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Found! A long-lost friend.

Kathy and I when we were toddlers with her Mom. I’m the “older” girl 🙂

Our mothers were nursing school friends and that meant Kathy and I were friends too as they, of course, arranged our social schedules. Little girls don’t pick up the phone and arrange play dates.

I have a few memories of times together then her family left Quincy for sunny Arizona for a better climate for her dad’s health. At six years old, we too young to write letters and besides, busy making new friends.

Later, Kathy wrote notes to my mom who was her godmother.  and called a couple of times a year too. My mom would always fill me in on what she was doing but she and I still had no communication.  Apparently, her family visited in 1965, but I was too caught up in my early adolescence and the Beach Boys to remember.

A few years back, I took my mother to visit Kathy’s mom in Arizona where they had a wonderful reunion. Friends for the 70 year journey  Mom told me she told Kathy all about it in one of their phone calls. I was happy they were still in touch.

Then my mom had a stroke on the 4th of July last year. Not life-threatening but definitely life-changing.

Once we settled into the “new normal,” I thought of Kathy from time to time and knew she would wonder why she wasn’t hearing from my mom. I would have contacted her but had no idea where she lived, just “out west” somewhere. Not a great starting point.

As Christmas grew closer, so did my urgency to locate Kathy. Then the most amazing thing happened…

My daughters and I visited Quincy a couple of days after Christmas and as I walked into mom’s house, where she no longer lives, I mindlessly pulled open her mailbox. Not a big deal, right, but after the July stroke, her mail no longer came to this address. Ever. The mailbox was always empty.

Until today.

The mail carrier made a stop that day to my mom’s mailbox to deliver a Christmas card from Kathy with her Utah address prominently displayed. I did a happy dance on the porch and told my girls the story.

After the holidays, I wrote her and she promptly responded. Our adult relationship was taking seed from the vestiges of the past, we had a lot to catch up on. I never dreamed we would meet again.

We did.

In March, we realized I was flying out of Phoenix and Kathy was flying into Phoenix the same day. Five hours separated our flights but we both knew we had to make this happen now or never.

We texted each other selfies for recognition. She waited a few hours at the airport, I arrived a couple of hours early.

After our hugs, our lovely reunion lunch lasted hours. I finally had to pull away to catch my plane. A most delicious time in every aspect.

Old friends reunited at the Phoenix airport!

What are the odds of a longing, a letter and a lunch coming together in three months after sixty years of no contact?  This story will show up in the book I hope to write about how God showed up and amazed me, time after time.

Kathy and I still write letters, and email and text and have a way to go in piecing together the missing years of our friendship but we’re having a great time filling in the blanks.

Missing an old friend? Keep your eyes open, anything can happen!

Hope for the best,

Tish

 

 

 

The Easter Corsage*

Corsage in the 70’s

Every Easter (Holy) Saturday afternoon in my growing up years, the doorbell would ring and a flower delivery guy would be standing there with two small white boxes. One for me and one for my mom.   Nested in each box was a corsage for each of us to wear on Easter, hers was always bigger. My dad would act like he didn’t know anything about it but we always knew he sent them. Lovely tradition but somewhat curious. He never gave flowers at any other time of the year.

During my college years, I still came home for Easter and the corsage, of course, arrived on right on schedule. Later when my husband and I came back for a few Easter weekends, the corsage never failed to show up. My mom’s was still always bigger even when I was an adult but that was OK, she was the Mom.

Then my dad died in February of 1994. Of all the myriad details and decisions, I thought of the corsage. I knew the doorbell was not going to ring anymore.

The weekend after his funeral, I spoke at a long-ago planned retreat. I love presenting at these events and it was a good distraction as well as healing in some ways.

When I walked to the podium, I noticed a small white box waiting for me. Without knowing any of my history with corsages, the team had purchased one for me to wear while I spoke. That had never happened before or since. In my blur of tears, I knew who had really ordered the corsage.

Be ready.  Anything can happen.

Easter Blessings to you.

Hope for the best,

Tish

*originally published  2014

Book Report: January-March 2017

I never got around to setting reading goals for this year but I finished ten books since January so let’s say I’m on target 😊 My stack of ‘to-reads” keeps growing but there are a few titles that got crossed off along with my Amazon reviews.

Non-Fiction:

  1. The Pie Life: A Guilt-Free Recipe For Success and Satisfaction by Samantha Ettus I am a life coach and always looking for new principles to recommend to keep life in balance. I ended up liking it very much for my own needs, especially the second half of the book. I will not only recommend it but keep reviewing my own ” pie slices.”

2. Heartbeat of a Mother: Encouragement for the Lifelong Journey by Jane Rubietta. Well done, Jane, you never disappoint! With an authentic voice and a plethora of personal stories, this book invites you into a place of reflection, wonder, delight and hope. Easy to read for the busy younger mom yet full of insight for those of us who have been engaging in this precious role for a long time. Here is my promo video for this book:

 

3. When Strangers Meet: How People You Don’t Know Can Transform You (TED Books)  by Kio Stark. I was attracted to this small book as I am a hospital chaplain and talk to strangers all the time. The first few chapters were especially fascinating. I was inspired to continue to initiate conversation with strangers outside of work as some amazing counters have occurred.

4. Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration from Our Sisters in Faith by Melanie Rigney. I decided to read this for Lent and liked it so much I finished it well before Easter. I was so inspired by these women! Each one’s story opened up a bigger worldview of living a life devoted to God while serving as many as possible. Some well-known, many I was unfamiliar with but now have been touched by each of their lives.

Fiction:

1,2, 3: The Wedding DressThe Wedding Chapel, The Wedding Shop, by Rachel Hauck.

I loved this series and so did many others with over 4000 reviews for the three combined. Romantic, faith based but not cheesy, captivating stories that kept me turning the pages.

4. A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller.

I am stingy with five stars but really liked this one! A murder mystery but not a scary one which is an important distinction for me. Beautiful use of descriptive words, I felt like I could see what she was describing. Well done!
Stay tuned in a few months for the next Book Report. maybe I will finish “A Man Called Ove” by then!
Hope for the Best,
Tish

Do You Believe in Signs? (Part 2)

Have you noticed any signs lately? Here are a few more that have piqued my interest! This one to the left showed up on a back road in Michigan. I wasn’t riding a bike at the time but am familiar with “drifting sand” across my path.  I would appreciate the caution sign, say, in my office where I can get distracted or sidetracked by little stuff that slows me down.

Have you experienced “Dangerous Intersections?” We usually don’t see signposts around when we are heading for one. Would often be helpful.

I saw this one last week, do you ever feel like you need to put your voice in a closet? Give it a time-out? Listen more than talk?

Would appreciate knowing when something hard is coming?

Or when it was time to get out of the way?

This one is just fun!

What are signs saying to you these days?

Hope for the best,

Tish

Beauties and the Beast

My film companions through the past 25 years!

Let me just say I have never been a cartoon fan. Back in my girlhood, every movie opened with at least one animated short film and I wasn’t crazy about any of them. Ditto with my long Mommy-hood season, I managed to see a couple of feature animated films with my four kids but I squirmed more than they did.

Until Beauty and the Beast. I really don’t remember if we ever saw it in the theater. Probably not as the kids were quite happy to watch a rare movie on the VCR in that crazy time of life. I could dig deep in my journals and find out when it hit our home screen but I’m sure it was in 1992, twenty-five years ago.

From the first time I watched it, sitting on the my living floor with the crowd, I loved this movie. No other animated film caught my heart like this one. (I haven’t seen Frozen yet.) Over the years, when one of them wanted to watch it, I would pop in for any or all of it, especially at the end when the Beast transformed back to a prince. I usually cried through that part.

The first appetizer for the new Beauty and the Beast movie came last May right after Mother’s Day. My youngest daughter send her sister and me a trailer (I still call them previews.)

It looked so tantalizing and we put it on our calendars for “whenever it comes out.” It finally did.

After about seventeen emails, we finally found a date that worked for the three of us, last Thursday night, the evening before the official release. I may or may not have sent them an evite about it. (They are used to, shall we say, my occasional exuberance.) The day felt like Christmas Eve to me, I couldn’t wait to get there.

We bought our tickets ahead of time for the 3 D version and I arrived at the theater 90 minutes before the film started. I’m learning to make lots of room for events important to me. Crowding them squishes out some of the delight.

I had fun engaging with the other B & B devotees until the girls arrived. They scooted into the seats I carefully reserved and from the first note of the fabulous score to the last, I sat spellbound. Tears slipped out at several points and flowed at the end. Like I said, I love this movie.

I haven’t quite figured out my fascination, not that I need to, but I do wonder. Maybe I have felt like both Belle and the Beast at different points in my life. The powerful transformation scene at the end also seems like a foretaste of heaven when all creation is restored.

Or maybe it was watching it with my daughters. The first time they were little girls, enthralled with the idea of fairy tales. Later as teenagers, watching it together fuzzed the lines that sometimes separated us. Now we are all grown-ups and each have our own tales of wandering in forests and dancing at balls. Sitting between them last Thursday felt strong and solid and full of joy.

Next season, I’ll watch it with my granddaughters, we’re all the same age while the film is rolling.

The critics can say what they want, I give it a zillion stars.

The “Tale as old as Time” worked it’s magic again.

Hope for the best.

Tish

Do you Believe in Signs? (Part 1)

Don’t you just need to STOP sometimes?

I’ve always been a kind of “signs and wonders” girl with plenty of room for both in my theology and day-to-day life.

But I have run into some real road signs posted around my world that might be just the message someone’s looking for or at least will entertain you!

Check these out…

Definitely times in my life when I could have used a sign like this and turned around! Sometimes we need to climb a steep hill but not when it’s the wrong way.

 

Multi-tasking over-rated? One thing at a time often works best.

 

 

There are times it is important to stand out in the crowd!

Is there an area of your life where you need to “Stay On Trail?”

Signs are everywhere, look for the ones that speak to you.

More next week!

Hope for the Best,

Tish

Are You A Story Collector?

I am a collector. But no one would ever call me a pack-rat. I don’t have hoarding tendencies either. In fact, I am apparently of the “less is more” mindset as we frequently ran out of basic supplies like milk and toilet paper when our kids were young. “Why commit my cash to something I didn’t need yet” was sort of my slogan.

I tried collections when I was younger. Stamps for one. Never took. I guess you might say I collect blue and white dishes because I have a lot but that’s because I use them all the time. I wouldn’t “collect” just for the sake of “collecting.”

What I do collect are Stories.

Everyone has one. My compilation includes my story, tales from my immediate family, as well as the histories of relatives and ancestors. Sometimes scraps, sometimes a rich narrative.

In my collection are also portions of friend’s stories. Past and present. Besides the stories I keep in my heart, I have a cache of artifacts, probably thousands. Photographs, cards and letters collected over a lifetime. Then there is my ancestry.com account. A lovely hole to fall in when I have a free hour. Definitely more satisfying than an evening of TV.

I am slowly cataloging my collection. Sometimes mine, sometimes gathering pieces that belong to others. It feels like a mandate that I cannot ignore. Or something like a treasure hunt.

Chasing the Intentional Life includes leaving a legacy for those to come. “One generation to the next.”

Are you a story collector?

Hope for the best,

Tish



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