Choose Life. . .

Bill McKenna has said: "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well- preserved piece,
but to skid across the line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, shouting GERONIMO!"

Moses said: "...therefore, choose life..." (Deuteronomy 30:19).

I choose life - with all its choices, challenges and changes!

How about you?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sing a Song of September

September - not my favorite month - but just as the robin is called the "harbinger of spring," September releases delicate hints that my season is on the way. Fall! I do a bit of organizing and planning in September, but I come alive in October and thrive in the grey poignancy of November.

But September was the inspiration for my favorite ballad of all time. Written in 1938 by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson, for the Broadway show, Knickerbocker Holiday, September Song
tugs at every heartstring I have. Frankly, the verse is a bit corny. I'm sure it has something to do with the story line of the play, which I've never seen, but in reversing the adage "from the ridiculous to the sublime" here are the lyrics of the chorus.

Oh, it's a long, long while from May to December
But the days grow short when you reach September
When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame
One hasn't got time for the waiting game.

Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few
And these few precious days I'll spend with you
These precious days I'll spend with you

It's a love song, of course, but I see it as a song of life and love and loss and challenge. And commitment.

This week we have been reminded of the tragic losses of 9/11 when our country was changed forever in the span of a few minutes. Thousands of people left their homes that morning, perhaps with a quick peck on the cheek of a husband or wife or child - or maybe not. Maybe there wasn't time. Maybe there'd been an argument. Maybe the kids were still asleep. Then there were those nagging details of the 10:00 o'clock meeting yet to solve, or what to pick up for dinner on the way home. And don't forget to stop at the cleaners.

I doubt that anyone thought they might not be coming home that night.

You know where this is going, don't you? The days grow short; it's already half-past September.
Don't play the waiting game. We haven't got time for that. Every day is a precious day. I want to live it! How about you?

Teach us to number our days aright
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

Friday, June 17, 2011

I've Had An Accident

27 June 2011
Challenges! Challenges!
When the phone rang this morning, I didn't recognize the number, but was glad to hear my grandson's voice. But he sounded terrible.
Grandson: "Grandma?"
Me: "Hey, it's good to hear from you. But you don't sound so good."
Grandson: "Well, I'm still fighting a throat infection."
Me: "That's hung on a long time. I'm sorry."
Grandson: "I got in a little trouble this morning."
Me: "Oh? What's wrong?"
Grandson: "I had an accident."
Me: "Uh-oh. I'm sorry. Your folks aren't here. Your dad's playing golf and your mom's getting a haircut. But they've got their cell phones. You'd better call one of them."
The phone went dead. That happens sometimes with calls from my grandson. I don't know whether it's his cell phone or our reception here, but it happens."
I didn't try to reconnect because I knew he'd be calling either of his parents. Was he hurt? Was someone else hurt? Was he calling from a hospital? Were the police involved. Was he calling from a police station? Was that maybe his "one" call?
Would it cancel his scheduled visit here next weekend? Would it cancel my visit to my other new grandson next weekend? Was his car totaled?
I remembered his dad's first car accident, and how a friend tried to comfort me by saying every new driver had to experience an accident early on. But my grandson is 20, has been driving for four years, and never yet had that "first."
My heart ached. So I prayed. I knew that was the best thing I could do while the others sorted things out.
When neither my son nor daughter-in-law called or arrived home before expected, I began to wonder if they had heard from him. Then the thoughts began again. What if he was injured and the disconnect was because of something terrible involving EMT's or ER's or doctors or police officers? And what if I hadn't let them know? So, belatedly, I called.
No, my daughter-in-law hadn't heard from him. My heart jumped. When she arrived a few minutes later, she had talked with him and he was fine--he hadn't called me. There was no accident!
I was the receiving end of an attempted scam.
I've heard of the scam against elderly relatives. A grandchild will call, in trouble, unable to reach his parents, needing money--sometimes pretending to be in a foreign country without resources.
I can't imagine a grandmother or grandfather who wouldn't know their grandchild's voice, or know if they were traveling in a foreign country. But I had no question that I was not talking to my grandson.
I have no clue as to how the scammer tried my number, or knew he was talking to a grandmother. Perhaps if whoever answered hadn't responded to that initial "Grandma" he'd have hung up instantly.
I wouldn't have sent money; his parents would be responsible for that. But if I thought it was truly my grandson, I'd want to.
And next time he visits, I'll probably slip him a twenty before he leaves.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Coming Home

10 JUNE 2011

After my last post someone asked what I had been doing for the ten months that I hadn’t blogged. Actually I edited and tweaked my novel, THE TENTH MONTH, which has nothing at all to do with the ten months I didn't blog.

In November, after more than 50 years in California, I moved with my son and his wife to Nevada. Bumper stickers here insist “NOT Ne-vah-dah” thank you very much. We arrived the week before Thanksgiving. It snowed the night we moved in. That’s not necessarily news to half the country, but it was fun for us.

So it was getting ready for Thanksgiving – and unpacking.

In December it was getting ready for Christmas – and unpacking.

In January it was joining and getting acquainted with a new writers’ group – Reno Christian Writers – and unpacking.

In February it was getting personally “remodeled” – new “helps” for seeing, hearing and chewing – and unpacking.

In March it was re-evaluating and refining the living space, displaying artifacts, shelving books, hanging pictures – making my space my own – hey the unpacking’s done!

In April it was a trip to Bakersfield (CA) to visit second son and his wife, and to attend a baby shower for long awaited second grandchild!

In May, said grandchild, Jake Taylor Hudson, arrived – not that I had much to do with that – but give me a break.

In November, as we drove into Nevada from California, I behaved like a tourist, taking pictures of everything I saw: the beautiful fall scenery, the vista of the mountains far ahead, growing nearer as the miles passed, snow on the ground, my first glimpse of Donner Pass I had heard of only in history books, the descent into our valley. I had only seen pictures of the new house which was to become my new address.

In April, coming back from the California visit, spring greenery graced the hills and valleys in spite of the snow remaining on the crests. I remarked to my daughter-in-law who was driving, “This time it feels like we’re coming home.”

Home can be anywhere if you choose to make it so. I choose...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

JUNE 2, 2011

“Hello, again, hello…”

Does anyone remember that wistful Neil Diamond song? How does one say “Hello, again, hello…” after such a long absence? Nearly ten months! Do I slink away in shame, never to be heard from again? Do I start a whole new blog page, pretending this one never happened? Bottom line: Does it really matter? Does anyone care?

A friend and fellow-blogger recently thanked me for commenting on his blog, saying there were so few comments, he wondered if anyone read his—I add “excellent”—fitness blog. We enter the blogging experience crafting words we expect the entire world to read. And that is a technical possibility, but of course, a virtual improbability. So we continue putting our thoughts and opinions and pitches out there, hoping to connect with, inspire and encourage at least a few.

So, I humbly whisper, “She’s b – a – a – c – k . . .

And if you need/want practical, realistic, doable fitness advice, check out

And, hey, leave a comment while you’re there!