Tag Archives: mom

“Mom, You Want A Cup of Coffee?”

My older brother dropped me on my head when I was a baby and he was only four.

They rushed me to the hospital, and my brother tells the story of seeing Mom, worried look on her face, not knowing what the doctors would say, nor whether there would be any permanent damage (whether there was or note is a debate we can have—later).

He wanted to help, to fix things, make things all right again.

He somehow managed to get a cup of coffee poured, and he went to Mom in the living room and said “Would you like a cup of coffee?”

Today, Mom got to follow the ambulance carrying Dad down to Virginia Mason hospital in Seattle. He’s been fighting pancreatic cancer, and a number of other ailments that plague eighty-year-old men. She had to drive in the pouring rain, of course.

Dad is probably fine, and he’s receiving the best of care, but from 1,500 miles away it’s frustrating.

I want to help, to fix things, to make things all right again. I want to go to the hospital and sit there with her and say “Mom, would you like a cup of coffee?”

If you’ve ever had a situation like this, tell me about it in the comments section below.



Filed under New Season, Uncategorized


This past weekend I watched a video of a woman who had married her fiancé. No big story there, until you learn she married him after he was in a car accident that destroyed his brain and left him to a great extent incapacitated, and that she and her husband were both twenty-something when they married.

I was dry-eyed until she described her “gratitude wall.” It is a corkboard hanging on the kitchen wall, filled with post-it notes documenting everything in her life for which she is grateful—family, friends, her husband’s handicaps, God’s grace. (Perhaps those last two go together.)

Inspired and guilt-ridden, I made my own gratitude wall this weekend. Though it has only a few scraps of paper pinned to it, I plan to take a moment each day to remember those things for which I am truly grateful, and to add at least one thing to the board.

I think there is some sort of benefit from doing this–being consciously grateful–that goes beyond the obvious advice of being glad for what we have. Somehow, our gratitude is one of the ways God extends His grace to us–not a means of grace like baptism or the Lord’s supper, but important nonetheless. Important and true enough for me to recommend you do the same—build your gratitude wall.

Or at least, Be Grateful.

(Yesterday I was particularly grateful for my Mom.)

Leave a comment

Filed under New Life, New Season, Uncategorized

Teaching Myself

When I was four I decided it was high time for me to learn how to ski. My schedule was pretty open, and I had all the necessary clothing. I lived in Seattle and Stevens’ Pass was only 78 miles east on Highway 2. All I needed were skis, boots, poles, goggles, and a ride to the ski area.

I knew I could rent the equipment once I got to Stevens, and that meant transportation was the only obstacle. Mom was busy making lunches, cleaning the kitchen floor, and watching my younger brother, John, who had a habit of running out the front door naked if left unattended. All Dad did was work six AM to two PM Monday through Friday; he didn’t do anything at all once he got home, and his weekends were completely free. After my midday nap I waited for him to get home so I could pop the question to him.

I had tapped into a hitherto unknown desire because the next thing I knew my red skis and I were at Stevens Pass being whisked up the rope tow while mom waited in the lodge with John and my older brother, Stewart made his way up the tow on his own.

Rope tows were defective in those days. They were set so high off the ground that a two-and-a-half-foot-tall four-year old couldn’t reach the rope. I made arrangements with Dad to take me up the tow by tucking me between his legs while he held the rope with one hand and me with the other.

I discovered that placing my skis in a snow plow* configuration and shifting my weight from the inside of one ski to the inside of the other, while keeping my poles out front ready to mash the moguls as I picked up speed was the best way to make a controlled and elegant descent. From there it was an easy progression to Seventh Heaven (the top run at Stevens Pass) and first tracks in powder so deep it was over my head.

My advice? Teach yourself. It’s a lot easier than depending upon someone else’s schedule and expertise.

Next Week: Teaching Myself To Rock Climb, Age Nine


*The snow plow is not a wedge, as it is commonly referred to today. You’re not “wedging” your skis between your boots and the snow, you’re “plowing” snow by putting your skis in a “V”. (If you snow plow in deep snow you ruin the hill for others who want to ski through the deep snow and not the bare track you just left behind. You are now in a position of humility and subject to the ridicule of other skiers shouting “Powder Pig!” at you from their seat of shame on the chair lift above you.) It’s a plow, not a wedge.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized