Notes from Jan

Choosing Calm in a Frenzied Season

Today’s Black Friday. Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving. Which day matters more in our buy-buy culture? The Boston Globe landed with a thud yesterday, jammed with inserts and ads. The mailbox’s filled with more of the same, plus catalogs. This  Sunday marks the beginning of…

November 29, 2019
Notes from Jan

What Right Matters More?

No surprise to anyone paying attention to the visual and verbal cues in the impeachment hearings,  we are a  divided nation. Today’s Writer’s Almanac, a daily entry in my email, brought a word gift, The Gettysburg Address by President Abraham Lincoln.   It’s been a…

November 19, 2019
Notes from Jan

Magnificent Losers

The headline caught my eye in today’s Obituary section of the Boston Globe: “Raymond  Poulidor, beloved runner-up cyclist.” Beloved Runner-Up? We  love winners.  Once the confetti’s swept up,  red carpet put away, banners taken down,  few remember who came in second or won  Miss Congeniality. …

November 14, 2019
Notes from Jan

Saints Below

Growing up Baptist left me with few saintly thoughts.  Saints were for Catholics who needed to be cautioned about idolatry.  Now that I’m older and attend an Episcopal church, I recognize saints and sinners reside in and outside all churches. The saints I’ve known…

November 5, 2019
Notes from Jan

Assessing One’s Net Worth

Hairnets. Style smashers and smile bringers. Jud and I met in the college kitchen. He wore a white cap, the kind you see in old fashioned photos of soda jerks.  He was no jerk and hauled heavy pans and metal containers of milk, no…

October 28, 2019
Notes from Jan

Fireside Chat

To start with, Lucy’s seven, not the age of a sage. I’m more than ten times her age. So what can she teach me about  Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and the fiery furnace?  I know the story. The first time I heard it, Mrs. Miller,…

October 18, 2019
Notes from Jan

Every Now and Then We Need a Little “WOW!”

The child loves music but so do  many children around the world.   What makes this different is how Ronan, age nine, responded last spring when his grandfather took him to Symphony Hall to hear a concert by the Handel and Haydn Society. This past…

October 8, 2019
Notes from Jan

Whispering Hope

The wind stirs the grasses, clinging to crevices in the rocks outside my Perch. There’s a saying in the Talmud, “Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘grow.’ ” Today would’ve been Jud’s 79th birthday. Call me nuts,…

October 1, 2019
Notes from Jan

Fall, Fallout and Faithfulness

  Pumpkins and mums on porches and steps, signs of Fall in New England, our show-off season. Some maples  show hints orange is the new green. Outside my Perch the marsh yellows.   Good Harbor beach sees fewer swimmers,  more dogs. Two boats hug the…

September 28, 2019
Notes from Jan

Common Ground Isn’t so Common

The debate started on the way to church, leaving one grandchild sobbing,  the other determined to stand her ground. “We will NOT serve Mama and Daddy’s anniversary dinner in the tree house, Poco!” “You always have to have everything your way, Maggie.  Mama’d love …

September 18, 2019