Remembering Hannah

Memorial Day isn’t just about honoring veterans, its honoring those who lost their lives. Veterans had the fortune of coming home. For us, that’s a reminder of when we come home we still have a responsibility to serve. It’s a continuation of service that honors our country and those who fell defending it.

Pete Hegseth

Several years ago Bob and I traveled through Southeast Asia with some remarkable people. Many of them had military backgrounds and had served in Vietnam. The testosterone levels in the group were fairly high and there was polite jostling among the men see whose exploits and memories would carry the day. Tucked in our group was a woman, about my age, who had a passion for textiles and weaving. She was Continue reading “Remembering Hannah”

Good Enough?

Good Enough

My son, beware of “good enough,”
It isn’t made of sterling stuff;
It’s something any man can do,
It marks the many from the few,
It has no merit to the eye,
It’s something any man can buy,
It’s name is but a sham and bluff,
For it is never “good enough.”

With “good enough” the shirkers stop
In every factory and shop;
With “good enough” the failures rest
And lose to men who give their best;
With “good enough” the car breaks down
And men fall short of high renown.
My son, remember and be wise,
In “good enough” disaster lies.

With “good enough” have ships been wrecked, Continue reading “Good Enough?”

Some Thoughts on Mother’s Day

Mother and daughter, it’s a special bond that spans the years. Through laughter, worry, smiles, and tears. A sense of trust that can’t be broken, a depth of love sometimes unspoken, a lifelong friendship built on sharing, hugs and kisses, warmth and caring, mother and daughter their hearts as one. A link that can never be undone.– unknown

Mother’s Day seems as good a time as any to ruminate on mothers and the relationships they’ve established with their daughters. Over the years, various labels have been used to describe parenting styles, and Continue reading “Some Thoughts on Mother’s Day”

Sow or Soar

…and so it happened that one with roots as deep as the wild fig, pulled free and soared up and on towards the seven seas. Others in the grove held tight, whispering farewell in fading light. – Unknown

As I was walking this morning, I came across patch of weeds that, against all odds, took root in a dry and barren soil. I once read that weeds were simply flowers growing where they were not wanted. Looking at the brilliant blue of the flower thrown by the chicory plants along the river walk, its absence from Continue reading “Sow or Soar”

Some Thoughts On Personal Best

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” Confucius

“Ad maiorem Dei gloriam.” Remember that phrase? If you attended a Catholic secondary school or are familiar with the writings of St Ignatius, the translation, “All for the glory of God,” was immediately pulled from your temporal lobes. While the poetry of his enjoinder is beautiful, I come from a marginally religious family and despite my education and exposure, my father’s often operatic demand for personal best, trumped St. Ignatius every time. The message, however, coming as it did from two directions, was internalized and the quest for personal best became part of who I am. I rarely dwell on it these days, but a recent chance encounter set me to thinking about it again. Continue reading “Some Thoughts On Personal Best”

…hopping down the bunny trail

This past Sunday was Palm Sunday. While out walking I passed a group of six or seven year olds having a sword fight with the fronds they had received at church that morning. I smiled as I watched the musketeers battle, but later, when ruminating on my day the incident actually made me laugh because I  started thinking  how my grandmother would have reacted  to the duel.

I had a very Irish grandmother.  Maude, like many widows her age,  was devout and had strict standards of propriety.  She believed in Continue reading “…hopping down the bunny trail”

Figuratively Speaking

“A creative writing teacher at San Jose State used to say about clichés: Avoid them like the plague. Then he’d laugh at his own joke.” – Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)

The English language can be difficult to master. Those learning to speak it as a second language find its vagaries more like a mine field than a walk in the park. Effective communication requires a mastery of grammar and pronunciation as well as the acquisition of a large vocabulary. The sheer number of words in the English language can boggle the mind. Add to that the need to know verb variations and tense as well as mastery of slang and colloquialisms, and you’ll have yourself a real kettle of fish. But the straw that breaks the camel’s back Continue reading “Figuratively Speaking”

But Is It Politically Correct?

“The notion of political correctness declares certain topics, certain expressions, even certain gestures, off-limits. What began as a crusade for civility has soured into a cause of conflict and even censorship.” – George Bush

My ruminations meander today because their scope is so broad. My thoughts regarding political correctness began simply enough. I was working on an assignment that explored the origins of Indian pudding. As I read through my notes, I stopped when I came to the expression Indian summer. Back in the day, we were taught that Indian summer referred to a warm spell that followed the first frost of autumn. I never for a moment considered it might be offensive to Native Americans, and thought it was a lovely way to describe the final flush Continue reading “But Is It Politically Correct?”

No Room in the Inn

“Homelessness is not a choice, but rather a journey that many find themselves in.”
Asa Don Brown

One consequence of growing old in America is having time to reexamine beliefs that may not hold up to the challenges of science or scholarship. Christian scholars, including the Pope, himself a biblical scholar, have concluded there are problems with the Gospel accounts of the nativity. There was no stable and Jesus was probably born in a home belonging to a member of Joseph’s family. The discrepancies can be attributed to poor translations and and the desire of early Christians to emphasize the humble origins of the holy family. I loved the story and committed it to memory as a child. The phrase, “no room in the inn,” comes to mind Continue reading “No Room in the Inn”

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