A Poem-Prayer

“In atmosphere of Love divine,
We live and move and breathe…”
– Christian Science Hymnal  #144

A morning poem-prayer for the world:

There is no spot where Love is not.
There is no spot where Truth is not.
There is no spot where Life is not.

Love fills all space –
we can never be separated from Love –
there’s no place where we don’t feel
Love’s presence, enveloping us in peace
and pure tender kindnesses that heal
us – bringing sweet renewal like the gentle
rains and the morning dew upon the grass.
In dauntless joyful humility we kneel
to give thanks. To praise. To serve.

Love’s presence is all-powerful.
NOTHING has the power to usurp
Love’s governing of Her own creation.
We are the manifestations, expressions, reflections,
ideas, children of Love – made in Her likeness.
All we can feel is what Love feels.
All we can know is what Truth knows.
All we can be is what Love made us to be.
We exist by Love and for Love and with Love.
“For Love alone is Life” (Mary Baker Eddy)

Fear, hatred, greed, condemnation,
and self-righteous indignation
have no place in Love’s creation.
Give them no power. Pay them no heed.
Let Love be our guide; Let Love lead.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Because Business and Politics Don’t Mix

See? This is why we shouldn’t put business executives in charge of our schools, prisons, courts, military, environment, or nation. Business executives think in terms of financial profit, rather than social progress; competition, rather than cooperation; what we can do for THEM, rather than what they can do for US. They aren’t going to go out of their way to help you if your home is burning, your family is sick, you’re being attacked by racists – unless there’s some way for their company to gain something from it. A CEO’s goal is to beat out and squash the competition (anyone who doesn’t work for their financial company) and win the race for the most wealth accumulated. Their goal is to prepare students to serve them in their corporations. Their goal is to privatize prisons, health care, schools, parks, and the postal service to make a profit. Their instinct is to use the natural environment for short-term financial gain, rather than to conserve and preserve it for future generations.

Are business executives “bad” people? Nope. But if they want to work as public servants, they can no longer be business executives – they need to give up their positions, wealth, and instincts as business people and shift their perspective – look at the world in a whole new way – because business and politics don’t mix.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

“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?

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

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

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.)

The Second Hundred Years: “I’m a Spry Old Man”

Excerpt from The Second Hundred Years: Further Adventures with Dad:

“I’m a Spry Old Man”
August 22, 2018

I’ve been traveling and Dad and I haven’t seen each other for almost two weeks. Dad hears I’m at his home and quickly comes shuffling out of his room…
Dad: Karen!
Karen: Daddy! I missed you!
Dad: I missed YOU!

We give each other a tight hug and then sit down at the kitchen table to look at cards he’s received while I was gone. After he’s done reading cards, we put his mountaineering hat on his head and Dad and I head out for a drive in my intrepid little Ford Fiesta stickshift, Rosalita Ipswich O’Molenovich.
Dad: I’m lucky to have a daughter who takes me on drives.
Karen: I enjoy taking you on drives!
Dad: These drives are the highlight of my life.
(I pat his knee and tell him I like them, too.)
We drive for a while, past fields and barns, Dad’s head turning as he catches glimpses of things that interest him.
Dad: This is beautiful country.
Karen: Yes, it is. It’s really smoky right now, though, from the forest fires.
Dad: Where are the fires?
Karen: Washington, Oregon, California, Canada. This whole part of the country is burning up…
Dad: Are these fires caused by lightning or are they man-made?
Karen: (Thinking.) Both, I think.
Dad nods.
A little later…
Dad: I can smell the smoke.
Karen: Yeah, it’s pretty thick, isn’t it?
Dad nods.
Later still…
Dad: It’s good to get out into the real world.

I drive us on back roads and byways and eventually end up at Bayview Park. Dad recognizes being here before. He feels up for a short walk to a bench and we sit there in companionable silence for a while – just gazing together out at the tidelands and the seabirds. Then I ask him if he’d like me to get him a breakfast sandwich and a root beer float and he thinks this is a good idea. So we get off the bench and make our way back to the car – my hand under Dad’s elbow. He is moving at a good clip…
Dad: I’m a spry old man.
Karen: Yes, you are.
We drive to the Sisters Espresso – where Dad decides to get a vanilla milkshake instead of the float.

After he gets his sandwich and shake, I ask him if he’d like to come to my house for a while and he nods his head yes. He tells me he’s not up for watercolor painting today, though – “You have to be in the right mood for that.” He sits at the dining room table for a while – finishing his sandwich and his shake. Scott and Sam the Wonder Dog appear. Sam comes into the dining room to greet Dad. Dad says, “Hi Sam,” and reaches out to pet her. “She remembers me,” he says, happy to know she’s not forgotten him.

About half an hour later I ask Dad if he’s ready to go home now, and he nods his head yes. He’s looking a little tired. Getting in and out of cars is hard work when you’re 100 years old. We get him buckled back into Rosalita Ipswich O’Molenovich and return him to his home.
Karen: I love you, Daddy.
Dad: I love you, Karen