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Poetic Life Themes: Lilacs

Whenever I think of lilacs, I think about the story my father told me that is depicted in my poem “The Lingering Scent of Eternal Junes.” Lilacs rarely bloom as early as April where I live, unlike T. S. Eliot’s home state of Missouri. (I lived in Missouri during my […]

One and Only? Or One of Many?

If you had been able to choose, would you rather have been an only child or part of a very large family? For many reasons, this is a fascinating topic for me. As much as I’ve studied personality types, I’ve investigated the various effects of birth order on family dynamics. […]

The First Sunday of Advent: Hope

The following excerpt, originally presented and written by my father Paul L. H. Olson for a Sunday School series for Advent, appears in While Bethlehem Sleeps: A Poetic Advent Devotional. Hope: An Anticipatory Lesson First Sunday of Advent Shortly after publishing While Bethlehem Sleeps, Penny posed this question to her […]


My youngest son asked me yesterday what my 2017 resolution is. I told him I have a lot of goals. But, I didn’t tell him what they were or name my resolution. Honestly, I had to give it some more thought. I came to the conclusion that we get the […]

Why or Why Not Hope?

“…why should He [God] not bruise you?” This question led to an interesting discussion with my children. We listed pros and cons for suffering and troubles. I read selections from my other readings today as they provided clarity and relevance. We, then, discussed the impact of the preceding phrase on […]