"Birth is not one act; it is a process. The aim of life is to be fully born, though its tragedy is that most of us die before we are thus born. To live is to be born every minute. Death occurs when birth stops."
Erich Fromm

My Mother and I were close. I was the last child at home. My Father had died when I was 14. Mom and I talked about everything. Anything that troubled me, or her, or things that were curious, interesting, different and just every day things.

We shared many interests in common. She was my Mother, but she was also my friend.

When I turned 18, I was ready for my life's adventure to start. Wasn't that what Mom had raised me for? All the other kids had gone off at 18. I didn't think about Mom being alone. She was an active person engaged with life and the community.

I was on my way.

Years later a friend of hers told me she cried for two weeks she missed me so much. I never even knew. She seemed as excited for me to go and try my wings as I was. She never tried to lay the guilt on me to stay at home, she could have, and I might have stayed. But she didn't even hint at the fact that she would be alone. I never once felt compelled to stay. She opened her arms and let me go.

She even let me take her car. (anyway for the first few weeks of moving and finding a job in a town a hundred mile south.)

I think now of that selfless act of love, which exemplifies the way Mother was with each one of us five kids.

When she died, at age 95, and all the kids had gathered in her home, we were sharing memories as we read her wishes. As sad as that gathering was, we also laughed. One of my brother said, "I've always felt a little guilty, because I was her favorite." My other brother said, "wait a minute. I was her favorite." We all laughed at that, because we had all known we were her favorites.

That was the way she made people feel. Special, loved and unique. She had an incredible gift of helping people see the best in themselves. And also areas where you might need some self examination, but without being made to feel like you were bad or of less worth.

When my brother "the favorite" called to tell me she had died, (he had been living at home so she could stay in her home to the last), I felt a flood of gratitude and joy. She had been expressing how tired she was over the last few years of her life and was ready to cross the river, she would say, and now she had.

My oldest sister was there with two of her daughters, visiting Mom. They had had a wonderful time together and on the last full day they were to be there, they were all visiting at the kitchen table and she said she was going to let them finish up with the breakfast dishes while she took a short nap.

She lied down and slept, and didn't wake up.

I've always thought she had a sweet death. It wasn't a struggle, there was no pain, other than the aches and pains of old age. She wasn't afraid.

I think of her often and especially on the 31st of March. As I know my four Sibs will be thinking of her today too.

It was harder for some of us to let her go than others, and yet I felt her presence with me so often that first year after. We all did.

Something happened at work one night shortly after and I sat down at break time and started writing her a letter, I was upset, half way through I realized she was beyond a forwarding address, and I sat there and was comforted by her presences.

Even after eight years I still miss her and think sometimes, "Now, that would have made Mom laugh!" Or, "I wish I could show her that."

I see her in my siblings, and her grandchildren, a turn of phrase, body language, an attitude, we all carry her with us, and today she will be remembered. She lived a full and happy life.

Over the next few days I will be posting poems I wrote for her. On my poetry blog, Sagewind Voices.



"But it's always interesting when one doesn't see," she added, "If you don't see what a thing means, you must be looking at it wrong way around."
Agatha Christie
English Mystery Writer

There were 89 customers who came through my door yesterday, plus really, as I lost count a few times. My record high count is 112. I average 55 to 65 per day, most months . For one person clerking the store that's a lot of people, and a lot of books coming in and going out.

This picture is from my intake table, where I clean, price and put books away.

I like what I do, but there are times I can feel overwhelmed. Yesterday was one of those times, I came home really tired.

Sometimes I think I should hirer a person a couple of hours a day just to put books away, so I wouldn't have to stay after work, or come in on Sunday afternoons, but then I get worried about making that kind of commitment to anyone.

I dislike with a passion firing people if it doesn't work out. If they can't alphabetize, (everyone says they can - I need to devise a test) or figure out how to move books up and down the shelves to make more room, even after being shown over and over. Or are so slow they can't get a simple small job done in an allotted time.

There are more books in the world than you can imagine. I know because I've got at least 70 thousand of them in my store.

These are the intake shelves where I put the books after I clean them. Full, and over flowing. Blessings of every kind. Hours of adventure, mystery, romance, for you to curl up with in your favorite chair.

This is the doorway into my storeroom. 100 sq. ft. and it's full too.

It's looking sunny and clear out there this morning. Aw, blue skies, and another beautiful day.

Books will be on some one's To Do List.

I'll be there.



"This is It
and I am It
and You are It
and so is That
and He is It
and She is It
and It is It
and That is That."

James Broughton

We have a modest home, 1,550 sq. ft. on a large corner lot. No one lives with us but our space cat, Panga.

We live a comfortable life, frugal, yes, but comfortable. We drive cars that are almost 20 years old, and we baby them. We don't travel much out side Oregon and bordering states.

I guess we are a little like Candide who after many adventures found contentment in tending the garden in his own back yard.

Sunrise's last apple of fall.


From our three decks we get some fantastic sunsets and sunrises. As I was going through my pictures to find the Forest Park picture for the last posting, I kept finding sunsets and a few sunrises. I never seem to be able to catch the best ones, but here are a few I liked.


You don't have to leave home to find contentment, when the joy of simple things is present off your own back deck.



The trees wear coats of moss, adornments of fern.

This is German town Rd, that cuts through the park north to south.

These were all along the road, as the trails I tried were to muddy for me, as it had been raining most of the day.

Even though the moss and ivy or ferns may be beautiful, if they grow on the trees it eventually kills them. A beautiful death.

At home after my trip. Sunset from my back deck.

I love seeing and being with my kids, and their families and dogs and cats, but it is always good to come home to Duncan and Panga.



"There was a young lady named Bright,
whose speed was far faster than light;

She set out one day in a relative way,
and returned home the previous night."

Arthur Henry Reginald Buller

When I visit my kids and their dogs and cats, it is always over to quick.

I'm fortunate that both sons and families live five minutes apart. We've watched movies, eaten good dinners, visited, more movies, pop-corn... You get the picture.

Today is Monday and everyone has to do some work. So I'm on my own for a few hours. We'll all get together again this evening for dinner.

Yesterday while they were all busy with some different things that had to be done before going back to work, I took off and drove around Forest Park.

For those of you who have never been to Portland Oregon, it is famous for its parks. Forest Park is the largest urban forested park in the United States. 5,400 acres. More than 70 miles of trails through out.

There are over 112 species of birds and 62 species of mammals in residence in Forest Park.

I did a perimeter run of the Park because I have part of a story I'm working on, set there. I wanted to get the feel of how big, how it connects up to the city and just to feast my eyes on the greens, of moss, fern, and the blue of sky and creek.

My oldest son lives next door to a large forested park in the St. John area. I can't remember it's name, but we take the dogs walking there. It's around 80 acres, I think. I know to get that beautiful green you have to put up with a lot of rain, fog and overcast... but it is magnificent.

I love running around on my own too, while the family is busy, because I love to see the places they see everyday. I love knowing where they are in a physical sense, as well as how their doing emotionally.

Later this afternoon we are going to Powell's Books, it's a tradition. I have to buy a blank book while I'm here.

Maybe two.

And check to see if there are any of my husbands books in stock. Star Axe. Snow Castles and Ice Towers. I always check.

I always get turned around at least once per trip, and have I frustrating time getting back to where I want to go, as there are a lot of no left turns around here. I had to buy a new map as I had forgotten mine. And a map set of Forest Park.

It has been windy, rainy and a little sunny, yesterday while in Forest Park it was a beautiful sunny patch. I took many pictures. I tried to post up a picture, my lap top is different from my home computer and couldn't get it done. When I get home I'll try from there.

Our last evening tonight. Tomorrow, no matter the weather, I'm on the road for home and hubby.

The time here always seems to be over before it begins.

But I love every minute of it.



"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
Anais Nin

Friendships. (Listen to Guy Clark's Old Friends)

A true deep friendship is a rare thing.

A moment of meeting, a first conversation, and it seems like you've known them forever. Some mutual response that each recognize.

Over the years of my life I've only had a few of this type of friend. I think there could have been more, but life circumstance and distance prevented it.

Not only is there a mutual recognition, but there is a mutual admiration. Not perfect...but perfect, even in that lack of perfection. Understanding where a friend is coming from and the direction their going in. Not even disagreeing breaks that bond.

In this kind of relationship you both act as a mirror to each other. Somehow true friendship helps you see yourself more clearly. When a friend like this moves away, or dies, there is a gap in the fabric of your life. These are not people you can replace.

There may be a new friend just around the corner, but it will be a different world. A different experience.

Not better or worse, just different.

Looking back over my life, from child, teen, young married to the present. I can count on one hand that kind of deepest friendship.

There are many, many other friends who fill my life with love, joy, and fun, but that bounded, heart to heart, like twins somehow, that is not common.

If you have a friend like that, tell them how much they mean to you, before you can't.



"Do not take life to seriously - you will never get out of it alive!"
Elbert Hubbard

Or maybe we will.

I have a friend who once ask me if I believe in life after death, as a close mutual friend had just died.

Recently we were talking about this friend and the impact she had on our lives, and the fact that even though it's been several years now since she's been gone how much we still miss her.

I can't prove that we are spiritual beings, anything more than just flesh, but I believe we are.

I believe we came here from somewhere and will go to somewhere when we leave.

I think we are larger than this shell, this garment of flesh, we wear.

What difference does this make in the way I live? It makes me fearless to be in this little blip of time we call life, because I believe death is not the end. And there is a reason we are here.

There is no empirical proof of this, only a lot of words and strong feelings, written and spoken, from the western belief systems to the eastern. The sacred books of every religion speak of some form of After Future.

Some people tell stories of their Before History's, or speak of such beliefs. Again, what proof?

There are many people who say without proof they can't believe, although I say we believe in things we can't prove everyday. There is no scientific test for love, but do any of us doubt it exits?

Even though I believe there is a Before History and an After Future, I don't dwell on them, I am here and now.

Like a race horse with blinders on, we can't see to the left or the right, it would only distract us from the present moment, and that's what we're here for. The passion of life, different for each one of us, is what we race to.

My friends race was cut short because of the demon jockey, alcoholism, before she reached her finish line. Her presences in my life is still a testimony to me that her spirit was larger than the small moment of time she had here.

Who can understand these things? Who can know? We can only believe, and live in that belief.

Life's a Mystery!



"Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow."
Mark Twain

My husband, Duncan, blogs every day. In the Bend Blog circles he is unusual in this way. Now that I've been blogging for a couple of months, I see just how hard it is to be consistent.

I've been reading. Spending time in the fictional cocoon, with Robert McCammon. l and ll of "Speaks the Nightbird". 1699 a witch trial. People making an enemy out of someone different.

Then I got hooked by a memoir. My Lobotomy, by Howard Dully.


If you go to NPR My Lobotomy, you can listen to his story.

When I was about 12 or 13 I had a friend who's Mom had a lobotomy. It was always a very scary thing to think about. I don't remember what she was like before, or even if I knew her before, but she was not engaged.

There, but not there.

I don't know if this helped her, or hurt her. I don't know if it made life less difficult for the family or not.

When I ask my friend what a lobotomy was, she said they cut my mom's brain.

I don't remember much more than that. But I saw this grinning woman every time I went to visit my friend at her home. Her mother would stare and grin and laugh, even when no one was talking to her.

It always made me feel sad. I would wonder what was she thinking. And why they had done that to her?

Personality, and experience is all such a complex mix that each one of us has to deal with in our lives, if only we could see more clearly what Longfellow once said, "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility."

Of course this does not answer all, or excuse bad behavior, their is always the why. Why me? Why now? Why?

That is a question everyone of us has had to struggle with at some point in our lives, and most of us would like to put it off till tomorrow or day after tomorrow, because we think difficult things are better done in the future.

Mark Twain didn't know what he was talking about.