Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Just breathe. . .

Good things are worth waiting for. After much frustration on her part, my Christmas gift from Amy has arrived! A hand sketched Eddie! Oh my! I can't breathe.

Wind in my hair
I feel part of everywhere.
I knew all the rules
But the rules did not know me

3,2,1 . . . Let's Go!

fresh starts

blank pages

clear intentions

journeys yet ahead

clean slate

a new year

Here's to HOPE and HAPPINESS in 2011

Friday, December 24, 2010


I Believe!

I had a brush with anger yesterday. OK. Maybe this is more accurate. I had a full on episode of intensely embracing anger yesterday. Here's the story . . .
There's a canyon here and an old time railroad that runs through it. Every Christmas season, they run a special route to the North Pole. Yep, true. I've always thought about taking a trip with fellow believers. The expense (it's steep), getting tickets (demand is great) and making time (mine is usually locked up) made it challenging. This year was gonna be different.
For months Presley has been watching The Polar Express. She talks often of Tickets and Conductors and Bells and Santa Claus and Believing. She even talked me into buying the Josh Groban Believe song and knows how to pull it up on my iPhone. With some "off call" time, I had to make the train trip happen. I started my ticket watch in early November. Before Thanksgiving even, we scored! 4 round trip tickets to The North Pole on December 23, 2:00 pm! The count down of days began.
The day came. Carson's mama packed his bag; they said their goodbyes. He cried a little. Presley came in decked and ready, fat coat, hat and hood, snow boots on.
"Aren't you too warm little girl?"
"No, Grammy, there's ice there."
We gave ourselves 2 hours to make the one hour trip to Heber City. After a quick stop for Happy Meals we were off!
As soon as we merged on to the freeway, I sensed trouble. Traffic was crawling about 15-20 mph. What in the world? Thinking it must be a bad accident my heart felt for those involved. The way the patrolmen were keeping the road clear looked like prep for a helicopter landing. After an hour of that, (now my believers were fighting in the back seat), it was clear there was no accident. UDOT had some mid day project going on. Even in Li'l Red, I was going to have a hard time making it to Heber City at the requested pre-boarding time. Finally, it eased up and I sped up 80+. Within a few minutes we were stopped again. Uggh! We were trapped and we were beyond late. We tried to find the phone number for the train depot. At least someone else could have our spot. Maybe there were cancellations on a later train. I don't know what I wanted them for. Something. Didn't matter. They didn't answer.
Traffic still clogged up at 2 pm. Presley's back there unaware of the problem. I'm not gonna be the one to tell her there is one, a serious one. She wants me to play the Believe song. I can't. It's not true. None of it, no matter how many times Josh sings it so. In my head I'm writing a letter to UDOT. I'm gonna let the geniuses there know that they ruined my Christmas. Chuck's trying to explain traffic construction and implications to me and about contractor's fines and choosing to hold the public up and pay the piper later and blah, blah, blah. I said something back like "...and I'm writing my letter on J-U-B letterhead and I'm sorry if you lose UDOT as a client but They Are Evil!"
Up ahead, a mile ahead, there was an emergency exit. Chuck suggested we take it, turn around, go home, call it a day. Are you kidding me??? I'm going to the train depot. I will not tell Presley we missed the train. I will not go home! We are going to find Santa Claus if we have to walk to the stop in Soldier Hollow (aka The North Pole). I cried a little under my sun glasses. Pres and Carson made up silly songs. Loud silly songs. I drove on.
We arrived at the Depot at 3:00. I had rehearsed my speech to whoever there would listen. A young girl at the ticket counter heard it first. I picked Presley Believer up in my arms, figuring her face would help with dramatic effect. My speech, spoken calmly: "We are in a very bad mood, a very sad mood. I know it is not your fault so don't take this personally. We missed our 2:00 train. When it comes back here can these 2 little children please get on and at least sit in a seat and look around? Answer: "No, they'll be cleaning it up." Hmmm, dramatic effect not working. I continue. "Well, where will Santa be? Can they see him?" Still No. I guess he stays at the North Pole. This girl is not getting my desperation. Now I start losing my calmness and start in on how I tried to call and your phones are all clogged up and what's with that on a day like this and did anyone else miss the train because of UDOT filling potholes in the middle of the day. She at least apologizes and says it's very busy here, ya know.
I back up and reassess what has become my emotional train wreck. OK. The adjoining gift shop and the nice lady working there. New speech: "Hi. We missed our 2:00 train and we are very sad. Can you tell me what souvenirs Santa gives the children, maybe sell me some?" She is paying attention and FINALLY someone gets it and responds compassionately. Ohhhh, no. Yes, I know what he gives them and I could wrap some up for you. How many children? She looks at Carson and Presley. Dramatic effect working. Wait! Let me go find the Depot manager.

They return. Depot manager looks a little like Mrs. Claus. (Turns out she is married to him!). She looks at the kids and says to me, "Be back here at quarter to 5 and I'll get you on the next train." I question. "Will we be stand by or are we ON?" She replies that we will be on the train! I look at the store clerk. She softly says, "It's all about believing." I start crying again. We both look at Presley. I say something like, "yeah, that 4 year old, she believes."
So does her grammy.

believe in what your heart is saying
hear the melody that's playing
there's no time to waste
there's so much to celebrate
believe in what you feel inside
and give your dreams the wings to fly
you have everything you need
if you just

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter rising

I just can't resist trying to capture this kind of beauty from my own back porch.
Tomorrow is Winter Solstice. I think the planet is quite excited!
I know I am!

how could the Father tell the world
of love and tenderness?

a newborn babe

newborn baby Charlie Grey and his great grandma

Amy, radiant, carrying new life, a baby boy!

There is a good part of every season, of every circumstance. I am aware of the peace gift that is mine this Christmas time. As I celebrate "off call" for the first time in at least 15 holiday seasons, I am also aware of the affirmation that has been mine for the last 15 years. Receiving babies, welcoming the new and valiant ones, especially when the symbols of the birth of Jesus Christ are all around is also a gift. I miss it. I'll never forget the mothers that labored with Silent Night in the background. I'll never forget the babies babies born under the lights of family Christmas trees. I will never forget the gratitude I felt in my heart and bones driving home from births in the middle of dark, snowy nights. Sometimes in silence, sometimes with my own Christmas music playing, always deeply reflective. I will always remember the stillness that welcomed me home, my own babies asleep and the reminder that washed over me, that I too, was chosen to bear and raise up valiant spirits.

what does the Father ask of us?
help others on their way.

The halls were decked. . .

. . . with boughs of holly and mistletoe and so much holiday goodness. It was one big family party here on Saturday night. This house rocked with Christmas happiness.

My friends, please stop by this week, anytime, for some peppermint cocoa, cookies and an up close look at my sweet little tree. I think the true spirit of Christmas is centered right there in a little glass star.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

more merriness

a tree for the littles in this house
a ribboned pretzel girl
hot candy cane cocoa in a polka dot mug
bing crosby
peace and joy

* * *

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Having myself a merry little Christmas

I got a little sidetracked in the middle of a very busy day. (Imagine that!) I made a quick stop at the store for some extension cords and came back with this sweet little Christmas tree. Let me dissect "sidetrack".

1. Walk to side door of the store where the Christmas trees are.
2. Stop. Remember how you miss the smell of a real, fresh cut tree. Remember you were thinking of putting a little one up in your Pearl office.
3. Allow yourself to be drawn to those cute little firs.
4. Pick one.
5. Interrupt the nice store man who is sweeping up pine needles and ask him how to buy this tree.
6. Answer "yes" when he asks if it will be going in water soon and give him permission to saw a little off the trunk.
7. Take the tag he gave you inside the store to pay for it. Don't suppress the big smile you feel coming on.
8. Walk inside towards all the ornaments and lights.
9. Stop.
10. You'll need lights. A string of 100 clear tear drops. Perfect.
11. Pick ornaments. A box of red, a box of silver. A star for the top.
12. Respond to the clerk who asks if you need any help. "Oh, yes, where are the extension cords?" Remember to add one more to your original list. You have a new tree to light.
13. Arms full, get in line. Uh-oh, this is the slow line.
14. Wrestle with the thought that just occurred. No tree stand. Should you leave your spot and go find one? Answer: No.
15. Your phone is alerting you to a text received. Hands too full. Don't check now. Another text. The line is not moving. Be patient.
16. Now the phone is ringing. Maybe it's important. Hold your purse in your teeth. See who is calling. Jade. Oh, yeah. You left her and Carson in the car. Answer. Tell the truth. You got sidetracked.

Li'l Red Sleigh

Tree stand improv.
Red kitchen crock and rocks gathered from backyard.

The lights

The newly purchased red and silver ornaments aren't quite right.
These little red, glass stars are perfect.

All done.
Something old, Jerry Garcia ornament, gift from Amy back in Kennewick days.
Something new, silver glitter peace sign spotted by Lindsay yesterday at Foothill Village shop.

Oh Christmas tree. You feel my heart with gladness.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pretty girls

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby Jade

Dear Alexandra Jade,
Today at 5 pm, you will officially be an ADULT!
However, Baby Jade is what you are officially to me, forever.
Keep on, girl.
When it seems like there is so much to do, so far yet to go,
take a look behind you.
It has been an incredible year of accomplishment for you.
You've checked off some big life goals.
I can't wait to see what you do with the year ahead of you.