All posts by katemccseattle

Trying something new: sharing pictures, stories and meditations.

Free range mothers

Happy mother’s day!

Once my son told me that his co-teachers expressed concern that I was left on my own while he worked (I assume this was at least in part due to their recognizing how poor my Chinese language skills are). At the time the term “free range children” was in vogue, so I told him to say that he believed in free range mothers. I wonder how that would translate.

Just for fun here are some truly wild mamas.

You can view any image larger size by clicking on it.

This is the end…

Like foreshadowing in a novel the email I got this morning told me that today’s prompt was “Final“. As seems normal of late, I felt like there really wasn’t anything I could add to the conversation. Since I got back from China on April 24th I have been tongue tied…or more accurately keyboard and camera tied.

The phone rang while my husband was in the shower. It was the wife of a friend of his, the one he was getting ready to go visit. His friend died this morning. After a long and arduous battle with cancer.

The mixed feelings that go with this end came through as she spoke to me, almost a stranger to her (the friend was my husband’s co-worker and we only met a couple of times). Perhaps it was easier to talk to a sympathetic, disembodied near stranger. It reminded me of something I used to say when I was in a lay leadership position: we are all pastoral care givers, it isn’t something that you can delegate.

She invited Richard to come and say goodbye, and said “he is as handsome as ever”. He will be handsome forever in the eyes of his best, best friend…a beautiful finale.

Shennong Stream

I’m still working my way slowly down the Yangtze, photo-wise. The last “shore excursion” on our cruise didn’t include going ashore…or any steps.

They loaded us onto a passenger ferry in Badong, which took us to Shennong Stream, where they loaded us into sampans to go upstream. 


Before Dam the stream was too shallow to row and the boatmen would hop out and pull the boats…often in the nude. Our boatmen didn’t doff their clothes but they did demonstrate jumping off, pulling and jumping back on. 

The peak experience happened when our guide, Cherry, and one of the boat men started singing Chinese folk songs as we glided along through the mountainous landscape. It was as if we landed in a living Chinese painting.