Spinning the Spinning Earth

If we have just one more week
or day or hour on our planet –
how do we spend it?
In grasping, grabbing, getting?
Or embracing, caring, nurturing?
Using every last moment to love.

Spinning the spinning earth
Spin it dark? Spin it bright?

Same Universe, infinite perspectives.

Spin it dark –
I look at the stars glittering cold
above me – a universe that will
continue long after our little
chunk of rock and vegetation
and animals has been busily
ripped apart and shredded
and sucked dry by my species.
and we won’t be missed
The hole where we were
will fill with universe
and what’s left will continue
on, uninterrupted.

Spin it bright –
I look at the stars sparkling cheerily
above me – a universe  enclosing me,
including me in the dance
of planets and galaxies
and nebulae, and I see
we belong to eternity –
my Earth, and the green,
growing things, and
the animals. And the love
we share and create together
lives on in the cosmos,
spreads out through infinity
forever, uninterrupted.

And if we have just one more week
or day or hour on our planet –
how do we spend it?
In grasping, grabbing, getting?
Or embracing, caring, nurturing?
Using every last moment to love.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

earth NASA


“I think I can make something up.”

The LaConner Retirement Inn in LaConner, Washington, asked its residents to make paintings for an auction to help those dealing with Alzheimers. (For anyone interested in attending, the auction will be this Saturday, July 23rd at the LaConner Retirement Inn.)

Yesterday I “kidnapped” Dad, 98, and Moz and brought them to my place to give Dad a quiet space and a big table to work on his painting for the auction. I told Dad that he was painting for his dinner.:) He nodded his head and said “Okay.”

I’d brought to my house some of Dad’s brushes, a sponge, a packet of watercolor paper, and a couple of watercolor trays I found in his apartment. Dad’s favorite brush wasn’t in the brushes I’d brought over – but he found one that would be “alright.” There was also no yellow in the watercolor trays. But my youngest son had left some of his art supplies here when he moved out, so I rummaged through his art box and found a little travel watercolor box that had a small square of yellow in it, and Dad made do with that.

Dad worked really hard. Painting takes a lot of concentration. There are problems to be solved – balancing out this area with THAT area; making the foreground darker to bring depth and dimension to the background; finding the just right color to brighten everything up.

Dad and Mom were at my place from about 3:00 to 7:30 – and, except for a small break for dinner, and a short nap, Dad spent that entire time working on his picture. And look! He got ‘er done! I’m really proud of him.

Dad: “What should I paint?”
Me: “Mount Rainier. Do you need a picture to help you?”
Dad: (understatement of the century – this man has been painting Rainier for more than 70 years) “Oh, no. I think I can make something up.”
An hour later-
Dad: “I haven’t painted in a long time.”
Me: “How does it feel?”
Dad: “I like it!”
Three hours later –
Me: “Painting is hard work!”
Dad: “It’s mind work.”


Mount Rainier by Dee Molenaar

A Rainbow of Book Covers

Just published my latest book, Finding the Rainbows: Lessons from Dad and Mom. It shares some of the adventures my mom (88) and dad (98) have had in the last year – moving out of their home of 48 years, and into a new chapter of their lives. My parents rock! They are brave, and kind, and are expert at adjusting to the ups and downs of Life.

On another note: A year or two ago I mentioned to friends that it would be pretty cool if I could make a kind of rainbow of all my book covers. Check it out!:)

book covers 2016

Quiet Moments of Living

Man is not a pendulum, swinging between evil and good, joy and sorrow, sickness and health, life and death.
– Mary Baker Eddy

Images flashing in front of our faces
death and destruction, prizes and luxury,
our emotions bouncing back and forth
like a ping pong ball
targeted, manipulated, pulled this way
and the other.

But – maybe what’s real lies
somewhere between
virulent outrage and winning
the contest over everyone else;
lies somewhere between horrific revenge
and over-the-top jubilation
at coming in first.

Maybe what’s real lies in the poignant,
quiet moments of living –
making a pie or a poem or a picture,
holding hands, holding on to hope
heard in the words “How can I help?”
heard in the words “I love you.”
– Karen Molenaar Terrell


From the Southworth-Fauntleroy Ferry, Puget Sound