28 December 2013

Mouses Winter Walk, East Missoula, Montana

“...As he peeked ahead into the great land that stretched before him, the way seemed long. But the sky was bright, and he somehow felt he was headed in the right direction.”
E.B. White, “Stuart Little

If Stuart lived where there was more snow, do you think he would have a little vintage  snowmobile? Or a sled pulled by hardy crickets? ("Quit that infernal fiddling and MUSH, I say!")
Okay, not very realistic, I know. But I couldn't think of any creature smaller than a mouse that might actually be out and about in the snow, instead of wisely hibernating. Sigh. 

27 December 2013

Winter Grass, East Missoula, Montana

While brushing my teeth earlier this week, I mentally composed a short email to my sisters to share a highlight in my workday. And I suddenly missed my mum so very much.
(Let me just interject that to be on the verge of tears while brushing your teeth is awkward at a minimal level, and has the potential to be a very messy scenario - toothpaste foam was not designed to be inhaled OR to exit via the nasal passages. Thankfully, neither of these happened to me, but I hope you laughed a little just imagining that.)  
Back to topic: I count myself so fortunate to have had a mum who was not perfect but definitely loved us and hoped good things for us. She was always so proud of what we accomplished, but even more of the qualities of character and excellence she saw develop in us. While sisters are amazing cheerleaders, there still is nothing quite as confidence-building as having your mum in your corner, beaming with pride like only she can - and reminding you to give your best and keep your chin up and things will look better in the morning. Despite years to adjust (fat chance that), I miss her steadfast support. 

In our day-to-day busy-ness, we often forget that what holds true value is fleeting.
Take this day for what it is, and choose to enjoy, to embrace, to remember what is good, and pure, and gracious.

And if your mum is still alive on this earth, please call her or send a little note saying thank you. It may not matter for what - "thank you" is often enough on its own. 

26 December 2013

Lofty, East Missoula,Montana

Today is Boxing Day - which, admittedly, is not widely recognized in Montana, save by a nostalgic few transplants from across the northern border. (Sadly, laughter is a consistent response to my repeated suggestion that my office observe the 12/26 holiday to show solidarity with our sister Canadian companies.) Regardless, the lofty intent of the day is celebrated by the big-hearted many who BOX up Christmas bounty and cheer to share with others who need a reminder of the hope that is Christmas.
May our hearts and eyes be open year-round to act on the intent of this day.

25 December 2013

Christmas Star, Missoula, Montana

“For we have seen His star… and are come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:2

The original star was prob’ly shinier, but the reminder is the same: draw near, and let your life be changed.

Merry Christmas.

24 December 2013

Downtown Depot and Christmas Tree, Missoula, Montana,

February 2013, Petula Clark released a new album, which includes what the BBC interviewer termed a “haunting” new version of her ‘60s classic, “Downtown“. 

Listen here, and be inspired by this 80-something to never let age be a factor in holding you back.

23 December 2013

Pines Near and Far, East Missoula, Montana

Bears, birds, and squirrels eat them. And with a little effort, you can too - click here for some tasty forest foraging info. (Respectfully note the length of the bear’s claws at 1:09 on the video linked to “eat them“.)