Snippets of Life through a couple of Psalms

I am like a pelican of the wilderness:

(pelican in flight, Destin, Florida / Julie Cook / 2014)

I am like an owl of the wilderness,
like a little owl of the waste places.

(Vienna Zoo / Schönbrunn Palace / Vienna, Austria / Julie Cook / 2012

I lie awake;
I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.

(pigeon atop roof of the Old State House / Boston Massachusetts / Julie Cook / 2014

When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.

(praying mantis / Julie Cook / 2014)

For I eat ashes as my food
and mingle my drink with tears

(embers in the BBQ / Julie Cook / 2014)

Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,

(seal swimming / Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada / Julie Cook / 2012)

(basking sea lion, Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada / Julie Cook / 2012

(the tip top of an orca, Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada / Julie Cook / 2012)

lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,

(Georgia clouds / Julie Cook / 2013)

you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,

(Watten, Austria / Julie Cook / 2012)

(espaliered apple tree, Mondsee, Austria / Julie Cook / 2012)

wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,

DSCN4896 2
(neighboring Georgia bull / Julie Cook / 2014)

kings of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,

(Web image of painting of Henry VIII)

young men and women,
old men and children.

(homeless man, courtyard of The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas / Julie Cook / 2014)

(young boy posing for mom’s picture atop the duckings in Boston’s Public Gardens / Julie Cook / 2014)

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.

(full moon over Georgia / Julie Cook / 2014)

And he has raised up for his people a horn,
the praise of all his faithful servants,
of Israel, the people close to his heart.

Jewish and Christian religious groups de
(web image of a rally in support of Israel)

Praise the Lord.

(happy flowers covering Boston, Massachusetts / Julie Cook / 2014 )

The wings of eagles

(image: blade eagle soaring above the trees on the Pacific Rim trail, Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada / Julie Cook / 2010)

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31
English Standard Version (ESV)

(Eagles perched in a tree somewhere along the Oregon Coastal Hwy between Yachats and Cannon Beach, Oregon / Julie Cook / 2013)

I’m ready to go to the woods!!

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Henry David Thoreau

(Photograph: Julie on the Pacific Rim Trail / Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada / 2011)

During the course of my lifetime, I have always thought that perhaps Thoreau “got it” and the rest of us didn’t. He really understood what the rest of us had/have yet to fully grasp. And that thought hits me usually during two very different types of situations.

One being when I, myself, am out on an adventure in and with nature. You’ve read my many posts regaling the wonders and joys of being in the heart of the wilds and of how that serves my soul. I’ve often perched on a mountain top or ocean shore lamenting that I eventually have to leave and go back to “my world.”

The other time is like today—when I’m trying to make sense of my dad’s world that he has managed to totally screw up in just a couple of weeks. When I see the chaos of the unpaid bills, the overdue this and thats, the figuring out if there is a water leak to explain the exorbitant jump in the bill, the phone calls to the cable company, the power company, the credit card company, the investment firm…all the while as he is fussing at me and berating me like he’s never done before, not even when I was a teenager…that I am to leave him alone, to get out of his hair, just get in my car and drive back home, to quit harassing him……

He actually yelled, if that’s what you want to call what a feeble warblely 85 year old voice does when raised. All because I matter of factly told him we needed to go back to the office (remember, my old bedroom) and get to work. Thousands of dollars later, a myriad of phone calls, my step mother threatening to just leave….an hour spent shredding, destroying old check books that I thought I’d gotten rid of once, which have oddly resurfaced only to add more confusion to his already oh so confused mind….that was the day in a nutshell.

Put him in a home you say. Move him to be with you. Get someone in there on a daily basis. Oh believe you me, I’ve played every one of those songs, over and over. He refuses to budge. And she refuses to have help come in… and yet…she is unhappy, he is unhappy. He wants to simply be a turtle who pulls his head in, shutting out the world and everything that goes with it. She wants someone to talk to and do things with on a daily basis…but she physically hurts, and he mentally hurts…..

So yes, the thought of running away to the woods after this lovely day sounds pretty darn nice. But it also means less clutter which is what our lives are so full of—I see that in the microcosm of my dad’s world. His antiquated computer that is so slow that it makes honey being poured from a nearly empty jar look lightning fast.
“Dad you need a new computer”
“Dad, it’s infected and oh so terribly slow, it should not take over and hour to “boot up”…

At that point I probably should have started crying but I was determined to get him, me, we… to “take care of business”— the business he keeps saying he’s going to take care of in the morning—and that morning just never seems to come…..the business, for whatever reason, he refuses for me to simply help with, or, as I’ve volunteered, just to take over for him—no hassles, no worries…but that is a big NO—and why that is, I have not yet understood.

The man there today was/ is not my dad, not my son’s “Pop”…and I think my step mom is discovering, not her husband. I go almost weekly. My step mom’s daughter-n-law set up some automatic payments…he’s managed to screw automated up..who does that? And yet, he is firm, he will not leave that house and does not want my help. To sit daily in a chair, looking at some old black and white movie or cartoon, a little food here and there, a few sweets and that’s all that’s needed to make his world complete.

He may not have to leave the house quite yet, but he will have my help, as he greatly needs it– even though he doesn’t “get that”….It’s hard and it’s sad….but he’s my dad…there is no choice but to roll up my sleeves even if that means I cry on the long highway ride home.

Yes it sucks as my students would have to say. And no, I don’t have any answers. Just the ugly side of living with a parent who is slowly disappearing and yet oddly or thankfully a small part refusing to follow suit…as in the insistence that it is his business and his business only, he doesn’t want or need any help. Of course you don’t dad, that’s why you slipped a check in the envelope to the cable company for $200 when the bill is only $24.17—the thought process there is “if I overpay, they’ll leave me alone, they’ll all just leave me alone…”

Yep, the woods sound pretty darn nice.

Seeking a Safe Harbor


How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the Lord his God; Whom made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them; Who keeps faith forever. Psalm 146:5-6
This picture was taken while visiting Ucluelet, Vancouver Island. Ucluelet means “people of the safe harbor”.
May we remember today, and everyday, that we are God’s adopted children, bound by the the blood of the Lamb, his only son, Jesus Christ– therefore we have found our safe harbor in God’s unending love, grace and mercy.
(photograph: Julie Cook — Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada 6/2011)