I was visiting David and Lee McGarey in Flagstaff in early November and one morning as I was drinking my coffee… looked up to see their cat at the door. She just stared at me in that most cat like focus sending out vibes that said, “Open the door, open the door, open the door and feed me.” I did. But I still love the image. The beautiful tall tall pines and a touch of snow here and there on the rocks. It was really peaceful and calming.

I realized that it would soon be coming up on the Thanksgiving and Christmas rush rush time. People traveling in flocks more than BC (Before Covid). I realized there would be family gatherings and that some would be peaceful and others would be less so. I realized that we carry a lot of expectation with us. Adults longing for the simpler time when we were little ones and we were served Christmas with presents and surprises and food. It happened to us. It happened for us. We were receivers. I do recall getting excited when I was able to make something for my parents. When I figured out the giving thing.

That giving thing. I graduated college in December in Ohio and was moving to AZ. I got a job as a gift wrapper at the large department store, Lazarus. I worked the first night with a woman who had done it before and she taught me about how to measure the paper to the boxes and gave me wonderful lessons. I thought later as I was able to keep up with the long lines that I couldn’t have done it without her guiding.

People weren’t waiting very well. There was nothing calm about it. People brought all kinds of gifts to be wrapped. Some had to be more cautiously wrapped that others. One lady came with beautiful stem glasses to be wrapped. They were very expensive per glass. I got out one of the larger cardboard boxes, not the shirt box type, and started to put tissue around each one carefully and put them in the box. “Wait! “she cried, “That’s an ugly box!” I explained I would wrap it beautifully and this would protect the glasses in transit. She had told me she was taking them to Chicago. She would have nothing to do with that box. I went in the back and told my supervisor that I didn’t think I could wrap it well enough to protect them and that the store would be blamed. She assured me that it would be ok and if any broke the store would replace them. I still kept them wrapped in tissue paper and put some in the bottom of the box to make it a little thicker. I put the glasses in carefully lining them up so they were close together and would’t move around. Then I wrapped the box. I told her please please be gentle with this box– won’t protect them if you put something on top and please be gentle with them. The box looked great, no different than the brown box would have looked, off she went.

The next customer a grandmother had purchased a large very fancy doll with porcelain head and beautiful hair. It’s for my 4 year old granddaughter. I wrapped it carefully and found out she was not mailing it but taking it to her granddaughter. “Of course, she won’t be allowed to play with her till she’s much older, but I wanted to give it to her now.” I imagined how one might really express that to a 4 year old. “Here it is! You can’t touch it! ” Immediately following was another grandmother with a much smaller cloth doll with a really cute expression on her face. “I’m getting this for my 4 year old granddaughter. Don’t you think she’s going to love the bits right out of it cuddling it?” Yes I did. It struck me how two of the same gifts could be so very different. One to be looked at, the other to be loved.

Ok, one more story. A woman and her older son came up and threw a shirt on the counter, “Wrap IT!” she shouted. “That’s why I’m here.” As I wrapped the shirt, easy to do, she and her son carried on a conversation about like this. “I don’t know why I am getting him a present, he’s been impossible this year. He won’t give us gifts you know and I can’t believe we have to have two meals with him. I am so angry with him. He doesn’t deserve anything from us.” I wanted to say, “put it back”, but I didn’t I just did my job. I was glad I didn’t have to have two meals with them.

But were they in the Spirit? Were they waiting for the coming of the celebration? Were they happy? Over all the customers were happy. Free gift wrapping was great for them. But had they forgotten the reason they were doing this? Did they care?

I am not trying to judge them. I have no idea their intentions. But I do know in these days we sometimes have to wait outside the door looking in on the scene and beg to be part of the peace of the season. Because Peace is one of the greatest gifts we are given at Christmas.

God Abides and I thank God. Bobbie Giltz McGarey, Easton, PA, Freelancing for God


This is A day

I am doing a Prep for a medical exam that requires me to stay close to home.

I am enjoying a fine cup of broth, mmmm yummy what an indulgence and another cup of coffee, no cream. I am going to be–well tied up, is the best way I can put it, after I start drinking from my jug. I shan’t go into further detail. Add deep sigh. This too shall pass.

It is almost December. Somehow I got a little nostalgic because I’m not planning Advent for the church, yet again. After 42 years of coming up with the most meaningful parts of worship for the season I am 3 years without that responsibility. I pray for those ministers who are into the Advent Marathon. This year it is particularly trying as Christmas falls on Sunday. So Christmas Eve services and then Morning Worship. I do remember many conversations over the year about churches who don’t have services on Christmas Day. It sort-of shows a leanness in one’s faith understanding. Whose birthday is it? But it is hard to fit two services in 12 hours for some families who have their own particular rituals.

I am reminded of the Last Christmas I was Interim in First Presbyterian Lawton and there was a Blizzard. No exaggeration it was a blizzard and there was no “should-we” “shouldn’t we” about the service. By 1 pm the Highway Patrol warned people not to go out. Stores closed at noon. It was that kind of time.

It was also the First Ever Christmas Eve when my family was altogether. We could all stay home. John canceled two services in Duncan, and I canceled the services in Chattanooga and Frederick OK.

We sat home, around the fire, roasting marshmallows and had the usual and it was great fun. We read scripture between us, sang carols, laughed, snuggled on the couch. It was so usual. It was so unique. The kids were in College and home. We had so much fun. We really felt like we had won a Christmas prize.

The good thing for our part was the snow continued all afternoon and overnight, That kept even the truest complainer quiet as there was no way we could have gotten out.

But there we were. Singing Silent Night, lighting candles, passing the light. Saying the words, Singing Joy to the World.

For us it was a unique treat. Together on Christmas Eve. John and I NOT up front leading with the kids in the pews. So Happy December! Happy Advent. Remember Christmas will come: Ready or Not. Don’t sing Joy to the World till Christmas Eve.

God abides. And I thank God

Bobbie Giltz McGarey. 2022, Easton PA

Tell a Story

Today in church Pastor Steven challenged us all to explain our faith using 7 words. I’ve been thinking all afternoon what I would list…what would you list? What are your words? Work on that and leave your words in the comments. Happy Advent God abides, Bobbie G McGarey h


First snow in Flagstaff on Sunday night. It was a surprise to me. I knew it would be colder than in Scottsdale but i didn’t plan snow.

But there it was. At first on the road it was the straight at the windshield But that stopped quickly. (I recalled going through the narrow canyon between Mantua and Brigham City Utah with the snow coming down hard and the wind absolutely spinning it so hard you had trouble telling Up let alone straight ahead)

This snow was much lighter. It wasn’t sticking in the roads until about 10 houses down from their house and it was just an inch there.

Snow in the mountains there is is beautiful. The dark tall pines and the snow in between.


God Abides Bobbie Giltz McGarey 10.26.22

Thank you – You are Welcome

In the Disney movie Moana the character Maui sings a song Thank-you. It’s a rather sarcastic song with him asking to hear thank-you for the wonderful amazing person he is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79DijItQXMM. enjoy

He’s taking credit for everything that happens in the natural world.

Do we know folk like this? You know the kinds of folk who believe that they are the center of it all and that we should all be thankful to be around them. My Mother once had a boss that she said he probably thought that the song, How Great Thou Art, was playing every time he walked into the room. It did describe how he entered a room. My Dad and I went to a reception for her office and as the boss began to walk in my Daddy began humming for my ear only, Then sings my soul, how great thou art. I had to keep from totally losing my cool. When I looked at my Daddy he had the cutest twinkle in his eyes.

We know there are people who’s bravado just begs to be brought down a measure or two. I was walking across Oval one winter day and it was partly shoveled but there were still icy spots. It hadn’t been cleared off the whole sidewalk so there wasn’t room to pass without one person stepping off. As my friend and I were walking one guy, big as a linebacker, was coming our way. He didn’t appear ready to yield to us so we both stepped off so he could pass. He plowed through and we were surprised at his un yielding attitude. About the time we had gotten back on the. path we heard a Cry, a Hoot, and a big thump. We turned and saw him totally plopped down on the sidewalk. He shouted a profanity and we held back big laugh. Instant Karma, Eh?

So, I guess we could say blessed are the humble. Blessed are the compassionate, Blessed are the wide awake people who have eyes to see the need in the world and work to repair what is broken.

So I guess these insights make we want to say. Thank You. and You are welcome.

God abides

bobbie giltz mcgarey


Broken and blessed

Musings The Spirit Will Tell Us


I was playing a different set of music for my grandson as he naps. He falls asleep to the Chicks. He loves them and usually puts his arms up in touchdown joy when he hears them start singing.

I started playing him some other music I like, James Taylor, Carole King, Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie, the Judds, Wynonna.

I was reading about the Judds as I strolled through the listings. There were articles about Naomi and how she died. About her daughters at the Country Music Hall of Fame induction. She died the day before.

I read the words that were spoken. But two parts stick with me. Wynonna said describing her Mom… So Broken, So Blessed.

The next comment was from a woman who wrote, Kristen Corridor.

“I lost my sister to an overdose 3. Years ago. It was the most tragic life event

I have every experienced. I am still broken and will never be the same person

I was before her death. I feel Wynonna and Ashley’s pain so vividly…

that raw pain and brokenness that doesn’t mend. It just becomes an ever present part of my life that never goes away.My love and condolences to the girls, Larry, and Naomi’s grandchildren. I pray for a peace that only the Lord can give. Rest easy sweet Naomi, as you look in the face of Jesus,

and feel the healing only He can provide

Then I began to think how someone’s frustration with me may be a displacement of grief. You would think somehow that one would want to be closer to those around her instead of wanting to distance one’s self from others. I know we can’t see into someone’s psyche, but we can find some better way to deal with unresolved grief.

Thoughts are things

My morning started

With my joints

Telling me it was rainy.

I didn’t have to look outside to know

I was right.


“Cereal” he said

I watched little one eating cereal.

Using the spoon as long as possible

But don’t deny the fingers a chance

To do their work.

Little one eats the soggy ones off the

Back of his hand they are apparently

Especially good

Don’t leave them there to sink or swim

Grab them up and finish it off

And then look at Naani

And sign… all done

(But hey Naani, don’t try to trick me I saw you put water in my juice

I’ll have Nothing of that.)



When an elder passes over

We don’t quite know what to do

As it is like a place closer to your own dying

Is opened up.

We don’t die in order

or because of goodness or meanness

It comes to us all we just wait our turn

And then say

– yes

– And in the meantime we live and love and laugh

– 10.24.22


Prayer I

O God help

Prayer II


Prayer III

Deep cleansing Breath!

Prayer IV

Thank You



I sat in my daddy’s office one afternoon waiting for a ride home.

The large window that went to the high office ceiling

Let in light and a wonderful view of the edge of the Oval and the campus.

In the fall, because of the trees it was breath-taking with the brightness of the Fall Color carrying trees.

This was spring and there was trouble on the campus I put away any hippie clothes and dressed as conservative as I could so not to gain attention by the national guard.

Classes were weird with lots of crying from the tear gas. One professor said don’t come to class I will pass all of you this is not going to end well.

Be careful kids, please

The day before when the teargas started and the National guard was marching across the Oval to the side where I was walking. I walked into Orton hall that had a beautiful arched big front door. I stood there with about 15 others watching the encounter unfold. The Guard would send the tear gas canisters over. The Rioters would pick them up and lob them back. One came very close to the door and filled the hallway with teargas. We all reached for water bottles to rinse our eyes. Wait! Wait! Someone yelled Make sure it isn’t Pepper Gas. It wasn’t

The next thing I knew was a young man standing next to me had put his arm around me and my arm was around him and we leaned into each other. I didn’t know his name but in that moment we were present for each other. I don’t remember looking at him in the eye or acknowledge the 20 minutes we stood there together. I do remember the comfort I felt.

My Daddy, a professor, was having trouble understanding what I was seeing when I walked across campus. I was in his office one afternoon, waiting for a ride home, (I know I repeat the first line)

Daddy came in and said “What is going on. I don’t get it.” At that moment we both looked up and saw five guys running full out around the corner of the Library. On their heels were 15 Guardsmen and one fired a tear gas canister toward the runners but it went astray and came right at the open Office Window. Daddy said “Now!” We both ran out the door and closed it behind us. The office filled up with teargas. We drove home.

Later that day Kent State happened. Students died. Random students outside the periphery of the protesters. It didn’t end well did it?


bobbie giltz mcgarey

My plan is Brilliant!

So declared my 4 year old Grandson after he shared an elaborate plan on how to rearrange the furniture in the house. We were on the way into school. Later at school he said he knew everything. The teacher asked if he knew how big the biggest pumpkin ? . His reply, Yes! SO Big!

Would that we all could have the same assurance as he does. Would that all children have the same self assurance. Would that teenagers could learn to trust themselves. Would that everyone find a way to accept their feelings.

Would that we all had friends that stood beside us to walk along with us when we weren’t sure. May you know you don’t walk alone.

God Abide

Bobbie giltz mcgarey october 2022. Easton PA


Remember the Good Times

We have had a wonderful time on our 50th anniversary honeymoon. We’ve stayed at the Abiquiu Inn. This is where Georgia O’Keffe had her winter home and studio. We didn’t get to go on the home tour but we did go into the little museum that is here.

The food at the Cafe in the Inn has been really wonderful. Their soups, their entrees all of the food we ate was wonderful, fresh, tasty, original–just dang good.

It won’t be easy leaving here in the morning. In Santa Fe will will meet with my nephew Christopher and his Daughter Says. Saya is a freshman in college at Western Washington. Her folks Christopher and Shuzika and brother live in Japan. So she is going to be away from home. Her grandparents though are in Ft. Worth so there is some folk on this side of the Pacific. I told her if she needed me I’d hop on a plane and come.

Tomorrow is also day two of the Indian Art festival in Santa Fe where all the tribes and the jewelry makers will be there selling their wonderful craft. O I think I’m going on overload thinking about it. There will be a crowd of people but it will be outside. I’m keeping my mask handy if it gets really close. I will try and figure out how to get some of my photos on here so you can see what I get.

John and I have also tried to outline what we want to write about in our Memory book of all the years we’ve been together. We’ve had fun things to talk about because we have written down prompts. There are stories we remember and others we will try and forget.

Willie Nelson sings Remember the Good Times

Remember the good times 
They’re smaller in number 
And easier to recall
Don’t spend too much time 
On the bad times
They’re staggering in number 
And will be heavy 
As lead on your mind

Don’t waste a moment unhappy 
Invaluable moments gone 
With the leakage of time
As we leave on 
Our own separate journeys
Moving west with the sun 
To a place buried deep 
Within our minds

Remember the good times 
They’re smaller in number 
And easier to recall
Don’t spend too much time 
On the bad times
They’re staggering in number 
And will be heavy 
As lead on your mind

God Abides

Bobbie Giltz McGarey

@2022 Abiquiu, NM