Day 304- Footnotes of kids, candy and noseeum

Tonight was the first of two adventures. It started out with my feeling apprehensive about the fact that I did not decorate my car while everyone else did. Several did a really amazing job of showing that Halloween feeling. While I sat there, with a naked table and vehicle. But I was in costume.

 I chose to dress in camouflage. First, because I had everything I needed but the face covering. I remembered that my brother had one so I called my sister-in-law to see if she still had it. Her grandson did, and he happily let me borrow it. Two, my camo was of a size and design, that I could layer well for the cooler temperatures.

Even in costume, I felt as if I had let the kids down.The couple setting up on the left of me went all out. Their table and suv brought Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin to life. Complete with the pumpkin patch, ghosts and snoopy and his doghouse. The family on the right of me, went all Chic-fil-a. Their drive through for candy a really big hit even without nuggets of coupons. I muttered a comment about my vehicle was ultimate minimalism. To another, I said my vehicle was so well camouflaged you couldn’t see the decorations. I was told not to worry, I was told I was fine, still that little, annoying, voice kept whispering and I felt bad. I could not shake that feeling of having let the kids down.

I was wrong. I’m glad I was wrong. I really should have known better. I forgot, I was dealing with kids and candy. Still, I was not expecting what happened. 

We had taken all the precautions we could. Those giving out candy had to wear a mask and gloves. A table was put between the vehicle and the kids. The vehicles were parked so there was an empty space on either side. We were ready.When the first kids came down the line, yes they noticed Snoopy and cheered the Chic-fil-a cow, but it was my costume that caught their attention.  I was asked if I were hunting deer, I said no, I was hunting for trunk or treaters to give candy. I was called a walking tree several times. The funniest actions,, and the ones that happened most often were those who acted as if my costume left me invisible. Several of the slightly older kids asked how the candy was floating in the air and to their bags all on its own. Several walked up and looked around, asking heir kids if they could see who was giving out the candy because they couldn’t. Within moments, every last bit of my concern was swept away by the pure, joy and laughter of the kids, their family, and the evening.

I loved watching the families who dressed similarly. I was a little surprised that the costume I saw the most was The Scream, mixed in with minion, police, princesses and everything from a to b. Each one politely requesting their candy and walking away with a thank you.

 And that full moon? Was incredible. I’m tired, but so very happy. The kids, while they enjoyed the decorated vehicles, didn’t care that mine wasn’t. There was no judgement in those young ones, only a quest for candy and adults telling them they love their costume. I can barely wait for tomorrow and doing it all over again. And yes, I will wear the noseeum costume yet again.

This one was for you my brother, I do love and miss you, but Heaven was ready for your arrival.
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October Thirtieth- Prepare for the fun

Morning has arrived. The sun is bright, the temperature not as warm but still not cold and there are plans for the day.

Covic-19 has made a real mess of a lot of things. We all know the list, people kept apart, jobs lost, businesses closed. On and on it goes. We are months into this pandemic and people are growing weary. The youngest are suffering, even as they try to understand. This weekend, has to be for them- in a careful manner. 

I agreed weeks ago to participate in a Trunk or Treat. We will line our vehicles up and hand out candy to the kids. It is an event sponsored by the church. Yesterday we got a reminder that all who participate will need to wear a mask and gloves. A table will be placed at the back of the vehicles to add distance between the kids and the giver of the candy. 

As hard as this has been on the adults, trying to find ways to get through this, we have resources our children do not. They depend on us to help them navigate their way through.

We understand virtual meetings and remote working. They miss their friends and the social lessons they have been learning. We can get out and enjoy a bike ride, a hike, family events, but they miss the mass gatherings in school with friends. They miss the pep rallies, the sporting events, the dances. We as adults have learned how to accept the restrictions and move forward, they still struggle.

 Tonight, I will add my vehicle to the line up, I will be prepared as instructed, I will try, to help the kids forget just for a while, what this year has been. 

All the while, I will be thinking of how this event has changed over the years. I remember as a child carrying a bag and going door to door, filling up one bag and then going back for more. When my son came along and was ready for this event, it had gotten dangerous. People were putting things like needles or razor blades into the offerings. Hospitals set up areas where candy could be scanned. Any candy not wrapped well was discarded. Small towns and shopping malls stood up and held Trick or Treat events allowing the kids to come to their stores for candy. It was safer, the kids still were able to play, however it was not the same. But they didn’t know that.As time passed, churches and groups began to hold ‘fall festivals’ where the kids could come in costume, play games and earn candy prizes. Many even had hot dogs or walking nachos or some other easy food and drink to go along with the fun.

Now, we have a pandemic that has taken so much and threatens more. Our kids are suffering. I’m so glad that we will be doing this, even altered, for the kids. And for the kids at heart. Excuse me, I need to go get my costume together..its going to be a fun evening, I know it in my heart.

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Day 303- Footnotes of a, what the heck was that day

 Its raining again. It had stopped for a while, had even turned into a gorgeous day, but now, its raining.  Hard.

Concerned because of how many leaves the earlier rain and winds knocked down, I went out to check the drain pipe that runs under the house. I needed to make sure it was clear. This room flooded once because of that pipe, I didn’t need that happening again.

So out I go into the night, dark but for the porch lights that don’t shine on that drain. I took my only big flashlight with me. I’ve had it a while. Its a really nice flashlight, long and with just enough weight should I ever need something to swing. But, I have had it a while and its gotten lazy and cantankerous. It comes on with the push of the button, but if you dare to hold it in any angle that it doesn’t like, it goes out. I haven’t found an angle yet that it likes well enough to stay on the entire time I’m in need of its light.

But in the pouring rain, I managed to clear the pipe. I made sure the trench in front of the porch is clear, and the bricks that divert the water that flows down the yard away from the house, are stacked as needed.  Coming back inside, I was fairly well drenched. 

I have to admit, I am tired. We started the day with pouring rain and high winds. We went without power for several hours. One of my dogs spent the time terrified while if the other could talk, I’m sure would have told her to shut up and sit down. When the rain stopped and the winds eased, I thought I would try to do some walking. Remember, its October twenty-ninth, only two days left of the month. It was eight-two degrees out there. We’re not Florida. I had windows open. But to be honest, I was in seventh heaven. It felt amazing.

My yard though. If you could see my yard. Not only is it ankle deep in leaves, but it is covered in hundreds of various size limbs that were ripped from the trees. Once this mess dries out, I have a job ahead of me.  Didn’t I just do all this back in March?

 The thing is, change, growth, is a continuing thing. We work hard, we think we have it covered, but then we realize that there is always something more to learn. We pick up behind ourselves, trying to keep a neat and tidy life, but then life throws a mud ball and here we go again.

I commented to my son, if we only had a dollar for every leaf that has and will fall into the yard. I would have no concerns over where to find a job. My writing would be funded and then some. He might could even get that Ferrari he keeps talking about. Yes, I have that many trees.

But right now, after the weirdness of the day, I’m looking at those leaves, and all those raindrops, like blessings. I know people had trees come down on their home. I know more people than us had power loss, some that still don’t have electricity.

Through it all, I’m realizing just how blessed I am. I may be out of work and trying to make a decision. (I’d really like to work on the manuscript but that doesn’t buy groceries) I know, that I have been gifted with much. Even on the loneliest nights, I know that everything will be okay in the end. God has a plan. What I will find along the journey, the adventure and fun, will override all the sadness. The joy hiding it away, just as that blanket of leaves hide the bare ground of my yard.

 It was a weird day, one where I faced my fear of high winds. One where I managed to calm a terrified dog. One where I was smart enough to have coffee made before the power went out. I even managed to get some research done for the manuscript.

What the heck was that day? That…was a good day.

Molly watching the trees blow in the wind
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October Twenty-ninth; Zeta’s remains, wind and raining down everything from water to trees

 I heard it the moment I awoke. That undeniable sound of rain. A sound that would have been comforting and lulled me back to sleep but for one thing. The wind. I could hear the sound that haunts me in my nightmares. Strong wind through tall Oak trees. The fears that I can’t deny, shoving me from the bed and into action.

Normally when I get up in the morning, I drag about, taking my time doing any thing and everything. Not having a set schedule has created a bit of a monster. I have not spent an entire day in pajamas, but it has been well up in the day before I changed.

Not today, today the storm had me moving like I haven’t done in months. I was up, dressed and had coffee on in minutes. I managed with effort to get my dogs to go outside. I have a covered porch, the yard is fenced, they are safe out there but the falling rain being blown onto the porch made them less than happy. I prepared my breakfast and even managed to get it eaten before mom called.

Right in the middle of her telling me something, the world went dark and quiet. Except for the wind.A check with the power company’s web site showed a map of the outage and told they had no idea at the moment when it would be restored. I prepared for a long stretch of wind watching through the windows. 

When it quickly became obvious that my dogs were very unhappy and Molly terrified, I let them back inside. Bella settled comfortably and went to sleep. Molly paced, Molly tried to hide under my desk. Molly sat staring through the storm door, growling and barking at the wind. Repeatedly trying to leave this room and find somewhere in another part of the house to hide.

 As I sat here, unable to add to my manuscript, I decided to start looking up information I want to add, in the hopes it is a valuable contribution to the sections. All the while, I am alternating between watching the wind, listening to what was falling onto the roof and having flashbacks to 1989 and Hurricane Hugo. While this far inland the strength of that storm was not as it was when it first came inland, it was still deadly. My son was eight months old. I paced a dark house all night listening to the maniacal sounding winds, howling around the house. The sound of trees falling, but not knowing where in the dark. I wore a path in the carpet going from the front door to my son’s bedroom. Morning’s light showed thirteen trees down all around the house. Three were lodged in other trees, the only thing keeping them from striking the house. Thank you God, for protection.

 As I sat here this morning, watching, listening, trying to calm a terrified dog, I tried to calm my own fears. I opened one of my books and began to take notes. The distraction helped. The fact I had coffee in a thermos, helped. As time has passed, seeing the time lengthening between wind gusts has helped. I know it isn’t over, but its better. I’m better.As I thought of Hugo and how we were protected, I felt more calm. As I searched and read through Bible verses, my fears eased. When my fears were reaching a heightened level, my son came in for lunch, even though I had sent him a message telling him there was no power. His presence helped.

A distraction from outside forces. A chance to ponder on what was going on. Power outages, hurricanes, earthquakes, riots, pandemic, all can distract us from our peace. All can send up into a place of fear. All can stop or at least delay our actions. Fear can if allowed, have us hiding inside, doors locked and shades drawn, while we tremble and hope for better. Hugo was thirty-one years ago. It caused a lot of destruction, power was out in places for weeks. But it was thirty-one years ago. A lot of the mistakes in my life that I allow to haunt me, were longer ago than that. I have been my own worst enemy. Its time for that to stop.

“As far as the east is from the west; So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12

“I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 8:12

Since the Lord forgives me, who am I, to not accept that and forgive myself?
I’m sitting here now, four hours from when it went off, the power restored, the winds much less than what they were, and the sun is shining through the breaks in the clouds. I am sitting here, understanding once more, that interruptions in our plans have purpose. I had time, to consider what has been bothering me for a very long time. I can take that guilt that I have clung to, and toss it into the wind to be blown away. As my Lord has done for my transgressions.

Verses from the New King James version of the Bible.
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Day302- Footnotes of Progress and Warnings…in the Writer’s Zone

   Yep, it is definitely Autumn. It was raining when I threw the covers back on the bed this morning, and as of this writing at nearing 10p.m. the rain still falls. Zeta, is moving and bringing problems. I’ve listened to the rain falling, as well as dead limbs giving way under the strain and falling to the ground.

I’ve also taken full advantage. In a warm, dry, house, with coffee kept brewing, I grabbed a handful of hard candy and made myself comfortable at my desk. Exiting social media, I entered the writer’s zone.

Scanning what I had already written, changing a word or phrase here or there, I made ready for progressing forward. The topic being one I know well. Working on this, is therapeutic in many ways. It is also a challenge, because it is a subject that is not the easiest to deal with. Not traumatic, but personal. Bearing one’s soul with brutal honesty is not a walk in the park.

 As I write, even with brief interruptions to answer calls from mom, the day passes fairly quickly. I do get a good bit done on the first draft. It has somewhat changed direction in the writing even as the focus remains the same, but that isn’t unusual. Every write, can and often does, take on a life of its own. When I think its going one way, as long as I go with the thought processes and feel, it may totally shift direction to bring out different and better points, if nonfiction. If fiction I’ve had characters come to life before my eyes and tell me step by step, thought by thought what is going on. Often off in a direction I never saw coming. 

So I wrote, enjoying the excitement of something long missing. Real, thought provoking, hope to drag you in and hold you there writing. 

Then my son came in from work and I was forcefully dragged from the zone into the real world. I knew there would be no more focus on writing today. So together we watched the last of the race, we discussed events, we looked at photos of roads called The Snake and The Tail of the Dragon. Then together time done, he wandered off but quickly returned. He was trying to get in touch with a cousin. He had watched the weather report and was now worried about that brand new camper he had purchased. The weather report was warning of potential high winds and he was wanting it moved away from the trees. Finally getting in touch and making plans he asked me to help him get it hooked up so he could move it. Only his car had other plans. Thanks to the all day rain, he couldn’t keep traction. If the car was sliding, there was no way that camper was going to move up the slight hill. So it sits where it sits, and we hope and pray for the best.

Today, I spent more time dragging words out of a neglected talent, bleeding them onto a blank page than I have in a very long while. Later I will read over what was written today. Later I will decide if the words are what I was wanting, attempting to say. Today, I will be happy and excited that not only did I work on the manuscript, but shared some mind ramblings and word bleed in the morning and evening blog posts.

Writing, is addicting. One thing about it though, when you write, you read more. When you read more, you notice more. Noticing more can be very frustrating when you read things that make you want to stare dumbfounded at the page and wonder if no one proof reads what they are writing anymore. Do they really think some of those sentences make sense? Do they pay attention to make sure their description of a photo, agrees with the photo. For example, I read the description on an accident that said the truck overturned. Looking at the photo and the video, it was more than obvious that the truck was not overturned, but had in fact been rear ended. Just a little different.
*She writes deciding it would be a very good idea to proof read this blog before posting. 

Writing, has this incredible way of making things more clear. When you take the time to write it out, thoughts, actions, decisions, are easier to process and act on. 

Writing is also a great stress relief. You can do great harm on the page all in the name of creativity. Those who have made you angry, never need be the wiser.

Today, was a good day. A rainy, quiet, write the world away day. A day in the zone, the writer’s zone. I’ll take it.

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October Twenty-eight, Facing the Storms

Its the year 2020, what is new about facing storms? Not one thing. In one year we have faced a pandemic, job loss, financial loss, fires, hurricanes, killer hornets, earthquakes and that is only the tip of the iceberg that sank lifestyles as we knew them. Those deep gashes that ripped across a ship called Normal as we Know it, filled the boat with a true flood of disasters. While the band of politicians and doctors played on. As anxiety, depression, anger, confusion came flooding in, swamping the boat and threatening to break it in half, we fought on. Some laughing, comparing those around them to someone who was trying to empty the ocean with a spoon in their quest to slow the spread. Some went into a lock down mode, while all simply wanted to keep living as best as possible. The frustrations of the changes and requirements differing from place to place evident.

But we are strong, and when and if  and as, we struggle, we keep normalcy alive.

From the beginning of man till now, there have been struggles. To survive, to thrive. All along the journey through time, there have been events that have been horrific in nature. Whether they were man created or of the earth. Humanity has survived much and grown much along the way.

We think of normalcy as the things we do all the time. We get up, go to work, enjoy a concert or walk in the park. We go out to a restaurant or club to spend time with friends. To church to spend time in worship. Every day, usual, normal things.Then we have something such as a pandemic that stops everything we consider normal, cold. All one hears is, no, no, can’t, can’t, stop, don’t. It reminds one of overhearing a parent instructing  a toddler who you have to tell no, repeatedly even as they ignore and run on head first into their next exploit. But we’re not toddlers are we? 

While I will say right here, I do believe that Covid-19 is a real health issue. I will also admit that there may be some validity in the thought that it has been exploited by those in power. All across the world. Maybe. It is however real, and it does kill.

 That, however, is not the point of this write. My point is how we are facing the storms and taking care of ourselves and those around and important to us.

 Our children understand a great deal when it is carefully explained to them. On their level. They are very intuitive and will know when you are not honest or trying to hide something. Explain what is necessary but don’t go beyond the necessary. Yes, people do die, but frightening a child is not necessary. To tell them without precautions people may be very ill. That is why they can’t hug everyone they see, that is why toys are limited in nursery, that is why, people are not getting as close as they once were.

 Our elderly family member who may, or may not, be in an assisted living facility, who has possibly lost some mental capacities, do not understand why suddenly family is not coming to see them. They may be told hourly, but all they know is they are alone. We understand it is for their protection, they do not. Our heart may be breaking as well at the separation, but they only know their present and their present is void of family. Thankfully facilities as they are able, are becoming very creative in finding ways to allow some manner of family time. 

Then, there is us. The in between group. The group that is trying to hold on and maintain the life we knew. We hear the news, we read the articles, we talk to doctors and neighbors and anyone who may have information to share. We seek to be safe and still have a life. Mask or no mask, distance of no, go out or stay in. Its a dance that seems to have no end. Me? I wear a mask and I distance in public places such as stores, but I must go outside.

 Getting outside is important. It has been said often, that getting out into the sunlight is vital. Go hiking, walk the dog, ride a bike, go fishing. Get outside.

 Taking care of our health is important. Eating well, taking the right supplements, exercise and staying hydrated are important.

 Yet, even as we distance, it is important that we are able to gather with friends. Whether on that fishing trip or at a restaurant. To have the time to laugh, converse and be together. We are social creatures, we need company.Many who are trapped inside due to what ever reason are fighting depression. They are missing the social interaction. Check on your family and friends. Help them stay out of that darkness. A phone call can make all the difference. 

The storm of the pandemic is real. The waves washing over are real. The struggle is real. But we are strong, and even when and if, we make mistakes in judgement or action, we can correct and deal with them. The important thing is to remain strong, remain focused, and remain determined. Many have grown weary as this has been a long, difficult year. But we are strong, and every storm eventually ends. May that rainbow come soon.

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Day 301- footnotes of struggling, winning and definitely not giving up

  If you weren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth, or had things handed to you on a silver platter, then at least some part of your life has been a struggle. We desire things to come easy. Life isn’t meant to be that way.

 As infants and toddlers, we struggle to learn the basic foundations of life. How to walk, to eat, to say those first words.

As students we must learn how to fit in or stand out proudly. We have to get an education so to know how to function and how things around us function.

As adults we need careers, families, a social life

.As senior adults, we need to remember, how to walk with stability, to take care of ourselves, to continue to live a fulfilling life.

Yes, that is a very condensed listing, but it gives the introduction to the point I hope to make.Life is not easy, it isn’t meant to be easy. If everything was simply handed to us, we would not grow. Every struggle, every challenge takes us one step farther than were we started out. We gain more physical, mental and emotional, strength.

My own struggles are no worse nor no less than anyone else’s struggles for they are each our own and can only be measured by our personal progress.I am seeing progress.I began to work on my project this morning but that closed door kept distracting me. Then I got a message from someone I had not spoken with in a while. She wanted to ask one question, but then we got off on the topic of being empathic and the conversation lasted a while.

When the conversation ended, I got my ever faithful companion Bella and we headed for the mountain. I needed distance. I would have thought that after all the times I have been to the mountain these hikes would be getting easier but my leg muscles still scream every time. It didn’t help that today was warmer than I thought. We did make it, along the way speaking to other hikers and enjoying the hike even through the struggle. The view from the top always worth the effort. I gave Bella a drink, took a few photos and then we headed back down. We didn’t pass as many people on this trail but those we did we shared greetings with and kept walking.

Once we got home I let Bella rest and I worked on the manuscript. Yes, my project is a manuscript. A quick read through, a few changes and then more fresh writing. I am trying to do this partial first draft then will print it out, if my printer cooperates, and then decide what quotes and other information I want to add to the sections. I will be leaving space to hand write in the additions.

In the back of my mind though was the knowledge that I had not reached my ten thousand step goal. Saving what had been written I went out to my little walking circle and began making laps. I also talk a lot, but softly. My son calls this my thinking circle, it has become more of a prayer circle. I am still struggling with a lot of things, the loneliness being the worse, and that is what I am hoping the project will help with. That, prayer, friends, and a closed door. After I came back inside, I was gifted with a surprise. A phone call from a long time, friend I haven’t spoken with in months. She too, is a widow and has an understanding of all the emotions. The fact we have known each other for so long makes our conversations easier. We each talked, we talked over each other, we shared, we laughed at our experiences, and we ended the extended conversation feeling much better. 

I’m learning, this journey, is not meant to be easy. We are meant to struggle, we are meant to fight our way, we are meant to claw through, break through, climb our way over, what ever dares to get in the way. When we do that, we can look back and smile. We did it. We may have felt moments of defeat, but gifts like phone calls, can give you that extra bit of strength needed to push on through. And that view from the other side, is always worth it.

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October Twenty-seventh, Considering Courage

What exactly is courage? Is it an act, a feeling, a concept? Is it all that and more? I went searching for a quote to respond to the questions, and I found the following. This quote, is for me. When my senses are screaming, I tend to hide in my safe zone. I am working on changing that,

“Courage is about learning how to function despite the fear, to put aside your instincts to run or give in completely to the anger born from fear. Courage is about using your brain and your heart when every cell of your body is screaming at your to fight or flee – and then following through on what you believe is the right thing to do.”
― Jim Butcher

Some forms of courage are obvious. You watch those classified as a first responder as they go into situations they may not walk away from. Yet they do it willingly as they seek to rescue or protect.

Some forms are for the more adventurous. Those who climb mountains, jump from planes, surf the wildest waves. Actions that leave those who are more spectators wondering why.

Health care workers walk straight into the danger zone of disease and infections. Whether contagious or potentially dangerous due to the state of the patients mental health or if dangerous substances are involved.

Those are only a few of the obvious forms of courage. The ones we applaud as we admire, envy, and sometimes wish to be more like them.

Then there are other forms of courage. The kinds that may never be seen, by the masses, but known only to a few. My late husband had courage.

He had worked in a manufacturing plant most of his life. When our son came along, he wanted better so he changed careers. For twenty years he worked jobs in bakeries. Each closing for various reasons. As he searched for employment it was confirmed he had one major roadblock. He did not have a high school diploma. He also did not read well. In the end, he went into long haul truck driving. One who had only been to three states for as long as I had known him, was now crossing the country repeatedly. Even as he was nervous and at times afraid, he stepped up and did what he had to so as to take care of his family. He never ran into a burning building or faced a bullet, but he was one of the bravest men I knew.

Remembering his courage, makes me feel a sense of shame, when I allow my fears to prevent me from accomplishing things. When I fear going to a social event, of to a place I have never been before. When I have to make a call or attend a meeting and instead I seek somewhere to hide and wait for the time to pass before I emerge. Always angry and ashamed that I had done it yet again.

But we are not given a spirit of fear. That is something we learn over time. I’ve many times seen the posts that we are told 365 times in the Bible to fear not. A reminder for each day of the year. I believe that within the pages, we can find many more ways to find strength and courage. Words and ways that touch us specifically at the moment of reading and studying.

I am working on finding my courage. With each event that has happened since my husband’s passing, I am learning. The pandemic being a strong push toward the goal. When you find yourself severely restricted, you have to find alternatives. The distractions I had were taken away, so now I have all the time in the world to learn and grow and discover the strength I have always had, but had allowed to slip away.

“Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.”― Shannon L. Alder

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
― John Wayne

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”
― Mary Anne Radmacher

That little voice has been speaking, reminding me there is more to life, than hiding in my safe place. Adventure awaits, its time to gear up and get moving. One does not have to jump from a plane to be brave. One only has to make a step today, toward overcoming what was stopping them yesterday.

Finding one’s hidden courage and strength, is an uphill climb, but the view at the top makes it worth it in the end.
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Day 300- footnotes of a day of leave that door alone

 Have you heard the quote attributed to, Alexander Graham Bell, “When one door closes, another one opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”? Or any variation of the expression?

It has become a popular saying for many decorative items. Its one that I have heard from as far back as I can remember. I really thought, I understood what it meant.

Funny how we can stroll along relying on surface information. That just enough to get by on knowledge. I have in the past couple of days come to a deeper understanding of the what and why of that expression. It was a somewhat painful lesson, but one I had known deep inside was coming. Once full realization of the quote’s meaning struck home. It seemed that understanding became a bright light, clearing away the darkness of confusion.

 In March of 2020, I was laid off from my job. A job where I had become quite comfortable. When I was first let go, I was told that when things picked up, I would be called back. For seven months I have been staring at that door, waiting for the promised opening. All the while in the back of my mind were feelings to walk away. That little voice telling me that I wasn’t meant to go back there.

There was something else waiting. Still, I stared at that door. Since my husband died, not counting blood relatives, I have been alone. Then, I got into a conversational, over the phone, friendly relationship. This was before Covid-19. It held red flags, but feeling the need for some form of companionship even if only conversations, I ignored them. Each warning I ignored, shrugged them off as negligible. Then the relationship crashed and burned spectacularly. A door closed.

  Months later and mere weeks before Covid, I began talking with another. We even actually met. A very nice person whom I still respect. Made a plan or two. Then the door was closed.

 I had an online acquaintance with whom I had been texting off and on for over a year. Then we began talking on the phone. The conversations long, sometimes day long events. No topic was taboo. They reminded me often that they felt I should start writing, seriously writing. There was a book waiting. I acknowledged their encouragement and began again, working on a manuscript that I had started two years ago. It wasn’t the right project. It was a struggle  to find the words that would express what I was feeling. I didn’t argue though with my friend as I knew they were right, I just needed to know what it was, that I was meant to write. So the conversations continued, time was passing, and nothing was getting accomplished. Then not so suddenly, a door that I had been watching creep closed, slammed shut. Slammed with a force that could be heard. Slammed with a physical force that could be felt, leaving pain of loss in its wake.I stood, staring at that door. Of all the doors that have closed, this one hurt the worst. Staring at the door, I knew that I had lost a special friend.

Then, as I stood there, a glimmer caught my attention. Turning away, I felt drawn. Still, I wanted to wait at the closed door, I wanted it to open and the voice I recognized call to me. Then, again, I felt drawn away, called away. An almost audible voice telling me to leave that closed door alone. I walked away slowly and reluctantly.

 Then, facing that new door, I opened a computer program and a new file. I began to write. The topic something I have dealt with for years. The topic one I have felt deeply, had lived with most of my life. The topic, was the project that had been waiting. I had to be broken of will. I had to face my own demons. I had to want what was waiting. I had to turn away from the closed door and walk through the open door.

I knew what was behind every closed door. I have spent a large part of my life staying where I felt safe and knew what was in my comfort zone. This new door, is a waiting adventure. I’ll admit that I hope the closed door isn’t locked as I do miss my friend. But if that is irreparable, if there will be no opening of that door, I accept that and respect them enough to leave that door alone.I have a calling and an adventure waiting. When this project is finished, maybe someone will slip them a note under the door and let them know, their advice was spot on and encouragement appreciated. That I have accomplished what they knew it was I was supposed to be doing. For now, I’m leaving that closed door alone.

If that door is closed, leave that door alone.
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October Twenty-Sixth- Morning Mind Meanderings

Its morning. Its a Monday. I promised days ago that I would take my parents to vote. Instead I sit here, staring out the window at a muted morning sun and pondering life.

The year 2020, has been a difficult and strange year. As a world we have faced an influx of problems beyond the imagination of a movie writer’s dreams. Yet face them as best we are able, we have. Therein, lies the path of my thoughts, as best we are able.

The struggle there, is very real.

Because of the pandemic, families are kept apart. A trip to the doctor or hospital means only the patient goes in. Everyone else, waits in the car. Family members in long term care facilities are not allowed visitors. Many of these people are at an age where they can not understand why they have been seemingly abandoned.

Jobs have been lost and the sense of security those jobs brought-gone. In its place is fear of being homeless, hunger and domestic abuse as the stress takes its toll on mental health.

Shopping as we knew it, has been changed drastically. Many places of business require a face covering before the patron can even enter the building. Online and touchless shopping now normal.

Racism has become a byword tossed out with every disagreement.

On and on and on the list goes of the many landmines to the disruption of our mental health. On and on the attack on our inner peace.

I have talked with and read comments online of folks who are struggling. Each battle chipping a little more away of their strength. Every chip that falls, opening up a place for the pain to be felt more strongly. Making the overcoming more of a challenge.

Yet, through my watching, reading, conversations, I have learned something very important. Though we may disagree with each other, we do still care for each other. We are there for each other. I saw that when someone made a few comments of discouragement. Immediately, friends and acquaintances spoke up with words of caring and concern. Words encouraging the other to be strong, they were not alone.

I have seen people reach out to others in many ways, doing what they are able to help. Sharing, what they have, with those who have not. Trying to make a seemingly impossible year, better.

When I first got on social media a lifetime ago, it was very different. Young in creation and fledgling out into its own existence. During the early years, I don’t recall seeing many articles, posts, discussions on faith. Now I am seeing them everywhere. I’m glad these are shared now so that people can see and gain an understanding. I know all the comments about faith and belief and trust in an “invisible man in the sky”, but I know, all that my Lord has brought me through. I also know, faith and belief is up to the individual. Still, it is that knowledge that has given me peace and calm in a storm called 2020.

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