Five years ago an attorney drew up a protective trust for us. We don’t have a lot to protect, but we went to his seminar, listened to his shtick, and trusted him. After all, he went to my former church. I saw him interact with the youth group on a mission trip to Mexico. He’s a nice guy. Except for one thing. I’m not sure he is. I called Tuesday to ask a question and he was suddenly using different language. “Your assets aren’t protected,” he said, and then in a rhetorical-talking-out-loud question to himself, “Why did we do it that way? I’ll have to look at your file and get back to you.” I was shaking when we hung up. He called yesterday and I let it go to voicemail so I’d have a recording. “We talked about doing a protective trust, but we decided it against,” he said. A remarkable lie given the clear and unequivocal explanation of the protective trust he wrote to us in the documents five years ago. At the time, we were satisfied with ourselves that we had taken this step. We had our living will, health care directive, and power of attorney prepared at the same time. I kept a notebook, updating it periodically so there are no questions for my son when the time comes. We still have all that, but the so-called protective trust is smoke. Meaningless. The five-year eligibility period would have been up in September. That’s will not happen. He said he wants to sit down and discuss it. No. I wrote him a letter we will wait to deliver, but to get my rabid thoughts on paper and out of my head. No more explanations–your credibility...Read More
Four days after mom died March 4, 2011, I wrote a post titled “Momisms,” about those helpful, wise, and funny things mom used to say to me. The very first momism on the list wasn’t something she said to me in real life, but a message on a Dove dark chocolate wrapper. I had spontaneously picked up a chocolate in a bowl on the table and said, “Okay, mom, do you have a message for me?” (This was before I wrote “Momisms.”) I unwrapped the chocolate and read the message. She said, “Take good care of yourself.” So like mom. She was always telling me versions of take care of yourself, like “get some rest,” or, “drive safely.” Then, a few days ago, I was reviewing old posts and came upon the one titled “Momisms.” I never eat chocolate in the morning, but I walked to the fridge where I now keep the chocolate and said aloud, “Okay mom, do you have a message for me.” Yep, you got it. “Take Good Care of Yourself.” Just sayin’ The photo: Bees were working the locust tree blossoms a few days...Read More
I started this post in January–giving it only a title and nothing else, which is appropriate since I’ve been resisting writing and definitely been distracted. Then today my blog host sent me a reminder. You have to pay, remember? This isn’t gratis. What are you doing, slacker? Where’s the memoir, the one you said you were writing years ago? Where’s the pithy blog posts, the eagle photos, the talk of grief and love and missing your mother. Mom’s Christmas cactus still blooms every spring for Easter, her birthday and then Mother’s Day. This year it bloomed one solitary blossom on Thanksgiving, exactly. Here a day and gone. A visitation. Yesterday a young friend asked me what I thought of mediums, talking to the dead. I didn’t know why she was asking, so I was cautious. I said, “They are interesting, but you have to be careful.” Then we got to talking about talking to the dead. I told her I once talked to my mother after she died…rather, she talked to me. I was standing in my bedroom and I said, “Oh mom, I miss you so much.” And I heard her say, “I know, honey.” I went to the window and opened it and looked out. It was still and quiet after an evening rain. I mirrored the stillness of the night and listened and heard her voice. She told me not to worry about where I was going to bury her ashes, that she was gone and it was all okay. I did not heed her advice. When I returned home that spring from burying her ashes in Southern California next to my father’s grave and then more along the Oregon Coast where she had...Read More
Ten minutes from my door is the entrance to a wonder of the world. It’s not the Grand Canyon of the west that calls to thousands of tourists each year, but for those of us who know and love this canyon carved by the Missoula Floods in the last ice age, it may as well be our own private Grand Canyon. There are those who would say, “Shhhh, don’t tell. We don’t want thousands of tourists crowding our canyon.” But it’s not that kind of place. It’s not a one time event, the canyon, like standing at the South Rim at sunset and gazing into the abyss. The Yakima River Canyon is an experience over seasons and years to fully absorb its mystery and beauty. When I first moved here, I occasionally traveled through the canyon, but I spent little time there. But when I went back to college in 2000 I chose the canyon as my topic for a semester-long writing project and spent hours in the canyon. When I transferred to the college 30 miles north, however, I bypassed the canyon route in favor of the high-desert plateau Interstate. The Interstate is faster and less solitary than driving the icy curving roads in the winter. Oh, but what I missed. The Yakima River passes through the canyon in south central and eastern Washington along its 214-mile route from its headwaters in the Cascade Range to the Columbia River to the south, before it flows into the broad valleys reaching to the Columbia where thousands of acres of crops are irrigated. In the canyon, the river meanders below 1000-foot basalt cliffs where raptors soar and weaves beside broad meadows where cattle graze....Read More
Telling our stories connects us to future generations.
Ever since ancient man recorded stories on cave walls, prophets left us stories on scrolls, and books were first printed, we have been telling stories.
We may minimize the impact our life story may have on others, but each life story is of value to those we leave behind. Our story is a legacy for future generations. But it is also of benefit to you, the storyteller, connecting you to the past and present as well.Learn More
Sometimes, photos are the best way to tell a story. But if photos are unlabeled, they end up in the dustbin of history, the legacy lost. My mother and I spent many hours identifying people in photos and sharing the history of who they were in her life. As a result, I was able to create a photo book containing ancestor photos for each member of the family.
To know more about how I can help you prepare a legacy photo book,
One day I was sitting in my car with my son at a traffic stop in Seattle watching the people in the crosswalk. I said, “Each of those people have a story. My frustration is not having the time to tell all their stories.”
Helping others tell their life stories is my passion and purpose.
Learn more about how I am qualified to assist you in writing your life story.Learn more