Archive for May, 2012

My trip to Mount Rainier

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Dragging my feet as I walk down the old gravel driveway, not even the dust has energy enough to rise above my boots. Ninety seven degrees, warm water in my bottle and the only shade in sight seems to be miles away.
My gut wrenches almost as much as my heart does. You know that feeling like something is more wrong with the world than the eye sees?
I reach the mailbox and shut my eyes to say a quiet prayer…please Lord, just a simple word that my love is safe. Please Lord, amen…. Quickly opening the metal door and peeking in, I see a letter atop the weekly puzzle book. Gathering the mail into my arms and forgetting the heat of the day I race  back up the driveway to settle in and read his letter.
I allow my fingers to trace over the writing gently enough to feel the indentations from his pen on the paper. Somehow i feel his presence in the smallest details of life. I begin to read…
“My precious one I miss you so very much. It is so very lonely though I am surrounded by my battalion. I received your letter last night, it was a glimpse of heaven for me. To read of how the peaches are coming on and the plums so heavy they broke a limb. I shut my eyes and swear I can smell peach pie and pot roast. I miss you every second I am away. I know a soldier is supposed to shut out our personal lives as we serve God and country but I don’t believe any of us do. We are grounded by the ones we left crying at the gate, kisses and  I love yous and hurry homes. Well honey, its lights out. I spent too much time reading and thinking about you to finish this. Will write more soon then send this. All of my love to you.
By now you have probably heard there was mortar fire in my camp and I was hit. I am now in a hospital unit waiting to come home. Honey I didn’t want this to end like this. I wanted to come home, tall and proud of a job well done. Now i am ugly but healing and in pain. But the pain doesn’t compare to not seeing you. They found me partially burned and shot with my pen and paper in hand still. I will try to get this letter finished so I can get it mailed.
I think of seeing you in that blue cotton dress that you wear with your boots. You make me laugh but its the prettiest thing you wear. I think of the perfume you wear that smells like honeysuckle in September. I think, and think, and think and all of it is about how much I miss you, love you, want to kiss you and hold you. Here is a pressed flower, I made the nurse pick it for me as she pushed my wheelchair.
I love you Babe. Once my fever has come down and stays down I will return home to you. All of my love”

I folded the letter back up and carefully put it back into the envelope after taking the pressed flower out. As I put the letter in my shoebox the dog started barking and by the time i put the flower in small cellophane envelope there was a knock on the screen door.
As I approached I saw two men, in full dress uniform, one removing his hat as the other knocked again. Now my dog sat silent at the door as though time stood still. My feet felt like they were trudging through mud as I approached the screen. Just feet from answering, my soul ripped away from my body, everything I knew about life was a void in space, my knees buckled as I fell to the floor. Deep anguish filled me as I heard the words that he had died from an infection that morning. I cursed God, I cursed the country, I cursed the freedom he fought for.  A part of me also died that day.
A nation lives free at a cost that should not have to be paid. God forgive my pain, forgive my selfishness….and take care of my love, take care of my country’s soldier.

A video i took yesterday

There comes a point in your life when you don’t have to be anyone’s anything anymore. You can walk away knowing what you have tried to accomplish for others is complete. And you stand at the door, looking at all with great fulfillment and thankfulness at the legacy of what you had struggled to do…. then you hear your children thank you, you hear them say they love you, they say how much they want to be a part of your life and you a part of theirs. In an instant you realize the goal was not just the happiness of those around you but your own as well. I have such a peace inside me at this moment that i wish i could show you all. Don’t give up, ever. No matter how hopeless anything ever seems to be…its not.


There has been a lot happen in my life of almost 50 years, and being raised by older parents gave me a different view than that of some of my peers.

Mama was 2 days away from her 37th birthday and dad would turn 36 two months after my birth. Mama almost lost me during her pregnancy and  she was quite ill at times, I think maybe this bonds a baby closer to its mother because I have always had a sense of obligation to mine that I don’t believe people understand. My oldest brother was 18, gone from home and my sister was 17. The other brothers 14, 10 and 2 1/2. The baby in a busy, noisy house I was.

I was raised by farmers, though they didn’t farm after I turned 1. My parents were from the Big Band Era, Mama could dance so well and Dad thought he was a horn player.  We watched the Lawrence Welk show religiously (am I the only one who remembers Bobby and Sissy?) and every National Geographic show to ever hit the tube.

We ate real food for every meal and not a lot from a box or can. The only exception to that rule was when we bought boxed cereal). Mama put up peaches, apricots, all kinds of vegetables. She made pickled beets, and pickles (Oh the house stunk at times). We went to a cattle farm and bought either a whole or half beef at a time. When we would get there I was allowed to sit on the wooden fence above the feeding troughs so I could pet the cows as they ate. My favorite was named Stubborn Dumbass, thought it wasn’t until later I realized why all of the laughter ensued as I spoke to her. (sigh). Only once did I ever get knocked off the fence and into the dirt from a curious nose. We also at side pork instead of bacon… We all had our turn in tears grinding, as Mama was at work, when Dad attempted to make homemade horseradish sauce. (I think he was the adventurous spirit that lives in me because we had a taffy pull when Mama was at work. All of the adventures she would disapprove of because of the risk of harm were done while she worked.)

But my Mama has always been my rock, she taught me perseverance, fortitude, how to smile when tears are all you have…it just took me a long time to recognize and employ these lessons.

Though I have lived through horrific things that are for a deeper blog on a gloomy rainy Seattle afternoon, some other time, I am blessed to have the best Mama in the world. She is now 86, lives with me and laughs as I roll my eyes when she asks me… Amy Marie, do you have a coat to take with you? She is my rock, she drives me insane, she makes me laugh and cry.

It is nice to see my Mama, now, after decades of doing for others, sit back and enjoy her years being loved and allowed to do as she pleases (except drive my car…no way…no how)!

I love you Mama…with all my heart!

Return to me…

When you left I was crushed.

My heart sank into an abyss that squeezes the very life out of me.

My soul’s very essence is ever trapped in the walls of that which beats only for you.

I hear the echo of your footsteps as my body lies motionless awaiting your return.

Resting my ear to the floor to listen for you, I stare at the window from where I’ll hold vigil.

Refusing to look through for I must learn to wait for you.

My life is encapsulated in time without you, and will restart upon your return to me.


The old one is still up but this one is easier to manage so far.. Hope you enjoy

Agape Love!

I am so drawn to nature, what God has created, the tender and short lived flower petals, the new twigs that will grow into branches, rapid water and fading sunsets.

I have taken pictures of man-made objects which i also like.

However, everything that the Lord gives us is temporary. Even that twig as it grows from the inside will split and stretch its bark as new life fills it. The outer bark will fall off. The tender petals show their glory only a few days then wilt, dry up and die. But their life is useful, they not only protect the reproduction parts of a flower they are appealing in color and fragrance which draws the insects that pollinate the flower. The water movement starts the process of evaporation, condensation and precipitation… all to give life to what God has put on this earth. The sunsets are for bringing on the rest period.

At every turn in my adventure I am taught change, how things God made are temporary. In the same breath, that which is man-made we try to make last. We build with steel, we temper glass and make a liquid seem a solid, and we treat lumber to withstand weather and insects. We reinforce, we waterproof, and we glue, weld and tie. We make that which we think will last when all around us God says to be ever changing, bringing forth fruit, live with a transitory nature.

The ONLY permanent thing is Love, God is Love, for God so loved the world… His love is agape love. It is unconditional, non-wavering, it is sacrificial. Our love is phileo, conditional… based on emotions, knee jerk reactions and deep seeded things we know.

one of my favorite pictures, representing sacrifice to create anew