Saturday, November 8, 2014

Changing times call for changing blogs!

It has happened. I am moving to

As you can tell, this blog look somewhat dated, and it is. I have not updated since it was born, many years ago.  I must admit, I did not do all the  fancy footwork for the new one. My firstborn grandson Jesse Logsdon, a computer engineer, did it for me, and I do hope you find it easy to make the move with me.

Please browse around, and if you have any requests for more info anywhere, or any suggestions for what I could do to make it more useful for you, please let me know.  I have lots of things I will be adding, but you do have to start somewhere. 

God is so good to allow me to continue ministering, even if it is from my desk.

Hope to hear from you soon.    
Here's a photo from Jesse and Kate's wedding last summer:

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sex and alcohol, is that all our soldiers have at the end of the day?

Did you ever get surprised by a book?  Well, surprised in a way that you didn’t anticipate? Veterans’ Day is around the corner, and my grandson is in the Army right now, so when I saw this book, Soldier Girls, The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War by Helen Thorp, I felt like it was a must read.  Today women march alongside men in the military, and I thought I might get a better look at some of the things my grandson might be experiencing ,and this book opened my eyes to a reality I could only imagine.
You must understand that this book is in no way a Christian book or about Christians. It is about real life in and after military service today.  When I was teaching counseling, I encouraged my students to try to look at life through the eyes of their counselee rather than their own experience.  Many times the person we are working with has a completely different story from our own, and we can better help them if we make some efforts to understand their stories and what got them where they are.  So, if we are to minister to our military, a forgotten mission field I think, it is helpful to know something about their circumstances.

One thing that struck me as I read this book was how these soldiers coped with being so far from home and so close to death. It appears that sex and alcohol were the most frequently resorted to coping mechanisms .  Furthermore, the immediacy of war and the isolation from family and most important, the absence of any real reason to behave otherwise make for drinking parties as the norm at the end of the day and the end of the week, even the end of the mission.  And loneliness became an excuse to ‘hook-up,’ even for married soldiers.
Young British soldiers at warSo why am I telling you this? Because we can do something about it! First we must put feet to our prayers.  I am assuming you pray for your soldiers, probably mostly for their protection from the enemy, forgetting there is more than one enemy facing them.  We must communicate with them, and once we have an address, we have a way to do that.  So here is an address for injured soldiers here in the States.  It is a place to begin.

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue
NW Washington, DC 20307-5001

 You can send Christmas or Thanksgiving or any kind of card to that address, and the local command will see that it gets to the right soldier in the hospital.  BUT, write in the card.  Tell them a bit about yourself and ask them about their story. Even, enclose a stamped envelope with a blank piece of paper to facilitate a relationship. DON’T just enclose a tract.  If you are going to send them one, write a note about how it might be of help to them.

If we want these men and women to live differently, we have to give them a reason. We must introduce them to the God who loves them, the one who is the author of hope. Tell them about the one who knows all about suffering and who can relate to them.  And Jesus didn’t do anything to deserve the cross; he took it upon himself for our good, just as they became soldiers to protect our freedoms. Pray over the card or letter and think about what the recipient might be feeling, about what might help you, and make a difference.  Sometimes God brings a ministry right to us, and maybe this one might be right for you…or pass it along.  Maybe you know a shut-in who needs a reason to wake up every day, who needs a purpose, a way to serve, and this might be it.

PS, I have been really sick with severe bronchitis, so that’s why this is late, but I saw the doc again yesterday and am on some good meds, so I hope to get back at my regular routine. 
Picture borrowed from

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Key to good....

The key to good anything is so cheap.  Funny how we plan and program and read and study how to do anything or go any place, how we pay good money for how-to books and watch films hoping to pick up what we need to make it good, when what we really need to do is listen.

I remember back in the day, nearly fifty years ago, when I was first married, every week we would go to the post library (Jim was in the Army) and I would get a dozen books, on all sorts of topics, lots of how-to books and a few fiction ones to tide me over to the next week.  That was also before we could afford a TV though I did listen to the radio.  I read books on everything from marital adjustment …smiley face…to cooking to making cheap and cute Christmas decorations and gifts.  Since then I have accumulated shelves of books on prayer and spiritual growth and women’s ministry and a few fiction books to tide me over – we did get a television but there’s only so much you can watch.

But I learned the most about marital adjustment… smiley face... and cooking and making great gifts and decorations a much simpler way, by listening and by meditating on what I just heard or read even.
The theme of my Year Through the Bible this last week has been meditation, and I have been much more intentional about starting my quiet time with meditation…a cup of tea sometimes, but sitting quietly and thinking about God or listening, paying attention to what He might bring to my mind.  I don’t empty my mind of spiritual things, but I do try to lay aside the meal planning, chore list, even prayer list to just allow God to bring back to my mind the Scripture or study I read yesterday or anything that might deepen my relationship or awareness of His love.

I am in a Sister Study for sisters of women who have had cancer.  Periodically they send me (this is relevant) a pretty detailed questionnaire about my health.  A few days ago, God brought that to my mind during this quiet time, and I was so blessed as I rehearsed with God all the “No” answers that I got to mark – all the things that could have gone wrong with my body. It was an amazing time of praising God because I was still enough for Him to bring this to mind.
For me, meditation is like listening, paying attention to what God reminds me of, and I have to say here that sometimes other things come to mind, and I just write them down so I can think about them later.  This is my time with my God, and any good relationship, any growing relationship requires intentional listening, a paying attention to what the other person is saying, I fear that our relationship with God, or anyone else, can too easily devolve to our making assumptions about what might make them happy or honor them or please them, and we miss the boat completely.  So, we find ways of blaming them, or feeling a failure when all we really have to do is shut up, and listen, and think about them, think about God and pay attention to what his Spirit might bring to our mind in that quiet space.

Key image is from Pinterest

Monday, October 20, 2014

Did you ever find yourself in a bad place and wonder how you got there?

Did you ever find yourself in a bad place and wonder how you got there? By bad place, I mean a place that was bad for you; it could be a physical place or an emotional place.  Somehow, through a series of decisions, you had arrived there without even noticing what was happening on the way.  Maybe the steps were tiny, but you walked enough of those tiny steps to arrive at a bad place.
watching tv 300x198 TV stands vs.TV mountsA couple of things happened today to make me think about this personally.  First of all I saw an article questioning the reality of so many Christians watching things of an immoral nature.  I remember a day when we were watching TV with a group of people, and the subject material became a little questionable.  This was when we had teenagers at home.  We sat there with them, not wanting to be bad parents, but after the guests left, Jim unhooked the TV and put it into the basement.  We could not handle the pressure of dealing with all the choices – too much ungodliness on TV even then, and we did not want people to think we thought it was OK.  Too bad we didn’t have the courage to do it while the guests were there.  But you get my point.  Or points.  Peer pressure makes it difficult sometimes to make right choices.  And if our world thinks a certain TV show or movie is OK, even if we are troubled by it, wondering how watching it can be consistent with godliness, we do it anyway…little steps at a time.
Then in my reading through the Bible chronologically, I am taking an up close look at the life of David.  Today I read the passage in II Samuel 21 where David became exhausted in battle, and his men told him this, “Never again will you go out with us to battle, that the lamp of Israel will not be extinguished.” And it appeared that David allowed them to make this decision for him.  You know what happened later; he did not go to battle and got in trouble with Bathsheba. Sometimes, perhaps too often, we allow others to make decisions for us without thinking through the consequences of those decisions.
Today I have been reminded that it is so easy to rationalize our decision making, until we don’t give a lot of time thinking about what would honor God, what holiness would look like in this minute.  I see so many believers putting a two piece bathing suit on a toddler and the next year and the next until she wants a teeny bikini as a teenager, and those choices affect all of what she thinks is appropriate. A discussion of godliness doesn’t come near her appearance.  I’m not picking on girls now.  Just in general, it seems as though we, even as believers, think it is important to be seen as sexy, to be able to talk about the sexy TV shows, and I remember feeling this, too embarrassed to bring up the topic of holiness or godliness.  But I sit here behind my computer screen and today I can say these things.  And be concerned because of how true I believe they are.

Monday, October 13, 2014

I don’t like being scared. That’s the plain truth! But…

I know there are a lot of people that like scary movies and TV shows and scary gory books, but I don’t.  I’m not even fond of people who jump out from behind doors and yell “Boo!”  I think I have lived through enough  real, and what seemed real, scary events in my life that I just don’t get any good thrills out of being scared. Did you ever notice how many opportunities we have in life to be scared, or filled with anxiety, or even just nervous about the outcome of most anything unknown? 
I have been reading through The One Year Chronological Bible, and I admit I did not start until a couple of months ago, so I am still in March, but I have noticed a phrase that seems to pop up fairly frequently: Be strong and of good courage or some variation of it, like in Joshua 1:7 “Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you.” That’s followed up pretty quickly with v. 9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

I think they must have been facing some scary circumstances for God to want to encourage them this way, and to remind them that He was with them, so why on earth should they be scared. And this was not the only time that we find those words or similar ones.  Check out Joshua 10: 25, “And Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous. For thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.” Or I Chron. 28:20, “Then David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.”
We even find similar words in Hebrews 13:5 and 6, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

I guess maybe it is because you see Halloween everywhere right now, and invitations or announcements of scary parties or walks or rides, or maybe it was my introduction to steam punk writing through a very gory piece of writing from one of my students, or maybe it is the myth that I hear proclaimed in some branches of “christianity,” that if you get “right” with God, everything will fall into place and you will be ‘happy.’  Whatever, this I do know, living out your faith can take you to scary places, like war zones and doctors’ offices where the word cancer hangs in the air, or the bedsides of dying loved ones, or …well, you fill in your scary places.  We do all have them.

And that is where those phrases become so important, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” and “I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper.”  So, I am not going to any Halloween parties or on any scary rides, but when really scary things do come my way, and I know they will, I will remind myself that God knew I would face scary times and He set me up for it with these truths, that He will never leave me and that I don’t need any kind of liquid courage, if you know what I mean, I can walk with real courage because the bottom line is that God is my helper.

sign from

Monday, October 6, 2014

You don't have to believe it to make it true!

Have you ever had a moment, or longer, of doubt that God is who he said he was/is?  Have you ever wondered whether going to or being part of a church was worth it?  Since there are so many hypocrites, after all?  Have you ever found yourself struggling with doubt, because I think if we were honest, most of us have had times like that?

Did you know that God does not need you to believe in him and his Word to make it true? We can muddle along in life, doing whatever we want to, believing or not believing whatever we wish, and he will still be real and his Word true.  All that he said about loving us and sending Christ to pay our sin debt, it still happened, and all the rest of what he preserved for us in the Bible will still happen, whether we like it or not, whether we believe it or not.
Yes, we can find historical evidence to support that Jesus lived and that people at that time who believed his message were so convinced that they willingly died rather than betray their faith and their God. We can count and look at all the pieces of the earliest texts of the Bible going back millennia, but people who choose not to believe in the reality of a living and loving God dismiss the evidence, simply because they do not want to believe it…perhaps because of what it means if they do.

Funny how we would rather drop off a cliff into the unknown, embracing the fear and doubt that lies there, rather than accept the words of a loving God. Funny how we think that we can pick and choose from the smorgasbord of beliefs and philosophies, that one is as good as another.  Funny how we are tempted to function as if we are gods and we have that kind of power.
But we don’t! Oh, we can make those choices, but God is still who he says he was and is…someone who loves us and has provided for us and who wants us to live a life of love, joy, peace, understanding, and more. 

We live in an era where the popular thought is do and believe whatever makes you happy, and nobody else has the right to say that you’re wrong.  However, if I love you, I have a responsibility to point you to the truth, to remind you that God is still God who loves you and has written and preserved his truth for you, whether you believe it or not. And, if you do place your faith in the truth, that Jesus paid your sin debt, if you can think through that kind of love, you will want to love him back. You will want to know him better.  Real faith will drive you to his Word, to understanding it, to making attempts at showing him and others that you get it.
Real faith produces flawed people who continue to make mistakes, but who are on a journey toward God.  As they grow in their faith and understanding of what he wants for them, that they love him and love others, there will be life changes…not a conformation to some church policy or design, but a conformation to the image of God, the character that will sacrifice itself for the good of others. 

Kind of a rambling message today, but a few days ago I shared those words with a friend, “God does not need you to believe for it to be true,” and those words have been haunting me all week.  That’s the truth, and for some reason, I believe God wanted me to share those words once more, here.

Monday, September 29, 2014

When the sun doesn’t shine…

Yesterday was a glorious day…not just that it was Sunday, but the sun lit up the red and orange and yellow leaves glowing from within contrasting with the almost fluorescent green. In fact, at one point, I told my husband it almost looked like some of the trees were hand painted and decorated for fall.  And I guess they were, God painted and dressed for fall.
But today, well, today is warm, but the sunshine is nowhere to be found.  I  do know it is shining, but on the other side of the grey cloud cover, and though I know better, I confess to feeling kind of ‘sat on,’ wrapped in a grey muffler, the joy kind of melted into the wet grass.  Do you know what I mean?  I think most of us feel that way at one time or another, and we can cave into the misery, that place where our minds seem to enjoy wallowing in self-pity, working at thinking up things to feel sorry for ourselves over. Funny how as miserable as all that is, there is a perverseness about us that wants to stay there, being useless and helpless.

Or, we can own the truth that the sunshine and blue sky is just the other side of the cloud cover.  We can own the reality that God, Who loves us and has plans for our good and not evil, is right here, in the grey with us, his hand extended, inviting us into his Sonlight.  There in the presence of the love of God, we can finally see clearly.  We are loved!  We are equipped to do whatever God calls us to do!  He will never leave us nor forsake us.  He has sifted everything that comes into our lives, allowing only the challenges that we can, with His help, endure and better yet, overcome. 
Isn’t it kind of sad, the power we give to a cloud made up of tiny droplets of water, power to make us forget all that we have in Christ.  I confess, I sat here trying to escape this malaise, and it was only as I rehearsed truth that the door began to open. 

The bottom line: we can wallow or we can walk with the Savior.  It’s really our choice; can you see his hand extended toward you, pulling you through the shadow into the light.

photo from

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Love Can Get Messy

Last night the Trustees honored BBC employees for years of service, from five years to fifty.  Yes, for those who know BBC, Dr. Loescher has served there for fifty years.  And my Jim was honored for 25 years of ministry at BBC, both men motivated by a love first for God and then for students.

As I reflected on last night, it came to me how true these words I read in an article this morning were: “Love Can Get Messy.” We’d like to think that love is all good, filled with understanding, sharing, and kindness, but if you think that is all, you are in for a let-down.  Sometimes love is messy, and you have to do or say hard things, things people don’t want to hear or do.  However, if you really love someone, you will ask the hard questions and warn them of consequences of certain choices, knowing all the while that they may question your love.
The article I referred to is, How We Misunderstand ‘Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin’ written by Suzanne Munganga at  She says that “we often find it easier to ignore the sin altogether and confuse blind acceptance with genuine love.” And that’s where real love gets messy.

I worked with Dr. Loescher and then with Matt Pollock for a total of 20 years in Student Development. My husband and I have been in vocational ministry since 1975, so I can tell you that where we lived and worked, not just at BBC, but definitely at BBC, there was a lot of messy love, a lot of conversations with students where we had to say things they did not like, or ask questions that they did not like, but that we did so because we cared about them. I can tell you this, we did it even though we knew that conversation might bring pain to them and us – because they would confuse us with the message; we loved them enough to take the risk.
So I guess my challenge today is from something I learned a long time ago, care enough to take the risk. That doesn’t mean we are not responsible to think carefully about how we would have this conversation, about choosing the right place and the right words.  Munganga puts it this way, “Grace in this situation is also realizing that we are all sinful—no one person more sinful than the other—and in that, we should be coming from a place of love, rather than judgment or condescension.”  And we must understand that no matter how thoughtful we are and how loving we think we are, we will still risk rejection.  BUT, if our love for the people around us is more than words, we will want to take the risk.  It is evidence of real love!

We live in a world that is so filled with the message of acceptance, of not judging, that everyone has a right to do their thing, that our kids may easily come to believe that message, first that “to each, his own” is OK, then to believe that it is wrong to think otherwise.  This week a young woman went missing after a night of hard drinking.  I heard a discussion between newswomen that young women must know how to defend themselves against attackers, but what was missing was that she would not have been vulnerable had she not been engaged in a “night of hard drinking,” their words, not mine. Have people become so fearful of sounding judgmental that they cannot say the obvious, if she had not been drinking so heavily, she would not have been such an easy target.
I am not, in any way, saying she deserved what she got.  I am saying, we need to tell the truth, there is a flip side to “partying,” and we need to love our kids enough to tell them the truth, whether they want to hear it or not.

I don’t think it was a coincidence that I read that article, attended that dessert and heard that news piece in the last 24 hours, so there it is: Risk messy love for those God brings into your lives.  It’s better than wishing you had.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rare Bird, her son died!

It was a September hurricane that filled the ditches beside the sidewalk, and in the still warm rain the day after the worst, we splashed in the muddy water despite warnings not to take our shoes off.  It was the normal thing to do, and kids, still innocent of all the possibilities that dance around the edges of parental warnings are determined to get as close to danger as they can, not even recognizing it is danger.
Something like that happened to Jack Donaldson, twelve- year- old son of Anna.  It was something like that because no one ever knew exactly what happened, only that he was swept away in a rush of water during a late summer and windless but heavy rain storm.  A still warm day, five children play in the rain, only four of them coming home.  Sometime later Jack’s body is found in a culvert, and it would be cliché to say, and the nightmare began, but it is true.

The Donaldsons were the perfect family, the kind we dream about having when we are in the dreaming stage: one son, one daughter, father and mother in love, Christian school and church-going model family doing it all right.  And we wonder how a good God could snatch a sweet boy from his good family, but death does, and somehow that family has to find enough breath and faith to live all the days that follow.
Anna documents the journey honestly, using the kind of language only grief permits, and all the words and stages that you have read about in textbooks come alive as you watch her and her family try to come to terms with the horror visited on them.

Listen to Anna as she tells you that “Grief is my work right now, and I’m afraid to skirt it or run away from it, because I surely don’t want to be stuck in this place forever.  Everything I’ve heard tells me that if I try to stuff it down, deny it, or rush through it, I’m just going to have to deal with it later and then it will be worse.” (103) And later “Around this same time, I hear the terms collateral damage and secondary losses in some of the grief books I read and realize they give a name to the wider gulf between my friends and me as well as the many other losses we discover after losing Jack.” (178)

For several years, my husband and I led a grief recovery group in our church, and watched God heal broken people.  Oh, the pain never goes all away, but over time the wounds can heal, especially when the one grieving finds people who will listen without judgment, who understand in some small way. 

Near the end of the book Anna tells of a group of women she met with monthly, a club she never wanted to, they never wanted to, belong to, of women who lost a child.  She writes it this way, “I’m not sure how sharing the broken, hurting pieces of our lives helps us, but it does. Rather than wallowing in despair, this group of scrappy women cheers each other on, determined to find a way to live the lives we have now.  And in sharing our loss we somehow gain.  That is the mystery of a community of grievers.” (186)
So who should read this book – we all should.  Donaldson shows a path through to those who might face this pain one day.  However, she also shows the rest of us what happens behind closed doors and equips us to better come alongside and offer informed support.  Too often, well-meaning people say “Just give me a call, if there’s anything I can do,” but the sufferer does not even have the energy to lift up the phone if they could identify something they need.  And well-meaning people, too often, give the grieving a few weeks, before expecting things to be “back the way they were.”  And they ever really will be.

I want to say, “Suck it up and read the book,” because I know some people avoid anything that might hurt, and I know that sounds rather harsh and uncouth, but it’s not a bad idea.  And then talk about what you have learned with other people…and Jack’s death and Anna’s pain might in some small way be redeemed.

Monday, September 15, 2014

It just got to me!! starting with Miley Cyrus!

Did you ever have something that bothered you, but you thought it was just you, so you talked yourself out of saying anything about it out loud? Well, I did, and I almost passed on it this time again, until I felt like God was telling me to just sit down and write it out.  So here I am.
OK, the first thing that I want to write about is all these pictures with people sticking their tongues out.   Several months ago you could not escape photos of Miley Cyrus and her tongue, and I think most people would have said that it was over the top, all about sex and being sexy and not for any kind of right motives except to sexually arouse the viewer. The problem is we are more influenced by the media that we would like to think.

Right after that, it seemed to me a rash of selfies flooded facebook with Christians sticking their tongues out.  Honestly, I don’t find any picture of anyone much out of infancy cute with their tongue out.  And I am not sure that adults, even teenagers, sticking their tongues out do it to be cute.  Isn’t it more like there is some underlying, or not so underlying, desire to be seen as sexy? To be thought of as sexy? My problem is that I can’t find it anywhere in the Bible that we are to be just generally seen as sexy….aren’t we supposed to be godly, reflecting His image, not some perverted kind of our own image.
That takes me to my second pet peeve: Christians posting things about their hot boyfriend or husband or girlfriend.  Of all the things we should share about our loved one, I just can’t see how sharing on facebook that we see them as hot is a good thing. Isn't that one of those things we tell them in private? Do we really want the world to know that the best we can do is to say that he or she is sexually attractive – so much so that this is the way we want the rest of the world to see them.  Are we bragging and competing about hotness?  Do we really want the rest of the world to think of him or her as a sexual being before they think of this person as a godly one?

Maybe I am over the hill, but I just can’t see it as a good thing, to stimulate others into thoughts of a sexual nature when the world is doing such a good job at it!  I always thought we were to stimulate others to good works.
End of today’s pet peeves/ concerns…you don’t have to agree….these are just my thoughts on something that bothered me till I had to say something about it.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Back from the shore - but not really!

Back from vacation, and before I forget it, go in September if you can – the beach and the boardwalk much quieter, the hotels cheaper, and the water just as warm.

We stayed off the end of the boardwalk at Wildwood this time, a first for us and our motel, the Sea Gull was perfect for us.  Water baby that I am, I must have spent an hour a day in the pool there, and the cozy room was perfect, complete with an efficiency kitchen – for lunch some days, for supper others.  We do love an early breakfast seaside, listening to the sea gulls and the waves washing the shore clean for a new day.
We also answered the call back to Ocean City one day, the first place we vacationed on the shore and where we spent hours with the grands now grown-ups.  Would you humor me if I share the poem birthed after our return trip this year?

I smelled a smell
I smelled a smell as we
leaned into the climb up the
ramp to the boardwalk,
a sour smell, a urine smell,
and I wondered why someone
would do something like that on the
edge of God’s best work.

And then this new memory-in-
the-making connects with an
old one and it comes back
from all those years ago when
we dragged chairs and picnic
baskets and herded grandchildren
as they discovered this wonder
for the first time.

I dug a hole back then in the sand
and dropped in a jelly fish all
clear and jiggly along with a silvery
minnow and a crab as much
of a child as mine peering in and then
daring each other to touch it.

I smeared pasty lotion over their
silky skins and prayed it would protect
them and their parents would let me
do this again, savoring the splashing
waves, chasing them in and back out,
dancing with abandon just because
I could, because they could.

In a flash those memories filed themselves
away replaced by the day a child went missing
and some anonymous announcer asked
vacationers who were not listening
to be on the lookout for a three-year-old
girl with flaxen hair, (my words, not theirs)
they said blonde but a wee childy of three has
flaxen hair, and she is riding a pink bike and
we decide we might have seen her and

 Jim tells me to sit and he piles towels and chairs
all around me and this grandfather of another
goes looking for someone else’s grandchild.
I pray and watch up and down the boardwalk
and wonder at the blank faces passing me
by as if there are not panicky parents a few
steps away and after a half an hour I drag out
my notebook and begin to write because that
is all I can do  and then I see him, four pages later,
walking back to me, the fear gone from his
forehead and he says they have her, and I know
I will never forget this hour, so I remember again.

Sea birds screaming, dive bomb a saltine
dropped by a child and I hear his mother
warn him to throw it away and not to
feed the birds and I see the child
count the cost of disobedience and
reluctantly he lifts the door of the
garbage can and throws the cracker
into the darkness.
Not everything is worth a “No,” and it
appears, the boy has learned this lesson.

We scuffle our feet out of our sandals
and head to the water’s edge where
waves scatter shells, white and black and
red and birds skitter into the foam snatching
dinner before the waves wash it back
and I look for shells unbroken to pile in
a dish in my bathroom to remind me of
mornings by the sea for the days when
I start my morning by the woods.

I know I will find no real treasure, only
shards of shells that will open links of
memory, and for a few seconds when I lift the
dish to my nose I will smell salty breezes
and hear the scree of angry sea gulls and the
thrumming beat of a boat engine pulling
along some brave soul in the sky, and
then in the corners of the memory I will
smell the sweetness of a day meant only
to feel pleasure.