Tuesday, April 29, 2014

...the smell of rain...

 The Smell of Rain 

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the Doctor walked into the
small hospital room of Diana Blessing. Still groggy from surgery, her husband David held her
hand as they braced themselves for the latest news. That afternoon of March 10,1991, 
complications had forced Diana, only 24 weeks pregnant, to Danae Lu Blessing. 

At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound and nine ounces, they already knew she was 
perilously premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs. I don't think she's 
going to make it, he said, as kindly as he could. "There's only a 10 percent chance she will 
live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future 
could be a very cruel one." Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor 
described the devastating problems Danae would likely face if she survived. She would never 
walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to 
other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and 
on. "No! No!" was all Diana could say. She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had 
long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a
matter of hours, that dream was slipping away. 

Through the dark hours of morning as Danae held onto life by the thinnest thread, Diana 
slipped in and out of sleep, growing more and more determined that their tiny daughter would 
live, and live to be a healthy, happy young girl. But David, fully awake and listening to 
additional dire details of their daughter's chances of ever leaving the hospital alive, much 
less healthy, knew he must confront his wife with the inevitable. David walked in and said 
that we needed to talk about making funeral arrangements. Diana remembers, 'I felt so bad for 
him because he was doing everything, trying to include me in what was going on, but I just 
wouldn't listen, I couldn't listen. I said, "No, that is not going to happen, no way! I don't 
care what the doctors say; Danae is not going to die! One day she will be just fine, and she 
will be coming home with us!" 

 As if willed to live by Diana's determination, Danae clung to life hour after hour, with the 
help of every medical machine and marvel her miniature body could endure. But as those first 
days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Danae's under-developed nervous 
system was essentially raw, the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so 
they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of 
their love. All they could do, as Danae struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the 
tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little 
girl. There was never a moment when Danae suddenly grew stronger.

But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of 
strength there. At last, when Danae turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her 
in their arms for the very first time. And two months later-though doctors continued to gently
but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were
 next to zero. Danae went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

Today, five years later, Danae is a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and 
an unquenchable zest for life. She shows no signs, what so ever, of any mental or physical 
impairment. Simply, she is everything a little girl can be and more-but that happy ending is 
far from the end of her story. 

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Danae was 
sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ballpark where her brother Dustin's 
baseball team was practicing. As always, Danae was chattering non-stop with her mother and 
several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across 
her chest, Danae asked, "Do you smell that?" Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a 
thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain." Danae closed her eyes and again asked,
"Do you smell that?" Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet, it 
smells like rain. Still caught in the moment, Danae shook her head, patted her thin shoulders 
with her small hands and loudly announced, "No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you
lay your head on His chest." Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Danae then happily hopped down to 
play with the other children.

Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the 
extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along. During those long 
days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for 
them to touch her, God was holding Danae on His chest and it is His loving scent that she 
remembers so well.

just BE.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


 matthew at one. matthew at fifteen. 

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis or reliable
Than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
Until they've faded but trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back
At photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now
How much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked
You are not as fat as you imagine

Don't worry about the future
Or know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation 
by chewing bubble gum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday
Do one thing every day that scares you

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts
Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours

Don't waste your time on jealousy
Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind
The race is long and in the end, it's only with yourself
Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't
Get plenty of calcium
Be kind to your knees
You'll miss them when they're gone

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't
Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't
Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the 'Funky Chicken'
On your 75th wedding anniversary
Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much
Or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can
Don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it
It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room
Read the directions even if you don't follow them
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good
Be nice to your siblings, they're your best link to your past
And the people most likely to stick with you in the future

Understand that friends come and go
But a precious few, who should hold on

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
For as the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young
Live in New York City once but leave before it makes you hard
Live in northern California once but leave before it makes you soft

Accept certain inalienable truths
Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you, too, will get old
And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young
Prices were reasonable, politicians were noble
And children respected their elders

Respect your elders
Don't expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse
But you never know when either one might run out

Don't mess too much with your hair
Or by the time you're 40 it will look 85

Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past
From the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
And recycling it for more than it's worth

But trust me on the sunscreen
~baz huhrmann

life is the ticking of a clock.
moments go by in the blink of an eye.
enjoy the moments.
what a beautiful ride.
welcome to coffee hour.
welcome to this Sunday morning.
just BE.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

...the gift of silence...

If we do not afford ourselves the gift of silence,
 we shall never hear the message of the universe.

this was shot at my mom and dad's.
there are many fun shadows to be had there.
looking to old photos.
because today presents with.
tiny flakes of...
just BE.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


he has risen
click on

more beautiful words.
have never been spoken.
welcome to coffee hour.
welcome to this Sunday morning.
just BE.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

...it's a beautiful day...

liking each other because it's a beautiful day 
& it seems like a waste of time to disagree 
about stuff the other one is refusing to change out of sheer stubbornness

spring is arm wrestling.
with mother nature.
sooner or later.
spring will overcome.
everything else.
is a waste of time.
enjoy your moments.
just BE.

Sunday, April 13, 2014



this week i was creating.
a memory book.
for my great niece's.
first birthday party.
such fun creating.
not so much fun cleaning it up and putting things away.
the rain came down.
and we were treated to a thunder and lightning show last night.
slowly spring is coming.
the robins delight.
in the earth opening up.
i delight in the robins.
welcome to coffee hour.
welcome to this Sunday morning.
just BE.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

...the happy in your sad...

you gotta look for the good in the bad,
the happy in your sad,
the gain in your pain,
and what makes your grateful not hateful.
~karen salmansohn

i found this yesterday.
it's a good reminder.
i like it.
a LOT.
just BE.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


oh, the experience of this sweet life.

life is here and it is now...either we meet it,
we live it or we miss it. all life resides in the
narrow margin and the broad expanse of the
moment. it is the doing, the dreaming,
the feeling and the caring. it is always
present in a glorious attempt, a lofty
dream, a brilliant insight, an irreplaceable
experience, a calming breathe, an unbelievable
feeling and an irrepressible passion.

an unlived life is littered with "could haves,"
"should haves" and "if onlys." each moment
greets us full of possibility and leaves us 
hoping we are better for having met. while it 
is true that we only have right now, there will
never be a time when it's not now.
Grandma Moses said it best:
"life is what we make it, always has been and always will be."

~kobi yamada
from the book be.

live the life.
of no regrets.
welcome to coffee hour.
welcome to this Sunday morning.
just BE.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

...she starts to dance...

this is a magical beast that holds the secret of light & shadow in a safe place in her heart
 & when it has been too long grey, she starts to dance & laugh & cry & sing 
& the sunlight fills her up
 & spills in wild abandon back into the world again

these lovelies are still covered.
at present.
last year's shot.
what landscape we had open.
is now covered by the snow of yesterday.
we keep on.
keepin' on.
we have to.
embrace the weather.
or be miserable.
we have a choice.
enjoy the moments.
just BE.