Cushioned Steps

Each careful step
Across the floor
Cushioned by
Layers of history
What was once alive
Now protects as it
Deteriorates
Feeding the earth
Lying underneath
How many have
Come and gone
Taken these same steps
Across lines of
Time and space-
Did they notice
The Luna moth
Drying her wings
In frilly foliage
Of gentle ferns
Or the bright orange
Mushrooms
Peeking out from
Underneath
The fern leaves
Were their steps cushioned as well?
Steps that allowed
Time for pause
Time for soaking up
All the forest
Has to say
About the past
The present
And the future

I Am Smiling!

Feelings
Often show
Right
On
Our
Faces
Before
We even
Understand them
Ourselves
There they sit
Right
On
Our
Faces
For all the world
To see
For all the world
To interpret
And though
Interpretations
Are likely
Incomplete
Perhaps
The attempt
To understand
Will prove
A first step
To understanding

I caught a glimpse of myself in an airport restroom mirror. The person staring back at me did not look happy. Add another inconvenience. Nothing major. Just a broken latch on the restroom door. That’s all.

What is wrong with me? I don’t like the look on my face.

An investigation provided the following information:

  • My 4:00 A. M. alarm was rude. I need my sleep.
  • No time for tea before my first flight. Tea wakes me up.
  • Travel is exhausting. But the adventures are worth the stress. I think…

Now put a smile back on that face and get on the next flight home!

Simply Sunday

Happy Father’s Day!

The past two years brought health challenges for my dad. Open-heart surgery and heart failure were encapsulated by complications from diabetes. I am grateful he is still with us. And he is thriving.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

He and my mom have coped well with the struggles of health combined with pandemic living. I know it has not been easy, and I am proud of them.

On this Father’s Day, I miss my father-in-law, Bob. I often wonder what he would think about the current state of the world. The political divide in our country? He would be disappointed. The challenges of living through a pandemic…not sure how he would have fared. Isolation from family and friends would have been difficult. He lived for his family and was quick to whip us into shape. 😉❤️

But, oh, what good things have happened. Grandchildren graduated from high school and college. Several are now married. And three new great-grandchildren have joined our family.

Anytime we are together as a family, I know he is smiling. He is smiling, and we are remembering.

Well-Lived

Stoic
He stands
In the center
Of the forest-
Looking
From behind
The years of
Weathered ware
Show clearly
So much so
A passerby
Might question
Whether or not
He was still alive
Unless they
Keep walking
Circling
The forest floor
And spot his
One good arm
Outstretched
Hand waving
His face in
Full view-
Grandfather Tree
With his welcoming
Well-worn smile
I’ve got my fishing pole.
Are you ready to go?

Another cool and breezy day in Vermont. A morning hike and an afternoon winery visit. A yummy maple creemee. Not looking forward to the Oklahoma heat!

Pockets and Pebbles

We drove under a canopy of trees. So thick in stretches, we wouldn’t have been able to see the sun even if it had been shining. Winding switchbacks took us to the top of Mt. Mansfield. We marveled at the beautiful views.

Some of us closed our eyes and held on tight at certain turns. Well…one of us did, anyway. But that was not the thing that caused me to gasp. Instantly feeling like a little kid. Any guesses?

Giant rocks!

Boulders with great veins of quartz running through. Some were standing solitary. Others were stacked, forming small caves. Even others with trees growing against their faces. Those might have been my favorite.

Standing in the shadows of these giants, the kid in me wanted to fill my pockets with pebbles. No, I did not. Managed to rustle up some restraint.

Instead, I stood in awe of these majestic formations. Felt the embrace of their cool breeze. Accepted their invitation to climb, stand, and sit. And finally, to walk away feeling confident, steady, and grateful.

Hold Hands…Follow Me

Walking through an airport can be a tad overwhelming. Where is my next gate? The restroom? Starbucks? Ok, so maybe not Starbucks. But the level of activity and the sheer number of other people…can feel a bit frantic.

Today while walking through Chicago O’Hare airport, I heard the sweetest phrase.

Hold hands and follow me.

When I glanced across the walkway, I saw a mom standing with a baby on her hip and two other littles standing close by. The words I heard were her message to the kids. They listened, grabbed each other’s hands, and followed her.

What a precious picture. Yes, mom looked travel-worn. Her responsibilities were many. I don’t know where they were headed, but they were going together.

This scene caused me to question. Is that how God talks to me? Does he say, Look! Here are your family and friends. Just grab a hand and follow me.

Or perhaps, if unable to reach out, pick me up. Carries me like the baby on the mom’s hip. Leaving the hand-holding and following part to family and friends. Either way, I am never alone.

Side note: I really was traveling today. 😊 Spending a few days in beautiful Vermont. More to come…

Blog Anniversary!

Yesterday marked four years since my first Piano Girl blog post! I continue to be thankful for this WordPress family. I look forward to reading your words and continuing to find new connections.

A lot has happened in four years. Not the least of all, living through a pandemic. Times of sickness, death, isolation, masks, and vaccinations. Challenging does not begin to describe.

And yet, good things pushed their way through the muck. Extended time with family. New friends connecting across the miles thru zoom. Resilience tested and proven within so many. I even had my first book published!

No, those things do not erase current events distress from the wars in our world and gun violence in my country. They do, however, encourage me to cherish the connections I have, old and new. They remind me of the importance of loving, even when we disagree. They give me hope.

Here’s to year five! Prayers for peace. Actions with intention. Words to encourage. Stop by and say hello!

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8

Pause and Wonder

In the shapes
Of clouds
In the leaves
Of trees
In the feathers
Of backyard birds
It is everywhere
But do we recognize it?
They say…
It is the spice of life.
Maybe there is more to it than that?
In the colors
Of our skin
In the traditions
Of our cultures
In the songs
Of our hearts
Variety draws us in
Gives us cause
To pause
And wonder
Encourages us
To embrace
Our differences
Before showing us
How very much
We are the same

Hydrangea blooms. All from the same plant.

The Whole Story

I wish I knew the whole story. How your life began. The circumstances surrounding your birth. How your big sister played with you. What you were like as a toddler.

When we first met, you were bossy and tall for your age. But you had a big smile and beautiful long, dark hair. You loved flying high on the playground swings. I’m glad for those moments of joy in your life.

Schoolwork did not come easy. You worked so hard. No matter what we tried, letters and numbers couldn’t find their way into your memory banks. Not long-term, anyway.

You enjoyed listening to stories and spending time playing pretend with your friends. Somehow, unphased by the lack of remembering academic details.

Traveling between Mexico and Oklahoma seemed to be the pattern. You, your mother, and your older sister. That must have been stressful and scary. Not knowing how long you would stay in one place or where you belonged.

I wish I knew the whole story. Why the older you grew, the less care you seemed to receive. Understanding there must have been challenges in raising a child with disabilities. But still, you deserved to be cared for and loved.

What love there was somehow faded with the birth of a new baby. Slowly turning to neglect and abuse. My heart breaks over what I do know.

You are unable to tell me your whole story. Only bits and pieces. Maybe I shouldn’t wish to know it. One thing I do know is you will always wear the scars. Yet, you still manage to smile. You give and receive love. And just maybe, that is the whole story. ❤️

Our sweet friend, Marie. So glad she is part of our lives.

Simply Sunday

Optics

From a distance
The distance
Between them
Seemed
Unremarkable
A series of
Ups and downs
Over rolling hills
Around sharp curves
Always maintaining
The appearance
Of connection
Perhaps it was
The alternating
Each taking a turn
In the lead
Until rest
Was required
And a graceful
Exchange
Occurred
One-hand
Reaching forward
The other back
No need for even a glance-
I suppose distance was
Never really a factor
As their hearts
Always seemed
To precede
Their hands