Friday, December 31, 2010


He chose the winter camping site
and trod the trail some months ago.
He studied clothing which promotes
survival in the frigid snow.
He packed lightweight, nutritious food
for honing outdoor gourmet skills,
and coiled forty feet of rope
for practical knot-tying drills.
He calculated how to in-
still character in boys he loves.
With all that preparation done,
how did he forget his gloves?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

An Authentic Christmas

A play in three scenes for an LDS audience.  Overzealous about her Christmas decorating scheme this year, Julie is forgetting the reason for the season.  Can an unexpected visitor help her refocus before it is too late?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Faith of the Shepherds

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Shepherd, Sheep, Lilac Sky by Twink Designs

They knew that He was coming,
but they did not know when.
They could not know they’d be
among the first to hear the news.
They did their duty humbly
in the field and in the pen,
‘til angels sang the birth
of the Messiah of the Jews.
Not doubting it was true,
they spread the word abroad
that they had seen the newborn Son of God.

We’ve heard that He is coming,
but we do not know when.
Prophets say that soon,
in regal glory, He’ll return.
Do we do our duty,
to love and to befriend,
to lead our neighbors to
the peace and joy for which they yearn?
Believe that He is true,
and help prepare all men
to greet the Savior of the world again.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The One that Got Away

Carolina boy--
Snow was, for you, a sight unseen
until we whisked you away
to taste winter
on higher ground.

You toddled through the drifts,
legs stiff in new black boots,
to the edge of the mountainous slope.
We placed you on the platform,
cameras poised for your maiden voyage.

But before your escort
enveloped you in padded arms,
you slid away.

You had so little mass
that your momentum was all speed
and friction had no hold
as you spun,
starfish in a saucer.

Did you feel alone,
round blue eyes staring
at the granite sky?
No way to stop or steer
or see what loomed ahead?

Help was closer than you knew.
Your older brother,
with scant more sled experience,
slid to your rescue,
not missing a beat.
He flew fast, though not as far,
lifted you upright again,
held your mittened hand,
and led you on the long hike
up the hill.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cold Determination

and this one is true...

     I arrived at the university full of vague hopes, fond wishes, pleasant dreams, and one concrete goal.  I never wrote it in my planner, but it was clearly defined in my mind, measurable, reportable.  I was determined not to slip and fall on the ice more than once that winter.
     In the maritime climate of my Maryland upbringing, snow was a rare occurrence.  The scarcity of snow led to its identification with delightful surprises.  "Our football team won the game?" a friend might say.  "It's going to snow!" 
     If snow did fall, we thrilled at the sight of the first flakes, and hoped they would stick.  When an inch or two accumulated, my sisters and I would cluster around the radio, listening to the alphabetical list of school cancellations as the various counties phoned in their bids.  One hour late . . . Two hours late . . . Closed.  Jackpot!  If a few more inches fell, the "non-essential workers" would be sent home from the capital.  Beltway traffic was snarly enough in good weather; no one needed those impatient drivers to get stuck in the snow.  Whether the total came to three inches or three feet, with an inch-thick layer of ice on the top, the result was the same:  everyone stayed home and let the snowplows do their work.  We would sled down our front yard, build forts in the back, and try to enjoy the white stuff before it turned slushy and melted in a day or two. 
     My parents, who hailed from a different climate, assured me that in places where it really snows, life goes on.  People put on their snow tires and drive sensibly.  Snow doesn't melt all winter, and schools never close.  Thus warned, I went to further my education in Utah, which boasts the "greatest snow on earth."
     When the first flakes fell that winter, I was thrilled, as usual.  As it piled up on the ground, I wrapped myself in my puffy yellow corduroy coat, put on the most sensible shoes I possessed, and continued to walk all over campus.  I trusted the army of students employed in the Grounds Crew to arise early and apply their plows, shovels, and salt to the walkways.  I watched my step, and stayed upright.
     I was quite pleased with my success toward the end of classes in December.  I even wore ordinary shoes from time to time, but stayed wary.  Constant vigilance was the key.  Then, after studying form and function in my History of the Decorative Arts class one day, I left the Fine Arts building with some of my classmates.  Perhaps I was too eager to eat lunch.  Maybe I was distracted by conversation.  I only remember that when I reached the top of the short flight of icy stairs, my heel slipped out in front of me.  I fell, bouncing as I went.  It was a spectacular slide.  When the others caught up, concerned, I just had to laugh.  I had allowed myself one fall, and it turned out to be splendid.
     Putting that slip behind me, I went forth into the new semester with stronger determination.  I am pleased to say that I did complete my goal of keeping my seat off the concrete for the rest of the winter.
     The next winter was a different story.  I learned that my first year had been rather light on snow, by Utah's standards, and the mountain reservoirs held little for the farmers the next summer.  Returning to school, we were all encouraged to pray for "moisture."  Our prayers were answered with abundant snow.  Having grown complacent in my uprightness, I set no goal regarding slips and trips.  Therefore, I crashed on the same icy spot on my way home every day for a week. 
     I guess the moral of the story might be:

If at first you do succeed,
stick with the program!