Wednesday, June 29, 2005

55 Going on 23

N led the pack of packers. He was tall, flat ab-ed, and his legs showed signs of much activity though they didn't have that "I spend all my time on a bike" look. They were just much muscle and no flab.

He's traveled the world. Latin America, China, Thailand, some of the most challenging rivers in the U.S. have all drawn he and his family. Kayaking and rafting are the main reasons. Rock climbing and hiking are sometimes also on the agenda.

I marveled at his stamina, his knowledge and the fact that at 55, he was the only one keeping up with his 22-year-old son during what seemed to me to be a marathon adventure and to him had to be a stroll in the park.

I'm never going to be that healthy. I'm never going to lead the pack. But I revel in my mid-point-ness. And I celebrate a family who celebrates life by living it to the max.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

His Birthday, My Adventure

42 miles . . . 41 pounds on my back . . . 43 years and 11 months old, not exactly a vision of loveliness but healthy enough to be in the middle of the pack . . . 6 companions for the whole trip . . . 3 more for the last leg . . . 2 cooks that prepared incredible meals -- Asian and otherwise (including curry, fried rice, Korean sushi and egg rolls, brownies, apple pie, chocolate cake) . . . conversations that often resembled the mountain ranges in the distance -- breathtaking, wide and sometimes without points or slightly covered in fog . . . 1 friend turning 40 with style

That's the short version of the trip. Stay tuned for details.

Letters from the Valley

I've been away from email for a week and when I opened the inbox today I read of two older couples who were facing death with more faith, courage and grace than I've ever personally encountered. The thing about the following letter that I'm reproducing save for the names is that these are not sachrine sweet platitudes with no basis in reality. The walk this couple are now on has been ongoing for several years. And when I first met the man, a pastor, I thought he was of the insensitive and ignorant variety. I soon learned that his lack of socialization finesse was not indicative of his depth of character or an absence of a divine spark. He's just . . . different. And he's also wonderfully gifted at epistles that take you into their new world . . .

June 21, 2005

I’m sitting in a pretty predictable place, our sun room. It’s 16x20 and has three sides facing the mountains and pastoral views of cows, horses and our gardens. It’s a quiet place we built which has become B’s room. There’s the table and chairs, hospital bed, commode, Hoyer lift, book shelves, stereo, piano, one love seat and another overstuffed chair. B spends most of her time here. She can no longer walk or stand. Of course she is diapered and dependant on me or others for all her needs. With the lift I can lift her into the wheelchair and she takes most all her meals at the dining room table. We go out for walks in our part of the country and for the most part she ends up sleeping as she is now.

We’ve been able to get to church and worship at the grade school across the street. There gathers a group of Christians “starting a new church”. It is a mission plant by the Evangelical Free. Since we can’t get her in a car any more we are now “home bound”.

B is often confused and disoriented and knows it. She is very aware of her limitations and strange behaviors which over come her. She describes it as being in a prison. She can see herself as she was and is when all is well but also sees herself in her broken condition of body and mind.

Just a few minutes ago she brought up “how hard the road is in the ‘valley of the shadow of death’”. Indeed she prays daily to be able to go HOME and be with the Lord. She still prays for every member of the family by name and all the pastors in Montana, Idaho and Utah with Ontario and Elko thrown in. She prays for all the leaders and especially for those who are sick and on the e-mail prayer list for the American Baptist Churches of the Northwest.

She can no longer read or write. We listen often to the stereo, to my reading of inspirational material, Bible lessons and frequently she requests I play the piano or guitar while she sings recalling all the old hymns and new praise music. Another request comes about once a week, “teach me a new song”. She wants to keep learning.

I am her 23/7 caregiver. I often get a break to go for a 50 minute bike ride. In the month of May 77 hours were donated by persons from the Clearfield Community Church. For each hour given, I donate $10.00 toward a Scholarship set up in her name. It is designated toward an individual who has finished their BA/BS degree with intent to follow the call of God in ministry. Hospice provides 3 hours a week, respite care and 3 personal care visits per week. A nurse comes every week as well as a social worker and occasionally a chaplain.

Our neighbor shops for us and church families bring in meals on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. One of our close friends schedules all the visits at predetermined times of the day and week. These visits do house cleaning, construction, dishes, laundry or whatever I may have undone when they arrive. Some of the elderly come in pairs just to keep B company, while I work in the garden or mow or work around the house.

Our children visit and we’ve enjoyed the grandchildren in person and with e-pictures. There are daily family phone calls but not everyone calls every day. We receive cards, flowers and packages from loved ones around the world.

Count our blessings
Prayer unceasingly
Watch out for each other on this harsh journey toward death
Give witness of the goodness of God’s miracles to all who will listen
Participate in a small group which meets in our home every other Sunday evening
Laugh as much as possible
Cry until we can cry no more
Notice the flowers and beauty surrounding us
Hold up relationships of love
Sleep at the drop of a hat if possible
Tolerate and give thanks for others folding our “clothes”, working in our kitchen, cleaning every nook and cranny of our abode, changing of a diaper or getting us a drink of ice water.
We admit this letter is not “as upbeat” but it is full of praise and glory for God making all this time available to us to serve Him. Still this is hard, very hard!

The swelling in the brain continues to do its damage. Medicines are changed frequently trying to find a balance between rest and awareness.

Now is the time to recall the “Word of God hidden in our hearts”, now is the time to live letting God hold the lamp for our feet and even letting God carry us across uncharted territory beyond our comfort zone. Now is the time to rely upon the strength of God, the mercy of God, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the fruit given therein.

We have no questions of faith but lots of unanswered questions concerning timing, and length of journey. We have a certainty of the promises of God and are learning to “wait upon the Lord”.

Go ahead and ask. When will she die? Her body appears extremely healthy and she could live a long time. Nobody knows and neither she nor I care. We are committed to living life one moment at a time just like the last 43 years together (June 16th was our anniversary). Each moment we seek to live as “unto the Lord”. We still keep the Great Commission before us and have discovered someone has to stay close to home and not ignore our personal space to be discipled.

Thank you,

Love, R&B

Monday, June 20, 2005

I'm Outta Here!!!

Until next Monday, I'm offline!! While the journey is the destination, I can still share some points along the way I know I'll enjoy:

At the first sign of sweat on the California trail, I'll try to remember all my Houston buds melting in 95+ degree heat.
At the first breath-taking view, I'll say a prayer for all of you who are currently experiencing chaos and just trying to remember to breathe.
At my first Redwood, I'll offer it a hug and silently I'll call to mind all those who I embrace each day of my life.
At my first shower (three days in folks!), I'll be grateful for all those who have patiently waited for me to clean up my act and graciously did so in silence (even when they SOOOOOO wanted to "fix" me).
At the first glimpse of the coast, I'll thank God for each salty tear I've shed and will shed as I realize how much my loved ones love and are loved.

Blessings to you all.

Tapas for the Mind (Or Another Eclectic Weekend)

  • Try and see the movie Saving Face if you are open to humor, cultural insights, child/parental guilt bonding, and giving up any silly notions about what love looks like. Don't see it if you have issues with subtitles, lesbian love making, or Chinese food.
  • Three hours of watching someone undergoing dialysis while engaging in witty and stimulating conversation with that very same someone is not hard. Realizing that he had an hour of it when I wasn't around and that he gets to repeat this process three times a week -- is mind-numbing.
  • Shopping with a friend is much more tolerable than running errands alone. Four lamp stores in one day? Could be my limit.
  • I may not be the skinniest person going on this backpacking trip of 40 miles in five days but I am in shape. Six miles on Saturday at a fairly fast pace convinced me of it.
  • When a friend wants to say thank you, I'm glad I let him. Sometimes "thank yous" come in the form of seafood and they're delicious.
  • Free-form Sundays are luxurious especially when they include accomplishing something AND spending time with those you love. Yea! Rah! Us! By the late afternoon the new apartment was painted. By evening, some items were already moved. But the day also included worship, poolside with my "family," finishing an article, and good eats. Ahhhhhh . . .

Pitts, Courage and Other Thoughts

I've mentioned Leonard Pitts before. He's a columnist and I often find that I strongly agree with what he's saying as well as loving how he says it. Today, he was masterful. He started with acknowledging last week's Senate apology for "decades of inaction while an estimated 4,700 Americans, most of them black, were lynched."

He makes several interesting and valid points, but it was his conclusion that gripped me:

Don't get me wrong. I'm not upset an apology was issued.

But, the moral cowardice of 20 holdout senators aside, how much political courage is required in 2005 to say that it is wrong to stand by as mobs murder people? What does it tell you that we must get almost 50 years beyond lynching before we can muster the fortitude to call the sin a sin?

What happened last week was a historic gesture, an appropriate gesture, but in the end, only a gesture. For it to be more requires not remorse about yesterday's injustices, but resolve about today's.

Courage isn't courage unless there's something at stake.

As I was pondering his words, I realized that this definition results in courage's different look for each of us. I thought of my friend who, in my opinion, shows courage as she interacts with a woman at the coffeehouse where we have church. The woman is probably mentally unstable. But my friend says that she wonders what this wandering one with sporadic grasps on reality has to teach her. An opportunity to learn was not what I thought of when I first saw the woman. I was fretful, anxious about how she might interrupt the worship experience we have in the coffeehouse. My sense of order would have been at stake if I had shown the courage to talk to her. I didn't. My friend did and now I wonder, was it courageous for her? If she sees it as a benefit and doesn't believe she has anything to lose then maybe not. But, if so, my friend shows courage in other ways (and the whole package of this friend is what is truly amazing!).

For me, speaking out against something requires little to no courage. Crafting ideas? Nope, no courage required. But facing the reality that by making a stand . . . a visible stand . . . and coming out loud and clear and radical on an issue? For that, I have to muster up a lot of courage. Asians call one of my greatest fears "losing face." If ever I counter you, obviously challenging what you think and especially if I'm forfeiting what may be your good opinion of me, KNOW that every ounce of me has been conjured up to be that courageous.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Just Got the Itinerary

Next week I'm celebrating a friend's 40 years on the planet by doing a little one-on-one time with the earth . . . we're backpacking 40 miles!

He just sent the itinerary. So next week, when you get a moment, imagine me . . . 43 years old . . . slightly overweight . . . but fit . . . hauling a 25 to 30 pound pack through the Redwoods, a bit of a mountain ridge and then down the coast of California. Showers aren't possible until the third day in. I know my friend and one other woman who is hiking with the group . . . otherwise I'm the stranger from out of town. (Consider all these little details just prompters for prayers and all positive thoughts!)

Obviously, I won't be blogging on the following days:
June 22 = From Castle Rock Lot via Ridge to Castle Rock Camp (overnight) = 2.7 (Day hike along Saratoga Gap trail back to camp = 4.7
June 23 = From Castle Rock Camp to Waterman Gap (overnight) = 6.7
June 24 = From Waterman Gap to Jay Camp (overnight) = 9.8
June 25 = From Jay Camp to Sunset Camp (overnight) = 5.3
(Day hike about 3 miles)
June 26 = From Sunset Camp to Waddell Beach = 7.8

We're celebrating his big day on the beach at a restaurant where folks who showered in 25 cent increments for only two days of the trip are allowed. There should be many interesting things to report when I return!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Now That You Mention It . . .

Had a very frank discussion about sex today.

I'm so glad to be at a phase in my life where the people I know and associate with on a fairly regular basis no longer feel the need to pretend they don't think about the subject.

Not that all my friends and I sit around sharing fantasies all day either.

Somehow though there's a healthiness to it . . . when someone can't take the pressure, when someone is thinking but not acting on temptation, when someone just admires another person (physically, spiritually, mentally or all of the above), when someone has acted . . . and we talk rather than whisper or insinuate or suggest or whatever . . .

God, it's refreshing.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Office Chatter

My open office door offers no resistance to the conversational cacophony created by Spanish-speakers, Russian-speakers, Spirit speakers, etc. who congregate on microfiber sofas in anticipation of the next meeting, the next cell phone interruption, the next encounter with a fellow consultant.

Sometimes I cringe . . . wondering if a head will peek around the corner, earnestly seeking me out, wanting matched enthusiasm or needed empathy. Sometimes I don't have the words . . . whatever the language may be . . . to serve their cause. I sit quietly, relishing the silent keyboard that allows me to seek out volume-less conversations . . . online and behind the veil of www.

And when those gathered finally depart, I breathe -- not realizing that I've held my breath as I've hid away from their jovial, Spirit-filled handshakes, hugs and salutations.

Sometimes I'm an introvert trapped in an extrovert's reputation. Sometimes I want to close the door.

Not a Mom but I play one on . . .

I'm truly clueless about this aspect of life but if I've gained even a hint of "life on the other side," if I've listened to what I've heard, this seems to hold a lot of truth. And if not, it's artistically quite appealing.

The Dreaded A+

For the first time in my life getting an A+ report was not what I wanted to hear. I'm not a good match to give my friend a kidney.

He's got several potential donors and they are getting checked out. If none of them match, then I've told the transplant coordinator that I'm open to being a swap -- someone in need of an A+ kidney who has access to kidney that would match my friend's need would swap with my friend who has access to mine.

After my friend's situation is settled and if I don't play into that equation, then I'll be left with another decision.

It's not that odd when you think about it but I'm still not sure where I'm going to fall . . . . Would I give up a kidney for a stranger? Without any benefit to myself or someone in my life?

I mentioned it to the transplant coordinator and she thought I was referring to the "swap" option. I wasn't. I really am struggling with the thought that if I want my friend to have what he needs even if it comes from a stranger then why am I not willing to be that stranger for someone else?

I'm trying to be thoughtful on this one. I'm single, healthy, without kids and the accompanying concerns of their future needs. But while I'm currently insured, if I ever chose to go freelance, then I'm not so sure I'd be welcomed with low rates if I were sans one kidney. I have three friends who are presently dealing with kidney problems that they didn't know were coming ten years ago. And I'm not sure if I even have the sick leave to do this!

Yet, when I simply mentioned I might be open to what they call an "altruistic donation" the transplant coordinator's whole demeanor changed. She was visibly intrigued. I said something about how I assumed that I might have to wait a while to find someone who matched me. She speedily and simply replied, "We have hundreds waiting right now."

You just don't discount that kind of information once you've heard it. Those aren't words that can go back in the bottle, be erased, ignored. Hundreds of people are waiting . . . just like my friend . . . wanting some degree of normalcy to return.

And I, a healthy woman whose biggest health fret is the extra pounds I consistently put on and take off, could help.

Hmmmmm . . .

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


I may be the stepdaughter of a doctor and the daughter of a nurse, but I have no affinity with the medical profession. I didn't grow up waiting to see a doctor. When we were sick, we simply went in the "colored entrance" (yes, I know that's horrible but I thought we called it that because the door was a different color than the front version) and walked right into the next available examination room. We were poked and/or prodded, shot up or x-rayed and on our way in usually less than half an hour.

Today I have two appointments with the medical world. I have to allow at least 45 minutes to drive there and park. I know I'll wait in a Muzak drenched waiting room of muted colors and less than thought-provoking magazines. I'll then be escorted through a maze of hallways to an examination room, brightly lit. Oh, but first there's that all important stop at the fixture of doom -- the scale. Inside the room, I will take off my clothes, wrap a paper gown around me and wait . . . and wait . . . and wait. The doctor will be chatty and kind and efficient. And then I'll put my clothes back on, pay for whatever the insurance won't cover, make my way back to the garage and leave.

The annual check up is the only time each year I make myself engage with doctors. If I'm sick, I'll take every over the counter thing I can find to avoid a trip.

But today, I've added one more visit. I'm going to check out whether I'm capable of giving up a kidney. The chances are low -- had hepatitis as a teenager and I've been to more than one third world country. But I want to know and not just assume that I'm not a candidate. I'd love to be able to help my friend who needs the organ. I'm also pondering that if for some reason I can donate but I'm just not compatible with him, whether I could do the deed for a complete stranger. I mean he may wind up benefiting from a stranger so why couldn't I play that role in someone else's life . . . someone who is as important to their world and their friends as this guy is to so many of us??

Still don't know if I can go that far . . . but today I can go to the doctor.

So I am and . . . I'm anxious.

Monday, June 13, 2005

They Appeared, We Prayed, They Left, We Remain

Friday we came together as believers who may not agree on doctrine or various points of theology but who, without hesitation, could join hands in opposition to hate. As we circled to pray for the city and the events of the next day, we recognized what we haven't done enough of in the past and tried to make ammends. During the press conference, blacks and whites spoke on camera and off of love, justice and peaceful protest.

Saturday, somewhere between 200 and 300 dropped in on one (and there were others) of the gathering places for prayer. They quietly held signs reminding people of God's love and they prayed.

I was present physically on Friday and spiritually on Saturday. I saw the date conflict about a week ago and made the decision to keep my commitment to work at the AIDS hospice rather than stand with my friends. I knew my prayers could be heard no matter where I was.

As I honored my commitment to serve some of what Jesus might call "the least of these," my decision was confirmed. When I arrived at the hospice, I was greeted by a first-time volunteer. He was gorgeous (and no, that wasn't why I felt so good about the decision!) and Haitian. I met the new nurse assigned to our Saturdays. She was a young black woman who had invited two women from her church to volunteer. They were there for the first time. They, too, were black.

So on Saturday while a small group of closed minded individuals walled themselves away in a community center to promote inequality and injustice, I served side by side as both student and teacher with the very people the KKK would condemn. I even had a little "worship" service with one of the first-time volunteers as we both agreed that powerful prayer could be had when on your knees cleaning the toilets for men and women with a horrible disease and little time left to bother with hate. (Though the challenge of loving even those with whom we disagree is within those walls as well, since people with nothing but the clothes on their back still harbor ignorance and intolerance for other residents, nurses and volunteers with whom they would never have "mingled" when on their own.) The day ended with several us talking about our faith communities and the horror we all felt in knowing that the KKK still existed.

I told my little community on Sunday that while they were praying that God's kingdom would come in the lives of those who now live by hate, I was living the Kingdom on earth.


[To read some of what happened among the community who were on hand on Saturday, check out this blog.]

Friday, June 10, 2005

Addressing the Yuck-Factor

Here's a little something my missional community has a little something to do with this weekend . . .

Tomball pastors pray for inter-racial unity as KKK holds public meeting

Tomball, Texas -- A coalition of Christian pastors in Tomball is joining together to pray for inter-racial unity and reconciliation prior to and during a KKK public rally at the Tomball Community Center Saturday, June 11.

On Friday, June 10 at 3 p.m., members of the Ministerial Alliance of Tomball and representatives from local congregations will gather at the center to pray for the community’s safety and peace throughout the controversial event. During the Saturday rally, several local churches have scheduled simultaneous prayer gatherings. Main Street Crossing, a music and meeting venue one block north and east of the Tomball Community Center, will also be a gathering point for silent prayer and reflection.

“While some may choose to take advantage of the public protest area designated by the city, we are opting to rely on the power of prayer to change minds and hearts,” noted _____ the spokesperson for the Ministerial Alliance. “But our silent prayers should not be mistaken as a lack of opposition. We simply choose acts of reconciliation over acts of hatred.”

On Thursday the Alliance released the following statement:

Christian congregations of Tomball want to take this opportunity to apologize to the African American community for being slow to join them in their struggle for civil rights. We acknowledge that there is still much progress to be made and that we have much to learn and to understand. We’re praying that as followers of Christ we will be more responsive to injustice now and in the future.

We’re taking this opportunity to remind ourselves that the primary teaching of Jesus is the way of love, and that we’re to love even those with whom we disagree. We acknowledge that far too often our actions and responses have not been very loving.

We’re taking this opportunity to pray for our community. We pray that our community will be known as a place of reconciliation & justice. We pray that our community will be a place where every person loves God with heart, soul, mind, & strength and where neighbors love one another as they love themselves.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I Wish You Knew This Woman

In another day she would have been called a "broad." Nothing . . . at least nothing I ever saw or heard . . . could faze this woman. Principled and practical, creative and resourceful, a bulldozer in a boardroom and an inspiration behind a pulpit.

I once held my breath for three floors in the elevator in fear of . . . I have no idea what but I did fear her!

My great source of joy and cringing came on a rare occasion when safe in the absence of her presence someone would suggest I carried some of her traits. I'm fairly sure they meant the more positive ones but at times I wondered if I, too, with my abundance of "options" and "ideas" caused frustration among my coworkers comparable to when we received her edicts from above.

She was a rare thing in my former denominational life -- a woman of Southern sensibility and the sense to know when to say "bullshit" without ever having to utter the words. "Selling" her on something was simply an impossibility. She seemed to have superhero powers with regard to the viability of a possibility. If she saw with her X-ray eyes that it would work, you had unlimited access to resources. If she didn't . . . well . . .

Today I received an email from her, having not heard from her in more than 15 years. She wanted me to consider taking on a new professional role. I responded with a grateful and polite no and a brief summary of what I've been doing. For some reason (maybe it's the 43 years I now carry as opposed to the 24 I had when I first met her), I went deep and long with her. She responded in kind.

I celebrate that I knew and now once again "know" her. I celebrate that we came together for a time at a place where, as she puts it, had the
"clarity of voice to mentor . . . called women into God's whatever".

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Late, Late . . . for a very important . . .

I should at least get points for knowing I was going to be late and letting my appointment know ahead of time, right?

The upside was that she hadn't left for the restaurant yet and since I was coming to her, she could continue at her desk for another 20 minutes or so.

At least, we thought it was going to be only 20 minutes.

That was before I actually got on I10 and discovered that for no apparent reason at straight up noon lots of people had the EXACT same plan I had and seemingly were in no hurry to make it to their destinations. That was before I mistakenly took the tollway and had to go well beyond my intended exit, turn around and then wander through the new "mall village" (as opposed to the old standby "under one roof" monstrocities) to find the restaurant.

Add to the scenario that I started the trip with the gas light on and you get the picture of just how prepared I was to speak of spiritual things over a Cafe Express salad! Amazingly, we had a great conversation and even planned a conference or two.

Back in the car and headed toward the office, I refused to pay $2.06 for a gallon of gas that I knew was ten cents less in a place far, far away from "mall village". That was before I discovered that the mistake I'd made regarding the tollway wasn't such a bad mistake after all given that construction had all mall traffic down to two lanes. And did I mention that sweat was now pouring from my brow even though the air conditioning was blasting away? When I finally got through the first stop light and saw a station in the distance, I had to laugh that that infuriating stop and go construction snafu had served to save me all of three cents per gallon and lose me at least a pound in water weight gain.

Oh, and the nearest station was also under construction with every pump full except the one I thought was positioned opposite to my tank . . . which was incorrect . . . as I discovered in my heat-induced haze. Repositioning myself meant another wait in another line and more sweating.

Some days you should just take a Midol and go back to bed.

But if you did, you'd miss the incredible instant message conversation you could have with a friend in London, the connecting of more people with just the right resource, the chance to see just how well your new camping shirt works with the whole "repelling sweat" situation, and an email from a dear Hispanic woman who wants me to learn Spanish so badly she sent me a note in her beloved and beautiful tongue on Latino humor and not only made me smile but made me thankful to be alive and learning.

Some days you should just say "thank you for my life" and mean it!

Today, the Reception is Fine

Yesterday a call I made to a buddy resulted in this uncharacteristically solemn, brief response, "I'm not in a good place right now." The phone then showed "Call Ended."

My first (and correct) thought was that he was referring to his cell phone reception. The next idea that flitted through my head was, "Or did he mean he was depressed and just couldn't talk about it right now?" At that point, I fretted and set a time limit for the appropriate amount on what would appear to be non-hysterical waiting to check on him again. Fortunately, in a manner of minutes he'd called back and explained his location was a deep, dark basement and not a deep, dark emotional hole.

That incident got me to thinking. Isn't it great that all your friends aren't walking in locked step beside you on your emotional journey? In other words, that when you are in a valley, they are sometimes at a peak? (Yes, I know it can be irritating for those down under at the time, it can also offer hope!) And then there's the corner you've turned emotionally when someone you love is seemingly just beginning to find their bootstraps in order to consider pulling themselves up.

Seems to me, that's yet another value to community. While "been there, done that" responses can take on various tones and be interpreted in various ways, there's something reassuring to me about knowing that the path I'm on is well worn . . . even if it feels lonely at that moment.

Today, I'm in a good place. And I'm once again, very grateful.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I Cried Today

When I say, "I may not be brilliant but I am smart enough to surround myself with geniuses" I've usually got two or three guys on my mind that easily fall into that category. One of those guys is sick . . . sick enough to be on dialysis.

In trying to describe him to someone else I got as close to the right description as I ever have when I said, "He's a lot of a lot." What I cannot fathom is why such giftedness and generosity even has the threat of not being on the Extended Stay Plan. This guy should be rocking on a front porch with pilgrims who have traveled miles to sit at his feet when he's 90!

I know that "fair" is a matter of perspective and that I, by no means, have the faith to come close to understanding, but this is the point at which the rules to this game confuse me.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Pure Ahhhhhh . . .

I watered the plants while chatting with the neighbor who had agreed to the turkey sandwich I'd offered.

I sat in my amazingly red and wonderful chair while reading some profundities and marveling at how blue the sky remains even after 7 p.m.

I snuggled into my reading nook to research the Celtic way of praying in the midst of the everyday and said my own Amen.

I swam and laughed as a 4-year-old traversed the conversational terrain regaling me with facts such as "You have a big bra. . . My mom has a bra. . . My paw-paw died. . . I have two boo-boos on my left foot . . ."

I offered hot tea and peppered chips to yet another neighbor who stopped in for an impromptu late-night chat.

I fell asleep grateful for my life.

. . .

Since my line of work is communications, I have to think a lot about the "audience." (Uh . . . I know there are some folks in communications who don't actually think about anything more than the bottom line and have little to no thought about the audience being anything more than objects to be sold to, but we're ignoring that at the moment.) Understanding said "audience" requires studying such topics as generational issues, worldview, postmodernism, etc.

Whether you are eagerly lapping at the stream of all things postmodern or scoffing at the so-called emerging insights that you think are classic or just plain old apathetic is of course totally your choice, your experience, your business (here's hoping you're noticing the postmodern thought being applied while being discussed!). However, you're here . . . reading this . . . so you must be somewhat interested in what someone else has to say . . . or you're simply curious about the . . .

Well, here's the thing.

Today, my friend and I were discussing . . . She likes using them when she writes. I suggested that perhaps her need to keep the flow going might be coupled with her flair for the post-m world. She doesn't like commas, semi-colons, singular periods and the like. Could it be she finds them too confining? Or is it she doesn't want to subject anyone to the control of her choice of punctuation?

I offered up a possible internal dialogue:

"I might put a comma there but hey, if you want to pause longer and want to treat it as long as a period, have at it! Or if you want to really linger, let's pretend it's an ellipses. In fact, let's just use ellipses then you can pay attention to one period, multiples or just rush right by it. Me, subject you to the WAY you should read this? yea, verily, i will not . . . "

Interesting to think that even in the ways we place the words on a page, we can often find ourselves "leading the witness" . . . .

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Happy, Happy Hour!

Call me a sushi-vangelist if you want, but I promise not to bang you over the head with my chopsticks or ask you to recite the handroll menu before taking you into the sushi-nistic community.

I will however tell you that after paying over $40 each time I felt a calling to the wasabi-laden wonders, I have found my own little version of heaven.

Happy hour!

Last night, I dined on edamame, miso soup, and various options of seafood covered rice delicacies for under $15 (though I did exceed that when I included a tip) and under 700 calories. Ahhhh . . . streets of gold you can keep, I'll take unagi with a generous side dish of ginger!