The Connections that Come from Sharing

It occurs to me that if I hadn’t agreed to sing at that wedding back in December 1982 I never would have met Scotty. If I’d never gathered my courage and published my first book I never would have stumbled into the Amazon forum and met all those amazing hooligans who have since become such an important part of my life. If I’d never put my photos out there I never would have connected with my fellow photography buffs. If I’d never shared my stories about my drives with Dad I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to connect with the dear people who have entered my life in the last year because of those stories. And If I’d never started this blog I wouldn’t have met YOU. Even if nothing more comes from my creative endeavors than these connections with others, my life has been made so much richer because people opened their hearts and let me share with them. And my life is so much richer because YOU all have had the courage to share your gifts with me!

Thank you! ❤

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More about the Humoristian hooligans –
So back in 2007 I was checking my first book out on Amazon and at the bottom of the book page I saw this list of Amazon discussion forums it was suggested I might be interested in. I thought I’d take a peek and see what was going on there. I stuck my toe in one of the forums – the “Christianity” forum – and my toe almost got bitten off right away – there was indignation and huffing and puffing and sermonizing and talk of hell and… yeah… so I pulled my toe out of there and tried out the “Religion” forum – and that is where I found my home – a wild and wonderful mix of atheists, agnostics, Jews, Buddhists, Wiccans, pantheists, and all flavors of Christian – Mormons, Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Baptists, Catholics, and at least one Christian Scientist – and what these people all had in common was the ability to laugh at themselves and get along with each other. They weren’t afraid of talking about their beliefs and debating them – they weren’t easily offended if people questioned them, and they could talk about stuff in a way that was straightforward and genuine – and they were willing to listen to what other people had to say, too – It was like a micro United Nations.

I started my own religion on there: Humoristianity. Here are the tenets:

1) You must be able to laugh at yourself.

2) You must be able to recognize how ludicrous your beliefs might appear to others.

3) You must want nothing but good for everyone, everywhere in the universe.

4) You must have a natural aversion to meetings, committees, and scheduled events (as we will be having none of those).

5) You must enjoy the humor of… (here we had some internal conflict within the faith – but if you’re a Jerry Lewis kind of guy, you might want to think about starting your own religion – although we wish you nothing but good).

I met some of the most amazing people on there – and I still consider these people my dear friends – they got to know me, and my beliefs and thoughts, in a way that a lot of folks in my off-line life weren’t able to do – I mean, how often do you talk about religious beliefs with your co-workers and neighbors, right? All of them were writers, too, and together we wrote a book, The Humoristian Chronicles.

And some of my Humoristian friends I’ve actually been able to meet in the person! I shall include a collage below… along with the cover from my latest book, and a picture of the evening sky from last week. My offerings for today…

 

And Now for Your Listening Pleasure (or listening SOMEthing)…

So about four years ago a friend suggested to me that I check out this karaoke site – Singsnap. Kind of cool site. I didn’t spend a lot of time on there – I was only on there a few months – but I quickly recorded and stockpiled some of my favorite Christmas carols before I left.

So if you’re in the mood for some Christmas tunes today – here you go. 🙂
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Silent Night
The First Noel
What Child Is This?
The Christmas Song

Merry Christmas!
Karen

(Wintery photos by Karen Molenaar Terrell)

“I won’t give up…”

“I don’t wanna be someone who walks away so easily
I’m here to stay and make the difference that I can make
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use
The tools and gifts we got, yeah, we got a lot at stake
And in the end, you’re still my friend at least we did intend
For us to work we didn’t break, we didn’t burn
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I’ve got, and what I’m not, and who I am
I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up, I’m still looking up.”
– Jason Mraz

One birthday, my dear friend, Teresa, gave me a Jason Mraz CD as a gift. I’d never heard of Jason Mraz before Teresa gave me his CD, but as soon as I heard his music I knew I was listening to a kindred spirit. I especially liked his song “I Won’t Give Up.” I later recorded my my own version of his song on singsnap – you can listen to my rendition here.

This is what I’m feeling for my country right now. I’m not ready to give up on us.

Youngest Son

So the youngest son got to decide what CD to put into the player as we’re driving through Seattle. He picked one out of my collection and plopped it into the player with a big grin on his face. Mamma Mia. Yup. So there we are sitting at a busy stoplight in Seattle – cars jammed all around us. “Slipping Through My Fingers” comes on. He cranks up the volume to, like, the loudest loud (an “11” on the Spinal Tap scale), rolls down the window, and rests his tattooed arm on the top of the window frame. Then he starts beating his hand to the beat of ABBA and nodding his head up and down to the song – like he’s really into it – and I am just dying with embarrassment and laughter – cringing and laughing so hard I have tears pouring down my face. The kid cracks me up. I cannot imagine being part of a family with no sense of humor.

Christmas at the Post Office

Stopped at the local post office on the way home from work. There was a complicated transaction with the customer in front of me that took maybe 10 minutes. A couple of people came in and lined up behind me. We’re all standing there, quiet, behaving ourselves – like people do in elevators. Of course, seeing as how *I* was there – this couldn’t last long.

I turned around and said, “Merry Christmas!” and the two people standing behind me smiled and wished me a merry Christmas back. The woman behind me said, “They should be playing Christmas music.” I started singing, “We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas…” – grand finale – “we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new (raised my voice an octave) year!” The people behind me laughed.

Pretty soon my old friend, Mr. Rousseau, came in and greeted me. I told him we were having a party in there. He suggested there should be caroling – my cue – I started singing “Jingle Bells” – everyone joined in. Just as we finished Jingle Bells the customer in front of me finished her transaction, and it was my turn. Perfect timing! I bought my stamps and picked up a package, and as I was leaving I said to my fellow customers, “And my next show will be at…” and they started laughing. 

And for your listening pleasure (or listening something) :), here’s another Christmas carol I recorded on singsnap a couple years ago: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Not Giving Up

So there’s this site called singsnap that’s a karaoke site – let’s you record yourself singing songs to the site’s backup music. My friend, Kathi, introduced me to this site back in 2013, and I made some recordings on there over that summer and then pretty much forgot about it and moved on to other diversions. 🙂 But this morning I was thinking about a Jason Mraz song, I won’t Give Up, and went back to my recording of it on singsnap. It was the first song I recorded on there and I didn’t really know what I was doing – this is not a professional recording or anything. But I feel impelled to share it today. It’s a song for my country and my world. Here’s the link to it: Karen’s recording of I Won’t Give Up. 

I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up, I’m still looking up.
– Jason Mraz