• rainbow over rippling sea in nature

    The Tide Turns

    As I sit down to write this, it is exactly one month since I was told I have cancer.  That day stands ingrained in my brain, with the days following feeling like I was riding turbulent ocean currents.  Over and over again I felt bombarded with waves of strong emotions and increasing fears.   Today, the tides of water move in a different direction.  I had a most interesting conversation with my oncologist.  The pathology from my recent surgery found absolutely no cancer in what was removed.  Her explanation is, that whatever abnormal cells existed were removed in the two biopsies I had. I am still in shock.  For months…

  • body of water

    Backpack Days

    I love to meet my students at the door each morning.  There are the usual morning tussles as they get their gear hung up and search their backpacks for needed items.  Those backpacks are an essential tool between home and school as notes and materials are passed back and forth between places.  It always amazes me what children think necessary to bring to school.  Their backpacks produce some surprising treasures some days. My children always used backpacks as well.  They were a handy catchall for all things school and helped in keeping my kids organized.  Most of the time, my children kept their packs relatively clean and orderly.   Still,…

  • green leaf plant beside river

    Peace

    Waiting is a challenging thing.  It is one thing to await a special event; it is quite the opposite process when time lingers before a challenging task or circumstance. The morning of my cancer surgery I struggle with what to do with my time.  I am not thrilled with my afternoon surgery appointment because I know that my mind will be racing in circles all morning, anticipating the events to come.  Trying to ignore my hunger pangs, as I hadn’t been allowed to eat for hours, I begin mindlessly surfing the internet to bide the time. Moments before I need to start the long drive to the hospital, an email…

  • scenic view of ocean during sunset

    Where Fear Treads

    Cancer.  It’s a word that strikes fear in even the strongest and heartiest of souls.  There are few people these days that haven’t had someone in their lives deal with this invasive disease.  No one wants or expects this diagnosis to be directed at them and it is extremely traumatic when the words are said – “You have cancer.” Just a few weeks ago I did something that has to rate as one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life – walk through the doors of my local cancer clinic.  As I struggled not to cry, I looked around at the multitude of people milling…

  • close up of leaf

    A Living Witness

    I am blessed with two wonderful mothers in my life.   My own mother is a quiet soul whose life radiates peace even amongst the most challenging of circumstances.  She calmly goes through life, caring for her family and finding a myriad of ways to show she loves us.  While she is not overly vocal about her faith, there is no doubt that it is what grounds her no matter what happens.   My dear mother-in-law is opposite in character.  Her vivacious personality embraces those around her with love and affection.  She opens her heart and her life to those around her, easily socializing in any crowd and making friends…

  • brown pendant lamp hanging on tree near river

    The “In” Crowd

    Making connections – it is usually considered the way to success.  We are told to get out there and find ways to meet people who are influential in our chosen profession, sport, or interest.  Get to know them, find out what makes them tick, read what they read, attend events they attend – these are all strategies supposedly to lead to the goal we desire.   Most really successful people are able to use their connections to their own advantage.  This “in” opens up doors to new opportunities and avenues for growth.   There are many days when I would like to have that magical “in” – that special connection…

  • A New Thing

    A highlight in my school day are my video chats with my students.  My young students always have some intriguing comments to make, no matter what the subject.  I never quite know what paths our conversations will take each day.  They typically are quite frank and honest in their responses, easily sharing what matters most to them in their world. As is typical on a Monday morning, I ask them what they did with their weekend.  In recent months, their answers are rarely exciting.  Sometimes I hear about snow forts built or places visited but usually I get lists of movies watched and board games played as my students try…

  • Baseball Hit

    Mary Dobkin was an unlikely baseball hero.  Born in the early 1900s, she suffered severe frostbite as a child which resulted in long term complications.  She endured multiple hospital stays and surgeries and spent her adult life in poverty, living on disability benefits. While hospitalized, Mary came to love the sport of baseball.  As an adult, she realized that baseball could be an encouragement to the poor children of her neighbourhood.  Mary raised funds for equipment and uniforms and started a team.  Even though having to use a wheelchair or crutches, she was able to coach thousands of children over the years.   Volunteering her time, Mary was instrumental in…

  • Taking Flight

    What’s your typical reaction when you see a storm coming?  Do you dance around in the midst of the hailstones or do you run for cover?  Do you relish in getting soaked from the rain or do you find the nearest dry shelter?  Most of us want to seek some kind of protection from stormy outbreaks.  We desire a reprieve from any adverse conditions rather than search them out.  Avoiding the stresses of turbulent events is typically high on our list.  The bird kingdom is no different.  When a storm approaches, all but one breed of bird goes to find shelter.  Who is the anomaly?  It is the eagle.  While…

  • Giving

    I’m in the middle of watching a Christmas movie where a struggling photographer wins a contest.  Rather than use the substantial prize money for himself even though he needs it badly, he decides instead to play a Secret Santa role and help out a number of needy people in his community.  He demonstrates great empathy for people and becomes aware of many whose needs are even greater than his own.  He starts a trend.  Soon multiple people are paying for purchases of others and helping those in need.  His giving attitude is infectious.  He shows that the best gifts are those where you don’t expect anything back.  The rewards he…