Shining Piles of Christmas Gifts

December 15, 2014

Photos of Christmas Day 2014

December 29, 2014

Two Women

December 22, 2014

In my last post, I wrote about shining piles of Christmas gifts. I have been given so many gifts in my lifetime, and one of the most highly-treasured is friendship. My dear friend Naomi Newman is the author of the following post.


Some of the most wonderful things about life are the surprises that come out of nowhere and enrich us.

In 2013, I needed a nursing assistant to take my parents to Wisconsin and their new care home near my brother and his large family. A friend of a friend suggested Luci. They knew of her and gave me her name. I called her, we made arrangements, and off she flew to Scottsdale, Arizona, for a short trip to escort my parents.

So I, Naomi, pick up Luci at Sky Harbor. I look for Mennonite garb. She looks for a “bleached” blond. (Little does she realize foiling costs the earth.)

We took a day trip to the Grand Canyon where she opined the Canyon proved the Great Flood and scared the heck out of me wearing her long Mennonite dress in hiking areas.

Lucinda J Miller on the edge of the Grand Canyon

I am not sure two US citizens could be more different.

She does not vote.
I am a political junkie.
She is deeply religious.
I am almost anti-religious except for very liberal groups.
She dresses as a modest Mennonite.
I dress like a modest non Mennonite.
I revere science.
She reveres the Bible.

But then…

We both love books. She is a talented writer and has a book she is working on. I am impressed. Very impressed.

We think family comes first.

We love discussions.

Maybe I need a daughter and maybe she needs a grandmother. We both need a friend.

Wait a minute here. Is it true that we nice, decent, hardworking, family-and-friend-loving people are far more alike than different?

First we work on her book. I am not an editor but I try.

Then we share things. More me to her than vice versa. She often makes me stop and think in ways I usually don’t. She is kind and understanding and she has taught me much about forgiveness. Not that I was an obnoxious person–oh no!–but maybe not as kind as I should be. From my “good works” I think she learned that goodness is universal. It’s not just Christians.

Although we have very different points of view we get along just fine.

We have developed a deep mutual respect.

We could teach the world a thing or two.

Flowers at the Grand Canyon


Naomi Newman with Charlie


Naomi Newman is a retired librarian who writes from Scottsdale, Arizona. An independent thinker and wide reader from a young age, she jokes that her goal is to know everything there is to know before she dies. She and her husband Dave are proud parents of Greg and grandparents of Charlie (pictured with Naomi at left).


  1. Mutual respect is always a good start for any relationship. It is hard to be friends with a person who belittles you if you have a different perspective or disagree.

  2. Though I’ve never met you, Naomi, I know you to be kind. You are kind to help Luci in her writing projects and I am blessed in the interest you take in it. From my perspective you have talent in the field of editing. You must be cut out to be a good grandma and also an editor!

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