Tag Archives: challenges

A Blast From My Past

(First posted November 2013)


Creatively speaking

Many years ago my mother and I were having an argument. It wasn’t a negative argument, more a difference of opinion. But as I recall it was quite vehement. You see my mother had just made a comment that I strenuously disagreed with. She maintained that while her children were creative, she was not. My mother believed that she was just a wife and mother. Just! JUST!

I was raised by loving parents. They taught me to appreciate the world and to be curious about everything. Like most children I was born naked and ignorant. If anyone out there doubts the importance and value of a loving mother and father, then I respectfully say you’re nuts!

Not everyone has the great fortune to be raised in idyllic circumstances. Some people have the wherewithal to raise themselves to be good people. I basically didn’t have a choice. Being surrounded by good people there was no other way than to follow their lead. It was the path of least resistance.

I had a mother that every Halloween made my costume. That’s not creative? One year I was a black cat with a long black tail and whiskers. One year I was an alien with a javex bottle helmet painted gold and a corrugated cardboard belt with matchbox compartments also painted gold. With that one she apologized for not being able to make my ears look like Spock from Star Trek, my eyebrows did!

My mother fed us wonderful meals every day. She found ways to make us eat things we did not like, often without us realizing it. My mother used her charm, her wit and yes her force of will to raise three children to be responsible and caring adults. You think that’s not creative?

I believe that one of the most important jobs in the world is that of mother. Well, a good mother. A good father is also important especially if he has to take over the role of mother. I don’t have any children so I can only speak from the perspective of one that was raised by good parents. But the way I figure it, the time and effort it takes to raise children to adulthood is mind-boggling! To the mothers and fathers out there, kudos to you! The world is a better place because of the job you did raising your children. Now if that isn’t power I don’t know what is!

Let me leave you with a few pieces of advice my mother gave me over the years:

  • always wear clean underwear, you never know who may be looking
  • smile at people who are angry at you, it messes with their heads
  • a good person does what’s right, even when no one is looking
  • wallowing in self-pity is fine, for 15 minutes, then move on
  • a woman should be good in two rooms in the house, and one of them is the kitchen

God love mothers!


   Non Scents

Just like the ‘powers that be’ want us to live in a “paperless society” they also seem to want us to do that scent free. As I look around my cluttered, paper strewn desk, I chuckle. Scent free? Impossible!

”Fragrance Free Space!” “Scent Free Zone!” ”We Share the Air!” I can understand asking people to refrain from wearing perfume and cologne. (The way some people marinate in their choice of scent is quite nauseating. But I digress.) The Purveyors of Scents is a multi billion dollar business. They will not go quietly into that good night.

It used to be quite common for women and indeed men to adorn themselves with particular scents. People became known by the way they smelled. Some were flowery, some were exotic and others were, well, to each their own. I once was attracted to a man who always wore the same cologne which I found quite heady. So much so that when I smelled it in a grocery store my heart started to flutter. Imagine my chagrin when I turned around and it was being worn by a woman. Man, I can still smell that cologne!

But over the years I became sensitive. If you are wearing too perfume I might actually have a coughing fit. It’s not an attractive look for me. And I am not alone in this. Hence the signs asking people to refrain. And this is where it gets interesting.

A friend came over and I started to cough. Like I said it’s not a good look for me. I explained that it was probably her perfume that had set me off. She said she wasn’t wearing any. When she was seated across the room we started to take stock. Shampoo, body lotion, face cream, deodorant, lipstick, makeup, laundry detergent, dryer sheets . . . are you starting to get the picture? There are scents in everything!

I buy non-scented laundry detergent and dryer sheets. They still have perfume in them but it is much milder than the scented ones. Mild but not completely absent. Buying deodorant or anti-perspirant is not a case of what works best, it’s a case of what smell I can handle. It’s the same with shampoos. There are chemically added smells to just about everything!

I love the smell of the earth in the spring with just a hint of rain in the air. I love the smell of grass growing in the dirt or wind straight off the lake. I love the smell of snow and pinecones. I love the smell of the mountain breezes. I love natural smells. But the ones that are created by chemical means are offensive. With all the technology that exists in this world and we can’t figure out how to make natural scents using natural products in a natural way? No. People do love their chemicals!

When I was younger we used to go camping and one of the things you learn early on is to leave your perfumes at home. They just attract the bugs. After a week without perfume and deodorant and body lotion stinking up nature we all smelled a little ripe. It was an honest smell and since we all smelled the same way it became less offensive. Actually you don’t even notice it after awhile. I get that wouldn’t work in the offices of today but surely we can figure something out.

Maybe instead of trying to go scent free, we should more accurately try to be scent tolerable. Fewer chemicals and more naturals. What I’m I thinking? That will never happen. We are talking about a multibillion-dollar business. And as we all know: money speaks loudly!

Ripples on the Water



Ripples on the water

Can take us on journey

That is different every time

From a gentle waltz

Crossing a lake

To a sailboat

Making waves

The water caresses

And moves along

Its destination unclear

We fight for control

Bend it to our will

And perhaps

For a moment

It acquiesces

Only for a moment

The water can be angry

Crashing ashore

Sinking our boats

We thought we

Were in control

The hubris

We are not

It moves us

It entertains us

It gives us life

And it takes that life away

Ripples on the water

Gentle and safe

For now

Looking Back

We are all in a room

Our heads bent in prayer

Giving our thanks

For the things that we share


God is our focus

His works and his word

Depths of His meaning

And all we have heard


We get strength from each other

In this place where we are

Every day, every way

We are travelling far


We wander His words

And learn all His teaching

The roads we are taking

Are because of His preaching


My Lord is my Shepard

I shall never lack

For His sake alone

I’ll never look back