A Fool

            My parents wouldn’t let me attend the college of my choice. I’d applied to and been accepted at Ohio State University. My grandma had agreed to let me live with her, in exchange for light duties at her house. It would be a short bus ride, doable even in the winter.

            My parents, being what we now call “helicopter” parents, didn’t want me leaving the San Francisco Bay Area where we now live.

            That left San Francisco State, a good choice for a would-be teacher. They also disapproved of that, as they refused to allow me to live on campus or commute into the city.

            My brother and I both received State scholarships that would pay 100% of our tuition, to any college in the state. So I could have gone to SF State at no cost, but that didn’t matter.

            My brother applied for USC, down in Los Angeles. I was told I could apply there as well, and if he got in, then I could go.

            That’s how I ended up at USC, a rich-kids’ school. I was completely out of my league. My first roommate was so rich that she only wore clothing items once. She’d pile them up, then on the weekend her mother would appear with a rack, yes, an actual rack, of items still in plastic bags.

            My clothes were mostly made by my mother, although I’d learned how to sew and had made bell-bottoms and one-yard skirts, both in style with what were then called hippies.

            Academically I was fine. As a math major, as long as I stayed in my department, I aced my classes. I found Russian easy, but not any of the mandatory sciences, social studies and English courses.

            Socially, I was a misfit. A painfully shy teen with large black-framed glasses just doesn’t seem to interesting to vibrant, do-everything classmates.

            Although my brother was also socially awkward, he fit in with the engineering students who were just like him. He even got into a fraternity, composed of others like him.

            I found them endearing.

            The guys accepted me as a little sister. Every Friday night I gathered around a tiny TV and watched Star Trek with them. We drank, ate and talked about the plausibility of such things happening. It was great fun.

            One of the “brothers” took an interest in me. George was a sweet guy. He took me out to eat, to movies, and to many of the fraternity’s parties. I felt a bond with him that no teen had ever given me before.

            After a night of heavy petting, I told George that perhaps we should hold off on going any further until we were married.

            He hadn’t proposed, mind you. I just assumed he would and I was prepared to accept.

            He broke my heart that night. George was non-practicing Jewish while I was a devout Catholic. In my mind, it wouldn’t matter and my faith would be our family’s faith. George didn’t agree.

            Our relationship ended amicably.

            My brother knew I was good at languages. One of his brothers needed help with Spanish and my brother offered my services without consulting me first.

The guy was a creep. There was something about “Jim” that made me extremely uncomfortable. He’d never touched me or said much of anything to me, but I didn’t like being in the same room with him.

I agreed to tutor him.

The first time we met, I assumed we’d work in the dining room. Nope. He insisted in studying in his room, which he shared with another guy, claiming that he wanted privacy.

Nothing happened that night except for him scooting closer and closer to me as we sat on the edge of the bed.

I didn’t want to go back, but my brother insisted.

Reluctantly I agreed on a second meeting, on the condition that we’d be in the dining room.

Jim refused, taking my hand and dragging me into the bedroom. I should have left right then, but that would have caused a scene.

Throughout our session, more than once, Jim leaned so close to me that his warm breath tickled my neck. I’d moved away, but then he’d sidle over. When he grew tired of Spanish, he pulled me down on his bed.

Thankfully nothing happened. That night.

I refused to return.

What I didn’t know was that now I had a reputation of “putting out”.

I learned this from another fraternity brother, Paul. He was socially awkward like me. He was overweight like me. He was extremely smart, taking challenging classes, like me.

Paul took me to the opera and theater, my first time to ever experience a performance on a big stage.

We’d spend hours talking, sometimes until the early morning. At no time did Paul kiss me or attempt to kiss me.

I liked him, but more of as a friend. I assumed it was the same for him. Paul was the one who told me about the rumors. He said he enjoyed being with me despite what was being said.

After that I stayed away from the fraternity.

One summer I applied for an on-campus job that paid pretty well. I’d be able to stay in the Soroptimist House where I’d been living.

One afternoon I was outside on the balcony sunbathing, when a familiar voice called me. I looked over the railing, and there was Jim. He informed me that my brother had asked him to keep an eye out for me, to make sure I was safe.

I told Jim that I was fine, turned away, gathered my stuff and went inside.

Jim returned the next day and the next. I insisted I didn’t want or need his help. I told him to leave and not come back.

After that I didn’t see Jim for a long time.

One afternoon as I walked back from the Law Library,  a building that I found peaceful and still, I was smiling and enjoying the weather.

A red convertible pulled up next to me. It belonged to Jim, who was now married. I continued walking and he continued following.

He insisted he and his wife wanted to share their wedding photos. That seemed fairly safe since she would be there, so I got in the car. Big mistake.

As soon as we were in the apartment, Jim locked and bolted the door.

The sofa-bed was open with clean sheets on it, as if he’d been expecting company.

I knew something was wrong and that I should leave, but the door was locked.

As an abused child, I knew about being trapped and that there was no way out except to just go along with the scenario.

Jim sat on the bed and patted the spot next to him. The album was on the bed. He showed a few pictures, and then he made his move.

At first it was just kissing, but then his hands went under my t shirt and then into my shorts. He pushed me backwards and fell on top of me.

I knew nothing about sex, had never seen a penis, and had little about rape, yet instinctively knew that something awful was about to happen.

Jim undressed me, then removed his shirt. He wore the most gruesome smile as he pulled down his pants. He bragged about his size and how good it would make me feel.

His fingers entered me.

Jim shot up, a look of shock on his face.

He said he didn’t know I was a virgin because of my reputation.

Things happened very quickly after that.

He got dressed, told me to get dressed.

While I was quickly putting my clothes on, he stripped the bed and then folded it back up. He then unlocked and unbolted the door and told me to leave.

His parting shot, however, was that if I ever told anyone, he would deny having stolen my virginity.

I ran to the next building and ducked into the lavatory. I slid to the floor and huddled there until someone wanted in.

For quite a while I wondered if that constituted rape. If I had seduced him, as he claimed. I understood that he had taken something precious away from me, but that if I told anyone, no one would believe me due to the reputation I had at the fraternity.

For my remainder years at USC, I kept a lookout for Jim.

I sometimes saw that red convertible, then would run down a closed-off section of campus.

One time, when back at home, my family took a trip to Napa County to visit wineries.

On the way there, my brother announced he had invited Jim and wife.

I panicked. My chest tightened and my eyes pooled with tears.

I announced that I would stay in the car. My dad, wisely said, it was too hot. True, but it meant that I had to see Jim.

Finally I told the truth, that he had raped me.

I got the response that many women, even today, get: that I must have done something to deserve it.

My mother said I was lying as no friend of my brother’s would do that.

So, as a supposed liar, I had to walk into the winery with Jim.

He gave me what I now know was a leer, a look that acknowledged what he had done and that reaffirmed that I could tell no one.

Back then I felt like a fool.

Now I know I was abused, this time not by my parents, but by Jim.

The Family Pet

            When you never go anywhere and you’re dirt poor and there’s no television, the idea of owning a pet doesn’t enter your mind.

            Twice a year we’d visit relatives. No one on my mother’s side had a pet. My dad’s stepfather owned a farm. He had a mule that brayed quite loudly, even from across the pasture. There were a ton of chickens, but they stayed in the barn. I was too young to question whether they were for eating or for egg-laying.

            One of my dad’s stepsisters had a horse. To me, at age five or six, the horse seemed gargantuan. My aunt did offer to ride with me, but my mother refused.

            What I remember most about that horse was that it loved to roll in the mud! One time when we were visiting, my aunt walked her horse out where we were. One half was its normal dark brown. The other side was caked in mud! I thought that was the funniest thing I’d even seen!

            Before my grandparents bought the farm, they’d lived in Dayton. I don’t remember much about the house except that you entered through a screened-in porch.

            My uncle was in the navy. While he was overseas, he’d bought a beautifully colored parrot.

            When we arrived, the bird was in a huge cage, swinging from a beam in the porch. I was amazed, not just at the colors, but at the noises it made. I’d never heard a bird so loud and so screechy.

            And then it began swearing! I knew most of the words as both my parents threw swear words around like others threw baseballs. Apparently, however, the unfamiliar words were not for me to hear, so I was quickly ushered inside the house. The door was slammed shut shortly after I was inside.

            None of those animals inspired me to want a pet.

            That changed when the local five and dime sold turtles. This was long before anyone knew they carried diseases or that they shouldn’t have been in the country.

            But, my parents let me get one. And a cute little plastic bowl, complete with a ramp so it could get out of the water.

            I was thrilled. My very own pet! It didn’t bother me that my brother had one as well and that they shared that little bowl.

            I fed it diligently. I kept it’s bowl clean of poop. Sometimes I’d let it walk on the table. I never grew tired of watching and caring for it.

            Until one afternoon, when I returned from school, both turtles were gone.

            Two people had been in the house: my mother and my younger sister. I never suspected my mother for she had approved of pet ownership.

My sister, however, was my prime suspect because we never got along. I was jealous of her freedoms that, despite being seven years older, I didn’t have. I’m not sure why she’d be jealous of me, for she had the good looks, the thin body, the nicer clothes. But she must have harbored enough venom to free my turtle.

I looked all over the front room for it. I checked in the sofa’s cushions, under tables, and finally got down on my stomach to search under the sofa.

The turtle was there, but dead. It looked more like a desiccated starfish than anything that had once been alive.

I was devastated. Sort of. The truth was that I’d grown tired of a pet that was incapable of showing love.

For the longest time, no animals lived in our house.

My mother was terrified of cats, declaring that they sucked the air out of babies’ mouths. At the time, I believed her, but much later, when I did some research, I discovered that there was no way that a cat could seal off the air.

We had frequent thunderstorms and tornado warnings. When we had advance warning, we’d gather in the crawlspace. It smelled like damp dirt and had cobwebs hanging from the rafters. It was dark, but because my dad had strung one cord down through the floor, we could listen to the radio.

We’d hunker down there until the broadcaster said it was safe to come out.

After one such storm, when my brother and I finally got approval from my mom to go outside, we decided to wash down our bikes. They’d been out in that storm, and were now covered with dirt and leaves.

I had just begun cleaning my bike when I heard an unfamiliar chirping. It was coming from the large bushes that grew along the side of the house.

I decided to find the bird.

I pushed aside a branch here, a branch there until a small green bird was revealed. I’d never seen a green bird before, so I didn’t know if it was wild or someone’s pet.

I got my brother, who didn’t believe me until he saw it for himself. He told me to stand guard, then went inside to tell our mom.

She never appeared, but handed my brother a shoebox.

It was surprisingly easy to capture the bird and put it in the box.

Later on I learned that it was a parakeet.

Mom let us keep it. It lived in the box for a couple of days while she made call after call. Eventually she found a relative who’s bird had died and was no longer interested in having any more.

When the weekend arrived, we drove well over an hour to their house. They did, indeed, have a cage, but demanded that we stay for a while and visit.

They had a daughter my age. For some reason, my mom let me go upstairs to the girl’s room. This was the first, and then the last, time that I wasn’t confined to a sofa or chair.

I was amazed at her room! She had bunkbeds, something I’d never heard of, so that a friend could sleep over. She had tons of dolls and all kinds of toys and games. We played with everything. It was the most fun I had ever had!

When we got home, the bird was put inside. In time, we got toys, a type of paper for the perches, and different kinds of seed.

The bird was friendly, could say a few words, and was easily trained to do a few things. My mom named it Petey, even though we had no clue at to its gender.

Petey moved with us to a bigger house closer to downtown Dayton.

All was well until Christmas. My brother got an erector set, which was great fun. We both enjoyed building every design that was in the pamphlet.

There was a motor that made things move. My favorite was the elevator that could climb high into the tower. My brother liked the Ferris wheel, however.

That, too was fun. We’d put small things in the little seats and watch them go around and around.

Meanwhile Petey had demonstrated how very intelligent she was, by learning how to open her cage door! She’d let herself out, fly around the kitchen, then return to the top of her cage, where she’d stay until night. Petey would put herself to bed, with a little help from someone who’d shut her door.

My brother and father decided it would be great fun to put Petey in the Ferris wheel.

She’d sit there as her chair went around and around. Petey could have flown off, but she stayed put, seeming to enjoy the ride.

Until my brother got the idea to speed it up! Petey stayed put at first, but when the wheel was spinning quite fast, Petey got spooked and flew into the kitchen, where she settled on top of the cabinets.

From then on, Petey never sat on a finger, never talked, never allowed any person to get too close.

I was furious.

My dad loved tropical fish. When we moved to Beavercreek, Ohio, he set up one tank after another. I loved watching them, but it wasn’t until we moved to California that I got my first tank.

I filled it with goldfish because they were cheap, plus I loved their pretty color.

I added more and more tanks, until I had about six. I studied different types of fish, what they ate and what types would live in harmony. By the time I moved into my first apartment, I had close to ten tanks!

I loved the burble of the filtration system and found that watching the fish swim about calmed me down. I needed calming, for my parents were still attempting to control my life.

It wasn’t too long before I bought a pair of parakeets. Their pretty chirping blended nicely with the bubbling tanks.

My “pets” brought great joy to my life.

The last family pet we had was a beagle name Lady Coco. My mom hadn’t wanted a dog, so she was furious when my dad brought it home. He intended it to be a hunting dog, so he built a doghouse which he placed at the end of our yard.

The puppy was scared and lonely, so she cried and howled until someone rescued her. My mom couldn’t stand the plaintive sounds, so she brought the dog inside, ruining her for hunting.

I loved Lady Coco. She cuddled with me, let me pet her, slept on my bed and let me walk her every day when I got home from school. When we moved to California, she rod in the family car.

By then I was well into my teen years and filled with a great deal of  anger and angst. Lady Coco let me cry into her fur. She was my sounding board, for she never judged me, no matter what I told her.

I was devastated when she died.

It wasn’t until after I married that another dog entered my life. Over the next fifteen or so years, our family adopted a variety of dogs, none of them purebred, all of them strays. Some were better behaved then others, but we loved them all and mourned their passing.

When our son was about five, he fell in love with a stray cat at church. Just like with the dogs, we were never without a cat until the past year.

I’d also brought parakeets into our marriage and four tanks of fish.

As the fish died, I didn’t replace them. Money was tight, and tropical fish had gotten more and more expensive. Plus when I returned to work, there was no time to maintain the tanks properly.

Same with the birds.

It’s funny how pets enrich your lives. They give you a reason for being. They fill your house with love and loving sounds. Some are capable of loving back, while others are simply company.

My life had been filled with a variety of pets. They were there when I needed comforting. Now, since my life is one of love and support, I no longer need the calming a pet provides or the confidant that listens to my deepest, most painful thoughts.

I can love them, care for them and simply enjoy them.

Except for when my cat jumps on my puzzle table and pushes a nearly complete puzzle onto the floor!

Blessed Firelight

The fire crackles,

tongues of flame reaching

high into the night sky,

reaching to capture the

essence of the One who

feeds all flames.

Sparks whirl, grasping,

leaping for joy, celebrating

a temporary life lived in

fullness. Rejoicing, dancing,

sprinkling the darkness

with pinpoints of light.

Flickering flames bathe

the woods nearby, casting

eerie glows on low-reaching

fir trees; on fallen logs whose

souls have flown and rest

now in peace.

Horned owls hoot in syncopated

harmonies joined by a distant

pack of coyotes whose yips rise

and fall with unequaled grace.

A fir branch snaps, splitting the

song’s joyful tunes.

The night has a bite, a sharpness

that penetrates the inner core,

threatens to steal warmth,

warded off by a rising taper of

sparks, resurrecting feeble souls

who yearn for life.

Serenity beckons, calling the flames

to calm, to settle, to dwindle

until only a feeble light survives,

burning into perpetuity,

fueled by the eternal love

of One who feeds all flames.

Vacation Memories

            Before the software existed that allow us to import photos and add written descriptions, cataloguing vacation photos was often inconsistently done. Sometimes pictures would be sealed under a thin clear film with no words to show where there were taken or even who was in them.

            After too many page turnings, the adhesive would fail and the photos would slip out.

            The glue would yellow, leaching into the pictures, fading out faces and places alike.

            Even so, I’d hang on to the albums, for they were what connected me to that past.

            After a while, however, I’d quit looking at the albums. Work and parenting demands took center court, chewing up time that I used to spend reminiscing.

            When our kids grew up, we handed over their albums, a passing of memories, so to speak. None of them seemed overjoyed at the prospect of storing those aged tomes. I have a feeling that they all ended up in the garbage. But that’s okay.

            These days I import photos into online albums, clustering them by place and theme. I research descriptions of where I’d been, so as to ensure that my information is accurate.

            When finished, all I have to do is click a button, pay over money, and then within a few weeks a glossy keepsake arrives in the mail.

            We do pull out the first albums as they remind us of the trips we’ve been on, the places we’ve visited and the things we saw.

            Initially I only took photos of “things,” never us. But then I read somewhere that our kids and grandkids need to see us as we were then, not necessarily as we are now.

            This is especially true as my husband and I quickly approach eighty.

            The first commercially prepared album was done in our sixties. We looked very different then. Both of us carried quite a bit more weight. Our hair still had some original color to it and my husband’s covered a tad more of his scalp.

            Our clothes were looser, to cover our bellies, sort of.

            We had to ask someone to take our picture if we wanted one with the two of us. Otherwise, my husband would be in two or three, me in one. I liked taking his pictures and hated the way I looked in mine.

            As time passed, we show up together in more and more albums. We got brave enough to ask for help and got less embarrassed about how we looked.

            The photos were seldom good. They might be off-kilter or out-of-focus. They might have been in shadow or in light so bright that the sun glinted in my glasses. There might be deep shadows obliterating half our faces. The background that we’d chosen might not be visible.

            So many things can go wrong!

            But, now when I create albums, we’re there, standing next to penguins in the Falkland Islands, pretending to ride a camel in Morocco, leaning against the railing of the ship at a particularly lovely port.

            I am glad that we decided to take more pictures of us. I want our family to see us, at this age, going places and doing things. Enjoying life, to the best of our ability. Eating fine meals, getting dressed for dinner, wearing sun hats to protect our faces.

            These are the important memories, not just the ones of ancient Mesa cliff dwellings or unusual rock formations or penguins dashing into the water.

            Perhaps no one in our family will want the albums, but for now, they are a living legend of who we are, where we’ve been and what we looked like at the time of that voyage. They’ll look at those pictures and remember that we walked among penguins, saw a snake charmer in Fez, and watched glaciers cave in Alaska.

My Place in Time


In the middle of a crowded room

Silent voices scream for recognition


Twists guts into compressed clay

Paralyzing limbs, numbing throats


Fills the ears of the emotionally injured

Ruining scarce moments of hard-fought joy


Carries sinking hearts into oblivion

Erasing memories of happiness felt


Reach out, begging for salvation

Yearning for one sign of love


Arrive in rain-soaked clouds

Pouring down tears of understanding


Clears the night of unmasked terrors

Awakening remnants of esteem, long forgotten


Blooms in multi-colored bursts of words

Spoken, thoughts shared, kindnesses felt


Seeps into the crevices of the heart

Obliterating shards of self-doubt


Explodes in multicolored bursts

Opening souls to welcoming voices




Alone no more

New Day Delivers

bubbles of brilliant blue

burst through the blossom-like


bringing much yearned-for

brightness to an

otherwise gloomy world

shrugging off stormy thoughts

seers sought soft,

sumptuous caresses

strips of comfort

seeping into the marrow

of the heart

comfort casually ceases

to tempt the carefree

cajoling them into

caroling loudly

coronation carols of the

newborn day

floating ferociously among

the now-frivolous clouds

freeborn fools giggle

with felt delight

first-time believers in

the flight of the soul

rejoice riotously with

royal revelation

as reborn receivers

rise with rejuvenated wings

weightless, wish-filled

centers recalibrated


            Neither my husband nor myself can sleep on planes, even on very long flights. When we arrived in Santiago recently, we weren’t thinking clearly. We’d prepaid a ride from the airport to our hotel, so all we were doing was getting luggage, then get out to where the ride would be. We failed to stop at a currency exchange, which turned out to be a huge mistake.

            As we walked past the line a drivers holding cards, we didn’t see one with our name. A nicely dressed man stood at the end, offering help. We both thought he looked somewhat official, so we handed him our confirmation paper. He claimed to have seen the driver, then went outside. Came back, reported that there was no driver. Then he called the number, we think. He spoke to someone, handed my husband the phone, who then was told that the driver had broken down on the freeway and we’d have to find alternate transportation.

            Of course, the nicely dressed man could do that! We’re stuck, right? So we agreed. He called someone. Next thing we’re being ushered out to the parking garage where the ride awaited.

            The car was an immaculate SUV with leather upholstery. The driver spoke no English, so the nicely dressed man rode with us.

            You’d think that by now we’d be a bit suspicious. Well, we were, but we needed to get to our hotel.

            Anyway, we took off down the highway. We have no idea if these guys are taking us to the hotel or out to a deserted place to kill us, but we’re stuck, zooming down the freeway.

            After about thirty minutes, the guy tells us they’re going to pull off the freeway to an ATM they know.

            It was a decrepit gas station in the middle of an extremely poor area. Homeless people were standing around. It didn’t feel safe.

            The driver got out a card-reading device and swiped one of our credit cards. It was declined. He swiped it several times, declined over and over. We don’t know why, but we’re both getting worried. Would these guys dump us here? Throw out our luggage and leave us stranded?

            Mike handed the guy his debit card. It was declined. Repeatedly. Then I made a huge mistake: I gave Mike my credit card!

            Fortunately I stayed in the car as the men took Mike to the ATM. All our cards were tried there as well, and all declined.

            The men conferred, decided to drive into Santiago to a major bank. At least it was in a good neighborhood! Again, all our cards failed.

            The me decided they’d take $40 US dollars. They dropped us off in the street in front of our hotel, not at the door, which was a bit of a walk.

            At least we got there safely!

            The hotel wanted a card as a deposit in case we drank the expensive water in the fridge. Our cards were all declined, as before. I tried calling the bank, but all I got was a prerecorded message in Spanish, which I couldn’t understand.

            The hotel clerk also called, got the same message, which was that our cards were declined.

            We needed money to get to the port the next day. Only Chilean pesos would do. Mike did have some cash, which we could exchange.

            After allowing us to check in, we walked several blocks to a shopping center that had an exchange. We got there, no problems, but no one that I approached at the mall spoke English! We kept wandering, from one floor to another, eventually stumbling into the exchange!

            No one there spoke English! Fortunately a nice customer offered to translate, so we ended up with enough pesos to pay for transport and to buy a little something to eat.

            McDonald’s was expensive! So all we got was four thumb-nail sized nuggets for me and a small cheeseburger for Mike.

            Back at the hotel, we arranged transport, but we had no money for dinner and no working credit card. I called our son Tim who is fluent in Spanish.

            He put together a three-way call to our bank. Our cards had been frozen due to suspicious activity. That was the good news.

            The bank gave us twenty minutes to get to an ATM and withdraw pesos. Tim somehow found an ATM around the corner from our hotel! The bank also agreed to keep my card active until we got home.

            What a relief! We had enough pesos to buy a little dinner and to get me a sweatshirt in Punto Arenas. We had credit to purchase excursions to see the penguins in the Falklands and to go to a ranch in Buenas Aires, which would also take us to the airport.

            After that experience, we now know to get money before leaving the airport. We know not to trust a nicely-dressed man at the end of the line, but to look for an actual taxi.

And we also know that our bank caught the attempts to steal our money!

We were hoodwinked, yes, but we survived to live to share our story.


One chilly fall afternoon

A stealthy plan did emerge.

My friend, of death, he did croon,

Until I felt the urge

And quick enjoined heart-cold risk

Sealed by firmly pounded fist.

I rose: formula in hand.

Fate bound to my enemy

In silence we did disband.

One embrace he gave to me.

I did blubber in stark fear

And chugged one last ice-cold beer.

Darkness fell. My heart did pound.

The plan, I had to enact.

I stepped outside and looked around/

My fate was sealed. That’s a fact.

I spied my foe; he saw me.

He tried to climb yon oak tree.

I grabbed him firm with my right hand.

Saw his mouth with pearly teeth.

“Open wide,” I did demand.

In panic, in disbelief,

I bashed him on his mean head,

Then left him there, as one dead.

Home, I fell into my chair.

Evil deed was surely done.

“Poor me,” I cried in despair.

My hand did bleed: I’m undone.

For Jack, the Cat, my hand clawed.

I’m caught. The plan was flawed.

Christmas Thoughts   Let us put Christ back in Christmas, shall we?Shine with His love for all the world to see.We’ll be the beacons of light and joy,Bring good wishes instead of a toy.  Brighten the season with inner glow,Strong enough that it will surely showOur belief in the Lord and His loveShining on us from heaven above.  Put away the tinsel, silver trim,Red ribbon and lights that don’t dim.Pray for peace all over our big earth,And wait, for the day or our Lord’s birth.  Dedicate our time to gentle ways,Praising the Lord Christ all of our days.We’ll speak of miracles, large and small,People blessed who answered the Lord’s call  Working with the homeless and the lost,Ignoring cold and personal cost.Praise Him daily in jubilant song.Offer Him our thanks all the day long.  We’ll be the beacons of light and joy,Carrying His love instead of a toy,Shine with Christ’s love for you and for me.Let us put Christ back in Christmas, shall we

Christmas Letter

Miracle of birth, one special night

Every knee bent down; eyes shone so bright

Rejoiced as glorious angels sang out

Restful repose enveloped all about

Yearnings fulfilled with the Savior’s birth

Counselor child; marvelous, wondrous worth

Hark, ye citizens, to news of great joy

Rewards to come, thanks to this baby boy

Invoke God’s love, through the Christmas story

Shout of salvation, reachable glory

Treasures at hand, and blessings awaited

Magical, mystical, event fated

Amazement, revelation, and delight

Savior, Counselor, miraculous sight