Life, memoir


I like fruit, how about you? 🤔

For me ripening raspberries means summer and life. I have a lot of memories tied to raspberries and promises of better days ahead.

I talk a lot about death and grief in many of my posts across social media but also healing and finding your best life after the pain.

⏩ Although we will always carry some of the pain with us…

There is death and it matters but there is also rebirth and life.

Ask me how I know. 😉

⏩ I am the author of – 𝘾𝙤𝙬𝙗𝙤𝙮𝙨 𝘼𝙧𝙚 𝙉𝙤𝙩 𝙎𝙪𝙥𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝘾𝙧𝙮. I have walked through my own valley of the shadow of death.

If you need more and are struggling with overcoming grief and pain from a loss let me know. It takes courage to reach out and I offer the following those who are hurting.

👊 Grief coaching for men.
🙁 Helping men find their best 𝙇𝙞𝙛𝙚 𝘼𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧

Shoot me a message via my contact page and we can schedule a call to see if we are a good fit and I can help.

God bless! And saddle up, the adventure of your life after pain and grief awaits. 👊

Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes.
Adventure, Life, Photograph

What does “HOT” smell like?

It’s summer time and daytime temperatures are soaring, so let’s talk about the heat. Not in the usual way of how it makes us feel, whether we like it or not but how does it smell?

What does “HOT” smell like? #WickedQuestions #JustWondering #UseYourNose

For me growing up in Southwestern Idaho and in the country these are a few things that when I smell them I know it is “HOT“!

  • Hay bales stacked up over your head
  • Old worn leather of bridles, saddles and boots
  • Dry dusty earth where little clouds of dust poof from every step you take

What about you, what does “HOT” smell like?

Animals, Art, Photograph, Poetry

A Duck on a Hot Asphalt Lake

A Duck_Hot Asphalt LakeI see a duck on a hot asphalt lake

His story moves in the shimmering heat

As summertime visions dance in my head

Songlines hum up from the pavement at my feet

The poor little duck lifts his scorched webbed toes

He’s lost in a world he never thought he’d meet

Looking for a way out he sees only endless horizon

So tired he wishes to rest but dares not take a seat

The searing glow from the cement burns to the skin

Wondering why he ventured feeling the defeat

Something remembered comes and moves upon his back

Outstretched his wings extend and against the air begin to beat

Oh my, oh my, there is escape and into the sky he climbs

Thankful for wings in blessed flight he finds relief

~Mark Schutter ©2014

(I took the above picture a while back while walking during my lunch hour.  I came across this duck alone walking across a vacant parking lot.  Seemed strange and he seemed lost, so I quickly snapped a picture with my phone.  With the temperatures here in the Pacific Northwest being unseasonably hot for only mid July, everyone is thinking and talking about the heat.  The phrase ‘A Duck on a Hot Asphalt Lake’ came to me, a play on ‘A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof‘.  I found the picture on my phone edited using PicMonkey and then quickly wrote this little poem.  Tongue in cheek and whimsical, but we are all looking for some relief from the heat.  Hope you enjoy!  Have a good one!  Thanks, ~M)

Art, Photograph, Poetry

Summers Last Gasp

October Colorsummers last gasp
a shot fired into the gray
as autumn covers the land
and the seasons change
blooming in the midst
a flower of singular beauty
struggles against the cold
shining forth its glory
yellow shafts of sunlight
send echos into the night
for tho winter approaches
spring is never far away

~Mark ©2013

Adventure, Art, God, Photograph, Poetry, Writing

Rainfall Strains – Autumns Refrain

the rainfall strains of the day remains
gray cloudy skies
hide the sun
and last goodbyes
the autumns refrain of the coming pains
summer’s gone away
on the wind
songs of yesterday
the remembered chains of hope will reign

~Mark Schutter ©2013

First Day of Fall - 2013 (This picture was taken out the window of my studio, of a gray rainy day in the Pacific Northwest and lightly edited using PicMonkey. Typical especially for the first day of fall and a little reminder of things yet to come.  But let the poem and photo be a reminder to cling to hope even in the gray and ‘just believe’ for in the end ‘love wins!’~M)

Adventure, Art, God, Poetry, Writing

The Fires of Spring

art transcends through seasons of change

for your eyes, heart and soul

the fires of spring

the drums of summer

the death of fall

the stars of winter

shining a light into the dark

of humanities heart

under a dark sky of forgotten lullaby’s

art captures hearts unaware

for our eyes, heart and soul

fires warm the coldest places

drums beat a cadence of love

death brings new beginnings

stars silently pierce the night

always shining a light into the dark

art is the beckoning beauty

a shot of hope into the black

a small spark of light

a promise of grace and mercy

a voice that speaks of love

sustaining hearts with visions

art for your eyes, heart and soul in

the fires of spring

the drums of summer

the death of fall

the stars of winter

may art always shine a light into the dark

Mark Schutter ©2013

The poetry above was written for #FWF Free Write Friday: Pick a Title from the title prompts posted at Kellie Elmore’s official site. Free Writing is using what is called stream of consciousness writing, no editing, no proofing just writing! Click on the Free Write Friday Image for more information. Post your submission with a comment and link to your blog on Kellie’s blog, post on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ or anywhere with the hashtag #FWF,  and join the fun!

Adventure, Art, God, Photograph, Poetry, Writing

The Summer Solstice

the summer solstice disturbs my soul
raining sunshine from dawn to dusk
even hidden behind the cloak of clouds
his great light continues to shine
the clouds may hide his brutal glow
beyond the sky he patiently waits
for only a crack will then reveal
his glory shattering the rain and gray
yearning for his heat that burns
a searing of the memories past
upon the wind are now remembered
for nowhere else do the dreams lie
skin becomes torched and dry
days drag on into lazy nights
the stifling of the stagnant air
relief only in the moments before morn
rising high he oversees his realm
glaring down with a fired intensity
stumbling forward we find the way
to a spot deeply hidden in shade
the days grow shorter now moving on
wishing for the cooler times
careful that the wishes come true
fall and winter are coming fast
enjoy the moments accept the flame
times will come wishing for sun
he reigns supreme over us all
love the summer before its gone
 ~M ©2013

The FWF prompt this week is the Summer Solstice, the image above  and the following quote;

Then followed that beautiful season…Summer.  Filled the air with dreamy and magical light; and the landscape lay as if new created in all freshness of childhood.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Free writing is what is called stream of consciousness writing, no editing, no proofing just writing! Please check out Kellie Elmore’s official site for more information. Post your submission with a comment and link to your blog on Kellie’s blog, post on twitter with the hashtag #FWF, Facebook; join the fun!

Adventure, Writing

Ice Cream Melts

The sun’s rays still beat down hot as the afternoon slowly faded to evening.  A breeze blew off the water as we stepped outside on the sidewalk, leaving behind the coolness of the air-conditioned store.  The light and heat were startling after the dark cool of the little shop.  Tightly clenched in each of our hands were beige colored cones filled with hard ice cream, the old-fashioned way.  No frozen yogurt for us, no sir!

The sweetness of the chocolate slid coolly down my throat as I licked the delicious frozen treat.  The street was quiet and you could hear the crashing of the waves on the distant shore the other side of the jetty.  All life’s troubles and cares seemed to fade away with each and every lick of ice cream.  I stood simply enjoying the moment a seeming perfect end to a great day at the beach.

I brought the cone to my mouth for another sumptuous taste as the ice cream was quickly beginning to melt under the hot sun.  A small drop splashed on my thumb and I jerked a little.  Tilting my hand to lick it off, the softening mound of velvety chocolate ice cream slowly rolled off the cone splashing onto my wrist before rolling down the inside of my forearm leaving behind a stream of light brown.

I watched in horror as this misshapen ball of ice cream now tittered on the edge.  I froze everything happening in super slow motion as it hung there for a second as if suspended by an invisible string before gravity took hold.  Still in slow motion I watched as it fell through the air until colliding with the unforgiving concrete of the sidewalk and splatting in all directions.

Standing silently still I watched as the ice cream slowly began to melt into an ever-widening chocolate pool.  I continued to stand and stare with wide eyes as my family had begun to walk away down the sidewalk.  I could neither shout nor cry as I was lost in this moment when all that was important in my young life had seemingly and so easily slipped away from me.

It was then that I heard the gulls and their mocking cries.  Laughing at my loss and anticipating their possible good fortune once I had moved on.  I raised my head and finally taking a step to walk away I heard the music coming from inside the ice cream shop.  It stopped me as I heard the lyrics being sung over the sound of the gulls, “Oh yea, they say life goes on’ long after the thrill of living is gone.”  As I walked away I thought to myself ‘I don’t get it.’

The above was written for Free Write Friday from the lyrical prompt  “Oh yea, they say ‘life goes on’ long after the thrill of living is gone”, using what is called stream of consciousness writing, no editing, no proofing just writing! Please check out Kellie Elmore’s official site or click on the Free Write Friday Image for more information. 

Post your submission with a comment and link to your blog on Kellie’s blog, post on twitter with the hashtag #FWF, Facebook and join the fun!

Adventure, Animals, Photograph

Summer Memories – A Dog Named Chase

Photos from our August trip to the Southwest Washington Fair in Chehalis, Washington.  A fun day with friends, the kids loved the carnival rides and it felt like we walked for miles.  Day was a little cloudy, cool and even light rain at times, but also sun and a gorgeous evening.  A good old fashioned fair is such a treat to escape from the hassles and stresses of everyday life.  The day ended with all the kids playing some games, you know those ones that are rigged and  you spend $10 and walk away with a 3 inch little stuffed animal.  Well it is hard to deny 4 young kids all under 8 years old, so let the competition begin.

The pictures show the game where you shoot water into the hole to blow up the balloon and the first one to pop their balloon wins.  As luck would have it when my daughter wanted to play I said okay and the lady said “that’s $3 dollars”  I immediately thought well here goes $3 down the drain.  But my little lovely blonde haired daughter confidently took her seat grabbing the handles and aiming at the bulls-eye.  More fair goers had sat down all around the game adding to the competitive atmosphere.  The buzzer went off and water was shooting everywhere and I noticed my little girl was not hitting the bulls-eye.  She was about 6 inches below and to the right of the target, but she quickly corrected and the balloon begin to fill.

 After about 10 seconds I glanced around the booth at the other players and their balloons and realized that my little girls balloon was as big as any of the others.  Her mother and I began to cheer enthusiastically.  Suddenly her balloon exploded in a bang and bells went off, we have a winner.  Our little Muppin had come out on top.  She did not realize that she had won!  We had to explain to her that she got to pick out a prize and because of the number of players she was able to choose from the largest stuffed animals.  At first nothing seemed to call to her and she looked around undecided at the alligators, pigs, ducks and even an alien.  But then her eyes lit on this large creme colored dog with a brown nose and ears and all else faded from her view.

 As the attendant got the dog down from its spot hanging on the edge of the booth our little girls eyes danced with joy.  This dog was almost as big as her and she quickly christened him with the name Chase, not bad for $3 dollars.  We had a great day with friends and will cherish the memories, especially every time we see Chase sitting at the end of our little girls bed!