A Welcome Message

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Being a pastor’s wife doesn’t mean I climb mountains more than the average person, although hiking is a favorite activity in our family.  The picture of our two sons was taken in the Colorado Rockies, where the five of us spent a breathtaking (sometimes literally) week the summer before last.  Getting to a high place and enjoying a visual panorama is always a thrilling experience.  My title here, though, refers more to the kind of expansive view I get to … Read More

All At The Same Time

I wasn’t feeling particularly older until my son shouted to me today, while he was starting to pack for our two-day journey out to his new campus, “Mom, what did you take to college?” Well, let’s see….a typewriter, definitely a bunch of records and a turntable, turtlenecks for the long winter, somebody’s old wooden skis, and a yellow Schwinn bicycle. Naaah, it wasn’t that long ago. But here we are: my third child is about to be on his own, … Read More

Different Beaches, Different Times, Different Lives

I’m knocking on the door of a significant birthday, so I’m going to gather my wits and make a modest proclamation. Just when you think you’ve got a few facts down, can recognize a thing or two with certainty, absolutely know how to define particular words…something will probably happen that will cause you to re-shuffle the deck. Not that I put myself in the camp of people playing with a full one or anything. But I venture to say that, … Read More

He’s Two Hundred and Not In A Hurry

Do you have a full plate of activities today, a long to-do list? Are you focused on accomplishments? Then this guy’s approach to life might seem a bit odd:   I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least—and it is commonly more than that—sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.   This proud wanderer just turned 200 a week ago; … Read More

Having a Rocky 4th of July

Ever feel like you’re out of synch with mainstream culture? That you’re marching to the beat of a different drummer but — here’s the clincher—you’re also not sure you want to be in this Thoreauvian (a real word) situation? “Twas I, just a few evenings ago, on the 4th of July. OK, so this is a social, boisterous holiday. Parades, picnics, fireworks: people get together all over the country, holding paper plates of burgers and hot dogs and potato salad; … Read More

His River, My Canal

The past week has demonstrated for me, as if I didn’t already know, that life can be all about natural flow, heading downriver freely and perhaps in tune with a larger power; or it can be about getting through a bunch of sometimes momentarily jarring locks on a canal that will, you hope, take you where you want to go: open water. Sure, it’s possible to imagine life without waterways at all – being firmly planted without any forward movement … Read More

Attention Must Be Paid…Or Maybe Not

Less is more…especially in June, a dazzling and also tumultuous month that might as well be called “Jewel of a Jumble.” Shifting to a watery image, because it’s so hot today, I would also offer another name: “A Time to Keep Paddling, A Time to (Mostly) Refrain from Plunging.”     At this everything-is-happening-at-once time of year, deciding what not to do a deep dive into is just as important as deciding how to keep swimming forward through all the … Read More

Like Michael Jackson, I “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”

We didn’t need any reminding over the past week that so much going on in the world, and even in our own communities, is out of our control. It’s overwhelming, it’s frustrating, and for so many reasons the future seems uncertain. When it comes to the course of our own lives, we have more control, although still far from complete mastery. Life becomes a cloth of many colors, some of which we can take pride in, others not so much. … Read More

Emily Dickinson Returns, with a Rocker’s Mom

It’s Mother’s Day, but this will not a Mother’s Day blog; or at least, not one exactly. The culture that surrounds us spews out more than enough material on this tired theme. The person I have most on my mind never was a mother in the regular sense, although she left almost 1800 offspring that live on and on. She also spent a fair amount of time thinking about death, not a very celebratory subject, in the Hallmark sense anyway. … Read More

Darned if Science Always Looks on the Bright Side: Conflict as Opportunity

Last time I wrote about the pinnacle of the Christian calendar—Easter. This time I’m also heading into territory where I’m no expert—science. We all know that religion and that relentless quest for facts about Nature have been getting into skirmishes, sometimes all-out battles—for eons. These days, though, with the future of the Earth looking especially precarious, it feels more and more as if it’s “all faiths on deck” for our home planet. But it turns out science doesn’t speak with … Read More

Across the Fields on Easter Morning

One of my favorite highway signs has always been “Merge” because it’s usually wonderful when different lanes or people or traditions or what-have-you can flow together.     Off the road, I had an experience over the weekend that brought into the present elements of a past I never even knew. Since Easter is all about rejuvenation, I tried something new this time. Instead of dressing up and getting in the car with family members (one of whom would be … Read More

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