Summer work

I’m feeling a bit like this, much busier all around this summer than I expected to be, but the calendar’s more or less blank after Sept. 1. Time then to hibernate?

Refrigerator letters

It’s been a long time since I walked into my kitchen and found that someone had put colored magnetic letters all over the refrigerator door. The photo is from yesterday. The watercolor is from the ’80s, one of two surviving CDK watercolors. I have no idea how I did it. And I have no idea why we thought it was a good idea to have appliances that color.

She laughs

She can turn over, she can smile, and now she can laugh.

You can see why those first two milestones are important. Turning over is about growing bigger and stronger and moving ever so slowly toward independence. Smiling is about relationship, because it’s always in response to another human person.

But laughter? Isn’t it fascinating that we laugh so early—and what does that tell us about what it means to be human?

For the nation

“Help us, O Lord, to finish the good work here begun.”

For the Nation

Almighty God, giver of all good things:

We thank you for the natural majesty and beauty of this land. They restore us, though we often destroy them.

Heal us.

We thank you for the great resources of this nation. They make us rich, though we often exploit them.

Forgive us.

We thank you for the men and women who have made this country strong. They are models for us, though we often fall short of them.

Inspire us.

Continue reading


Fourth of July fireworks at Penns Landing, preceded by a concert by the US Army Field Band. In recent years we’ve found our holiday fireworks fix up at Tinicum Park in Bucks County. I can report that America looks a lot different at Penns Landing from Upper Bucks. And there were more flags down here in Philly, though that might just reflect the presence of enterprising vendors.

“Hep” when you need it

Teaching Opa some fancy moves.

This isn’t an original thought, but as I relive the first years of life through the eyes of my granddaughter, I’m reminded that some of the most important lessons in life are learned in toddlerhood. Some wisdom for today: it’s ok to insist on doing it yourself if you can, but don’t hesitate to ask for “hep” if you need it.

The song goes on

Traveled through the asphalt desert at Cornwell’s Heights Station on my way to the funeral of the Rev. Lloyd Winter, a good man and faithful servant. In the silence between passing trains I heard beautiful bird song. Looked up – way up – and saw this. As individuals we’re born and we die, but the great song of life goes on.