Thursday, June 26, 2008


After playing in the lake-like surf this morning (and spotting plenty of sea life), we headed back to our condo unit for lunch. One of the four of us had unknowingly trapped not one, but TWO tiny fish. The evidence appeared, at two separate times, on the bathroom floor. For readers with more delicate sensibilities, I won't go into any more detail.
Alas, it was too late for the (?)minnows. We held two "burials-at-sea," the second depicted above.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Surprises in the Elevator

Some unknown person gave our family vacation a rousing start. After our first evening out, our daughter was the first to step in the elevator. I didn't have on my glasses, but I pointed to something white that appeared to be blowing across the carpet against the wall.

"What's that in the floor?" I asked.

In the meantime, our college-age daughter had leaped and was crouching, Spiderman-style, on the elevator railing on the left inside wall. And what I'd thought to be lint on the carpeting was none other than tiny crabs scurrying into the corners, frightened by our opening the doors. A prankster had apparently emptied his or her beach booty into the elevator car, hoping to give riders the surprise of their lives.

Well, it certainly worked. We've been laughing--and watching our step onto the elevator--ever since.

Our son was kind enough to rescue the little critters (except for the unfortunate one that plunged into the opening between the door and the floor) and haul them down to the beach that very evening.

My question: how could you pull a prank like that and NOT wait around to see the results?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hope for the Journey through Cancer

Yvonne Ortega,

Cancer Survivor

I pick up the book and flip the pages. With titles such as "The News I Didn't Want to Hear" or "Riding the Roller Coaster Backward," it engages me even as I browse through. I haven't yet experienced cancer myself, but like everyone else, I know people who have had that close encounter--my grandmother; my husband's cousin and her mother, his aunt; my husband's mom; close friends; a girl in the neighborhood who was diagnosed as an infant. Cancer, any life-threatening illness, for that matter, touches a wide circle of people beyond the immediate family and the person diagnosed.

I "met" Yvonne Ortega online, through a Christian writers' group and immediately sensed her warmth and genuineness. Those traits she probably owes most to two things: her faith in Jesus Christ and her toughing out a cancer diagnosis. Yvonne found it's one thing to be qualified to counsel others through life's difficulties, but it's another to face them yourself. As a licensed professional counselor, she had to apply her own advice. She had to trust God and meet her cancer head-on.

The subtitle describes the format of the book: Inspiration for Each Day. Sixty separate devotions are divided into four crucial sections based on a patient's fight against her cancer: Diagnosis, Surgery, Treatment, and Recovery. Yvonne describes the Scriptures she's chosen to begin each devotional as Hope Builders. Writing with honesty, she depicts the various scenarios of the phases of her journey, gives practical suggestions for facing the difficulties, and ends each devotional with a brief heartfelt prayer.

I know if I ever receive that diagnosis, I'll want this book close to me. And the words printed on these pages will be used to minister to the hurting people in my life. Because He is our hope, and He travels the painful journey by our side, every step we take.
Visit Yvonne Ortega's website and buy this book:
Comment on this blog post by Monday, June 30, midnight Eastern Daylight Time and be entered in a drawing for a free copy of the book.