent me this poem which speaks so poignantly of the dementia process. 
Forgetfulness by Billy Collins
The name of the author is the first to go followed obediently by the title, the plot, the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of,
as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain, to a little fishing village where there are no phones.
Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets, something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps, the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.
Whatever it is you are struggling to remember it is not poised on the tip of your tongue, not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.
It has floated away down a dark mythological river whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall, well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle. No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war. No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.
 (This is where I was last week-end. More on that later.)