“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!

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.)

Derring Do and Adventure in the Land of Social Distancing

So I’ve been pretty much wearing black for the last five months. Although I’d like to say that I’ve been doing this in protest or something – it’s really just because I’ve not had any interest in my clothes. I have, like, five black tops and I just rotate them over my black shorts or my black jeans and I don’t spend much time thinking about it. But today it occurred to me that maybe that’s affecting my psyche. Maybe I should make some effort. So I put on a purple top; Put on my new capri blue jeans; I EVEN went so far as to put on a pair of dangly earrings – and my smiley mask, of course. And then I got myself in the car and drove to Sisters Espresso and showed off myself to Brooke. “See? See?” I mumbled through my mask, “I’m not wearing black today?! And see – I’ve got new capri pants! And I’m even wearing earrings!!!” Brooke (I so love her! ) gave me the exactly right feedback and encouragement I needed for making an effort.

I ordered a lavender green iced tea for myself, and then I looked across the espresso shop to the drive-thru window and yelled across to the bearded man, waiting patiently in his truck: “I’m buying you your drink today!” He smiled. “Sir, are you expensive?” I asked. He nodded his head yes and grinned. (His order wasn’t expensive at all.) “I’m also taking your punch on my punch card,” I informed him, pointing to my Sisters punch card, and he laughed.

And so ends another tale of derring do and adventure in the land of social distancing.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

 

Ten Perfect Minutes

I found ten perfect minutes today – sitting in the shade outside the coffee shop – all alone in the space set aside for patrons, sipping my blueberry-spinach-coconut milk smoothie. I watched the sailboats and paddle boarders and kayakers gliding by on the bay – and, with my mask securely fastened about my face – asked a pair of friends who’ve known each other for 40 years if I could take their photo for them – they said yes and thank you.  Another pair of friends – a black woman and a white woman – walked by and stopped on the walk in front of me to look out at the water – and I had to comment on the beautiful sweater one of the friends was wearing – she smiled and thanked me and told me she ordered her sweater online. Just as I was contemplating leaving and continuing on with my walk a family came out of the coffee shop and joined me in the space for patrons – my table was the only one in the shade, and I told them that I was leaving and they could sit where I was. They smiled and – making sure to keep the proper social distance – we moved around each other and they took over the table out of the sun.

Ten perfect minutes is a pretty wonderful thing.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

 

Smiles Extend Beyond Six Feet – Keep ‘Em Coming! :)

To Fred Meyer’s shoppers and Hagen’s shoppers, and the people I’ve passed on my walks on the Bellingham boardwalk – thank you so much for exchanging smiles with me in the last couple weeks! Everyone I’ve encountered has been kind and courteous and helpful. Thank you for laughing with me at the empty toilet paper shelves. Thank you for extending your elbows to me. 🙂  I’ve heard stories of folks fighting over toilet paper, stock-piling hand sanitizers – I’d been a little concerned about virus vigilantes trying to lock people in a quarantine if they sneezed – but all I’ve encountered in the last few weeks has been unshakeable kindness. Maybe we have to keep our physical distance from each other – but isn’t it cool that smiles can extend beyond six feet?!

Smiles are powerful things, my friends. Keep ’em coming! 🙂 😀 🙂

Happy Girl

All My Talk About Kindness

Ahem. So. Yeah. All my talk about kindness. I feel the need to confess at this time that I ain’t perfect. Yet. 🙂 I get angry sometimes. I have flaws and foibles and nonsense. But I am trying – and I think I’ve made some progress. And that’s got to count for something, right?

new vews of divine Love

Thinking About Kindness

Thinking about kindness this morning. Thinking about the who, what, why. and when of it.

Who? I’m thinking I need to be showing kindness to everyone, without distinction. Kindness shouldn’t just be shown to people who belong to the right political party, or religion, or ethnicity, or gender, or whatever. Kindness should be shown to everyone, regardless of (fill in the blank). And yes, it should even be shown to (fill in the blank).

What does kindness look like? I’m thinking it’s mostly seen in the little things – in a smile, in a word of encouragement and appreciation, holding the door open for the person behind you, slowing down so a car can merge in front of you, buying someone a cocoa or a coffee on a cold day, saying hi to a stranger who looks in need of a friendly greeting.

Why should we be kind? Because, really, kindness is the basis for whatever is moral and ethical, isn’t it? You’re not going to cheat, steal, or murder when you’re kind.

When should we be kind? Well. Always, right? Kindness shouldn’t be withheld until it’s been “earned.” Kindness shouldn’t come with any expectation or agenda at all.

So. That’s what I’m thinking about this morning.

 

 “God is love. Therefore love. Without distinction, without calculation, without procrastination, love. Lavish it upon the poor, where it is very easy; especially upon the rich, who often need it most; most of all upon your equals, where it is very difficult, and for whom perhaps we each do least of all. There is a difference between trying to please and giving pleasure. Give pleasure. Lose no chance of giving pleasure.”
– Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World

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