When Making Do Won’t Do

When the zipper pull for the cotton cover on our living-room futon broke, I didn’t know what to do. It was a minor problem. The rest of the cover was in good shape, but without a zipper, the cover bulged and flapped and slipped off the couch. It looked awful. Sewing on a new zipper wasn’t an option. For one, where do you buy a zipper that long? For another, replacing zippers is above my expertise. I considered gluing on a giant Velcro strip but settled on snaps. About 40. It took several hours to sew them all on. Some didn’t quite match. But with a little tugging and tucking, I got the cover back in place and it looked good. Until I sat down.

A Recipe for a Good Life

I rustled around the kitchen this week, measuring flour and cornmeal and milk and cracking eggs into a mixing bowl to make corn muffins. Just as I was about to measure the baking powder, the phone rang. As I chatted away, I carefully counted out six teaspoons of the chalky rising agent, having doubled the recipe. Only, when I removed my muffins from the oven a short time later, I was dismayed to see two dozen hard, flat disks lining my tins. What had happened? Had I miscounted my teaspoons? I didn’t think so. Nevertheless, something was clearly wrong.

Book Review: A Light So Lovely

Growing up with few books on an Oregon farm, the first author whose name I recall hearing was that of Madeleine L’Engle. I was at CFO, a Christian summer camp, on the coast with my mom and older brother. There was a table of books for sale. Mom said I could pick one – any one I wanted! – to read at rest time. A rare treat! If it wasn’t from Goodwill or a garage sale, we hardly ever bought anything. What to pick? An almost impossible dilemma for a young child. Was I seven? Or eight? Someone – My mom? – recommended A Wrinkle in Time.

The value of life

Like many around the world, I watched the news and prayed this week as twelve soccer players and their coach were saved from a flooded Thailand cave after nearly three weeks underground. The scope of the rescue was staggering: thousands of volunteers, more than one hundred of the world’s top cave divers, Thai Navy sea air and land squads, medical experts, helicopters, ambulances, a hospital and more than a week of planning.

“Do you see how precious life is?” I told my 8-year-old son as we watched the drama unfold.

Spend Less to Share More

This past week has been one of the hottest in Maine that I can remember. Two fans and wide-open windows offer little relief from what feel like record-cracking temperatures. Yet, I have no desire to purchase an air conditioner. Without a medical reason to keep our house cool, I find a measure of discomfort to be a good thing. Like trying to stretch through a week of groceries without running to the store. Or living in a three-bedroom house with seven people (when they are all home). Or giving away something I could use for myself when someone else needs it more.