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Redbird Car

I tried to write two different blogs this week. Neither worked. So, I’m telling a story. Not just any story—a close-to-the-heart, real life story. Actually, it’s a story within a story. It starts with frustration. My Ford Explorer makes a squealing sound. It comes and goes. Sounds like a scream under the blue hood. I tell my husband. He drives it. It squeals and shrills, but he says, “I can’t hear it. I don’t hear a thing.” I am stunned. I probably look at him as if he’s lying. He says, “Really. I can’t hear a thing.” Driving down the highway, I say, “There it is! Can you hear it?” He shakes his head. He cannot hear the high-pitched shrill. This is with hearing-aids in both ears. We head bac

Five Stages of Grief

A friend said she was once told “to get over it” when talking about a loss. A cruel comment, in my opinion. No matter if I lose my 20-year-old cloth scissors, my glasses which I depend upon to see, or a dear person, I grieve the loss. I hold grief’s hot little hand and wait until the feelings ease up. A loss, if important to us, triggers grief stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Five stages, coined by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross as she studied the dying. But today they are applied to any significant loss for the dying or the living. Beware: the stages almost make losses sound controllable. They’re not controllable. Losses and grief are complicated and messy. If I look at my

Remember, Remember, Remember…

Is this how it happens? Does abundance come after there’s a breaking of some sort? Then there’s a blessing? I’ve been broken plenty of times. In my large family-of-origin, we knew alcoholism, abandonment, losses, hunger, hurting, cancer. I know brokenness. But somehow…goodness and abundance came out of it. How does that work? A paradox. To my logical mind, it never made any sense. How could the opposite come from hunger or alcoholism? I have no answers. I only have my story. I lived it out, so I believe it. In The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis, Aslan says, “Remember, remember, remember the signs….” I’m still trying to connect the dots and recognize the signs. I saw my friend in Wal-Mart yester

Nature Helps Me Cope

In March of 2011, I discovered I had an aggressive breast cancer. Suggestions came from a few friends to go to Little Rock or St. Louis. I thought about it for a few minutes, looked around at what I’d be leaving, and chose to stay put. I took direction from Dr. Stahl, my surgeon. He knew the route I needed to take. He became my GPS. He was the one who identified the cancer. Then I was off to chemo, surgery, more chemo, radiation and chemo together. Zippity Doo Dah! Not. I had no energy to spare. It took all I had to get dressed and follow the road in front of me. People and churches put me on prayer lists. They prayed. I let them carry me in their minds and hearts. I prayed too, but my feeli

Push Mountain Road! They Ruined It!

We had waited for years for the road to be resurfaced. It happened this summer, and we were proud of the scenic road we traveled to Norfork or Mountain Home. Never had we been this happy about a road. No more pot holes! It was a smooth, winding road. Quiet, too. Easy on the tires, easy on the vehicle, easy on the eyes. Lines were good, clear, bright. We were thrilled. Then one day a couple of weeks ago, my husband Jimmy came home from work, shell-shocked. He said, “They sprayed tar and put chat on Push Mountain Road! Why? They ruined our road, and I don’t know why. Not the entire road, but several miles of it. Makes no sense. No more lines, no more smoothness, no more safety.” Jimmy, who is

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