Tomi’s Blog

On Purple Mountain Fireworks

»Posted by on Jul 2, 2011 in Tomi's Blog | 0 comments

On Purple Mountain Fireworks

On Purple Mountain Fireworks: I felt small. Standing at 6,035 feet above sea level in Colorado Springs, Colorado, I gazed toward the summit of Pikes Peak. It would not be impossible to climb, but it would cost me time and sweat. I thought I could make it—if I trained. For years, I desired to ascend the purple mountain mentioned in the patriotic song “America the Beautiful.” Katharine Lee Bates penned the lyrics, first as a poem, after her inspiring trip in 1893 to the top of Pikes Peak, Colorado. America the Beautiful O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed His grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea! . . . And I was...

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On Sunny Days

»Posted by on May 29, 2011 in Tomi's Blog | 0 comments

On Sunny Days

On Sunny Days: I was young, but old enough to fear tornados. It was May 1, 1954, a typical afternoon for my family on our Oklahoma farm. My dad worked in a field, my mom and sister hung clothes on the clothesline. And I jumped rope on the dirt road that led to our farmhouse, and the nearby cellar. It was sunny. And it was muggy. Unlike other spring afternoons, there was no breeze to carry the smells of livestock, or of hay. The air seemed to reflect an eerie green cast. The blackberry bushes and oak trees did not stir. The dust, I kicked up with my feet, stuck to my skin. And as I glanced across the field toward my dad, I noticed clouds forming in the sky. But I continued to run and jump rope, up and down the road until I heard my mom call.”Tomi –...

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On Running the Race

»Posted by on Apr 20, 2011 in Tomi's Blog | 0 comments

On Running the Race

On Running the Race: I learned a valuable lesson from my daughter, Lori, who at the time was in the seventh grade. It was a blustery day in Colorado Springs. I stood on the field of Challenger Middle School a few feet from the track and watched as Lori prepared to run the 200-meter race. She stretched, then walked to her assigned lane. Soon the coach, standing beside the start line, shouted, “Get ready – get set.” Lori set her shoulders in a runner’s stance. Then the coach bellowed, “Go.” Lori started fast and within seconds, she led a pack of runners. Her arms pumped back and forth. Her stride was swift. My arms flung in all directions as I jumped up and down cheering her along. She kept the lead, until she reached the curve of...

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On Staying In Step

»Posted by on Apr 9, 2011 in Tomi's Blog | 0 comments

On Staying In Step

On Staying In Step: It was an honor to attend a retirement ceremony of the I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. Beneath a sunny sky, the color guard marched onto the outdoor stage. Excitement and mixed emotions were high, especially for the retiring Master Sergeant. But it was the final moments of the ceremony that sparked questions within me. As the four marine color guards marched from the stage to retire the colors, my eyes fell to their boots. And I marveled at the footwork—pivoting and stepping in precise unison. It was as if eight boots became two, or four marines became one. Each fulfilled an assignment that left an imprint on my mind. I did not need to be reminded that marines follow their ranking authority’s orders. I did...

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On Bubbles

»Posted by on Mar 26, 2011 in Tomi's Blog | 0 comments

On Bubbles

On Bubbles: Bubbles Fascinate Me. Like the bubbles given as birthday party favors. I like to grip the plastic bottle, unscrew the lid, and dip the wand into the sudsy liquid. After raising the wand near to my lips, I blow on it. Instantly, pastel bubbles surround me. Until poof, they are gone. Bubbles also trigger in my memory an incident that happened when I was five-years-old. The scene was a family outing at Bluewater Lake in New Mexico. One moment I played on the dock with the sun warming my face. Seconds later, I floated deep below the water’s surface. It was cold. Bubbles were everywhere. Later in my life, I learned that my family, on that day, had not known that I was missing. Not until, my uncle dived deep into the lake and landed within a foot of...

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On Waiting

»Posted by on Mar 15, 2011 in Tomi's Blog | 0 comments

On Waiting

On Waiting: Waiting drives me crazy. It triggers my fix-it button, especially while I wait in a slow line. First, I shuffle my feet. Second, I crank my neck to check out the shortest line, then I dart into it. Of course, that is when the grocery store checker calls for a price check. I’ve even been known to take drastic measures while waiting. Like when I was a miserable nine months, two weeks, three days and one hour pregnant. And though my doctor concurred that I was overcooked, he rarely induced labor. To make matters worse, my mother-in-law had come, from out of town, to wait with me. And so, with my hormones in full throttle, I decided that my doctor was too conservative and that one of God’s angels failed to record my baby’s birthday. It...

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