Music, BOLO, Peace

Oh, the silly way your brain works. I see my buddy on a high way billboard and think BOLO… but her music is so grand, it’s a good idea to be on the lookout because you want to catch her if you can.

She’s a great singer songwriter. Funny, generous, hot. She’s also an incredible performer. She totally owned a couple songs that she covered. She’s spoiled me for others on those, really. Listened to a young woman approach one of those songs the other day. I make allowances for her age, really I do, some songs it takes a long time to master, let alone own… but I kept hearing EG and kept thinking, go home, learn it, and then come back and try again.

It’s fun to have people you love be really, really good at what they do. It’s fun to introduce others to her music and have them be bewitched as well.

And it’s a bit sad, as her music in my mind is linked to another singer songwriter, a woman who died of cancer a few years ago. They sang together, these two very different women and just had the best time. An extra large time as EG would say. And while Ann Rabson was dying, EG Kight was being very sick with meningitis and encephalitis. At first they didn’t know if she’d die and then she didn’t know if she’d ever pick up a guitar again. Or sing. Or write songs. Or tour. But she is doing all those things and just touching heart after heart.

So, EG Kight BOLO… because I have to say, there’s Peace in the fun of her, Peace in the art of her, Peace in the friendship. And Hope. That’s a pretty heady combination and a great way to spend the weekend. Giving thanks. Counting Blessings. Aren’t I a lucky girl.

But why trust this, give her a listen and you’ll get lucky too!


FaceBook: Unfriended in Real Life

Dear Bartender and Priestess,

I am a stay-at-home mom, who works from home too, and have generally considered myself friendly and able to maintain good friendships. I have a large group of mutual friends and we occasionally get together for celebrations or girls’ nights. But I have a pretty strong political streak, and I think that and Facebook are impacting my social life. Continue reading

13-Year Peace(s)

How bizarre that the only people in my life today who knew me when I was working in New York are my Swedish and American family. I have friends from my seminary days. And loads of friends from my California days. And then some very old friends but mostly new from my life back in Pennsylvania.

I’ve had a wonderful life, but it has, I think more segments than many people’s… Not everyone changes careers in midstream (taking a long time with a slide through another course of study to get where I belonged) and I’ve always known lots of folks. My friend the epidemiologist uses me as an example of people who know a lot of people with terminal diseases simply because I know so many people — and have been supportive. Great, another thing to put on my resume, I’m a statistical anomaly!

But I’m happy to know and love all these people. Happy to have known and loved these landscapes. Who doesn’t love NY? Who doesn’t love the Bay Area? And as many of us remark, the central Susquehanna Valley is paradise, except for those for whom it is not…

I seem to have dug in here. My husband’s happy playing here. I love my work, my friends, and my  life. My family has changed a lot in the last 13 years, a couple gains, a lot of losses. But still this seems like home. And so I stay and try to figure out what great fun can i get up to in the time ahead? 13 more years and I’ll be, gasp, 76… And hopefully still doing what I love to do!

We’ll see… In the meantime… I’ll keep looking through the lens of Peace and see what I need to get up to next.

Peace and Blessings, my friends, and may you love and be loved where you live.


Thinking. Peace. Sabbbath.

Here I am having a reading summer unlike any I’ve had since about 9th grade AND I’m visiting friends I first met after my four year career in reading (what else IS graduate school if not a reading career?).

Not only are these people with whom I once talked (worked) and considered late into the night, they’re people who know what I used to think about… who I was before I was a married UU minister. There’s a wonderful joy in knowing people who hold your history. Friendships!

And today I’m joining friends from my church in PA who just happen to live in the same town as our daughter’s family and doing what I so rarely do on vacation — going to church! They’re here 5 months and then at home 5 months and It’ll be wonderful to see where they are making their spiritual home when they’re not with us. It’s going to be a slow Sabbath with some good visits thrown in.

And the morning started out watching my grandson play with his legos… what a wonderful unexpected joy and fabulous side effect of marriage. Kids and grandkids— quite the jackpot, one I’m only slowly learning how to enjoy… never having expected it…

It’s a great period in my life. That said, I’m really looking forward to home and the weddings and the swimming that are the last stage of my summer. If I don’t look too closely, I feel like a 9 year old! There’s a sweet Peace in all of this!


Porches of Peace

I’ve written about screen porches, and I’m just as delighted by deep shady porches where you and your book can linger out of the sunlight — even if you have to keep on the move! (they’re particularly nice in regions where there are no mosquitoes.)

This one is covered in wisteria and the sun just wiggles its way through the leaves to cast beautiful moving patterns on the ground. It’s owned by my friends Julie and Bill and is located out in the wine country. It’s beautiful with deep comfortable chairs and a table to gather around.

It was fun at the same time to be reading a book by a friend… on Holy Identity. Life. It’s rich…

And at the same time it was all lovely breezes for me, I’m in the middle of a sere and worn landscape. Climate change: we must do something. And the whole region is planted in one crop… wine. what will happen when the soil fails. What will happen when we keep failing our Mother the Earth?

Peace. It must be of our making, whether it’s the creation of sweet porches or the hard work to curb human excess… Peace — in our hearts and then our hands.


Traveling Peace

This is the place in the summer where I celebrate how lucky I am — and not only because it’s swimming season!

I’m visiting friends and family all over CA. Friends from Sweden, friends from when I lived here, family from when I got married, friends from living back East. Sweet, satisfying visits (with lots of fresh vegetables and talk npr on the way from one house to the next!)

It’s sort of like heaven. All these people are people I love. Many are people I think with. and some, like EG are just bonuses. what a delight. and what a blessing! Thinking. Reading. Loving. yes!  Lucky, lucky me.

But oooh, the traffic. Gotta love rural central PA.

But meanwhile. I’m having fun. How about you?

Love brings a lot of Peace, in so many ways!

I hope it brings you some. Start Loving! Start Peacing! Yahoo!


Blues Chords and Peace over Sacramento

How odd… the woman who’d written to me a couple weeks ago saying, it sure would be nice to see you, then posted: I’m playing in Sacramento. There I was sitting in San Diego at that time, knowing I would be less than a hundred miles away on that day.

So here I am sitting in my hotel room after the concert laughing at how things work out.

I love EG’s music and I adore her. And it was fun to watch a whole new bunch of folk fall in love with the Georgia Songbird under the rising Full Moon. Such a beautiful, beautiful evening.

There she was with a band she’d never heard of just killing her songs! It was great. A few simple blues chords and some fascinating lyrics and the music poured out of those players. That’s the thing about music. It starts with something simple and becomes something magical.

That’s the thing about Peace. It starts with something simple, and, in the hands of the deep-hearted, becomes something magical. Players, giving Peace a chance.

And tomorrow I get to have breakfast with my college buddy. It’s a small world. And I like it like that! And after that? Grandchildren! (and their fabulous parents!) Peace? of a noisy, laughing kind!



Reunited in Peace

It was such a sweet weekend. Nice conversations with people I knew growing up. Some I knew pretty well. Some not well at all. But all of whom I was glad to meet again.

I’ve lived a lot of places and my work has always put me in contact with loads of people. So I think my brain just makes space for what’s going on right here right now. But finally I’m back where I mostly started, the reunion came up and off I went.

I saw people I learned to know in Kindergarten. 3 of them. Girls I hung out with from Junior HIgh. Boys I almost dated. A bunch of people I didn’t know well at all. But you know what? All of them are now lovely people. And we all had a lot to talk about. High School may not have been the best years of my life (eyeroll) but we were young and foolish — and now we’re kinder. It was nice to make some memories to pull up over some of the discomforts of the past. There was a lot of laughter and there’s a lot to be said for kindness.

Peace is where you find it, where you make it. Even if it’s 45 years later.

And speaking of making, I need to go make salad for my community’s yard sale tomorrow. (I’m writing this Sunday night so tomorrow when i leap out of bed at 6 am, i can post this, grab the salad and go. I fail to find the fascination with yardsaling at 8 am… but i’m gonna be there! I live to serve… cough, cough, cough)


Floating Harbingers of Pink Moon Peace

It must be the change in light that nudges the birds into wakefulness… or maybe it’s the absence of a certain kind of food that alerts them. Pssst. get going. Time to be on the move.

Whatever it is, it causes great swathes of them to rise up and return to their summer homes far up North. I believe that I’ve heard, but could find no corroboration this morning, that these gulls are headed to the Great Lakes. The swans and the snow geese have their own destinations.

But yesterday, they’d reached a cornfield along their journey where they could roost and rest and a stretch of the river where they could calmly, time and again, rise and fall and simply float down the stream.

I promised myself, watching, that this summer when the water and the air warms, that I would do the human version of this. I would gather my friends together and we would put our innertubes in the water and float merrily down the stream. The gulls remind me of the importance of quiet communion on the water. Fun and Friendship.

Thanks, river gulls for this glimpse of Peace. The Pink Moon brings so many wonders… Do you think the gulls whisper of the sweet memories made on Sundays on the Susquehana? Delight ahead!  Let us all remember!


First Addition to the Village: Daycare

One of the first challenges in taking custody of a 4-year-old was in finding daycare. Lots of folks were quick to offer up recommendations – church and other private daycare programs that seemed ideal on the surface but that had stringent behavioral criteria for the children they cared for. Rules like “no biting”, “no bad language”, “no hitting” were amongst the offenses that could result in being asked to leave the program.   While I might have previously agreed that these offenses in a preschooler were suspension worthy, now that I had my own child who came preprogrammed with these as his default settings, I couldn’t take the gamble that he wouldn’t express his true colors all day long.

So then who in the community do we turn to that will provide daycare to our less than perfect young ones?  It didn’t seem that it was going to be the places that took care of our neighbor’s or colleague’s kids! Luckily, we found out that there are some AMAZING caregivers in publically funded Child Development Centers and Headstart programs providing nurturance, guidance, positive behavioral support and care to kids! I also don’t think that I could have found a more saavy and seasoned behavior manager who also managed to love our son at his most unlovable moments than I found in our beloved “Miss Danielle”.   We talked a lot with Miss Danielle over the year – trying to figure out what set off tantrums, how to soothe anger, how to build friendships, what rewards motivated good behavior – and when it was time to graduate from preschool, Miss Danielle had tears in her eyes as she presented our son with a signed book about a Little Engine that Could.

Sometimes members of our village aren’t where we expect them to be. Miss Danielle was not in the cushy private daycare that caters to the kids of professionals and receives fabulous ratings on all measures.   But boy were our preschool days better because of her presence with us! Where are you looking for your village? Who do you really want in your community? Are you stuck because the box in which you search is too limiting?   Perhaps it’s time to expand or abandon your box. Who knows, maybe your “Miss Danielle” is just on the outside of yours too…