Thursday, December 7, 2017


Pictured here is a (not very good) photo of the Neal/Weedermann ensemble.

From the top: Bruce Neal, Harlan Neal Weedermann and Marion Weedermann. Marion and Harlan are holding what may look to you like a white plastic hanger, but it is really a trombone … also called a 'bone'. 

Harlan loves to play the 'bone'. He makes the sliding tone sound and also the 'TOOT' (always in all capital letters).  It’s hard to get a photo of him because Harlan tends to 'zoom'. In fact, 'ZOOM' is one of his favorite words.

Sometimes he slows down enough to create art. 

Or listen to a story (about ten books a day). And one of the greatest feelings in the universe, is holding Harlan on your lap while reading him a story. 

So here’s to Zoom, Toot, and Bone.
And Harlan Neal Weedermann.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Where Do You Feel Things?

Where do you feel things? A glimpse of amazing beauty, whether in my front yard or some distant landscape, engenders an opening and warmth . . . sometimes behind my forehead, sometimes across my chest. 

Destruction of a once pristine landscape or a car wreck squeezes and contorts my innards. 

I almost always feel fear in my vagina. I guess there’s a reason for that – the fear thing. All you have to do is read the newspaper. Back when I was young and desirable, I too received unwanted fondling, even unwelcomed intimacy. 

There are other emotions – like sorrow or regret – that roll over me in deep blue waves. Like awareness of cruel deaths – refugees, homeless, transgender people and the hundreds ‘mowed down’ in mass shootings. 

And ignorant decisions about guns, or the climate, or elephants bring tears to my throat (and anger to my brain). 

And just plain sadness can encompass me when someone like Charlie Rose turns out to be just a fallible as the rest of his gender. 

How do I counter these things? By standing in a community working for the dignity of all people. Or petting my aged cat. Or holding the hand of a child. Or, sometimes, eating chocolate. Do others do this? Where is your pain? Where is your joy?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

All Hail Last Blooms

Poking up from the last fallen leaves – a snapdragon. 

In the porch pot now devoid of marigolds – a pansy. 

And even in the crusty remains of our first snow – more pansies. 

All hail, brave and stubborn flora! Thank you for sticking around and sticking up. I write this blog to honor your tenacity and color. You will not be forgotten.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

no place like home

They're gone now. Yesterday I tired to get close to the pelicans resting on the local lake (actually a reservoir).The fact that pelicans stop in Loveland, Colorado on their way to wherever it is they are going, astounds me. I couldn't get as close as I wanted but I did see them.
I went home and reveled in the beauty of my front yard tree.
And resolved to go back today. To get a better photograph. But the snow had come and the pelicans were gone.

Disappointed, I returned home. As I began to walk from my garage to my back door, I hear a riot of birdsong. There were birds in the trees, in the bushes, at the bird-feeders. And the squirrels of course.

And there on the trunk of my back yard tree, an exquisite little bird posing for my camera.

So. Dorothy was right. There's no place like home.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

An Indelible Memory

She wrapped silence around her like a shield. Sitting on the shadowed side of the meditation hall, she seemed to glow with concentration. I could not help but notice her, her pale denim clothes and long white hair, which was tied near her skull with a thin red ribbon. 

Two Tewa elders had been invited to open the meditation retreat entitled “In the Arms of Mother Earth.” They stood on their ancestral lands welcoming those who came to celebrate the planet and focus on ways to protect it. We were in accord. 

She seemed to pay particular attention to the elders, both apparently younger than she, both wearing simple dresses with colorful traditional patterns. 

Three days later, she was back as the two elders spoke their closing blessing then invited participants to come forward and take an item from the ‘give away’ table. 

That’s when she sang. Before any of us moved forward, she leaned back in her chair and sang. The song, in the Tewa language, reached every person in the hall. It reverberated in my soul. Although I could not understand the language, I understood the meaning. It was a hymn to the sacred planet, so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. 

The item I took from the table was a small round of glazed clay inscribed with the words, “I am Blessed.” As I walked from the hall, one of the elders used a large feather to anoint me with drops of water. Looking up I saw the singer standing nearby and was able to thank her and shake her hand. 

I was blessed indeed.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Rainbow Celebration

🌈Sunday, Oct. 15, my congregation celebrated the fact that we had earned the official designation, “Welcoming Congregation” from the Association of Unitarian Universalists. 

That means ours is a congregation in which people can feel welcome, whatever their sexual orientation. Even if they are ‘straight.’ So lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals, queers, transgenders or indecisive know that they will be treated with respect. 

That’s a big deal. It has taken us a long time – three years – to earn the designation. There were sermons and seminars and workshops and films and books that introduced those of us largely unaware of the varieties of physical attachments to the variety of sexual identities. 

 Some of our members wearied of the effort. Why were we focusing so much attention on one sector of the general population when so much else, so many others, have so many, urgent needs. 

I have figured out why. I am, as I recall (it has been a very long time since this fact was of interest to anyone) a straight, heterosexual woman. Although I had no particular problem with gays or lesbians, I had no real understanding of the lives and struggles of gays and lesbians and bi-sexuals and transgender people. I understood in theory. Not in practice. Now my eyes and mind and heart are open. I no longer see the label. I see the person. 

That’s significant. There are all kinds of labels – sexual, racial, political, religious, economic, national, etc. Once we have learned to see the individuals behind the labels, we can begin to learn from each other. And there might even be hope for us all.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Fried Green Tomatoes

 My tomato plant died Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017.

 Every day this summer I had faithfully watered it. It had little yellow flowers that, eventually, yielded two red ping pong ball-sized tomatoes. And lots of green globes.

When the frost warning came, I took a bucket out and picked a dozen green tomatoes. Now what? I couldn’t just throw them in the garbage. Not after months of careful tending. I decided to fry them. I had liked the movie but had never tasted fried green tomatoes.

 It wasn’t hard (but it was messy). [You slice the tomatoes, then dip the slices in flour, then in egg/milk, then in breadcrumbs or cornmeal seasoned with salt and pepper. Then fry.] And I liked them [my taste may have been skewed by the memory of  summer.]

Things die. But something new always seems to emerge. And it can be beautiful.

Or delicious.