I'm glad I didn't hear it until after last week's shoulder replacement surgery.

The student nurse told me, "I've seen just about every kind of surgery there is. Except for the one I don't ever want to see." Turns out it's the very kind of operation I just had!

I asked why. I will not soon forget her answer. "Because power tools belong in the workshop, not the operating room!"

    So all eyes are on Korea. And for once, it's not about missiles and nukes.

    It's all about some of the world's greatest athletes, converging on Korea for the Winter Olympics. If you happen to be an Olympic junkie, there's great news - you can watch 176 hours of the games on TV! And Olympic stars like Lindsey Vonn. Shaun White. Nathan Chen.

    For me, the Winter Olympics bring back memories of a teenage gal my wife and I worked with in our youth ministry years ago. She was especially memorable because of her relentless dedication to figure skating.

      I haven't heard the song for years. But recently the chorus keeps playing in my head.

      "We go on hurting each other."

      It was a huge '70s hit for The Carpenters. But lately it seems it could be our national theme song.

      Cyber-bullying so brutal it's driving teenagers to suicide. Heartless cruelty at school and on social media. "Me Too" victims, scarred and shamed by sexual harassment and abuse by exploitive men. Political vitriol and horrific crimes that suggest the evening news should be "R" rated.

        This is crazy. Suddenly I'm all excited about a plant.

        I can't remember ever taking care of a plant in my life. That was always my wife's department. But this Christmas I actually ordered a special plant, and it's getting my special care.

        Because of what it represents to me about Christmas. And about the "long winter" that began the day the love of my life was suddenly gone.

          Every year, about this time, Linus comes marching on stage with his trusty blanket. And he uses a passage from the Bible to help poor ol' Charlie Brown understand "what Christmas is really all about."

          ..."And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in the manger."

          Until recently, I had no idea how loaded those words were.

            "Avalanche." "Tsunami." "A cultural watershed moment." "A day of reckoning."

            Those are just some of the words being used to describe the relentless accusations of sexual misconduct by powerful men. The quake is shaking cultural epicenters of this country from Hollywood to corporate boardrooms to state capitals to the halls of Congress. And most observers believe this is only the beginning.

              My wife couldn't read faraway signs when she was driving. That was my job. I'm farsighted. She was nearsighted. Until we went driving on a long trip. Suddenly she was reading everything. And noticing scenic details she'd missed before.

              She'd just had Lasik surgery! Suddenly she was seeing things she'd never seen before.

              That's what thanksgiving does - helps you see things you may have never seen before - or you need to see again. Not thanksgiving, the holiday. Thanksgiving, the lifestyle. Thanksliving, I call it.

                For as long as I can remember, they've been talking about the "Big One." That mega earthquake that could bring down much that stands in California.

                A "Big One" hit a few days ago. It didn't show up on seismographs, but it rocked Hollywood. And its aftershocks continue to reverberate across the entertainment, political and business landscape.

                  My shoulder "exploded." My rotator cuff decided to pay me back for the hundreds of times I've run through airports around the world with luggage on my shoulders.

                  The surgeon said it was "totally ripped." At first, I thought he said I was totally ripped, and I was thrilled. But then I remember what I see in the mirror each morning. Back to brutal reality.

                    The conversation – like a lot of conversations this past week – had turned to the unprecedented weather news. I was at physical therapy as part of my recovery from shoulder surgery.

                    Someone brought up Hurricane Irma – one of the strongest hurricanes in recorded history. With another Category 4 storm following her across the Atlantic. Just days after Hurricane Harvey, another historic storm, which dumped the largest rainfall from a single event ever in this country. Not to mention the biggest earthquake in Mexico’s history – that story had just hit the news.

                                  

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