golden chain

there is a time to sit in the pain and let it drain

sit, sit, sit in the pain

then look to the stars and think how infinitesimal your domain

gaze outside again

let the beauty of your world in and rain, rain, rain

open your hands to the blessings that came, came, came

a seed can grow, planted in the pain, watered in the rain

in its season it reaches up it’s mighty arms with leaves verdant to sustain

the soul inside; your golden chain

*Charleston, SC*

Election 2020: 10 Weeks to Make a Difference — my quest blog

And looking at Facebook’s lopsided political media ecosystem might be a useful reality check for Democrats who think Mr. Biden will coast to victory in November. Kevin Roose NYT 8/27/2020 It’s easy to become despondent after witnessing this week’s American reality TV show (AKA, the Republican National Convention) which aired from various locations including the […]

Election 2020: 10 Weeks to Make a Difference — my quest blog

I am re-sharing Henry Lewis’ article from August. I read it again today and it echoes with great wisdom and clarity as Trump clings to power.

Grit and Kindness

The value I most want to grow is kindness

Definition of kindness:

the selfless action of being friendly, generous, considerate to consciously pass along hope and goodwill

The trait I most want to grow is grit

Definition of Grit:

the action of courage, conscientiousness, perseverance, resilience, passion

empower our daughters

I have two daughters. I want them to have equality in their impact on the world. Culturally women have been taught to make people feel more comfortable and at ease. We can have trouble standing out, speaking up, being ambitious and strong. We undermine our thoughts and ideas with weak language.

Have you noticed how men and women speak differently? Strong language is more prevalent among men than women. Language reflects our willingness to comply or alternately to be decisive. One of the most offending words is the word “just”. I just want to tell you that the customers don’t like the candy. The customers don’t like the candy. I just want to tell you that when you do that it hurts my feelings. When you do that it hurts my feelings. Women should strike the word “just” from our language. Language is influence. Strong language is power.

“I would love”, “I feel”, “I believe”, “I’m sorry, but” all can have similar softening effects of our opinions. I would love to have sushi for lunch. I want sushi for lunch. I feel that this move would increase our product’s desirability. I expect this move would increase our product’s desirability. I believe that we should be inclusive. We should be inclusive. I’m sorry, but I disagree. I disagree. Let’s replace those soft words and ideas with “I’m confident”, “I expect”, “I’m convinced”. This does not mean we don’t use diplomacy. Thoughtful and kind language is important. Having good emotional intelligence is important. But, let’s end soft posturing and over-flexibility and be courageous about about our verbal expressions. Let’s be fearless with what we believe and the way we express it.

Weak language is not taken as seriously. Unapologetic, direct communication will get our daughters farther in having influence. It begins with us, ladies. Let’s model strong language and not worry how our ideas are taken. They are our ideas. Let’s own them proudly.

*me and my girls, Lincoln City, Oregon*

Experience gathering

Experience is the only teacher that brings true, deep nuanced learning. This is true in a career and life.

One can read parenting books, have theories and opinions about parenting, but until you’ve been in the role of a parent, the perspective and deeper learning of parenting is superficial.

I find this especially true in travel. I often have a distinct impression of a city or country prior to visiting. I come away after visiting a place surprised, often by very small things, that color and change my perspective of an area after I experience it. Singing in a local green (small village park) during the Christmas season in England while drinking mulled wine and experiencing the local community through the pub culture (family and community centered) colored my view of the UK and the Brits. When I think of the UK now, I think of the closeness of their community culture expressed in these experiences. When I traveled to the south of France (Cap d’Antibes, Monaco, the small villages of the French Alps) I was surprised at how beautifully dressed the people were; young and old, the attention to detail that I found there both in dress and food. We stopped to eat in a local McDonalds and were served a cold creamy, delicately flavored gazpacho soup that could have graced the finer restaurants of Denver, where I live. Walking through the harbor of Monaco, the expanse of beautiful yachts and expression of wealth in the loveliest of public gardens, through streets steeper than those in San Francisco dripping in flowers from tasteful, yet decadent homes set close together, and manicured Eden-like greenery was a tangible experience of luxury and privilege I could only comprehend through felt experience.

In my work communities, experience has revealed the breadth and depth of knowledge in each sector and profession. My 7 years as a luxury leasing agent and then assistant manager in Houston, Tx taught me more than any book on how to close a sale, the importance of customer service, the critical nature of balancing the books and the nuances of luxury commercial real estate.

My 22 years as a nurse have led to a deep well of knowledge about medicine, how the medical community works, crisis management, a great deal about human behavior and psychology as I work with people in some of the most difficult moments of their lives. One thing that surprised me is how central hope is. When people have hope for themselves or their loved ones it changes everything. Hope gives human beings strength like no other thing. I might have known this from an intellectual level prior to my years in medicine, but I know it in a much deeper way having seen it in the eyes and hearts of countless men and women.

As I pivot now in my career, pursing a MBA, I will begin to gather new experiences. I feel an impending excitement to the truths, knowledge and wisdom that I will learn and apply in the years ahead.

I wish you all enthusiasm and bounty in your own experience gathering!

*St. Johns Neighborhood, Portland, Oregon*


It is quite shocking to realize that your children may have very different sensibilities to yourself. We have things that are deeply innate to who we are as people; love of writing, reading, music, athletics, culture or whatever the case may be. When our children grow up we can find that the things we feel define us, our children have no inclination for or interest in. It is one of the oddest, most unexpected realizations. We think, “how can you possibility not want to pick up a book and read?!”, “Why don’t you want to go on a hike, gaze at nature and see the limitless beauty of the universe?!”, etc.

Our love should overcome this surprise. We should put away our disappointment. We can look to what they love, embrace it, learn it and love it with them. Sometimes it’s Tik Tock, skateboarding, hip hop or crazy hair. Whatever it is, let us never let our children disappoint us, let us love them for who they are created to be.

*my daughter and husband, Denver*