Everything Is Silent

Last week I developed laryngitis. In my world, laryngitis is a seasonal thing I know will show up at least a few times every year. Normally I don’t mind it terribly because I’m not a big fan of my voice, it being rather stupid sounding and all. So having a different sounding voice is always a bit like a nice change as far as I’m concerned.

But this was not that sort of laryngitis. This was the sort that instead of making me sound Lauren Bacall-esque, it made me sound silent. As in I lost my whole voice. And, of course, I was scheduled to be talking on Sunday. Continue reading

Living In Interesting Times

Sitting here at my dining table, I am surrounded by chaos. Seriously. We’ve been gone camping. This is our family tradition…at summer’s end, we gather up all and sundry and trek somewhere for a week of resetting our biorhythms, eating S’Mores, and turning our collective backs on technology. But when we return from all that resetting of ourselves, the house is a disaster for longer than I can tolerate.

Genius that I am, I decided that in addition to washing sundry and its friends, I would also reorganize the kitchen pantry before making the weekly menu yesterday. The crazy is strong with this one, let me tell you. Continue reading

Scaffold Me and You Too

There’s a bit of jargon we teacher types use to describe when aspects of the teaching process help the student to achieve more and more independent learning: scaffolding. As a high school teacher, I typically used it to describe actions or activities that developed skills required by future activities. Mastering baby steps, if you will.

I have to admit that even though I’ve left the classroom, I still use the term. I do this because I like it. I see it in action in parenting, in ministry, in friendship. Whether it is called “scaffolding” or not, we do it for one another when we come together and support one another to be better.

Scaffolding is great as far as I’m concerned. Continue reading

Soundtracks and Having Hope

When the news broke on Monday that Robin Williams was dead, most people in my generation had the same reaction: a true sense of loss. Over and over again people in my life talked and wrote about how much they would miss a man that they only knew as a public figure.

It seems odd for so many of us to feel so oddly connected to Robin Williams, and yet it isn’t odd. It is precisely right. We feel connected to Robin Williams because he made us laugh. He made us feel. And he made us have hope for tomorrow. As such, his is the voice of much of our lives’ soundtrack. When we “dial back” the years of our lives, so many of the sound bites are of his voice, of his laughter. Our soundtracks feature him, but they also combine his and our laughter until it is difficult to hear where his voice left off and ours began. He made us laugh and then we laughed, which made him laugh too. For this, we loved him. We loved how he made us feel alive and happy and hopeful. Continue reading

Can’t Breathe

Spring time here in the northwest means pollen of many stripes, plus molds and mildews and a million other things. I suppose this is no different than other places in the world. However, the other day when I had to use the windshield wipers to clear a path on my windshield, I was thinking it must stink to live here if you have allergies. For, example, like my dear Middlest. All I can say is thank all the gods for generic antihistamines.

Every morning in the spring and early summer she is a sniffling, wheezing mess. And then, one allergy pill later, she’s perked up and breathing normally by the time she heads off to school.

Better living through chemicals, right? Continue reading

Looking For The Light

IMG_4592When I started blogging, I made the decision to be as much like myself here on the page as I am in the real deal. Well, that might be a lie because I’m not sure much of a decision-making process was really involved but I did decide to not attempt to filter myself all that much. So in that sense, it is true.

Truth.

Goodness.

Beauty.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a bit more of those commodities in life? It seems like there’s plenty of subterfuge, manipulation, and death by a thousand paper cuts. But the plain ole good stuff seems to be in short supply.

Some days this torments me more than it should. Continue reading

Pinterest, Fight Club, Self-Harm, and Me

I bet you’re wondering what those 4 words have in common. I’ll probably tell you. But I’m warning you, this one is going to be raw. Unedited. I might even delete it. I don’t know. I just know today is not a good day and I am drowning under it all.

It is a classic February day here in the Northwest — gray and raining, the wind blowing the rain until it hits everything with a sharp sting. The smart folks are hunkered down in front of their fires with coffee and a good book, or otherwise sheltered from the rain. Me? I just got back from walking the dog in the cold wetness. I walk at a nearby college campus and I passed a surprising number of umbrellas. (Locals usually avoid umbrellas and go for good rain gear.)

Continue reading