Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I was cleaning off some SD cards and putting the pictures on cd's for storage so I needed to label them. "Spring 2011. Jr. Convention. Kittens. Oklahoma. MN. Etc." Another one: "Summer 2011. Cats. Bible Memory Camp. Etc."

"Etc." can mean a lot of things. A close-up of a pansy in the flower bed. A shot of orange dots on the ceiling. Trish's kids on the trampoline. Jenny and Janane's artfully arranged Converse shoes. A pretty cake. Etc.

* * *
Tomorrow I'm off on another visit to my parents in Minnesota. Caleb the 19-year-old nephew from Wisconsin has been out here working for about 4 months and was going to drive home by himself. So I suggested going along as far as Minnesota so I could help drive. And then Paul's mom decided to go along too.

So we leave early tomorrow morning and drive "straight through." It used to take us 32 hours from here to Minnesota but I think Caleb thinks we can do it in less than that. I have a feeling we will all three have some stories to tell our friends when the trip is over.

* * *
I read a moving post by a blogger named Jessica Derstine, on miscarriage.


I look around and wonder.
How my mind would feel right now.
How my body would be changed.
How my days would play out.

I look around and wonder.
Why does no one talk about this.
Why does everyone ignore it.
Why does it feel so alone.

I look around and wonder.
How many mama's feel the same.
How many babies are not here.
How many times they are missed.

I look around and wonder.
If I'll ever understand.
If I'll ever be here again.
If I'll ever forget.

And she adds: Why does no one talk about the babies that they lose.

While I am very grateful I've never had a miscarriage, I often feel inadequate in comforting or supporting women who have. This helped me understand what they feel.

* * *
This writing tip was on a recent Willamette Writers email. I thought it was really simple but profound.
Playwright, screenwriter, director David Mamet presents the foundation of storytelling this way:

· Once upon a time -
· And then one day -
· Just when everything was going so well -
· When at the last minute -
· And then everyone -

If you can complete these sentences, you have the outlines of a tight, beginning-middle-end story. Let's work it out for a film you probably are familiar with, E.T.

· Once upon a time -- there was a lonely boy.
· And then one day -- he met a stranded alien.
· Just when everything was going so well -- the alien said, "E.T. go home."
· When at the last minute -- the boy revived E.T., rescued him from scientists, and helped him catch his spaceship.
· And then everyone -- was sadder but wiser, learning that love is letting go.

(by Charles Deemer)
* * *
Quote of the Day:
"Mom? Five minutes with Dorcas and already you're crying?"
--my friend "Jill's" daughter "Alice," after church one Sunday this summer. When "Jill" and I get together we cut to the emotional chase immediately.


  1. Yes, it is so hard to know what to say to someone who has experienced this kind of loss. I love to read their thoughts like this. I feel like it makes me more understanding. I want to be.

  2. Once again, I get to the end of your post and chuckle. The poem from the mother is touching. Reminds me to mention it to a young mother who lost her little one recently. I hope you have a good trip - with lots of good memories.

  3. I have 3 babies I can't wait to meet in heaven someday...time softens the jagged emotions, but you never forget. Many years later, and I can still feel my heart lurch and quake when something unexpectedly brings it all back.

    Like reading her poem. :) *Sigh*