Do You Hear What I Hear?

ear-1434148 copy Bonakovska

Hearing bloopers—we’ve all had them. When we think we’ve heard somebody say something only to discover it wasn’t what they said at all! Here are a few of my bloopers over the years. It’s quite an earful to say the leash.

What began as an innocent visit by a friend’s parents almost ended up in a nudist camp. “My parents are coming this weekend,” Cheryl said one day. “It’s the only time they can come naked.” “But it’s winter,” I replied. “What does that have to do with it?” she asked. Suddenly, my ears understood. “Oh,” I said, “that’s when they can make it.”

You know the saying, “Hear no evil.” That’s especially true in church. Continue reading “Do You Hear What I Hear?”

Pennies from Heaven

Are pennies from heaven real? Ask Nichole Granville of Hawley, Pennsylvania, and you’ll get a resounding yes! This is the life-changing story of Nichole and her young son, Caleb.

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Caleb was two years old in early 2007 when he developed a double ear infection that would not go away, remembers Nichole. Then a few days later, Nichole noticed Caleb wasn’t as steady on his feet as he normally was; his equilibrium seemed off.

When Caleb’s symptoms didn’t subside, Nichole took him back to the doctor. Caleb’s ears were still red and infected, reported the doctor, adding that a CAT scan would be ordered if he didn’t improve in a few days. Nichole took Caleb home and hugged him close. She longed to hear his infectious laugh and see the twinkle in his brown eyes.

Continue reading “Pennies from Heaven”

The Stubborn Window

Windows are good teachers, especially if you can’t get one open. I know. I tried to open a swollen window one hot July evening in Minnesota and got a lesson on thanksgiving instead. Little did I know what a breath of fresh air that would be!

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Photo by Freitas

I can still see myself that night. I’m crabby and in no mood for a fiesta, but I enter the house anyway. If I stay outside, I’ll be attacked by mosquitoes looking for dinner. Or maybe it’s Continue reading “The Stubborn Window”

Tickled to Life!

lol-1466007 (1) copy 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.

Dr Kate and World's Biggest Penny
“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