When Moz Was Here

A comforting ritual – baking
the annual Thanksgiving pies
connects me to Thanksgivings
past – decades of home and love,
laughter, food, memories of those
who’ve newly-arrived, and those
departed. This year will be
the first Thanksgiving without
Moz. And as I pour blackberries
into the pie I realize these berries
were ones I picked the summer
after she passed, and I wonder
if I might have a left-over bag
of blackberries I picked during
the summer before –  when Moz
was still moving amongst us.
I go to the freezer in the garage
and root amongst the frozen bags,
digging, searching – and there!
I find a bag of berries marked
2016! And now a part of the world
that still held Moz in it is in
this year’s Thanksgiving pie.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

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Karen in the Kitchen

First, I will don my way cool apron that my friend from Canada sent me, and that has the Canadian word “Eh?” written on it in really flamboyant letters.  Of course, putting on the apron isn’t going to actually keep me from having flour all over me by the end of my culinary adventure – but I think I look sort of cute in it. And that’s the important thing…

Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist

First, I will don my way cool apron that my friend from Canada sent me, and that has the Canadian word “Eh?” written on it in really flamboyant letters.  Of course, putting on the apron isn’t going to actually keep me from having flour all over me by the end of my culinary adventure – but I think I look sort of cute in it. And that’s the important thing.048

Next I will haul the turkey out of the fridge, where it’s been thawing since Sunday. I will dice home-grown onion and garlic, apples from our orchard (yes, apples – using apples in turkey stuffing is a Karen tradition – because I, traditionally and invariably, FORGET TO BUY CELERY!!! and then I find myself scrambling around the kitchen, looking for something crunchy I can throw in the dressing… and… yeah… well… apples …and, true to tradition, I just realized that…

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May Our Nation Prosper…

Dear Senators –

If ever there was a time when our country needed leaders of wisdom, integrity, and courage it is now. We are trusting that those we elected to represent us will do right by us. We are trusting our representatives will stand up to the wealthy and powerful, and humbly serve the people they were elected to serve. We are trusting that choices are not going to be made today that will bring us to disaster in ten years. We are trusting our leaders to do the right thing.

May our nation prosper, and may ALL its citizens share in that prosperity.
Karen Molenaar Terrell

may our nation prosper

The Burden of Ego Lifted

Humbled and inspired –
the burden of ego lifted
from me in a moment
and understanding came –
Hush. It’s your turn to listen,
to let yourself be supported,
to let someone else share
her talents and gifts with you.
And Love gifted me
with the expression of beauty
offered by another
of Her children. Blessings
abound and surround,
here, now, all around.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

I Could Feel Her with Me today

I could feel her with me today
as I sat on the pew surrounded
by song and peace and love.
I could feel her in the calm,
in the courage, and in the hope.
She was with me in that space,
with me in my thoughts,
and she was real – as real as you
and me and the music.
As long as I can love, she’ll be with me –
and her love will live on in me –
whether it’s on a trail in the forest,
lunch with dear friends, or a church
on the corner of 6th and Cedar.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

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“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God…”
– Romans 8

Quotes from the “Greatest Generation”

I’ve been watching The Right Stuff on television this rainy afternoon – and the men and women portrayed in that movie reminded me of the values, courage, and strength of my own parents – who were, like the astronauts and their wives, members of the “greatest generation.” My musings led me to dig up some quotes from my parents’ generation (and please feel free to add any quotes you find that you think would go well here)…

You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can’t, you do the next best thing. You back up but you don’t give up.
– Chuck Yeager (b. 1923)

My faith demands – this is not optional – my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.
– Jimmy Carter (b. 1924)

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
– Nelson Mandela (b. 1918)
I hope you’re proud of yourself for the times you’ve said ‘yes,’ when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to somebody else.
– Mr. Rogers (b. 1928)

I can’t imagine a person becoming a success who doesn’t give this game of life everything he’s got.
– Walter Cronkite (b. 1916)

You never get tired unless you stop and take time for it.
– Bob Hope (b. 1903)

Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything.
– Katherine Hepburn (b. 1907)

Tough times don’t last, tough people do, remember?
– Gregory Peck (b. 1916)

Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing a Jimmy Stewart imitation myself. I’d like people to remember me as someone who was good at his job and seemed to mean what he said.
– Jimmy Stewart (b. 1908)

You’re blessed if you have the strength to work.
– Mahalia Jackson (b. 1911)

I believe in living each day as it comes, to the best of my ability. When it’s done, I put it away, remembering that there will be a tomorrow to take its place.
– Ginger Rogers (b. 

I love to laugh. It’s the only way to live. Enjoy each day – it’s not coming back again!
– Doris Day (b. 1922)

Getting old is not for sissies.
– Bette Davis (b. 1908)

People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.
– Sir Edmund Hillary (b. 1919)

Why shouldn’t I be polite to other people? It doesn’t cost me anything.
– Dee Molenaar (b. 1918)

Said to the bigot in the Sears store: That family has as much right to be here as you or me! 
– Colleen “Moz” Molenaar (b. 1927)

 

 

Black Friday and Shameless Plug Day

Ode to Black Friday

I do not like Black Friday, sir
I do not like the brrr, grrr, whirrr
I do not like to fight over socks,
I do not like to get crammed in a box
store, you will not see me at the Mall
I do not like it, no, not at all.
The crazy, scrambling, hunter’s race
doesn’t fit my ambling, gatherer’s pace
I like to feel, I like to sniff
I like to take my time and if
I take more time than Sally and Sam
it’s the way I shop, and it works for me, ma’am.
So you will not find me camped outside the store
You will not find me standing at dawn at the door
You will not find me wedged in the mall’s lot
or crammed in traffic, with wares newly-bought.
For I do not like Black Friday, friend.
Well, except online shopping maybe – they’ll send.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell (from A Poem Lives on My Windowsill)

Today is Karen’s shameless plug day. Yeah. I know. Stop cheering.

So here’s what we’ve got to plug right now (and all of these books can be found on Amazon, as well as ordered through other book stores like Barnes and Noble, etc.) –

Some of you may be familiar with my “Madcap Christian Scientist” series.

The first book in the Madcap series (published in August 2005) was Blessings: Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist. As I explain in the Introduction, I wrote this book “to introduce you to one Christian Scientist so that if you ever hear someone talking fearfully and ignorantly (feargnorantly?)  about Christian Scientists you’ll be in a position to say,  ‘I have a friend who’s a Christian Scientist, and, although it’s true she’s a bit of a nut, she’s also … ‘  and you can go on and talk about how your friend has used her study of Christian Science to try to make the world a happier place.”

I wrote the second book in the series, The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Middle Book, as I was nearing the end of an experience with a massive depression. As I write in the Introduction: “My son and I recently talked about my previous book, Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist. I told him that book was true for the person I was then, and I’m glad I wrote it, but I couldn’t write the same book now. Andrew told me I should write another book then, for this time in my life. I told him that my recent life experience has been kind of dark. He said I should write about that then, and he started talking about trilogies – how almost every life story has three parts – the first book is usually happy and innocent, the second one is dark and challenging, and the last book is the triumph book. Andrew said it was time for me to write ‘the middle book.’ He assures me the book about the golden years will come, but he says that book can’t come until the middle book gets written. So what you see here is me sucking it up and writing The Middle Book.”

I wrote The Madcap Christian Scientist: All Things New, the third book in the series, to celebrate the re-birth I found on the other side of the depression.  I wrote: “Two years ago I would never have been able to guess where I’d be today, what I’d be doing, and what new people I would be calling my friends and colleagues. Two years ago my youngest son was close to graduating from high school, my 20-year career as a public school teacher was winding down, and I was looking for a new job and a new purpose to fill my days. Two years ago I was starting over. It was scary. It was exhilarating. It was absolutely awesome!”

There’s a fourth book with “Madcap Christian Scientist” in the title, and that’s The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Christmas Book, which is about… well… Christmas.

I’ve also published two books of poetry, A Poem Lives on My Windowsill (where you can find the poem featured on the top of this post), and The Brush of Angel Wings – published as I was working my way through the passing of my mother.  There’s also a book I wrote about the lessons I learned from Mom and Dad in the year before Dad’s 98th birthday, Finding the Rainbows: Lessons from Dad and Mom.

Dad’s autobiography, Memoirs of a Dinosaur Mountaineer, is on the market, too. Dad has had an amazing life – he’s climbed some of the highest mountains in the world, traveled on six of the seven continents, and hobnobbed with some of the planet’s most interesting humans.

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And my son, Xander, also has a book for sale right now, Dream Voyage – which sells for $5.99 as an Amazon print book, and 99 cents on Kindle. I believe I shall close this shameless plug with one of Xander’s poems:

Where Happiness Lives

Golden lights
and the deepest shadows.
Smiling faces illuminated by life.
A commodity where I come from.
An inherent condition here.
Where joy runs rampant
like that one naked man who,
in the presence of a police officer,
streaked across the town in the wake
of the city-wide party,
the officer laughing in mutual enjoyment
before calling the man by his first name,
as a friend and a neighbor,
to get his shit together.
– Xander Terrell, Dream Voyage

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