Friday, May 20, 2016

In Memory of

John R. (Jack) Marsh

June 20, 1923 – January 2, 2016

 Erwin A. (Buff) Marsh

July 12, 1926 – March 21, 2016


I learned this week of the passing of my two cousins.  Though they were closer in their ages to my brother, Frank Perin, and my sister, Lucille (Perin) Kruse, we were closer in our later years.
Both were members of the U. S. military during World War II and served in the Pacific theater.  Jack was a member of the 41st Infantry Division of the Army.  Buff served in the Navy aboard a destroyer.
We were double cousins due to the marriage of our fathers, John Marsh and Arthur Perin, and our mothers, Christine Perin and Esther Marsh.  Photos of us together showed a remarkable likeness, as one would expect.

Jack, Buff, Dan

 Blessings for my cousins as they continue on along the road of life that never ends.
Peace and comfort for the family members.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

On Mothers And More

I have not written an article for my LifeCentering blog for some time now.  In fact, on several occasions I have felt I should write one indicating it was the “last word.”  Obviously, the last word has not been written—yet.

I am writing this on Mothers’ Day 2016, and my heart is filled with the emotions of memories of my Mom.  She made her transition one month short of her 100th birthday in 2002.  However, it is not simply memories of her that sparked this article.

For many, memories of our loved ones who have gone beyond our physical site are often tinged with thoughts of things we might have done differently regarding our interactions.  Sadly, these retrospectives can tend to leave us feeling we did not do enough, or that “unfinished” business should have been taken care of before they left.

Today, I find myself thinking of current situations in the lives of others I know for whom I am aware there is “unfinished” business that it would be well to take care of while it is still possible to do so.  Back in November 2014 I wrote an article detailing how I had waited too long to make amends to my sister for a misunderstanding that we had. See the article here:

It is often very difficult, especially after much time has passed, to make amends to someone we may have offended or hurt in some manner.  Let me assure you the difficulty one faces when the amends are NOT made in time is much worse to deal with emotionally.  There is a good reason Twelve Step Support groups emphasize the importance of making amends (Step Nine).  It is the step that offers an opportunity to become resolved about past actions that have been hurtful or limiting in some way to others.  When we move toward reconciliation we are saying, “My life is not fully in order as long as I have not forgiven others or asked forgiveness from them.”  Further, it brings us clearly face to face with what stands in the way of our healing and happiness.  Our action in making amends is what is important.  What the person to whom we offer our amends does is not our business.  Our business is taking care of OUR actions and freeing ourselves of the burden of regret and perhaps even shame.

So, on this Mothers’ Day I hope all of us who are reminiscing about our mothers will use the time to celebrate all they have done for us.  And should there happen to be some bit of unfinished business in the relationship, now is the time to do what you can to resolve it.  Free yourself and your mother (or whomever else may need it) from anything that stands in the way of healing.  Bless you, Mother!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

I’ve Found This Place At Last Redux

UPDATE: November 2015

After returning home from spending Thanksgiving with my grandson’s family, I was browsing my computer to catch up after being away.  I came across a reference to an article I wrote for my LifeCentering blog back in April 2013.  I had written it after moving into my manufactured home in Dallas, Oregon.  Reviewing it gave rise to the same feelings of satisfaction that I had after visiting Aubrey and his family.  I figured it was a good time to reprint the article with an update.  What follows on my blog is my effort to share my reflections on “being at home!”

April 2013

I was looking through some articles that I had started writing over times past because a semi-formed idea struck that seemed to want to be expressed.  Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how one looks at it, the idea did not continue to develop so it was relegated to the general file with other ideas that experienced the same fate.

However, as I was looking through that file today and reading the lyrics of K.D. Lang’s  “Trail of Broken Hearts,” which was part of an unfinished article, I came across the words:

Broken trail so long
A long and tired past
An emptiness has gone
I've found this place at last
And here will remain
With only the aim
Of staying sure and fast
Leaving just a part
Down the trail of broken hearts.

Then it hit me.  I have found my place at last!  Some of you know that I recently bought a manufactured home after apartment living since selling my former mobile home in the Seattle area after retiring.  Though I enjoyed the apartment I never truly felt at home.  I had to put a number of things in storage, many of which I did not need, but some were things that I missed.  I had to get rid of all my major power tools, my garden tools and things that one needs if you are a homeowner.  If I needed or wanted to “fix” something, it usually called for a tool I couldn’t get to or no longer had; or maybe it was a particular nut, bolt or screw for some project that I thought I needed to take care of.

Now I have my shop mostly all set up again.  All the containers of nuts, bolts, washers, screws, etc. are nicely arranged on shelves ready for any project.  I already had to locate just the right bolts and nuts to replace ones missing from an adjustable bed frame kit I bought for my second bedroom.  (Darned Chinese can’t seem to get everything in the package that is supposed to be there! Don’t ask about the “instructions.”)  My mind is beginning to see a number of projects that I would like to take care of.  That doesn’t include all the things that NEED to be done in the yard—blah, blah, blah!

But, I have found this place at last, and here I will remain with only the aim of staying sure and fast . . . 

I was excited for the move and knew others could share the joy with me.  Most did, but of course, there were some who thought it was a stupid choice, saying, “For the life of me, I do not understand you or your choices now or in your past.” 

Sometimes one has to shake the dust from off his/her feet and travel on.  There is that place for each of us and it makes no difference whether anyone else sees it as we do or not.  In the right place there are new opportunities, new people and a new spirit, if one feels free to embrace them.  So I leave just a part down the trail of broken hearts, and move on.  I take all my great memories of the road leading me here along for the rest of the journey, and leave any broken heart memories where they belong—in the past!

And now 2015 . . .

I have, in fact, taken on a number of projects in my new home—yard and building maintenance, extensive garden box building and fair harvest of the veggies I enjoy.  I still feel I have found my place.  Certainly, with the steadily increasing rents in the Portland metro area that I would have been subject to if I had stayed in my apartment, I have more reasons to appreciate the move I made.  Living expenses decreased considerably.  Anyone who might still wonder why I made this move will just have to figure it out for him/herself.

[1]  Trail of Broken Hearts, K.d. lang/Ben Mink
[ Lyrics from: ]

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Anger Revisited

I have been a writer for a number of years.  I manage and write for two Web Logs, LifeCentering and Insight & Outsight/. I have self-published two books.  Every once in awhile I pick up one of my books, usually, Moments In the Journey Through Life, and open randomly to a page.  Almost always whatever I have written about on that page has some connection for what may be happening in my life at that point.  By reading I afford myself the opportunity to take a breath, relax and view some situation with new insights.

That happened for me today.  Though the article that I opened to--Dealing With Anger--did not particularly relate to my being angry over some issue.  What did come up for me is the thought that just maybe it would be of help to others who have not yet read that article, or for that matter, the book itself.  So I am reproducing the article here along with links to my book.  I am not sure the book  is still available in these outlets, though it is listed.  If you look for it and cannot find it, I will be glad to make a PDF copy available to you.  Simply let me know at:

Dealing With Anger article:

Moments as listed on Amazon:

Moments as listed on Author’s Den:

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Today Is A Good Day To Be Alive!

At 8:30 AM this morning, after my ritual watching of “CBS Sunday Morning,” I started out for my morning walk.  It was cloudy and somewhat cooler than yesterday.  Not too long into my walk I began to experience some tightness in my chest and the telltale sponginess in my arms.  I began to think I should make an appointment with my doctor just to be sure all is well with my heart and circulatory system.

I crossed the street and as I continued my walk I noticed an elderly gentleman had also crossed the street and was walking toward me.  As I got closer I saw him steadying himself by holding on to a signpost and his cane.  I said to him as I approached, “We have to get out and do our walking, don’t we?”  He responded and I stopped to briefly chat. 

He mentioned that he was trying to build up to walking one mile.  He said he wanted to be able to walk to church.  Noting limited public transportation he said then he could walk to the grocery store a mile away.  But how would get back home with a bag of groceries?  I said I believed there was a community program that picks up folks with no transportation and encouraged him to look into it. 

Then I asked, “How old are you?”  “Ninety,” he responded.  I said, “I am 80,” and shrugged my shoulders in disbelief.  We chatted a bit longer about our longevity, I bid him a good day and parted.  As I walked away I noticed all the tightness in my chest was gone, my arms felt fine as well.  I said out loud as I walked, “This is a good day to be alive!  I knew I had to write something about how I felt about this experience and prayed out loud again that I could accurately record these feelings.

So often when I have a strong emotional response to some event or experience, a stream of consciousness seems to flow eloquently through my mind.  Then, when I try to share it through writing I seldom seem to capture the intensity I first felt. 
There is something remarkable about realizing “This is a good day to be alive!  So often we take for granted that just as the sun sets it will also rise.  Another day will come and another set of events and experiences.  Life is NOT something to take for granted.  We all know the day will come that the sun will still rise, but we will have moved on in the life beyond life.  For me, today means just a little more than it did before my walk.  I cherish the event that brought a stranger to me so I could touch the depth of living again.

May you also cherish this day for Today Is A Good Day To Be Alive!