Zen and the Art of Hospital Corners

Hospital corners! I love them. My grandmother taught me and every morning when I make my bed, I think back to my visits when I tagged alongside as she “did her doins'”, straightening the house before we left for the day.

Hospital corners and bed making go beyond sentimental memory. Making my bed each morning begins the day with order. The bed, at least, is in my control. I can have my day planned, but the Yiddish truism Mentsch tracht un Gott lacht*  is a truism because plans come undone. To-do lists are left behind, a phone call from the lab or a friend can upend our world.

But my bed? I’ve got that covered. Yes, it’s rote. Yes, it often feels like a monotonous chore instead of an act of the spirit.  Sometimes I rebel and stow our second blanket in the cabinet without folding it first. Yet I have come to welcome this daily anchor to the morning. This small  unceasing task of making the bed makes me. Makes me calmer, prepped for the day, aware of the blessing of a bed and a loving husband beside me each night. Making my bed is a small act of loyalty, gratitude and pleasure.  For me, making the bed really does matter.

What morning ritual anchors you for the day?


* Man plans and God laughs.


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What Is Your Super Power?

We all have one—that gift that makes us who we are. That strength that can unsettle the adults in charge, inclining them to dismiss or downright deride what should be celebrated and encouraged. The superpower figure balancing on the pomegranate is a gift from our four-year-old granddaughter. She put Violet in my husband’s hand as we were saying goodbye. “Here,” Olivia said. “Keep my power girl and you won’t be sad.” Olivia’s compassion is definitely one of her superpowers, modeled and celebrated by her parents and grandparents among others.

So, what is your super power? How have you held on to it? How do you share it?

PS If you’re wondering why Violet is perched on a pomegranate, I just liked the idea of her being powered up by a female symbol of inner bounty and beauty.

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Today’s Rorschach Test

Does this license plate say Heaven help us? Or Heaven helps?

I read it as the former; my husband, the latter. I burst out laughing when I realized how differently we interpreted this vanity plate. I suppose it’s that divergence that keeps things lively between us. That and giving one another license to be ourselves.

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