What do you collect?

He picks up a shell from the shore. “This looks like a heart….sort of”, he says. Yes, it does, sort of. Close enough to add to the other sort of heart-shaped shells we collect. You tend to find what you’re looking for. We look for hearts. No special reason except the first time we spied a shell that resembled a heart it seemed special. They aren’t made in heart shapes....

When Belonging Doesn’t Mean Sameness

I don’t like coffee. There, I said it. I read blogs and listen to podcasts. I’ve seen the memes. Women who are younger than me – a lot younger than me- who write books, wear great earrings, who all seem to know each other. And they all seem to love coffee. Somehow I’ve told myself if I were ever in Nashville or Chicago or the next blogging conference I’d be...

Sweet Comfort {literally}

Comfort is a word with a double edge. We are urged to get out of our comfort zone and curb our indulgence in our comfort foods, the pint of Ben and Jerry’s we crave at the end of a hard day….not our best go-to. Comfort is familiar. It is routine and known and safe. It is also complacency and hiding and avoidance. When does the contentment that soothes your soul become...

Summer’s pull to let some things hang

They are gathering for Saturday breakfast in the back area of Panera Bread. This group of 10 or so are dressed in their church clothes; men wearing ties and most of the women are in dresses. Her hands were full as she held a plate in one hand and coffee in the other when another woman put her arms around her shoulders and whispered in her ear. The older woman...

Writing summer in pencil

Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. – Mary Oliver Summer has us in its full embrace. The traffic is lighter, the beaches are less crowded and the humidity is soaring. This is the quieter part of the year in South Florida. Schools are out making the daily commute less congested. Snowbirds are back north making parking at the beach easier. The sounds come from kids...

When Friendships Lingered Like Summertime – Sally Olson

Mark Twain penned a story about Tom and Huck and their crazy rafting adventures as runaways on the Mississippi River. Barefoot and happy, they were. I know it. I feel the dusty roads on my shoeless feet, smell the mossy riverbank, hear the swish of the fat-headed bristle brush slapping whitewash on the picket fence. It sounds like summer. Do you remember days like that, when Time ran free? The...

If man’s best friend is a dog…

The phone call came from one of our truck drivers, a man who was a graduate of our program. A man with a long history of addiction. “We heard a sound from a box behind store 7 (one of our Family Stores in our county). There’s a puppy in it. Can we keep him?”   We’ve heard the saying that a dog is man’s best friend. I grew up in...

What’s it worth to you?

  When we were kids, one of my younger cousins would trade you his dime for your nickel. He thought bigger was better. That the size spoke its worth. We laughed, pleased with ourselves for pulling something over our younger cousin. Trouble is, when we grew up, we let the world pull the same thing over on us. We’ve bought into the stuff, the titles, the degrees, the labels, the...

Closing the distance on friendships

Aunt Frances, who I’ve seen maybe 10 times in my whole life says, “Hi Deb”, in that familiar way to me. No one calls me Deb. It’s never been my nickname but when she says it, I feel an immediate warmth. Patt does the same in an email and while we’ve lived in different states for 30 years that familiarity in her words makes the time dissolve. But don’t push...