Friday, August 21, 2015

Brain Gain

"Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can--there will always come a time you will be grateful you did."~Sarah Caldwell

This quote crossed my path today. It got me to thinking about just how much we learn over a lifetime. So much information crammed into our heads! 

We learn to tie our shoes. We learn our ABC's. We learn multiplication tables and algebraic equations. We learn how to play the piano, or the tambourine. We learn where babies come from and how to balance a checkbook. We learn to ride a bike, drive a car, and parallel park. We learn how to cook, how to speak a foreign language, put air in a tire, braid hair, swim, surf, and take a photograph. We learn how to play charades and backgammon and we learn how to work that infuriating TV remote control! 

We learn how to communicate with others. 
We learn how to love. 
We learn how to grieve. 
We learn how to live.

I used to think the most useless thing I ever learned was algebra. I mean, really? I prefer my x's and y's in sentences, not in equations. Then a good friend and former co-worker told me I should think of algebra as calisthenics for my brain. That put a different spin on it. But, I'd still rather exercise my brain in another way!

The most important thing I learned how to do is to read. Reading opened up the world to me and led to a curiosity about life and to a love affair with words... and that led to a career as a journalist, author and speaker. Reading also keeps the learning cycle spinning... more words, more knowledge! 

One of the most unusual things I've ever learned is how to sing the books of the Bible. My grandmother taught me when I was two. I can still do it. Don't believe me? Click here and I'll sing them for you! Was I ever grateful for learning that? Absolutely! The first time is when I used this knowledge by singing the "Bible Song" to quieten a rowdy group of 3rd grade Sunday School kids! Now, I sing the song to entertain adults! 

One of the most fun things I learned how to do is fish! In learning this, I also learned that I don't love fishing enough to do it in January. Lesson learned.

On the bucket list of things I still want to learn:

 How to juggle. How to speak Italian. How to play the drums. How to paint. How to arrange flowers. I want to learn more about artistic masterpieces and the brilliant painters who created them. I want to learn how to work that infuriating TV remote control! ;) 

What's the most interesting thing you've learned, or learned to do, in your lifetime? Or the most fun? Or the most useless? What's the most unusual thing you learned that you ended up becoming grateful that you knew?

Think about it. Make a list of what you know, what you don't, and what you want to learn.Be grateful for the people who helped you learn. Be grateful for the knowledge that is crammed into your brain... and promise yourself to continue---as Ms. Caldwell advises--- learning everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can. Let it become "learned behavior."

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Upper Hand

I recently went with 9 members of our Sunday School class on a weekend retreat. We stayed in one member's beautiful lake house. It was a weekend to get away, get to know each other better, and to share our faith. There was a really nice balance between frivolity and faith-sharing. We had a blast cruising the lake on a pontoon boat, learning how to paddle board, eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts, racing each other to the hammock, and cannon-balling into the lake. (Yes, we can----and will---do those things, even at "our age!")

When Sunday morning came, it was time to bring it all indoors and talk... about hands.

Have you ever really looked at your hands? Have you ever thought about what those hands, whether they are opened or closed, represent? We talked about that. We decided these things about hands:

An open palm receives

An open palm indicates "come to me."

A closed palm may indicate protectiveness... keeping what is tucked inside the hand from danger.

A closed palm can also be turned into a fist... not to harm, but to indicate strength and the willingness to fight for someone or something that is important or beloved.

When linked with someone else's hand, the palm communicates intimacy, love, trust and compassion.

The lake is a peaceful place. It's a place where you don't have to work too hard to let go of your fierce, white-knuckled grip on life.It's a place where the beauty of creation draws your thoughts to the wonder of the Creator. It's a place where you can remember that the same Creator whose hands paint the landscape with orange, blue and pink sunrises and with magnificent "blue moon" night skies... is the Creator who reaches those hands to you. Hands that receive you, hands that reach out to you, hands that protect you and hands that fight for you. Hands that have my name, Drexel, and your name, too, tattooed on their palms. (Isaiah 49:16)

I'll admit it's not often that I like it when someone other than me has the "upper hand." This time, I do. In fact, I think I'll just put my hand in that "upper" hand and take a stroll...through the days... through the nights... through life.
WOW! (Women on the Word!) Sunday School Class Summer Retreat


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Bartender, The First Lady, and The Bloopers

I met a lot of people, had a lot of fun, and made my share of boo-boos in 30 years of TV news. Last time I was at the speaker's podium, I talked a little bit about all those years in TV news... the high points... and the lows. Some of the low points were not very funny at all.. but some of them were! I may just share a few of them when I take to the stage again this Saturday. Meantime, if you have 49 seconds to kill, copy and paste the link below. Allow me to let one of my goofball bloopers bring a smile to your face! Always happy to serve!

You can check out a few other videos if you'd like by heading to and clicking on the WATCH link!