What a year! So little rain – so many little pond “people.” I have spent the entire late Spring and all Summer in a state of Pond Hysteria. This is a rare condition. I seem to be the only not–so–innocent victim of this weirdness! We have a 40’ x 70’ natural pond on our property. It is a grave, grave responsibility! In fact, those should be capital “G’s!”
When I say, “we” have a pond, I should really just fess up and say, “I” have this pond that I am frankly bananas about! All my life I have loved little creatures. Countless are the wooly bear caterpillars I have saved from being squished on Bluff road! Then there are Continue reading
Have you ever been sitting at an outdoor cafe watching people walk by, or walking down a crowded sidewalk, when the thought suddenly flashes in your mind, “None of these people know you. How significant are you, anyway?” I know that it’s happened to me many times. The thought may be fleeting, but it’s an important question for each of us. The way in which a person answers it is critical. In my opinion, most people don’t have an adequate answer. They try to convince themselves of their significance, or value, by quickly reviewing their accomplishments and how many people they have helped. They may also look for their significance in their job or education or bank account or social standing. Continue reading
A friend of mine enjoys camping in the middle of the woods, alone and far away from people. It doesn’t matter to him if it’s clear, raining, or snowing. He loves to wake up to a cool morning, smell the fresh air, build a campfire and cook his breakfast. Myself, I prefer waking up in my own bed, building a fire in the woodstove, having a cup of freshly brewed coffee, and cooking breakfast in the microwave.
Though I’m not much for camping, I have observed the New Testament uses the imagery of a tent to describe the physical body. This is an appropriate euphemism since tent-life is temporary for most of us. I’m sure you’ve noticed that as we age, the condition of our tent changes. Mine sure has. Once strong and flexible, it now sags and is much weaker and fragile. But, regardless the current age or condition of our tent, there is coming a day when it will be packed up and we will go home. Continue reading
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of walking Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland, you can’t help but pass by the most fascinating flower created—the passionflower. It is incredible in design, beauty and elegance. Laced with rich colors of purple and white spindles, this flower boasts many other elements, which adds to the mystic appearance of this flower.
History tells us that in 1620, a Jesuit priest came across the plant we now know as passionflower. Enthralled with its beauty, that night he had a vision likening its floral parts to the elements of the Crucifixion or Passion of Christ. The five petals and five sepals became the ten apostles (omitting Peter and Judas). The three pistils became the nails of the cross. The purple corona was the crown of thorns, and the stemmed ovary was the Lords’ goblet. Continue reading
When World War I broke out, the nation already knew “Fast Eddie” Reichenbacher as a skilled race car driver for General Motors. When America entered the war in 1917, his fame took second place to his patriotism. Eddie was among the first to enlist. It was during this time that Rickenbacker anglicized his last name to avoid anti-German sentiment.
Born October 8, 1890, as Edward “Eddie” Reichenbacher, Eddie Rickenbacker was the third of eight children of German-speaking Swiss immigrants who had settled in Columbus, OH. He attended school until the age of twelve when, following the death of his father, he ended his education to lend support to his family. Continue reading
What my children remember about me as they were growing up absolutely enthralls me. It is a never-ending treasure trove of what I was like – and still am! First, let me say that I considered them “partners in crime.” I will always think that I somehow managed to clone myself twice. We moved an insane number of times, and I tried to be the “constant.” It never occurred to me to be other than myself even if I had to explain myself. I expected them to learn from it.
The move to Brightwood, Oregon was pivotal. My daughter was in 4th grade, my son was in preschool. There – in a sweet log cabin with a creek in front and the river behind, the three of us grew from the heart out, while husband commuted. My tendencies to take up “causes” and be proactive bloomed to full flower.
I joined Green Peace, The Atomic Decommissioning Alliance and assorted human rights groups. When the Japanese ambassador came to Portland, I took part Continue reading
As parents watch their young children argue and fight with one another, they have a nagging worry that they might grow up and not like their siblings. Thankfully, in many of our families, the children learn to get along and grow up to love one another. The Bible lets us peer into one family in which this was not the case. Rather, there was deception and bitterness in the home. The father’s name was Jacob and his story is recorded in the book of Genesis. He fathered a large family through four different women, all of whom lived in his home at the same time! [Talk about a dysfunctional family!] Of the four women, he loved Rachel the most. She had trouble getting pregnant, so his first ten boys and one daughter were born by the other three. Finally, Rachel gave birth to his eleventh son and named him Joseph. Continue reading
For students born with learning disorders like dyslexia, learning to read without a specialized program is an incredibly difficult task. Instead of being a satisfying challenge, it becomes a demoralizing chore.
Consider the experience of Tara Mixon, who quit her job to homeschool her dyslexic first grader. His self-confidence had plummeted when he couldn’t learn to read alongside his Kindergarten class. Transitioning to a single income meant she couldn’t afford specialized tutoring, which often costs more than $50 per hour. Tara’s hard work means her son can enroll in fourth grade this year, but she is far from confident in the public schools’ ability to Continue reading
Every day we are subjected to media. Media is rarely positive. Positive does not sell air time or magazines. Disaster does. Disaster also sells drugs to make us “feel better” and try to function in a more productive way. Society has always had its easy ways out.
My theory is this: the more one can focus on one’s immediate situation and surroundings, the better. This means: make a friend; phone a friend; see a friend. Know you are needed, because you are. Be a realist. Stay away from delusions. Focus on yourself and pay attention to you. Maybe you choose to pay attention in a manner that is a bit unusual – just do it. You are the one who can save your own life. Continue reading
Heroes. Our televisions and movies are filled with super-heroes. Men and women gifted with special abilities to fight crime. Do we really believe someone can throw fire from their hands, or throw up an energy shield to withstand an explosion, or fly at will, or stop speeding cars with their hands? Of course not. It’s our way of stating our wish that someone could fight the evil around us and bring about justice. Continue reading