Mended Vessels


snake oil cure
How gullible can I be? Seems like I’m willing to try all kinds of remedies to lose weight, look younger, or get rid of brown spots, skin tags, and spiders. Can you relate? Apple cider vinegar will help me lose weight? Tried it. (Nope, didn’t work. Maybe because I kept […]

Gullible’s Trials: Weird Remedies


fireman responds to alarm
The fire alarm woke me just before midnight. I was staying on the second floor of a hotel in Georgia. There’d been a false alarm during the day a few days earlier, but it shut off after a minute or two. I peeked out in the hallway and saw people […]

Don’t Ignore the Alarm



what to say
Ever worry about what you’re going to say in a crucial moment? I sure do. I’m heading to a writer’s conference this week, with some anxiety about being effective when I pitch my story idea to agents and editors. But there are other times I feel inadequate about expressing my […]

What to Do When You’re Speechless


Like hundreds of thousands of others, we spent much of the weekend waiting for and watching the progress of Hurricane Irma. We’re safe in Iowa, but we have many friends in Fort Myers and other parts of Florida, and we’re concerned about our winter home there. I think the waiting may […]

Waiting for Irma



Eclipse crowds
Are you one of the millions of people in the path of totality for the eclipse today? Is there a crowd where you were, or did you watch it with just a few people? In my hometown of Hopkinsville, Kentucky–one of the sites with the longest duration of totality–some hundred thousand […]

One of the Crowd


Samoyed by water
The dog went on an adventure the other night and wound up in the lake. Our son’s family was visiting for the weekend, the stars were out, and meteor showers were predicted. We live a couple miles outside town with few lights around us, so the night sky view is […]

Jumping into the Dark



"But I don't want to"
This weekend we took care of two grandchildren without their parents. It’s not the first time, but it was the first time we’d had the three-year-old granddaughter along with her older brother. Her favorite two phrases seemed to be, “I want” and “I don’t want.” Whether it was food or candy, […]

‘But I Don’t Want To’


Riding
A town on wheels, moving across the state of Iowa and stopping in a different location every night for a week. It’s called RAGBRAI (Register Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa), sponsored by the Des Moines Register, and my husband is participating this year for the second time. An estimated […]

Rolling Along-Until the Bumps Come



Freedom
As Americans, we take our freedom for granted. Independence Day, the 4th of July, is one day when we can remember the hard-fought Revolutionary War that eventually won that independence from Britain. But now, nearly two and a half centuries later, the holiday is more about cookouts, boating, and fireworks. […]

Forever Free


Nothing ever occurs to God.
“Has it ever occurred to you that nothing ever occurs to God?” Our pastor threw out that little nugget as a side comment in a sermon on faith, and it stuck with me. There are no surprises for God. He’s not sitting around thinking, and then gets a brainstorm: “Hey, […]

No Surprises