About Karen Molenaar Terrell

Karen's stories have appeared in *Newsweek*, *The Christian Science Monitor*, and *Pack and Paddle Magazine* and she's the author of *Are You Taking Me Home Now?: Adventures with Dad*, "The Brush of Angel Wings*, *The Madcap Christian Scientist* series, *A Poem Sits on my Windowsill*, *Finding the Rainbows: Lessons from Dad and Mom*, and co-author of *The Humoristian Chronicles: A Most Unusual Fellowship*. Her photos are featured in the spring 2014 edition of the *Bellingham Review*, and the "Photos from the Field" page of the April/May 2017, December/January 2018-2019, and April/May 2019 issues of of *Mother Earth News*. Her photos can be found at fineartamerica.com. Her books can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Molenaar-Terrell/e/B0044P90RQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1312060042&sr=8-

The Love’s Never Died

I’ve been sort of dreading today all week. It’s the third anniversary of Moz’s passing today. Last night I found myself reliving in my thoughts the series of things that happened three years ago. Moz being brought to our home in an ambulance. Moz being wheeled on a stretcher into our home. The conversations we had. The uncertainty about what lay ahead. Did we have six months? Or less? The hospice nurse coming over to show us how to care for Moz.

Last night I went to bed. Dreading. And I slept.

I slept right through the time of Moz’s passing and beyond that – I think I got a full eight hours in! And when I woke up this morning there was a lightness to my heart. I felt joy.

I ended up at Lake Padden – did a quick walk around the lake – it was beautiful up there today. And I felt Moz and Dad with me.

And that’s the thing, isn’t it? We’re never really separated from those we love! Never! The love is as real now as it was three years ago! The love’s never died. All that’s real never dies.

Just had to share.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
– Revelations 21:4

Moz and Einstein.

Democratic Candidates

I posted this elsewhere – but I figured – buck up, Karen! Put it on your very own wordpress site! What’s the worst that can happen here, right?!  (Famous last words.)

Bloomberg: a gazillionaire who’s been linked to sexual harassment allegations and who thought the search and frisk policy was great. What he has going for him is that if he were in a debate with Trump he could talk about being more “successful” and more wealthy and a better businessmen, and etc.

Buttigieg – what I like about him is his energy, his way of speaking, his background in the military service. I really wish he wouldn’t show his ageism. I wish he had more experience at the national level.

Biden – he has the most experience working in the executive branch. He’s likable and has a back story that’s easy to sympathize with. But he’s too connected to the old guard. He is not a visionary. He doesn’t have the ability to inspire that others have.

Klobuchar – I like her a lot. I think she might be the best one of all of them at building consensus and working on compromise. But that scares me a little, too – I need to see that she can take a stand – that there are things she’s not willing to compromise.

Sanders – he inspires me. He knows how to rouse us and lead us. He’s smart. He has a quick sense of humor and knows how to use it to good effect. He stands his ground. He walks the walk. I love his wife. He’s idealistic. He doesn’t make compromises. This is the thing that also most concerns me – I’m not sure he’d be able to bring the two parties together and get things done. I don’t think the Republican legislators would work well with him.

Warren – she knows what it’s like to work hard to get where she is. I like that she was a special ed teacher. She’s experienced what it is to be a woman in our society – and – I apologize for the sexism of this, but that’s huge for me. She’s been patronized. She’s been condescended to. She was let go from her teaching job because she was pregnant – she knows what that feels like. She’s idealistic – but she’s also pragmatic. She stands up for the “little guy” and has done for all her life. I think she has ideas that would actually work – ideas that aren’t just pie in the sky.

Anyone care to share their thoughts?
– Karen

Loyalty to Good

Here’s a thought that’s been really helpful to me in the last several years: We don’t ever need to side with people – not with Trump or Pelosi or Obama or McCain, or whoever – we just need to side with Truth and Love. If I start there – with Truth and Love – everything else sort of falls into place after that. Is this path leading me towards Love – towards being kinder, more thoughtful, more selfless, more compassionate, more understanding of others? If not, then do not waste time with it. Does that road lead to Truth? Is it going to make me more honest? Will I still have my integrity intact at the end of that road? If not, then do not follow that road.

I’m thinking our only loyalty should be to what is good in this world – to what is kind and honest and selfless and decent and honorable.

Alrighty. That concludes today’s sermon. Carry on then…
– Karen

Valentine’s Gift

“Love, redolent with unselfishness, bathes all in beauty and light.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

It may not come in the form
of a Valentine’s card
a box of chocolates
a sparkly ring in a jewelry box
a dozen roses
But if you look for it today
you’ll see it –
that gift meant just for you –
the evidence of Love’s love.

See it in the smile you get
from a stranger,
in the sunrise and sunset,
the stars sparkling
in the night sky
and the rainbow
unique to you
– no one else sees it
just as you do.

You bring your own gift
within you wherever
you go.
Feel it. Hear it.
Embrace it. Know
Life’s love.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

 “Three components are necessary for a rainbow. There must be sun, there must be raindrops, and there must be a conscious eye…your eyes must be located at that spot where the refracted light from the sunlit droplets converges to complete the required geometry. A person next to you will complete his or her own geometry… and will therefore see a separate rainbow… As real as the rainbow looks, it requires your presence just as much as it requires sun and rain.”
– Robert Lanza, Biocentricism

A rainbow arches over Padilla Bay in Skagit County, Washington. (photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell)

“Cheaters Edition”

We were shopping at Fred Meyer’s today and I came upon a new version of “Monopoly” (the board game). This version is called “Monopoly: Cheater’s Edition.” It came out in June, 2018. Here’s what the game is about: “Follow, bend or break the rules to win the Cheaters Edition of the Monopoly board game. Cheating is part of the game. Don’t get caught. This Monopoly game includes a plastic handcuff unit that ‘chains’ cheating players to Jail space. Cheat cards encourage players to cheat and which cheat to attempt. Complete a cheat to get a reward; fail a cheat and pay the consequences.”
 
And it struck me that this new version of Monopoly is pretty representative of where our nation is right now. Our current president has shown us it’s okay to lie, cheat, bribe a foreign nation, and brag about “grabbing pussy” – so long as you don’t get caught – and then even if you DO get caught it’s okay – so long as you can threaten and bully your way out of it. Here is a man who created a fake university to collect tuition money from students hoping to make better lives for themselves. Here is a man who has refused to pay his workers. Here is a man who threatened to withhold funds approved by congress to an ally nation in order to make a political rival look bad. Here is a man who’s called our Constitution – the document he’s pledged to protect – “phony” because it kept him from making money from his resort. Here is a man who, from day one, has been dismantling our environmental protections.
 
Some folks have suggested that we need to quickly stop the trial of this president so we can “unite” again as a nation. But I disagree with this sentiment. Ending this trial quickly is not going to help “unite” us. Ignoring this president’s misdeeds, trying to shuffle them under the carpet, and letting him continue to get away with lying, cheating, and bribery is NOT going to help our country move forward – and it is certainly not going to help our nation unite and heal.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

“Though error hides behind a lie, and excuses guilt, error cannot forever be concealed. Truth, through her eternal laws, unveils error. Truth causes sin to betray itself, and sets upon error the mark of the beast. Even the disposition to excuse guilt or to conceal it is punished. The avoidance of justice and the denial of truth tend to perpetuate sin, invoke crime, jeopardize self-control, and mock divine mercy.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Dee Molenaar and God

Dad had originally been named “Deo” – but when he was in his teens he learned “Deo” meant God, and he thought it was a little presumptuous to be named “God” – so he changed his name to Dee.

Dad was not a religious man. But he was a spiritually-minded person. He told me once that he felt closest to God when he was in the mountains. I could relate to this. I’ve always felt that Nando Parrado’s thoughts about God in Miracle in the Andes expressed really well my own feelings about God, and probably Dad’s feelings, too: “…I did not feel God as most people see Him. I did feel something larger than myself, something in the mountains and the glaciers and the glowing sky that, in rare moments, reassured me, and made me feel that the world was orderly and loving and good… It was simply a silence, a wholeness, an awe-inspiring simplicity. It seemed to reach me through my own feelings of love, and I have often thought that when we feel what we call love, we are really feeling our connection to this awesome presence… It wasn’t cleverness or courage or any kind of competence or savvy that saved us, it was nothing more than love, our love for each other, for our families, for the lives we wanted so desperately to live.”

I asked Dad once what had inspired him to become an adventurer and explorer. He said a book he’d read as a youngster – The Royal Road to Romance by Richard Halliburton – had been a huge inspiration to him. He quoted these words from the book: “Live! Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you. Be afraid of nothing. There is so little time that your youth will last – such a little time.”

And live that wonderful life my father did. All 101 years of it.

As many of you know, my mom was a Christian Scientist – she wasn’t very religious, either, in terms of following a human organization and institution – I think she thought of CS more as a way of life than a religion – and she loved the idea found in CS that “God is Love” and that she could actually use the power of Love to heal. The great mountaineer, Pete Schoening – who saved my dad’s life and the lives of four other men in The Belay on K2 – had also, coincidentally, married a Christian Scientist. So the Molenaar and Schoening kids had (and still have) a lot in common.

And all this leads up to a message I got from Pete’s daughter, Lisa Schoening Jertz, yesterday. She brought me a much-needed laugh:

“Your father has always been very personable, warm and funny the times I have seem him. He must have been a great father.

“Many years ago he was visiting us at the house on the lake in Kenmore. It was just before the 40th Anniversary Reunion of the K2 1953 Expedition in the Wind River Range was to take place. Dee was helping me iron and fold the commemorative K-2 T-shirts.

“He told me how much he appreciated and respected Colleen’s Christian Science faith. He told me that he had learned from your mother that when he was scared or felt uncomfortable he would say ‘God is Love’ and this helped him greatly with the situation.

“On the day of the visit it was also my father’s birthday. Unbeknownst to my father my brother Mark had just gotten his pilot’s license at 18, including the Seaplane rating. As a surprise Mark flew in with a seaplane to take him for a birthday ride. Being the host Pete was, of course he invited Dee to go along. They all got into the plane and as the door of the plane was closing I heard a soft voice say ‘God is love’– that was your father. It made me laugh.”

Dad and 100th birthday rainier this one

Adventures with Dad

Some of you have suggested I create a book from the posts that chronicled my adventures with Pop. I actually published one a year ago (Are You Taking Me Home Now?: Adventures with Dad). I’m working on a second one now – picking up where I left off with the first one. Thank you for all the support and encouragement you gave to Dad and me on our last adventures together.

Several of you have taken the time to let me know what the first book meant to you. Thank you! It’s meant everything to me to know that Dad and I did something good together – that we’ve been able to touch other people’s hearts with our journey of the last few years.

Berg heil!
Karen Molenaar Terrell

Are You Taking Me Home Now?

*Are You Taking Me Home Now?: Adventures with Dad* can be ordered through your favorite book store or ordered online through Amazon.