You are RE-invited to drop into my blog and graze at your leisure anytime—hopefully regularly. I don’t post every day, but quite often, sharing excerpts from my writings in progress. Lately I’ve been posting selections from another of my books-in-progress: SINGING ON THE SUMMIT, Finishing Up with a Flourish. It is the 4th book (??) in my autobiographical TRILOGY. There must be some term to designate a fourth book in a series !? A recent post is below. I hope you will catch up on some of my previous encouraging goodies now stored in the Archives. Comments from my viewers are always welcome at my email address:

Leona a.k.a. “SAL”

It’s short for SALmon!

I don’t remember how it started, but in writing to friends for the past year I have been
signing “Sal” as my informal signature. I refer to myself as “God’s SALmon still swimming/leaping upstream in life, only somewhat more slowly due to chronological factors.” The main factor is my current age of 87.

A little background on the salmon analogy first.

Alaska salmon have a most interesting life. One that takes them from the rivers
and streams of Alaska’s wild frontier an incredibly long distance to the high seas
of the Pacific Ocean—and back again. In fact, right back to the very place they
were born. They find their way from the immensity of the ocean by their amazing
created instinct from God. Salmon swim from fresh water to salt water and back


Hatched from small eggs in a stream bed, their journey downstream towards the
ocean takes a couple of years. After that, they head out to the salty ocean for up
to 4 more years. They swim and feed more than 2000 miles throughout the northern
Pacific Ocean. Their journey is hazardous at every point as they are constantly hunted
by seals, whales, and fishermen.

When fully mature, the adult salmon will swim back to their original stream or river
re-adapting to fresh water. Downstream was relatively easy; returning upstream
dangerous and requiring great strength and risk. They swim against the strong current
through rugged rivers to leap up miles of rapids and rocky waterfalls, traversing fish
ladders, avoiding nets and hooks of fishermen, and staying clear of fierce and hungry

Those that survive and finally reach their natal stream breed and lay their eggs. Their life
cycle is complete. After spawning they generally die in a week or two, fertilizing the
stream and creating a nutrient-rich environment for the new infant salmon about to hatch.

An analogy to myself?

Like the salmon, I too have been on a long adventurous life journey of many
decades various geographical scenarios and under challenging conditions both
physical and spiritual.

Obstacles and hazards and adversities have been overcome or have passed
or I am accepting and managing them with the help and strength of our loving
God. I hope I have matured in wisdom while I have been weathered by the
different seasons of life and shifting circumstances. At times I felt that the
change from life’s fresh waters to salty waters was impossible to endure. But one adapts. And God brings me back to refresh me with abundant fresh-water-blessings.

Violent bear and whale attacks both material and spiritual have been frequent
in my life. The hooks of the enemy often came too close. The battles have been
fierce but not terminal—some wounds and scars remain. It seems that I’ve often had to swim against the current; at times also in deep waters and stormy seas. The distances to accomplish the goals of my life which I’ve felt the Lord gave me often seemed daunting. Sometimes I have lost my direction in the vast ocean of life. Time and again God helped me readjust my compass to align with His will and sent me on my way once more to the destination He planned.


At times I’ve been exhausted, worn and weary by the length of the life’s lonely
journey. Retirement beckoned invitingly. Why not stay in the perceived shelter
of the familiar ocean and drift with the tide to some easier Finish Line? Swimming upstream and leaping rapids is just too difficult anymore. That’s meant for the young. Been there, done that.


Nevertheless, the vision and destiny which God planted in my heart from my
youth, like the inborn instinct of the tiny salmon hatchlings, impelled me to
first head downstream into the thick of ocean life in my prime years, and then
in maturity to struggle upstream again. “I press on [keep leaping upstream] in
order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ
Jesus.” And I press on [keep leaping upstream] toward the goal for the prize of
the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4: 12,14).


As long as God generously provides for me His life and breath and strength
and opportunities through my spoken or written or published words, I will
keep leaping the rapids. In these days of my advanced maturity I want to be faithful wherever and however and whenever I can to reproduce the Christ-life in others.

That is my calling. And God’s calling has no expiration date—it is for a lifetime.
There is no retirement program if one’s focus is to do the will of God “on earth
as it is in heaven.” Continuing to serve God is not a burden. It’s a joyous upstream adventure all the way!


By signing “Sal” I guess I remind myself of the Lord’s continuous upward call on my life—without respect to my chronological age.