Monday, December 31, 2012

Dusk at year's end

"I’m always sorry more people don’t understand the joy of knocking about in small boats.  You have to have something that will float of course.  But the main thing is leaving the land- shoving out on your own.  And I often think it is the coves, shores, beaches, blue water, towns far away, the sunlight and the tinkle at the bow- they are what you’re after.  

Who can say what the wind does to one’s spirit or what a night’s sleep at anchor under the stars does to one’s view of the world."

Elliott Merrick

Saturday, December 29, 2012

She asked, he replied

Chipping away at a laborious task with a fast-approaching deadline, he took a much needed recess in the chilly island air.   

She: "What would you like from me today?"

He: "Peace and tranquility, calm; forebearance.  A warm fire.  Perspicuity."

Nuff' said.


Friday, December 28, 2012

A swimmer's legs at 85

"Age is never so old as youth would measure it."

Jack London, The Wit of Porportuk

Sunday, December 23, 2012

One dream, two sons, three men

Sinanan men with Maudie & Eli, 2007.
Dreams come in the form of aspirations during our waking hours and through more subtle manifestations as we sleep.  It seems we are more curious and mystified by those that occur behind closed eyes, as if the subconscious might bring us to greater awareness.

As a teen, I dreamt that I would one day be the mother of two sons.  It was an uncomplicated dream with few details remembered.  In fact, I had forgotten about it until the very moment I birthed a second son.  I recall with great clarity laughing out loud in the birthing room.  "I dreamt about this!"

Josh and Rei, you are indeed 'my dream come true.'

Friday, December 21, 2012

Crafting a life

We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.  

~ Tao Te Ching 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A senior moment

A quick stop at the pet store on Lake City Way today yielded all sorts of unexpected pleasure.  Lest you think I came away with a fluffy kitten or a sweet-smelling puppy, think again!  

It all unfolded at the cash register when the clerk asked a series of questions, including this one.  "Is any member of your household over 55 or active military?"  Quick as I am, after 15 years of martial arts training, I shot back, "No."  Pause.  "Oh, yeah, my husband."  Pause.  "Oh wait.  Me too!"  

It seems the good fellow was eager to extend the senior discount common to their locale, and there he stood, well-meaning and innocent, facing a woman caught in her own senior moment. 

We both had a long delirious laugh about it all, then he did the gracious thing and applied the blessed discount.  I thought about asking him to toss in one of those darling kittens, but before I put my wallet away, the foolish notion was long gone. 

A good belly laugh, a discounted tab, and no reflexive pet acquisition; as Carol would say, "life is good!"

Friday, December 14, 2012

From darkness into light

Another mass shooting.  Dozens of lives lost.  So many children.  

Make a connection to someone today, someone new to you, and help move us as a nation toward the light.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A visitor came calling

It was the wind today, that brought her spirit rustling through the bare trees.  I heard it just seconds before I felt her presence and I found that I could not walk another step.  The dogs and I stopped mid-stride, and I gazed skyward and asked them, "Do you feel her spirit?  Faith is here with us."  

We stood like attentive sentinels and watched the trees sway, great gusts blowing through the alders and sending their last leaves scattering.  Tears flowed freely and I knew in that moment that I wept for the miraculous.  

I wept for the gossamer thread that connects us still and for the ability to live with my heart full open.

Monday, December 3, 2012

No postage required

Little Jenny Derick takes her turn.
Dear Santa,

I don't know how you do it, matching wish lists to people and getting it right year after year.  I mean, I know you get plenty of hand-written letters and direct appeals, but what you achieve is really the stuff of miracles.

Remember December 2000 when three sisters lined up for a visit and photo with you in Baltimore's Inner Harbor?  A daughter, a pair of puppies, and a lake in Canada; three wishes, as diverse as the women themselves, yet you found a way to bestow the blessing, albeit a tad modified.

And how about 1960 in Northumberland, PA?  Chatty Cathy topped this young girl's list, and of course the talking doll arrived as wished, wrapped and beribboned; yes she did!  The thing is, you never seem to place judgment on the request; you listen, and you deliver.  I'm wonderin', did you learn that at Santa school, or were you born that way?

These days, my favorite thing about the holiday season is holding fast to the simple pleasures: giving, receiving, savoring connections.  Yesterday I stopped at the local tree lot to look for a Christmas tree.  A little noble fir found me as I perused the selection, whispering softly, "Choose me."  She stands a mere four feet tall and is nearly the same around her girth.  A sweet gem of a tree if I ever saw one!

As always, we'll leave your carrot and cookie by the hearth.  Please be careful coming and going and don't be alarmed if the dogs get whipped into a howling frenzy at your arrival.  They're harmless, but their excitement simply cannot be contained.

And thanks for everything all these years.  You're one patient and generous soul.

Love, Jenny

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Heady stuff!

2012 USCL champions!
They did it!  The  Seattle Sluggers closed out the season tonight with a win over Philadelphia to secure the US Chess League championship!

Congratulations on your big win, especially to the gentleman on Board 3: Josh!