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…

Another Mother’s Day

  At church, I feel like I’ve been gyrating on a merry-go-round at top speed. And now God wants me to stand up and worship? I glance at my wife, her eyes closed, singing. She has a touch of silver in her hair from 44 years of riding the merry-go-round with me, day-in and day-out.…

Graybeards’ Charge

Have you ever considered how blessed you are, if the graybeards in your family are God-fearing, gentle souls? I look at my own family and feel cheated that my grandfathers hoarded their wisdom and experience during their golden years. I never met Grandpa Smith. He commercial fished in the Gulf of Mexico. He was a…

Dead-End Creed

Don Higgins sniffed at my pathetic resume and hired me based on nothing but a couple of questions, one of which was, “Married?” “Yes, Sir. We have a baby…” He stroked his mustache with manicured fingers and nodded. “Good enough.” No one ever left Don’s store without feeling appreciated, and I felt it too. His…

A Real Man

Strange subject, but you young bucks need to know that you may be clipping your mother’s toenails someday. Mom changed your diapers and fought the unruly tide of your testosterone—but that’s not the reason you do it. Acknowledge it or not, you still belong to her. Carrying a rifle, farting at will, or smacking a puck…

Ode to Lost Keys

  Where’d my keys go, where’d they hide? They’ve sprouted legs, they’re not inside, The dish or on their labeled hook, On the floor? NO! I looked! Not in the door or on the bar, Not in the slot to start the car. Not in the dirt or on the seat, NOT ON THEIR HOOK,…

Where Rubber Meets the Road

One of my boys never left our driveway without leaving rubber on Birchwood Loop. Our closest neighbor loved it (not). On our two acres of land, cannibalized 4x4s pleaded with me to put them out of their misery at the salvage yard. I couldn’t walk a straight line 20 feet without tripping over an engine,…

Season of White

© 2018 Richard Drebert You may never hear a team of sled dogs calling the snow to fall, but for a moment as you lie quiet in your bed, just imagine you do. One flop-eared husky, impatient to shoulder a harness, nips at the wind and winter stings him back. A sprightly dog with curly…