Some things bloom best in bad soil

Some things bloom best in bad soil

The package of nasturtium seeds sat in my seed collection for several years before I realized they had long expired. But just in case any still held a spark of life, I planted them anyway.  With their attractive heart-shaped leaves, jewel-toned flowers and peppery taste, nasturtiums make a tasty – if surprising – addition to […]

A gift of heart, from gifted hands

A gift of heart, from gifted hands

On a holiday outing that included my boss and co-workers, we visited a shop stuffed with unique handcrafted items. While wandering through, I pointed out a long, narrow table. “I need something like this in our hallway at home.” “I could build one for you,” said my boss, standing nearby. “Just send a picture of […]

Satisfied with my cottage below

Satisfied with my cottage below

Sitting in my cottage – the six-foot-square red one in the backyard, with the pointy roof and two screened flip-up sides, I am as near to vacation as possible on the weekends for a working girl – or working woman. (Some days I don’t know which I am. Some days a girl looks in the […]

Saying good-bye to a dream

It rips you in half, sometimes, the agony and ecstasy of marriage, and it hurts. That’s what happens when God joins two people. You become one. So the big separations, the thorny differences in things like opinion and intent, practice and preference, well…working those out, even after decades, takes prayer, persistence and compromise. I plunked […]

Small church, big church – worship matters most

Small church, big church – worship matters most

In a televised sermon, an internationally known pastor of a large urban church recently stated that families who raise their children in churches of less than several hundred are “stinkin’ selfish” and “care nothing about the next generation.” His uncharitable comments reflected ignorance. Fully half of Christian churches (Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox) in the US […]

What do you see?

Look beyond the worms

As I write, Saskatchewan’s Echo Lake, only yards from where I sit, shifts restless in the breeze, its surface strewn with whitecaps, sun-diamonds and the occasional boat. A robin rushes to and fro from a nest only a few feet above my head, worm in beak each time. Three trees face me. Jack pine, Manitoba […]

Forever friends...Amanda and John at the May 2016 concert

John McDermott – still sharing a little kindness

Our family is particularly fond of Scottish-Canadian tenor, John McDermott. At the first concert we attended, only a few years into his public singing career, I slipped a note backstage. Our teenage daughter Amanda was with us, I wrote. It’s her birthday. Do you think you could acknowledge her somehow during your concert? John dedicated […]

Nearby grandparenting, beautiful opportunities

Nearby grandparenting, beautiful opportunities

At four or five years of age, Dinah Jane made a proclamation. “Nana,” she said, “ONE day, when you get LITTLE and I get BIG, I’m going to push you around in your wheelchair.” I didn’t mark the proclamation day on the calendar, but it may have been the day I plopped her cantankerous, weary […]

Give – but give wisely

Eva had a huge heart – no one would deny that. Generous throughout her life, her habit of generosity became overblown in her senior years. She seemed resolved to out-give God himself. But her too often unwise giving choices had the opposite effect she’d hoped for. She became the victim of financial predators, causing immense […]

Listen to the one voice that matters most

For most of my adult years, I’ve kept my stick-straight hair fairly short. But before having children, it reached halfway down my back. When our first baby began using it for a pull toy and teether, I paid my hairdresser a visit and a few dollars. Back home, my husband took one look at my […]