Author Archive

Giving It Away

May 16, 2019

I was doing knee exercises in the open section of the community pool where anything goes. So, I didn't think it odd that a young woman would be making her way hand over hand along the pool edge towards me, fiercely intent on getting to …( read more )

Sound Of Laughter

April 29, 2019

A policeman came to my door, asking, "Are you the wife of Richard DeShaw?" I said, "Dick! Never Richard!" Right then, an old Irish joke suddenly popped into my mind: An insensitive cop asks a woman, "Are you the Widow Brown?" …( read more )

The Greatest Injustice

April 16, 2019

I once thought that if an injustice were made public, it would immediately be condemned and fixed. Along with a group of older women, I regularly helped to use songs and spoofs to publicize wrongdoings in government and society. One time, …( read more )

Ice Storm

April 6, 2019

Drool splattered my cheek. A Bull Mastiff leaned over, wanting his bed back. I opened my eyes and remembered that we were two weeks into the 1998 ice storm, driven from our home, sharing a one-bedroom apartment with six large-breed …( read more )

Wide Load

March 27, 2019

Our house burned to the ground when I was a young teenager. At that time, clear across town, the city was planning to build a highway through a fancier neighbourhood, which meant tearing down every house that stood in its way. With our …( read more )

A Spiritual Workout

March 10, 2019

A beefy guy with a buzz cut has a half-smoked cigarette behind his ear. Sitting next to him is a kid with a nose ring and eye makeup, wearing a black hat that says, "On my way to hell!" Those of various faiths board, in turbans and …( read more )

When The Sirens Go Off

February 23, 2019

The first thing that those who visit me remark on is all the sirens! The "Get out of the way, quick!" shrieks of fire engines headed for my neighbourhood's under-repaired housing. The life-or-death screams of ambulances attending victims …( read more )

Living In The Hand Of God

February 8, 2019

When I was young, back in the Alaskan bush, we had to fly in and out of mining camps as my father and grandfather were prospectors. There were no year-round roads, due to seasonal melting of the permafrost. One time when the plane didn't …( read more )

I Almost Missed Out

January 23, 2019

I almost missed the happiness that God has had for me in life, when I decided to end it at the age of 17. Miserable, lonely, and friendless, I could not see this changing in the future. What good is my life? I questioned, not realizing …( read more )

Robber With A Bad Smell

January 8, 2019

For many years, I ran a small out-of-print bookshop from the bottom floor of my home. My training came from managing a similar business in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Shortly before I left the city, a woman about my age was murdered by a …( read more )

Courage And Faith

December 3, 2018

After years of childhood pain, I didn't love Christmas. I identified with the sentiments of Blue Christmas. I sat in darkness, spending time on a website called "Christmas Misery". I had plenty of memories of sorrow and loss to keep me …( read more )

Turning Wounds Into Wisdom

November 19, 2018

A man on a ladder across the street was cleaning out the eavestroughs of a small apartment complex. "Would you do mine when you're finished?" I called out. "Sure," he said. He came over about half an hour later, did a decent job on my …( read more )

Equipped For Every Good Work

November 4, 2018

I once counted up the times that I have moved through my life — a total of 35. That meant moving everything — pets, books, dishes, furniture — sometimes to another country, city, province, or state — changing mailing addresses and …( read more )

The Efforts Business

October 24, 2018

Sometimes, I find myself thinking that God has no more for me to do, as I am old. Then, I remember that the apostle Paul said that he was old, too, a vulnerable thing to admit. But lately, when people ask how I am, I say, "Elderly", …( read more )

Blessings Come To Those Who Notice

October 12, 2018

At the age of 17, I began working my way through Bible school, cleaning toilets all over campus at 5 a.m. I was shy and seldom off campus, except to run children's programs in a nearby church. One day, I wrote a short note to a co-worker …( read more )

How To Get Ready For Anything

September 25, 2018

My son was banned from every hospital in our area for bribing orderlies to bring in street drugs for him as a patient. "What do we do now?" I asked our family doctor. "Try another town where they don't know him," he said. We drove many …( read more )

If You Spot It, You Got It!

September 10, 2018

I have a good friend, someone whom I can call in the middle of the night, but someone whom I was giving up on, due to her habit of interrupting me when I was trying to talk and talking far too much about herself. I thought about following …( read more )

Baby At The Police Station

August 28, 2018

"A baby who has been left alone is being held down at the police station," said the message on our phone. My husband, the social worker on duty, asked if I'd go along with him as backup. When we got to the station, he went off to find …( read more )

Watermelon On The Bus

August 20, 2018

"Want to know my worst day driving a bus?" a driver asked me one summer day. "There was a woman on the very back seat with groceries in a couple paper bags. In one of them was a big watermelon. She was busy talking, not payin' much …( read more )

God Left Me A Receipt

August 7, 2018

It was a sunny morning in early July when my husband, who hadn't been sick, suddenly dropped dead in the middle of a golf game. He was surrounded by friends, and it was his turn to hit, when he fell out of the cart on the third hole, …( read more )

Kept Safe Though I Saw No Danger

July 17, 2018

I was fifteen when I went out to work at a farm, far from home, cleaning and cooking for the harvest crews in the wheat fields. I had no knowledge of the facts of life, nor could I have known that the farmer was used to taking advantage …( read more )

Always On The Lookout For A Reason To Pray

June 10, 2018

I don't drive. So, when my husband died, I had to walk or take the bus wherever I went. As I live in the centre of a busy university town, this meant that, suddenly, I was spending time every day surrounded by the people I had ignored …( read more )

Finding A Church Without Any Problems

May 10, 2018

"The church failed me!" I used to say. My two sons were abused by their choirmaster. The youngest died, and my eldest lives with the impact. I saw that church as a body of sinners, the kind of blame that much of the outside world gives to …( read more )

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