Showing posts from October, 2014

Fear of Life's Horrors

Nadine loves horror flicks and just so she doesn’t have to wait for Halloween, she bought her favorites to watch when she’s in the mood—Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, or how about this one: House of 1000 Corpses. To me, being scared senseless isn’t fun, but Nadine shrugs it all off and smiles afterwards. She jokes that if she can face these fears she can face anything.
We were chatting recently and I asked if ISIS scared her. She shrugged. I suppose she’s seen worse on the big screen.
I asked her what she thought about North Korea’s new miniaturized nuclear warhead, enabling their crazy dictator to make good on his threat to turn Seoul and Washington into “seas of fire”. Nadine shrugged again.
Okay. How about terrorist lone wolf attacks here in America? Ebola? Nadine snorted in response. I could tell she wasn’t fazed.

I wondered how she managed to shelve her fears? Today’s news isn’t Hollywood horror; it’s real. Christians in Iraq and Syria know this. So …

School Hunger and the Cafeteria Controversy

My friend’s email subject line caught my attention: You Won’t Believe What Happened Now. Janice has two school age kids and like many families she juggles her work schedule to get everyone out the door on time each morning. It isn’t easy. But it’s gotten a whole lot harder since—wait for it—the school lunch revolution.
She used to go online, put money in her kid’s lunch account and not think twice about it. They never complained. Well, sometimes they didn’t like the food, but it wasn’t often. Until this school year.

Now her son (who weighs more than Janice) is parceled out a paltry 500 calories for his high school noon meal. By the time mid-afternoon football practice rolls around he’s hungry and doesn’t have access to food until he gets home. By then he’s a hungry teenager (read: cranky and incorrigible).

Her elementary-aged daughter gets a slightly smaller ration and here’s the kicker—kids can’t share their food. Under the watchful eyes of the lunchroom monitor, no one can offer an…

Hope for Hard Times

It was a long drive from our dusty farm to Grandma’s lakeside cabin. Each mile brought memories of my idyllic childhood, but the peaceful thoughts quickly evaporated remembering our eminent financial demise. 
My husband and I were nearly broke. Taking this trip had been cost-foolish, but it was too late to save what we were losing. Now I was grasping for anything leftover to believe in.

Grandma had always been pragmatic and ambitious. She’d worked full time while putting herself through nursing school. Having two small daughters to care for in the midst Great Depression, she and her husband knew about sacrifice. She believed in God and marriage—and holding onto both when life got hard.
Who better to bring my financial lament?

I sat in the kitchen with Grandma. My expression told the story, but as I explained how bad things were, Grandma went to work.
I watched her take a large mixing bowl and scoop in cups of white flour.She deftly added some sugar, a pinch of salt, yeast, warm mil…

Born to be Sexy?

Several hundred people were riding the Seattle ferry back home after an afternoon of football. Tired fans were watching the fading sun as it cast purple shadows across Mt. Rainier. It really was a beautiful evening on the water. I was riding solo, so I enjoyed watching others enjoy themselves. Then I noticed another solo passenger.
She was probably in her mid teens. Even though it had been a nice autumn day, it wasn’t hot, yet she was wearing the shortest cut-offs. They covered more than a swimsuit, but barely. And let’s just say her crop top matched her shorts. She was taking laps around the ferry deck, staring straight ahead—seemingly oblivious to the stares she was getting.

Oh sure, on a beach her outfit would blend right in. But not on an evening ferry. This isn’t a judgment call, but perhaps it is—on all of us.Because we are either wearing it, staring at it, judging it, or saying it doesn’t really matter. Is the skin show a game?If so, who wins? I don’t think women do.

Women ha…

Avoiding College Rape

I remember flying across the country and depositing my almost eighteen-year-old daughter on a small college campus in upstate New York. Besides setting up a local bank account, campus meal service, and an Ethernet connection, I gave her absolutely no life-saving information should she truly need it.

What was I thinking? Did I imagine that the small community she’d live in would be as safe as my own? Did I expect that ALL her new friends would consider her as special and worthy as I did? As I flew home, I never imagined she could be raped in a dorm room, or be abducted as she walked home from the library in the dark. Thank God she wasn’t. But many young women have.
As I’ve read about the apparent abduction of Hannah Graham, the straight A, University of Virginia student, I can only imagine how devastated her parents must feel. Hannah was alone and inebriated the night she disappeared. But let’s set aside any judgment about alcohol and parties, and just admit that it happens on college…