Bath Time

Mothers have been bathing their children since….

Well, since Eve gave birth to Cain? Not that those first bath times were recorded. But can you imagine it. A large leaf dipped in a quiet pool at the edge of the stream for a washcloth. A firm hold on the reluctant child. “Hold still son. This will only take a minute.”

“How long’s a minute?”

Some questions stay the same from generation to generation.

As do the actions of washing and rinsing. Cleansing. Starting fresh for a new day, week, or month.

Frozen in metal the below is one modern representation of a previous culture performing an ancient act. Only the tools change with time.

One final rinse.

One final rinse.

Boxed – In or Out

The second letter of our living alphabet features Boxwood for the letter B.

Not hedging this Boxwood

Not hedging this Boxwood

The first thought that comes to my mind at the mention of boxwood is a formal hedge, perhaps in a maze. We need to be more generous with our opinions of this evergreen shrub.

First: It’s a large family. My favorites are the traditional green. Other varieties are red or golden leaf. Preferred sunshine amount varies also but in general they like a sunny area or moderate shade.

The grouping above is in need of a trim. They first arrived at this location as tiny tots, perhaps a foot high. Once their roots got comfortable they reached for the windowsill.  A large dose of mulch three years ago gave them a boost.

They are spaced far enough apart to allow other plantings — daffodils, lilies, and annuals for seasonal splashes of color and interest. They also make a nice backdrop for Christmas lights. And after a snow — well, it’s April, I don’t want to see them all trimmed in white again for months. Enough to say they make a pretty picture or memory year round.


Holiday Prep

Are you ready? Do you have a fresh red shirt? A new cap?

You’ve got until Monday to get ready for St. Louis’ unofficial holiday.

Confused? This is a movable celebration in early April. No — not Easter.

Home opening of Baseball!

It may be a religion to some.  Prayers will be offered by many. For good weather. Home runs. Double plays. Winning score. But in general it’s a secular holiday.

It does not matter if you don’t have tickets. After all, Busch Stadium has an occupancy limit. And some employers insist you continue doing your day job. Never mind — tune the radio and catch the score at break time — or pull up coverage on the computer and let it run in the background for a quick check now and then.

Today Baseball Tomorrow Summer?

Today Baseball
Tomorrow Summer?

April and Alphabet

Several of the regulars who appear on my Facebook feed are participating in an A to Z challenge this month. They are taking the 30 days of April, omitting the Sundays, and blogging on a topic beginning with a different letter of the alphabet each day.

I’m not a daily blog person. But the idea intrigued me. So here’s the plan.

Each Tuesday, in alphabetical order, I’ll be posting about a living thing. If I counted right, this will continue until the end of September. Are you ready?

A is for Azalea

A is for Azalea

The optimist in me is looking forward to this year’s tiny, tight buds, growing as well as these did on my patio a few years ago. No pessimists allowed in the garden.

Did you know? Azalea leaves and nectar are toxic. Avoid honey made from azalea nectar. Authors: are you in need of a clever way to deliver a death threat in a story? Gift the future victim with a bouquet of azalea blossoms in a black vase.



No, I’m not a Boy Scout. I do believe their tag line, “Be Prepared” is good advice.

I’m a list maker. I think it’s genetic. One son, one niece, and one nephew show the same trait.

A list is one, often the first step, whether it’s written and committed to memory. (As I age, written is showing many advantages.) To actually count as being prepared, however, a person needs to go further than making a list. Following it would be good. Like working through a recipe or a standard operating procedure.

In the photo below, you see some of the results of list making. Everything pictured, including the table, cover, and chair made it on my list of things to have at a local craft show. A bag of misc pins, tape, and pens even proved to be useful to others. And you’ll note my morning dose of caffeine stashed behind the display.

Prepared to meet the public.

Prepared to meet the public.

Somber Season

Dark before Dawn.

Sorrow preceding Celebration.

Trial before Triumph.

Christian churches are exploring and remembering this entire emotional range this week. Palm Sunday (two days ago) was celebrated with joyful songs, waving of palm branches, and readings of Jesus welcomed to Jerusalem by an adoring crowd. Today Lent continues. Defined as: a 40 day period of penitence and fasting from Ash Wednesday to Easter observed by many Christian churches.

Lent is a time of introspection. Repentance. A customary time to shed a bad habit — or develop a good one. Purple reminds the faithful that this is a somber season. On Good Friday the color deepens to black.

Reminder to reflect on our actions and motives.

Reminder to reflect on our actions and motives.

Do not despair. Sunrise Sunday white will replace black and joy overpower sadness.

Room without a View

They’ve changed things again. I stood in the hotel hall and turned my key card over and over, looking for an arrow. It wasn’t there. Instead of “put the card in the slot” it was “wave card over sensor”

Inside all was as expected. Clean bathroom, more spacious than the one at home.  Beds with enough pillows to build a fort. Large TV. Desk with outlets for electronics and gadgets. Ice bucket. COFFEE MAKER! There was even an upholstered chair in front of a lamp.

Feeling curious I opened the drapes. And then closed them. It’s a good thing I didn’t expect a view or the time to meditate on it.

Non-scenic view.

Non-scenic view.

All of the wager prone people can create odds I’ll live until the date on the photo. It flips to the future without warning.


Retail Religion?

Toothpaste. Towels. Toys.

A dozen years ago, all of the above could have been purchased in this “big box” store. Then the corporation built a larger box a few miles away.

What do you do with a roomy, one story building adjacent to a large parking lot?

You could open a restaurant? Or a roller rink. (Oops. They aren’t the rage this decade.)  What about a church?

But…but…aren’t they rectangles with steep roofs? Perhaps a bell tower or an education wing glued to one side.

Think outside the box (or maybe inside). Move interior walls. Hire a plumber. Add, subtract, and modify windows and doors. Move in a pre-school. Create a fitness center for the community. Add classes, discussion groups, meeting rooms, and music lesson areas. Top off the week with worship services.

Ample parking. Handicapped accessible. The building has gone from brooms to Bibles.

A new look for the 21st Century

A new look for the 21st Century

Still Water

I’m not a sheep herder — but I’ve heard these animals prefer to drink from still, rather than moving water. It seems logical. I imagine running water tickling their lips, distracting them as they dip their mouths below the surface.

Still water. Calm water.

It’s a view that unwinds interior tension. A bench or flat rock beside a pond does as much to lower blood pressure and calm the spirit as pills from a bottle.

Still water. Calm water. Frozen water.

Spring happens. Conditions change. The scene may not be the same today as it was the day of my visit. A few more warm, Midwest, spring days and solid will turn to liquid. Another week or two and ponds will reflect wind activity with ripples and wavelets. Geese will swim instead of walk from shore to shore. A different sort of visual and spiritual therapy will occur while viewing.

I’ll take one last look at the smooth, calm, iced pond in 2015.


Still. Calm. Cold.

Still. Calm. Cold.


Chalet Chapel

“In a chapel, in the wood…”

No, no, no. That should be cabin if it’s the silly song I learned in 4-H. (A bouncy ballad that ends badly for a rabbit.)

This building on a wooded lot is adjacent to a busy street and about half a mile from my home. I’ll bet some people in New England wished for this roof line in recent months. Snow, rain, and all the other moist objects from the sky slide right down to the ground. Leaves too. The salesman for the non-clog gutters will not see potential in this building.

Roofs of this shape serve a purpose during worship also. Sounds of prayer and praise rise up. Worshipers naturally raise their eyes to the high interior of the peak. God is in His heaven. Let us give thanks.

Beauty in a Simple Form

Beauty in a Simple Form