Martin Short Quotes

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The thing you can always rely on, your core person, comes from your family’s attention and love.

No on is any one thing.

Martin Short (born 1950) is an Canadian-American actor, comedian, and writer.  He is well-known for his work on “SCTV” (Second City Television) in Canada and “Saturday Night Live” in the U.S.

Martina Boone Quotes

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Family is always a mirror.  You can hide from other people, you can hide from yourself, but your family is going to reflect what you’re doing right back at you.

It doesn’t matter how great your shoes are if you don’t accomplish anything in them.

Martina Boone is a Czech Republic born author who has lived in the United States since turning seven years of age.

Allyson Dinneen Quotes

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You’re not here to be perfect or to set a good example or to please anyone.  You were born to love and enjoy your ordinary, peculiar, inconsistent, good-enough self.

PERFECTIONISM:  You have to do everything right to be loved.  LOVE:  You don’t have to do anything right to be loved.

Allyson Dinneen is an American marriage and family therapist as well as a writer.  As the above words attest to, much of her work reaches out to dispel the connection between perfectionism and being loved.

Anything for Grandma

Courtesy of Pinterest

As Grandpa’s pick-up truck drove into the Gallatin National Forest, Lydia continued to remind him of Grandma’s instructions.  Grandma expected them to return home with the most perfect Douglas fir tree for Christmas.

Seven-year old Lydia was excited to make her first trip into the forest to pick out a Christmas tree.  Both she and Grandpa were dressed warmly in layers of outer clothing, snow boots, and stocking hats.  The early December day was going to be snowy and cold.

Lydia’s family always used an artificial Christmas tree, which was better described by Grandma as a “fake” tree.  Her eyes were filled with so much excitement, and her smile reminded Grandpa of the blessing of spending time with his beloved granddaughter.

With the tree permit in hand, Grandpa knew just the right place to find a tree in a dense grove of smaller to medium-sized trees.  Grandma had sent along a delicious lunch of sandwiches and hot chocolate. 

Upon finding their destination, Grandpa parked the truck along the road.  The two of them would have to hike into the forest for about a mile or two. 

Eventually their search found the special grove of trees.  Lydia’s expression was priceless as she witnessed her first look at “real” Christmas trees.

Grandpa gave Lydia her final instructions.  She needed to pick out a seven-footer, according to Grandma’s expectations.  After about 20 minutes, she found just the right tree.  Grandpa checked the measurements of the tree, and he was sure it would fit in the living room back home.

Crawling under the Douglas fir with his tree saw, Grandpa began to carefully cut the tree away from the frozen ground.  He made certain to leave a short stump of less than six inches, just as the Forest Service expected him to do. 

With Lydia’s help, they tied up the tree on a small sled that they’d brought.  Now they could easily transport the tree back to the waiting pick-up truck.

Sitting in the warm cab of the truck, Lydia and Grandpa enjoyed some tasty sandwiches with hot chocolate.  Their laughter and conversation kept them warm as well.

Soon it was time to drive back home with their treasured tree for Christmas.  Lydia took a nap along the way, but she woke-up when Grandpa pulled the pick-up into the driveway. 

Grandma stepped outside to see how the two tree hunters had made out.  She called to Lydia, “How did you do?”

Beaming with her warmest smile ever, Lydia ran and hugged her, “We found the most perfect tree.  Anything for Grandma!”

Special Edition: Thanksgiving Memories

This poem was originally posted in November, 2018. The text was revised and republished one year later. The verses capture my own memories of Thanksgiving during my youth when my extended family gathered at my maternal grandmother’s house.  Blessings to all!

plate of cooked food beside cup

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Remembering annual family gatherings from years past

Enjoying special, blessed times which will last and last

Filling Grandma’s packed house with people from near and far

Seeing aunts, uncles, and cousins—as numerous as the stars

Feeling the crisp, autumn air—possibly snow on the ground

Arriving with abundant food and family love to pass around

Pitching in, many helping hands prepare the meal

Eating together on Thanksgiving is a very big deal

Catching up on life from several corners of the state

Thanking the Lord that all arrived safely on this date

Listening to exciting conversation that fills the tiny house

Disappearing from a kitchen corner, a frightened mouse!

Preparing so many favorite and delicious treats

Tasting each will make today an awesome feast

Setting up Grandma’s sizable dining room table with care

Deciding where each family member will sit, here or there

Providing for extra places to eat in the living room

Anticipating that all of us will be eating very soon

Smelling the huge turkey roasting in the oven until finally done

Carving this bird and splitting the wishbone, most delicious fun

Pleasing everyone’s taste buds, with a gathering of yummy dishes

Adding stuffing, mashed potatoes, and yams to everyone’s wishes

Saving room for a sweet symphony of delicious pies

Savoring a slice of pumpkin or many others—Oh my!

Exchanging stories, playing cards, and watching football

Realizing too soon that the time says, “Goodnight to all”

Departing for home, before everyone’s bedtime arrives

Blessing our family time, this thanksgiving feels so alive

Smiling from her large window, Grandma feels so much love

Looking forward to experiencing peace, from the Lord above





Grandparents Love Story (Episode Two)

From 1939, a scene of downtown Billings, Montana. This is the eventual home for a young couple moving to Billings about three years earlier. (courtesy of Pinterest)

Grandparents Jim and Marge experienced a love story that began in their teenage years.  Little did they know where life planned to take them in the years to come.

In 1911, Jim was born in the tiny town of Marmarth, North Dakota.  The small community of about 800 was founded as a railroad town along the Milwaukee Road line.  The transcontinental railroad traveled from Chicago, Illinois to Seattle, Washington.

When Jim was an infant, his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio.  He excelled academically and athletically during his school years.

Born in 1912, Marge already lived in Ohio when Jim moved there.  Eventually their lives intersected during junior high school.  Her father was a Cleveland native while her mother was born in Belfast, Ireland.

With their love blossoming, Jim and Marge were married in 1928.  Jim pursued his career goal of becoming an engineer with his studies at the University of Akron. 

Sadly, the arrival of the Great Depression crushed Jim’s pursuit of a college degree.  With money very tight, Jim needed to pursue a different career.

In 1936, Jim, Marge, and their first-born son traveled to Billings, Montana.  Jim had been hired to work for a wholesale and produce grocer.  Working for the Gamble-Robinson Company for 40 years, Jim eventually became the general manager of its Billings office.

When World War II arrived, Jim accepted his responsibility and served with distinction in the U.S. Army until being honorably discharged at the war’s end.  Meanwhile his young family endured without him being at home. 

Marge and her three young children managed to make life as pleasant as possible during Jim’s wartime absence.  Unable to drive a car, Marge used other means for transportation.  Rationing of vital commodities during the war made for useful transactions because Marge traded her gasoline ration cards for other ones. 

Billings was growing, but it still had the feel of a smaller, close-knit community.  Neighbors helped out each other.  Church was a center of worship and fellowship for the young family as well.

When Jim returned home, the family continued to live in Billings at the same home.  As childhood sweethearts, Jim and Marge experienced quite a life journey, which took them from their former homes in Ohio to a lasting one in Montana. 

This story recalled the start of my mother’s family.  Being the middle child and only daughter (born in 1938), Martha started a family of her own with the birth of her first child in 1956 (Richard).  Eventually the family would number five sons and one daughter.  

Previously, the story of my paternal grandparents was published.  In case you missed it, here is a link:  Grandparents Love Story (Episode One).

Life’s Preciousness

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Recalling life’s preciousness

Cherishing every moment

Savoring family’s past

Dreaming of tomorrow’s hugs


Recounting lasting blessings

Beholding father’s wisdom

Echoing voice of knowledge

Conquering each new challenge


Reflecting on nature’s gifts

Catching creation’s newness

Framing winter’s white portrait

Tasting another sunrise


Waking to morning coffee

Embracing daily treasures

Mapping out daily shortcuts

Visiting newfound places


Gathering of long-time friends

Revealing closeness of all

Enjoying hours filled with joy

Discovering something new


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Searching attic’s hidden treasures

Opening ancient cedar chest

Well-preserved photo album smiles

Connections with family’s quest


Scanning morning’s endless gray sky

Feeling forgotten and alone

Phone rings, lifting away sadness

Connections with daughter’s milestone


Driving endless summer backroads

Coming to destination’s gift

Rustic cabin by mountain lake

Connections waken life’s gearshift


Sitting near frosty window glass

Watching winter’s chilling landscape

Mail carrier drops off letter

Connections with friend’s warm escape


Spending lifetime in school’s classroom

Touching so many youthful lives

Cumulative cache of memories

Connections stir teacher’s archives


Taken in August, 2017, my classroom is ready for my “final” first day of classes at Buckeye Middle School.

James Dobson Quote

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Prescription for a happier and healthier life:  resolve to slow down your pace; learn to say no gracefully; resist the temptation to chase after more pleasure, more hobbies, and more social entanglements.

From Matthew 18:4: Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

James Dobson (born 1936) is an American psychologist and Christian author.  In 1977 his efforts started Focus on the Family where he remained actively involved until 2010.

Matshona Dhliwayo Quotes

Trees we plant today are forests we enjoy tomorrow.

Mothers are out world.  Sisters are our sky.  Daughters are out stars.  Women are our universe.

Matshona Dhliwayo is a Canadian-based author and philosopher.  Born in Zimbabwe, he shares his unique look at life throughout much of his writing.