Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Pups

You may remember the photos I posted of "the pups" when we gave them to our children as Christmas gifts.
Remember how tiny they were??
Well this is them now!

Apollo and Starbuck.

What a great decision. These dogs have been amazing.
We took a chance on buying a breed we had never known personally.
We took a chance on bringing not one but two puppies into our already chaotic home.
We took a chance on the scorn and ridicule of others because we have become POODLE owners!

But I highly recommend these dogs. They have been great with our kids. They are super smart, sensitive and obedient.

Our favorite family activity now is to take the pups with us to the farmers market on Saturday mornings. Then we walk downtown, sit outside somewhere for brunch. Dreamy.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I haven't wanted to write anything because I know the more I post, the further "In Memoriam" moves down the page. I know it has been 6 years...
I don't burst out in tears now each time I chew a piece of DoubleMint gum, or use Curel lotion or put pepper on my eggs.
Lip Medex.
"Are ya happy?"
Jammies for Christmas.

But it is still painful when I consider the huge loss my children (and my soul) and and this world have suffered without her.
And so I don't want her to move down the page. I want her to keep looking at me. Her smile comforts me. Her eyes, they laugh and they speak.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I love people

I love people.
I love people.
They face me in photographs, sad.
I face them in photographs, sad.
Living this double life, I'm Washington and Worhol, Charlie Brown and Kurt Vonnegut,
Oh, maybe I should just become a cowboy.
What is peace?
What is hope?
What the hell?
What if the light that fills the void is just the headlamp of a freight train?
The only thing more frightening, lingering, than questions are answers to life and death.
What if he became an angel?
Face nine tenths shaven, healthy, beaming a star around wings like silk pajamas.
Maybe they'll put him on as a conductor or a brakeman.
Swing in this lamp needlessly, contentedly in a perpetual day.
Maybe he's happy and I'm crying for no reason.
Except for that a man who loved me more than he loved himself is gone, never to return to me and that makes me infinitely sad, mourning for a simple man with simple ways.
And that is why I love the people in the photographs like the ones in this coffee house like the one who makes it harder not to cry the way he plays the piano.
I have no answers.
Have no answers.
Maybe want no answers.
But I look anyway and I love them.

New Job

Well, I officially accepted a new position at Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City. I will be a media producer for all special events at the church. Pretty excited about the job - - just wondering now about what I am going to do with my children!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

In Memoriam

It has now been 6 years since the fabulous Pamela Whitby Strong lost her life to that murderous s.o.b. - cancer. She died when Canon (my eldest son) was 5 months old. I have photos with the two of them together. It seems like an eternity ago, yet sometimes only yesterday.
We have a ritual of remembrance which we observe twice a year. Once on her birthday, November 18 (1946) and once on June 21st, the anniversary of the dark day of her death. We dine at the Cheescake factory. Mmmmm.
In the spirit of the Passover Sederists who set out a special goblet to be filled with wine for the prophet Elijah, we order a Cosmopolitan and set it at the end of the table. I don't drink the cosmo because I don't like to drink liquid fire with a cranberry twist. But we take a tiny taste and giggle, wondering what she ever saw in that beverage beside fact that Oprah introduced it to her.
We order anything we want for the main course, but when it comes to dessert, the white-chocolate rasberry truffle cheesecake is a must. Mom and I used to split it. Unfortunately I will never branch out to a new dessert at the Cheesecake Factory, for that would feel like betrayal.
Sometimes, I bring pictures which jog memories of cherished days gone by. Sometimes others join us, particularly if they miss her too.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Obsession De Jour: My Brother

Deward James Strong is just about the coolest cat I know.
I like to drink coffee with him on the back porch. In his hand, a vintage mug with black coffee. In my hand, a pottery tumbler with creamer (oh and a tiny bit of coffee).
I love so many things about my brother but here are a few.

I love that he and his dog are best friends. Buster is the best "man's best friend" any man could have. My brother takes his dog everywhere - even across country.
I love that he always kissed my mom when he greeted her. And my grandmother - - and now my sister and me.
He's earthy.
I love that he used to have dreadlocks past his shoulder blades. Finally he shaved his head after 6 years (due to the nagging paranoia that he was the human host to a dozen creepy critters).
He looks like Sasha Baron Cohen.
He thinks before he acts.
I love that he genuinely loves and cares for people. All people. He can meet a stranger at the park or the pub, and then bring them home for dinner.
He pays attention to detail.
I love that his tatoo is a question mark. When asked why he has a question mark tatoo, he replies, "I don't know."
I love that on the porch, we can sit for hours and not say a word. Then we feel like we really connected deeply.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Yesterday was Fathers Day

We took daddy to Kansas City and enjoyed a fun afternoon at the Plaza.
We celebrated - because Creighton truly is an amazing father. He enjoys and yearns for time with the kids. He wrestles, chases, and tickles, he cuddles, hugs, and reads to them. He tells them verbally how special they are and how much he loves them.

Meanwhile, Creighton and I reflected on our relationships with our own fathers.

I respect my father greatly. He is an extraordinary person. From him I learned the value of hard work, respect toward others, generosity and serving. I seek counsel from him on matters of business.
But I must say, it is ours is a rather formal relationship. We're not friends. He has no intimate knowledge of my life. He doesn't know how to engage my children. He never has been affectionate - physically or verbally. Yet I know he would do anything for me. I know that he wants to help me grow into a strong and successful person and a good citizen. It is what it is and I have learned to be grateful for what I've got.

I have also learned that fathers day creates great opportunities in ministry.

I asked people last week to share with me about their fathers. Whoa. "Father" is such a catalyst for conversation! A topic with many layers. Fathers (often unknowingly) wield significant power in the lives of their children. They can be a source of deep wounds and miraculous healing.

If you are a father, I pray that you will strive to be an agent of hope, security, strength and healing in the lives of those in your care. Use your magical father powers for good and always be aware of how your actions are affecting them!

Monday, June 9, 2008


During this time of the year, I always ponder life, death, afterlife, heaven, eternity, angels, eschatology, new heaven and earth - - you know, the simple stuff of theology. :)
Heard NT Wright on the Colbert Report (I was rather shocked to see NT Wright on Colbert). And he was promoting his book 'Surprised by Hope'. I am looking forward to reading it because he mentioned that in the book he has touched on some of these issues.
There are many different takes on what happens after a person leaves this life and moves on to what's next. None of which have really satisfied me.
There is experiential evidence that suggests the essence of a person somehow remains present. Also there are scriptural references to mediums and how some possess the ability to contact the dead. Forbidden though it may be, it sounds feasible. What's that about?
Some say we enter immediately into the presence of the Living God. Others say we stay in a sleep state only to wake up with all other humans on the day God ordains.
Purgatory? Is that an option?
Oh, I know. We become angels. We check in. We get fitted for a set of wings and we're handed a fancy harp. Wait. First, we get an orientation at the "pearly gates" by "St. Peter".
At least this is the story that people screw up their children with...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Gaius Baltar

I am a tad irritated about what BSG is doing with Gaius Baltar right now. This new riff that shows him as an emerging spiritual leader to colonies. I hope they are going to get somewhere with it soon.