Thursday, April 28, 2011


The Perry Children, Easter 1999

“Do you miss having little kids?”
 asked a friend asked recently as she hoisted her youngest child from hip to hip. We became friends when she was a freshly minted attorney. She was a professional, and I was a stay-at-home mom in the throes of raising five children, from toddlers to teenagers. She had since quit her job, moved away, and begun raising her own family that included three redheaded boys, four years old and under. Now I was the one able to focus on a conversation without the distraction of little ones, and she was seeking some perspective and maybe even validation for her new stage of life.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Preparing for the Easter feast

We should prepare for the Easter feast externally and internally

This week our children’s swim coach died unexpectedly. Only 28 years old, Joe had just coached a girls’ water polo team the night before his sudden death. He was known for his radiant smile, his teddy-bear hugs, and his belief in every swimmer. We all recognized his distinct-sounding voice heard 'round the pool. Because he coached so many teams in our community, his influence has been felt far and wide as shock and sadness have rippled throughout our town.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tanner Manor: “The House that Built Me”

Tanner Manor as I remember it

It’s almost too big, too grand a topic to tackle. Much like structure itself, the story of Tanner Manor, my childhood home, sometimes looms larger than life. For years, I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around the magnitude of that place and articulate the role it played in shaping my life.

Though just another house in town, our home was commonly known and referred to as “Tanner Manor” by friends and strangers alike. Perched atop a hill on nearly an acre of land at the intersection of Fremont Avenue and Buena Vista Street in South Pasadena, California, the almost-9000-square-foot edifice still stands as an icon, I’m told. Schoolmates I haven’t seen in years, including people I didn’t even know well, now connect with me on Facebook and mention my home by its nickname.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Giving hope

Whether hidden or seen, the need for hope is universal

A few years ago my daughter gave me this painting by Liz Lemon Swindle that depicts Peter and John on Easter morning running to Jesus’ tomb. It is simply entitled Hope. Without the title, it’s hard to know that hope is the subject the artist is trying to convey. Similarly, many competent people are desperately looking for hope, but because they seem so put together, we are often unaware of their need.

Hope comes in many forms. Sometimes it takes just a few words from someone else to give hope. Such was the case for me 30 years ago.