I’d like to ignore Trump, too.

There are times when I just don’t want to invest even one more minute of my precious time on earth thinking about Trump. He’s an attention-grabber – and there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to give him what he wants. And sometimes that part of me wins out and I go have my adventures and deliberately, consciously ignore anything Trump. This is how I dealt with him (and other reality stars) before he decided to run for President. I wanted nothing to do with him. He wasn’t any part of my reality. He couldn’t affect my life in any way. But it’s different now, of course. Now he can affect my life and the lives of the people I work with, teach, care about. And so… yeah… as much as I’d like to just ignore him… sometimes I feel an urgent need to address “it.” I hope my posts don’t cause you too much distress. I totally get why you’d rather not read anything about this man. Please don’t ever feel obligated to read my Trump-stuff. I don’t blame you at all for wanting to avoid it. But please don’t blame me for following my conscience on this.

“It is difficult for the sinner to accept divine Science, because Science exposes his nothingness; but the sooner error is reduced to its native nothingness, the sooner man’s great reality will appear and his genuine being will be understood.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Ignorance, subtlety, or false charity does not forever conceal error; evil will in time disclose and punish itself.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“A sinner is not reformed merely by assuring him that he cannot be a sinner because there is no sin. To put down the claim of sin,  you must detect it, remove the mask, point out the illusion, and thus get the victory over sin and so prove its unreality… A sinner is afraid to cast the first stone. He may say, as a subterfuge, that evil is unreal, but to know it, he must demonstrate his statement. To assume that there are no claims of evil and yet to indulge them, is a moral offence. Blindness and self-righteousness cling fast to iniquity.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

 

 

 

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“I finally know your name!”

I got a call that Dad was having a difficult time of it and wanted to see me. He’d remembered that Mom was gone and was grieving.

He was in the recliner in front of the television when I got there. His eyes lit up at the sight of me. The first words out of his mouth were “I love you.” I told him I loved him, too, and suggested to him that we move to a table where we could talk.

We got him hooked up to his hearing headset so he could better hear while we talked. This was the first time that I ever felt able to explain to him the sequence of events that had brought him to his current home.

Dad: Mom is gone?
Karen: Yes.
Dad: Did she suffer?
Karen: No, she was being medicated for the pain.
Dad: How did it happen?
Karen: You and Mom were both in the hospital at the same time. She was on the floor above you. She had congestive heart failure. You were on the floor below her with a urinary tract infection.
Dad: We were both in the hospital? I don’t remember any of that. Why was I in the hospital?
Karen: For a urinary tract infection.
Dad: Oh. I don’t remember.
Karen: You were delirious because of the infection.
Dad: (nodding) Oh.
Karen: I’m told that someone brought you up to her room in a wheelchair so you could say good bye. But I didn’t get to see that.
Dad: I don’t remember saying good bye to her.
Karen: No, your memory of that time is gone. (pause) When Mom was released we decided to bring her to my home to care for her. We thought we had months – but when they brought her to our home we realized that she was near the end. We spent the whole day telling each other we loved each other. She told me how much she loved you…
Dad: (tearing up) Was she in pain?
Karen: No, she was under medication. I was sleeping on the couch next to her bed when she passed. In my dreams I felt this joy and peace brush past me. When I woke up she looked to be sleeping quietly, and I started to go back to sleep… then I realized she was too still. I checked on her and she was gone. I went upstairs to Scotty and told him I thought Moz was gone and he came downstairs and checked her pulse, touched her – she was cold. He affirmed that she’d passed. But… I felt when she passed… I felt like she’d touched me with love and joy as she left…
Dad: (tearing up) Where was I?
Karen: You were still in the hospital. A doctor let us use her stethoscope to tell you Mom was gone – and you grieved, but the next day you didn’t remember she’d passed. So then we sort of lied to you. You’d ask how Mom was doing and we’d say she was fine. But then I asked how YOU were doing and you said you’d be doing a lot better if we told you how Mom was doing.  (Dad laughs at himself – but there are tears in his eyes.) I decided I needed to respect you by telling you the truth… but… it hurts you. When you forget that Mom is gone would you rather we tell you the truth or say she’s fine…?
Dad: Tell me the truth.
Karen: You’re very brave, Daddy. (I give him a hug.) And now we needed to figure out where to bring you when you were released. Before Mom died, your assisted living place told us they couldn’t take you and Mom back. We only had a couple days to find a new home for Mom and you. That’s why we’d brought Moz to our home. And when you were released – we didn’t want to put you in some institution full of strangers…
Dad: (shaking his head vehemently) No.
Karen: But I didn’t have the know-how to take care of you in my home. You have memory problems (I see the distressed look on his face and quickly reassure him) – you’re still brilliant and smart and wise and funny – and you have no problem remembering what happened forty or thirty years ago – but you have a hard time remembering yesterday or last week… I think when Mom passed that got worse for you. So we needed some place with people who knew how to take care of you and could love you like we do.  The social workers at the hospital suggested we look into adult family homes and so I started calling around. The second place I called was this place…
Dad: This place where I am now?
Karen: Yes. Dave (my brother) and I decided we’d check this place out. We decided if we didn’t like the look of it we’d just drive right by. But there were bird feeders in the front yard, and cats and dogs, and… it felt like Moz had led us here for you.
Dad: (nodding and smiling) To this place?
Karen: Yes. I saw a rainbow that morning – and it seemed like a sign to me that everything was going to work out. And then we found this place and we met Gwen…
Dad: Who’s Gwen?
Karen: Gwen’s the woman who owns this place. She takes care of you. When we met her we found out she was related to your favorite author, John Muir, and that she likes the mountains, too. She and I took you up to Mount Baker last summer. And she came with us when we took you up to Rainier for your 100th birthday. Do you remember going up to Rainier for your 100th birthday? You had a ranger escort, and they blocked off some parking spaces for you, and there was a camera crew making a documentary of you – it was epic!
Dad: (shaking his head) No. I don’t remember any of that.
Karen: I’ll go get the pictures! (I go into his bedroom and find the photo album of pictures from his 100th birthday weekend.) See? Here you are arm wrestling with your grandson, Andrew (Dad smiles). And do you know who that is?
Dad: That’s Bob Ader.
Karen: Yeah. He came all the way from Colorado to celebrate with you. And here you are at Longmire. There’s Pete Schoening’s grandson and great-granddaughter… and there’s Kristianne Schoening – remember her? (Dad nods.) And see – there’s Gwen!
Dad: (By this time Gwen has joined us at the table. Dad looks up at her and recognizes her. He points to her and smiles.) I finally know your name! (Gwen starts grinning.)
Karen: (pointing to a picture of Dad with his face in the photo hole of a sign) Michael, your granddaughter Claire’s new husband, found this sign that had 100th birthday on it inside the Visitor’s Center – it was to celebrate the National Park’s centennial, but we thought it would be perfect for you, too. So we had you stick your head in there. (Dad starts grinning.)
Karen: Do you know who this is?
Dad: (nodding) That’s your son. That’s Alexander.
Karen: Yeah, he was up there with us. And there’s Casey and his girlfriend… Oh! This was a special moment – do you recognize this person?
Dad: Kenny Foreman, my old Coast Guard buddy.
Karen: Yeah. You and Kenny held hands and sat next to each other in your wheelchairs. It was epic!
(I start pointing out all the people who came to join Dad for his 100th birthday. Most of his old friends he recognizes – some he doesn’t at first, but quickly remembers after a prompt.)
Dad: (concerned) How was I? Did I carry on conversations…?
Karen: You were brilliant! You were smart and funny and wonderful!
Dad: (smiling with relief) Good.
Karen: Gwen’s grandson was with us, too – here he is pushing you around in the wheelchair at Paradise. You didn’t want to get in that wheelchair – you said you had friends up there and you didn’t want them to see you in it… (Dad starts laughing at himself) but you finally sat in it and let us roll you around.

(After we go through the album I put it back in Dad’s bedroom and ask him if he would like to go for a ride. He says yes. So we get his shoes on his feet and his hat on his head and load him up in my car.)
Dad: Let’s head for the beach.
Karen: Okay.

(We drive through Burlington for a few minutes.)
Dad: (thinking) I haven’t seen Mom for about a year.
Karen: Daddy, she’s gone.
Dad: (thinking) Was there a service for her?
Karen: Yes.
Dad: Was I there?
Karen: Yes.
Dad: Did I speak at her service? Was I… alright?
Karen: No, you didn’t speak. But you took care of us. You were wonderful.
Dad: Good.

We drive by Padilla Bay and then turn back to his home. Gwen comes to help us and I ask Dad if he remembers her. He nods and smiles and says, “Gwen.” We bring him back to the recliner.

Dad: I love you!
Karen: I love you, too, Daddy!

Dad and 100th birthday rainier this one

Annual Skyline Divide Hike

I was really surprised by how many people were up on the Skyline Divide today. And (although it kind of made it difficult to take photos) it gave me hope to see all these people – willing to push their bodies up to alpine meadows to enjoy what the mountains could give them.

As I was looking at Mount Baker today from the Skyline Divide – and realizing how HUGE it is – I thought to myself: “What in the heck were you thinking?! Whatever made you think you could climb that mountain?!” And then I reminded myself that I did, indeed, climb that mountain. And then it dawned on me that if I hadn’t been born with the parents I was born with – and I’m not just talking about Dad here – Moz was a pretty formidable adventurer in her day, too – I probably WOULDN’T have climbed Baker (or Rainier, Adams, or Hood). How lucky am I that I had a father who took me up all these peaks? I’m so very grateful for the opportunities my parents gave me in my life. They gave me the mountains. 

 

 

 

 

The Job of Mainstream Media

“When the press is gagged, liberty is besieged…”
– Mary Baker Eddy, founder of The Christian Science Monitor

It is not the job of mainstream media to present the President in a positive way. It is the job of mainstream media to report the facts, and it is the responsibility of the citizenry to stay informed of the facts. And sometimes none of that is any fun.

***

Here is a link to a survey about media on the Trump-Pence website that I found very interesting. I took the survey, but at the end it asked for my email and so forth and I didn’t want to share that stuff so I didn’t submit my answers. I’m sure y’all can guess how I answered the questions, though. 🙂 I suppose as you would find on any political website – Republican OR Democrat – the questions had built-in bias in them. That was not unexpected. For fun and mental stimulation, you might want to put on your critical thinking caps and look for the bias in the questions.

Here is how I answered a couple of the questions –

#18 Do you agree with President Trump’s strategy of communicating directly with his supporters through Twitter, email, and Facebook videos?
– Twittering your opinions into an echo chamber is not very presidential, no.

#26 What percentage do you believe is an accurate representation of President Trump’s positive news coverage by the mainstream media?
– Regarding the previous question (#26) I don’t think it is the job of mainstream media to represent Trump in a positive or a negative way. It is the job of mainstream media to report the facts.

“It is the pulpit and press, clerical robes and the prohibiting of free speech, that cradles and covers the sins of the world,—all unmitigated systems of crime; and it requires the enlightenment of these worthies, through civil and religious reform, to blot out all inhuman codes. ”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings

fake news isn't

There’s Good Going on Here

In spite of what you
seem to see there’s good going
on here, now, always.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

“Undisturbed amid the jarring testimony of the material senses, Science, still enthroned, is unfolding to mortals the immutable, harmonious, divine Principle, – is unfolding Life and the universe, ever present and eternal.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

sunset-laconner-4

photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell

Our World Is in Labor

Our world is in labor.
It’s painful to watch
and painful to go through.
But there’s a birth going
on here. Or a rebirth.
Something beautiful is going
to be born of this. I feel it.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Butterfly on Table Mountain

An alpine butterfly flits among the flowers on Table Mountain. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.

 

We Have to Keep Trying

We have to keep trying
keep loving, keep vying
with hate, bigotry, and greed
We need to be kind in word
and in deed
We have to keep singing,
keep dancing, keep bringing
our gifts to the world’s table
and give what we’re able
We have to keep hope alive,
and laughter and joy, dive
into Life’s celebration –
it belongs to all nations
We have to keep trying –

because what’s the alternative?
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Thou shalt have no other gods but Love