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Through the Window

Here is a girl who presses upward to the sky while climbing a tree to hang shiny ornaments. I watch through the window. She came to our house on Christmas Day, so she’d not been here for the hanging of the greens. Now she makes up for that loss. She is a woodpecker climbing. She is a tiny prayer on the chin of a cloud. I smile as she reaches farther up the tree. Her dad stays watchful and hands ornaments up to her. My, my, my. You’d love this girl just for her determinism and bravery. Listening to suggestions, she ties three small ornaments to the fingers of a limb, then she and her dad slingshot them upward. She knows something about wings. I laugh at the liveliness. My, my, my. Where did m


Dear Friends, I am listening to Christmas music. Why? To get myself more and more awake to the true meaning of Christmas. Maybe I’m trying to counter what the stores (on-line and downtown) say—that things under a tree will make people happy. I totally bought into what the culture fed me when I was a young adult. Get more, give more, get happier. Of course, things did not make them or me happier. As I write this, know that we do have gifts, wrapped and ready for opening. We have a decorated tree and more lights outside. We have a nativity scene to help us remember the reason for the season. I need all the props I can get. Can you hear my internal conflict? Gifts under the tree. Meager compare


God is in front of us like a boulder in the middle of the highway. Do I usually see and recognize His plan? No, I do not. My husband and I try to schedule quarterly appointments with different doctors at the same hour in the same clinic. First, we are escorted to a waiting room where we wait for blood to be drawn. We are sitting side-by-side and hear a woman commenting as she comes down the hallway and enters the room. Her words to the staff person are about her foot and wishing she had a walking boot. After she settles in the chair directly across from us, I ask about her foot, letting her know I’d heard what she’d said. She’s quick to explain about how her job in a big box store requires a

A Feast for the Eyes

Have you noticed that sunsets never last long enough? The sun sighs, changes, fades, then it’s gone. It’s December 5th. I’m headed out the door to get a haircut at an odd time. My hairdresser added me to the end of her day. I step off the porch and note the sunset. Driving away, I notice a major change in the sky. The sun, normally submissive to winter, grows more brilliant behind me. A mile later, I stop the car. Just one photo and back inside the car, climbing out of the valley onto a county road. I stop and turn left on Push Mountain Road and maneuver around Matney Knob. The rear view mirror shows more sky—the sunset’s dye spreads and crosses mountain ranges. I drive the wiggly road and c


Some of us do this thing when life is hard and there’s nothing we can do about it. For whatever it’s worth, I, Pat Durmon and retired mental health counselor, give you permission to sigh. It’s just another way of grieving. And sometimes, there simply are no words to cover the shock or situation. So, we cry or sigh. It’s foggy with tendrils of mist when we leave the mountains. I sigh since there’s no color, we’re headed into the unknown, and we must drive with the alertness of deer. We make it to Shreveport for a funeral service for our brother-in-law. Afterwards, we travel northeast to Monticello, Arkansas, where a second service is planned for hometown folks. My husband drives. I read. Neit

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