Taking My Bike for a Walk

Karen’s Most Excellent Adventure:
Rode my bike into Edison with the idea of getting tea at Tweet’s and saying hi to my friend, Charles, and then maybe riding on to the slough for photos. Tweet’s was closed, but Charles happened to be walking past just as I arrived and we exchanged greetings and hugs and life-updates. It was so good to see him again.

Stopped by Marioposa’s for a tea and then, as I left, the tire on my bike popped.

This was an interesting turn of events.

I was four miles out now. No spare tire. An adventure in the works.

Looked like I was going to be taking my bike for a walk.  🙂

A nice couple who’d heard my tire pop – they said it sounded like a gun shot – came out to see if they could help me – wasn’t that nice of them? I thanked them, but told them I wasn’t far from home, and I was fine. It was a perfect day for a walk.

I saw things I wouldn’t have seen if I’d been cruising along on my bike – a red-winged blackbird flitting among the cattails, a robin sitting on a sign, flowers along the roadside. About a mile down the road, I stopped at the Samish Cheese Factory for cheese-tasting (bought some chile chive cheese and cheddar) and met some way cool tourists from France (originally from Surrey, UK) who recommended the extra sharp cheddar. Back on the road, and a woman stopped to ask me if I knew how to get to the Old Edison Inn – I was glad to help – and realized I wouldn’t have been able to help her if I’d been on my bike. A little further down the road and my friend, Armando, suddenly appeared around a curve, out for a jog. He jogged over to see if I needed help – I told him I was enjoying my adventure – and then we had a lovely conversation about life and love and kindness – there, on the side of a country road, in the middle of nowhere, really – it was wonderful and kind of surreal – and we both started laughing at the delightful, unexpected magic of it. (It has been my experience that if you’re in the right frame of mind, good things will find you wherever you are. 🙂 ) A little further along and I stopped to buy myself some blueberry ice cream at Bow Hill Blueberries.

At this point I was just so filled up with the Good of Life (also blueberry ice cream and chili cheese) – rejoicing in friendship and love and kindness – so grateful that Love had provided me with this adventure today. And then I looked down – and there was a yellow paperclip lying on the side of the road. Paper clips are a kind of an inside joke between Love and me. (I’ll attach a link to THAT story down below.) Now I was totally cracking up. Put the paper clip in my pocket (I NEVER walk by paper clips when they appear for me).

A mile more and I was back home.

What a lovely expedition.

Click here for the paperclip story.

To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

 

Flowers for Our Friend

The flower place I use every year to send flowers to Moz on Mother’s Day emailed me to let me know about the special deals it has right now. I let my friends know about this. They know my mom passed away at the end of February, and I figured they’d know what that email notification from the flower place meant to me. Several of my friends suggested I think of someone else to send flowers to this year. I really liked the idea of that a lot.

So today my friend, Laurie – a woman my mom loved dearly – received Mother’s Day flowers. In my mind Laurie received those flowers from both Moz and me. I imagine Moz smiling. I know she would have really been tickled by Laurie getting those flowers.

flowers 2

Flower Doodle by Karen Molenaar Terrell

“The floral apostles are hieroglyphs of Deity.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“A Mother’s affection cannot be weaned from her child, because the mother-love includes purity and constancy, both of which are immortal.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

        “MOTHER. God; divine and eternal Principle; Life, Truth, and Love.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

 

In Honor of Moz

Something kind of wonderful happened this morning. I was waiting for my friend, Teresa, at the Fred Meyer eating area – Teresa was going to help me figure out what I needed to buy for the memorial celebration today – and this little family came in and sat down next to me – Mom with a baby, her daughter who’d just turned eight, other family members – and I started chatting with them – really neat people.

Pretty soon this man came in with a backpack and all kinds of bags hanging out of his pockets and out of his pack. I saw him trying to organize all his bags and was kind of intrigued by him.

Then Teresa comes in – and brings all that wonderful energy with her – and I introduce her to my new friends sitting next to me. They start chatting, and I leave them to go talk to the man with all the bags. I ask him if I can buy him a coffee at the Starbucks – and he asks me if I could maybe buy him a couple gift cards so he can buy food later. So I find the gift card rack and he picks out a Kroger’s card for food, and a Starbucks card, and I go back to the cashier to buy it for him, and also to buy some drinks for Teresa and me. (Teresa doesn’t want me to buy her anything, until my new friend tells her that I’m the boss today, and she has to do what I say.)

So we all get our drinks – the backpack man thanks me for the cards – he said he’d been having a really negative attitude about people up until then, and I’m making him feel better about life. Teresa turns to him and says, “Do you want to know why she bought you those cards today? Her mom died and today is the celebration for her mom, and she’s buying you those cards in honor of her mom who was the most loving person in the world.” And as Teresa tells him this, I realize that it’s true. Moz taught me to watch out for people, and to do what I could to help. And the idea of that brings sweet tears to my eyes.

So the man thanks me and we part ways, and Teresa and I go back to our table, and my new friend, Ella, thanks me for taking care of the man with the backpack. Just the fact that she noticed the exchange with the backpack-man really touches my heart.

And THEN we find out we are both of the same political persuasion.  And now I have a new FB friend. ❤

***

Moz’s celebration was wonderful. There was music and laughter and more music and laughter and sweet friendship. I brought her shoes to the celebration and put them in the front with all the flowers. It made me smile to see them up there…

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“You are not alone.”

“Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them.  You are not alone.'”
– Kurt Vonnegut

Something very cool happened this year: People I never knew existed suddenly appeared in my life voicing the same concerns I’ve voiced, sharing the same values as me, befriending me, offering their support when I’ve felt discouraged or afraid, and letting me know I’m not alone.  It’s been amazing, really, how we’ve all managed to find each other in these unsettling, dark times. Just as the metaphorical batteries in my flashlight start to die, and the light starts to go out, suddenly someone will appear out of nowhere and shine his light out of the darkness and offer help, and tell me I’m not alone.

It has meant the world to me.

There have also been friends who have “defriended” me in the last year, too, of course – because I am so controversial and badass and stuff 🙂 – but I’m thinking for every friend who felt the need to defriend me, three more new friends have suddenly appeared to offer friendship.

I am rich with true friends – both old friends and new – I am wealthy beyond imagining.

My dear Humoristian hooligans –

May you bring your abundant kindness and wisdom into today. May you lighten the hearts of the scared and despairing with your courage and good will to all mankind, and may you bring healthy, healing laughter to the stodgy, stingy, and staid. May you find hope and beauty in the good continually unfolding around you. May you make a new friend, find a new song, and leave behind something beautiful. Amen.

Go out there and work your magic!

Love, 
Karen

Happy solstice, everyone! “Let there be light!”

let there be light

A Republican Friend

My friend, Elizabeth, has a wonderful new son-in-law named Juan. Yesterday a woman talking to Juan on the phone told him that he needed to lose his accent because that could be a problem for him now. Juan doesn’t have an accent. He was born in the USA. All the woman knew about Juan, really, was that he had a Spanish name. Elizabeth had a chance to meet the woman when she came to her house later. Elizabeth let the woman know that they like Juan just as he is and there’s nothing at all he needs to change about himself. Elizabeth’s family uses the “safety pin” for each other – “We need to bring out a safety pin for… ” – to show support for each other and listen to each other.

By the way, my friend, Elizabeth, is a Republican and voted for Donald Trump. We do not agree on politics, but we share the same feelings about bigotry and hatred, and I’m really glad to know her.

She gave me permission to share this story.

“The weapons of bigotry, ignorance, envy, fall before an honest heart.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

 

 

My Go-To People

During this contentious political season – when stories of defriending, blocking, ad homineming, weeping and much gnashing of teeth are circulating on Facebook – I feel compelled to take a moment and give a shout out to the friends who have shown nothing but class to me – even though we sometimes/often disagree on political issues. These are my “go-to” people when I need a different perspective on things…

republican-friends

“We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities; with an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor accidental disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it; with a charity broad enough to cover the whole world’s evil, and sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it…”
– Mary Baker Eddy

 

Today’s lesson…

“Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

So I’m out on my walk in Bellingham – there is much glorious autumnal color to be had – gold and ruby are dripping from the trees and forming arches over the paths. But there are people walking the paths, too – spaced in just such a way that as soon as one walker gets out of my camera’s view, another appears. I’m feeling frustrated by this. At this rate I’ll be waiting all day to get a people-less picture.

I smile at the walkers as they go by me, and they all smile back and wish me a good day. And finally! – the path is clear – I raise my camera to shoot a photo – and one more walker appears around the curve in the path. I lower my camera and wait. He’s moving at a steady pace. I smile at him as he approaches, and he smiles back. As explanation for why I’m still standing there – I point down the path to an arch of branches over the trail and tell him I want to take a photo of that. He smiles and agrees that it’s beautiful, and says that if you go further down the trail you’ll see more of those arches. I notice the cool earrings dangling from his ears and tell him how much I like them, and he says thank you. I ask him if I can take his picture and he tells me sure. I shake his hand and introduce myself, and he tells me his name is Todd. I have met a new friend.

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Todd

And as I’m walking back down the trail, it occurs to me that God had been presenting me with gifts all morning – wonderful people who were walking the path with me. It took me awhile to realize and recognize Love’s largesse – but I’m happy to say, I finally got it. 🙂