By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    My Mother-in-law's health continues to deterioriate.
    Her birthday celebration last week was but a reminder to all of us of her fragile health state.
    At ninety-nine years old it takes very little for a small downward health spiral to escalate into a full-blown life and death trial ... and that's now where we're at.
    Stell is tired.
    It's apparent to all of us that the "never-give-up" mentality so rigorously dominating her mindset and life has been overshadowed, overwhelmed, and replaced by a fatigued "ready-to-go-home, please-be-done" desire.
    It's hard, painful, and hateful all at once.
    To watch, witness, and observe the incremental but substantial decline in health.
    Hmmm ...
    Hospice suggestions are being presented and a full discourse of issues now openly discussed:
    Fluid build-up around the lungs.
    Bladder and internal infection.
    Body and mind digression.
    Slips and falls.
    These issues and more now compose health realities.
    Maybe this state will linger long and be prolonged, but none of us wish for this and we all understand.
    Aging is a tedious business.
     Nothing matters more than the soul's preparedness ... and Stell's was made ready long ago.
    Letting go is a mysterious, curious matter for all of us.
    How we do it, when we do it, and the way we do it is different for each of us, but in our own way we each cut a swath of our own and walk through the grieving process.
    In the hardest, darkest, and most painful of times, it's good and right to remember the very best of times of which there are many.
    To be thankful.
    And so last night, Scot and I laid in bed and rehearsed some of our favorite and most beautiful memories. We laughed and revisited beautiful places and considerable remembrances.
    It was a lengthy process.
    Negatives were cast aside and postives were reaffirmed.
    The more places we remembered ... the more places were brought to bear and the list grew beautiful in the night.
    Today when we go for a visit to see the beautiful woman who may or may not remember us, we love deeply and remember the "Stell" we always had with us.
    Somewhere "inside" she's still there ... and that's who we choose to see.
    Life is fragile.
    Love is beautiful.
    God is merciful.
    Letting Go.
    "You get old and you realize there are no answers, just stories."
    -Garrison Keillor


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Remember when you took a fall off your bike as a kid and you got a bad gravel scrape on your knee? Little sand pebbles stuck to the top of warm, wet traces of blood and light skid marks drove themselves into your kneecap?
    You've now got a picture of my left front fender.
    My vanilla Caddy got a wee bit of a knee scrape on account of my great exciteability.
    The wonderful cause and blame of the scrape was my son. Ha.
    On a recent trip to his home, I happened through a nearby town where Josh happened to be fueling up his work truck. I caught a glimpse of him in my rearview mirror, wheeled around, and made an immediate and sudden beeline for him.
    I got right up near the pump attending him and got so focused on my mission of seeing him that I bumped into the "island" securing the pumps.
    Oh well and whatever ... worse things have happened.
    It certainly didn't put a damper on my enthusiasm and was a source of great amusement to both my son and his working partner in the happening.
    I burst out of the car like a jack-in-the-box and my son picked me up, hugged me hugely, and in great amusement greeted me. For my son, this has become somewhat of a standard protocol with his mom. I have no doubt, I made an unforgettable impression on his humored working partner.
    "Looks like you got yourself in a little scrape, Mom," Josh said good-naturedly as he walked over and looked at my fender.
    He then reassured his humored partner that all was well and I was a "high energy" sort of individual who got a wee bit over-excited about seeing her boy.
    Mmmm ...
    Sometimes accidents happen because of excitement.
    Sometimes scrapes and bumps are ours because we didn't stop soon enough or land soft enough.
    But as to loving big enough ... of that there is no question.
    Sometimes we do everything just right and with the best of intentions and we still have to deal with little scrapes and scratches along the way.
    Bumps, scratches, and scrapes are all part of loving bigly in my book.
    Since I'm an individual defined by drive and passion, it only stands to reason that an experience of "loving" might bear some notable marks requiring patch-ups, fixings, and maybe even a trip to the paint shop sometime later.
    It's okay by me.
    I never want to stop loving or being my best me.
    As to my Caddy ...
    The remnants of the scrape remain on my front fender.
    It's been washed, cleaned, and buffed and the "red island" paint no longer can be seen.
    But the scratches in gray still remain.
    Maybe I'll keep them.
    Maybe I won't.
    For right now they simply remind me of the way that I love.
    Soul scrapes are sometimes the most beautiful scrapes we leave behind.
    And for this ... I offer no apology.
    Fender Scrape.
    "There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."
    -Nelson Mandela


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    We cannot cup salvation,

    In our all sufficient hands;
    Nor can we reach for blessing,
    While in making our demands.

    Receiving comes in cleaving,
    Not to anything we own;
    But emptying out ourselves,
    And holding on to God alone.

    Needing brings a feeding,
    To the hungry, not the whole.
    Freedom comes redeeming,
    Those imprisoned in the soul.

    Filling comes instilling,
    Those who yearn for something more.
    Healing comes revealing,
    Hope to hurting and to poor.

    Savior and Sustainer,
    Satisfy the lifted cup.
    With mercy fill the thirsty,
    And the soul ... that's lifted up.



    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Dream seeds have been scattered.
     Piggyback rides have been plentiful.
    Airplane rides and frequent fliers have been frequent.
     Hikes and trails have have been blazed and freshly navigated.
    Butterflies have been chased.
    Frogs and crickets have been rounded up.
    Books have been read.
    Questions have been answered and answers have been questioned.
    Unforgettable, curious conversations have erupted.
    Playhouses, treehouses, and backyards have been devoured.
    Pinecones have been eaten and earth tea sipped and savored.
    Water hoses have been enjoyed and well pumps have been pumped.
     I'm tired out and energized all at once.
    A beautiful week composed of little people and large discoveries.
    A mind filled and overflowing with random memories, fresh creative impulse, and a glowing countenance is mine.
    Adventures beautifully and wonderfully varied will be revisited, reviewed, and reclaimed in random future moments on paper, in my mind, in my soul, and in the ride back home.
    Over and over again ...
    I'll revisit, replay, and re-engage in adventurous, memorable moments with unforgettable and favored little people.
    None can take away the faces dear to me nor the memories secured in me.
    They are mine ... forever and ever.
    And more shall be given me.
    There's recovery in discovery.
     Joy in journey.
    Beauty in a single breath.
    Delight in a child.
    Advancement in adventure.
    And a new day ahead to discover.
    Dream Seeds ...


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Galloping ... Galloping.
    I'm a galloping horse conveying a rider to the ends of the world on piggyback.
    I'm a pioneer navigating the old frontier in a covered red wagon and carrying a little pilgrim.
    I'm a tow truck driver airing up little red wagon wheels and hooking a chain up to the trike of a broken-down driver.
    I'm a cowboy on a tree limb searching for lost cattle with my little cowpoke.
    I'm a surveyor seeking for a land claim trudging through a "Little Forty" with a "fruit snack" recording assistant.
    I'm a ship's captain out on the waters skipping rocks with a little sailor across a three foot mud puddle.
    I'm an Indian on the open prairie scouting for buffalo with a young Kemosabe.
    I'm an adventurous individual with an explosive imagination;
    and there's nothing like the accompaniment of a child to invite and expose it.
    Mmmm ...
    If it's true that the greatest sign of intelligence is imagination;
    my IQ is off the charts.
    I hope yours is too!
    Imagination is contagious, compelling, and intoxicating. When we're near those who have it we find ourselves energized, elevated, and empowered.
    We find ourselves challenged, engaged, and decidedly employed.
    +Imagination precedes invention.
    It invites the mind to wander, explore, and formulate new thoughts and fresh ideas.
    +Imagination is rejuvenating.
    It refreshes, cleanses, and affirms creativity, originality, and individuality.
    +Imagination is adventurous.
    It risks the unknown and thrives on dare, discovery, and expectation.
    Imagination is a verb that requires motion, movement, and dare ... drawing us out of ourselves and engaging us in new and glorious landscapes.
    Utilize it and the possibilities are endless;
    negate it and we resist freedom, life, and liberation.
    Imagination catapults the mind into hope, discovery, and risk.
    It's one of the best companions in the world and those who navigate without her don't go far.
    Who's your "imagination" company?
    How much do you value and employ imagination?
    Are you dormant and stagnant or life-giving and adventurous?
    Are you confident and risk-taking or insecure and controlling?
    What does the "company you keep" speak to you about your imagination?
    Are you entertaining the endless sea of possibilities before you or do you fail to see much of anything but what is truly before you?
    Consider the effects of a difference in outlook.
    Expose yourself to the wonders of imagination.
    Dare to express and confidently invest in what your mind can conceive.
    Dare to go where few people go ...
    You'll end up in a place you won't want to leave.
    Join the company of the "Imaginative elite" and explore adventure.
    I've got two new little partners awaiting a gallop,
     and I've invited Mark Twain along too.
    Galloping ... Galloping.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
    -Albert Einstein


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Louis Braille was born to Monique and Simon-Rene Braille on January 4, 1809 in the small hillside village of Coupvay, France.
    His father was a saddle maker who operated a small shop nearby. The youngest of four, little Louis spent a great deal of time inside working and playing in the shop beside his father.
    A typical little boy, he was fascinated with his father's instruments. One particular day at the tender age of three, he slipped into his father's shop unattended and took hold of a sharp instrument he'd seen his father use. The sharp tool slipped from his hands and punctured one of his eyes and he lost his vision in it.
    Unfortunately and not long after, an infection developed in his blind eye and spread into the other eye as well. Beautiful little Louis was entirely blind by the age of four but he was also resilient, adventurous, and intelligent.
    His father capitalized on these attributes and rather than coddle and shelter little Louis, Simon-Rene' developed helpful systems and patterns by which Louis could experience the world.
    Three Invaluable Aids:
    Simon-Rene' made a cane for Louis and brought him along wherever he went. Whether it was into town or out into the country, to the grocers or to the garden, Louis grew familiar with new landscapes and was encouraged to explore and adventure into them without the aid of others.
    He wasn't coddled, sheltered, or over-protected.
    As a result ... a keen sense of hearing and smell developed as did a sense of direction, movement, and wonder.
    Simon-Rene' created an alphabet board using a large piece of wood and tapping the entire alphabet into it with nails. He taught him an early form of phonics and developed rudimentary early learning skills in his intelligent son which would, in the end, change the world for the blind and engineer a more concrete and advanced form of education with the development of Braille.
    Louis was given an early education and went to school as did all other children.
     Teachers would immediately assess Louis as having a brilliant mind but with an obvious need for more concentrated attention.
    In February 1819 at ten years of age, Simon-Rene' and Monique invested in their son's education and entered him into the National Institute for the blind in Paris, France. He would remain there for the rest of his life and graduate first as a student and then as a professor and developer of "Braille."
    Louis flourished in all arenas of life and aided the entire world with his gift of words, intelligence and ... vision.
     Helen Keller, who was both blind and deaf, idolized Louis Braille.
    She coined him as a generous genious with a "godlike courage and a heart of gold."
    Louis, she said, "made it a pleasure for me to read and the world around me shone afresh  with treasures."
    "He built a large, firm stairway for millions of sense-crippled human beings to climb from hopeless darkness to the Mind Eternal."
    -Helen Keller
    Vision changes the world ...
    Make sure you're traveling with it.


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    In snyc.
    A simple swing on a jungle-gym conveying.
    She's stretched out like a board with her legs and arms extended, gripping the metal chains, gaining momentum with a cycle of knee and elbow bends, reaching higher and higher for the sky.
    She looks into the sun, lays her head back, and laughs openly.
    Beautiful. Energizing. Engaging.
    She's not alone ...
    A beautiful little boy is extended on top of her, laid back in perfect mimicry and symmetry against her body. His head is pressed tighly against her breast, forced down by gravity's pull into an intense embrace.
     Together their faces are lifted toward the sun. Higher and higher they go ... feet almost touching the sky.
    Shouting and laughing in a triumphant language, the little boy is shrieking in pure and utter delight,
    "Higher ... go higher."
    And together they go.
    The shadows dance and the memories are pure.
    The little boy and his "Me-ma" share their secrets and love for life ...
    On a single swing.
    "Emotion is energy in motion."
    -Peter Mcwilliams


    By: Darrelyn Tutt

    I have a very quiet friend,
    Her name is solitude;
    She fills the busy world of talk,
    With silent interlude.

    She speaks a tranquil language true,
    Yet never fills the air,
    With simple talk or idle chat,
    And yet I know she’s there.

    For solitude communicates,
    A message of her own;
    She beckons and invites me,
    “Come away and come alone.”

    In conduct so becoming,
    And an invitation free;
    She offers timely friendship,
    And she wisely counsels me.

     I have a very quiet friend,
    Her name is solitude;
    No other friend so faithful been,
    As silent interlude.
    “Without great solitude no serious work is possible.”
    -Pablo Picasso


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Grab a cup of coffee ...  and respond reflectively to the twelve questions presented.
    Your answers may surprise and challenge you:
    1) What are your short and long range goals. How quickly and concretely can you identify them? 
    *Individuals with specific goals are more deliberate, disciplined, and successful in life than those without.
    2) If you could spend a fun day doing whatever you wanted and with whoever you wanted, what would you do and who would you do it with?
    When was the last time you enjoyed a fun day?
    3) Consider the last funeral you attended.
    What impact (positive or negative) did that individual have on you?
    What impact did you have on them?
    4) Songs, lyrics, and quotes tend to lodge themselves in our minds for a reason. What words are being rehearsed in yours and for what reason?
    5) Reflect on two individuals, past and present, who inspire and challenge you.
    What traits do they possess that draw you?
    6) Outside of your spouse and family members, who are your closest friends?
    Do you respect them and do you wish to become like them?
     Your response is a direct revelation about you. Do you like who you're becoming?
    7) Name five traits you possess.
    Did you find yourself selecting negative or positive traits?
    Your answer is quite a revelation of your attitude toward yourself.
    Which trait matters most to you?
    8) What subjects do you possess the most knowledge about and what conversations generate the most interest in you?
    Who are you passing that knowledge off to that would most benefit?
    9) Consider three lessons you've learned the hard way and identify them in concrete terms.
    How do these lessons continue to affect your life in positive and progressive ways?
    10) What obstacles stand between you and your goals or desires?
    What will you do "today" to arrive one step closer?
    11) What do you believe about God and eternity?
    What does the amount of time you give spiritual matters suggest to you?
    12) Recall the three most intimate acts you've ever experienced.
    Reflect on them carefully and consider what they reveal to you about your defining of intimacy and "why" they had such a profound effect on you.
    Remove yourself unapologetically from frenzied activity and allow your mind, soul, and spirit time to process and absorb your experiences, reflections, and answers.
    Your responses are a revelation about you and, if you're listening closely, wield the power to communicate a profound message to you.
    Also ...
    Consider which of the twelve questions you found yourself returning to and which questions you most enjoyed answering or found most provoking. These, also, are a revelation about you and identify something important going on in you.
    Be gentle with yourself in your answers.
    Be thoughtful.
    Be honest.
    And above all ...
     Be intentional about the life you live.
    "Still around the corner there may wait;
    A new road or a secret gate."


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    The heart of man is a barren place,
    And the soul of man is dry;
    Tis the recognition of this truth,
    That precedes God’s vast supply.

    Not a thing on earth, not a wealth beside,
    Can assist nor aid estate;
    But the depth, and height, and the grace of God,
    Who perceives man’s needy state.

    From a place on high, from a realm unseen,
    Lies an access to the throne;
    From the Holy Mount flows a healing fount,
    That He freely gives His own.

    Coursing down to flow on the soul below,
    Ebbs a sweet and sure supply;
    From the fount so pure running crystal clear,
    Through the soul that once was dry.

    The heart of man is a barren place,
    And the soul of man is dry;
    Tis the recognition of this truth,
    That precedes God’s vast supply.

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