Three Thoughts for Thursday

Three Thoughts for Thursday

Safety Check for Paris, Mom's answer to "I love you," and lovely lunches in this week's 3 thoughts.

  1. Thankful for the Safety Check for Paris Facebook feature that showed a friend who lives in Paris is alive and well. Heartsick and praying for those who didn’t receive such good news.
  2. Mom’s answer to my “I love you, Mom” at the end of our last visit? “Thank you. Good to know.” Gotta love her!
  3. Coffee and lunch in my home town with a friend from high school. Lovely!

What’s been lovely about your week? Leave a comment.

Top Ten Things to Miss About High School

Top Ten Things to Miss About High School

Jolene grad

On last week’s road trip, I spent an evening with one of my best friends from high school. Every time we–or any of our high school crowd–get together, we remember why we were (and still are) good friends. And we remember and miss what was best about those fleeting and powerful years.

10. Throwing good luck pennies on the Pizza Hut roof.

9.  Sitting in the stands and talking with friends during basketball and football games…and even watching the games now and then.

8.   English and history classes.

7.   Being part of a group that made sure everyone had a date for Homecoming, Twirp, and Prom.

6.   The speech and drama teacher, Mr. Hallum, who demanded the best from his students and gave so much of his time to help them grow.

5.   Looooong weekend band and speech trips on very uncomfortable school buses.

4.   Marching and concert band during the school year and city band in the summer.

3.   Church youth group and our leaders, Ron and Barb Ritchie.

2.   Play rehearsals.

1.   The best friends a person could ever have (in alphabetical order): Cheri, Jacki, Jane, Katie, Mary Anne, and Roxanne.

Okay, so what’s missing about what you miss about high school? Leave a comment.



Jolene 9th

Today, I can’t wait to spend the day with a high school bestie. How do I know she’s a bestie?

Because we, and two other girls, met on the first day of ninth grade.
When I looked like the girl in the picture above.
Even so, the four of us remained friends.
Not just that year, but throughout high school.
To this very day

I’m not someone who wishes to go back to high school and relive it because those were the best years of my life. Because, even though my high school years were very good, now is the best time of my life.

My husband and I are happy.
Our kids are raised.
Our grandson is perfect.
Camp Dorothy is a hoot.
I love my job.

But if I could have one thing back from high school, I would choose time with my besties. Because we went from ugly ducklings–besties, rest assured I would never post your 9th grade school pictures here–to swans together.

We studied together,
auditioned en masse for plays and speech,
joined the same clubs,
attended cast parties,
pined over the same boys,
hung out at one another’s houses,
threw pennies on the roof of Pizza Hut,
went to youth group,
and had more slumber parties than you can shake a stick at.

If I could choose one day to relive, it would be when we went all the way to Sioux City–just us 4 girls, no parents–to have our senior pictures (see below) taken and then out to a Chinese restaurant afterwards.

The memory of that day is precious.
The memory of this day will be precious, too.
One day with a high school bestie.
When we’re both old enough
to recognize the value of one day,
the value of health to enjoy it,
the value of friendships that span decades,
the value of what we had then,
the value of what we have now,
and the wisdom to be grateful.
Jolene grad

Three Thoughts for Thursday

Three Thoughts for Thursday

car computer hackers

  1. Two researchers used grant from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) to prove it’s possible to hack into smart car computers and mess with the brakes, steering wheel, and other stuff. Suddenly, dumb cars look stunningly attractive to me.
  2. Tuesday an old friend and I talked on the phone. Even though we hadn’t chatted in a long time, the years fell away and our conversation flowed without missing a beat. Friends like that are a blessing.
  3. I kinda hope some hackers listened in on our smart phone conversation. The stories, laughing, and cowboy talk might have made their day. It sure made mine.

What made your day? Leave a comment.

Photo Credit:

Peach Pie Heaven

Peach Pie Heaven

Pardon the latest of this post, but I just got back from peach pie heaven. Though those of you who shudder at the thought of making 5 fresh peach pies before 10 AM, my peach pie heaven may be your peach pie hell.

But the opportunity to prepare dessert for a wedding rehearsal involving two families who have given generously to us made the time in the kitchen heavenly. While peeling peaches, I reflected upon the ways these families touched ours in the past:

  • During our son’s six years as a monk, the bride’s parents subscribed to the monastery newsletter and talked about what they read in it. That simple act of caring meant more to us than words can express.
  • The bride and her sister, who are a few years older than our daughter, let Anne borrow a formal for her senior prom. The kicky, funky dress turned out to be Anne’s all time favorite.
  • When Anne was in fourth grade, the groom volunteered to play George Burn’s to her Gracie Allen for a school performance project. The groom’s parents helped him memorize his lines.
  • The groom did the filming for Different Dream Parenting’s book trailer. Because he has a film degree, he’s been able to help with other audio-visual projects. And he never rolls his eyes when I ask questions with obvious (to the younger generation, anyway) answers.

Such simple things, I mused. But things our family couldn’t do without them.

We couldn’t enter into typical how-the-kids-are-doing conversations with friends unless they understood something about our son’s life.
We couldn’t afford a kicky, funky prom dress for Anne.
We couldn’t be our pint-sized Gracie Allen’s pint-sized straight man.
We couldn’t film professional quality video.

So when our small church group decided to host tonight’s wedding rehearsal dinner for our friends, I volunteered to make dessert.

Not just any dessert.
But fresh peach pie.
Not just 1 pie, but 5.
Enough to feed the whole crowd.

Why volunteer for what some people consider a hellish job?

Because I make a killer peach pie.
Because it’s peach season.
Because this is an opportunity to give back to those who have given to us.
Because being able to give back is a taste of heaven on earth.

How do I know this? Because, I realized, while pouring the last of the glaze over fresh-sliced peaches resting in the baked pastry shell, when God provides opportunities for his people to exercise the unique gifts he’s equipped them with, he’s giving them a foretaste of heaven on earth. And what does heaven taste like?

Heaven tastes serving people who freely served us.
It tastes like the celebration for two lovely, young people making a lifelong commitment.
It tastes like finally being able to give back.
Heaven tastes like fresh peach pie on a warm, summer night.