Maxwell House

The smell of coffee filling our house meant one thing when I was a child. Company. Mom didn’t really drink coffee and Dad drank instant, which kept its scent to itself. But when company was coming, out came the large, silver electric percolator. It came out in the morning for overnight guests, usually grandparents or cousins. It came out in the late afternoon to prepare for dinner guests. And it came out after dinner for the regular neighborhood pinochle club. I loved everything about that percolator. The sounds it made while brewing. The scent that permeated the whole house. The knowing that our house would be filled with laughter and joy in the time it took to brew a pot.

the scent of coffee
transports me through time and space–
I’m a child again
Four Haibu




You came to school on crutches, just days after surgery, to read with our students. You could have stayed home and rested; we would have understood. But you came anyway. You came a week or two after losing your father-in-law unexpectedly. We would have understood if you needed to rest your weary heart, but you came anyway. You came in the midst of moving house, although we would have understood if you’d canceled that week. You have such love in your heart to support and nurture these students. I am a bit in awe of you.

week by week
amidst life’s tribulations
you give and give



In the Wee Small Hours

There was a hush over the world and the quiet woke me. Looking out the window, everything was blanketed in thick white. I saw a man and woman shoveling snow from a neighbor’s driveway. Softly they called to each other, gentle words, while their black dog ran through the snow frolicking. The sound of their laughter floated up to me. It was a bucolic scene out my window that morning. My first thought was that I could never do that job – too cold and too early. But it was my second thought that took me by surprise. They are so happy, this family. I kept looking just to be a part of it for a moment longer. I was still smiling when I crawled back into bed.

simple moments
viewed from a distance–
gratitude percolates



Sixth Sense

Every now and then I get a strong sense that I need to wait on something. It’s usually something seemingly small, like leaving for the grocery store or picking up the phone to make a call. I can’t explain it, but it’s there and it’s typically a very strong sense of foreboding. So, I try to listen. One time, just after that had happened, I came across a bad car accident that likely would have involved me if I’d left a bit earlier. I always figure it’s one of my guardian angels watching over me. I realized the other day something important. Nothing bad has ever happened from my waiting just a little while. Only good.

my fairy godmother–
instead of glass slippers
I got protection