March 2017

I is for "I don't know how to write this one..." Part I

Thursday Len and I spent the whole day in Madison at Bethel Lutheran Church and at the capitol - with 798 other people. The event was “WISDOM Madison Action Day/ Our State, Our Budget, Our Voice.” People from 150 churches around Wisconsin gathered for a biennial assembly to talk about what the organization is doing, learn more in break-out sessions, and then go in groups with people from our own area to talk with the state legislators from our districts.

H is for Hawaii

H is for Hawaii… Some friends are beginning a vacation there. Have a swell time Tristan, Lauren, and Stevie! Remember: “Be kind or be lunch”

This is a column from 2002, slightly edited.
Heard on a radio interview: "He'd been under a lot of pressure. He might have been suffering mental strain and maybe even mental disease. The ships kept breaking. It seems likely he was harsh and exploitative of the native people.

G is for Grandparenting

I never needed to be a grandmother; it just wasn’t on my radar. I love my kids to the moon and back, and I want them to be happy and have love in their lives -- yet how that works out for them - well, I’m curious to watch their stories unfold.

I will mention that I was pretty excited when various kids adopted a cat and a dog and a dog. And also my son’s fiancé came with a large calm cat who utterly tickles my sensibilities.

As Lin-Manuel Miranda said, “Love is love is love.”

F is for Frog

I read Sara Stein’s “Noah’s Garden” the first year we moved to Racine. She was (is?) an expert gardener with decades of experience landscaping every kind of flower, shrub, and tree. Her gardens were so beautiful they were sometimes featured in magazines and newspapers.

Except one day she realized that she had no frogs. Much of the lively fauna that ought to among her beautiful flora – was missing.

D is for Death. Hooboy.

I found the above (pictured) plaque at Goodwill yesterday and it made me laugh out loud. I understand the heartfelt statement of faith and gratitude, but wow, if you are going to laminate your faith statement onto a plaque – maybe run it past a writer first?

This sounds as if the Son of God was doing okay until he encountered the Sins of You.

So anyways… D is for Death.

Oh yeah, this will be short and easy.

Central statement of this essay; death sucks.
But also; death brings weird clarity.

C is for Challenges that Count

The first time I went to Guatemala (on a MayaWorks tour, ) the reality that most astounded me was the children. The kids were so bright-eyed and happy that they were nearly incandescent!

Why are kids in incredibly poor places often so incredibly happy; far happier it seems than our kids? Our kids too often look wary, or cloyingly precocious, or bored. I’m talking about our average American kids from reasonable families with no particular mental or physical challenges.

B is for Boston Tea Party

Dave took this photo last fall in North Dakota.

Today the Republican Congressional representatives of the Tea Party are front and center. Will they support the Trump(don’t)Care plan, or will they balk because it isn’t penny-pinching enough to suit their model of what government is supposed to do? (Nuthin’ but wars, apparently…)

Here’s my question. Since the “Boston Tea Party” is their motif of patriotism, what happened at that first and famous Boston Tea Party? Why did those early patriots have one?

A is for Access to Assets

An asset is anything that makes your life work stronger and better. Assets are good things to try to get.

I am not even close to wealthy yet when my eyes pop open in the middle of the night and the Wide-Eyed Bunny of Insomnia twitches its whiskers at me –I can move down the hall to the small bedroom where there is a single bed already made up and waiting for me. Then I switch my phone to free Pandora comedians who mumble just exactly the way I require to divert my attention - and I fall back asleep.


A week ago I gave up on kidding myself that an ingrown toenail is a joke. Went to a podiatrist and had the horrible surgery. (They numb you up and it doesn’t really hurt; it’s just the thought that makes one want to faint in their tracks). And then I didn’t go back outside for a week. Not kidding. Some people go back to work. Me? Not so much. I stayed home and wrote and read and moved photos around on the YouTube I talked about yesterday. (29 people have watched so far….)