Showing posts from January, 2011

Strangled by my connections

A recent Internet outage revealed how dependent I’ve become. I wasn’t always this way.

Back in the Dark Ages when I graduated from high school, I packed my belongings and moved to my first apartment. My father, who probably was more worried than he let on, insisted on paying for a telephone. These devices were actually rented from the phone company. It was the only way he could reach me. Problem? I wasn’t always home—and there were no answering machines yet.
I also brought with me my brand new electric typewriter. Throughout college, any paper I wrote had to be typed and then re-typed as many times as required for editing. No cut and paste--those words still had their original meaning.
Over the next 10 years our export business utilized many cutting edge communication tools: personal computer, fax machine, the “mobile” phone that weighed about 5 pounds. It seemed like each year brought new toys. Cell phones. Digital cameras. The Internet.
Now our phones have aps that can tell us where we…

Taking the 15-Year Test

Fifteen years is a long time. Count back that many years and consider all that’s happened. Even though our memories differ, one thing we all share: there’s no going back. Except in our minds.
And that’s what I did this past weekend. I visited Lake Chelan, where I lived 15 years ago. I spent a couple days recalling who I once was. It was time to take my 15 Year Test. Imagine how many choices I’ve made in that time. The 15 Year Test has some pointed questions about those choices.

So, how many answers did I have right? How many wrong ones? How many questions did I have to leave blank, because I hadn’t been able to find time to do those things?
I left Lake Chelan in my mid-30’s. Since then I’ve had thousands of days worth of opportunities.  What did I do with all that time? My test score spotlights many activities. Raised kids. Spent hours reading. Worked from home. Volunteered at times. Some of my hours bear fruit today, but I see some holes where time escaped, spilled, and cannot be retr…

Five-Year Old Faith

There’s something incredibly refreshing about the faith of young children. Some might call it gullibility or naïveté. But I see it differently. Sure, you can tell them something untrue and they don’t have enough understanding to doubt you, but if you ever want to experience a different peace, get down on a five year old level and ponder life.
In our daily busyness, we can miss the chances children give us to see their unique perspective. Sometimes their insights can only be described as “inspired”. Younger kids haven’t faced enough rejection and ridicule, so they speak the truth they know. There’s nothing quite like it. And honestly, I’ve missed it.
But my grandson has given me another chance. This past summer he came for a visit and as we sat in the loft of the cabin (where I keep the toys) he asked me about Heaven. I thought for a moment how best to respond, but he offered his own thoughts:
Heaven is soft and warm and everyone smiles. It’s yellow and blue with lots of other colors to…

Prophetess of Doom

We’d just climbed into the truck for the six-hour post holiday trip home when I launched into my chosen discussion topic: our nation’s economic woes. My son, having listened to me ALL the way over to grandma’s house, asked politely, “Do you ever talk about anything else?”

Okay. True enough. I was trying to invite a dialogue of ideas with my college-aged son. But one round was enough for him. He opted for ear buds and his extensive music library.

I confess I’m an economics junky. I read the reports and ponder the dire scenarios.

It’s times like these that help me recall my grandparent’s conversations about the Great Depression. I also lived through the failure of our first business venture in the midst the 1980’s economic fallout. We’d started a strawberry farm—and grew huge, delicious strawberries. We’d probably still be there had we not gone into debt for land at 12% interest along with a tractor loan at 18% interest. It took less than four years to realize we’d never make enough money…