Monthly Archives: October 2014

Welcome to the New Wild West!



Acrid smoke rising

Broken glass underfoot

Machine guns watching

My children smile at fate.

5 October 1993  – Moscow, Russia


Expectations are elusive creatures often mimicking chameleons in the sand of our hopes and dreams.

I remember when we first broke the news to our children that we were moving to Russia. Claire embraced the opportunity with all the joy and hope an eight year old could muster calling it the “opportunity of lifetime.” Christopher at age eleven took the opposite view, openly weeping in deep grief at the loss of all he held dear as if every dream he’d owned  instantly transformed into a smashed picture on the floor of his life.

Claire expected the best. Christopher expected the worst. It was both.

The-October-3-RiotOpposite worlds collided on a bridge overlooking the burned out White House in the dawn of the first morning after the failed Coup attempt. The children’s smiles belie an uneasy calm just outside the camera’s eye as several dozen heavily armed Russian soldiers glare at me immortalizing the improbable moment.   This is, after all, the morning after the White House siege. People died here.

The crunch of broken glass underfoot in the uncanny silence stamped the sea change emerging in my mind.

We were holding on for dear life to our lofty dreams of the life we had known but thoughts at that moment on that day became a blur of “somewhere over the rainbow” expectations mixed with jarring realities of machine guns, tanks, broken glass, and charred landscapes. We felt like Dorothy came along side to give a most accurate summary.

 Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Say ‘goodbye’ to the insular cushions provided by our circles of seeming protection from harsh realities in life and instead feel the intensity at the danger and rawness of life in the new Wild West.

Hang on tight, kids.

We’re going for quite the roller coaster ride.

© Barbara LaTondresse – 5 October 1993 – all rights reserved



Quote and image  courtesy of:

Cold Choices



Seems like yesterday I emerged intact from a long, hard winter hibernation, opened the back door, and inhaled the beautiful fragrance of spring lilacs. Not today.

Today the leaves are falling, the pumpkins are ripe, and the apples are crisp. Folks in Minnesota are closing up the cabins, finding the down comforters, and buying the firewood. Instead of lilacs we smell bonfires.

Winter is just around the corner.

Fall is my favorite season. Not because winter is coming. I don’t like the thought of ice and snow and the deep freeze of it all. I like it because for one golden moment Time seems to stand still. It seems to say—

Sit with me one glorious hour and as you sit, think.

Drink in the dazzling beauties of the falling leaves and as you reflect on the glory and grandeur of the majesty of this radiance, as you drink it in, let it remind you to ponder what’s just ahead, around the corner.

Get ready. It’s a cue.

Put away the summer clothes. Get out the snow blower. Patch the cracks in the window frames.

Winter is coming.

Am I ready?



when all October stands

hush, morning

every tree beguiles

the leaf imprint

slow dawns

orange, pink, blue

crimson mercy of my soul


Sunshine floods

make the Day dawn less brief than it would be if you had taken that road

toward the east or south

the road not taken

so you can see

the pink, blue red grace and stay with it

sit with it

watch it bless

while it sets its feet

in the soul of your saved mind

and makes it



toward Narnia


© Barbara LaTondresse – 18 October 1999 – all rights reserved