Shopping for Encouragement

Few things are more disheartening this time of year than looking at a Christmas shopping list with no check marks by the names. You want to give something special to each person on the list, but you wonder where you’ll find either the time or the money to purchase the gifts. And after you shop, […]

Thanksgiving Corn

Here’s a “Back Porch Break” classic with memories of Thanksgivings past. Wishing you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving, full of memory-making! With each year that passes I become fonder of Thanksgiving. Uncomplicated by the excessive decorating and gift-giving that we seem compelled to do at Christmas time, Thanksgiving is simpler. It’s all-inclusive, and it’s a […]

Lessons Learned Late

You’d think a woman in her seventh decade of life (yikes, that’s scary!) would have learned about all there is to learn. But evidently not. I know there are some weighty lessons that are so important we need to learn them repeatedly. Trust in God. Pray first. Let go. Those lessons are important enough to […]

Aspen Gaspin’

(A classic column becomes a blog post.) Fall is the time of year when trees dress in their best and demand our undivided attention. Two magnificent maple trees are rooted in my memory. One stands outside my childhood bedroom window in Tennessee. I call it my “thinking tree,” because I spent hours draped in its […]

Where’s the Bear?

It seems that everyone on my street has seen the neighborhood bear except me. “Didn’t you see him yesterday between those two houses?” the neighbors asked. Or, “I just saw him in the bushes in your back yard,” someone else said. So I look and I look, but I don’t see him. By now I […]

Garage Sale Mania

Labor Day has come and gone but garage sale signs are still popping up like dandelions in most neighborhoods. With each one I see, I get that familiar itch to go check out the sale—but then I stop and tell myself, “I already have a garage.” If my own bad joke doesn’t dissuade me, then […]

Within the Sound of Silence

It was eerily quiet yesterday at the neighborhood pool where I swim laps. The only sound was that of the water with each stroke I took. Gone was the cute little girl in the pink suit who accidentally kicked me in the nose when she crossed my lane to join her friends. Gone were the […]

Hummingbird Joy

After a summer marred by wildfires and the violent shooting incident in Colorado, it’s especially healing to have the hummingbirds return to bring us some unmitigated joy in the face of so much loss and grief. Few things in this earthly life can be considered pure joy. To the obvious list of kittens, puppies, and […]

Our Flag Still Waves

I’m not sure if I’m ready to write about the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs just yet, but this photo in today’s Gazette (by photographer Jerilee Bennett) inspires me to try. Let there be no mistake, this was a disastrous, devastating blow to our community. Over 2,000 people remain out of their homes, and […]

On Holy Ground

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.—Psalm 32:7 On a recent trip to New York City with my granddaughter Amanda, we left the very moving 9-11 Memorial and took the short walk across the street to St. Paul’s Chapel. It was my third visit […]