Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lent and community

It's been quite some time since I have posted anything on this blog, and wondered if I should just create a new blog, clear the slate and begin anew. However, for now, I believe I will stay put and put my thoughts, ideas, happenings here.

I went to Eucharist this evening, prior to our Lenten study on gifts. The tiny chapel was overflowing with  members of our little church, all of them who stayed for the study. Breaking bread together before breaking bread together - a double thanksgiving. Simple meals become the norm for Wednesday nights in our church. And finish the night off with Compline. 

For the past couple of nights, I have been closing my evenings by listening to Stopford's The Lord Bless you and keep you.  It's now one of my favorites. I share with you:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

An adventure of the summer!

Last year, my son moved out west to Portland. It's a long way to be away from one of your very own, but he likes it out there and is happy. What more can a mother want? So... I am making a trip out west to see him. It will be an adventure to me - not ever being out in the Northwest, barely ever crossing the Mississippi, makes this an epic adventure in traveling for me.

A few adjustments to be made - June weather is not the same in the northwest as it is in the southeast. I think I can live with the highs in the 60s and 70s, but no cooler, thank you.

One of the big excitements for me is to travel on several different modes of transportation - stay tuned!

I look forward to posting about my travels as I cross the country and get a taste of a different part of our country.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Veni, Veni, Emanuel

As we venture into the last week of Advent, I post this hymn performed by Mannheim Steamroller.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

It's been 6 months since I have posted.  I post today from sorrow, confusion, grief, and frustration. Senseless killings have occurred at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty 1st graders and six adults were shot and killed by a man who entered the school and went on a rampage.

I started teaching in 1989. I cannot remember a door being locked during the school day. Adults and children could enter the school as they went about their day. Today is different. Doors are locked, security cameras are placed strategically both in and outside of the school.

I do see how our culture has changed - some for the better, some for the worse. I see the lack of innocence in so many children today. I see the actions which tell me that they see and experience too many things that no child should see or hear.  Parents who are focused on their cellphones, Ipods, computers, televisions. Children who can sing the songs with expletives, yet cannot recite a nursery rhyme.

My heart hurts for the parents, families, friends, and schoolmates. Those lives will never be the same again. My heart aches for this country, questioning why - and wondering what will it take for there to be change that will make a difference so this will not happen again. Too many times this has happened. So far nothing has changed.

What is it going to take? Prayers we can be instruments of change so this no longer happens.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Week in the Mountains

It's been some time since I have posted. School has ended. A family trip to the mountains offered a spot of refreshment as we found a place on the river and could watch the time go by. Funny how each person's ideal of a vacation plays a part in family. Some of us perfectly content watch time pass us by, while others of us need a plan, something to do. So, we compromise and have a little of this and a little of that planned, with the  in between times where we can just be.

The place on the river offered us scenes of wildlife not seen often until we slow down. Mallard ducks swam in formation on the river with their ducklings, showing them the ropes of what life is as a duck. Canadian geese did the same, though at different times of the day. The occasional snake kept those ever vigilant of those creatures on their toes.

And oh, the lightning bugs - when and where were the last time I saw these insects bringing back memories of childhood? We do not see these anymore where we live - perhaps the mosquito pesticides that are sprayed get them?  I look forward to the day I see my grandson chase and catch them as I did as a child.

Here is a video view of our little piece of quiet we had:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Away but back home

Three nights at the beach with some of my family gave me some away time. Still much work to be done. More to write about here. Trying to get some focus here, which is not so easy. Thank goodness for friends and family.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I was pretty confident that I had grieved through most of last year with Mom in the nursing home. I saw the Mom I knew become less of this world and preparing for the next. So  when her death finally came, I felt a sense of relief, knowing that the hardest chapter of her life was over and she could go ahead and enter into the next.

Well, the grieving comes in waves, and just like tides of the ocean, it ebbs and flows. This week I received a note from my cousin, sharing memories of her aunt/my mom. Good memories. And the last sentence hit me. "I know you miss her like crazy." That sentence has stuck with me all this week and I have thought about it a good bit about how it hit me and what it means.

I do miss her like crazy, but I don't miss the last year of her life, where she really was not the Mom I knew. I became her Mom, as she became confused with the roles of who we were. I miss the times before then, the times we were able to enjoy doing things together, watching her enjoy life in her golden years. Seeing the twinkle in her eyes in the excitement of an anticipation of a trip, or going to church, or going out to eat. She loved living in this small town where people knew her by name, catered to her as she became less able to move around (though she fought it, she loved it at the same time). Those are the times I miss.

So life goes on, and one can't just decide to grieve and get it over with. It doesn't work that way. It comes at times we least suspect it and sometimes for no reason at all.

Acts of kindness touch me. I received a letter from one of Mom's doctors - her dermatologist. Handwritten even. A touch on the shoulder asking me if I am ok at school can bring on the tears. But most of all, these gestures of kindness show me how the simplest acts can be so meaningful. The friend who brought over some assorted teas --each time I make a cup of tea and choose from the wonderful hodgepodge, I am thankful for her kindness and gives me time to think about Mom, even it for a very brief moment.

For others, many have not lost a parent - they haven't traveled that road yet. They have not had a significant loss in their family. One day it will happen, and others will show them the way and carry them through the rough times.

I wonder about how I have had to deal with the grieving of my Mom compared to my Dad. I loved both dearly, but my reaction to my Dad's passing was different. I am guessing because Mom lived with us for about 5 years so I saw her daily and saw her decline, where Dad's death was sudden. Or could my grief by a culmination of the two, knowing that both of my parents are  no longer with me? That I do not know, but it's a possibility.

Today at the Eucharistic Prayer, I watched as the bread and the wine was being blessed and the story of the Last Supper was told. I hear it Sunday after Sunday. Today it moved me to tears and by the time we got to the Lord's prayer, I started praying, but finally I had to stop as my tears were flowing and I could no longer continue the prayers. The beauty of the community of believers who carried on with the prayer, carrying me through the prayer with their voices until I could rejoin them later.  Wet prayers, those were. Tears of thanksgiving, tears of grief, tears of the beauty of the Eucharist, and tears perhaps for others whose tears have yet to flow. Thanks be to God.