Tickled to Life!

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FreeImages.com/Uschi Hering

I don’t know about you, but all this “dead” talk has me quaking in my boots. From morning till night, we talk dead, our conversations loaded with dying clichés. Sure, they’re expressions of speech, but do these clichés say what you mean and do you mean what they say? Suspense killing you? Then I dead reckon, you’ll read on.

We get up in the morning dead tired, go to our dead-end jobs, and if we aren’t working ourselves to death, then we’re bored to death. And doesn’t quitting time always bring the Continue reading “Tickled to Life!”

For Goodness Snakes!

Snakes give me the creeps—and no wonder. From the day I was baptized and bestowed with a holy medal, I’ve been surrounded by snakes. Not real snakes, mind you, but church snakes. Little snakes. Big snakes. Snakes with red eyes; others with forked tongues. Some snakes even had their tails in the air.

DSC_0160 copyI didn’t know it at the time (I was only two weeks old), but that baptismal medal was my first brush with the serpent. The medal was small and blue, no bigger than a dime. But it was just big enough for a baby blue snake to crawl out from under the baby blue feet of the Blessed Mother.

I didn’t meet another reptile until around age four when I was old enough to attend Sunday Mass. At first, I noticed only a snake here and a snake there. By age six, however, I was Continue reading “For Goodness Snakes!”

Toothpicks for Minnie

Nobody ever dreams of finding love in a toothpick. After all, it’s barely a sliver of wood. But sometimes the simplest things in life teach the biggest lessons. The trouble is nobody knows how or when it will happen. I certainly didn’t.


For years I had ribbed Mother about her habit of leaving toothpicks on window sills in the living room. Whenever I pulled back the curtains, I found toothpicks waiting for anxious teeth. They waited anxiously not at just one window but at nearly every window. Some even waited on the baseboard. I hated Mother’s toothpicks, and her idiosyncrasy began picking away at me.

Until one day, and it goes without saying what happened.

Continue reading “Toothpicks for Minnie”

The Miracle of a Million Pennies

One penny alone isn’t much, but when millions of pennies are gathered together, the miraculous happens. That’s the “penny-nomenal” tale of Dr. Kate Newcomb and the World’s Biggest Penny in Woodruff, Wisconsin.

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“Angel on Snowshoes” Dr. Kate Newcomb and the World’s Biggest Penny in Woodruff, Wisconsin (Photo courtesy of Dr. Kate Museum)

The story begins in 1931 when Dr. Kate began practicing medicine in Wisconsin’s north woods. Her “clinic” spanned 300 square miles; house calls took her down dirt roads and across lakes in a canoe. When her car got stuck in the deep snow, she trekked by snowshoe to remote cabins to deliver one of more than 3,000 babies by the light of a kerosene lamp. Nothing could stop the “Angel on Snowshoes,” as she fondly came to be known. Continue reading “The Miracle of a Million Pennies”

The Holy Presence


Wherever we go or whatever we do, God is there! He’s in the kitchen when, glassy-eyed, we make the morning coffee. He’s in the hospital delivery room with every new birth. His Holy Presence envelops us during the tearful burial of a loved one. God’s even there when we prepare our taxes. May He help us find another deduction this year!

What would happen if we truly understood what it means to live in God’s Holy Presence? Would we kill others with gossip? Would we snub people because they’re of a different ethnicity? Would we defame the president and vice president? They’re in God’s Holy Presence, too.

If we truly believe that God is omnipresent, we’d shape up fast! Our snide remarks would vanish. We wouldn’t lie or cheat. We wouldn’t abort our babies or exterminate the undesirables. Instead, we’d heal the brokenhearted. We’d kill (make that bless!) others with kindness. We’d flock to church to praise Him!

I want to live in God’s Holy Presence. I only hope that He wants to live with me.

Copyright © Marion Amberg