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Apr 6

Fly Free

Posted on Monday, April 6, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Spiritual, Values

Years ago some friends and I rented snowshoes and drove into A-Basin (Arapahoe Basin) in Colorado. When we arrived we strapped on our snowshoes.

Though we were all about the same size with the same size snowshoe, no one seemed to have any trouble, except me. For some reason I kept dropping through the snow-pack. I kept getting stuck.

The worst was when I had one leg plunged deep into the snow all the way to my groin and the other flat on the ground. While trying to extricate my left leg my right leg plunged through the snow nearly reaching the depth of the other. I howled something impolite as I realized that I was now going to dig myself out of the snow while wearing my snowshoes.

Mar 30

Detour of Compassion

Posted on Monday, March 30, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

winter_night_1A long day had become a longer night. It was by then a cold and snowy night.

As they often do, snow-covered roads made driving a challenge. And, more than once I heard the rattling sound of my anti-lock brakes trying to slow my slide.

It was 11:00 P.M. and the roads were empty. I saw no one until I bent around the right curve of Brookdale Drive. There walking on the snow-covered sidewalks was a man. We traveled in the same direction.

Mar 25


Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

395px-Korean_Traffic_sign_(Detour_P-Turn).svg“I don’t know why I’m telling you this…” and the story continues.

Don’t get me wrong, I love their trust. I love your trust.

I’m honored to share your joys and your sorrows. To hear the details of the journey you’re on complete with proud smiles and guilty smirks, pain-filled glances or a losing fight to hold back the tears. Or, sadly, the flat affect from being so worn down by the long list of past pains.

I just wish there weren’t so many detours.


Mar 12

Don’t Settle

Posted on Thursday, March 12, 2015 in Emotional, Intellectual, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

25 years“Don’t settle…Don’t settle…Don’t settle.” That’s my self-talk. It’s easy for me to get lazy, give in and grab junk and eat it.

I wrestle with responsibility. I assume you do too.

Note: Today’s my 25th anniversary at TreeHouse, and this is the final post of the “10 for 25″ series on ten important lessons I’ve learned at TreeHouse.

Don’t Settle, Wrestle

I hate when I mess up.
I hate when I let down my guard.

I hate when I lower my standards.
I hate when I try to wiggle out.

Mar 11

Care Is A Verb

Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

IMG_4778As you may know, when I was younger one of my best friends said to me, “common sense is not common to you,” and he was right. He didn’t know the whole story, I was young and even more reckless than he realized

These days I’m learning not to do stupid things. I knew I was supposed to do good things, but I didn’t really think about why I should.

Then, years ago I read in my Bible, “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” 1

Mar 10


Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, TreeHouse, Values

2008 - 103295-R1-028-12AMy parents have taught dog obedience training classes for forty years. They are well-respected for their expertise throughout Chicagoland.

When they are teaching their students (human and canine) they say “halt” whenever they want progress stopped. At that point the human stops and the canine stops and sits.

Halt as you know, means to stop or pause.  H.A.L.T. is also an acronym that relates to an important decision-making principle.

This is part-8 of the “10 for 25″ series on important lessons I’ve learned at TreeHouse.


Mar 9

Life Is Short

Posted on Monday, March 9, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

001_1This is a picture of my friends Tiffany and Barry. I’ll see Barry next month. I last saw Tif in 1991.

Tiffany, Kris, Jenny, Eric, Rajjon, Adam, John, Beng, and Tyler, all TreeHouse teens. All gone. Way too soon.

Life Is Short

This is post is part of a series entitled “10 for 25.” It’s about ten lessons – most of them hard lessons to learn – that I’ve learned over my twenty-five years at TreeHouse.

Life is short. Our time with loved ones is never guaranteed.

Mar 8

Short-Term Benefits, Long-Term Consequences

Posted on Sunday, March 8, 2015 in Emotional, Relational, Spiritual, Sports, TreeHouse, Values

Untitled-TrueColor-63Choices, like yours and mine, often make sense at the moment of decision, but too often impulsive decisions come with unexpected consequences. This is part-6 of the “10 for 25” series on important lessons I’ve learned at TreeHouse.

The Moment Of Decision

I love softball. Several years ago while playing in a softball tournament I was faced with a decision that has affected thousands of people since.

Let me explain.

Mar 7

Why Am I Here?

Posted on Saturday, March 7, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

MichelleIf you felt overwhelmednot good enough and unqualified you might wonder, “Why am I here?”  That struggle, and the other lessons I’ve learned over the past twenty-five years at TreeHouse are part of this series called “10 for 25.”

Why Am I Here?

When we feel out of place, it helps to find out what we are qualified to contribute. My StrengthsQuest assessment explained, “Your Individualization theme leads you to be intrigued by the unique qualities of each person.” Yes, I am.

“You are impatient with generalizations or “types” because you don’t want to obscure what is special and distinct about each person.” So true!

Mar 6

Over My Head

Posted on Friday, March 6, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

AnnMariePookieI took a left turn into an unfamiliar parking lot. I pulled into an open parking spot. With some uncertainty I stepped out of our car.

I walked around the landscaped wall. Turning right I entered what appeared to be the backyard with a very well designed wood deck positioned to my left. Seeing a door into the building I turned the corner.

Smiling in front of me was fourteen year old AnnMarie. (Pictured on the left next to Rachel)

AnnMarie  walked directly up to me and asked, “Hi! Who the @#$% are you?” That was my introduction to TreeHouse.