Sunday, January 30, 2022

The Value of Books: A Dedication to My Mother. Her birthday is January 31, she would have been 93.

August 2010 Family Reunion Anacortes, Washington

One of my first early role models as a child outside of my family and my first book read as a child was a biography titled “Jane Addams Little Lame Girl”. The book was part of a series of books my mother would buy for us every week. They were offered for a time at the local grocery store. This one was written by Jean Brown Wagoner. The collection was titled Childhood of Famous Americans.

In high school I did written reports about her life’s work from her autobiography titled, “Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House”. Published in 1910. Part of my MA thesis was related to her influence on my life, along with many others. As I reflect now I feel gratitude to my mother for her efforts in building a little library of books for her children over the years. Reading was difficult for me. As a young child I had a speech therapist and was in special reading programs through middle school. I had many unkind and unfavorable experiences from teachers throughout my school years unfortunately. I believe these experiences and my learning disability is what attracted me to the alternative and transformational work of Dr. Montessori. I was always struggling to keep up. I now realize it’s what led me to persevere through my years of study at Pacific Oaks College to receive my MA in human development, with three specializations in education and parenting, at the age of fifty. Working in the field of mental health, receiving my license and supporting families, struggling with ever so much. To then become an educator at the community college, sharing my life’s work of supporting children and adults in learning to read and fall in love with their own individual curiosity for learning and creating for themselves. Just as my parents lovingly did for me actually. This site on the Hull House museum and the women’s history site both describe Addams work as an advocate for peace and her work with immigrants, which began in her home, and would later become “Hull House” in Chicago.

  “Jane Addams wrote articles and gave speeches worldwide promoting peace and she helped found the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom in 1919, serving as its president until 1929 and honorary president until her death in 1935. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts in 1931, the first American woman to receive the award. She also wrote a book about her work at Hull House, as well as other books promoting peace.”



Spiritual Development through Education


I first learned about Dr. Maria Montessori in 1970 after the birth of my first daughter. I fell in love with her writing and understanding of children. I purchased all of her books. I learned about observation and the prepared environment. Montessori wrote that the things a child sees within their environment are not just remembered but actually form a part of the child's soul. My discovery of Dr. Montessori led me to complete the written and practicum course work necessary to receive my certification as a Montessori Teacher for children ages 2-6. It began with my children, both my young daughters were taught at home using the Montessori principles. Many of the materials I made as part of my course work, some I purchased. My daughters were reading when they entered kindergarten. My work grew to developing a child development program in my home for children. During that time I completed my bachelors degree in human development at Pacific Oaks College and later went on to complete my master degree and several more years of further education and certification leading to my work as an educator and mental health counselor.

As a young child our grand daughter called the materials used in my daughter’s home schooling program "mommasorri tools". She was six when she drew this sweet baby bird being lovingly fed by it’s parents.

“An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.” Dr. Maria Montessori.

Those Lovely Sisters

My sister Diana on the right, her birthday was January 18th. I miss her, her humor, her laugh, her frankness in not letting me get away with anything. She passed away from a heart attack in 1995. I have wonderful memories of camping trips as a child. We would do sketches for the family and sing together around the evening campfires built by my father. Swing Low Sweet Chariot, and the funny song titled Found a Peanut. We learned them in Girl Scouts. We would sell cookies and earn money to go to Girl Scout camp together. Four hours on a greyhound bus to the mountains of the Stanislaus River, a tributary of the San Joaquin River in north-central California. We went two years in a row when we were pre teens. Diana would imitate the wonderful comedian, Red Skelton, and have us all in stitches. These sweet little dresses we are wearing were made by my father. He was a Singer sewing machine salesman for a time and made these for us. He would travel from farm to farm in Colorado, where Diana was born and my mother and grandmother as well. Dad told me he would ride on the back of the farmers tractors selling sewing machines for their wives. He also had a great since of humor. They both loved telling jokes as well as watching movies and after going to a drive-in movie, which we did often on Friday nights, would capture the movie plot in great detail describing the characters to anyone in the family that would listen the next day.
Happy Birthday dear sister. I love you.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Welcoming 2022 with an Open Heart

 Welcoming a New Year.

As we say goodbye to 2021 I have few words to express the losses and daunting trials our world has faced. And yet hope shadows the heart within the glistening window of God’s Grace. These are extraordinary times we are witnessing. We are all effected in different ways from the extreme circumstances we are faced with right now. My dear friends in Colorado had to evacuate their home yesterday due to the crushing fires in the Boulder and Denver areas. No word about their safety or their home they had to abandon as yet. Our prayers and love are with them. We all know the weather patterns are unpredictable and uncertain at best as evidenced by the icicles here, the recent floods in our area and the extreme heat domes this past summer. We have continued record cold here with more snow throughout the coming days.

 In 2022 may we continue to hold onto each other in all the creative loving ways we’ve learned to do these last two years to stay together, stay in touch, while continuing to protect ourselves and others through all the necessary safety precautions needed to get through the other side of this covid pandemic that has taken so many lives and caused infinanate levels of dispair. 

I have continued heartfelt gratitude for all the frontline workers and each and every person serving the public to provide for our needs. May the exhaustion we are all experiencing in one way or another give rise to glistening rays of hope and may our courage continue to guide our hearts in our love and care and support for each other Welcoming this New Year with joy, compassion, understanding, guidance, and gratitude for each other, in what we might accomplish together and in what is yet to come.

Photo taken December 30, 2021

Reflections on The Fabric of Family Taditions

 I’ve always made window curtains, not sure why, its not a past tradition in my family that I'm aware of, however my grandmothers were certain to have made curtains for their homes. This curtain fabric, which was for a costume actually, I ordered from a very wonderful and reasonable cloth making company in Varanasi, India. I remember corresponding by email with the owner who was so kind.  It arrived in a cloth wrapping like many packages sent from India instead of a box or paper. The burgundy ties are remnants of garlands I bought in the Hadar or market place in the city of Haifa, Israel. I was visiting my daughter who was serving at the Baha'i World Center at the time. The dragonfly and hummingbird attached on either side of the curtain panels are anniversary gifts from years ago. I save fabric from the various things I have made over the years including all of the baby blankets I have made for my grand children and grand nieces and nephews. My grandmother, Dee Dee Mom, saved fabric to make quilts for her family and for her grandchildren. She was a true quilter. I used to stand with her in her living room along the quilt blocking posts where the quilts were hung from, helping her tie off her latest quilt when I would have sleep overs at her house

So...there is actually tradition that I somehow now re4cognize nad have rediscovered.This photo has helped me remember a precious family tradition.

 Photo taken by Chuck of our 924 South 11th Street kitchen window.

Friday, April 2, 2021

I woke finding myself writing....

I’m a long time continuing education student. Self educated. Struggled all my life with educating myself in a good way, fighting traditional forms of education that presented themselves in ways that felt contrary to my spiritual needs. Even as a child I was directed to healing forms not necessarily conventional when I went door to door at six years old selling small bottles of lilic water I had made. Then following my heart I went from big sister of five siblings to preschool teacher. Blessed to participate in creating and managing programs and staff development, to completing my masters degree at age fifty. It took me a very long time to settle down and stay and learn and accept what I had to do to complete my degree in human development with three specializations in parent community work. On then to teaching at Skagit Community College, completing my internship at Compass Mental Health Services in children and family services, and receiving my license as a mental health counselor. Now here I am an elder and remain a student always learning. I still grow and dry flowers, have jars of them that will one day be gifts and boxes of seeds I’ve harvested and carry with me and grow and share as I can. Healing is a full time job.
Currently I’m in a Baha'i study class on Thursday evenings from 7-9:00. The Vine Delorea, Jr. Symposium coming up in May was mentioned. Waking this morning, I searched the dates and registered. In the process I began viewing some of last years speakers. I share this talk in the link below because it has personal meaning to me and I believe it is important in terms of understanding how to reach out and listen and learn and ask questions of our families and community members about what they want to learn and need.

I want to respectfully acknowledge my dear friend, collaborator  and teacher Faith Campbell. She hired me in 1991 to help establish the Samish Tribe preschool in Anacortes. Faith has now passed over and I miss her deeply. Her husband Larry Campbell, spoke at the symposium. His words give healing, hope, and wisdom for our young ones and for those like me who are life long learners. Humbly I thank both Faith and Larry for the years of quiet lessons shared. You can listen to his talk in the link provided.
Northwest Indian College’s 14th Annual Vine Deloria jr. Indigenous Studies Symposium Relationships, Reciprocity, Rights, and Resistance “Redefining natural resource management as relatives.” May 17th and 18th, 2019 Facebook: @Deloriasymposium

Monday, February 15, 2021

Love and Laughter

After a year and on into the next with the covid pandemic testing each and everyone. 

In 2021, may we regain hope and learn from it all in a good way as we go forward.

Couple of thoughts. So...I’ve been telling Chuck this week that I’m taking up a new profession as a comedian, after my sister and father. They were both so great at telling a good joke. Laughter was really their medicine. As the oldest child I had too many responsibilities to find time to tell a funny joke. However after mom passed I made it a habit to have a funny story to share with my father when I visited. Knowing his history and what hardships he overcame, I learned to realize why humor was so necessary for him. Laughter and Love, two gifts from my parents. May we each carry a joyful story to share in these difficult times. I hope to share at least one story each month or so....

Here in our backyard is Grandson Rowan and Grandad lovingly playing a game that went on for quite some time, where as you can see, love and laughter were going full force. Grand kids River and Jenna in the back ground playing Uno. We have missed these visits over the last year with needing to be separate for our health ad safety. This photo gives joyful hope of renewed opportunities for love and laughter to continue. Over the last many months we have been separated because of covid safety protocol we have chosen to follow, we have been able to support each other in very creative ways that meant using our computers and phones as well as meeting for short periods of time wearing masks and staying at a distance. Chuck and I have had both or our moderna vaccines now. We look forward to having renewed visits with our grandchildren and to nurture opportunities for continued experiences of love and laughter together.