The End of Me

My parents used some interesting phrases in the 70s and 80s.  They had to.  Mom and Dad were outnumbered two to one, and sometimes those phrases were the only thing that could slow play down.  When things “went to bad,” they threatened to “jerk a knot in our tails,” or “slap us into the middle ...

Tonight, We Wrestle

My husband has had a tradition of “wrestling” with our kids since they were little.  He was a wrestler in high school (still owns those pants), and he taught them the holds and rules.  So ever since they were four or five, our kids would wrestle with my husband before bedtime (sort of counter-acted the ...

The Safe Center

About a year and a half ago, a month after my pacemaker/internal defibrillator was installed, my husband was doing some yard work.  Knowing I couldn’t do much actual work, I instead assumed the role of boss.  When he got ready to plant a couple of trees we had purchased, I asked him to plant them ...

The Prints We Leave Behind

In fourth grade my back-to-school shoes were a hurried decision.  With four of us to outfit on a single shopping trip to Wichita, my mom had her hands full.  Toward the end of the day, at one of our last stops in the mall, I settled on a pair of tan suede oxfords with thick ...

Searching for Blessings

For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with looking for things.  Even as a preschool child, I could not sleep until I found my toy or doll, or whatever item I had left behind in my childish carelessness.  As an adult, I still have to search for something exhaustively.  Truth is, ...

Photos and Phones, Purses and Passports

A man at our church lost his wife to pancreatic cancer two years ago.  It was a very short, difficult illness and her passing left many of us in shock.  She was an amazing wife, and mother, and grandmother.  Last week, this faithful man had a fire in a storage building and lost nearly all ...

Ode to the Medical Professional

Weird fact I have learned through this journey:  the only place on earth that the line to the men’s restroom is longer than it is to the women’s is at cardiac rehab.  I remember being shocked as I walked past a queue of 80-year-old men during a break at cardiac rehab, straight into the adjacent ...

Virgil & Ann

They’re surely gone now. The elderly couple from Enid, Oklahoma, we befriended just weeks after we were married:  Virgil and Ann.  We spent time in their home and in their garden.  Mostly, we were admiring their marriage, though.   We moved away, and in pre-cell-phone, pre-social-media days, sometimes people you knew stayed in your past. Virgil and ...

Messy Relationships

We were high school sweethearts. And my husband and I dated several years living in different states in the 1980s. Those years included a rotary wall phone, no caller ID, and no personalized ringtones.  So when the phone rarely sounded, we never knew who was on the other end.  If it happened to be my ...

Preparing for the Plan

I used to walk on an indoor track at a fitness center where they had inspirational quotes posted along the course.  Once you’ve walked around it for a few years, you memorized them all, whether you wanted to or not.  The one that stuck in my head was, “It is a mistake to look too ...