Saturday, March 28, 2015

Worth the Wait

Sunday, March 22, 2015


Spring break
offered hours and hours
of unscheduled time
for projects in process
presently focused
on the forthcoming
critter-theme show
at a favorite
grooming shop.

While their business
revolves primarily
around dogs
and I'm working on
doggy pieces
today my mind is on my cat
who ate my bird this week
and is sitting
highly precariously
on the cliff of my heart.
You might say she is
balancing there
in a most miraculous way.
I loved that little bird.
I cried when I found
the little clump
of yellow feathers
one skinny leg
and a teeny tiny
the dining room floor.
Of course
guardian of my bedside nights
is not talking.
I get it. He's no snitch.
So I'm just
to move on.
Color and getting messy
always helps me feel better.
Throwing around
and slopping them
with glue
and paint
and momentary
odd choices
in media
is more than my
chosen form of
It's the only therapy that works for me
dialing my soul back
to a happy place
and reminding me
it's all about the moment.
Not yesterday.
Not tomorrow.
The moment. 

Works in progress.
You'll notice
some spaces
still drying.

Over my little
break yogurt
I'm smiling
maybe actually
laughing a bit
at how much
I think my mom
would like
the colors
and the use of her fabric
and the reckless abandon
with which
I've buried
her neatly-appointed
sort of French-country
living room
creative debris.

And I'm feeling better.
Not perfect.
And I honestly
don't like this cat.

But I'm better.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Three Seasons.

Love never gives up
never loses faith
 is always hopeful
and endures
 through every circumstance.
I Corinthians 13:7

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Ratty Old Blankets

You might not guess it
but these
are my people.
They show up in
trucks and cars
on weekend mornings
from spring through fall
rain or shine
to sign in for a
bidding number
and position themselves
before the auctioneer
begins to call the sale.
I love
estate auctions
where you can find
anything from a nested set
of metal measuring cups
to a cardboard box
full of old Tinkertoys.
I'm nearer the
having-my-own-estate auction
stage of life
these days
many many fine weekends
in years gone by
I stood in rain
slogged through mud
baked in the sunshine
and squinted my eyes
against blowing dust
for the auctioneer
to get to things
which caught my eye.
I like old stuff.
I like used stuff.
I like stuff that had a life
before it met me.
Old stuff can tell you a story
if you listen really carefully.
I bought this ratty
quilt at an estate auction
maybe thirty years ago.
It was tucked into a stack
of unremarkable but cozy-warm, fun blankets
and was pretty much in perfect condition.
I bought the whole stack for five bucks
on a cold and rainy day in
rural Illinois.
My kids slept under the cozy-warms
we wrapped up in them
on winter nights
in front of the woodburning stove.
They served us well.
My quilt
full of memories.
worn threadbare
through years and years
of storytelling.
It's old and ratty now.
Hand-stitched on white
with so much care
by someone whose name
I've never known.
it's reached that perfect stage
something along the line
of the Skin Horse
who was loved so much
his fur rubbed off.
I adore ratty blankets
because they wrap you
in a story.
I think being wrapped
in a ratty old blanket
with a story
is the perfect way
to fall into
a really lovely sleep.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Praise As Acceptance

When I was a teenager
I bought a little
paperback book
that changed my life.
I read it over and over
underlining passages
and highlighting points.
Somewhere along the way
of raising a family
and all the frenetic
activities clustered
around the project of
growing older
the little book was lost.
I found it on Amazon
this month
and ordered a used copy.
I've been digesting it
like the finest of meals.
It's texture and flavor
so familiar
even after
all these years.
The meat of it
still so very satisfying
in reminding me
God has a plan
and he hasn't forgotten me
and he always keeps his promises
and I'm not alone
in these things
over which I trouble
and worry
and wonder.

Thankful I live in a
technological world
where amazing things
like ordering a favorite book
( a dear old friend}
can be done in a few
short minutes
in an evening
and be delivered to my
front door
days later.
For a couple bucks plus shipping.
Thank you, God.
For this little book
which speaks to my soul
in such a personal way
at a time when I
really really
need it.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bailey's Bargain

Well now.
This is sad.
Just plain sad.

All those dang Irish
got to the
before I even
there was a price
worth dancin' for.
NOT to be deterred
I drove all over town
to three different
grocery stores
and to Walgreens
asking them to price
Which they would not.
price match?
Apparently not.
Finally found my sale bottles
after likely
eating up the entire
amount saved
in gas.
I can justify it.
NOT because I like
a little taste of
Irish Crèam
now and then.
Ohh no.
My bottles have an important mission
every morning.

I use them to hold my pita pockets
after they come out of the toaster
steaming hot
so they'll
cool and crisp
into a
sweet little pocket.

Into which
I neatly tuck
my morning
egg salad.
stuffed up
with spinach leaves
The second bottle?
I do like a little taste y'know.
Just a sippy bit of a taste.
Every now and then.
Not necessarily
in the morning.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Trusting Our Instincts

I knew so many things
when I was younger.
I just knew them.
But I didn't trust
what I knew.
My instincts hadn't
been tested yet.
I wasn't sure
of my inner voice.
I had yet to learn
to listen
and trust it.

One of the gifts
of experience;
of climbed mountains
and stormy seas
Of getting wet
but not drowning;
growing weary
but not giving up.
The gift of just knowing.
And trusting what it is
you just know.
Trusting it enough
to do
and to say
and to believe
and to act
and to prepare
you just know.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Little Pals

Three nights a week
my office hosts several
tiny people.
They visit me
in the front office
while their older siblings
participate in their
gymnastic classes
and competitive team practices.
They are
the little gifts
God sends me
because my granddaughter
lives so far away.
Tristan and Chelsea
were my little guests tonight.
They are both hovering right around
three years old.
Tiny teeth.
Mom still makes sure
to ask if they need to go potty.
And since our business
is a gym
they're pretty much always
in stocking feet.
itsy biddy widdy
tiny stocking feet
so cute
you wanna cry.
Tristan brought his
bright red
Lightning McQueen
backpack tonight
smushed full of
toy cars and one big,
plastic dump truck.
He claimed my
plastic desk dinosaur mascot
as their playmate too.
And some yellow
critter thing.
I don't know what it is.
But the legs are bendy
and the kids have fun with it.
This was my opportunity
to whip out my
scissors and
join in their fun
on the floor.
So I built them a drive-up garage
for the vehicles
and a nearby house.
Chelsea thought
all those little toy cars
needed a gas pump.
So we built one of those too.
Complete with
removable nozzle
on the end of a
dental floss hose.
We are nothing
if we are not
the MacGuyver
of paper
Thank you
Dreamsicle wall
for providing a
sort of background
for the buildings.
Dinosaur in neighborhood.
Yellow animal-thing....beware.

whose sweet little face
shall remain anonymous
fuels up
the hotrod.
"Das my DADS car!!!!!"
he tells me.
And a fine car it is
my very short man
in tiny Transformers stocking feets.

The next night
more little friends stopped in
and we fancied the place up a bit.

Apples in the trees.

And some snazzier wheels, too.
Thanks to my little pals
and their bright
for making my evening
so sweet.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Embracing Technology

Straight from my Journal........
So. In my continuing wrestle with all-things-technologicallish, I have no little pod thing with music but I was wise to birth a son who told me I could LISTEN TO MUSIC ON MY I-PHONE!!! Whaaaat!!!????? Yeah. So. The past few days when I hit the gym, I faithfully take my phone and my ear-thingies and I pull up Pandora and yes indeed, he is a smart one! MUSIC!! Like, whatever I want to hear. A.MAZ.ING. But.....there are no pockets in my gym... clothes. Oh dear. OHHH dear.
 So I spend the first ten minutes of every gym visit in the locker room trying to phone in the only place I can find to tuck it. And, if you get my drift here, those two spaces are already fairly well occupied. NEVERTHELESS!!! We persevere, the girls and I. We are at the gym. And we are going to listen to music because we walk further and pedal faster when we do! So, we get Mr. I-Phone all snuggled up in there in such a way as it doesn't look like I've got an implant shaped like a graham cracker....and we hit the treadmill. And finally, at the end of my visit....I jump on the bike. And I hear a special ringtone on my phone so I know who is texting me and it's someone I adore so I gotta check out the text....thus, having to dig for the phone all kinda nice and pillowed in there.....AND at that very moment,
I look up and I realize,,,seriously this was a
lightbulb moment...........................
Ohmygoodness. And I jump off the bike and I go over and I check out the control panel of the treadmill. Uhhh Y E S. There IS a holder on the treadmill too. HOLY. SMOKES. I drove back to work thinking...... ohmygosh I am LIVING IN JANE JETSONS WORLD.
Seems to prove, once again, we are living in a caboose
on the freight train of technology, GURRRRRRL.
Honestly. I am in awe.
Who invents these things.
And why don't they announce them so it doesn't take some of us so long to figure them out.
 Life changing, I tell you.
Life changing.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Ordinary People / Extraordinary Moments

It bein' Sunday and all
good day as any for a bit
of confession.
I was at a restaurant
last week
tucked into a booth
with some nice comfort food.
I had just begun to sip my coffee
when a waitress
seated a couple
in an adjacent booth
very near mine.
They were ordinary people
maybe a few years younger than me.
He was tall in a flannel shirt.
She had a scarf wrapped
all around her neck
and looked tired.
Across the table from one another
I would likely have paid them
no special mind
but I happened to see him
reach for her hand
across the table
shortly after they had ordered.
She hesitated.
I saw him smile
and heard him say
"Give me your hand."
And she did.
From that point on
it was hard to turn away.
There was something about the kindness
in his smile
when he reached for her hand.
There was something about the
look on her face when she hesitated.
I had no idea what was going on
but I could tell it was big
and it was deep
and it was important
to them both.
I don't think it's a sin
that I eavesdropped
on two strangers
on a cold winter night.
But I think it would be a sin
to treat the things I saw
and the things I heard
with anything but
The threads of their
loomed before me
the rough draft
of a love story.
My breakfast came
right about the time
I heard her say
"Can I plant flowers? I love to plant flowers.."
and he laughed
reminding her the deer would really enjoy that.
They both laughed.
It was their laughter
and their smiles
to which I was drawn.
They were real.
While I had no idea
of the meaning of this evening for them
or the story behind it
their laughter and their smiles
told me everything I needed to know
about these two.
I couldn't leave.
I sat there longer than I would have
but I couldn't bring myself
to do it
I couldn't get up and leave them
I was
so completely lost
in their story.
Even as I hung
on their every word
the two of them were oblivious to me.
They joked and laughed
with the waiter
but other than that
the night belonged to the two of them.
What a joy it was
to peek into
their world.
Just before they left
I heard him say to her
"I have a dream....can I share it with you?"
She laughed.
These two laughed lots.
Not gut-busting stuff
but the easy laughter
between people
who are comfortable
She laughed and I actually think
she got a little bit shy when he asked
but she said, "Sure".
(And yeah, at this point I thought
shame on you Debbie
this is really personal
you shouldn't be listening
but I listened anyway.
After just a few minutes
I really 
kind of felt like
it was
the three of us
in this whole
love story together.)
He told her
he could see the two of them
growing old together.
(WAS I was tempted to jump up,
shove her out of the way
and beg him to marry me?
If fate leads us to cross paths
in line at Walgreens
some afternoon
I still might.
Is that the sweetest thought
he could have shared with her?
I mean, ever??)
They got really quiet for a few minutes.
They looked out the windows.
I could tell they were both
just lost in the moments
and doing some thinking.
Then he asked her
one final question.
I'll never forget it.
Not as long as I live.
I'll hear it in his voice
I will see the smile on his face
and the tears that welled up in his eyes
and I will see the look of peace
and wonder on hers
as he said it.
"Can our home be filled with
laughter and with love and with
family and friends?"
(Tears in my eyes at this point.
Drink your coffee, Debbie.
Just drink your coffee.)
I heard her exhale
at the question.
It was like she
released every pent-up thing
she had trapped inside her
and letting it out
felt so wonderful
I could just see it on her face.
She smiled
as big as can be
and said,
"That's exactly what I want, too.
Yes. You and I will fill our
home with
and with love
and with
family and friends."
I've never heard anything
more innocently beautiful.
It was a sacred moment.
Why God allowed
me to hear those words
and to see the smiles
and to feel their hearts....
well, I really don't know.
But I did
and it touched me deeply.
They slid from the booth
and left into the night.
I think of them often...
these ordinary people
whose lives intersected with mine
in such a lovely
and unexpected way.
I think of them as a gift.
I remember them in faith
that the beauty
of their simple shared dreams
will come to life.
And I pray for them all the time.

Thursday, March 05, 2015


is Satan's greatest tool.
There is no need
to assault
and harass people with
physical circumstance
when a
whisper in the ear
brings paralysis.
You'll fail.
You failed before
you'll fail again.
You are weak.
You've been defeated before.
You'll be defeated again.
You'll get hurt.
You'll hurt someone else.
That's pretty much all it takes.
Just a whispered suggestion.
I'm scared, too.
Let's walk into the fog anyway.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Scraps from Mom

My mom was a hoarder.
A fabric hoarder.
She died a year ago
but the stashes of
folded fabrics
were no surprise.
Every time we were
at her house
and opened a drawer
or a closet
or a random box on the floor
fabric would spring forth
or spill out.
Ohhhh baby.
Every color.
And pattern.
On fabrics
of all type.
Mostly your basic
cottons and blends
but the collection
also includes
embroidered stuff
I swear came straight
from exotic ports
around the world.
Silk, too.
Inspired by the collection
I've been fussing around
with collages
implementing her material
with my love of
nature interpretations.
Today I finished
the big one I've been
messing with all winter.
My parents house
where I now live
was full of framed photos
and a variety of artwork.
None of which
was anywhere near
my taste in the kind of things
I love to see
on the walls
that hug me
when I arrive home.
So I've been dismantling
them, flipping the art
and doing my own thing
on the other side.
My step-dad loved images of
tall sailing ships.  
So the first piece
is a big print of
some famous ships
or something....
...flipped over
and turned into
a collage
I really like.
Good, bright colors.
reminiscent of the yard
in which my parents planted
and mowed
and pruned
and raked
for years and years
and years.
It's my tribute piece to my parents.
When I look at it
I think of them
and the yard
and the home
where we shared
good memories
surrounded by the
beautiful things they grew.
They lived a really simple life.
You wouldn't know it by the accumulated junk
of 50+ years in this house
but at the heart of it
they just enjoyed life
side by side
doing simple stuff
like fussing over
and pulling dandelions.
This one's for you, Mom.
I think you'd like it.