Relax & Recharge

  Little did I know last spring when my daughter, Amy, and I got away for a three-day retreat together, how it would refresh our souls for the summer days to come with her challenges at work and my issues with extreme heat and fires close to home.   Now in the Monsoon rains when I feel like I’m living in a mist and also in the midst of an occasional downpour, I cherish memories of our restful stay in Cave Creek, a popular western-style little town filled with shops and restaurants along with classy resorts.   I like the one we chose with comfy casitas and beautiful green grounds.   I loved those times with Amy as we cooked together in the cute little kitchen, watched old romantic comedies while snacking on popcorn, shopping, morning Bible study together with prayer, swimming, playing rummy on the back patio, and eating out. My heart says chocolate and wine but my jeans say:   “Goodness, girl, eat a salad.” After an invigorating beautiful hike, we found a local place for breakfa

Lessons in the Fire

My neighborhood looks deserted this morning.  After sweeping my back deck and driving to the post office, I think I’ll join my neighbors and stay indoors, too.   The heavy layer of smoke over our towns here in the Verde Valley chokes us and destroys the air quality.   I read our Arizona fire fighters have fought 20 fires this season and summer has just begun.   The big one, The Rafael Fire, burns in the mountains west of Sedona having already destroyed 46,000 acres.   At night, it lights up the curve of the mountain top with its orange flames; thankfully, it still is a good distance from our homes.   But, oh, the smoke!                                              The fire near us was a nail biter!   It all started in our little town a few weeks ago.  The Sunday after Memorial Day, I noticed a strong smell of smoke coming through our evaporative cooling system as I finished the sandwich I made for lunch.  I panicked when I walked outside to see a grass fire incased in huge billows of

Disposable Lovers

  In1988 I scheduled my first trip to Israel.  A celebration of the state of Israel as a nation for forty years filled the air.  I got all turned around that first day I arrived in Jerusalem and decided to sit in the park and catch my breath.  I pulled out a map and tried to figure out the best way to my hotel.  The nicest gentlemen approached me and helped me.  Men in this culture do not even let their eyes fall on a woman let alone talk to one.  The same thing happened a week later when I checked out of my hotel room!  Being the Sabbath, I didn’t expect the man in the Shabbat elevator with me to even look at me, yet he was kind and courteous to engage in conversation as our cage automatically stopped on every floor as we descended to the parking garage.  Upon exiting, he helped me unload my luggage.  Unbelievable! These two kind men were not religious Jews, I guess.  Refreshing!   I thought about this memory today when I studied the Samaritan Woman in the gospel of John.  Some say sh