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Showing posts from April, 2016

Stretching the Limits

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Mount Storm King in the Olympics is a quick but intense climb since it’s 1200 feet of elevation per mile. But the last 500 feet truly test your limits. 
It was Christmas Day, and as a gift to myself, I wanted to hike to the top. The Very Top.





Beyond the end-of-trail warning sign, ropes are securely (?) tied to outcroppings enabling the fearless to climb to the summit. 
From there one can see the entire glacier-fed Lake Crescent and beyond to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the watery dividing line between the United States and Canada.


A bonus on this Christmas Day climb, was fresh snow on the rugged summit. So, Tommy, my son and official Storm King guide, and I laid fresh boot tracks through a couple feet of snow. Three sections of climbing ropes were just ahead.
The snow gave me a sense of security, why I don’t know, common sense would say I could easily slip off the perilous cliffs. At the first rope, Tommy climbed up, yelling from above—assuring me that I didn’t have to follow, but h…

Speechless in Seattle

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Besides providing an efficient means of travel in the big city, public transportation is also an effective barometer of cultural sentiment. Especially when it’s the hottest day on record and all the seats are taken. 
Sunshine in Seattle is cause to celebrate, but not when humanity is tightly packed and a rider loudly declares that we’d better get used to this because climate change is getting worse. As my friend sat on that humid bus, she glanced at the faces huddled too close for comfort and knew she was going to remain silent.
Someone old enough to know how to maintain peace decided instead to share that “global warming” was a bunch of left-wing b******* and no one could prove otherwise.





Well that set off the climate change commenter. Shaking his head in disgust he called the older man a f****** idiot and agreed with Al Gore that climate change dissenters deserved to be in jail. My friend wondered if either one would exit soon.







The older global warming dissenter pointed to a collective …

The High Cost of Wasted Human Potential

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Jerry* was a quick learner at the mill. The foreman noticed and picked him for operator training. This led to advancements and a terrific salary. About twenty years into his mill career, overseas competition undermined profits. Layoffs became routine. Money got tight. Unable to find work, Jerry became despondent. 
Sitting at a bar mid-day, Jerry struck up a conversation with a man sitting nearby. Suffice it to say, he made a deal with the devil. All Jerry had to do was make a “special delivery” and he’d be able to pay his mortgage that month. Sometimes people can pinpoint the beginning of their downfall. Jerry would look back and remember his.




More deliveries followed, and soon Jerry enjoyed “all” the business perks and got just as hooked as those who desperately needed his “deliveries”.  He kept his new business from his wife. A ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy is never good in marriage. 
Eventually his wife’s suspicions were confirmed when she found a hefty stash of drugs. When he wouldn’…

The Last Walk

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Of course I didn’t realize it at the time. Things were too chaotic. In the long chapter titled, “mothering a young child”, time is elusive. Up hours before dawn to get some work done, then a rush to get work done during naptime. Then it’s playtime, dinner time, story time before bedtime, and prized moments of my-time before it begins again.






For a break, we’d taken a weekend to visit my mom—which meant an interminably long drive with a squirming child. 
Mom’s rustic cabin seemed timeless nestled in its wooded acres—and it was a child’s paradise with new things to see and touch. Including a beach with waves, shells, seagulls and miles of shoreline.




It was cold and wet—but that didn’t matter when the beach was waiting to be explored. Soon our pockets were laden with the rock and shell treasures our little girl found. I didn’t stop to wonder if she’d would remember this day. Would I even remember it?
We breathed in the salty air and our laughter rose above the sound of the waves. That was ba…

Taking the Muslim Challenge

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The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) director shared some of the worst atrocities he'd seen in Iraq and Syria. Traveling straight into the bullseye zone of evil, his organization cares for the persecuted and the suffering while offering hope. 
His stories of horror were not meant to paralyze us but propel us to action. I felt a plea for money was coming, but I was wrong. 











Scanning the audience, he said together we could make a difference. How? One family at a time—inviting Muslims into our homes and becoming friends. Sharing meals, getting to know one another, not attempting to sway them with our faith, but just offering friendship. 
Not a one-time event, but an on-going effort to love Muslims in our communities.  










Images of ISIS brutalities flooded my head. How about those rioting Muslim immigrants in Europe? The Belgium and Paris terrorist attacks? 
Would making friends with American Muslims help? According to VOM it does. 
Millions of Muslims aren’t jihadists. They are fathers, moth…