You Can’t Borrow Love

“Something old and something new,” Marielle said as she did up the buttons on the bodice of her gown. “But everything I have on is new. I just can’t think of anything old to add.”

“Well, I can,” said her mother, pulling a small bag out of her pocket. “I brought along one of my grandma’s broaches. Let me pin it right here at your shoulder.”

“Now I need something borrowed and something blue.”

“Something borrowed….that’s your groom,” said Treena.

Marielle heard her mother gasp and saw the glare of reproof she shot at Treena. Her sister had been trying for a humorous note, but there was an unmistakable jab to her words.

Marielle sighed. She supposed Treena was only echoing what everyone was thinking. Marielle lifted her chin in defiance against the gossips. Okay. So she had caught Kirk on the rebound. Renee had dumped him for another, richer, better-looking guy. But Marielle had always liked Kirk and she’d made herself available when he needed a shoulder to cry on. Before long he was returning her affections, then he proposed.

Marielle’s mind went back to the evening she & Kirk announced their engagement to her family. Treena had been sour from the get-go. She’d been less than forthcoming with her congrats and after he’d gone home, Treena had come to her room to talk her out of her plans.

“Can’t you see the obvious, sis? Kirk has been hurt and he may be doing this to spite Renee, but I’m sure he still has feelings for her — if he’d just admit it.”

“So what? I’m going to make Kirk so happy he’ll forget Renee even exists. I love Kirk.”

“Love him as a sweetheart, or love him as a pet project?”

Marielle had scowled at her sister and shooed her out of the bedroom. No one was going to rain on her parade.

She straightened her train and brushed Treena’s snippy remark aside. What happened before doesn’t matter, she told herself for the nth time. I’m going to make Kirk so happy. I’m going to love him so much he’ll forget any feelings he ever had for Renee.

“I borrowed my bridesmaid’s toe ring. And my corsage has a blue ribbon around it. So I’m all set. Let’s be off.”

The next half hour whizzed by and she was climbing out of the car at the church. Next thing she was walking up the aisle to take her place by her groom. Kirk wore a big happy smile as he turned to watch her approach. Perhaps it looked a little forced, a little too bright, but Marielle was confident that his joys would soon be as real as hers.

A couple of hours later they were standing beside the reception table receiving congratulations from an elderly family friend when, out of the corner of her eye, Marielle saw Renee approach. She was alone. What happened to Mr Rich Hunk, Marielle wondered.

Renee paused not far away and glanced toward Kirk, a look of regret on her face. Marielle glanced at Kirk and saw the expression reflected on his face as he returned Renee’s gaze. Then Kirk turned to her again.

She saw a quick flash of dismay in his eyes, then his too-bright smile fell in place again. But in that brief unguarded glance, Marielle recognized the truth.

She’d just make the biggest mistake of her life. You really can’t borrow love.


I read an account one day of a young girl, about seventeen, who convinced herself that she should marry a young man so she’d have a home for herself and her orphaned siblings. However, at their reception she realized that she’d made an awful mistake, that all her hopes were misplaced. I was trying to capture that feeling in my story.

A Tale of Two Sisters

Christine Composes

“I feel so privileged to be entrusted with these heirlooms! You can be sure I’ll take good care of them.” Pearl took the box from her cousin’s arms and set it on the table in her hallway.

He  shrugged. “Whatever. I still think we should just toss them. Why dredge up old bones? You’ll find Mom had a lot of them.”

“Maybe.” Pearl smiled sympathetically. His mother, her Aunt Matilda, seemed to specialize in old bones.

“But you’re young yet,” she said. “When I was your age the past was ancient history; I was out to remake the world. Since I’m retired I think more about our past and what we’ve inherited. I’ll try to be discreet, though, when I compile the Family History; if the Aunties wrote anything nasty about anyone I certainly won’t record it. Maybe I should even tear those pages out of the journals?”

“Who cares?…

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Dead Wood

Marveling at the Mundane

Driving past the yard of my old house, I’d swear it wasn’t there.  The old cottonwood trees towering over the house and lawn appear lush and full all spring, summer, and fall.  In the winter, it’s indiscernible among all the bare, lifeless-looking branches.  But, if I crane my neck way back walking underneath those trees to the back door or pull up a lawn chair and gaze into the branches on a lazy afternoon, I see it.  There, and over there, and way up high – dead wood.  Sharp, leafless sticks among healthy, leafy limbs. 

Dead wood spoils my view when I admire those tall stately trees.  It litters the yard with limbs after a strong wind passes through.  And it dents cars unlucky enough to be parked in the driveway when a branch crashes down.  We ignore dead wood to our detriment.


My husband, after another morning spent…

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A Puppy’s 12 Days of Christmas

I thought you might enjoy this variation of the old Christmas song.

Morning Story and Dilbert

On the first day of Christmas my puppy gave to me
The Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the second day of Christmas my puppy gave to me
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the third day of Christmas my puppy gave to me
Three punctured ornaments
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me
Four broken window candles
Three punctured ornaments
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me
Five chewed-up stockings
Four broken window candles
Three punctured ornaments
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me
Six yards of soggy ribbon
Five chewed-up stockings

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Another worthwhile poem by Edgar Guest

Swallow in the Wind

by Edgar A. Guest

‘Tis better to have tried in vain
sincerely striving for a goal,
than to have lived upon the plain
an idle and a timid soul.

‘Tis better to have fought and spent
your courage, missing all applause,
than to have lived in smug content
and never ventured for a cause.

For he who tries and fails may be
the founder of a better day;
though never his the victory,
from him shall others learn the way.

From his book A Heap O’ Livin’

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A Book Review: 3D Success – Changing Careers in Mid Life by Linda Wegner

Janice L. Dick

From cover to cover, this book is a success, offering positive insights and suggestions to a specific group of people: those between the ages of 45 and 64 who are considering creating their own businesses or recreating their careers.

The author writes from her personal experience of being thrust into the position of sole wage-earner after nearly thirty years of a support role in vocational ministry. Instead of dissolving in despair, she pulled up her socks and used the hobbies and skills she possessed to launch her own business: Words of Worth.

3D Success – Changing Careers in Mid Life is effectively organized into three parts:

* Discovering Your Passion

* Developing Your Plan

* Defending Your Priorities

Each part broadens into chapters beginning with wise quotes such as “You cannot plow a field by turning it over in your mind (unknown author),” and “The secret of success is doing…

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Learning versus Education

Antiquarian Anabaptist

I found the wooden alphabet block with the letter I wanted and added it to the row that was beginning to spell my name — R O B E R T  G O O D N . . .  I needed one more O.  I carefully rotated each of the blocks I had not used, but could not find another O.  This was a familiar problem; there are just too many O’s in my name.  Now I had to take the blocks I had already used, rotate them one by one to find another O, then find a block with the letter I had taken away.  Finally it is done: R O B E R T  G O O D N O U G H.

I was four years old.  This set of blocks was my favourite toy.  With it I could build fences, walls, barns, houses, towers.  When night…

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Changing Times, Changeless God

Antiquarian Anabaptist

Do we long for the good old days when life was simpler?  Was there really such a time?

One of my forefathers left England 375 years ago because the law required him to attend his local parish church, where he found no spiritual sustenance.  He crossed the ocean to begin a new life in the unsettled wilds of what is now Massachusetts.

Another was born to a well-established family in France — just before the Revolution.  He later served as a swordsman in Napoleon’s army, lost his wife somewhere along the way, then brought his young family to upstate New York 185 years ago.  My mother’s grandparents left Ukraine 140 years ago to settle in Manitoba.

They lived through wars, revolutions, recessions, depressions, droughts, famines, extreme heat, extreme cold, insect plagues and epidemics of influenza, diphtheria, tuberculosis and polio.  There were countless heartaches as young mothers died in childbirth and…

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