Dear Marjorie at 40,
The sulking is ending and mulling beginning.
Look into basset hound Charlie’s eyes.
Walk to Angela’s or even to church.
Listen to Rhonda about that too-friendly teacher.
Wait with Beulah to see the doctor.
Draw those joy and care-lined faces.
Pray for Faye and kids to find safe housing.
Praise for trees, deer, water, sun.
Lose your impatient self in divine surprise 
at Dayspring Silent Retreat Center;
find your Spirit-breathed Shalom self.
Savor the lectionary readings.
Enjoy West Side Story— yes, four times!


Journals noted simple joys: morning
woodstove fire-building fired me up.
Letters from Mom, Joyce, Ruthie and
Grandma Ribbens brought smiles.
University of Maryland classes in
Gerontology and Recreation renewed my
devotion to Seniors’ Ministry at DCCRC.
I rejoiced with Joyce welcoming baby Clara
and with Nancy for her Silver Spring B & B.
But grieved my failures as wife and mother.
Duff graduated from Takoma Academy;
sang “You Are the Light of the World”
in Godspell. How many dear words from this
my favorite DCCRC summer musical
still rev me up today!


Heart surfaced back in Michigan 
with Jean at Gram’s memorial service
and in New York on Ruthie’s balcony.

Driving Edwina to dialysis kept me real
between paper route, carpool and church
secretary trips to the printer.

Heart leaped as Duffy starred in
You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown

and soared as I joined The Ribbon peace march.

Post Distributer and Housing Rehab Inspector Ted
bought an RV; we drove cross-country but family
bonds only weakened as debts and taxes rose.


Thank You, Loving Impetus, 
for consensus at that November lunch. 
Thanks for Neighborhood Fellowship’s January launch
in Wednesday morning Bible Studies at DC CRC.
Thank You, Life Director,
for Youth Group leaders and Duff’s part in another great musical.
Thanks for Rhonda’s class song lyrics still flowing in my soul:
Friends are friends forever if the Lord’s the Lord of them
and a friend will not say never for the welcome will not end;
though it’s hard to let you go, in the Father’s hand we know
that a lifetime’s not too long to live as friends.

Thanks for Jean’s hugs and kisses easing my worries,
Mom’s depression, Gram’s pain and confusion.
Thank You, Wondrous Re-Creator, 
for the watercolor class back at Calvin that summer.