The Broad Brush: Why must we stereotype?

He’s in a union? Certainly he’s a Democrat!“Don’t Tread on Me” bumper sticker? Yup, libertarian.Subaru driver?  She’s feeling the Bern.Sandals, beard, sunglasses and a Jesus sticker? Megachurch goer.<Add your own stereotype here ___________>It seems that we are too quick to take sides these days, categorizing people like bins in a hardware store. The screws go in this bin. The nuts in this. The washers over here.It’s like we an obsessive compulsive societal condition … [Read more...]

Will the flags ever fly at full staff again?

There is another shooting just now on the news.Men in blue in Louisiana are gunned down, just a few days after a similar incident in Dallas. Families and friends are no doubt directly affected, and so are the men and women who go to work every day to protect us from ourselves.  And like you, I'm angry and sad at the same time, and a little numb.When the protectors are unprotected, then we all feel vulnerable. Why ask why? For a few days we’ll wring our hands, trying to find some mo … [Read more...]

Beyond Black, Beyond Blue, What Really Matters

I was too young to remember the 60’s. As a toddler I only cared about nap time, snacks and my Tonka trucks. I was innocent while the world around me exploded with violence, riots, racial tension and war.I remember my father telling me about the 60’s, what he felt when Kennedy was assassinated and then Martin Luther King. It wasn’t black. It wasn’t white. It was just wrong and he felt it.That’s how I feel today.With just a few minutes of network news and I’m longing again for those day … [Read more...]

“My Son is a Heroin Addict” – A Mother’s Story of Love

I read her Facebook post. It was honest. Heartbreaking.  Raw.  I was shocked when I read the words, “My son is a heroin addict.”She told a story of discovery, of how the light switches in the house had a sooty substance that she was always scrubbing off. She told her story of how the clues unfolded, one terrible fact at a time.  And then there was the moment of confrontation and resolution.“We’re in this together.”Her story of fighting for her son is to me quite brave. She holds a se … [Read more...]

Flunking First Grade: When suffering holds us back

When you are six, there's just a few things that could be called "devastating." Not advancing to Second Grade would be one of them.I remember when my mother threatened to hold me back a year. I was the youngest in my  class, an anomaly of the school calendar. I wasn’t adapting well and she thought I might do better by starting over again.Somehow, I talked – or cried - my way through the threat. But the truth is that I probably wasn’t ready.It’s that way for me now. The simple truths i … [Read more...]

Dear Dad: I wish I could have one more conversation

My Dad was born in 1917 in the living room of a house in North Dakota. The wheat waved in the wind and the heat bore down on that simple home on the Rupert Ranch.The dust bowl rolled in the 30's, laying the ranch to waste. They sold everything and moved to California, a place of great promise.Dad entered dental school but withdrew when his father died. He worked to provide for his mother, landing a job putting shingles on subdivision homes. It was a "temporary" job that he kept for 50 … [Read more...]

The fear of being offended – Where did our spine go?

“I can’t believe you said that!”She looked at me like I had committed the worst of atrocities.I used the word, “Gal” when referring to a female who had just waited on me. It’s an old term. Probably a hold-over from my mother, who used it constantly, an easy, generic name for every woman she didn’t know the name.But now those darting eyes from this gal – I mean woman --  told me her opinion of this term. Suddenly, that word felt like a heavy weight hung around my neck,  a sign for the … [Read more...]

The lesser of two evils {Is still evil}

Chocolate. Vanilla. Twist.I remember the ice cream machine at Frosty’s Diner in Northern Nevada’s Carson Valley.Mom would  load the kids and make the drive over the mountain pass. At the end of a day of shopping this was our special treat. She would pull the station wagon packed with groceries and supplies and we would bounce to the counter to see the machine.The machine would spit out chocolate or vanilla with a pull of the lever. And to please the indecisive, the menu even offered a … [Read more...]

Confessions of a Reluctant Optimist

I love the news.In fact, my radio dial doesn’t even know there’s an FM, that wonderful invention introduced 60 years ago. Stuck in a world of the latest happenings, I’m following the trends of the moment.  I listen to commentary and debate and all the swirling gestures of a world gone crazy. I watch the news at home and read the paper in the morning.Go ahead, ask me. I'll tell you the latest.But it’s dragging me down.Clinton, Saunders, Trump -- what a pain! China, Italy, the Middl … [Read more...]

The danger {and sheer delight} of saying “Yes” to God

I recently appeared on Radio Station KPOF. We talked about the benefits -- and the sheer delight-- of living dangerously. "Saying Yes" to God is a risky proposition, because you lose control. But what I found out is that it leads to an amazingly fulfilling life.I wish I would have started saying "yes" to God decades ago!Take a listen and let me know what you think. Am I crazy?   … [Read more...]