Let Me Go! (55 Places I’d ♥ To Visit)

The world is a book, and those who do not travel
read only a page.
— St. Augustine

Where I’ve been: 55 Photographs

Perhaps I should start, meaning no disrespect, with places I have no desire to visit.
Because I usually prefer rustic over production, I don’t want to go to:
Disney Land
Disney World
Hawaii, the main island
Florida during spring break
Arizona in the winter
A cruise to anywhere
Las Vegas

My dream travel schedule, funds and time mine in abundance,
would be to visit a place and stay for a month.
I prefer off-the-path places, and off-season travel.

The order below is random—out-of-my-head random.

The photos not credited are from Wikimedia Commons.

If you always go where you have always gone
and always do what yo have always done,
you will always be what you are now.
— Tristan Gylberd

photo: Christina Jose
1. Albania — because Audrey and Brian live there.
Audrey and I (and Ruth, Barb, Eileen and Nancy) grew up together in Lombard, IL.
If I’m dreaming HUGE, our next girlfriend reunion would be there.

2. Istanbul, Turkey
— because Will and Emma (my nephew and niece) live there.
Ever since I’ve read about the Hagia Sophia I’ve wanted to see it with my own eyes.
And there is Lamb Shawarma. (I wrote that *before* I saw The Avengers!)

3. Cape Town, South Africa — because my Aunt Betty lived and died there.
I want to meet her adopted son, Jean-Blaise, and his wife, Loret.
And dear Virginia, who—via Skype—talked me through my Aunt’s life and death.

4. Monhegan Island, Maine
This is my brother and sister-in-law’s favorite place.
A haven for artists twelve miles off the coast of Maine,
Monhegan is the perfect place to recharge.

photo: Katie Boyd

5. Harare, Zimbabwe
Harare is on more than one list of where NOT to go.
But a friend, with whom I used to swap weekly emails, lives there.

6. Budapest (and the glorious Danube River) —
Did you know this city used to be two cities: Buda and Pest?
I love trying to pronounce Pest the local way: Peshhht.
Norm and Michelle, friends from almost 40 years ago live here.

7. St. Petersburg, Russia —
The Winter Palace is part of The Hermitage, a museum founded in 1764
which holds the largest collection of paintings in the world.
In preparation for the rare chance that I would go to St. P.
I’m *thinking* about reading the great Russian writers.

8. Krakow, Poland —  It was the children’s book,
The Trumpeter of Krakow, that first put this city on my globe.
I would be sure to visit Karen, a fellow bibliophile, who blogs at U Krakovianki.
One of Europe’s oldest cities, Krakow is a gold mine of architectural styles.
The Jewish Quarter is a must see.

9. Why Wales? — Most castles per capita, for one.
Hay-on-Wye, world renown bookstore town. 30+ secondhand books!!
How Green Was My Valley, Welsh revivals, the tradition of Welsh singing, and Welsh Corgis (my first dog).
And all those charming LL words in Welsh: Lloyd, Llewellyn, Llangollen,

10. Quebec City, Quebec —  I want to go for the sheer romance of the city.
To hear French spoken. Willa Cather’s historical novel,
Shadows on the Rock, piqued my interest, oui?


11. Jerusalem. All of Israel — from the Negev to the Golan Heights;
from Tel Aviv to Jericho.
My grandpa went to Israel.
My dad went to Israel.
I’d like to go…someday.

The perfect journey is circular —
the joy of departure
and the joy of return.
— Dino Basili

12. Dublin (home of the Book of Kells) —
A dear friend took a solo trip to Ireland, the land of her fathers.
A young man I know saved his nickels and spent a month hitchhiking Ireland.
Dublin, Belfast, Shannon, Wexford, Cork, Donegal, and the Blasket Islands:
I want to see them all. (And oh! the reading that would precede that trip!)

13.  China — where the Terracotta Army is being excavated.

14.  The Lake District, England — It is both romantic and literary.

photo from East-Coast-Golf-Vacations.com

15. Prince Edward Island — Who has read Anne of Green Gables
and not wanted to visit PEI?

 16. London (soundtrack: ♫♪♫ England swings like a pendulum do ♪♫♪) —
Confession: I’ve been in London, but not really. Heathrow doesn’t count.
Nor does a drive through. We planned a day in London which we canceled.
One day to see Westminster Abbey and the British Museum and 84 Charing Cross Road and…?
I promised myself that if I came to see London, I would give myself
at least four days. It’s an expensive destination, but so worth it.
I’ve never seen so many ethnic groups as I did in London.

17. New York City — I’ve been threatening to visit NYC for a while.
One week for the museums, one week for shows, one week for
people watching. Some of my favorite Facebook statuses (stati?) are
Rebeccah’s 4:56 a.m. Starbucks/subway updates. She’s got a hilarious book
inside her on commuting protocol.

Photo from angelfire.com

18.  Kwajelein — a 1.2  x 2.5 mile atoll (a coral island that encircles a lagoon)
in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. My brother, sister-in-law, and nephew lived
there for a few years. I keep meeting people who lived once on tiny Kwaj.
Since it is a restricted island, I don’t think I could ever visit, but it’d be fun!

Photo from Readers Digest rd.com

19.  Florida Keys — These words captured my imagination long ago.
It may have been Key West, President Nixon’s favorite escape.
If you don’t know who President Nixon was, please don’t say it aloud.
Can you imagine *driving* from island to island?
Doesn’t this picture say, “Come, check me out?”

20. The Netherlands — my maternal grandmother emigrated from Holland when she was nine. I would visit Barendrecht, her birthplace. My own grandma’s place of birth!
And look at tulips. And eat cheese.
And visit the Rien Poortvliet Museum.

211. Cappadocia — History abounds in central Turkey.
Cliff dwellers, underground cities where early Christians lived.
This video made Cappadocia my cuppa.

Not all those who wander are lost.
— J.R.R. Tolkien

22. Dubrovnik — a coastal fortress in Croatia
My brother-in-law is the son of Croatian emigrants.
When they came back from a visit, my sister-in-law
gave me a book about Dubrovnik.
It’s a city steeped in history.


23. The Orkney Islands — Have you heard of the Thules? (pronounced TOOL lees)
They are the northernmost part of the habitable world. The Orkneys qualify.
Leslie Thomas’ book Some Lovely Islands fanned an
already burning fascination with insular culture.
There are thriving communities of folk art and crafts.


24. The Blasket Islands — Some Lovely Islands
introduced me to Greater Blasket Island. This forsaken island produced authors and books. I’ve read Peig Sayer’s An Old Woman’s Reflections
and Maurice O’Sullivan’s Twenty Years A-Growing.
The last day people lived on this island was November 17, 1953. The Irish government
evacuated the population because it could not maintain their safety.
Some cottages still have furniture, kettles hanging from chains, crockery…all abandoned.

25. Mont Saint-Michel — Blame Henry Adams. An island fortress,
an abbey, that spire pointing upwards. Oh yes, please!

26. Venice — I have read so much about the pigeons in the piazza at
St. Mark’s, that I can practically hear the cacophony they make.

  27.  Florence — how this missed the top five is a mystery.
Firenze! (Italian name) Tuscany! I can taste you in my mouth.
Michelangelo. Giotto. Donatello. da Vinci. Dante. Galileo.
Ah, Firenze.

28.  Parma — A culinary festival.
Parmesan cheese, Proscuitto di Parma, home of Verdi.
Go ahead and laugh: John Grisham’s Playing for Pizza made me salivate.

 29. Geneva — Switzerland, in general.
Calvin, clocks and Lake Geneva.

30.  Paris — Notre Dame, the Louvre, Eiffel, Tower, Arc de Triomphe,
left bank, right bank, Latin quarter,
cafes, patisseiries, brasseries, chocolat.


31. Steens Mountain — Harney County, Oregon
Only navigable in the warm season, this mountain is
composed of “basalts, stacked one upon another.”
Steens has been on my husbands wish list for years.
We recently flew over this wilderness area and
renewed our intention to go visit.

Whenever I start pulling out this list of places I’d like to go,
Curt’s comeback remains: I’d just like to see Steens Mountain.

32. Victoria — British Columbia
Canada: you have to love a country that is book-ended
by Victoria and Prince Edward Island.
Charming gardens, historical architecture, people from all nations.

There are only two rules.

One is E. M. Forster’s guide to Alexandria: the best way
to know Alexandria is to wander aimlessly.
The second is from the Psalms: grin like a dog
and run about through the city.
—  Jan Morris

photo: The Minam River Lodge

33. The Minam River Lodge — Minam, Oregon
The only way into this wilderness retreat is by chartering a plane,
horseback and hiking a 8.5 mile trail. I hope to get into shape
for the hike with my husband next summer.

34. Corfu — Greek Island in the Ionian Sea
Reading My Family and Other Animals put this island on my map.

35. Sweet Home, Oregon
If it’s wrong to like a place simply because of the name, then indict me.
When we first contemplated a move to Oregon, we looked at the map.
It’s twee, but I’ve wanted a Sweet Home return address ever since.

36. Cape Mendocino Coast — California
Earlier this year we were talking about the prettiest drives we’d taken.
Since we were just getting acquainted and I was more enamored with my
boyfriend when we drove on Highway 1, I’d like another chance to see it.

37. Lolo Pass, Idaho-Montana
Highway 12, between Lewiston, ID and Missoula, MT
has some of the most stunning vistas you can imagine.
We’ve traveled through. We need to travel to.

38. Sunnyside, Washington
My great-grandfather immigrated from Holland to Sunnyside.
The town’s history fascinates me: Dunkards started a Christian colony,
and included a “morality clause” (no drinking, dancing, gambling, or horseracing)
in every land deed sold. I’m sure we still have distant relatives living there.
It’d be fun to go exploring with one of my brothers or sisters.
Oh brother (sister), where art thou?

photo: elklakeresortmontana.com

39.  Elk Lake Resort, Montana
When our friends moved to Elk Lake Resort near Yellowstone Park,
we said we’d come visit. We’ve dropped that ball, but there is still time to follow through!

 40. Civil War Battle Sites – (shown is Burnside Bridge at Antietam)
Perhaps I should limit it to the Top 10 Sites. I’ve been to
Gettysburg, PA and Franklin, TN and I will never forget either.
You would need a year to read and prepare, but this kind of
excursion would ignite me.

41. Baseball Park Tour (Wrigley Field)
In the late 1980s two guys in my small town mapped out a summer
tour in their VW Bug to see a game in all 30 major league baseball stadiums.
I wouldn’t want to try the one season gig, but with my penchant
for collecting, a repressed passion for baseball, and a love of
road trips, I am enticed.

Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday,
placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting,
so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear.
Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of,
giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.
— Freya Stark

42. Tallinn, Estonia
The Singing Revolution DVD put this country on my map.
Who wouldn’t want to visit a country who gained
independence from the Soviet Union by singing?

43.  St. Louis, Missouri
One doesn’t have to go to Europe to see cathedrals.
Cathedral Basilica, with its organ, would be a must see for me.

44. Cannon Beach, Oregon
I want to take a picture of Haystack Rock. (It seems all my friends have.)
And hear the surf. And sleep in a yurt.

45. Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, Washington (visited April 2013)
April 2013. Tulips galore.
Beauty abounds.
This is doable. I just have to make a plan.

46. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
The best reason to visit is to see our former neighbors—
and my mom’s best friend—who have retired here.
Oh, brother/sister where art thou?

47. Upper Peninsula, Michigan
In my youth I always heard about the U.P. Because it was remote
and beyond, it has remained one of those places I’d like to visit.
Lighthouses, bridges and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum.
I’m already humming Gordon Lightfoot.

48. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Yes, I would. I’d like to see an Amish community.
But when I Googled Lancaster, the first thing I saw
was their convention center. Yep.

49. Bath, Somerset, England
A Jane Austen literary tour. Lyme, Chawton, Steventon, Winchester.
Be still my heart. Calm. We must be calm.
Of course, preparation would include reading the complete Austen canon,
watching every DVD. What fun, what fun!

50. Napa Valley, California
Beautiful scenery, do a little wine tasting.
I could be persuaded.

51. Provence, France
On a whim, I picked up a French Audio course at the library yesterday,
curious how much of my high school French stuck. Not. much.
It would be great to refresh it in Provence, n’est-ce-pas?
We dream about going with college friends.
M.F.K. Fisher’s Two Towns in Provence made me thirsty for France.

52. Door County, Wisconsin
Another destination that I’ve been told about many times.
They have fish boils are legend.

53. St. Augustine, Florida
I can’t remember the book that long ago made me want to
see St. Augustine. Give me history and I’m happy.

54. Troy, Oregon (visited September 2013)
You’ve never heard of Troy,OR (pop 25-30) Not to be confused with Troy, ID (pop 862).
On our way home from church we pass a road with a sign: Troy 38 miles.
And I’ve always wanted to follow that dirt road. At least once.

 55. Charleston, SC
Southern hospitality, Lowcountry cuisine,
cobblestone streets, Huguenot church. Yes!


55 Hymns I Love to Sing



The other reason that I make music is to celebrate the
certainty of the Lord, since there is no other way I can
understand the contradictions and confusions that surround me.
— Anthony Trollope


I was raised on hymns. They were my mother’s milk, my first solids, my daily bread, my cup of tea. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t sing hymns, nor a time that I haven’t loved hymns. I sing hymns that sweep my soul up and bring me to the gates of heaven. I sing hymns that mourn, a haunting melody in a minor key that alone reaches the nooks and crannies of my grief.  Hymns, well-done, show me how great my God is and how much that affects my life.  They remind me of what is true, they teach me how to respond, they encourage me to change.

I’ve worshiped with Plymouth Brethren, Baptist, Evangelical Free, and Presbyterian churches. In other words, I come from a broad range of hymnody: English melodies, Fanny Crosby, revival hymns, plainsong, German chorales, psalms from the psalter, Welsh hymns, folksongs, Vaughn Williams, Luther, and one of my favorites: Claude Goudimel.   

Just as in books, there are good ones and there are raspy ones. I when hear certain hymns I think: All Skate!  Other have a sing-song rhyming scheme that sounds like a seventh grader wrote it. True, some tunes are dated and just bad. There are bouquets of flowery, sentimental sap that may not even be orthodox in their theology.

Hymn geeks know that each tune has a name. The name of the tune may come from the city where it was composed, the first words of the hymn—often in their original language—or some phrase that identifies it. Or in the case of one favorite, the tune is SINE NOMINE, meaning without a name. I included the tunes because two people out there will care to know to which tune I sing that particular hymn.


1.  Doxology OLD HUNDRETH   This should be the first praise song every toddler learns. And perhaps the last song with the last breath of life.  Our church sings this, a capella, at the end of every service.

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

2.  Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing NETTLETON   

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.

3.  My Soul, Now Bless Thy Maker (Psalm 103) NUN LOB, MEIN SEEL   The truth is that many of my favorite hymns are based on Psalm 103.  Unfortunately this one is obscure.  How do I translate to you the joy and thrill it is to sing this?  Almost every audio version I’ve found has a slow, dreary tempo when this is a vigorous and confident tune.  So here’s the best combo I can find: Listen to this version (click on 519) after you’ve opened a window with the words.

My soul, now bless thy Maker! Let all within me bless His name
Who maketh the partaker of mercies more than thou dar’st claim.

4.  Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns TRURO   I love TRURO like my friend Steph loves HYFRYDOL. We are kindred spirits in our hymn geekdom.  Listen here.

Shout, for the blessed Jesus reigns; through distand lands his triumphs spread;
And sinners freed from endless pains, own him their Saviour and their Head.

5.  Only Begotten, Word of God Eternal  ISTE CONFESSOR   There is gravitas in this ninth century hymn.  Tune is here; words are here (pause the music that automatically starts).

Here in our sickness, healing grace aboundeth,
Light in our blindness, in our toil refreshment:
Sin is forgiven, hope o’er fear prevaileth,
Joy over sorrow.

6.  Jesus Shall Reign  DUKE STREET   Besides loving ancient hymns in minor keys I love triumphal anthems.  Tune here and words here.  I love to modulate up a half key with each new verse.

People and realms of every tongue dwell on His love with sweetest song;
And infant voices shall proclaim their early blessings on His Name.

7.  O Sing A New Song to the Lord (Psalm 98)  LYNGHAM   To hear a large group singing this four-part fugue is glorious.

O sing a new song to the Lord, for wonders He has done.
His right hand and His holy arm the victory have won.

8.  O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus EBENEZER  The music matches the words in this piece better than any other hymn I can think of.  I hear the ocean currents. 

Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love;
Leading onward, leading homeward, to thy glorious rest above.

9.  Praise To the Lord, the Almighty LOBE DEN HERREN If you don’t know this hymn, please learn it.  Every phrase is rich, solid, steady. 

How oft in grief hath not he brought thee relief,
Spreading his wings to o’ershade thee!


10. For All the Saints SINE NOMINE  Alleluia!

We feebly struggle, they in glory shine.

And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong


11.  In Christ Alone  Music and lyrics here.  What is it about this modern day hymn that is so potent?  The words speak to the core issues of life and death.  The soaring intervals. 

And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me.


12.  Great Is Thy Faithfulness FAITHFULNESS   No other song evokes memories of mom like this one.

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!


13.  Holy, Holy, Holy NICAEA 

Though the darkness hide thee, though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
Only thou art holy: there is none beside thee
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

14.  Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness GERMANY  

Fully absolved through these I am
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.

15.  Come, Ye Disconsolate  CONSOLATION

Here bring your wounded heart, here tell your anguish;
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.

16.  Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms

17.  Trust and Obey   One of the first hymns I sang as a girl.

For there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus

18.  O Come, All Ye Faithful ADESTE FIDELIS  After I learned about Athanasius, I lift up thanks for him when I sing this carol. Why? Because much of the doctrine in it was defended by him.

Word of the Father now in flesh appearing

19.  All Glory, Laud, and Honor  ST. THEODULPH  Bach wrote a great harmonization on this tune.

Thou didst accept their praises, accept the prayers we bring,
Who in all good delightest, Thou good and gracious king!

20.  We Are God’s People  This is one of our church’s favorite anthems.

He wills us be a family, diverse yet truly one,
O let us give our gifts to God, and so shall his work on earth be done.

21.  Like a River Glorious WYE VALLEY

We may trust Him fully all for us to do,
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.

22.  Why Do the Heathen Nations Vainly Rage? POURQUOI FONT BRUIT

How blessed are those who trust without dissembling,
Who kiss the Son and bow in reverent fear.

23.  O for a Thousand Tongues  AZMON   There are 19 (!)  stanzas in the original lyrics.  We have great fun singing it to this tune, like a fugue.  Click on the link. Do it!

Assist me to proclaim to all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy name.


24.  All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name  DIADEM, CORONATION, MILES’ LANE  Diadem is my favorite setting of this anthem.

And crown Him, crown Him, crown Him, crown Him,
And crown Him Lord of all!

25.  The Lord Bless You and Keep You LUTKIN  A fitting benediction.

The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord life his countenance upong you,
And give you peace.

26.  God Himself Is with Us ARNSBERG  Simple, solemn beauty.

Like the holy angels who behold Thy glory,
May I ceaselessly adore Thee.

27.  All Creatures of Our God and King  LASST UNS ERFREUEN  Mr. Bean almost ruined this for me.

Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care.

28.  Jesus, Lover of My Soul  ABERYSTWYTH  Another minor key masterpiece!

All my trust on Thee is stayed,
All my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head
With the shadow of Thy wing.

29.  Infant Holy, Infant Lowly    This Polish Christmas carol is a simple lullaby packed with truth.

Thus rejoicing, free from sorrow,
Praises voicing, greet the morrow,
Christ the Babe was born for you!

30.  Now Thank We All Our God NUN DANKET   Not just for Thanksgiving, this one is always relevant.

Who, from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

31.  O God Beyond All Praising  THAXTED 

And whether our tomorrows be filled with good and ill,
We’ll triumph through our sorrows and rise to bless you still.

32.  O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High!  DEO GRACIAS  THis one is dense and thick and chewy.

That God, the Son of God, should take
Our mortal form for mortals’ sake!

33.  What Wondrous Love Is This?

And when from death I’m free,
I’ll sing and joyful be,
And through eternity I’ll sing on.

34.  Amazing Grace  NEW BRITAIN  How did I forget about this before?

‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

35.  God Be in My Head 

God be in my head, and in my understanding.
God be in mine eyes, and in my looking.
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking.
God be in my heart, and in my thinking.
God be at my end, and in my departing.



36.   St. Patrick’s Breastplate ST. PATRICK

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.

37.  Awake, My Soul, in Joyful Lays LOVING KINDNESS

When trouble, like a gloomy cloud, has gathered thick and thundered loud,
He near my soul has always stood, His loving kindness, oh, how good!

38.  The Church’s One Foundation AURELIA

Yet she on earth hath union with God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won.

39.  Rejoice, the Lord Is King DARWALL

Lift up your heart, lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

40.  When All Thy Mercies ST. PETER    Fernando Ortega sings this well.

When all Thy mercies, O my God,
My rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view, I’m lost
In wonder, love, and praise.

41.  The God of Abraham Praise  LEONI  I love this Jewish melody.

I shall behold His face, I shall His power adore,
And sing the wonders of His grace forevermore.

42.  Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners!  HYFRYDOL

Jesus! what a strength in weakness! Let me hide myself in Him;
Tempted, tried, and sometimes failing, He, my strength, my victory wins.

43.  How Sweet and Awful Is the Place  ST. COLUMBA  This lilting Irish melody is quietly powerful.

‘Twas the same love that spread the feast that sweetly drew us in;
Else we had still refused to taste, and perished in our sin.

44.  O Lord, My God, Most Earnestly  THIRD MODE MELODY  If you’ve seen Master and Commander, you’ve heard this haunting tune.

Beneath the shadow of Your wings I sing my joy and praise.
Your right hand is my strong support through troubled nights and days.

45.  Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence  PICARDY  This French Carol has very little ornamentation. It is solemn, simple, and powerful.

Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly-minded, for with blessing in His hand
Christ our God to earth descendeth,  our full homage to demand.

46.  Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed? MARTYRDOM  One of the foundations of my youth.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay the debt of love I owe;
Here, Lord, I give myself away, ‘Tis all that I can do.


47.  And Can It Be  SAGINA 

Amazing love!
How can it be that Thou, my Lord,
shouldst die for me?

48.  Children of the Heavenly Father  One of my brother’s signature songs.

Neither life nor death shall ever from the Lord His children sever;
Unto them His grace He showeth, and their sorrows all He knoweth.

49.  Fairest Lord Jesus  CRUSADER’S HYMN 

Beautiful Savior! Lord of the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration
Now and forevermore be Thine.

50.  Gloria Patri

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, Amen.

51.  Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee  HYMN TO JOY

Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.

52.  My Jesus, I Love Thee  GORDON

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath.

53.  I Will Sing of My Redeemer 

How the victory He giveth
Over sin, and death, and hell.

54.  Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted  O MEIN JESU, ICH MUSS STERBEN  Wow. This hymn. Oh, my.

Ye who think of sin but lightly nor suppose the evil great
Here may view its nature rightly, here its guilt may estimate.
Mark the Sacrifice appointed, see who bears the awful load;
‘Tis the Word, the Lord’s Anointed, Son of Man and Son of God.

55.  Christ, the Lord, Is Risen Today  EASTER HYMN  Belt this one out at the top of your lungs!

Lives again our glorious King; Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died, our souls to save; Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

What are a few of your favorites?


Okay, I’ve already realized a few glaring omissions. Humor me?

♥ To God Be the Glory (we sang this at our wedding)
♥ Blessed Assurance
♥ Before Thee Let My Cry Come Near (Psalm 119 X)

thank you!



55 Quotes I’ve Gathered Over the Years




About 15 years ago I started keeping a commonplace book, copying favorite
poems, quotes, sentences, phrases, and words into a journal, making a
personal anthology of my reading life.

Here are selections from a few of my journals, a slice of delight.

More 55 lists here.


1.  Love is friendship set to music.
— Anon


2.  Encourage one another.
— Donna Boucher


3.  Be always coming home.
—  Ursula Le Guin


4.  You can’t get a cup of tea big enough
or a book long enough to suit me.
— C. S. Lewis


5.  Fair is where you take the hogs in August.
— Anon


6.  When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable.
There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.
— Victor Hugo

7.  If you can walk, you can dance.
If you can talk, you can sing.
— Zimbabwe proverb


8.  The idle man does not know what it is
to enjoy rest.
— Albert Einstein


9.  God will not guide us into an intolerable scramble
of panting feverishness.
— Thomas Kelly


10.  The other reason that I make music is to celebrate
the certainty of the Lord, since there is no other way
I can understand the contradictions and confusions
that surround me. 
— Septimus Harding in The Warden, by Anthony Trollope


11.  Not what we say about our blessings,
but how we use them, is the true measure
of our thanksgivings.
— W. T. Purkiser


12.  History is a vast early warning system.
— Norman Cousins


13.  Invest yourself in everything you do.
There’s fun being serious.
—  Wynton Marsalis


14.  Calm sinning leads to catastrophic suffering.
—  Terry Tollefson


15.  If you try to make something idiot-proof,
the world comes up with a better idiot.
—  Jack Van Deventer


16.  Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances
we know to be desperate.
—  G. K. Chesterton


17.  We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.
—  Aristotle


18.  I am practicing the art of grabbing minutes,
perhaps the single most important art the
homeschooling mom can develop.
—  Cindy Rollins


19.  The most wasted of all days
is one without laughter.
—  e.e. cumings


20.  Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal
hanging on of an uncompleted task.
—  William James


21.  Though no one can go back and make a brand new start,
anyone can start from now on and make a brand new ending.
—  Carl Bard


22.  Never get into a rut. You cannot afford to do a thing poorly.
You are more injured in shirking your work or half-doing a job
than the person for whom you are working.
—  Booker T. Washington


23.  Your absence has gone through me
like a thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.
—  W. S. Merwin


24.  Never, never, never give up.
—  Winston Churchill


25.  Sit loosely in the saddle of life.
—  Robert Louis Stevenson


26.  There’s nothing remarkable about it.
All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time
and the instrument plays itself.
—  J. S. Bach


27.  Plan as if you will live a short time
and live as if you will be here another twenty or thirty years.
—  Ken Weddle


28.  Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a
friendship, and it is far the best ending for one.
—  Oscar Wilde



29.  A good theology will invariably produce a good meal.
—  Anon


30.  Every load of laundry starts with a choice.
You can make it a chore, approaching it with dread,
performing it grudgingly. Or you can choose to
take pleasure in the act of caring for yourself and your family.
—  Monica Nassif


31.  We labor under the tyranny of perfect heroes.
—  Gary Barber


32.  Eating has always been important to me,
because the focal point of the day is the dinner table,
a foretaste of the heavenly banquet.
The dinner hour is a sacramental time for me,
a time for gratitude for whoever is gathered
around the table, for the food, for our being
part of the greater story of creation.
—  Madeline L’Engle


33.  For a second, the woman’s heart quailed before the
fresh difficulties, but she forgot self at the look in her
husband’s face. Her quiet reply, “We will wait, for God
is in the waiting,” filled him with courage again.
—  Eric P. Kelly


34.  I have always known that happiness is a gift, not a right.
—  P. D. James


35.  A perfect day should be recorded.
It can’t be relived except in memory but it can
be celebrated and remembered with gratitude.
—  P. D. James


36.  Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.
—  Pearl Buck


37.  Life itself is the proper binge.
—  Julia Child


38.  A phone call to say I’m thinking of you yields benefits
all out of proportion to the time investment.
—  Andree Seu


39.  Maybe I’m a Luddite because I feel sorry for children
who read “Goodnight Moon” on a phone.
—  Dan Newman


40.  Give me a man who sings at his work.
—  Thomas Carlyle


41.  A mother’s happiness is like a beacon,
lighting up the future but reflected also on the past
in the guise of fond memories.
—  Honore De Balzac


42.  To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born
is to remain always a child.
—  Cicero


43.  Children are durable
and don’t necessarily wilt under adversity,
just as our children don’t necessarily
thrive under luxury and comfort.
—  Garrison Keillor


44.  Get off your attitude.
—  Terry Tollefson


45.  Only by God’s grace is a promise sure.
— heard at a wedding


46.  A small daily task, if it be really daily,
will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.
— Anthony Trollope


47.  Good prose is economical.
—  PSAT prep book


48.  Friendship is the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with
a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words.
— Jeremy Taylor


49.  A man who does a good job is OK by me.
— Abraham Lincoln


50.  He who would not be frustrate of his hope
to write well ought himself to be a true poem.
— John Milton


51.  Really cool things happen on the brink of disaster.
— Bob Jensen, local potter


52.  Putting other people before our own tidy plans
is a reality that needs to be observed by the next generation.
— Edith Schaeffer


53.  Good humor makes all things tolerable.
— Henry Ward Beecher


54.  Never think because you cannot write a letter easily,
that it is better not to write at all. The most awkward
not imaginable is better than none.
— Emily Post


55.  What people truly crave is appreciation.
— William James


55 Photos (Quick, Run Away) of My Guys

I’m slowly posting lists of 55.

55 Photographs is a collection of places I’ve been.
55 Sustaining Verses is a collection of, well, sustaining verses.

Now I give you 55 pictures of the guys I wrap my life around.
1 husband, 3 sons, 5 grandsons (no pictures of the 6th until he arrives)

Only one girl—my sister-in-law—is included because I
couldn’t bear to omit one of the best pictures taken in the 1960’s.

If pictures of dead animals bother you, click away. Now.
My guys hunt. My guys fish. My guys eat.
Please know that I held back. And I will hear complaints
about inclusions and omissions from my sons.
I could have done 55 Field and Stream Photos.

There is no order and I didn’t count pictures per person.
I didn’t try to be fair. Fair is where you take the hogs in August.


1. Come with me on a journey


2. It should make you smile


3. What does this mean?


4. Let’s go!


5. Misty Morning’s Ebony Splendor — our beloved first pet.


6. A happy artist


7. Comforting arms


8. Joy in music


9. The prince of solemn faces


10. Samwise


11. Good stock


12. What a hoot!


13. Relaxing after a hard day fishing


14. A degree doesn’t stop the silly faces


15. Adorable


16. Hi-Ho Silver!


17. ~ swoon ~


18. Easter handsomeness


19. A cup of coffee


20. A family tradition


21. The first fish caught


22. The guys



23. His first Officiant gig



24. For the love of frogs


25. Alaska summer job


26. Backpacking


27. Faneuil Hall


28. Virtue Flat


29. Meal on the beach


30. Melt my heart


31. Howdy, partner!


32. He’s a man’s man


33.  Mama makes the best treats


34.  Anticipation


33. The rigors of archery hunting.


34. The results of archery hunting


35. Fishing with Opa


36. Yu-uhm!


37. Success on the heights


38. The Bear


39. Papa on the trampoline


38. Happy with Daddy


39. Run at life. Attack it!


40. Concentration


41. The boy who beats me at Memory.


42. Just a swanging


43. Five grandsons, and one more on his way.


44. Stinkers, all.


45. Sometimes it’s better to close your eyes.


46. On the ladder to the tree fort.


47. He loves limes. So do I.


48. A penetrating look.


49.  He’s a loveable scamp.



50. The mystery of this boy’s thoughts


51. Daddy’s home: all is well


52. Say goodbye to youth


53. Docking station


54. Coaxing a smile.


55. Was all this really necessary?

55 Sustaining Verses

I’m making lists of “55” this month.
Here is a list of verses which have sustained me through the years of my life.

You may or may not be familiar with the Bible.
These verses are snatched out of their contexts,
but each one has a context in my life.
These are words that have fed my soul.



1. The Lord is my strength and my song,
And He has become my salvation.  — Isaiah 12:2

2.  Call to Me, and I will answer you,
and I will tell you great and mighty things,
which you do not know. — Jeremiah 33:3

3. I love the Lord, because He hears
my voice and my supplications. — Psalm 116:1

4. Let Thy lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us,
According as we have hoped in Thee. — Psalm 33:22

5.  For by grace you have been saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. — Ephesians 2:8

6. The Lord bless you and keep you; — Numbers 6:24

7. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. — Psalm 23: 1

8. As a father pities his children,
so the Lord pities them that fear him. — Psalm 103:13

9. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end,
they are new every morning,
great is thy faithfulness. — Lamentations 3:22-23

10. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them,
and they follow Me. — John 10:27

11. One thing have I desired of the Lord, and that shall I seek;
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
— Psalm 27:4

12. The conclusion, when all has been heard, is:
fear God and keep His commandments,
because this applies to every person. — Ecclesiastes 12:13

13. For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord,
plans for welfare and not for calamity
to give you a future and a hope. — Jeremiah 29:11

14. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. — I John 1:9

15. O magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt His name together. — Psalm 34:3

16. Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous!
Do not tremble or be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
— Joshua 1:9

17. It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich,
And he adds no sorrow to it.  — Proverbs 10:22

18. If therefore the Son shall make you free,
you shall be free indeed. — John 8:36

19. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. — Romans 5:8

20. Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. — Psalm 62:8

21. God makes a home for the lonely. — Psalm 68:6

22. Casting all your care upon Him,
for He cares for you. — I Peter 5:7

23. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
— Psalm 23:6

24. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
— Genesis 1:1

25. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. — John 1:1

26. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
— II Corinthians 9:15

27. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror
the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image
from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
— II Corinthians 3:18

28. To console those who mourn in Zion,
to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness,
that they may be called trees of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
— Isaiah 61:3

29. Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
— Romans 11:33

30. Rejoice in the Lord always;
and again I say, rejoice!
— Philippians 4:4

31. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
— Proverbs 31:30

32. For the anger of man does not achieve
the righteousness of God. — James 1:20

33. But the goal of our instruction is love
from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
— I Timothy 1:5

34. My flesh and my heart may fail;
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
— Psalm 73:26

35. All of us like sheep have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
to fall on Him. — Isaiah 53:6

36. The Lord is good,
a stronghold in the day of trouble,
and He knows those who take refuge in Him.
— Nahum 1:7

37. Greater love has no one than this,
that one lay down his life for his friends.
— John 15:13

38. But now abide faith, hope, love, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.
— I Corinthians 13:13

39. For the earth will be filled with the
knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
as the waters cover the sea.
— Habakkuk 2:14

40. Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it
than a house full of feasting with strife.
— Proverbs 17:1

41. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
for His steadfast love endures forever.
— Psalm 136:1

42. I  lift up my eyes to the hills;
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord
who made heaven and earth.
— Psalm 121:1-2

43. Howbeit Thou are just in all that is brought upon us,
for Thou hast done right
but we have done wrong.
— Nehemiah 9:33

44. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing,
they render you neither useless nor unfruitful
in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
— II Peter 1:8

45. Let the sea roar, let the fields rejoice,
let the trees of the forest lift their voice.
Let the earth and heaven celebrate,
and the people on earth say, “The Lord reigns!”
— I Chronicles 16:32-33

46. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.
— Psalm 16:6

47. Thou will make known to me the path of life;
In Thy presence is fullness of joy;
In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.
— Psalm 16:11

48. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh will see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.
— Isaiah 40:5

49. He has shown you, O man, what is good:
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God?
— Micah 6:8

50. Bless the Lord, O my soul;
and all that is within me,
bless His holy name.
— Psalm 103:1

51. He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart,
yet so that he cannot find out what God has done
from the beginning to the end.
— Ecclesiastes 3:11

52. I am my beloved’s,
and his desire is for me.
— Song of Songs 7:10

53. Now I commit you to God,
and to the word of his grace,
which can build you up with the rest of the saints.
— Acts 20:32

54. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken,
let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God
an acceptable service with reverence and awe;
for our God is a consuming fire.
— Hebrews 12:28-29

55. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
and to make you stand in the presence of His glory
blameless with great joy.
— Jude 24

55 Photographs

 Sherry was kind enough to be born exactly three months before me.
Her annual celebrations give me great ideas, which, alas, I seldom do.
But, this year, I believe I will follow through on several 55 lists.
It’s not my birthday today, but September is my birthday month.

Let’s start with 55 Photographs.
Oh, the places you will go!
One benefit of coming from a large, spread out family is that you just have to visit your people.
Here are 55 cherished memories.
I took each photo and would appreciate you asking before you download.

1. Sunrise at Atlantic Beach, North Carolina


2. Iona Abbey, Scotland


3. Iona, Scotland


4. Baldy Lake, Oregon


5. Imler, Pennsylvania


6. La Grande, Oregon



7. Pike Place Market, Seattle, Washington


8. Country Bible Church, Whitman County, Washington


 9. Duart Castle, Isle of Mull, Scotland


10. Richland, Oregon


11. York, England


12. Casco Bay, Maine


13. Moscow, Idaho


14. Columbia River, Boardman, Oregon


15. Snake River near Richland, Oregon



16. Sebago, Maine


17. Cumberland, Maine


18. Lostine Canyon, Oregon


19. Enterprise, Oregon


20. Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Burns, Oregon



21. Mt. Shasta, as seen from Klamath Falls, Oregon


22. Imnaha, Oregon


23. Blue Ridge, Georgia


24. Franklin, Tennessee


25. Joseph Canyon, Oregon


26. Grande Ronde Valley, Oregon


27. Troy, Idaho


28. Rattlesnake Highway, Oregon


29. Chicago, Illinois


30. University of Chicago


31. Baraboo, Wisconsin


32. Lombard, Illinois


33. Wallowa, Oregon


34. Cary, North Carolina


35. Potlatch, Idaho


36. Baker City, Oregon


37. Haines, Oregon



38. La Grande, Oregon


39. Glamis Castle, Angus, Scotland


40. Outside Jasper, Alberta


41. Bridge of Sighs, Oxford, England



42. Lower British Columbia


43. On the way to Banff


44. Crowsnest Pass, Alberta


45.  Columbia Icefields, Alberta


46. Lake Pend Oreille, Sandpoint, Idaho


47.  Seattle, Washington


48. Wildlife crossing on way to Banff


49. Southern Washington



50. Approaching Baker City, Oregon


51.  High Valley, Alberta


52.  Alberta prairie



53.  Joseph, Oregon


54.  Haines, Oregon


55.  Home