This Woman - Laura

February 25, 1922

The Angel of Death has again visited our district, removing one of our most beloved residents in the person of Mrs. L. Graves. Mrs. Graves had been suffering for some years from an incurable malady, and for the past year this disease has progressed more rapidly, terminating fatally on Saturday morning, February 25th. The deceased was well and favorably known in Crystal City, where she and her family lived for a number of years, removing to Mather district later, where her husband died. Here she remained until war time, and both her unmarried sons enlisted, when she and her daughter came to Clearwater, where they have since resided. Mrs. Graves' two sons Richard and George, made the supreme sacrifice in the war, and this no doubt had a weakening effect on her constitution. During the few short years it has been our privilege to know Mrs. Graves, she has endeared herself to us all by the sweetness and unselfishness of her character. Her patience and fortitude under sorrow and suffering have been wonderful, and a splendid example of Christian love and faith. A great deal of sympathy is felt for the remaining children, Mrs. F. Fiskel, of Benson, Miss Belle Graves and William Graves, in the loss of such a mother. The funeral took place yesterday from St. Paul's church, of which deceased was a devoted member, and was largely attended.

This woman was my great-grandmother. I never had the fortune to know her, but in reading this tribute to her, I count it my great loss.

Happy Thanksgiving

Well, we're packed and organized and ready to leave for our Thanksgiving trip. We're both fortunate enough to be able to leave work early so we can get a head start on our journey to visit our children, grandchild, and soon-to-be-born grandchild.

We are blessed and there is much to be thankful for. I couldn't begin to list all the things that I have to be thankful for this year, so here is just a short list:
  • I'm thankful to have an opportunity to visit with my friend Wanda one last time before winter prevents travel
  • I'm thankful for our beautiful baby grandson Jaxon
  • I'm thankful for my daughter's health, and for her miracle baby soon to be born
  • I'm thankful for the opportunity to do fulfilling work
  • I'm thankful for my husband who blesses me every day whether he intends to or not
  • I'm thankful for our church that made us feel welcome the first time we walked through the doors
  • I'm so thankful to have an opportunity to visit with our family this Thanksgiving. We are blessed by these amazing people who once were our children, and by those with whom they have chosen to spend their lives. We could not ask for a daughter-in-love or a son-in-love whom we would love more. We relish role of "grandparent" and look forward to getting to know these newest members of our family as they grow and change.

God has been good to us this year!

A Sharp Woman

There is a woman I see fairly regularly whom I've come to think of as sharp.

She's very slender and always dresses well. Her slight frame is slightly on the pointy side, I think she could stand to put on a few pounds, but no matter.

She doesn't look young, on the contrary her face is lined and wrinkled. It's hard to speculate on her age, it seems likely that she is younger than she looks.

I've heard her speak, not kindly, to others. She can be intimidating, whether intentional or not I'm not sure. I wonder what her life is like, if she is happy, or if her apparent gruffness is a reflection of some pain she has experienced.

As I've met her in passing over the past few months, I've noticed a persistent scowl on her face. We don't know each other but I always smile at her when we meet.

Until recently, she has not returned that smile, in fact more often than not she appears to ignore me altogether. Then, one day, unexpectedly, she returned my smile! I felt victorious just in the fact that she had smiled at me! From that day forward, when we met she has continued to acknowledge and smile at me, sometimes even saying "hello".

It's a silly thing really, but I like to feel that in some way I've started to break through her sharp exterior and that one day we'll have a real conversation.

A Precious Memory

A number of years ago my life fell apart. I struggled to get through each day the best way that I could, at night I would call out to God. There were times when I begged him to take me home because I couldn't stand the pain I was going through.

During that time a woman I worked with came over to my desk one day, with her walkman queued up to this song. As I listened, I struggled to hold back my emotions, overwhelmed by the love of God, and of the kindness of this woman to reach out to me.

I want to encourage you to step out when you see someone hurting, because you don't know what kind of an effect you will have. This simple gesture touched my heart in such a deep place. This woman, who so many years ago stepped out, has be come my very best friend. I cherish her more than she can imagine, and I thank her for stepping out.


Lately I've been thinking about the rings that women wear and the stories that they reveal.

This is a picture of the rings that my daughter and her husband exchanged when they married.

In addition to my own wedding band and engagement ring I wear at least two other rings every day - my mother's engagement ring and her diamond solitaire. These rings became mine after my mother died and I am honored to wear them.

These two rings symbolize the commitment that my parents made to one another, but more than that they remind me of the integrity of my father. My father promised his bride three things if she would accept his proposal of marriage - a new house; a fur coat; and a diamond ring and he was able to provide her with all three of these things in time. My mom was a simple woman and on a daily basis she wore only her wedding band saving the other rings for "special occasions".

I sometimes wear a diamond and ruby ring that belonged to my aunt, and this ring too has a story. It was bought for my aunt by her husband as a gift to remember the diamond and ruby ring that belonged to her mother - my grandmother - that went missing from my mother's home some years ago. My grandmother lost her husband when her youngest child was just months old. She lived an extremely difficult life and this ring, given to her by her husband who died too young, came to my own mother after her death. I continue to hope that one day this ring is returned to me.

I see some women wearing her original wedding set on her right hand, and a newer flashier set on her left hand. These speak prosperity achieved as time has gone by and perhaps promises kept.

No matter what rings a woman chooses to wear, the circular bands tell a story and symbolize in some way the circle of life that we as women are an integral part of.


A number of you have participated in this game of "tag" so I decided to join in.

Five Things I Was Doing Five Years Ago
1. Taking Fridays off
2. Living in Kamloops
3. Enjoying a weekly coffee time with my BFF
4. Probably making my Christmas list
5. Making quilts

Five Things On My To Do List
1. Pack for our Thanksgiving trip
2. Take the dogs for a walk
3. Grocery shopping
4. Bath the dogs
5. Laundry

Five Things I Like To Snack On (there's a theme here that may explain my cholesteral issues!)
1. Cheese and crackers
2. Cheddar cheese mini rice cakes
3. Cheesecake
4. White cheddar rice cakes
5. Grapes and cheese

Five Things I Would Do If I Was A Millionaire
1. Give to my church
2. Give to my children
3. Retire
4. Travel
5. Buy a bookstore

Five Places I've Lived
1. Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
2. Princeton, British Columbia
3. Kamloops, British Columbia
4. Auburn, Washington
5. And that's all, folks!

Five Jobs I've Had
1. Keypunch operator
2. Computer programmer
3. Hair salon receptionist
4. Babysitter
5. HR business analyst

Five People I Am Tagging
No one....I'll just let anyone else join is as they feel inspired....

The Gift of Imagination

As I was driving home yesterday after another long and draining day at work, I tuned into one of my favorite Sirius classical radio stations. There in my car, in the middle of traffic, I found myself transported.

I was at the symphony, in the same theatre that my husband and I used to attend on occasion. The orchestra looked so grand dressed in their finest formal clothes. I remembered the coziness of being in that theatre on a cold winter evening, I could picture the unique walls that were constructed to allow the best possible sound to be heard, I saw the burgundy seats, remembered the ushers in their black and white clothes. It was grand!

Suddenly, I found myself back in my car, my attention required as I changed lanes. Once I was back on track, my mind wandered again.

Listening to Mozart, this time I was in an English country home, in another time, listening to a young woman playing the harpsichord. There were no cell phones, no email, no TV new programs with bad news, just the pure pleasure of listening to music well played.

It's an amazing thing that when you have travelled the same roads often, your mind is able to slip into neutral in a sense, and you're able to take these journeys in your imagination. It used to concern me when I arrived at my destination with little recollection of chunks of the journey, but I've heard that it's a common experience.

It doesn't concern me any longer, I enjoy the opportunity to use my imagination to escape to a quieter place for a while.

Little Things

Yesterday I was the recipient of a simple act of kindness and generosity that brightened my day. As a token of appreciation, someone gave me a container of wonderful-smelling soap and a pretty bag of lavender seeds. It didn't cost her much, really didn't take too much effort, and yet it lifted my spirit immensely.

Too often, I find myself caught up in the hurry and stress of the day's work and forget to take the time to appreciate people around me. This simple act of thoughtfulness inspired me to try and be more mindful of simple opportunities to let others know that I appreciate and care for them.

What simple ways can you think of to show your appreciation for someone?

The King and I

Here is my life lesson for today: "Don't try and cut someone's hair when you're tired and not thinking clearly".

I have cut my husband's hair for years, and this morning started out like many others. As I took the clippers to the back of his head, the difference this morning was that I had neglected to put on the #2 guard.

One never wants to hear the words "uh oh" when their hair is being cut, but that's what my husband heard this morning. The damage was done in one swipe of the clippers, and there was nothing to be done but to clip the rest of his hair to match the first ruthless path of the clippers.

He kind of resembles Yul Brenner in The King and I this afternoon, not a bad thing, right?! We have had some good chuckles over this little mishap today, and I have just one more thing to say to my eternally patient husband:

Sorry honey.....uh....shall we dance?!

Stress Management

It's Friday, we made it through another crazy week. I am so incredibly ready for a weekend so that I can regroup and recharge my energy. Here in my world it's been just a little wild of late.

I once heard something along the lines of "the key to stress management is learning to relax so that you can build your physical and emotional reserves to meet the next challenge".

My goal for the weekend is to do my very best to relax. I know that there are challenges ahead and this is vital in order to be able to get through what's to come

I'm going to read, organize some cooking, write, get through the box of kids books in my attic, read, do a bit of shopping, write, get a manicure, read, and whatever else fun pops up.

What are you planning for relaxation this weekend?


In two weeks we will be on our way to visit our children for Thanksgiving. Though they won't be celebrating Thanksgiving in Canada, I will be having my own Thanksgiving celebration in my heart. This year we have much to be thankful for.

It is our first Thanksgiving with our precious little grandson, Jaxon. We miss so much being so far away from him. It will be so exciting to see how much he has changed since we last saw him!

In less than two months my daughter will be having her much-anticipated, long-awaited, little baby (we don't know if it will be a boy or girl yet)!

God has truly blessed our family this year and in this, as in everything, we praise Him and give him thanks!


Just a short post let everyone know I'm still here.....working too much and not taking the care I should. I saw my doctor yesterday, and I was up in my blood pressure, up in my weight, and up in my cholesterol. I haven't gotten the hang of this "getting older" thing yet.

A couple of weeks ago I bought a brand new notebook, with grand intentions of stealing away to my local B&N at lunch time for some quiet time writing. Well, the book is still empty and I haven't taken a lunch break all week.

Sigh....I'll try to to better next week...and hope that the craziness quiets down a bit.

The bright point of my day was coming home to find a fun little package from Angie. What was the high spot of your day?

Wedding Quilt

This is a picture of my daughter and her husband on the morning after their wedding, with the quilt that I had made for them to honor the occasion.

Making the quilt was such a pleasure, as I worked on it I was able to spend time thinking about how much I love the kids, and praying for their upcoming wedding and future life together. By the time I had finished the quilt, having spent so much time and effort on it, in some ways it was like giving a piece of myself to them.

In much the same way as making this quilting, sharing stories about our lives gives us an opportunity to share a piece of ourself with those we love. I am looking forward to one day having some stories organized in such a manner that I can give a gift to my children and grandchildren.

This is one of the reasons that I write.

What reasons do you have for writing?

What would you say?

What would you say to your younger self if you had the opportunity to speak to her? This is a picture of me at 22 years of age. If I could speak to her in a way that she would listen (ah...there is the key) what would I tell her?

I would reassure this young woman that her children will turn into strong, health and loving adults. I would tell her to spend more time with her parents, because too soon they will be gone.

"Listen", I would say, "there is a voice that is trying to get through to you. Stop trying to be so strong, and just listen."

I would tell her that the right road is not necessarily the easy road, and that it is not too late to take that road. I would tell this young woman, that there is heartache in the years to come, and that she will feel that she will not survive the trauma, but I would reassure her that she will not only survive, but she will find strength within herself that she cannot imagine she possesses.

"Listen", I would say again, "you cannot change the past, but you can most definitely influence the future."

I would tell her that she will come to appreciate the lessons that sorrow teaches her, and I would reassure her that she will find happiness, contentment, fulfillment, and peace eventually.

"Be patient", I would say, "you will be okay."

What would you say to your younger self if you had the opportunity?

This Young Woman - Belle

This young woman was just married. She smiles thinking about her future with this man who will share her life. They are not young, she 27 and he one year older, but the promise of a future together causes her to smile.

She will bear three children; the first, a son, in less than two years. Five years later, a daughter whom she will name after her mother, and after two more years another daughter.

Time was hard in what came to be called The Great Depression, and one prairie winter saw her husband succumb to the hardship as illness took him from her. Her youngest baby daughter was only four months old when she was faced with life without her husband.

Her husband's family were good people. They built her a little house next to theirs in the prairie village where they lived. She raised her three children under the watchful eye of her husband's parents, thankful for the help they provided.

Her daughters would marry young, both to older men, perhaps seeking the paternal influence taken from them so tragically. Her son would not marry and would continue to live with her in the little house in the prairie village.

Almost forty years after her husband had died, she went on to be with him. She had lived a quiet, simple and difficult life, and she had raised three strong children. In another time, may have built a life with a second husband, but that was not to be her path.

This young woman's name was Belle and she was my grandmother. I don't recall her smiling or laughing, though I'm sure she must have. I don't recall her hugging me or playing with me, and I'm sure she didn't. I can't say I knew her, more tragically I can't say I loved her, but now thirty seven years after her death, I honor her.


Some number of years ago I had the privilege of meeting my birth-sister in person. We had written a couple of letters and talked on the phone, but this was to be our first face-to-face meeting. She and her family were travelling to our home for a weekend visit and I'll never forget how nervous I was waiting for them to arrive. "What if she doesn't like me?" was uppermost in my mind as the endless hours of waiting dragged on.

Eventually they arrived and our families got to know each other. I couldn't stop looking at her; we looked somewhat alike! Anyone who is adopted will know that this it is a huge thing to meet someone who looks like you do.

Later that night, after husbands and children had gone to bed, we stayed up all night long talking and learning about each other's lives. At that time in our lives, we were both living in different areas in British Columbia, Canada. We had both been born in the Saskatchewan prairie and so it was remarkable that we both ended up living so near to each other. The story doesn't stop there though.

As we began to share about our lives as children, we discovered that we had both lived in the same city at the same time for a few years! We had lived about four blocks apart and attended the same school at the same time!

Given that there are five years difference in our ages, we don't recall ever meeting each other, but I can't help wonder if we had an occasion to come across each other at some time, oblivious to the fact that we were sisters.

Six Word Memoir

Recently I heard of this book that was a compilation of six word memoirs contributed by a variety of individuals, both celebrities and average folks. I was immediately fascinated by the concept and started thinking about what my own six word memoir might be.

I've come to the conclusion that, for me, it's not a static thing. Just as my life has so many facets (and that's a post for another day!) and has gone through so many changes, my six word memoir can change as well.

So, for today, here is my six word memoir:

Detached, rescued, lost, found, strong, content.

What is your six word memoir for today?

Of mice, men and God

Maybe it's just me, but sometimes that which should be obvious escapes me, and I will have a moment where I realize what I had been missing. (picture me slapping my forehead here saying "ah ha!"). I had one of those moments last night.

My life has been crazy in recent weeks, there is so much going on at work that just when I think my head is above water, I start drowning in work again. I've been working extra long hours, and quite honestly I'm starting to feel it physically and mentally.

This week I had plans of getting out of the office at lunch time, going to my local B&N and spending some time writing. I even planned to try and get out of the office early (read "on time"). Let's just say those plans haven't materialized as I'd hoped.

Last night, I was reminded of an old saying that my Dad used to quote. "The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, gang aft agley." (Robert Burns). I started thinking about how this applied to my good intentions of taking breaks at work and leaving on time.

Then when I sat down to cruise some of my favorite blogs I came across Terri's posting called "A whisper in my heart" and I was reminded of one of my most precious bible verses "Be still and know that I am God".

Ahhh....that's what has been missing. Amidst all the craziness I need to be still and listen for His voice and leading. I won't be able to muster the self-discipline without His help. So thank you, Terri for pointing me back in the right direction.

A Splash of Color

The rainy season has official started where I live. This past weekend we turned our clocks back. Thus begins the many-month long season of darkness. This is the season when I begin to go to work in the dark, and come home in the dark. It can be a sure fire recipe for a depressing time ahead.

Today, I'm remembering that I have a choice about how I go into this new season. This picture is of the fall mums that I have near my front door. I purposely bought them in a bright color this year.

Similarly, I'm purposely choosing to keep a bright attitude and to focus on the many blessings in my life. Even in this dark season there is much to be thankful for!

Noticing the little things

Fall in the Pacific Northwest means rain. I've discovered that cool weather and rain means that we grow all sorts of interesting mushrooms in our yard.

I think I must have missed this phenoman last year, being so busy with life and all, but in my quest to slow down and appreciate things more, I've begun to notice and appreciate the different shapes of what's sprouting in our yard.

Here's a picture of a big fella that I took yesterday morning. I love the way the little bunny (not real) is looking at it.

How about you? Are you noticing any new things as you try to live in the moment more?