Visit Minnesota, Weather Special Today and Tomorrow Only

Good Morning. I would like to invite all my California relatives and friends in the west and south to visit today. It is an excellent time to experience the beautiful state of Minnesota. We are all on vacation today and tomorrow. I can promise you beautiful landscapes. You can view frozen lakes, frozen breath, frozen pipes, slippery roads, frozen toes and noses and the clean air will take your breath away. I promise you ice cold drinks and weather you have never experienced before. Don’t miss the chance to visit our state today and tomorrow. It will be the experience of a lifetime.


I never deny my age so it is with interest I watched the news reports and the warning of our possibly -60 with wind chill weather conditions the next two days. I don’t remember ever feeling anxiety about the cold settling in such as we have now.

It used to be a fact of life that winter would be dangerously cold. I don’t remember my parents being alarmed about below zero temperatures, or anyone else for that matter. They bundled up or stayed in out of the cold. People were prepared with food because much of the food was grown during the summer and canned and stored on shelves in the pantry or basement.

We didn’t worry about whether the grocery stores were open because grocery stores didn’t have the hours we have now, and would close at five o’clock and open at eight in the morning. We were used to always having food on the shelf. In those days people were prepared.

All of us were the owners of heavy winter outer clothes and boots. We knew to layer up and our parents would tie scarves around our faces so only our eyes peeked out. I actually do not remember school ever being cancelled because of cold, although I now think it is a better idea.

That brings me to the fun of listening to the radio to see if our schools were closed. Us kids waited with baited breath to hear the name of our school being announced on WCCO radio. We sometimes would have to wait hours to hear our name depending on the weather conditions. If school was going to be closed after it already started it would be announced on the radio. There were no texts or cell phones or machines set up to automatically alert the parents. I feel badly that today’s kids don’t know the anticipation of radio announcements.

Yes, things have changed. Mostly for the better with schools alerting parents by texts. But I do have to say we shouldn’t need to be told to use common sense when it comes to the cold. We maybe have lost a little of that in 2019.

I felt a little trepidation at the approaching cold weather warnings. I figured out it had to do with the media. What in the “olden days” we just accepted as part of life, now has the media blasting warnings so dire it scares even the hardy Minnesotans.

My weather alerts ding multiple times during the day. Weather alerts scroll the bottom of the screen constantly. The weathermen predict dire life threatening, as if the world is going to end, predictions. It puts us on edge. I think especially those younger who don’t know the old way of life. The news media is telling them they aren’t capable of rational thinking when it comes to the cold. Even a Florida news station told people to stay in when it was 50 degrees. Us Northerners had a good laugh at that.

So come to Minnesota today and tomorrow. Right now the sun is shining and it is a beautiful, cold crisp day. We should be careful. We should respect the cold but we should also enjoy the sun making the snow sparkle and see God’s work in the icicles which form a sculpture of their own.

It’s 9:55 as I write this and I am still in my pajama’s under blankets with a hot cup of coffee to start my day. I respect and pray for those who have to go out into the cold to keep our frozen world running when it comes to mail carriers, emergency personal and those whose jobs won’t give them a break today to stay in and be cozy. The world slows down on days like this in Minnesota. Don’t fight it. Wallow and enjoy.

I Wish You Five Minutes

Chapter Six: I Wish You Five Minutes

img_1625Now that I have caught you up on my past religious institution journey, let me explain how I got to this point from the beginning blog about priorities and time and anxiety.

It’s a Sunday in January 2019 as I write this. I went to church on Wednesday night because churches have changed to accommodate the busy schedule we all have today. Our priorities have changed. Schools do not make time for religion. Sports and activities do not make time for Sunday and religion. And my Facebook people on Slices of Life, along with me, are filled with anxiety and fear and we can’t find five minutes to take a breath, pray or read a chapter in a book. And that in itself makes us anxious.

All I have is my own journey to critique. I write books for a living and am semi-retired. I work from home and yet…I am stressed and anxious much more than I was in my younger years when I really had things to be stressed about. Still, I found time in those days to read a book and be involved in my religion.

But I also know now at this stage in my life I am questioning more. I am frustrated frequently with the dynamics of society. Maybe it is because I am older and I have time to think about it.

Some questions that come to mind are these:

Why would my mother marry someone she thought was going to hell because he wasn’t Catholic? Did she become more rigid as she got older?

Does it matter whether I am Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist etc. as long as I believe in God and worship Him in some way?

What is more important in a church? Is it the appearance of a building or a person or the outreach and teaching of love for one another?

I know I need a church family but I can no longer color inside the lines because I feel the joy being stifled. We live in a society now made up of all races and religions and we expect everyone to fit into one box rather than embracing what one can bring to the other. I think I have always felt that way but have conformed to societies expectations because I was taught that was what one did as a woman, as a wife, as a mother, as a church member, and as an American.

I wanted to be liked and accepted. I wanted to be included so I fit in. But now I want to be me with my wild ideas, with my wild imagination and with my not caring about what is on the outside but what is on the inside. I feel alone some of the time when I am in a group that makes me feel as if a change is not progress, and wants to hold on to what was no matter if it turns people away or stifles growth. I feel like an outsider when others scoff at my ideas because my ideas don’t conform to what society expects.

Part of my frustration probably is that I am a sum of all my parts. Each person has to find spiritually, that which draws them closer to what I call God or to their name for their higher power. It may be Catholic or Lutheran or Methodist or whatever religion speaks to their heart. But the sum of all my parts are a conglomeration of religions from my ancestors and I think I feel that because I want to raise my hands in praise and shout loudly with joy. I want to clap, yes clap my hands. That may be why committing to one denomination and their beliefs are so hard for me. I come from roots of many religious belief systems and I loved those people. How could those good,  loving people be bad because they chose to worship a different way than me? All I knew from them was love.

Taking five minutes with Max Lucado’s book or five minutes just to be in the moment has helped me accept me and know that my anxiety and fear might also come with trying to live in a world that is loud in judgment at those who are different, or when not agreeing with the norm or the popular opinion. All my life I may have blindly accepted or followed, without taking time to think it through or question why the spoons had to be so perfect in a church. Was I afraid if I revealed my true self I would be asked to leave?

There is a lot of anxiety in wanting to be accepted, in wanting everything to be perfect and by disallowing how we truly feel and going along with what society deems is honest and truthful because let’s be honest and truthful –––honesty and truth in 2019 are not what they used to be. And it causes anxiety and fear.

Perhaps in our busy lives, we can’t find five minutes to read, to breathe, to be kind to someone or to take time for ourselves because we don’t want to face what we want to change in ourselves.

Those five minutes I take to read and refresh and pause, make me also realize I kept so busy because I didn’t want to take the time to face my life. I didn’t want to know me because maybe I didn’t like who I was, or maybe I was afraid to speak up because of the ridicule and repercussions.

My friend was right. I needed the forced time to confront my journey. It wasn’t easy. Life is hard. But looking at life and where we have been and where we are going is almost harder.

Right now my five minutes a day reading is a book called,  Catching Your Breath, the Sacred Journey from Chaos to Calm by Steve Austin. I have only made it to Chapter Two but this book is what prompted these few blog posts. He brought up many of the feelings I have wanted to articulate but have been afraid to. I can’t wait to read the rest, five minutes at a time. My journey is a work in progress and it will be for the rest of my life.

Thank you for reading and sticking with me during this diatribe. I wish you five minutes.

A Sand Beach In A Sunday School Room

Chapter Five: A Sand Beach In A Sunday School Room

silver spoon near silver kitchen knife

Photo by Pixabay on

I remember when the young Pastor asked me to teach Sunday School. A former Catholic teaching religion to first graders when I was still learning to be Lutheran? I didn’t think that was a good fit. But because I wasn’t into saying no in those days and because I wanted to fit in, though terrified, I accepted.

Little did I know the first time I said yes would lead me to teach sixth grade, then confirmation, finally serving as Sunday School Superintendent for many years. As I look back I have to analyze whether I said yes because I wanted to be liked or belong or whether I really wanted to teach young minds about Jesus. I think it was a little bit of both. I hadn’t counted on learning right along with the youngsters.

We had young Pastors so they knew what young kids liked and were on the pulse with what was happening because they had young families. The older generation of people at that time seemed to be open to some changes when it came to the kids.

Remembering how I grew up I wanted to make learning about Jesus interesting. We chanted Bible Verses, we told the story so kids could understand and one year we had a night family Bible School. We decorated the rooms to the hilt with a real beach with sand in one room, rowboats, nifty food, drama, storytelling and music. It was memorable and well planned. The older generation joined us too. We blended the old with the young. The older generation helped us shape our kid’s belief in God. We couldn’t have done it without them.

And I learned about the Bible, something I didn’t get from my old religion. Being a young adult I still didn’t give the structure much thought because the church was booming and it didn’t feel so structured as to be intimidating or judgmental. It was a growing time and members were excited about the growth. Although one of the things which did frustrate me was the amount of money spent on education versus keeping the church beautiful and perfect.

Perfection was part of the establishment which made me want to scream. Imagine stacking silverware perfectly in the drawers in the kitchen one by one with not one item out of place or we got into trouble with the kitchen ladies. What did that have to do with God? At another Lutheran Church which I belonged to, I was helping with a Ladies Luncheon and there were two sets of silverware. Being a new member of the church I didn’t know. After I had the entire room set with one of the sets of silverware I was told I needed to change the silverware. A little note here–the silverware all looked good.

I said I thought it looked fine. I was told to change it or I could leave. I was a little over the wanting to belong, so I said I could arrange that and started to get my purse to leave. They must have thought about it and the silverware stayed and so did I, but my views started changing on what church should be. These are the tiny little things that made me start to question religious institutions. What was their priority?

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