Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Hindsight is a fun place to visit once in a while. And looking back at the days when the boys were growing up at home brings back many happy memories. We were always going somewhere, visiting historical sights or museums, traveling around the country on various vacations. And I loved it. We tried to expose them to all kinds of places, people and situations. At the time I don't think it was a conscious decision, just fun! When our oldest was only 12 he won a contest sponsored by Parade Magazine for boys that were at that time newspaper carriers! Two boys chosen from each state were awarded a trip to London, England and Scotland. It was called the Young Columbus tour. We put him on a plane and into the hands of complete strangers for 10 days. What were we thinking??? Our families of origin thought we were nuts. There were moments during those 10 days that we thought we were nuts, too. A few years ago he called to thank me for "giving him the world as his backyard" He and his brother are both fine young men, brave and comfortable in foreign settings as well as in their home cities of Dallas, Texas and Durango, Colorado. They both have experienced far flung parts of the globe and have wonderful stories to tell. (Their secret desire is to be contestants on the "Amazing Race")
And I said all that to say that FEAR is the hindrance to knowing people, places and things outside our comfort zones. FEAR has to be the number one enemy to enjoying life in it's fullest. FEAR causes us to not trust people that are different from us and builds walls in our imaginations. I don't think we can take any credit for their fearlessness, but I want to always be like them, enjoying everything and everyone this beautiful world has to offer.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Delany Sisters

As a "bookaholic" I can't let this day go by without commenting on my most recent delight. (It's true, I read about 3 books a week..and since I discovered the Tulsa County Library system my husband is o.k. with my addiction as well.) Sadie and Bessie DeLany are true to life heroes. Sisters from a brood of 10 children whose father was born into slavery on a plantation in southern Georgia share their story. Both women, who lived to be well over 100, present an historical, lively & sometimes cruel account of life. Their voices blend together as did their days since they lived side by side through all their years. ("Having Our Say, the DeLany Sisters first 100 Years") Their dignity, courage, wisdom, & love is a remarkable testimony to a family that rose above all kinds of hardships to become people that influenced individuals and society. Neither married but nurtured countless children and adults nevertheless. This book is their legacy for the rest of us. that's worth pondering. How will my life influence those that come after me? I used to laugh when thinking of one particular long ago relative saying, "that man was the perfect example of how NOT to live". Every family has one or two or three of those. The bottom line is, we don't live just for ourselves. Children, grandchildren, even strangers are watching, learning, taking note, receiving what I dish out! It really does matter how I live, in public as well as in private. I suppose the term is "role model". I'm wondering if I'm modeling faith, joy, simplicity, acceptance, & courage. I sure hope so.
Thank you Sadie and Bessie.

Friday, March 26, 2010


I LOVE THIS PICTURE! Our grandaughter Maggie is taking a big view of what's under the sea. Those eyes are taking it all in. My hope is that as I navigate life my eyes are just as wide. In fact, I've been accused of being able to "see" the big picture but totally inept at even noticing details. I stand accused and guilty. Sometimes I get really frustrated talking to folks who can see the "leaves" but miss the "forest". And I'm sure folks shake their head and roll their eyes when they're trying to help me understand the molecules of the moment. No doubt it takes both kinds to balance out our days.
It just seems so important to me that we look beyond our noses and anticipate consequences of actions or words being considered. To make time to "think things through", to do the work of looking beyond the moment. I don't always suceed and sometimes run ahead of common sense.
It happens in relationships, churches, marriages, businesses, mortgages, credit cards and yes, even countries. And it always backfires. (I'm afraid our nation is speeding down the road with eyes closed. It's the pull of "whats in it for me" vs. "what's best for the nation and the future.")
I'm hoping that Maggie lives her life with "eyes wide open".

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Where did I come from?

Yesterday I was talking/laughing with some friends about ancestors! They were interested in trying to find a lost cousin and that made me think about my own history.
Now there's a really good library here in Tulsa where you can go to do such research and we made a tentative promise to "one day" check it out. I supposed it's important to know your family history...genes and all. And it is true we are a product of those that have gone before. My fathers family came from Finland. Yep, Grandpa Thompson came over on the boat and promptly changed his Finnish name to one that can be pronounced without busting into hysterial laughter. (don't ask!)
We've often planned/dreamed/joked about visiting the "old country". That plan is always ditched when someone reminds us that "there's a reason our ancestors left that place." No doubt the weather had something to do with it in that situation.
We are also products of our own personal past and experiences both goood and bad. Lots of folks I know carry around so much "old baggage" that it's very difficult to function in TODAY. It's that blending of nurture vs. nature that makes us unique. Either way, both are history. I'm convinced that what's gone on before or where our ancestors lived and worked is not nearly as important as where we're going today, tomorrow or for that fact, where we'll spend eternity! Now, that's a question that must be answered!
So, I'll probably poke around in the dust of yesteryears a little bit, but probably won't stay there very long. Maybe I'll go to the flea market and pick up some old pictures of complete strangers, put them in a scrapbook and declare them "ancestors". I could name those folks, make up stories and entertain my family.
I could even tell my friend that I found her a cousin!! That complete waste of time and energy might rank right up there with a subscription to

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Diversity and Necessity of Friends

Last week I had the wonderful experience of a road trip with an old friend. She lives one hour +, door to door. After picking her up we traveled around Arkansas where I was scheduled to speak to some women's groups. What a trooper! She sat at each meeting, laughed at the appropriate jokes,& clapped at the right time. This woman knows my talk by heart, she could give it! (In fact, we've talked about just that...since most of the time no one knows what I look like before I get there!)
At each town we met some remarkable women. They were all ages, races, shapes and sizes, various economic levels, each with amazing experiences and backgrounds that if documented would fill a shelf full of very interesting books. There was much silliness to go around, long moments of reflective silence, and a willingness to tell their story that men will never understand. There really is a universal "sisterhood". Entering into that "nest" is entering into an institution of higher learning. As much as I adore my husband, children, grandchildren and extended family I'm reminded to make time for friends, new and old. We women need each other....younger women need the life lessons that only older women can offer, and older women need the vitality and freshness that comes from youth. It's easy to offer respect and listening ears when the benefits are so huge.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Our Country Divided

I've been accused of being a "news" junkie. I suppose it's true...I like to know what's happening. And what's happening today is very disturbing. Yesterday the crack in our national culture broadened into a great chasm. The shouting on both sides of this healthcare issue has become deafening. The struggle for power has certainly increased in volume and intensity. Lawsuits are being written, campaigns are being organized, and there are lines being drawn in the sand. Two very different views of America are forming. It truly is capitalism vs. socialism. What's the regular citizen not living near the Washington Beltway supposed to think or do?
I'm trying to stay informed, as much as possible in this very manipulative media era, while all the time resting in the fact that God is not surprised by any of this, that HE has a plan that will prevail, and we're all going to learn much. How He'll use us "regular" folks has yet to be seen. Perhaps inserting a little "calmness" and kindness into our speech and relationships would be helpful. (And I'm also planning to attend a Tea Party or two!)
Here's a line from Dr. Larry Crabb's book "66 Love Letters", from 2 Corinthians:
"God says, My Spirit is telling MY story to your psychological culture, a culture that actually believes woundedness - how others treat you - is a more serious problem than selfishness - how you treat others. Understand this: no one who fails to see their selfishness as their absolutely worst problem, no one who continues to believe that their feelings of emptiness and pain and loneliness deserve priority attention from a grandfather-like God who simply wants all His little ones to feel good, will ever know the kind of hope that energized and sustained Paul through all his disappointments and discouragement."
Maybe that's what we need today - a new kind of HOPE.

Monday, March 22, 2010

First Blog

I'm blogging! Yippeee,skippee! Thanks to our daughter-in-law Jamie I have stepped into the 21st century! She thinks it's a "no-brainer" but I'm enjoying and benefiting from all her experience at creating a public diary! She's a pro!!
This beginning is exciting and my brain is whirling.