Climate Changing–Again

Here come the fall colors on the Last Frontier: Red, like rust. Red, like roses. Crimson red. Cherry red. Honey amber. Yellow-gold and bronze. Leaves cling or cartwheel everywhere. Needles and cones hold on for dear life in autumn winds. Night and morning clouds hide the mountains–until the sun shines a brief revelation: termination dust…

Her (Coffee) Cup Runneth Over

“Bring towels! I spilled some coffee…” An understatement… In the crevasses between the seats. Puddles in the cup holders. On the back seat floor too, rivulets of sweet, sticky home-made espresso. And Sweetie is nearly late to her appointment. MY MISSION: to hold the line against morning frustration—so I laugh as I swipe and dab.…

First Conversation in Heaven

What will your first conversation with a loved one be like–in heaven? “What’s on for tomorrow? Got plans?” I ask. “Not sure,” she says. “Can I see you again?” I ask. “Of course,” she says. I look down at our bare feet—feeling the smoothness of gold pavement. “We sure had a time, didn’t we?” my…

Years of Reflection

So much water over the dam for us two. Still overboard in love. For you younger-marrieds: It gets better season-by-season if you let it. You can start fresh right where you are. Commit to her. Commit to him. Don’t give up.

Marital Glee

Driving along Glenn Highway (Alaska) today I shared a wistful longing with my wife: “Sweetie, someday I want to climb that bluff and sit where the ancient hunters made their arrows, you know?” “Hmm. Yeah…” Sweetie’s forehead rests on the car window as she stares sleepily across Eklutna wetlands. Is she listening? “…that’s where they…

You Can Trust Her

Empathy, Sympathy, and Intercession are sisters who find fulfillment in helping others. Empathy will defend you when others bail. Empathy “feels” your pain, and knows your struggles because she has been there. Sympathy also shares your feelings. She strokes your emotions and comforts you—but if your situation gets too hot to handle, she may have…

Eternity Inside

Denali (Mount McKinley) amazes us with its visible landscape: Snow. Ice. Moraine. Rock. Wildlife. But an array of invisible life and elements are just as real. On Denali, thousands of creatures emit clouds of microscopic pheromones to communicate with their own species. Molten lava seethes beneath the mountain’s earthen crust. Wind rips through icy chasms…

Mom and Monet

Claude Monet was the driving force for Impressionist painting in the 1800s, and a master at capturing emotions in water and shadow. His rapid brush strokes apprehended color and light, with little emphasis on exactness. Monet painted the same scenes of flora as many as 200 times, his brush serving as a “time-lapse camera.” Monet’s…

Root Bear

Eustice dropped his bulldozer’s blade and squinted through drizzle where I pointed. “See it?” “Nah… Oh, wait… A-yuh!” A good-sized black bear hunkered on its haunches staring at us, motionless. Eustice flipped the bulldozer’s kill switch and twisted in his seat to get a better look. He shook his head. “Not movin’ a dite…” I…

The Shepherd Boy in Us

David’s mistakes echo throughout his 40 years as king like the hiss of a drawn sword. Adultery, murder, deception, rage, hubris… But despite all of his failings, God called David, “a man after my own heart.” (Acts 13:22) How is that possible? Learned commentators parse God’s reasons for this declaration: “David was quick to repent.”…

Cut It Loose

When we are at the end of our rope, sometimes we hear the old saw: “Tie a knot at the end of the rope and hold on!” while at the same time Wisdom hollers: “Let go of the rope, Dummy!” About 50 years ago, Fashion’s Shadow pranced like a parade horse, with me walking at…

Array of Truth

The male Red-waisted Whiteface Dragonfly (Leucorrhinia proxima) lives around marshes, lakes, and ponds. It eats soft-bodied insects, pond larvae, and even small fish. This species of dragonfly ranges from Alaska to Nova Scotia. Females wear yellow aprons around their waists instead of metallic red ones like the males. God created the dragonfly with 30,000 compound…

Crane Babies

We heard them before we saw them–two majestic sandhill cranes. Mom and Pop Crane dodged a car that braked wildly. Then Mom Crane launched upward, and Pop followed her, all the while frantically trilling loudly to… whom? Crane Baby One! Crane Baby One could have passed for a lively plucked chicken. In the middle of…

Old Hands, Young Hands

Grandson is 41. Grandma is 92. Her bed is her parlor these days. Grandson sits on Grandma’s rumpled blankets and their hands speak a language only they know. He is her firstborn grand-boy. In bygone days he curled up in a sleeping bag on her bedroom floor, laughing and talking into the night. French toast…

Smell It?

Right now you are breathing an array of “smell-cells” that travel through your nostrils to rendezvous and be analyzed at a brain terminal inside your head. The brain reads and routes these smell cells through what is called the limbic system from which an aroma of pancakes or perfume affects mood, emotions, behavior and especially,…

Room For Thank You

“Consarned heavy equipment rolling past again.” “Hmm.” Carol didn’t even look up from her computer. She’s bookkeeping again. “You know what’s happening, don’t you? More young people are moving into Birchwood. They’re landscaping. Hmph. Not me.” “You’re getting old, Dear.” And I know it. Thirty years in the same house built before the ‘64 quake.…