Drizzly Day Wanderings


Cranberry ‘Tears’

Wild berries captured my attention on today’s woods-wander.

Perhaps it was the dampening drizzle, or the fading yellow Devil’s Club with its red fruits, that cast an uncharacteristic, slightly glum mood to my ever wandering musings. 

It was a pair of raindrops that fixed my gaze. Precariously clinging to high-bush cranberries . . . they mystically transformed into ‘teardrops’. . . Fall’s final fruits perishing to Winter’s impending, frozen death . . . Snap Out Of It Freddy!!!

Back home, tossing another log on the fire, my ‘drizzly’ attitude began to dry out . . . temporarily.

Opening my email, I read Ray’s Daily blog post for today. Ray’s creative, humorous, pensive blog has been a favorite read of mine. I surmise from his gifted writing style he’s an elderly Jewish man, who may actually be older than me 😊

Erma Bombeck was a popular American author, humorist and newspaper columnist. Today Ray posted her poignant, introspective reflections penned shortly before her death in 1996 . . . . food for thought as today each of us find ourselves another day closer to our own Winter . . . the Good News . . . the eternal Spring of Eternity awaits for those who choose to claim Christ as their own . . . now I feel much better😊

Be Blessed!

IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER

Erma Bombeck

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life anyone ever gets to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love you’s.” More “I’m sorry’s.”

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute…look at it and really see it … live it and never give it back. Stop sweating the small stuff. Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what. Instead, let’s cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us. Let’s think about what God HAS blessed us with. And what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, as well.

We have one shot at this and then it’s gone.

I hope you all have a blessed day.

Devil’s Club

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Creation’s Whispers


Of all the places I’ve been blessed to meander throughout this untamed, rugged, awesome Last Frontier corner of creation, Hatcher Pass remains among my most special.

You can’t see the forest for the trees.” . . . in today’s chaotic word, life’s ‘forest’ beauty is woefully shrouded by it’s tumultuous ‘trees’ of power, greed, bigotry, hatred, and lust.

Paradoxically, whenever my wanders find me above treeline, the calamity of life’s forests below fade, and I catch a glimpse of heaven’s serenity that awaits. Gratefully gazing in mystical wonder, such were where my thoughts drifted yesterday.

As high clouds accentuated the silence of creation’s calming whispers, here’s the ethereal Hatcher Pass scene I wish your eyes could have beheld it with me.

I M Blessed . . . May U B 2!

Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours.

1 Chronicles 29:11

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Hatcher Pass, Alaska

Retired Routine


Time . . . free and unscheduled from family and career demands . . . is one of retirement’s supreme joys. However, it still requires a modicum of Demanding Responsible Routine (DRR).

My ‘challenging’ morning DRR involves a 5-step procedure I’ve thankfully, somehow, managed to quickly master:

1.     Awake to daybreak’s soothing ‘alarms’ of birdsong and wind outside my window . . . at my advanced state of ‘maturity’ awakening has become an event of grateful celebration   rather than a probable given.

2.     Toss off the covers and get outta’ bed . . .  when I’ve mustered sufficient will-power and energy.

3.    Plug in the percolator to brew a pot of aromatic java, recently ground by my loving, spouse-tolerant wife who remains ‘undercover’ counting sheep.

4.    Contemplate whether a bowl of cereal with freshly picked raspberries, or a slice of micro-warmed apple pie, is healthier for consumption.

5.    Stretch out in the recliner and talk with Dad about how to best not to screw-up this new day He has given me 😊😊😊

This morning, in the midst of step #5, I glanced out the window at a storm lifting over the mountains. Looking back down at my Bible this poignant verse lifted from the page . . . I realized anew how truly blessed this ole retired prodigal’s and his DRR is . . .

“… What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes …

James 4:14

Be you blissfully retired, or still engaged in the daily DRR of family and career . . . whatever storms may cloud your horizon today . . . take heart knowing life’s ‘mists’ will soon fade, and the forever Sonshine of eternity awaits.

I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Storm Mists Lifting

Fall Greets Winter

Drizzly Day Wander


Drizzly days disperse sunny day shadows casting the landscape with a muted, impressionist, Monet haze.  

Such was mine on a wilderness wander up Castle Mountain today. Other than an unexpected spill crossing  a swamp  . . . resulting in an ‘invigorating’ mud bath . . . it was an tranquil, color splashed antithesis to ‘fun in the sun’.

A hot shower and scrumptious dinner prepared by my patient, understanding wife was a welcome finale. I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

“He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous.” 

Matthew 5:45

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Fall Forest Trail
Talkeetna Range Fall Hues

Misty Majesty

Winter Beckons
Drizzly Ole Duffer

Creation Eye Candy


Tundra’s fall color peak is an ephemeral event, lasting but a few days. This year we were blessed to catch this incredible kaleidoscopic explosion of colors at Denali National Park.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s 7,000. They scarcely begin to define the vibrant hues of crimson and gold carpeting the vast wilderness that silently awed us in wonder. Wish you could have been there.

I stand in awe of your deeds Lord …” – Habakkuk 3:2

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Denali National Park Road
Tundra Crimson
Wilderness Gold
Tundra Gold Nugget
Effulgent Carpet
Tundra Wash
Nenana River

Denali’s Fall Splendor


Thanks for the food Lord, and please let the sun come out.” Such was my short breakfast appeal prayed over Wendy’s sausage egg croissants and free senior coffee . . . senior coffee is a freebie at  Wendy’s for all ole duffers 😊

Ellie and I were headed north to Denali National Park to visit good friends and hopefully be in Denali’s 30% Club – the mountain makes its own weather and only 30% of folks visiting DNP see North America highest mountain reaching 20,320 ft. into the heavens.

Gray clouds dampened our trip with intermittent to heavy deluges until, ‘coincidentally’, upon reaching the outskirts of DNP the weather suddenly shifted to partly cloudy with intermittent sunshine. We even got to see part of Denali peeking out behind its clouds . . . God hears Wendy’s breakfast prayers, and I betcha’ McDonald’s as well 😊.

The splendor of the tundra’s fall colors is truly indescribable, so rather than butcher it with my shoddy prose, here’s a few pictures of the wonder that surrounded us.

Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His dwelling place.” – I Chronicles 16:27

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Denali National Park Fall Colors

Denali in the Clouds

Savage River – DNP

Shalom and the Rabbi


The Hebrew language richly conveys feeling, intent, and emotion. Shalom, the Hebrew word for peace, is my favorite. It’s used to greet and bid farewell to people, but expresses an all-encompassing peace that is so much more.

Strong’s Concordance defines Shalom as completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, and the absence of agitation or discord . . . today’s world is in dire need of an infusion of Shalom.

Shalom is displayed on our well house. A few years back it prompted a humorous encounter. Arriving home from town one afternoon, a note with a phone number was on our door, “Please call us.”

I called, and a friendly voice answered, thanking me for calling back. Identifying himself as a rabbi, he explained that he and another rabbi had been exploring the rural environs of the Matanuska Borough seeking fellow Jews to invite to their recently established synagogue in Wasilla, AK. They noticed Shalom on our well house and had left the note on our door.

Are you Jewish?“, the rabbi asked.

No,” I politely replied, “but my boss is a Jewish carpenter.”

Could you give us his name?”, he responded.

Jesus”, I said with a smile . . . he immediately realized I wasn’t a frozen chosen candidate for his congregation 😊 

Sometime later I met the rabbi at his synagogue’s booth at the Alaska State Fair and we shared smiles together.

Last evening Shalom silently embraced my soul as the Creator placed an effulgent patch of rainbow across the lake to end the day.

Awakening this morning, Shalom’s peace lingered. Stoking up the woodstove and pouring a steaming cup of coffee, I sat astonished beyond comprehension pondering how, despite the self-hatred of my countless past felonious faults, failures and foibles, and those I may make today in the future . . . I’ll forever remain my Abba’s beloved child.

Opening the You Version Bible app, this Shalom tribute formed in my thoughts . . .

S H A L O M

   Serinity

 “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

Psalm 91:1

 Hope

            “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you            and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” 

Jeremiah 11:29

   Adopted

   “In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will.”

Ephesians 1:5

Loved

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23

    Overcome

I have told you these things that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

Majesty

Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and glory are in His sanctuary.

Psalm 68:34

Shalom my friends!

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Well House

Fish Lake Rainbow – Chickaloon, Alaska

Reflected Majesty

Patch of Glory

How Great Thou Art


Sunshine, storm and nature joined forces this afternoon to transmute the lyrics of a favorite hymn into a stunning Alaskan visual concert beyond words. I am richly blessed . . . may you be as well.

How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,

Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made.

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,

Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,

And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.

When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur

And see the brook and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee,

How great Thou art, How great Thou art.

Bill Gaither

Matanuska River Valley Mists
Matanuska Glacier

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Rusted and Restored


My rusted old watering can has sprung a leak. Over the years we’ve nurtured and raised many summers of vibrant flowerbeds together.

Having attained an advanced state of maturity???😊, and a tad rusted out myself, I’m not a big throw-away fan. I can remember my grandfather having me straighten out used nails . . . frugality on steroids! Sooooo, replacing my old watering with a new, rust-proof, sleek plastic model isn’t an option  . . . Flex-seal to the rescue! Successfully patched, we’re back watering flowerbeds again.

My restoration project reminded me of a story I reflect on for encouragement during times when past regrets threaten to crowd out present joys, pondering if my life’s purpose is to merely serve as a good bad example😊

During those less than a ‘10’, discouraging detours along life’s journey, here it is for encouragement, believing that He who brings “…beauty for ashes…” created you on purpose for a purpose.

  The Cracked Pot

A water-bearer had two pots, each hung on opposite ends of a pole he carried across his neck.  One of the pots had a crack in it. The other was perfect, always delivering a full portion of water at the end of a long walk from the stream to the Master’s house. The cracked pot always arrived half-full. Each day for two years, at the end of the long journey from the stream to the master’s house, the water-bearer delivered only one and a half pots of water.

The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishment to fulfill the purpose for which it had been made. The poor cracked pot was ashamed of its imperfection, miserable that it had only been able to accomplish half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what was perceived as a bitter failure, the unhappy, broken pot spoke to the water-bearer at the stream.

I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”, the pot said.

Why?”, asked the water-bearer. “What are you ashamed of?

For the past two years I have been able to deliver only half my load because the crack in my side causes the water to leak out all the way back to your Master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all this work and don’t get full value from your efforts,” the broken pot said.

The water-bearer felt sorry for the old, cracked pot, and in his compassion said, “As we return to the Master’s house today, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.

As they went back up the path, the broken pot cheered up a bit observing the lovely flowers blooming in the sunlight along the path’s side. However, upon reaching the Master’s house, realizing it had leaked out half its load once again, the broken pot’s despondency returned, and so it apologized again to the water-bearer for its failure.

The water-bearer said to pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I have taken advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day, as we have walked back from the stream to the Master’s house, you have watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my Master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, He would not have this beauty to grace His house with.

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Termination Dust and Eagles


Termination Dust #1

A friend in the Lower 48 brought a smile to my face when they asked, “What is determination dust?”

It’s called termination dust, and refers to the first snow that appears on Alaskan mountaintops signaling the end of summer. Actually, termination dust is an oxymoronic term . . . many Last Frontier mountains are covered with snow year round.

Anyhoo . . . I stepped out on the deck this morning to snap a couple pics of this ‘dust’ you can ski on for those of you who may not have experienced it. As I did so, an eagle was soaring above the mountains about a mile away . . . far beyond the range my basic $300 35mm camera’s capabilities of capturing with any clarity. But  . . . for youse guys blessed with ‘eagle eye’ vision . . . see if you can spot our national symbol in the Termination Dust #1 pic before viewing the Termination Dust and Eagle pic. If you’re still having difficulty seeing ‘ole’ Baldy, I hear Wal *Mart  is offering a special on glasses with a free vision exam

Each time I see an eagle, His assurance in Isaiah 40:31 comes to mind:

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagle; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

After nearly 80 years on the planet, walking has become a tad easier than running, but waiting is still not my forte

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Termination Dust and Eagle
Termination Dust #2
Distant Eagle