It’s the Solstice! Celebrate the Peace!

We did our celebrations family style. We gathered at my brother and sister-in-law’s cabin, which is on a mountain north of Williamsport. His daughter Sarrah was home from New Orleans for a summer visit with her boys. There we were, my whole family, minus Sarrah’s husband, gathered. It was achingly sweet, and yet, my heart couldn’t help but notice that there were as many missing as there were present. The years give and the years take away.

But there was the mountain beauty, a pond full of fish to feed (a live pond, Tom reminded us), a warm day with a cool breeze (June!), Tom’s stromboli, and a whole bunch of strawberry shortcake (June!). There were great conversations with my brother about the life we sorta shared growing up (I was three years behind him) and lots of reminiscing about life that had already flowed over the dam.

It was a pearl of a day to add to the string of beauties I already hold of June days with my family. I’m a very lucky woman, I know that. Yesterday was a perfect celebration of the summer solstice. Hurrah! Peace and Love be with you all!

Terri was the one eating the roasted corn, starting her summer off with her own yum!


Partisan Politics at Home

Dear Bartender and Priestess,

I am a second-semester sophomore at college. To save money and make life easier for my parents, I am attending the college in our town and living at home. It’s been a lot of fun and with one exception has worked very well.

My parents are Democrats. Continue reading

Quiet, Grateful Peace

Second Day Christmas is a lovely day in my world. On the second day of many holidays, Steve and I make our way to his brother’s house by the river and celebrate with his family in a lovely and low key celebration. After all the excitement of presents and crowds, there is quite love and a twinkling tree and leftovers watching the river go by and the eagles sail.

Today only deepens the gratitude. Christmas is hard for me because I’ve lost so many in the family… and yet here is this part of my family, faithful and present.

And that fills my heart! And strengthens me for the journey.

I wish you a lovely day filled with Love and Peace. Twelve of them, since that’s how long we’re to celebrate! And if we can do it for twelve days, maybe we can keep going!


Whose Wedding Is It, Anyways?

Dear Bartender and Priestess,

Please help me try and talk some sense into my son. He is 30 and recently got engaged to a wonderful young woman, who is 31. I want to make it clear that we are thrilled that she’s going to be a member of our family and welcome her with open arms. She’s a young professional, works as a buyer for a retail company, and has a good head on her shoulders. My son launched a landscaping business a few years ago and he works hard, so he’s had success building his business. Of course, they’re busy planning their wedding, spending their free time looking at catering halls and event menus. I keep trying to tell them they don’t need to do anything big. Honestly, I think they should just elope. Continue reading

Two Lands, One Heart, No Peace

It’s just the saddest story. A country that just cut itself in half. Closed down its borders. Never left a moment for people to come together with their families.

Love stories that continued. Love stories that ended. Children that never saw their parents.

Life decided by politics and who knows what else rather than by connection. Life that people continue to tightly control.

I confess I’d never thought about what that line in a country might mean. Well, maybe politically, but never in the sense of broken hearts and lives.

Such sadness. Such a longing for Peace thwarted by needs for power. I feel helpless — but I can tell the story and weave connections so that this cannot be ever again anywhere else. I can try.


Tiny House, Big Problem

Dear Bartender and Priestess,

I think I am in over my head and I am not sure what to do.  I have been married for 8 years and have two children, ages 6 and 2.  My husband and I have always been environmentally and socially conscious, and recently decided to try “simple living”.  Against the cautions of some of our family members, we decided to downsize from a 2500 sq ft suburban home to a 650 sq ft “tiny house” that we had custom built for our family. Continue reading

Boyfriend vs Woman-Brain

Dear Bartender and Priestess,

My sister (who is 27) and her boyfriend (25) have been together for a little over six years now. They enjoy the same things, share a lot of the same views, and enjoy each other’s company. They have one major issue, though, that threatens their relationship. To sum him up, he is a chauvinist, and his attitude has caused an emotional block between them. Continue reading

My Father Won’t Attend My Wedding

Dear Bartender and Priestess,

I am a successful, generally happy gay man. In a matter of a few weeks, I am going to marry the man of my dreams. My boyfriend and I have been together, lived together, for 10 years. Eventually we’re going to throw a huge party for all our friends and extended families, but we decided we want to keep our wedding day small. Immediate families, extremely close friends.

Unfortunately, my father has declared that he’s not coming to my wedding. Continue reading