The Eyes Have It

Did her eyes communicate her appreciation for being noticed, singled out as someone special, beautiful and worthy of a photo? Did they each, for a moment, wonder what it would be like to live the life of the other?

Handsome Lads

When off in the distance a herd of sheep seemed to be lumbering their way toward us, herding by two young men riding on a donkey. They spied us before we saw them.  Gleefully, they knew that tourist equals money!

Tulsa Time

Something about it was familiar, something about the beat and the rhythm.  I listened more intently.  “No way,” I thought.  “I’m in Ireland” and they are playing a tune quite familiar to us, Tulsa Time! 

Kylemore Castle

Under a photo of a bombed out church, the description stated, “The Abbey after the battle, Ypres, 1915” – these same nuns fled Ypres to the Kylemore Castle after the destruction of their Abbey in World War I.  I came bolt upright, the battle of Ypres, 1915. 

Tufa Chimneys

I thought of how these early Christian communities found their way to such desolate places and gave voice to their faith and left us with the evidence of their devotion and understanding painted in the tufa walls.  


What would the monasteries be like this time, would I be disappointed a second time?  The day rose bright, clear and balmy.  Not a cloud in the sky.  I could barely contain my excitement.  Finally there they were so stately, majestic and crowded!  


Coming down to dinner in the luxurious hotel restaurant was a little shocking.  No one else was there, not one single tourist or even patron, just us.  The wait staff was cordial but reserved, until …


We landed in Venice and in just a few moments I would meet the woman who was scheduled to be our guide for the next 10 days, little knowing at that moment she would become a forever friend:  Franca Koxvold. 

Sandy Survivors

At 6pm, Oct. 30th, we received the alert through our various carriers.  No, in fact JFK would not reopen in time to receive our incoming flight at 1pm.  Suddenly, with thousands of other displaced travelers, we were scrambling for a seat – any seat – and a way to get to JFK.


It struck me in that moment that this was the land my great grandfather called home.   This was a place that made his heart swell with pride as he told stories of the Old Country.  And here I stood with no memory or appreciation for the place other than its beauty.

Lazarus Tomb

When all of a sudden came the screech of tires, a loud thud, and the entire town went black.  And there we stood, unable to see, feeling the wall of the cave to find the rail, to keep from falling in the inky darkness.

The Driller Kids

One of my first trips as a tour leader was to Israel in Nov. 2009.  Several members of our church had grandchildren in our youth program that seemed to be increasingly anxious as the time drew near for their beloved grandparents to leave.  After all, to a 5 year old two weeks was a very long time.

Worry Beads

In 1999 I was able to go to Greece. But the entire trip I felt as if I was looking for “something” but what, since I had never been there before. How could I "find" what I didn't know I was looking for?

And it was gone

Early in the morning of October 9, 2017 my dear friend, who I lovingly call my daughter, Chels, was awakened at 2:30am by a frightful feeling.  Looking out the bedroom window, she saw an orange sky in every direction.  An out of control fire ...