Archive for December, 2011

What Did I Learn In 2011

What did I learn in 2011?

I had to think about it a bit, but when it all started rolling in, I realized it was an AWESOME year.

  • I’ve learned first-hand about the desert’s beauty as well as its harshness. There are the cute little wallabies preyed on by the savage dingoes. Giant, age-old trees destroyed by fires that burn out of control. There are colorful, clear sunrises and mystic sunsets obliterated by swirling dust storms. Regardless of the unrelenting heat and arid soil there is foliage covered with brilliant red blossoms growing wild. Underlying it all is a feeling of timelessness, like it was this way thousands of years ago, and will be the same a thousand years hence.
  • I’ve learned more about the people in this town Alice Springs. And I’ve learned that ‘good-old-boy’ system thrives everywhere. Continue reading


I’ve been thinking this week a lot about angels. There are several questions I have, but mostly, I’m very thankful for them.

I’m thankful for their protection and wisdom. I used to work in a little canteen, late at night. Quite often, I was the last one to leave the premises. I always had the cash drawer and drove an open jeep. Not the most secure set up. One of the last nights I was there, one of the volunteers asked if I wanted him to stay till I was ready to go. I told him to go ahead and leave; that my guardian angel would take care of me. He looked at me strangely and remarked, “But they’re not going to fight off the creep that sneaks up on you.” Without thinking twice, I replied, “This one will, he’s my son.” I got another strange look, but he just nodded and promptly left. I thought about it while cleaning up and realized those words came out because that is what I truly believe and I wondered how many times my angel has come to my rescue. I also realized I truly was not afraid.

An angel is usually thought to be light, airy, and beautiful. But sometimes when I see a beggar I wonder if he, or she, is really an angel in disguise, searching for kindred souls.  Archbishop, Desmond Tutu, once said “Angels, like parables and fine poetry, speak in many layers of meaning and mystery, trying to express the inexpressible. If we ignore them, our lives are the poorer.” Are they our window into the world beyond the veil? When we listen to the true music of our souls are we really listening to angels? Are the songs we hear their guidance? I’m sure their touch is often very subtle and unobtrusive, and if we’re not fully aware we will miss it.

Photo of my Angel

My Guardian Angel

I would love to hear about your experience with the essence of an angel?

The Missing Piece

Families are so fragile. They are like jigsaw puzzles. They need to be handled with care, or they fall apart. The members of a family are like the pieces of a puzzle, and if the puzzle is shifted too radically, too quickly, pieces (members) drop out and possibly get lost. They may be lost forever, or they may be found and fit back into the picture.  When a long-lost piece to a puzzle is found, it is fit back in with gladness and there is a sense of completeness. Families are like this. But so often, a family puzzle has many missing pieces and the whole becomes shaky and unstable.

Sometimes there is a piece that stands out because it has been mistreated and has faded, or may be missing some of its color. But as long as it fits into the space, it is put back. Just like a member of a family. Someone may be jaded or hurting, but they are welcomed and loved anyway.

Like pieces of a puzzle, members of a family who go away cannot be replaced. The empty space they leave is surrounded with hope and longing, but remains empty until they return. In a family, when someone we love disappears, we may try to patch things up and continue on, but nothing is the same. That gaping hole is always there and the family is never the same.

……I sip my wine and nibble my chocolate and realize my family is like this….

Five years ago our family’s puzzle was swept off the table, onto the floor. Each one of us broke into pieces. Each piece has been carefully looked for and put back in place. It required a tremendous effort, a lot of heartache and a lot of soul searching. But one piece had been drastically changed. At first, we thought we’d never find it again. Then bit by bit we realized it was right there all the time, but had changed so much we didn’t recognize it. As we dreamed of it and whispered lovingly to it, it grew greater and we recognized our beloved  Benjie.

He has changed so much. He has grown into more than we could ever imagine. He has become our inspiration. He has replaced our fear with faith. He is our very own beacon of light and it is amazing how he enters our thoughts and dreams and we are stronger as a result.

…..My wine glass is empty and the sun has set…..


Another short excerpt below, from my book, Three Sisters Exclusive.

With our hands on the door handles, Lxxx and I look at each other. I am sure her brash grin reflects mine, as we each take a deep breath and step out of the car. We peek around the garage to see if Mom is at the kitchen window. The sink is right below it. Anyone standing at the sink has a clear view of the backyard. But the window is empty. Hopefully, it will stay empty while we make our way across the lawn to the back door.

My heart is pumping like a trip-hammer as Lxxx quietly turns the doorknob. We know we can’t get it totally open without making any noise, but we move fast so we’re both completely inside and the door shut, just in case they try to stop us from coming inside. We make it and are standing there grinning like idiots when Mom rushes into the kitchen.

“Oh… girls!” She exclaims, “Dxxx, it’s the girls!”

She falters a bit, but then gives a little “humph” and flings an arm around each of us. Lxxx and I throw both our arms around her and we’re all three immobilized by how good it feels to be so close to each other again. I realize how much I’ve missed the feel of her hair against my cheek, the understanding in her eyes, and her fragrance; a mixture of the garden, her Avon lotion, and detergent.

We’re misty-eyed as we pull back from each other. I look up and see Dad standing in the doorway. His face has more lines than I remember. His smile is slow. He doesn’t say anything, but his eyes are watering too, and he engulfs first me, then Lxxx in his big papa-bear hug. Continue reading

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