we needed that

We are back from five days at the Oregon Coast. Actually, I was there five days, Mauri two. And yes, we’d been in the same spot only a week earlier. Bottom line—Harbor Villa in Rockaway Beach/Twin Rocks draws us in explicable and inexplicable ways. Maybe you can help us identify them.

Explicable. We’ve been making and sharing history here 26 years now.

Explicable. The beauty of a full moon at sunrise…

…means the tide is out, creating a perfectly cushioned sand carpet for a barefoot walk. My new “You Are” playlists reached their highest objective as I walked and worshiped with heart and mind and soul.

Explicable. My dear man arrives to add conversation to the air of this most sacred Captain’s Cabin.

Inexplicable. The barefoot thing. Strolling shoeless every morning last week converted me from a beach watcher into an enthusiastic beach walker!

Inexplicable. Mauri fully embracing the joy of sand between his toes, even getting caught by sneaker waves.

Explicable. He brought mushrooms and Italian sausage from home to augment the tasty leftover spaghetti our friends Hank and Jo offered as they departed their family retreat. I picked the fresh salad fixings from Deb’s garden, just like I did last year.

Explicable. The annual sunset serenade, always a highlight.

Inexplicable. My first time EVER to make a six-letter mashup in Handful!

Inexplicable. The wonder of pea perfection as I prepare another salad from Deb’s garden.

OK, so I might be overdoing the food photos here, especially when so much beauty is on display right outside our door. But really, is this not a sight to behold?

Inexplicable but also explicable, the joy of serendipity when Ron and Deb showed up on our final night to take in the sunset, one of only few left for them as they prepare to move to Greenleaf, ID, after years of service to Harbor Villa as property caretakers. God speed, dear ones!

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand

How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
— Psalm 139:13-18 NIV

Posted in nostalgia, travels | 4 Comments

a big day for marissa

She made an impression the first time I met her at Quinn’s new job in Denver.

Little did I know I would join the society of grandmothers to Marissa Anderson.

In due time, a little sister, Cassidy.

I don’t know who adored who more!

They grew in the nurture and admonition of the Lord as part of a family that honors God with their lives.

Dusty and Quinn nurtured Marissa’s natural gifts: she’s outgoing, smart, affectionate, a leader, cheerful, athletic, thoughtful, industrious, musical, friendly (1,168 followers on Instagram), articulate, loyal, cute, funny. I hear you: You’re exaggerating; no one has that many attributes! Well, I’m not exaggerating. In fact I left out one: She’s loved by an equally wonderful man named Sean.

In fact, I can hear Dusty saying to Marissa what Mr. Bennet said to Lizzy in their final conversation in Pride & Prejudice: “I could not have parted with you, my Lizzy [Marissa], to anyone less worthy.”

Sean, no stranger in the Anderson family, asked to use their front yard as the proposal setting and Cassidy to be his set-up assistant. Quinn snagged this photo for archival purposes and because she was beside herself with anticipation. [Note: On the tree you can see a reflection in a back window that gives a hint to the mountain view they enjoy from their horsefree-ranch home.]

Issy Bear wasn’t about to miss out!

Marissa had been out with friends (possibly organized for surprise purposes), then came home to this! Sean asked a photographer friend to capture the moment.

She said YES, in case you didn’t assume that already.

Go ahead—you can say it. They are darling!

The post-proposal celebration ensued. The bride-to-be posted this on her Instagram. I see a whole lot of happiness going on here, and I add mine from afar.

If you’ve noticed the absence of Bailey and Sarah…earlier in the week they moved to Missouri! Bolivar, to be exact, the location of Southwest Baptist University, who quite suddenly offered Bailey a graduate assistant position as football coach. All the pieces fell into place, apartment lease, Sarah’s expiring job contract, Sarah’s new MO job, new home! Quinn drove the U-Haul and happily helped her kids move in, flew home in time for the proposal. The busy and enriching life of a mom!

“Let the wedding planning begin!”

Posted in family matters, grandkids | 2 Comments

we promised

Yesterday Mauri and I celebrated 26 years of marriage. We celebrated by exchanging cards, taking a drive to Benihana for lunch, walking across the parking lot to shop for shoes at Nordstrom Rack, and making a few more shop stops on the way home. We are so well matched that both agreed it was a perfect way to celebrate. Normality for the win!

Two other celebratory elements included (1) Mauri singing “I’m Gonna Love You” to me…

and me posting the above picture/message on Facebook. For all its faults, Facebook rewards us in priceless connections. Here are a few fun comments from precious friends—all but two were actually present at the wedding.

  • Pam MacDonald Oh yes we were!…such a great wedding! Happy anniversary!
  • Sue Walter Senzig Still reveling at the joy of two high school friends finding each other later in life. You both had my great admiration in high school and to see you end up together confirms my belief in God’s providence and loving provision.
  • Carol Mostert Bell Happy anniversary! I’m so glad you found each other again.
  • Gloria Van Andel We were there, and thankful we can see this happy picture still today!!
  • Bill Velting III Congrats you guys. Jan said we attended, but honestly. I don’t remember anything but the ice cream bar afterwards.🥰
  • Nancy Carter Seems like you were Just Mauried! Happy Anniversary❣️
  • Steven Lee Happy Anniversary!
  • Dawn DeVelasco Day Happy Anniversary!!!
  • Mona Shingledecker Miller Happy anniversary! 💕 oh what a beautiful day and then my surprise the next day
  • Carolyn Lemasters Wishing you a happy anniversary. Was it really 26 years ago?!!!!
  • Howard Macy Happy Anniversary!! I was glad to see it happen!
  • Nancy Jeltema Happy 26th!!!
  • David Schick Happy Anniversary to the both of you. Do you still remember the Real Estate Guide?
  • Jan Velting We were there!!💕
  • Craig Apel [who tied the knot] CONGRATULATIONS! Happy Anniversary!
  • Kayleen Bobbitt I remember well! Happy anniversary!
  • Shirley Walker Dear Sherry and Mauri, Happy Anniversary and sending lots of love!💕🙏🏻😘😘😷

Going on twenty-seven years was the length of my marriage with Paul; twenty for Mauri and Margaret-Rose. Anniversaries open opportunities to express gratitude for each other and for acknowledging God’s blessing to us in previous “lifelong” unions as Paul & Sherry Carlson and Mauri & Margaret-Rose Macy. Here are the promises made 26 years ago. Note one in particular….

Don’t ask me to evaluate how we’ve done in the 26 years since we promised. We both know we’ve failed in the minutia, but each day offers a fresh start, just like God offers us his mercies new every morning.

Posted in family matters | 2 Comments

visitors from afar

When the Carlson family last visited us from Virginia, they showed up at our door! This time we did the more traditional airport pickup.

While choosing pictures to tell the story of our visit [a lot of them], I discovered several categories. So I will group them even if they aren’t perfectly chronological.

Home and Memorial Park

We would be heading for the coast in only a few days, so fitting as much as we could into every day became the goal. The kiddos showed a lot of interest in the piano, but the autoharp offered a decent aural result from only a strum and a button press.

These roses come with built-in natural reminders to not touch.

I had a cute helper to carry some inside.

Our local grandkids have already broken in the touch-all-you-want stuff.

Thank you Memorial Park for providing hours of entertainment to these little busy bodies. A stone’s throw from home.

Beth experimented with various locations for her daily workout.

While Taylor got his exercise unendingly pushing his girls on the swings.

“I’m a unicorn,” says Emmie. She wouldn’t repeat it for my video.

Eventually the littles needed to sit still and stare at a screen. We added three folding chairs to our upstairs decor just in time to be initiated.


We had the huge blessing of loaned bikes from local Macys!

A block in a different direction takes us to a little-used school track. So Declan and I took a five-lap bike ride together.

At the finish line of each lap we’d stop and move one of five rocks to the left in order to “track” our progress.

Victory! Now to hurry home in time to meet Gum for a different kind of bike ride.

We got back just in time!

Only a small adjustment of the back seat and off they went! Declan enjoys his “right of passage” ride with Gum.

Macys also provided matching “bikes” for our unmatched set.

“Lighthouse” at Harbor Villa, Rockaway Beach

We’ve had many memorable and magic times at this place and wanted the Carlson family to experience it.

Somebody caught me rolling down the hills with the kids.

I love how open space and freedom inspire the imagination! They are decorating a birthday cake to practice for tomorrow’s celebration.

And the girls practice blowing out their candles.

Taylor and Beth’s friend Lisa, and big fan of these kiddos, arrives to share a few days with us.

Lisa lives in Portland, so here’s an idyllic setting for catching up.

She might not forgive me, but I couldn’t resist including it.

We were dismayed when the neighbor put in this flagpole, but it serves as a clear landmark when trying to find our way home from a beach walk.

Another pictorial illustration of the still wonder of this place.

Breakfast champions cooking up a . . .

Fire maestro Taylor facilitates another kind of cooking.

The littles might think this is a hot dog, but we foodies all know it’s a brat.

Tables are boring, thinks Declan.

This picture defines nirvana to me.

The Beach!

And right through that opening in the brush….

The Pacific Ocean!

Everybody gets a turn flying Daddy’s eagle kite.

We didn’t pose formal pictures with the Rocks—if you can even imagine such a failure—so I will find my joy in this candid family shot and point out that the Rocks did manage to show up through the dark cloud if you squint just right.

Two Celebrate Birthday Number Three

Beth said the girls love the American flag, so it became the theme of their party.

The dynamic duo—Emmie and Avie!

I hope they will always celebrate, respect, and appreciate our country’s freedoms.

This party game lasted all of three minutes. Cake was a better bet.

Yesterday’s candle-blowing practice pays off!


A dress-up bag from Gus and Gum.

Gus helps Avie accessorize.

Dressed for dinner!

Dessert is another matter altogether, though the hat is a nice touch.

Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad

Wearing masks and socially distancing took something from the experience, but we still enjoyed our special train ride from Rockaway Beach to Garibaldi and back.

The Big Dune at Pacific City

It’s a popular place and we try to give our visitors the experience of watching or climbing this mountain of a sand dune. It looks like a long way to the top.

The day hadn’t allowed time for Beth to work out…..so….

Timing! I snapped this just as Declan reached for his mommy’s hand to head up together.

They made it! See them waving at us? The little girls and I got half way up. Well, they got higher while I lagged behind. I must be getting old!

Here’s Beth and Declan’s view from up there.

Back at sea level, everyone takes a breath before walking back to the cars.

Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

Not wanting to waste an opportunity, we took advantage of an experience that wasn’t closed due to COVID.

The main attraction was The Spruce Goose, the largest wooden airplane ever constructed, and flown only one time. Click HERE to read about it.

A friendly vet offered to take our picture inside the Goose.

The littles got to sit in the cockpit of a kid-sized model built by a volunteer for this purpose.

But the highlight for Taylor and Beth was seeing their kids climb up into a Huey helicopter just like they rode in Iraq.

Since we were virtually the only guests at the museum, we got a lot of extra attention and privileges. This vet/docent discovered, by identifying its number, this was the actual helicopter he flew back in the day.

As simulated roller coaster ride? Really, T? One liked it better than the other.

The Local Family

Because of COVID restrictions/limitations, the Macy side of the clan were not able to enjoy Harbor Villa with us. So we decided to gather at Memorial Park for a meal and some socially distanced play/talk time. Taylor made fajitas and Mauri pulled pork.

I threw together some fruit and other stuff and we all managed to find enough to eat.

These kids spend a LOT of time together and are a legitimate shelter-in-place family.

Cousins getting to know each other.

I think I caught one moment when they were all in one place at one time. It was just fun watching all the interaction.

Recording Project

Taylor wanted his son to see Gum’s studio. He got more!

He got to record something!

All of us participated!

The result was so cool, I have to share it. All three versions of it. (They’re short.)

And then it was time to say our goodbyes. All six of us plus the many bags you can’t see fit into Mauri’s van, which had supplied transportation for this crew for ten days!

Bye, dear ones. You spiced up our lives—literally and figuratively.

Posted in 514, family matters, grandkids, in the neighborhood | 4 Comments


It’s been more than 4.5 months since we entertained guests at 514. So it was a unique joy to welcome Gary and Judi at our front door. It would be a too-short visit, and we didn’t even offer coffee or a slice of cake. I forgot all my manners, talked too much, even dragged them upstairs to show off my recent redecorating efforts. The most pathetic part of this story is that they didn’t even come to see me! Mauri was the main attraction; he’s the one who would help them with a recording project.

Are you starting to feel sorry or embarrassed for me? No need. They really did want to see me too. We’ve been friends nearly 26 years and with Mauri much (much) longer. I always love to hear Judi’s stories from her close friendship with Margaret-Rose.

Here they are! That’s Judi on the left.

She is a gifted pianist, willing to test-drive one of Mauri’s “Four No More” series (simple, accessible, and creative arrangements using no more than four notes at a time). I sure wish I’d set the camera to video! It was lovely.

Maybe the funnest part of the visit was Judi reciting the Macy family dinner prayer from long ago. As soon as she started it, Mauri joined in as his memory refreshed.

As we said goodbye I realized just how hungry I was for “outside” human connection. And now I’ll need a refresher course in manners ASAP because, Lord willing, we’ll be hosting five visitors from Virginia starting on Thursday!

Posted in 514, family matters, nostalgia | 2 Comments

three quarters of a century

I recently had an inspired thought, an idea! So I said to Mauri:

“I have a significant birthday coming up in a few weeks and wondered if you’d like a hint of something you might do as a gift for me.”

Mauri and I are at the stage in life when we don’t need much, and when we do need something, we buy it. This works for us until Christmas or anniversaries or birthdays come around, and we resort to boxes of Good & Plenty or gift cards.

So I told him what he could give me for my 75th birthday. A playlist! A playlist of “You Are” worship songs that direct my praise upward, that affirm who God is, what he is. I would put my playlist on my phone so I can pray important words of worship while I walk 3 to 4 miles every day.

Well, he didn’t think twice; he would love to do that for me!

Thanks to COVIDtime, my live-in musician spent hour after hour in the studio until he had 17 (!) songs for me to add to the 61 songs fitting the criteria that I already had in iTunes.

For this three-quarter-century birthday, I wanted to change up our usual dinner-at-Benihana’s routine. A restaurant a few towns down the road was open for lunch diners and we love their food.

Our excellent server explained to Mauri exactly what was on his plate. I figure anyone brave enough to order pork belly lettuce wraps with Korean sauces would know. My delicious choice was more mainstream.

Mauri made the mistake of telling me this morning that he was taking the day off his eating plan (Noom), which has enabled him to reduce his weight more than 40 pounds! We’d already had coffee cake with our bacon/eggs breakfast, but I still accepted the birthday dessert she offered: brownie a la mode.

Next on the birthday agenda was a hike at the abbey. Too bad about the crummy day.

I suppose reaching my super-senior years has me imparting age-related meaning to sights like this.

We both did our share of huffing and puffing on the ups. But here Mauri stopped to give me a foretaste of the songs he had shared in a Dropbox for me. In case you’re wondering if a 73-year-old man can still make beautiful music, the answer is a definite YES!

Since the one he played is in the public domain, I can share it with you.

Stop for a selfie. No, I did not grow antlers.

I don’t usually get to watch him make my card. He had fun writing lots of 75s on it. Here was a chance for me to listen to all 17 songs—each one a gem, exactly what I wanted. How blessed am I? I don’t really think I can express how happy I am.

But right at the end of the last song I got a video of Quinn and Krista singing Happy Birthday to me from the Virgin Islands. And right after that Taylor and Beth sent a video of their three kiddos singing the same to their Gus (followed by a FaceTime call). And right after that Ben called me from Michigan. Earlier in the day brother John called for a long chat. And the multiple notes of well wishes from friends and family will have to wait until tomorrow because writing this post took precedence.

This marionberry pie has been in the freezer for months, just waiting for a special occasion. I guess this is it! Maybe the Tillamook vanilla bean ice cream was in the freezer for a purpose too. My perfect day ended with pie/ice cream and a movie—”Peanut Butter Falcon.”

So happy birthday to me! And tomorrow—the first day of my 76th year—I will choose from three 26-song playlists of worship music for my walk. I hope God will incline his ear.

Posted in family matters | 8 Comments

on my mind lately

It’s usually very easy to sit at my computer and tell a simple story with a few pictures and a few words. But life outside the comfortable walls of our home doesn’t lend itself to anything I can begin to write about. It’s all I can do these days to think about it! Discordant discourse on the news and social media drains my spirit, as it likely does yours, but it’s hard to avoid—even when I try.

I wrote my first post more than 14 years ago (!) and have oriented the subject matter of subsequent posts around family, travel adventures, and this/that. And here I am, six months from its finale, bereft of inspiration. Instead, what I have to offer right now is agitation, which is hard to photograph, hard to put into words, and completely unhelpful for either one of us were I to try.

But I miss connecting with you, sharing what my dad always called “larie farie” (a.k.a small talk). So I will venture out from under my rock to share some this and some that with you faithful readers. For efficiency, Quinn and I often communicate with “bullets,” so I’ll do a quick update using that shortcut:

• Since I mentioned the conclusion of this blog at the end of 2020, I want to forecast a new quarterly communication planned for 2021—> titled “Those Crazy Macys,” using Mail Chimp. More about that another time.

• I chose five, only five, of my #oneadaymay photos to share. They encapsulate a whole month of COVID-19 quarantine. Ready?

• Once the newly painted doors (with working knobs!) are rehung, I’ll post some pictures of the completed upstairs upgrade. It was a project long overdue and took a forced stay-home order from the governor to get ‘er done!

• Mauri uses his time writing arrangements for Newberg Brass, recording for fun, rehearsing to lead worship via video, and spending quality time with his instruments. They talk to him, you know, and one or another will let him know if it feels neglected. He also takes the dog on long walks every day, and today marked 61 days in a row of riding his bike as many as 6.75 miles.

• Darcy just celebrated her 11th birthday but still has a keen eye for squirrels.

• Not quite three years, granddaughter Avery surprised no one by breaking her first bone. The girl has no fear. Of course it happened three days before vacation at the beach. She’ll be sporting her purple cast…

• I’ve typed and deleted countless words. You know what they say about not saying anything at all if you can’t say something nice? Well, say, I’m going to heed that advice and publish this nondescript but reasonably nice post. See you next time!

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guessing game

Instructions: scroll through the following pictures and try to figure out what each one has in common with the others. Ready?


Wow—you are very clever to figure out the guessing game.

Much more clever than I was when my clever children greeted me with their version of the blue and white flags and I DIDN’T GET IT!

Still, Quinn continued the tradition of celebrating birthdays this way for her children and husband. And how cute is Bailey showing you how old he was! So there wasn’t much doubt that he and his bride would need a set of flags in case they wanted to carry on the family tradition.

So I commissioned sweet cousin Hannah @sweetmamasews to make a set for Bailey and Sarah. Hannah’s twins do their part.

And here they are one year ago tonight at their rehearsal dinner down in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. Tomorrow they celebrate their first anniversary. Maybe, just maybe, it will include a little blue and white.

Posted in family matters, nostalgia, series / match-ups | 5 Comments

is it over yet?

You might not agree, but I think it’s time to get going again. Not that I have anything pressing on my calendar. I am still content with life as it is, but I’m feeling a little rebellious now that we’ve moved out of flu season. Will my sanitized environment serve me well when I go out again? There are just so many factors to consider!

Regardless of my attitude about this whole shelter-in-place thing, we keep rolling with the punches. When I would normally take my friend Denise a birthday something at work yesterday, I put together this “something” to press against her office window. My plan was only slightly thwarted when I learned she is working from home.

Nothing about the coronavirus caused Mauri’s cousin Janet to die suddenly from a clot near her lung, but it did prevent Bill from being by her side at the end. Such a sad and premature event in the midst of a pandemic! My heart goes out to those closest to her.

Rather than delay the inevitable, Caesar got his due almost within the pre-pandemic timeline. Right now “he” needs it more than we do! Too bad the USPS won’t gain any new revenue; I used 28¢ stamps just taking up space in a drawer, like a forgotten gift certificate.

Who is this in our front yard? Looks like grandson Lincoln placing a sign in the deep grass. His mom, Linsey the Realtor, hosted a Facebook event: “The same people that created the Don’t Give Up movement have created these We’re All In This Together signs during these interesting times. We’d love to buy a sign for each of you, our clients and referral partners, and install one in your yard, if you are okay with it.”

Would you look at that! Lincoln brought his parents and brother to install our sign because we were definitely “okay with it.” So nice to see “live” humans, especially some who belong to us! (An hour later the mowers came to do their weekly grass cut.)

My friend Marianne expresses love through the gift of flowers, and we were recipients this week. They really were beautiful without this gaudy filter, but I needed something to kill off some wakeful hours when most people are sleeping.

OK, it seemed only fair to show you the unfiltered photo.

I tried a watercolor filter on this picture, but it is fine as is. It makes me want to hum “Here Comes the Bride.”

The time had come to lay to rest the salmon (not peach, not pink) walls of bygone days. So I actually accomplished something constructive. It required me to unshelter for a masked trip to Home Depot, but I’ve now spent three days doing this:

…and I still have a ways to go. The walls are fast and easy; the trim tedious and slow. Yesterday I was on the floor reaching up to paint the underside of a low closet shelf that no one will ever see. But—if not now, when?

Quinn has added 18 years since she celebrated this day with us in 2002, but she has her whole family around to yahoo her birth—thanks to Covid-19. So I guess it isn’t all bad!

Posted in in the neighborhood, this and that | 3 Comments


I have very little to complain about while we wait out the storm. We have everything we need, even TP, well supplied from long before it became a commodity. We’re still far from boredom with plenty of projects to pass the time.

Mauri spent some time cleaning our backyard utility corner and found this long-lost home-fashioned apple picker! Since we no longer have an apple tree, it will be passed along to the son who has a use for it. But first, some needed repair.

Me? I continue my quest for the perfect mask. But don’t worry, I have other important things to do that distract me from the disappointment in cancelled plans for this spring. We had planned to spend last week at Harbor Villa overlooking the Pacific Ocean like we did the week following Easter last year. Instead we stayed home and relished the view of our own lovely backyard.

This morning I woke to the sounds of rain on the skylight above our bed. It would have been the Camellia Festival, and I was registered to participate in the 10k walk. Last year I walked 5k and came home with this beauty. I had hoped to plant another this year—a small disappointment, I know. Gone though was my hope to walk the 10k as part of my training for a much bigger walk that Quinn and I were planning for May. She made all the arrangements for us to fly to Spain to walk the final 90 miles of the Camino de Santiago. It was to be a celebration of my 75th birthday. We would also eat authentic Italian food and visit important sites in Rome where the apostle Paul was imprisoned and wrote some of his epistles.

But all is not lost. There will come a day when we’ll get the all clear to travel to Spain and Italy. There’s reason to hope now that we’re starting the process to get life back on track. Mauri and I were to travel all the way to Idaho (!) later this month for a conference, which was cancelled but now rescheduled for August. And we have a week booked at Harbor Villa in August as well. So disappointment has been replaced with anticipation.

You and everyone else have stories of covidisappointment, I’m sure. So we buck up and count our blessings and wait for brighter days.

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