Grand Season

As we walked, my granddaughter Edie’s song reminded me what really matters. Together we listened to the chorus of wind as it whispered to cottonwoods and birch trees, “Get dressed for winter.” It’s hard to wrestle time from the grasp of obligations — and then give it away. But those memories linger in the heart…

Margie’s Memorial

 © 2020 Richard Drebert. All Rights Reserved.  Starkey could barely see over the snow berms piled on either side of the highway. The forest, costumed in powdered sugar, stretched for uninhabited miles, and the old man pondered how that life had lost its sweetness. Margie was gone. He sipped bitter, cold coffee from a metal Thermos…

Ruby Chronicles

God unexpectedly delivered a furry “person” into our lives that helped fill an uncomfortable gap we felt by sustained social distancing. This is her story — and ours. (More to come).

Cold Contradiction

At subzero, the Knik Arm freezes several feet thick, while beneath its silty crust a violent tide surges and recedes. Tidal pressures split the crust along veins and faults, and irregular icy shards the size of trucks and buses breach the surface. My wife and I stood on the banks of frozen Peters Creek as…

Near Christmas Calamity

The day after Christmas, we discovered a giant spruce tree leaning toward the corner of our house. A little wind and crash! The tree would have gouged a sky light into our bedroom! To make matters more interesting: The spruce inclined within inches of a metal storage shed. The tree couldn’t be felled without flattening…

Lighting the Path

Charles Templeton and Billy Graham had been charismatic, soul-winning evangelists who worked together in the 1940s—before Templeton renounced his faith in Christ and became an atheist. Templeton was in his 80s when he completed his book Farewell to God, and in it he recalls a frank discussion he had with his old friend, Billy: “In…

Our Living Space

Do I take time to think? To take stock of my relationship with God? THIS is a believer’s reality: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam…

Anyways

“Anyway” means: In spite of everything; without regard to drawbacks or consequences. “Anyway” is the powerful fulcrum that, with proper positioning, leverages our choices. Anyway can help us “lift” the impossible. We position negative and positive “anyways” every day. We eat it anyway, or look at it anyway, or go there anyway. The gauge blinks…

Midnight Gardener

The Midnight Gardener arrives in February to trim back willow and alder branches encroaching on our paths. Mule ears prick toward every sound—her nostrils flare, two craters in a prodigious roman nose. Our gardener leaves a trail of cloven imprints in her lumbering wake, and her long, stiff shanks carry a gaunt frame draped with…

Is it spring yet? Huh? Is it? Huh?

A little blue sky and above 40 degree weather and we all get a little crazy. Easy girl. Spring is coming, in a couple months or so… After 30 years in Chugiak, Alaska (20 miles north of Anchorage), the Chinooks (warm winds) stir up longings for a new season to commence. February is our moose’s…

Creating in the Crucible

Often we reflect upon the values we learned from our wives, husbands, fathers and mothers AFTER they leave us for their heavenly home. Perhaps we should appreciate their worth more—before they’re gone. My mom has sketched with charcoal and dabbled with oils for as long as I can remember. She still chides me about testing…

Missing

Yesterday she drove me to-and-from the airport, so that I could catch a round-trip flight to interview a wonderful couple for a book. We got up late today, and I mixed her eggs and potatoes on a plate–the way I did when she was 17. We lived in a one room studio then, and our…

Mushing Memories

At 93, pleasant memories glisten like snowflakes in my mother’s mind. Her paintings remind us of when she served up hot chocolate and mushing stories to parka-clad clients at our Mush A Dog Team theme park. Twenty years later, it’s hard to believe it was us who lived this Alaska life–with 40 howling huskies, harnesses,…

Reasons

That week in ’73 I wondered, “Will this really happen?” Carol struggled to focus on her school work at Rogue River High School, while I slammed particle board sheets through a panel saw at a cabinet shop in Grants Pass. It seemed like a dream when Carol’s mom agreed to legally emancipate her from her…

Restore the Reed, Ignite the Wick

A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice… (Isaiah 42:3). (Scriptural Context: Isaiah reveals the coming Messiah as “Servant.” God will unlock eternity and justice for the “Gentiles” (everyone who is not of Jewish descent). As a boy, if I…

Our Story My Way

One Saturday, Tom, my youngest adult son, challenged me to get away from the computer and play outside. I followed him to 4-wheeler territory that locals call the Jonesville quarry. I remembered the Fossil Canyon trail from several years before — a pretty tame 4×4 jaunt, and easy on my 63-year-old bones. After traveling for…

Controlling Control

Control is the bully we should lose once and for all. We can’t seem to stop it, though it ruins our health and shreds precious relationships. Our need to control EVERYTHING has become our bread of life, and we meddle as if we possess sovereign foresight. Control commandeers the cable “remote” and infects our minds with…