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 Karen Special”

Those of you who are familiar with my drives with my centenarian father might remember that our go-to place for Dad’s root beer floats was Sisters Espresso (in Bow, WA), and that my drink of choice was usually a lavender green iced tea.

Sisters Espresso is assuming new ownership in a week and my husband and I wanted to stop by and order some of our last drinks from our friends, the current owners. Brooke was behind the window and I felt a little tug of nostalgia when I saw her back there, working her magic at the espresso machine. She looked up and smiled when she saw me, and pointed to her special for the day: “The Karen” – a lavender green tea!

I have never had a drink named after me before! And to see the name “Karen” used in a happy way almost brought tears to my eyes.

Of course, I had to order one of those Karen specials for myself. 🙂 (It was on the house. ❤ )

You Are Making a Difference

My dear Humoristian hooligans –
I apologize that I haven’t sent you any messages lately. I’m afraid I haven’t been feeling very humoristic. It is a sad truth that sometimes the world needs more than Groucho glasses and whoopee cushions to make everything better.

But when I think of you – my Humoristian friends – out there on the planet, working your magic – it brings me hope. May your indefatigable good will touch the lost and frightened and alone. May your irrepressible joy bring hope to the discouraged and desolate. May your unflappable kindness transform the stingy, stodgy and stuffy. May the bigots and bullies be overcome by your steadfast, unshakable love for your fellow creatures. May you bring courage to the ascared.

You are making a difference.

Karen

Rainbow flower doodle by Karen Molenaar Terrell. Because I figured we could all use a rainbow flower doodle right now, right?

Sometimes All It Takes is the Kindness of a Friend

(August 29th)

I love this man. Charles Atkinson is one of the most courageous, honorable, wise human beings I know.

Today I found myself back in bed by 11:00 – just lying there – feeling the cool breeze blowing across my face, smelling the briny scent coming off the bay – and I realized that I could just lie there all day and be perfectly content.

But eventually I roused myself, got up – figured I’d ride my bike to the post office and pick up the mail. Once I got to the post office I thought I’d go a little further – maybe stop in and see if Charles was at Tweets – I haven’t seen him for a while and I was missing him. So I went on to Tweets – and Charles was there! Oh, it was so good to feel his smile coming through his Black Lives Matters mask! He said the exactly right words I needed – words that bolstered me up, inspired me, gave me hope. And then he told me my mocha was on him!

Sometimes all it takes is the kindness of a friend to make a day beautiful. ❤

Making a New Friend in the Time of COVID

So Scotty and I take a walk on the boardwalk. When we get down to Boulevard Park I’m thinking vegan pizza from Ovn, right? I make a call and order the pizzas – a couple to bring home to our vegan young people, too. Matt takes my order. I can tell right away – from our quick banter and the smile in his voice – that he has a sense of humor. I can have some fun here. We get to the part where I give him my credit card info and now he wants to know my name. 
Karen: Okay, so my name is… don’t laugh… my name is Karen.
Matt: (Laughing.)
Karen: (Laughing.) You’re laughing.
Matt: (Continues laughing.) I’m only laughing because you told me not to laugh. But you sound like a very nice Karen.
Karen: (Still laughing.) Thank you.

Matt tells me that the pizza should be ready in 20 minutes – which is just about right for our walk back up from Boulevard Park.

When we get up to Ovn I give a call to let them know we’ve arrived. When Matt picks up the phone I feel myself instantly smiling – I’m so glad it’s him! He knows how to laugh.
Karen: This is Karen. We’re here now. Hey – do you have any truffle salt?
Matt: No, unfortunately we don’t have any right now – we can’t import it because of COVID.
Karen: Bummer. Do you have any other cool stuff there?
Matt: (Laughing.) We have all kinds of cool stuff here. We’ve got smoked salt and habanero salt. We’ve got… (and he lists a whole bunch of other salts – but my mind has wrapped itself around habanero salt – that sounds pretty interesting.)
Karen: Habanero salt – does that have any animal products in it?
Matt: No animal products. It’s really spicey, though.
Karen: Spicey! Cool! We’ll take a habanero salt and a smoked salt, too.
Matt: You got it!
Karen: Thank you!

Pretty soon Matt comes out with the pizzas. I finally get to see my new friend! Of course, we’re both wearing masks – but I can still tell he’s smiling under there.
Matt: Are you Karen?
Karen: Yes – are you Matt?
Matt: (Smiling.) Yes. Here are your pizzas. (Hands me the stack of pizzas.) Thank you for giving Karens such a good name.
Karen: Thank you so much! It was nice meeting you!

Middle of the Night

Middle of the night.
I get up to talk to
my Father-Mother.
She laughs with delight
opens her arms wide
and enfolds me in Love.
Home.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

“The sharp experiences of belief in the supposititious life of matter, as well as our disappointments and ceaseless woes, turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

(NASA photo)

NASA Public-Education

A Universe Alight

Rising above
the cacophony
lifted by Love
the noise wanes
as I gain
height until it ceases
to be and I am in flight
among the stars
a universe alight
with joy and hope
part of me, part of you,
we are part of this
every moment new
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Blue Cosmos (Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell)

As I Waited for Them

They came home last night.
I was standing under the stars
as I waited for them – looking
up at the vast serene forever,
feeling Mom and Dad smiling
with me – and the car pulled up
into the driveway. I was hidden
in the darkness at first and they
didn’t see me – then – “Have you
been waiting for us?” – and hugs
and laughter and so glad you’re
home – gently emerging into the
here and now – and a paperclip
– Mom’s special signal to me –
in the driveway. I pick it up and put
it in my pocket. I will add it to my
paperclip collection once I’m inside.
All together again.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Do Not Assume

Please do not tell me what I believe, feel, and think.
– Do not assume because I am a progressive and tend to vote for Democrats that I don’t believe in God, “hate the Bible,” and want to kill babies and take away your guns.
– Do not assume because I believe in God that I am anti-science, believe the earth is flat and the world was, literally, created in seven days.
– Do not assume that because I’m white, middle-aged and named “Karen” I am racist and want to talk to your manager.
– Do not assume that because I identify as a “Christian” I am conservative, opposed to LGBTQ rights, opposed to women’s rights, travel heavily armed, and am voting for you-know-who.

I think if we see others in terms of stereotypes we miss out on some beautiful friendships and kinship with our fellow humans.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Love, Help Me to Be

My biggest challenge right now is myself. I guess that’s always my biggest challenge, isn’t it? Stay kind, Karen. Stay true. Keep loving. Look for ways to bring humor to those in desperate need of a good laugh. Don’t hate. Never hate. Be wise – but don’t be cynical. Be discerning – but don’t be cruel.

Love, help me be what you need me to be.
Amen.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

(Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.)