My Muse must be Sleeping


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I’m waiting for inspiration. . . .waiting. . . .waiting. . . . .not much.  Hmmm.  I don’t usually have to search for something. Most of the time a memory, a story idea, or a song will come to mind pretty quickly.

Not today.

Well.  One thing for sure, unless a miracle happens in my lower back, I won’t be doing any more hiking.

I’m empty.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t get my coffee yet. I can smell it, though, so I’m going to hike into the kitchen and get fueled up.

Image result for a cup of steaming coffee

Together Forever


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Every now and then I see an article about a couple who have been married for over 70 years. It always amazes me.  We have 47 years, and that’s an amazement to a lot of people. But 70?  That’s a year older than I am!  That’s a lifetime!

We have some nonagenarians in our church family. Two of them are widowed, but the third couple have reached that 70+ mark in their marriage. Her health is failing, so she doesn’t make it to church very often. But he does. He’s there faithfully, dressed in a sharp suit with a colorful shirt and tie, and he always has a pocket full of little polished stones that he’ll hand out to whatever children run up and ask him.  Sometimes he asks them to say their Sunday school memory verse, and they always do.  Once he gave my granddaughter a pretty polished rock that he had set and hung on a chain. There was a special reason, but I don’t remember what it was.  She treasures it.

This couple has been together through the Great Depression, WWII, Korea, and then the slow downward slide of our country into secularism, socialism, and very little commitment to the promises made on the wedding day. They don’t understand why people can’t just figure out their problems. When someone asked him what the secret of their long marriage was, he said “God, commitment, keeping your word, doing the right thing.”

He doesn’t waste words. When you’ve reached your 90’s, you can speak your mind without worrying about what people think.

Of course, I generally do that now, and I’m only 69.


I don’t know if Terry and I will have 70+ years. We didn’t get married while we were still in our teens, so it’s really not likely. What I do know is that the biblical one-flesh principle only increases with time together, until we can communicate a lot with just a look. We still have our moments, believe me. It’s not perfect, WE aren’t perfect. But we’re committed, we’re dedicated, and we try to do the right thing. We love God, and we thank Him daily for His presence in our marriage.

Together is a wonderful thing.



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“You know,” she said with a sigh, “Life really is fragile. You act as if your words don’t matter, that you can say anything you want, no matter how harsh or unkind, and I’m just supposed to accept it. Be tough, you say.  Be strong, you say.

“Well, here’s something for you to consider, tough guy. You’ve broken my spirit once too often, and I can’t live like this any more. I want you to know that I’ve already packed most of my clothes and sent them to the place I’m going to live. I’ll return, with a police escort if I need to, for the rest of my things later today.


“I’m beyond thankful that we have no children for you to hurt with your critical words and your harshness. My life has been rocked to the core because of your unkindness, and I expect it will take me a while to heal.  But know this:  I WILL heal. And you will continue just as you are, because you think you’ve done nothing wrong. Soon some other poor woman will be a part of your life, and I feel so sorry for her.”

“You can’t leave me.  You’ll be back. You’ve threatened this before, and never done it.”

“Watch me. One thing your cruelty has done for me is helped me build my fragile ego into something stronger, because it was either that, or I would have died of loneliness and grief. I loved you so much. You took that and broke it, laughing at me the whole time. Yes, I can leave. I AM leaving.”

He stood there in shock, just beginning to learn how fragile his own heart was as she pulled the door shut behind her.

Slog through the Blog


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If you’ve been reading my stuff for any length of time, you know that I love words. This is another one that sounds just like what it means. Slog.


It’s not fast, it’s not clean, and it’s not usually something you do for fun.

That’s kind of the way I feel about blogging this morning.  I’m tired. I was up super early because my son who now lives in California is home for a few days. He came in on an early flight, so Terry was up at five to go meet him in Philly.  I was awake around 5:30.  I feel like I need a nap.

Sure is good to see him, though. He’s had a tough year, but things are beginning to come together for his business as a strength trainer, athletic massage therapist, and I forget what all else.  He’s here to attend a seminar over the weekend on Kabuki Strength, and no, I don’t know what that is, but I’m sure he’ll tell me.  He’s resting right now.  Long night with very little sleep.

If you live near Orange, CA, and you could use some good massage therapy (not the spa kind, but the down and dirty makes-you-hurt-before-it-feels-better kind), you should look him up:  DJ Kreger Muscle Performance :

Anyway, that’s about all I have for today.  Happy slogging 🙂

God is Never Perplexed


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Late 15th century (as the adjective perplexed ): from the obsolete adjectiveperplex ‘bewildered,’ from Latin perplexus ‘entangled,’ based on plexus‘interwoven,’ from the verb plectere .

I like to know the etymology of a word, how it developed over time, and sometimes how it changes. This one has stayed pretty much the same in meaning.

The Latin plexus meant interwoven, or all tangled up like a skein of yarn that the cat played with.

Sometimes the knot is just impossible to untangle, and you have to snip it off and throw it away.  Perplexing.

Life can be like that. Sometimes you just can’t untangle the threads, and you simply have to  accept that.  In my work, the temptation to want to fix everything and everybody is very strong. One of the hardest things I had to accept is that I can’t. Sometimes all I can do is listen, commiserate, offer comfort, offer scripture, reassure that this too shall pass.

Death doesn’t go away, but the extreme pain of grief does become more bearable with time. Divorce, children who go wrong, rape and other assault–these leave a person trembling and traumatized. It’s not what anyone signs up for. They are perplexing events that sometimes you just have to accept, snip that particular thread in your life, and allow yourself to walk through the grief so that healing can begin.

Life can be very hard. Often we are perplexed. I am so thankful that I have God and His Word to help through the things that could defeat me if I didn’t have my faith. I don’t think I buy into the “everything happens for a purpose” philosophy. Sometimes things just happen because that’s a part of life.  What I do know is that God has promised to walk with me, to never leave me or forsake me, to be with me always.

That knowledge makes that which is  perplexing much easier to bear.

Oh, the Deep,Deep Love of Jesus


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Many things are crowding into my mind with this word, most of them negative. Radicals who bomb and terrorize others.  A radical mastectomy. Complete, unrelenting, no going back.

So I’ve decided to take this in a different direction:  The radical, complete, no-holds-barred love of God for His creation; His sacrifice of His Son to offer the world a Savior Whose life, death and resurrection would redeem us from our radical sin nature.

The radical love that stands in extreme  opposition to radical hatred is something we have a hard time understanding.

Four-Day Weekends


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Aren’t you thankful for the times you get to take your feet off the pedals and just coast down the hill?  You can enjoy the breeze on your face, the momentary break from the constant need to keep pedaling if you’re going to get anywhere.


I love my four-day weekends.  How did I get so lucky, you may ask.  Well, I’ve reached the grand old age of 69, and I think I’ve earned my coasting days.  I work Tuesday through Thursday, and Tuesdays I’m there from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Believe me, I’m putting in my time!

I might not be so tired if it weren’t for the chronic low back pain  that I live with. Herniations, stenosis, degenerative joints. It’s a nasty little cocktail of hurting, and it drains my energy. The shots I get do help, but I think they’re less effective this time than they were the first time around. That’s to be expected.

So on my weekends, I recharge my batteries. I sleep a little later, although sometimes I have to really work at that. My system seems to be set to 6 a.m.  I move a little slower, enjoying my morning coffee with no sense of hurry. I do household chores like laundry and cleaning, but I do them slowly and a little at a time. It hurts to make the bed; it hurts to scrub the toilet. Sweeping hurts. So I rest. I’m thankful that “my” chair doesn’t hurt my back. I’m very thankful that I’m comfortable in bed. These places are my oases. There is relief there.

This weekend, there’s something going on every day but Monday. Yesterday I taught my class in a homeschool co-op. Today the staff at my office is having a picnic. Tomorrow is church.  Monday I’ll probably go swimming in the morning, but the rest of the day is mine to use or not, as I please.

Perhaps best of all, the 90+ temps we’ve been having since mid-July are finally going to start coming down and staying down.  It’s supposed to be around 85 tomorrow and most of the week. Better.  I’ll be happier yet when it goes below 80.


Right now, I’m going to finish my coffee, make a loaf of iced lemon zucchini bread for the picnic, and maybe throw in a load of laundry. I already finished filling the dishwasher and got it running, so my day won’t be a complete waste 🙂

A Normal Day


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Hayley was moving like a mindless robot at she assembled the five sandwiches that would be lunch for her and the kids. Bread, mayo, lunchmeat, cheese, mustard on two, butter on the others. Slap, plop, spread,slap, bag, done.  Into the brown paper bags, along with some cheese sticks, fruit, and a coupe of cookies.

She moved to the oatmeal that was bubbling on the stove, giving it a stir to keep it from burning. She turned the burner down to low, poured juice, sliced bread for toast. Butter, honey, jelly on the table. Brown sugar for the oatmeal.  Bowls, knives, spoons.

Then on to the evening meal, which would be a hearty soup in the crockpot.  Slice, chop, open cans, dump, add water, throw in meat from the leftover Thanksgiving turkey. It would develop a wonderful aroma as it simmered all day, a thick and hearty meal to ward off the encroaching cold that blessed central Minnesota. She would add barley when she got home and let it cook for a while. It would be thick, like stew. Already the tongue-teasing smell of onions and garlic filled the kitchen.

All four of her kids were showered, dressed, and tending to their household chores when she called  out that breakfast was ready.  It was good to start the day with everyone eating breakfast together. They would share their schedules for the day. the ones who had jobs figuring out the carpool, all of them hoping Dad would be home before they went to bed that night.


It was all the stuff of a normal school day. Hayley had her lesson plans well under control, and looked forward to starting a literature unit in her high school classes. She loved teaching, and it was great to be able to teach in the school her kids attended. She had each of them in a class at some point during the day. Some of their friends had started calling her “Mom,” and that was okay with her. Small Christian school, where she had the freedom to talk about God and to open the Bible with kids who needed some counseling time.

Some days, she grew weary in the routine. Some days, she swore she’d never eat another sandwich as long as she lived. Some days, she was just too tired to be eager for the day to start.

Most days, though, especially as she sat talking with her kids like this in the morning, she was just thankful  that they had the food, the clothing, the roof over their heads, jobs that met their needs, and heat for the coming deep cold of winter.

Most days, she was even thankful for sandwiches.