Tag Archives: Memories

Away for Christmas and New Year 2017-2018

©2018 IBKimage

And just like that … there it was, the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, France across from the park my son and I were walking in on a gloomy, damp January day. In three days I’d be flying back to Denver after spending 2 weeks in Germany, pre and post Christmas with friends, and then a train ride to Paris to visit a son who was visiting too.

There are times in life when traveling thousands of miles to be with others in a special season is exactly the best gift one could receive. Well, for me anyway, since my first home was in Germany many years ago and I had always had a desire to go back for Christmas as an adult. It was everything I had hoped for and then some. Sleeping at sea level on gloomy winter days with little sunshine is the most relaxing sleep that I can ever remember. The German word for my adventure is Erholung: Rest, Recreation,and Recovery.

In this year of 2018 my wish for you is to find a place of Erholung, whether near or far away to reflect on what is really important to you as you navigate the seasons of your life.


Posted in Hospitality, Insight, Inspiration Also tagged , |

Something Old is New Again

We often press forward,crossing items off of the proverbial “bucket list”, reaching for the next level in our fitness, clearing out those numerous e-mails before we leave our desk, learning how to use a new tool, and so on. In our culture what’s new is constant new offerings every day.

And yet, it’s also wonderful to look at something old in a new way. Maybe you haven’t played a musical instrument that you’ve enjoyed, for many years; a new reed, a polishing cloth, a few false starts and your delight returns; Same is true for most hobbies … picking up that paint brush, finally altering your aunts old wool coat with its memories to fit a new generation; seeing an old relationship in a new way, minus the personal feelings evoked and so on.

I experienced that this week in looking at an old image in a new way because of an improved post processing procedure. A clearer picture now, taken on a beautiful fall day in November … was actually a 4 year old image made in July. As we transition through our seasons, we can reflect on the old in the today and often find new insights.

Posted in Inspiration, Seeing In New Ways, Stopping, Uncategorized Also tagged , |

Pull Up a Chair

©IBKimage 2017



In the busy outside interactions of summer in the city, it’s often difficult to find a place of retreat, where one can stand back and observe what moments ago one was in the midst of. On a recent evening photo shoot, in front of Union Station,Denver’s newly repurposed and renovated train station plaza, just such a place made itself known. A breakfast restaurant with outdoor seating, was closed, but oh the delightful configurations of myriad plastic chairs at rest before the next performance.

In the midst of the surrounding hustle and bustle, I observed our two chairs leaning in for a chat and thought about many past joyous moments of sitting with someone in deep conversation, totally oblivious to what was happening all around. We’ve lost something when we so often engage in transaction with our devices while at the same time trying to experience deeper interaction with the human soul across from us. Many times not just wanting to experience deeper, but hungering for it.

Posted in Authenticity, Insight Also tagged , , , , , |

We All Come From Somewhere We Consider Home

©IBKimage 2012

The place we currently live may or not be where our heart considers home.  I was born in Northwest Germany within a mile or so of the North Sea.  When I was almost 6 my family emigrated to the U.S. and we settled in South Central Nebraska … flat like Northern Germany but wide open spaces where patchwork quilts of prairie and farmland replaced the sea that one is always in relationship with when living near it.

Many years later I live in landlocked Colorado surrounded in Denver by beautiful mountain vistas, and yet as my mother before me longed for the sights and smells and sounds of home near the sea, (even though she adapted beautifully to her new land, and learned it’s ways and language, ) I too find solace in remembering where I came from and am nourished by the sights and sounds and smells of the water.

You all have places where you’ve come from and where your heart remembers  being home … sometimes it’s not the place itself, but the peace you felt when at a loved one’s home who resided there.  Anyway, I encourage you in this busy, noisy, chaotic world, to take yourself home for a bit and “sit with that for a spell”.

Today’s image is along the Eider River in Northern Germany at sunset where I got to be for a while. A river that cuts through flat farmland.



Posted in Aging Also tagged , , , |
















We are used to seeing things in certain ways that help us recognize familiarity.  Putting letters of a familiar word, as in our image today, in a non-standard position can make us feel uncomfortable.  It can also make us stop and think about how else we might want to express something familiar in a new way to perhaps  look at the parts that make up the whole or find a new application.

Our word today is a familiar one and we all have experienced what it feels like to be truly welcomed by someone; or perhaps we invite people in to our spaces to share our life in some way with them; we used to say you’re welcome when someone thanked us for something, but now we often hear:  “no problem,” which seems to answer something else.

I’d welcome the opportunity for some feedback about how you welcome the stranger in your midst(or family and friends.)  Perhaps you struggle to interact with those who are not you or don’t interest you.  Why is that?  These are some questions I’ve been living with this week. I send them on for further pondering.







Posted in Insight, Inspiration, Uncategorized Also tagged , , |

©IBKimage 2012


When my oldest son was little I gave him a book that was in my toy consultant  sample packet.  The title:  “Little While Friends.”  He received it just before we went on a family road trip one summer where we explored three towns named Keystone in three states … among other things.  Stopping to climb rocks or while visiting a snake attraction, he would often find little while friends to interact with.  They didn’t have the same stature as friends from home or the familiarity and commitment of family, but it taught him early on that there are interesting people and sights all around that satisfy. Perhaps, like a beautiful mixed bouquet of flowers in a vase from the floral shop; they are precious because they are a fragile, time-limited treasures.

Now these little while friends don’t always have to be people … the beauty of nature in it distinct seasons, the gift of artists helping us enter into a place we hadn’t considered before; musicians stirring our souls; delight with new learning and new technologies that improve our daily living and help to restore in some manner what has been lost … but generally, it’s people we continually seem to say goodbye to; at airports and graduations, weddings and job changes, first day of school and retirement, and then a final ending whose tension we all live with confronted with so many “little while” choices, actions and engagements.

Our layered wall hanging in today’s image, by a fiber artist in Omaha, NE provided a little while delight on a restaurant wall, as a long time friend and I cherished precious time together over a meal,but more importantly it also reminds me that no matter how dark it might be, the light is thankfully always present. The story of death and resurrection, mourned and celebrated is thankfully” little while” and eternal.




Posted in Aging, Authenticity, Courage, Seasons, Seeing In New Ways Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Visiting Home











You can’t go home again but you can sure visit a place that you came from, finding there a familiarity that you’ve carried with you all of your life, no matter how old you are or how far your journey has taken you away.  The image today is a small car and pedestrian ferry that crosses the Kiel Canal, at Hochdonn, in Northwest Germany near the area where I was born many years ago.  As we approached the ferry recently, to cross over, memories flooded back to a time when my mother would ride her bicycle, with me in a carrier in front, and my brother, six years older, riding his own.  Our journey was from the small village we lived in before we emigrated to America and our destination was to my maternal grandparents home, in Meldorf,  about 15 miles away. I must have been 4 years old.


During my recent visit, I attended a Friday morning market in the town square, where fish, and cheese, egg and vegetable vendors of a new generation offered  their wares.  That brought to mind the trips to the market with my grandparents when the fish were so fresh from the local fishermen’s overnight catch, that some still moved in their wooden crates.  The fish was wrapped in newspaper, put in my grandparents market bags, and off we went, on foot to their house, where my grandmother was soon cooking the fresh fish and vegetables for our noon meal.


So many years later, I realize that walking to places, buying my food fresh, building relationships with local vendors, being always drawn to and longing for the sea with it’s attendant breezes, smells and sights, is what I keep looking for in the places I have lived, but of course even the place I’ve described  now has supermarkets (albeit smaller) and fresh prawns  from the area are  outsourced to Morocco for cleaning, preserving and sent back to the area for sale.  In my grief, I can at the same time be grateful that I have experienced the gifts of the sea and the fresh offerings of the land and farmyard. Most of all though, my return reminded me that the relationships and love of family and friends can nurture in us a desire to wander.  You can’t go home again, but I can hardly wait for my next visit.

Where in your heart and mind, is your home port?



Posted in Blessings, Seasons Also tagged , , , , |

It Will Find Me

©2004 IBKimage


My mom died earlier this year and as we approach the first anniversary of her death I am reminded how much she loved flowers  and instilled that love in me.   Another memory is that she often lost things and then would search for days only to declare:  “This time it’s gone forever …” until it wasn’t.  I was often the person she called when this occurred and after suggesting she quietly think “backwards in her mind”,  she would get annoyed and insist that I wasn’t helping .

The gift of this drama around losing things, was that it changed the way I responded when I lost my own things or when I couldn’t immediately find out the answer to something I was searching for.  I decided to do an initial search and  if I couldn’t find “it” I would wait for it to find me.  I have saved many hours of frustration and drama and invariably just when I need something “it”does indeed find me .

I took this picture  over 7 years ago when I was staying at the Ghion Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia while taking a graduate class.  As I walked back and forth to the hotel or on the grounds  surrounding it a  beautiful scent greeted my nostrils. After several days of “sniffing” hundreds of flowers to try to match the scent and the flower, “it” found me as I entered the front door of the hotel from a lower stairway.

I have searched  but have not been able to identify “it”.  So dear readers, with your help I hope the answer will “find me.”

Joy to you and yours in the days ahead.


Posted in Seeing In New Ways Also tagged , , , |