My grandfather had a business in North Omaha, where in the 1960s one summer there were some very destructive civil rights race riots.

In the wake of the looting and rioting going on in Minneapolis and around the country to protest the outrageous, tragic killing of a black man, George Floyd, by a white police officer, my sister told me something that made me proud and yet at the same time very sad:

On the worst night of those riots in the ‘60s in Omaha,

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I got to babysit our two granddaughters this evening. It was one of those great neighborhood nights where all the kids had most of their toys out on their driveways. The kids would stroll over to each other’s houses to try each other’s toys. It was like a progressive dinner for the pint-sized set.

Most of the toys in our granddaughters’ driveway were pink – pink bike helmets, pink bike, pink squishy toys,

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Everybody has been grumbling about all the rain we’ve been having. It has been gray and gloomy all week. My sister even made a big batch of pea soup, inspired by what she saw out her window.

But what WE see out our front door is a family of four baby birdies in a nest over the front stoop. For them, the rainy spell has been perfect timing. The mother robin isn’t gone long at all before she returns with fat,

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My younger brother Danny just makes me laugh. We are both into gardening. He went to the nearby farm where he has for years been able to scoop up enough manure for his garden into his own sacks. It was a win-win for the farmer, who got help with his manure management problems, and for the gardener, whose veggies have always been the talk of the neighborhood because of this special fertilizer.

Not this year.

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(excerpted from my book, “Radiant Beams”)

I know, from reading the Bible, that believers in Jesus will never die, but have eternal life in heaven. I knew it, but didn’t “get it” in my gut. So, like a lot of people, I used to get a little freaked out by cemeteries. What’s the point, if nobody is even there, after death? You can’t connect. A graveyard is a cold, sterile place.

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I never knew this ‘til today:

Every time he comes to town, my younger brother Danny visits our father’s grave and puts a golf ball on the stone monument.

It’s never still there when he comes the next time. I don’t think he minds. He always has another ball to leave.

Dad’s golf nickname was “Arm and Hammer” because he could really hit ‘em high, wide and handsome. Wouldn’t always land in the right fairway,

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My darling neighbor’s darling daughter mowed her pasture the other day. She came close to the shade garden I made years ago, between our two yards. She spied a plant with heart-shaped, silver-striped leaves and a cloud of delicate blue flowers up above.

“What is that gorgeous plant?” she asked me. “I would really like some for my yard. You just never see blue flowers like that.”

Puffed up with pride,

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Ominous! A friend had to be tested for the coronavirus before she could have shoulder surgery. Did they do the nose swab? Nooooo.

They took out a long, long, looooong bristle brush.

They stuck this bristle brush up her nose until it reached her eyeball.

Then they twisted it back and forth for about five seconds (which doesn’t sound like a lot, but IT IS!!).

There must be some kind of chemical on it,

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The last of the garden weeds had to go. This is war! I worked all morning, up until 2:15 p.m. Then I had to peel my sweaty clothes off and dash into the shower to make a 3 p.m. pickleball date.

Everything was fine until I tried to get my bright orange sports bra on. No time to dry off thoroughly. Time only to pull the sports bra over my still-dewy and moist,

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It’s iris time! My favorite flower season. This gorgeous one is growing in the garden of our daughter Eden and hubby Zack, in Kansas City. I dug some up from our yard outside Omaha last spring and transplanted them for her.

These same iris date back to my maternal grandmother, whose garden was so colorful and fragrant it made me dizzy. She passed some on to my mom, who passed some on to me,

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