Monday, December 29, 2014


In the darkness of grief, 
a narrow patch of light 
opened in the west and 
spilled colors onto the gray. 


The winter snow finally arrives 
to cover our tracks from the previous year. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Savior of the World

Our family enjoyed a magical Christmas Eve watching my son perform in the musical production of Savior of the World. He played one of the disciples who encountered Jesus on the road to Emmaus after the resurrection. 

Red banners outside the Conference Center 
advertise the Savior of the World

My son performed with friends we met 
this summer during the Nauvoo Pageant. 
It was beautiful to see them again!

Dakota is a wonderful disciple. 

After the performance, we had dinner in downtown Salt Lake City, 
then saw the lights on Temple Square. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ice and Fog

Ice and fog near Newport, Washington this afternoon. 

The Magi

These three magi figures were standing in a Mexican restaurant in Newport, Washington. Artistically, I thought they were quite beautiful. Culturally, these statues made me wonder about the magi of the Bible. The word magi comes from the Greek magos, meaning magician. By definition, the magi would have practiced some form of magical arts from the ancient world. According to one source, this term referred to certain followers of Zoroastrianism of ancient Persia. This word could also refer to people who possessed astrological or esoteric knowledge. Yet strangely, English translations of the Bible almost always change the original word to read as 'wise men.' 

Personally, I prefer the original version. They were not simply 'wise men,' but scholars of magical wisdom from another age. 

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Blast from the Past

This old picture reminded me of the sweet-faced boy who is my son. Dakota has been a blessing in my life since before he was born, and he has always guided my spirit toward true north. Missing you today. 

Colors of the Spirit

"Nature always wears the colors of the spirit." 

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Earlier this week, we took a student group to the planetarium on the campus of Spokane Falls Community College. We got to see a visual presentation of the night sky, along with a short film about the solar system. It was a very enjoyable experience for our students. 

The interior of the planetarium had a strange, blue glow. 

The instructor...

Stained glass window in the planetarium entrance. 

The reflective surface of the planetarium roof. 

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Salish Dolls

Annette made some beautiful "Salish dolls" that she sold today at Northern Quest. Rhonda and I went out to see them and happened to see Shelly buying one of the dolls. 

Annette prepared some information about the dolls: 

These dolls' dresses are made of brain-tanned, smoked buckskin. They are embellished with parfleches, cedar baskets, and woven baskets. The plants, rocks, moss, and wood are all native to the Spokane Indian Reservation. The Salish women of the Great Northwest of the United States are hardworking, loyal, loving, care-giving, strong spirited, and compassionate to all people, animals, and Mother Earth.

Annette is an inspiration to me. 

Each doll is hand-made and unique.
They each have been given a name.  

Annette and Shelly. 

The details of each doll are intricate and beautiful. 

Beautiful Tree

We were only supposed to get a small tree this year, but we ended up with something a little bigger than usual. I have to say that the tree is one of my favorite holiday traditions. 

Choosing a Tree

We went to the Christmas tree lot near our house, and Whitney announced with all the sweetness of a fifteen year old daughter, "Daddy, it's your turn to pick the tree this year." 

"Okay," I said, "That sounds good to me," so then I inspected all the different trees and carefully weighed my options. I decided to bypass the grand fir. They have that rich, Christmas tree smell, but they tend to dry out faster. The nordman fir tends to stay green longer, but the girls don't like the needles because they look "weird." 

While I was still searching for the perfect tree, Whitney revised her announcement and said, "Uh dad, I like this one." 

"But I thought you said it was my turn to pick the tree," I said. 

"But I like this one," she said. Apparently that settled the issue. Who's tree do you think we bought? I think everyone knows the answer: Whitney's tree is now standing in our living room, the lights shining softly in all different colors. I love that tree and I love this memory of my daughters. 


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