Jun 16th, 2010 by Sonja

What’s your greatest fear?

We had an (ahem) interesting day yesterday.  LightGirl had a very negative reaction to some meds she’d begun taking.  I won’t go into the details of it here, but we ended up in the ER just to make sure she was okay.  As the meds metabolized she was alright, but we had a frightening couple of hours.  She will not be taking those meds anymore.  She has a pattern of strange responses to medication and I think we need to be more careful about introducing it to her system (but that’s another story).

The whole situation highlighted for me how frightening it is when I cannot take care of the people I love.  I’m not one of those moms who ran around wiping every drippy nose or making the house spotless or anything like that.  But it’s important to me that my peeps are happy and healthy.  When there are circumstances in their lives that are beyond anyone’s control and certainly beyond my control, it really freaks me out.  So … I guess I have two greatest fears; they vie for first place depending on the day, sometimes there are three.

One is that I will die before my children reach adulthood and can stand on their own.  It’s important to me that I see the LightChildren through to their own two feet.  I’d also like know their children.

Another is some sort of apocalyptic event that would separate us from our extended family in New England … they would die or we would die or we couldn’t get to them or something like that.

A third is that one of the LightChildren will die or become severely maimed before reaching adulthood.  As I watched LightGirl in the ER yesterday and contemplated the what-ifs of her situation, I was horrified.  My mind could only dance around the fringes and waltz away to hope.  We were extremely fortunate that the incident indeed appears to have been caused by the meds and she was back to her normal self by evening.

So what about you, what is/are your greatest fear?

One Thousand
Jun 9th, 2010 by Sonja

The prompt for today –

Japanese lore suggests that if you fold 1,000 paper cranes, your wish will come true. What would your wish be, and what would you be willing to do 1,000 times to get it?

I remember reading about this legend when I was a young girl.  I read a book about the bombing of Hiroshima.  The book focused on one girl and how the nuclear blast had affected her.  As I recall, it killed most of her family and left her very ill with radiation poisoning.  She lived out what remained of her life in a hospital folding paper cranes in a quest to get to 1,000 because she wanted to live.  She died.  It was one of the most gut-wrenching books I had read up to that point in my life.  War is a terrible waste.

So what wish do I have that is worth spending my life on to achieve the folding of 1,000 paper cranes?  If I did one every day it would take 2 years and 9 months (approximately) to attain my goal.  I guess that folding a paper crane would take about 20 minutes (averaged out over the span of 1,000) to complete.  That’s 20,000 minutes, or 333.33 hours, or 14 days – 2 weeks (round the clock) to make a wish come true.  If you divide 333.33 hours by 9 hours a day (to account for eating, sleeping, etc.) that’s 37 days – or just over a month to make a wish come true.  Five weeks (more or less).  A lot of time … time to think, meditate, and dream about a solution/resolution for my wish.

But now here I am … still pondering what I would wish for.  The possibilities are endless and huge … world peace, eradicate hunger, wipe out diseases and all of the good ideas to make life better for everyone.  Those are the huge ideas.  But I think if I’m going to make a wish upon which to spend that amount of time, I have to recognize that changing the world ultimately begins with changing myself.  So I think the question then becomes who do I want to be?  And I’m left with this … I want to be more of the me I was meant to be.  So my wish is that I would be able to embrace myself; the who I am becoming and the where I need to go.  I suppose that’s a rather small wish, but I guess it’s enough for now.

What about you?  What would you wish for if you did something 1,000 times to get there?

Good News!!
Aug 11th, 2009 by Sonja

In his own words the Blind Beggar, Rick Meigs is going home!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 11:54 AM, PDT

This is Rick sending greetings! Will be going home Thursday and hope to be online more. I’m using a computer at the rehab. center and doing this with left hand, so I’ll keep this short.

Rick Meigs

Two months to the day after his near-death accident, Rick is going home.  He spent weeks in a ICU in Boise, ID.  Two more weeks in a regular ward in a Portland, OR hospital.  Then a little more than a week at nursing home center in Portland and has been in the Rehab center since August 1.

Rick, his wife Fran and sons will continue to need prayer for his continued healing.  That he will continue to be able to carry on his business and that their re-adjustment process will go well.  Most of all that they will be able to lean into the process and rest, just as if they were floating away on Aslan’s breath.

The Blind Beggar Needs Prayer
Jun 13th, 2009 by Sonja

I received urgent word via Brother Maynard this evening that Rick Meigs (aka Blind Beggar) has been critically injured in a hit and run motorcycle accident today:

I wanted to let everyone know that Rick Meigs was at a Motorcycle rally at Hell’s Canyon and was clipped by a vehicle which crossed the line and clipped him head on.  It was a hit and run.
He is in critical condition with two collapsed lungs and a ruptured spleen.  His wife Fran is in Texas and trying to get to Baker City before they fly him to Boise.

Please be praying for him and his family.

He had really been looking forward to this rally and trip to Idaho to visit friends and ride his best beloved bike.

In whatever fashion that you pray, please do so with fervor and often in the days to come.  Rick has poured his life out in prayer for others over the years and now is a good time for us to help him.

Blessing …
Jul 13th, 2008 by Sonja

Select up to 20 friends who deserve blessing. Bless 15 more friends, and advanced blessing options will be available.
I found the above directive in Facebook one day.

I can’t decide … part of me thinks this is absolutely hilarious and giggles uncontrollably when I read it.  Another part of me finds this very, very sad because there are people out there who will believe this tripe.  A third part of me gets angry when I read it because there is something pornographic about that.  It’s using something that is supposed to be pure and holy; turning it into an economic transaction of sorts.

What do you think when you read things like this?

Fun Things To Know and Tell – May Day Edition
May 1st, 2008 by Sonja

Happy May Day … this is my birth month and so I am always happy when May Day rolls around. It gives me an extra bounce. I love May. My lily-of-the-valley is blooming which seems appropriate. The lilac my dad gave me six years ago finally bloomed this year. It came to me in a half-pint milk carton and I had to put a little fence around it so that LightHusband wouldn’t mow it; that’s how little it was. Now it’s a full blown bush with lots of blooms.

Here’s the riddle that led to a discussion: What’s red and invisible? (answer at the bottom)

So the discussion is … there’s no word for the action that happens when you have a mouthful of something, and you are presented with something very hilarious. It takes you by surprise and, bam, the stuff in your mouth comes shooting out your nose. Here’s what my friend AleFifer had to say about it:

Ya know there’s no term for that… for having a beverage or food come out of your nose. Well maybe there is a word for it but I’m unaware of it. There definitely should be something in the mainstream vocabulary for it though as people do this often.

Hmmm…. what to call it. Nostriling? Susie nostriled her coke all over her shirt when Steve told that joke. Nyah, gotta be something better than ‘nostril’. Inhale Exhale In Out. hmmm you sip a drink sip backwards is ‘pis’ Susie pissed her coke all over her shirt… nyah. drink backwards is knird can’t use that ’cause ‘knird’ sounds too much like ‘nerd’ and we don’t want folks to be labeled as a nerd when they squirt stuff out their nose while laughing. Okay squirt, I said squirt. some word like squirt, spew, spray, pour, irrigate, drip, dribble but with a nasal flair to it. Hmmm maybe a nasal ‘flare’ …i don’t know which flair/flare to use with nostrils do you? Ya know, when you try to make your face look like an aroused bunny? What?? You don’t do that. Nevermindthen… where was I? Oh yeah putting a nostrilly tone on a squirty word. Maybe don’t need to. Maybe thinking of other words that mean nose. Well let’s see there’s … nose, honker, …um … nose …yeah I said nose already but I’m just stuck. Ah…. a term just came to me. Something related to vomiting. “Nosechuck”. Susie nosechucked her coke all over her shirt when Steve… Yeah, that’s better but not perfect.

I’ll have my subconscious mind work on it today and if it comes up with anything decent I’ll keep you informed so you can assist me in adding this needed new term to our vocabulary.

Me? I kinda like the idea of nosehurling, which he turned into “nurling.” So … what about you? What do you think? What’s a good word for it? With the onset of computer jokes and reading funny things on the screen (where we all know we should not be drinking and/or eating, but we do anyway) spewing stuff out our noses has become the symbol for something really funny, but we need a word for that.

Speaking of funny here’s a YouTube video about the Miley Cyrus who-haw that is not to be missed (ht bob carlton). Apparently she (of Hannah Montana fame) posed for some suggestive photographs for Vanity Fair and now a lot of people have their knickers in a wad. Here’s a choice that people forget they have. If a magazine is publishing photographs you don’t like, um … don’t buy it. It’s simple. And easy.

Some of you will remember this, others will just look on in wonder … but here are the 1970’s in full glorious color. I remember. Do you?

Here’s an incredible font resource that I have spent entirely too much time at lately (thanks to Jonathan Brink), but it’s all free!!

Here’s a really cool dinosaur museum and I want to go. PeregrineMan … we’re comin’ your way.

Courtesy of Scriber Thom Stark is Revolution in JesusLand, a blog by a former leftist organizer turned Christian progressive. I wish I’d known about this when I found faith, it might have saved me a lot of pain and anger now. Ce va. These two posts in particular are not to be missed, they are the first two in a series on how to save the world … the right way this time. I like this guy. The Next Step For Christian Big Thinkers – Part 1 and intro/translation for non-Christians before I get to part 2.

This last (and I’ve saved the very best for last) is rapidly becoming part of my life canon … and more on that in another post … is a powerful set of readings? poems? devotionals? I don’t know what to call these. But they are powerful and it’s quite possible that you will find them embracing you as you read them and my everlasting thanks to Bobbie at Emerging Sideways for pointing them out. Abre la puerta! (Open the door!) by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

Riddle answer? No tomatoes …

Surprised By Grief
Apr 22nd, 2008 by Sonja

About a month ago, BlisteringSheep and BlazingEwe told us about a radio broadcast they’d listened to and I wanted to listen to it. It had been on NPR, so I knew how to find it. I did, and went through the necessary steps to download the podcast. Then I discovered that I can subscribe to their podcast. WOW! This means that I just open up my iTunes window regularly and, poof!, they download some new stuff. I am now discovering that this is also true at Allelon and other wonderful places as well. I am so far behind the curve that it’s a wonder I don’t still believe the world is flat. I know that is a place where I could find a lot of information and do some multi-tasking is by listening to podcasts.

U2 Special EditionHere’s my problem though. I don’t have an iPod. I live in a house filled with iPods, but I don’t have one. I used to have one. I loved my iPod. It was the original U2 Special Edition iPod that came out in late 2004. Shiny on the back with the boys autographs engraved on it. Matte black and red on the front. Sleek. Proud. Special. And it came with all of their music. And it was mine. For the first time in my whole life I didn’t have to share my music with anyone else, or cringe when I listened to the same song over and over and over again, or … well … anything really. It was mine. But because I’ve always shared my music, I shared this as well. Shared too well, apparently, because it disappeared. I think it stayed at my CLB2 that last day we were there. That’s the last time I remember having it, I’d used it for music that morning and given it to the sound guys. In the flurry of clean up at the end of the morning, I would often forget those details … but we were always set to return. We’d always see each other again, you know? But then … we didn’t. And likely never will.

I didn’t discover that my black beauty was missing for months. I was too sad, too angry, too hurt to listen to music for a very, very long time after we left. I still don’t listen to music very often. Now I listen to the LightChildren’s music, or LightHusband’s music. On the rare days I want to listen to music, so I find it on the dish … and listen to the radio on our television. But I want to listen to those podcasts while I’m sewing, or sorting, or whatever. So I claimed the one iPod that won’t fit into the car jack this morning. Told the kids, “I need this.” They really didn’t squawk too much. They are very good kids.

Then I sat here with my computer on my lap and the iTouch in my hand and cried.

It’s time to move on, and stop looking back. Stop wondering what might have been. Stop wishing for the love and the community that broke so badly. I understand some of the pieces of what happened. Some of them I will never understand. It’s time to let those go.

I was surprised by the grief that poured out at the thought of finally putting my old iPod to rest. It’s gone. Really gone. For some reason, and in an odd way, it’s come to symbolize putting those friendships and that part of my life to rest for good and all. I’ve known this for some time now, but I’m fumbling with the how.

An old friend stopped by about a month ago for a brief chat. As we caught up with all of our respective goings on, he asked LightHusband and I, “So have you made a lot of new friends with all the hockey parents?” and in my mind I came to a full stop. No one else noticed, of course. But the question washed over me like wave in November, numbing with cold and I froze. The answer that tumbled into a wreck behind my teeth was, “Well, no … I can’t make friends now. I have no earthly idea how to trust anyone. I don’t know when that will ever happen again.” Fortunately, LightHusband had a more socially acceptable answer and conversation continued on without my contribution. But I’ve been sitting with that ever since and watching myself walk around mistrustful, angry, broken, wary … of people. This is/was not my normal functional state. I am not comfortable like this. For 40+ years my automatic assumption was to trust others implicitly and that has been completely shattered.

I want my trust back. I want hope. While I grieve what did not happen and what can never happen in my former community, there is also a sense in which I am grieving the idea that it might never happen. Or that I will never be able to participate in it because I will be too afraid of the pain. I will have lost that sense of fearlessness which is a necessary component for entering into it.

So, I have yet to re-program that iTouch. It’s sitting next to me on the sofa. Shiny and black. It’s speaking to me of the possibilities inside. I also know that there are opportunities available on the web to purchase a replacement for my beloved U2 Special Edition iPod and I’ve found them. But it seems that there are a few paths I need to walk down first. When I’ve done that, then I’ll be ready to have my own iPod again.

Good Friday
Mar 21st, 2008 by Sonja


Good Friday, 1613.

Riding Westward

John Donne (1572-1631)

1Let mans Soule be a Spheare, and then, in this,
2 The intelligence that moves, devotion is,
3 And as the other Spheares, by being growne
4 Subject to forraigne motion, lose their owne,
5 And being by others hurried every day,
6 Scarce in a yeare their naturall forme obey:
7 Pleasure or businesse, so, our Soules admit
8 For their first mover, and are whirld by it.
9 Hence is’t, that I am carryed towards the West
10 This day, when my Soules forme bends toward the East.
11 There I should see a Sunne, by rising set,
12 And by that setting endlesse day beget;
13 But that Christ on this Crosse, did rise and fall,
14 Sinne had eternally benighted all.
15 Yet dare I’almost be glad, I do not see
16 That spectacle of too much weight for mee.
17 Who sees Gods face, that is selfe life, must dye;
18 What a death were it then to see God dye?
19 It made his owne Lieutenant Nature shrinke,
20 It made his footstoole crack, and the Sunne winke.
21 Could I behold those hands which span the Poles,
22 And tune all spheares at once peirc’d with those holes?
23 Could I behold that endlesse height which is
24 Zenith to us, and our Antipodes,
25 Humbled below us? or that blood which is
26 The seat of all our Soules, if not of his,
27 Made durt of dust, or that flesh which was worne
28 By God, for his apparell, rag’d, and torne?
29 If on these things I durst not looke, durst
30 Upon his miserable mother cast mine eye,
31 Who was Gods partner here, and furnish’d thus
32 Halfe of that Sacrifice, which ransom’d us?
33 Though these things, as I ride, be from mine eye,
34 They’are present yet unto my memory,
35 For that looks towards them; and thou look’st towards mee,
36 O Saviour, as thou hang’st upon the tree;
37 I turne my backe to thee, but to receive
38 Corrections, till thy mercies bid thee leave.
39 O thinke mee worth thine anger, punish mee,
40Burne off my rusts, and my deformity,
41 Restore thine Image, so much, by thy grace,
42 That thou may’st know mee, and I’ll turne my face.

Just What It Takes
Mar 19th, 2008 by Sonja

“Daddy,” LightGirl twinkled and spun, “do you have ….

… any money?”

The adults nearby sputtered in laughter. One looked at me and said “Daddy?!” I rolled my eyes … she knows how to twist her father around. But he can handle her. It reminded me of an experiment my mother and I did on my father a few years ago.

Not too many years ago either, LightGirl was alive, but I don’t think LightBoy had yet joined us. The first part that you have to know is that I barely remember a time that my father (the GrandPea) was not hard of hearing. However, he only very recently got hearing aids. This experiment happened before hearing aids. LightMom and I did this in a number of different settings and it was successful everytime. She would call his given name in increasing volume and he did not hear. She would even whistle and do some fairly loud things to get his attention. Nothing, no response. But if I would say, “Daddy” in a regular tone he always heard me right away. “Dad,” sometimes got him too.

That’s what it takes. That’s all it takes for my dad to turn and come out of his reverie. A simple “Daddy.” I haven’t lived at home in over 20 years, but his ear is still tuned for it. I’m a mother now myself, but he is still listening.

It occurred to me when I was retelling this story to my friends that when God, “Abba” or “Pappa,” or “Daddy,” He is tuning in to us in the same frequency. When S/He gave us permission to call Her by a familial title of love that was indeed the moment of adoption.

Do we have what it takes to use it?  It takes courage, familiarity, sass and desire to use a “small” name for God.  To pick Him out of the crowd of all the smaller gods we venerate everyday, lift Her up and worship only Him, by using a familiar title … Daddy.  S/He’s invited us to do this.  And is waiting with a listening ear.  The question now is, will we?

So Says He
Mar 15th, 2008 by Sonja

UPDATE – Saturday early afternoon … I had a voicemail from LightMom at around noon. It was crackly and hard to hear in the noise of the ice rink. But I think GrandPea is to be discharged today. He will go back for stress tests and further follow ups. But for now all is well. Apparently during the high drama yesterday a doctor asked him if he knew where he was and he replied, “Well, I know I’m not in heaven.” So, through it all his sense of humor was intact. Today he’s up walking around and reading his beloved NYTimes. So all must be right with the world. And LightGirl scored a goal in the game her team won this morning! As Scarlett O’Hara might say … Today IS a betta day.


Today saw some changes afoot in the LightFamily. We packed our bags and took it on the road.

I’m writing in a hotel right now. LightGirl is playing in a hockey tournament this weekend. She played as goalie in a game tonight. They lost. Pheh.

During our travel time (which took far too long due to rampant Washington DC traffic) the GrandPea was undergoing some rather routine surgery. Nothing terrible and none of us were too worried about it. He was mostly kinda wigged out about the spinal he had to have. I tried to tell him (having had one during labor) that it’s not so bad.

LightMom just called and said that well, the surgery is now small potatoes. GrandPea’s heart stopped in the recovery room and though they got it started again, they really don’t know why it did that. So even though The GrandPea doesn’t think it will do much good, would you please say a prayer for him and his doctors and even the LightMom. Pray for wisdom for the doctors and peace and comfort for my mom and dad.

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