Monday, October 10, 2016


There's a dent in the side of the house
 where the tree originally struck.
 Recently, I was in northern Utah when a tornado struck. I was in Layton, and although the tornado didn't touch down there, sustained winds were 50-100 mph. It blew in, swirling like a giant leafy stew, bringing rain along with it.

Garbage cans sailed up the streets, the
neighbor's trampoline blew up over the fence, along the side of my sister's house ending in a mangled mess in the tree in her front yard. Trees uprooted, or split, shingles blew, power lines were down, traffic was a nightmare.

truck hauling away debris
But here's what blew me away--pardon the pun--the storm had no sooner hit than my nephews grabbed their gear and headed into the pouring rain to start the cleanup. FIVE HOURS later they returned. They are amazing. For the next three days, they and the people in the community joined the
another lost tree

downed fence
cleanup effort with trucks, chainsaws, man power, donuts, pizza, water bottles, traffic directors, cheerleaders, little kids, big kids, grandparents. It still overwhelms my senses and makes me
rainbow after the storm
emotional. This is a tribute to the workers big and small, to the example this community is to the world. Get out and get it done. Don't wait for someone else to solve the problem (and government can never solve a problem as efficiently as YOU can). Way to go Team Layton!

Monday, October 3, 2016


Fred Devito said, "If it doesn't challenge you it doesn't change you."   

Kelly Clarkson sings it this way, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger/a fighter."

Or for you Barbie fans, "If I wasn't meant to fly, I wouldn't have these wings."

We are meant to fly, to learn, to grow. We cannot know the joy if we never experience the sorrow. We cannot know our inner strength until it is tested.

What are some of your challenges from yesteryears? How did they help shape you? What challenges are you facing right now?

A couple of years ago, an author that I was following like a good fangirl does, posted that she was taking down her work and would henceforth write under another name because of all the criticism to the writing she had posted.

I was devastated. I thought her writing, though rough--as she stated prior to each posting, was brilliant. I particularly loved her extensive vocabulary, her strong female characters, and the witty dialogue. I still go back occasionally to her stories I have on my Kindle, and, yes, every blue moon I do a search to see if I can find her. Fractional success there.

We don't know another's path or challenges. Our criticism of the small part could be a tipping point.

My challenge to all of us is to encourage rather than criticize, to listen instead of ignore, to offer kindness and a smile rather than an obscenity.

I also know YOU have amazing gifts and talents to share. Sure, you may just be starting out, but don't give up.
Be a fighter. Learn what you need to learn and SHARE your gifts.

I'll end with a beautiful quote from Helen Walton, "It's not what you gather but what you scatter..."

Scatter sunshine.