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.…

No Escape for Dads

Isn’t it amazing that a drop of saliva can identify the culture “soil” from which we sprout–European, African, Asian, Middle Eastern…? Our family fathers were stone masons, preachers, lawyers, engineers, and outlaws! Like old journals, their values gather dust until we face life-altering choices. Then it matters what kinds of fathers we have as a heritage.…

The Ancient Way

Which way do we choose when we come to a fork in the trail? We have a map that instructs us to follow the right way–but it looks hard and narrow. Why take this narrow trail when it is logical to pick the easier route? At the trailhead, two signposts promise fulfillment. One way is…

Leave It to Beavers

  Beavers have turned a swath of forest into a meadow.   Dried salmon leftovers from bear’s catch last year.     It’s been 15 years since we hiked this area. It’s only 10 minutes from our house. We didn’t see a single beaver in any ponds. Fish and Game may have trapped them out…

Whisper for the Prosecution

The trial was in its final days. Ms. Gentry had been questioned by the defense, and Prosecutor Hand had cross-examined her, but he wasn’t finished. Hand stood before the witness stand, and Ms. Gentry blanched at the question. “Did you hear me?” Hand delighted in pummeling defense witnesses. “I’ll ask you again: Does God talk…

Nimbus Trio

I guess I can find something good about most work–except maybe plumbing. I was one washer shy of a scream on the way to Fred Meyer when these clouds reminded me how beautiful the day was. And Freddy had the washer to boot.

No Words

I groaned when she asked, “Are we walking tonight?”  My wife grabbed an umbrella while I tied my hiking boots. Why did we wait so late? It’s 9:00 at night, and raining. The sun can’t make up its mind whether to shine or hide. But we go. Out the door, up the drive, past the duck pond. Locate the…

God’s Grinders

God used my firstborn son to grind off some of my sharp edges. Sparks flew, and God positioned my second and third son to file down more barbs and burrs. I felt pretty smooth. But my wife looked over their work, and she immediately had a conversation with God–like I wasn’t even in the room.…

I Will, He Will

. When I reach down deep and nothing reaches back. When my heart beats hard and I have no strength. When no one knows the darkness inside. When something whispers, “Run!” but I stay. When hope is a mirage. When love is a word without substance. When all that is familiar seems foreign. When making…

Praying Protection

Someone told me that “God isn’t allowed in our schools anymore.” Is that true? I understand the sentiment. In 1962, the Supreme Court deleted a teacher’s ability to lead students in prayer or promote Christianity. Institutions are now designed to inoculate children against “unhealthy” and “dogmatic” beliefs. But isn’t God still omnipresent? We can’t blame…

No Camo for Christians

Camo is in vogue again this year. In fact, it’s popular in the Anchorage area every year, and not just because our Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson military facility accounts for a whopping 10 percent of the city’s population. Camouflage is natural plumage and furry attire for other Alaskans, too. In September the Arctic fox sheds its…