Encounters in Elevators, & a Book Launch Surprise!

“As-salamu allaikum” (Peace to you), I greet them, the young veiled woman with quiet smile and her male companion, a man in his early thirties with a circular Muslim prayer cap on his head. We’re stepping into the same elevator in this hospital in the Fairview-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis. “How did you learn that greeting?”…

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Of Turning Fifty, & Funerals, & Flowers

Today is my birthday (April 22), and I’m 50 years old. How weird to be 50 years old, half of a hundred. I had wondered how I would feel hitting fifty, wondered if I would feel old, wistful, regretful; wondering if I would feel sad or worried about time passing so quickly and some of…

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As I Think About You on an Icy Day

A husky dog peeks out the neighbor’s window, his ears alert and high in wonder at the snow. Red maple leaf buds rock in icy wind, while a cloud of snow-dust blows heavy from off my roof, sweeping down. Evening school and church events pile up email cancellations, and car spin-outs light up the digital…

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Global Fusions of Hope and Joy Amidst Anguished Headline News

Silver grey frosts bare branches. Two maples and an unknown tree stand motionless in my backyard. Across two yards, a neighbor’s window lights up from the flashing wall television in their background. Trees, distance, and angles between us obscure any identifiable picture, and the story flashes on in pieces. I sip coffee, wax philosophic, and…

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Mistaken Marbles & A Step into Eternity

“It’s fun to be some place where there’s so much art,” he says smiling, as we explore an island in Minneapolis. We climb up underneath a giant highway bridge, hearing the cars roar overhead. Later I snap photos of him down by the river, across from the gleaming blue glass skyline and mirrored river water.…

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Of Flour Dough and Romance

I measure handfuls of flour, the silky white dust slipping under my fingernails and coating my inner fingers. Radhika taught me this, how to make home-made Indian roti bread. I count handfuls of flour, “five, six,” and then pause to wonder how much bread Mark and I will eat for lunch with our chicken schwarmas.…

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He Doesn’t Know I Am Watching

I saw him again this week. I hadn’t seen him for a few months and suddenly there he was. He didn’t see me. He doesn’t even know me, and yet he has made an impact on me. But, before him… before seeing this gentleman… there was a wedding venue. She arrives glowing, shoulder-length dark hair…

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In the Garden of Gethsemane in Israel: An Easter Glimpse

  “The Greeks have butchered my language,” he grins. Ophir is our Jewish tour guide in Israel. We’re standing in an enclosed garden with olive trees and flowers, our group of twenty-three people and Ophir. “Gethsemane should be gat shemanim, place of oil, oil presses,” Ophir said.  “Jesus and his disciples would have been praying…

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Israel-Bound!

“Your shekels are in,” she said, this short-blonde-haired bank teller who shares my name. My heart jumped. Shiny green and yellow paper currency sparkles now in the sunlight on my kitchen table. Silver threads and imprints refract light. We are heading to Israel. My husband and I are joining a group from our church and…

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