Pacific to Tribes to Urinal


Pacific Home

July 3 I flew home to Oregon for two-week frenzy of friends (Tribe), repacking, appointments, and wedding blessing. I loaded my 2004 Vibe with quilting projects, computer cords, more books, and tubs of life bits, which I imagined I might want in Indiana.

My travel companion and I, before we reached Portland, were not communicating well!   At Glacier National Park, I “tour guided” four of us. We took photos, sketched, hiked, strolled, and a Red Bus Tour with my friend from Kalispell days! After three days west, then 3 days east, my two new friends took the Empire Builder back to PDX and my friend and I reloaded the car to continue to Indiana.

Montana’s fires were already bad enough to smoke us as we traveled to Yellowstone. Arriving at dusk, we headed to Canyon, Lake, Old Faithful and back to West Yellowstone. Exhausted, we had seen: Bison, Elk, Eagle, Grizzly, Wolf Family, Coyote, Sunset & Stars & Fog and have the photos to prove it! The next day we “did” Grand Teton including Jenny Lake where we saw another Grizzly and two cubs along the lake trail. I sketched (enough bear for me) while she hiked; good for each of us!

We traveled east via Highway 20 since it runs through Toledo, Oregon (where I live) and northern Indiana! Antelope, changing landscapes, and struggling ranch then farm villages marked the miles. Between the silences, I heard, “you are the most difficult person to that I have ever traveled with!” I totally agreed and survived by listening with ear bud: and taking photos. I discovered in PLOUGH these words from Henry Vaughan who valued nature because it reveals God.

from “Rules and Lessons”                                                                                                                 To heighten thy Devotions, and keep low                                                                                     All mutinous thoughts, what business e’r thou hast                                                         Observe God in his works; here fountains flow,                                                                      Birds sing, Beasts feed, Fish leap, and th’ Earth                                                                    stands fast:                                                                                                                                    Above are restless motions, running Lights,                                                                             Vast Circling Azure, giddy Clouds, days, nights.


            Three thousand miles later, I arrived at my elder brother’s Lake Wawasee cottage on July 30, tearfully falling to the ground in joy and welcomed home by family.   A week later I set up home in my Greenfield Village Apartment.


Finding “home” and “tribe”

As an itinerant clergywoman, I said, “home is where my car is.” Now I own a Camper Van and a car, a house in Oregon and rent an apartment; Home?

  • Where they have to take you in?

  • Where your “tribe” lives? (Tribe see earlier blog) So Elkton? INDY? Kalispell? Toledo? PDX? Eureka Springs? Newport? Pendleton? Tribe of blood and tribe of choice; tribe of justice seekers, artists, friends.

What I missed since leaving my “home” in the Camper is the place where my coffee and journal are; a place of retreat where I create with words or food or material; the place where mail comes and friends visit. Home has now landed in Greenfield.

August 10 we SURPRISED Roger with a party at his home, Kindred Care, in Greenfield. Wife and daughter, Siblings and cousins, church and facility friends ate cake with Roger and he glowed. A few days later we traveled in facility Van to roll around the Indiana State Fair – Roger relished in his new Tenderloin T-shirt and his sunburn.

August 19, I walked 5K with college friend Gale then gathered for Pizza with 20 Wesley Foundation Friends welcoming me to Indiana. So grateful for this Tribe!   The Wesley Gang went to Lake Wawasee – 8 of us resting, talking, sunset gazing, kayaking- a healing time was had by all. I have learned to make quilted postcards and joined Hancock County Public Library and a Wellness Center.

Sept. 9 – I presented awards to South Madison Visual Arts Winner:

     This Show is sponsored by the SMCF (South Madison Community Foundation) Art Fund, started by the children of Vinetta and Robert Wills. Brenda Wills presented the awards with these words.                                                                                       

“Vinetta Wills was a woman ahead of her time. My memories, having been born in 1952, are of watching her do her best to be a perfect post-war wife and homemaker. Mom did what was never considered work in that area: she created home and family for us.   But Vinetta always wanted something more; art was her something more.      ART SAVES LIVES and Vinetta Aiman Wills is evidence of that.

Most of you in this room know the importance – to you – of the creative process. I urge you to keep creating, continue art making not just because it is good for you, but because it is good for the whole universe – from here to eternity.       

Art making adds hope and meaning, healing and transformation to a world where there is deep need for life-giving.   Thank you for making art. Thank you for appreciating art. Thank you for being here tonight.”

We appreciate the support of Gallery 119, where the Show is open to the public throughout September, and the work of Tri Kappa hosting the Reception.

Ruth to Urinal

Sept. 24 North UMC Worship and SS again fed my by allowing healing tears, music and scripture familiar, yet newly Word Whispered. Ruth, caregiver for Naomi, leaves home and familiar for a new place yet God provided in that wilderness to her, a new tribe, the support needed via Boaz and family: home. The Service for Anointing and Healing of UMC blessed me, revealing North UMC Indy is my Boaz (as are Wesley friends, and grade and high school folks, and my dearest family. I am grateful for this tribe.

Mary Oliver’s Upstream: Selected Essays, “Of Power and Time” so nailed my soul:

“This self is out of love with the ordinary; it is out of love with time. It has a hunger for eternity.”

“The working, concentrating artist is an adult who refuses interruption from (herself), who remains absorbed and energized in and by the work — who is thus responsible to the work…. I have wrestled with the angel and am stained with light and I have no shame. Neither do I have guilt. My responsibility is not to the ordinary, or the timely…my loyalty is to the inner vision, whenever and howsoever it may arrive…

   The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”

Oliver’s words called me back to BREN BITS, calling for my word art to be tended. Gratefully, I invited the inner vision with presence and time.  So, after three months, I am finally posting again!

Update on my Brother who is living with ALS

The dance with ALS is in double-time, yet daily. Since June walking with a walker, Roger now needs a mechanical assist to transfer from chair to chair. Speech and swallowing are declining; nerves to muscles seem to die daily. He appreciates my presence in his life as evidenced when he moves the urinal over in the bed so I can sit next to his wheel chair.

We are beginning conversations about what he wants (Bucket List things) and learning together about ALS and the decisions he faces in the all to near future. We listened to Byoch’s FOUR things that matter most: 1) Please forgive me, 2) I forgive you, 3) thank you, 4) I love you. We watched “The Bucket List” movie and are talking bucket lists.

Roger does appreciate visitors, though he sometimes does not show it.  This is a daily challenge for me as I like to hear, “thanks for coming”. Actually, Roger says that daily, I simply am learning to translate: when I arrive, he moves the urinal so I can sit down with him.

God help me to hear such acts of gratitude.



4 thoughts on “Pacific to Tribes to Urinal

  1. Beautiful. As you are beautiful. So glad you are part of my life. Your journey is epic. Thanks for sharing it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s