Friday, December 13, 2013

I Gave My Dad a Hug Today

I gave my dad a hug today.  He sits in his chair and waits for a friend or neighbor to visit.  He doesn’t go to town or drive his truck anymore. No more coffee shop hour with his friends. He likes to watch Walker Texas Ranger.  If I could get Chuck Norris to visit dad that would be awesome.   Dad has traveled the world but no longer travels.  He loves people. If anyone is within earshot, he will tell them his life story and that story includes being a Christian.  He will tell you, “It doesn’t matter what church you go to, what matters is that you know Jesus.”  He is a life force even from his living room chair.  He is mostly blind, hard of hearing and has a hard time walking.  Yet he’s the one to always encourage me.  "Keep looking up, keep your eyes on Him.”  I came to give my dad a hug today.  And in return I’m blessed beyond measure.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Butterflies and Notepads

I love butterflies.  They seem magical somehow.  You never really see where they come from, or where they go.  They appear, flutter and vanish.  I like to make up stories.  Many of my ideas have never been written down.  They stem from something like a butterfly flitting by.  I say a few lines about the moment.  Then finish what I'm doing.  Imagine what would happen if I stopped to write all the thoughts I have about what I see. I used to carry a small notepad with me wherever I went.  I think it's time to do that again.   Most of my stories have come while going for a walk and scribbled down on a piece of paper.  No butterflies around now, except for the one in my hair. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Billy Graham Turns 95

He is a man I grew up with.  Yesterday he celebrated 95 years of earthly living. I find his voice comforting. I always have. Through wayward times in my life, I seemed to always find him. I wanted the hope he offered.  I believed in the things he stood for. His passion was sincere.  His message never waivered.  I wished I could be like him.  Bold, honest, driven.  How does a man keep his passion for 95 years?  How can an old man bring so many to think about the thing that matters most in life?  It's not the man that gives the hope. It's the message. He is a willing messenger.  Billy Graham's simple message of salvation through Jesus Christ has brought millions into the kingdom of God.  Isn't it amazing that a simple man, with a simple message commands so much attention?  Perhaps it's worth contemplating.  After all, eternity is forever.

Friday, November 1, 2013

My Private Beach

I've been coming to this beach for fifty years.  Right now the water is low, and you can walk for miles up or down stream.  I can't believe there's no one here.  The Kings River runs through my town.  The beach is pretty much empty this time of year.  The wildlife is rich and the sand is cool.  I feel the warmth of the sun on my forehead.  The quietness fills my mind. From the grains of sand to the graceful egret that swoops across the water, there is no denying that only God could create such splendor. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Television ,Laughter and Bedtime

Someone once told  me to watch something funny before going to bed. No offense Hollywood, but the t.v. shows of today don't come close to when I was growing up.  I don't know why I pay extra for cable.  I either watch Netflix or dvds.  If you want to relax, laugh and have your heart warmed, might I suggest one of the following as a nightcap?  Oh my, nightcap? That really dates me.
  • Feeling nostalgic? The Andy Griffith Show. 

  • Feeling idealistic?  The Mary Tyler Moore Show. 

  • Want some silliness?  The Brady Bunch.  I mean silly in the most respectful way. 

  • Ridiculous yet endearing, Hogan's Heroes. (I love Schultz.)

  • And just plain funny, I Love Lucy. 


Friday, October 18, 2013

Noon Whistle

I just cracked open the window in my house.  Here it comes, one long siren.  It's not a fire, it's lunchtime in Small Town U.S.A.  I think the noon whistle is one of my favorite small town sounds.  When I moved away to the big city for a decade, oh how I longed for my noon whistle.  I think most people in town enjoy it.  Although a few years ago there was a movement by a few non-whistle blowers to silence the noon time tradition.  A few letters from both sides of the whistle to the editor in our local paper seemed to keep the whistle blowing.  So tomorrow, I will listen for the whistle, and if you're ever traveling through Small Town America, roll down your window at noon and appreciate the whistle.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I saw a man in a motorized wheelchair.   He looked scruffy.  He'd had a hard life.  Smoking a cigarette.  Head down.  An old man.  I was walking with my daughter at the cemetery.  Sometimes it's the most relaxing place in town.  It's also a great place to watch the sunset across the big valley.
 Anyway, I know a lot of people would just walk by him.  Pretend not to notice, and not catch his eye.  I said hello and smiled, he smiled and said hello back.  I could see he was pleased.  I was pleased too.  Maybe he thought the same thing I did.  Maybe he was thinking I probably wouldn't say hi, and he wanted to see if he could make me smile.  He did.  We both did.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


No, I'm not a sports journalist.  But lately I find myself reaching for the sports section.  I like the new coach and quarterback at our local university.  I'm reminded of how the lessons learned on the field, and in any sport, apply to everyday living.  This past week my new favorite football coach told his players to "put in their earplugs."  Forget about what others say, stay focused on what's in front of you today.   For him and his team it's next week's game.  For me it's publishing my first book.  I have written and completed seven children's books.  Don't look too far ahead.  One step, or game at time as the coach would say.   I have practiced long enough.  I'm ready to play.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Caterpillar Hunting

A very hungry group of caterpillars have decided to dine on my new petunias.  I can't believe I am hunting for caterpillars in my spare time.  I found five in one plant!  I wasn't  sure what to do with them.  How do you dispose of The Very Hungry Caterpillar after all?  I decided the humane thing to do was to let them stay on their leaf.  Then take the leaf to the alley with other plant debris.  Problem solved.  Conscious clear.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Middle of the Forest

Okay, I am looking at my Snow White Plate from Disneyland.  The artist is Gomes.  That really doesn't matter to me.  However, Gomes does create lovely art for the Magic Kingdom. I just like the picture and how it makes me feel.  Snow White is sitting in the middle of the forest.  She is at peace.  The artist has captured a moment in the story that makes me want to join her.  I think I will.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Multiplying My Garden

About a year and a half ago I bought a bunch of plants from "The Plant Lady".  She told me  she found it comforting to be in her garden after her husband passed on.  At the time I thought, "Oh, how nice for you."  Today, I find myself reaping the benefits of working in my garden.  I have taken the few plants I got from her and multiplied them many times over.  Last week I gave a friend cuttings from all my favorite succulents.   Over the past year I have discovered the beauty of the outdoors and plants, almost for the first time.  Like the Plant Lady, I am comforted and rewarded with what is clearly more than just a hobby.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My Miniature World

If I could live in Storybook Land at Disneyland I think it would be very satisfying.  Coming back from Disneyland is always inspiring.  But how do you make the magic last?  Walt started with miniatures, so why can't I?  Since I like to write stories and admire the world of miniatures, I decided to start small.  Today I made a miniature garden.  I call it Beatrix Potter's Garden.  I do believe I go back and forth between her and Walt to draw creative inspiration.  Both were storytellers.  Both loved their imaginary worlds.  There's something wonderful about the perfect world of miniatures.  This garden is one of my favorites that I have made.  I can change it, add to it, and best of all.....write a new story.