July Twenty-seventh, Happy Another Trip Around the Sun Dad

Happy one more time around the sun dad. Ninety-two years old, did you ever think you would see this day?

Happy birthday dad, yes, it is time for my annual thank you, even though I do try to show you my appreciation often. I am still working on a present for you, because, what do you give one who has given so much? What do you give to one, who needs nothing? But to be remembered on this day. I do know, that it isn’t the gift we give to you, it is simply remembering you on those special days. I do hope, that as time has its way, it never takes from me the gifts and memories that you gave to us.

How many lessons, did you teach us over the years?

You were our protector. Vividly I recall the night, when all the lights were turned off and we were supposed to be drifting into sleep, when I heard the sound. There was something in my bedroom besides me. Not a monster under the bed as this horror in the night, had wings. I don’t recall my age, possible preteen? All I know is I called out to the one I knew would protect and rescue me. It did take calling you four times, by the fourth you moved quicker in turning on the light and saw that it was not my imagination but a large bat that had gotten inside the house.

Between you and mom, you got it out of my room, closed the door to the bedroom my brothers shared and we listened as you chased the uninvited guest from the house. You even came back to apologize for getting angry with me.

How to fish. Which holds many lessons within a lesson. We learned all the necessary parts to fishing, catching bait, rigging the line, catching the fish, removing said fish, cleaning said fish and oh yes, enjoying the meal. But in that, we learned patience, how to be quiet and still, how to take care of ourselves through what we caught. I think of the three, I am the one who appreciated fishing the most. One brother loved hunting as you did while the other sports such as baseball. I know too looking back now, that you often took us fishing to give mom a needed and appreciated break.

Responsibility. For a while you bred and raised hunting dogs, Pointer bird dogs to be more precise. You gave us the responsibility of making sure they stayed in their kennels, that they had food and water. You didn’t have to tell us to exercise them, that part was a joy.You taught us to work hard for what we needed and wanted. That if we were going to have a job, we needed to work that job. Be there, be on time, work the set hours. Do the very best of your ability and leave satisfied knowing you gave it your best. But leave it there, don’t bring it home with you.

Take time for family. Our vacations were varied, from the mountains to the sea. From walking trails to roller coasters in theme parks. We were together, we enjoyed the moments and cherish the memories. Such as the time it took me nearly a lifetime to cross that suspension bridge, or running from a swarm of bees. The time sitting in a hotel room watching a storm raging, seeing that sheet of tin fly into the power lines sending everything into darkness. The times you took us out among the barrier islands off the coast of NC so that my toddler son could laugh, wade and gather shells. Shells that I to this day still have. Somewhere tucked away is that two dollar bill the two of you found also.

Take time for friends. You cleared away that overgrown side of the yard and created a small, make do soft ball field. It sloped downhill meaning if we weren’t quick enough, we were chasing the ball quite a way. But they came. Friends, neighbors, friends of neighbors, all came to play ball. We had a wonderful time making those memories.

Now, as time does what time does, you are giving us the opportunity to return the love. To help you as we are able, to find those who can do what we can’t. You give us the chance to prove that we listened and learned what you taught us for all these years. We try to do as we can to take care of everything you have created and built. We try to show you the love, you have shown us.

Happy birthday dad. May you be blessed with many, many more. I love you.

Posted in education, encouragement, faith, family, in honor, inspiration, life's journey, memories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 207; Footnotes of Hoarding

And….. dark.

I’m sitting here, listening to hoarders on the television, when suddenly everything goes dark. I had wondered if we would lose electricity due to the storm and I go the answer. Thankfully it was a brief outage. Frustrating was how long it took for the television to cycle back around. While we waited I heard the kittens out back. That reminded me that we had to make sure the drain was covered in a way that the water could get through but not the kittens. While my son checked the drain pipe I checked on the kittens. They were out playing so they were fine.

But hoarders.

Watching this program wants to shift me into a minimalist lifestyle. I’m sitting here right now thinking of all the things I could probably get rid of through trashing or donating. I do have a love for sweaters and jackets because I do not have a love for the cold. Still, I can only wear one at a time. With that being said, I will say that I have already filled two bags with sweaters to donate a little later in the year. Tomorrow, while my son is at work, I think I will start going through the house and clearing things away. Not because there is a threat of appearing to be hoarding, but because I really don’t need so much. I am sure that there will be those who can use the scarves and gloves.  And if I clear it away now, it will be less to worry about later.

I think that I tend to hoard faulty emotions and thoughts.  Though I’m learning and improving, I have a tendency to hold onto the negative. Not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, don’t fit in, all of those thoughts that should have no place inside my head at all, ever. Thoughts that shouldn’t be in anyone’s head. Because they are wrong and not to be believed or heard.

 We are each individuals. We each have our own importance our own talents and purposes. We are each and all worthy, smart enough, pretty enough, and if we don’t fit in, that is wonderful. To be able to be ourselves, true to who we are, is important. Understanding that as the individuals we are, makes us incredibly special and important. To understand that we need and can, replace the incorrect thoughts with the proper. We can unload all the negative attitudes we have been holding onto, whether knowingly or subconsciously. The ones that slip in sneakily disrupting our day. We can allow faith to exorcise the demons of fear, hate, anger, anything that is not compassionate and loving.

We can accept the peace, the comfort, the calm of believing in the loving faith of the Lord. Allowing Him, to clean up our hoarding life style.

Posted in encouragement, faith, inspiration, life's journey, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Facing the Unknown

  What do you do, when you don’t know what to do? How do you face, the unknown?

Currently there is a storm approaching. The weather prognosticators on television have warned that it is bad, there have been a lot of lightening strikes and that it is slowing. The rain is already pounding down. Both of my dogs are inside and close by my side. The thunder demon rattling their nerves. To them, it is the unknown, but they know inside and close they are safe.

 Earlier today I had to face an unknown. I recently purchased a replacement storm door that ended up with the gentleman being unable to install it due to the company rules and regulations. Something about the siding over the metal of the door frame in need of being replaced. I told him to just take the door back as I wasn’t sure when I would be able to get what was needed to replace it done. Then, I was facing the unknown of getting my money back. Today I was finally able to get everything taken care of and get the money back not only for the door but for the installation.

I went in not knowing how many problems I would face and whether or not hey would refuse to refund. It did take a few minutes, but in the end, I got all of my money back. No hassle, no harm. I will interrupt myself here to say this. While I waited for either a manager of one from the department the door came from, they were handling others who came in. Everyone who came in, politely made sure that I had been waited on first. Not once, not twice but four times, people made sure that they were not jumping ahead in line.

Facing the unknown. Whether it is something major or minor, something that is essential to your well being in physical, emotional, financial health. The unknown can and does come in quite a variety of forms. If you are facing something for the first time, you are basically facing the unknown. How, are you going to handle this unknown  in a way to where it comes out to your benefit?

Research. Find out everything you possibly can to learn everything you can about what you are facing. The more you know, the more weapons are in your arsenal.

Ask questions. Part of research yes, but seek out the advice of those who have traveled this journey before you.

Seek the assistance and support from friends and family.

Brain storm all of the options, decide the pro’s and con’s of the various options of what you are facing.

Traveling through this journey called life, we are going to be facing the unknown every single day, because we don’t know what the day will bring. The weather people on television can say that it may rain, but it may or may not. They are going by a set of computer generated possibilities.

World wide, the battle still rages over the pandemic. Are masks needed or no? Vaccines or no? Either way, if you get the vaccine you are facing the unknown of if you will have a reaction or no or if it will work as it should for you. If you refuse the  vaccine you are facing the possibility of the virus.

If you are in a bad relationship and want, need out, you are facing the unknown of where will you go, how will you survive? What to do? The unknown, can be frightening. It can be parallelizing.

That unknown can be faced and handled. Through strength, knowledge, courage, faith.

When we take the right steps, believe in ourselves, have faith, we can face the unknown and change it to the known.

Posted in dogs, encouragement, faith, growth, inspiration, life's journey, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

July Twenty-sixth; Worry not over the Unknown, but Live the Known.

Until you try, until you reach a point of no choice, your capabilities are unknown.

There are many times in my life where I was put into a situation of facing unknowns. I am a person who has become attached to the usual, the regular, the known. I park in the same or as close to the same places everywhere I go on a regular basis. I go the same routes. I buy the same foods. They are known, they are familiar, I know where I am going, where I have left the car, what the foods taste like. My conversations are usually with the same people because they know me and my usual topics. They smile, knowing me harmless. It is the known, it is the comfortable, it is the safe. It can be the boring, the mundane, the ordinary. Where oh where is the adventure?

My son gets very frustrated with me because I spend most of my time here at home. While a large part is that if I don’t go out, I don’t spend money I don’t have. The biggest part is, home is safe. Home is comfortable. Home is known. I have even gotten out of the habit of taking Bella and going hiking. That does need to change. I need to keep exercising for health reasons. That and the fact that staying home too much can become more than a habit. It can become so ‘safe’ that the fear of going out into the unknown world can manifest itself.

Let’s discuss health and facing the unknown. The recent Relay for Life event and another upcoming support for breast cancer event coming up this weekend has me recalling the battle I was fighting thirteen almost fourteen years ago.

Diagnosed months after turning fifty. The mammogram and following tests during the holiday season. My surgery followed not long after the new year. But I get ahead of myself.
My personal physician recommended my getting my first mammogram which at fifty I didn’t argue about. When I went for the exam, knowing it my first, the people there walked me through the process explaining as they went. They answered any questions and even smiled at my attempts at humor. Warning me I may be called back due to having nothing to compare with. I was, I went, they saw something concerning. I was scheduled to see another doctor who after her tests saw what they did. A needle biopsy came back with it being possible, a surgical biopsy confirmed I had cancer. When the diagnoses was made official, I sat on that examination table and bravely told the surgeon, “You know what it is, you know where it is, take care of it.” I was preparing to go on a journey I had not expected, I was headed into the unknown. I chose to see it as an adventure of the medical sort. The treasure at the end being good health. I knew though that however it turned out, it was a journey I wasn’t taking alone. I had already been reassured that God was with me. (That moment when I whined I didn’t want to do it and the Holy Spirit plainly chastised me. Yes, God does still speak.) My journey into the unknown took me through a lumpectomy and the removal of several lymph nodes. The cancer was small and all was removed. I did not need chemotherapy but I did need radiation.  I was also put on medication that I would need to take for several years.

 Surgery is a concerning thing, stretched out on that table as they wheel you down hallways and into a room lit up with a multitude of lights. I don’t remember going under anesthesia nor do I recall actually waking. One minute I was awake, then awake again. It was done.

 After healing enough, I had to see the oncologist about the radiation treatments. I had no idea where it was other than at the hospital. I had to find the parking garage, where to park, how to find the office I needed to be. Going into the unknown makes me a nervous wreck, I won’t lie. But I found everything. I managed to get signed up as needed. I got scheduled. I began the first of many treatments to come. Each time, walking into the known and yet unknown. All the while, having that life going on outside the treatments. All the while facing the unknown with my husband out of work. All the while wondering, yet trusting. Here I am now, thirteen, going on fourteen years later. Cancer free to my knowledge. I know I have to find a way to get a mammogram because of the fact I was once told, “You’ve had cancer, it is always possible for it to return.” I will not fear that unknown.

We don’t know, aren’t to know, what tomorrow will bring. We can plan and devise, and schedule, but nothing is ever really set in stone. Anything and many things can happen that will change those plans. Even and at times in the midst of the plans happening. Even now, each day for me (and for all) is an unknown. As Christians, we know that Jesus can return at any moment. The day, the time, unknown to all but the Father. Christians know, we need be ready, our life right with God, our name in the Book of Life. As Christians, we know we need not only believe in Christ, but live as Christ, showing Christ through words and more through actions. Not to worry over the unknown, just live the known.

Posted in encouragement, faith, healthy, inspiration, life's journey, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Day 206; Footnotes of One of the Better Changes

I was sitting here watching the kittens playing in the backyard. They were having a wonderful time playing, wrestling, attacking each other and plants. Both mother cats were close by. Then something caught my attention. The sound of an owl down in the woods. My focus changed quickly. I sat here listening to the owl, making sure it never came any closer which it didn’t. Eventually I didn’t hear it any longer. Obviously I have no idea whether it moved on deeper in the woods or what, all that mattered was the kittens were safe. 

About the same time the phone rang. It was a call that I knew was coming. Dad wanted to know if my son was watching the race. I told him that there wasn’t a race today. Dad said, something along the lines of , so he’s not watching a race? Nope, there isn’t a race dad because of the Olympics. Finally understanding he thanked me and ended the call. Ah these men folk and their races. Personally I prefer a good dirt track race but ah well. My son laughed because I had told him earlier that the call would come, it just took a little longer than I thought. 

But the thing is, on Tuesday, dad will be 92 years of age. He has earned the right to be a bit forgetful. I know, how blessed we are that dad and mom are still here with us. The calls don’t bother me one bit. I do however need to figure out something for him for his birthday.

 For now though, I am sitting here listening to the crickets symphony going on outside. Even the cats are quite for the moment. Maybe they wore themselves out earlier. Or maybe they did hear the owl and aren’t taking any chances. 

This morning I wrote about change and changes. I got some amazing responses from some who read. It is true, we are constantly changing. Life around us, is constantly changing. We have to decide how we are going to handle the changes. Not all changes are good, which means we have to decide what we are going to do.We have things set up, plans, schedules, a budget, gardens, homes. We think we have everything just as we want them to be, then all of a sudden life throws a curve ball and changes take place that will need to be addressed. It may be something that can be addressed bringing results quickly, or it may take a while to see what the changes have brought about. The important thing is not to give up. Take your time, do your best, know that with effort, things work out.

 I have said that the people I run into out in  life all look so much better after getting away from where we once worked. Which is true. My hope is that it is the same for me, but I see myself every day so I can’t be the proper judge. I do know I feel better. I have learned better who I am and of what I am capable. I have learned how and grown deeper in my faith. I have with each day moved further away from that wish for closure the way I wanted it from where I once worked. Allowing it any space in my head is a waste. For me, that is one of the better changes.

Posted in animals, Cats and Kittens, encouragement, faith, inspiration, life's journey, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

July Twenty-fifth; Change is Not Easy, But oh the Rewards

 Change is in the air? Process? Attitude?  

Last night at the Relay for Life event, I saw friends that I have not seen in quite a while. It felt so good seeing and talking with them. We were given the opportunity to catch up on what has happened since the last time we had been together. I was even able to discus my retired status as a matter of fact and without the usual resentment. It felt as if a door was finally closing on that chapter and the next was able to begin.

The first step of a journey, first word of the new chapter thing. I have allowed my fears and a learned life style to control me for too long. I come to realize that I have missed out on a lot of things, because of a past the doors should have been closed on a long time ago. I’ll use something I realized this morning as an example.

 Yesterday when the Jeep group arrived at the Relay event, the members carried chairs up to a shaded area not far from where the main stage was set up. I, having forgotten to put my chairs back in my Jeep, was standing off to one side, leaning on a railing. The husband to one of the founders of the group, offered me his wife’s chair as she was busy elsewhere. I declined the offer and remained where I was until seeing one of the aforementioned friends. Looking back at that now, had I taken the chair, I would have been sitting in the middle of the group. I had been offered the opportunity to be more of a part of the gathering and not the outsider I have always made myself to be. Now, realizing this, I regret my actions. But, I can move forward from here. I can change my attitude.

In our exchange last night, when he was being jokingly adamant, I made a comment “I’m not married to anyone anymore,I don’t have to obey”. See, my husband, in his insecurities, was always worried about my finding someone else due to his being gone so much. To calm his fears and to prevent anyone from being able to make accusations, I kept my distance and was very careful who I talked with. He has been dead over four years, I’m not in a relationship, I can respectfully talk with anyone now. A change of mindset is in order.

 The same applies to all of our life. We can find ourselves trapped in a habit, a belief, a way of doing things that is no longer needed or beneficial.  Somewhere along the line in our life, someone has created a belief in us that holds us back. It prevents us from accomplishing what we could have, would have, if that belief did not exist. Many times those others, were talking out of their own fears and insecurities. They do not want to see you succeed or in any way do better than them, so they put false beliefs in your mind.

 I’m not sure where fears come from other than knowing they are not from God. Our fears bring abut the same prevention to progress as our incorrect thought process. I have mentioned that when I am facing something new, a million what if’s will stampede through my head and before the dust can even settle, my mind is creating things from pure fantasy. Ancient Alien writers would be proud. An example, I hate going somewhere new for the first time alone. I fear getting lost. The other day, for my first dental visit was to a new place, alone. Yes, I missed the road, twice. I still found where I was going. Part of my fear happened, but I still succeeded in my goal. I had wanted to participate in a Jeep convoy for over a year-with me driving. Yesterday, that finally happened. Yes, it was short, but there is nothing wrong with baby steps. 

Stubbornness. You like who you are, or you think you like who you are. You are comfortable as who you are, or, you think you are. Change is work. Absolutely. Changing a mindset, an attitude, a desire, takes work. It takes effort to learn anything new. It takes effort to get into the habit of exercise. It takes effort in setting up a routine in life, a budget, a healthy diet. The adage, nothing worth doing comes easy, is true. The important thing, is one you take that first step toward change, keep walking. If for what ever reason you take a step back, don’t fret, don’t worry, don’t give up. Turn that move into a dance. Cha cha y’all. 

Now you may be wondering, am I going to leave something out of this discussion? Change of heart.
 Friends. Friendships change. We all know that by now. What brought you together in the beginning shifts, adjusts and changes meaning the friendship is different. You may still be friends, but on a different level, or the friendship may end.

Romantic. Love at first sight or a friendship that deepens. It burns like the flame of a match, fast and bright, but does it last? Some don’t of course. For much of the same reasons that friendships change. Or one of the two has a change of heart or mind and plays the wrong games. It can last weeks or years, it will change as time passes, the best romantic love, is the love that adapts and grows stronger through the changes. Accepting and understanding that people change as they age. They learn, they grow, they adjust, that does not make them unlovable.

Spiritual. There are  many faiths and beliefs. Even the belief there is nothing to believe. But a spiritual journey of change is in short, incredible. The changes are constant with each new understanding. The growth constant when you become the fertile ground in which the seeds are planted. When you are one who has the ears to hear, and listens. No matter how long one has been a believer, faithful to their belief, trusting in the One in whom they believe, there will always be change and growth. I gave my life to Jesus as a youth, here I am closing in on 64 years of life and still learning, growing, changing in attitude. My faith has strengthened due to the many challenges I have faced over the past four plus years. Especially when I began to listen, to hear and to comprehend that this struggle was meant for good. It was meant for growth. It was meant for me to understand and draw closer to God. It was meant for what it has produced and is constantly producing, change.

One of the items in the goodie bag given to survivors last night.
Posted in education, encouragement, faith, growth, inspiration, life's journey, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Day 205; Footnotes of A Big Deal For Me.

Have you ever wanted so badly to do something, but were afraid?

The pesky what if’s running rampant in your mind. Making you physically ill, trembling badly and wanting only to turn and run. But when and if you do, then the anger and regrets take the place of all those what if’s.  I know.

Ever since I joined the local Jeep group, Just Jeepin’ for a Cause, one of the things I have wanted so badly to do, was be part of a Jeep convoy. I wanted to be a part of the fun. Driving along the roadways, people staring at all the various Jeeps and their decals identifying them proudly. But when it came right down to it, if my son wasn’t driving, I didn’t go.

  I have called myself the coward of the country several times over that, but I simply was not able to make myself go. My son would get very upset with me. He knew how badly I wanted to take part, but also how afraid I was. My son has no hesitation in asking me “Paranoid much??” Just a little/lot. If my mind ran out of actual possibilities, it would make some up. I also don’t really like going alone. Oh once I get there I’m fine, happy as can be and having a grand old time. Its just making myself go. 

I know, that we aren’t given a spirit of fear and that we should not be afraid. But there are times, when I am. Like when I go somewhere for the very first time and have to find the place. Or trying to take part in a Jeep run when I haven’t done it before. Common sense tells me that there is no reason to be afraid. Common sense tells me that everything would be fine. Common sense tells me that I’m being ridiculous in my fears. That little devil of doubt talks louder and a really good game. Tonight though, prayer got me through.

 Today was our local Relay for Life event. The Jeep group were meeting at a location less than a mile from the event and then parading in to where we were parking. My son had to work and it was no telling when he would get off and be home. If I was going, this was all up to me.

 I got ready. Then I tried to find my travel mug. I found the mug, but not the top to it. I got another that I filled with coffee. I grabbed a few water bottles and tossed them in the cooler that I carried when I used to work. Gathering up the rest of what I needed, I brought the dogs inside, made sure the cat was inside but not in my son’s room as he fears her knocking off his television when he isn’t there. Then I started for my Jeep. I stopped to think and make sure I had everything. I took a few more steps forward. Telling myself, its only driving, like in traffic. I can drive in traffic, I can drive with the other Jeeps. Then I made a deal with myself. I’d go to the meeting place, and then decide. I got there and parked behind the others. Out of sight, I can slip away, or just let them drive on and not notice I wasn’t in line. Only the husband of one of the founders saw me and waved me into line. Here we go y’all. Here we go.

 As I followed I’m talking. I hope no one gets hold of my dash cam before it films over that. I managed to follow the leaders as we made our way to our designated parking spot. Once I was parked for the duration, I got out ready to do a happy dance of celebration. I had done it. I don’t care if it was (and it was) a very short run. If it was a mile I’d be surprised. But baby steps.

The blue compass is my Star

The biggest accomplishment being that I did it. I went, I drove, I did it. I also realized somewhere along the way, that I had forgotten to put my chairs back in the Jeep. It was going to either be stand up, or call my son and ask him to bring the chairs.

 I really, really wanted to be there. If you follow my blogs, you know that today was my brother’s birthday. Only he’s celebrating in Heaven. I had to be there for his memory. I found the luminaria bags that were dedicated to him. There were none for me, but I didn’t really expect there to be any.

Photo courtesy of Shelly F. King

  The event was a little different this year. It was the first time in this location and the first time after Covid. There were precautions taken, a lot of space between tents. The track was long, but no longer than tracks we have walked before. There was all the opening ceremonies and speeches including the National anthem. When they did the survivor lap, it was a shortened lap where I was drafted to help carry the banner. I didn’t mind, I did see later where I was the tallest one in the group which I found funny. After that was a caregiver lap and then the Relay was officially under way.

Photo courtesy of Shelly F. King

 The good things were that I met new people and I saw long time friends. I had missed them.  We talked, we caught up, we laughed and we even hugged.  My son did finally show up with my chair, he really didn’t feel up to staying. He had worked hard all day and just wanted to go home and crash. He did speak to a mutual friend for a while before he headed for home. Due to the possibility of storms, they ended the event a little early. They didn’t want to put anyone at risk. We made a final lap and watched as other cleaned up the luminaria bags. I should have helped, but for some reason, I didn’t. Oh I know, I was talking with that mutual friend and hanging out until they ran us out.

Photo courtesy of Michelle Perkins Hildreth

She lead me out of the college and through an industrial park that I didn’t even know was there. When we got to the end of it, we parted ways. She headed for her house and I was headed for mine. I did still have to make it through town. You would think that as late as it was getting to be, that traffic wouldn’t be that bad. It was. I had a mid size SUV riding in the lane beside me-the lane I needed-through town. I was in a lane that ended up as a right turn only and I really didn’t want to do that. I managed to get in front of the SUV and made my way on toward home. Only there was a vehicle, that looked seriously familiar that followed me all the way to where I turned off onto our dirt road. They drove on thankfully. 

I’m sitting here now, nearing exhaustion, but oh so happy. As silly as it sounds,to take the chance and do this on my own, is a really big deal for me. My main issue, is in the getting there. Once there I do okay, it is simply screwing up the courage to get in the Jeep and go. Often, I am, to my knowledge, one of the few single people there. Most everyone else, has someone with them. Whether it is partner, children, friends, someone. Unless my son is with me, its me. And I am uncomfortable showing up, just me. Tonight, I did it. Tonight, I took that first step forward. tonight, I’m not sitting here kicking myself over missed fun with great people. What may sound silly to some, was a big deal for me, and tonight I did it. I may still do that celebration dance yet.

One of the items in the gift bag given survivors.
Posted in encouragement, faith, in honor, inspiration, life's journey, memories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Happy Birthday my Brother I Miss You

 Today, my brother, is your birthday. Are birthdays celebrated in Heaven? Or do you celebrate your day of arrival home? Maybe both. I wonder, if you have any idea how badly you are missed? I know you would be so proud of your kids and grand kids. How I do hate that you never got to meet Autumn or the one who is on the way. You would have had them just as spoiled as the others yet, learning all the things they needed to know at the same time. 

It is difficult at times to walk back behind the house, I think of you. I can’t help but remember how you loved these woods. Your times of hunting back there, hearing the shots wondering if that time you  got your deer. When ever I walk, and I hear a deer anywhere close, I’m reminded of you and your always asking me if I had scared your deer.

Of course mom talks of you often. She misses how every chance you had or created to grill out, you were on it and all were invited. The hamburger patties were usually the frozen store bought kind, but you worked your magic and no one could tell. When Independence Day came and went, with no family gathering, for many reasons, mom was disappointed. She missed you and has missed you terribly since. It will ease, I know.

Today is a difficult day for her and for all of us. You were a center point and strong support beam of the family. We’re still together, we are still strong, there is just a large part of us missing. Like that thousand piece puzzle, complete but for the one piece. It is okay, it just isn’t right. I miss that “hey Sis” every time we come face to face. Your calling me about rainbows and owls and other things you knew I would want to photograph. Then there was the adventure with the sick skunk in the drive of your business. Your coming to rescue me from the enormously long rat snake. The one that ended up leaving the way it came, with snake or person being harmed in the process. 

I’m not positive if you can actually see what is going on here, though I think you can. Did you notice that the tree we talked about often actually fell? Well, half of it did. The thing snapped in half with the top half falling on my son’s car giving it lots of character. The other half is still standing, splintered and hollow. I call it my totem pole.

 Today is the local Relay for Life event. They are holding it over at the college. The Jeep group is going to have a showing there as well. I guess I need to go and give Star a good bath but it really looks as if it might rain. Anyway, what better way to remember you and to fight against the thing that took you from us, than by participating in today’s Relay, on your birthday?

 I do miss you. I wonder sometimes why my cancer was caught so quickly and taken care of allowing me to still be here and you were taken home. I guess that is one of those things that I’ll find out when it comes my time. Until then, know you are loved, that you are missed and that you are definitely being thought about today. I love you my brother. See you soon.

Posted in faith, family, in honor, inspiration, life's journey, memories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

July Twenty-fourth; The Two Sides of Acceptance

Is acceptance, a form of defeat? Or is it a catalyst toward change?

Say we find ourselves in a situation that is not good. We have two options. We can accept and linger, or we can seek ways to escape where we are. We can accept the fact that where we are is not the best location, but not accept the idea that it can’t be altered. The important thing is assessing the situation and seeing what is needed to make the changes necessary. We are only as trapped as we allow ourselves to become. It is important though to understand that some changes may come about quickly, while others take time.

I will use myself as an example, because it is easier to give myself permission and I’m not risking breaking any confidences.

If you have read much of my writings, by now you know that the marriage I was in before being married to my late husband, was not a good relationship. He was an alcoholic who was a mean, cruel drunk. I really don’t think I need to go into any details of that side of things.

 I did have a job, I worked approximately forty hours a week answering the phone for a small construction shop,for one hundred dollars a week. Seriously. I really didn’t do much so I didn’t complain. I tried to use as much as I could for food, but of course there was the alcohol. I learned that if I drank, even just a little, I was on his level and the abuse didn’t materialize. If I was not drinking, I was a target. It became a weird game of survival. One that became dark and fearsome. I fell into an acceptance of this was my fate. It was when I reached the bottom, that night when I thought it was going to be my last, that my acceptance shifted.

 I did not accept this as my fate. I did not accept the fear that my family would be getting the call that something horrible had happened. I had to change that. A plan was worked out and set into motion and I escaped. I’m trying to give a condensed version for time, and word limits. Once I arrived safely home, I accepted the fact that life was making yet one more change and it would work toward the positive. I got a job, a car, and a new perspective. All of the changes were a step forward. One major thing that happened, is that all desire to drink anything alcoholic was left behind with that relationship. 

 When my husband died, there were many things that I had to accept. Many things that had to be learned or unlearned. Accepting my status change was odd and difficult. It took a while for me to learn a degree of comfort in my solitary life. I had to learn, to be happy in my own company and that took a lot of thought, a lot of learning what made me content and even happy.

The thing is, we all will face something that we will have to accept in one way or another. We can accept where we are, or we can seek to change the situation.

 If we don’t like our job, for any of the myriad reasons out there, it is up to us to decide, do we accept or seek to change? To change may need getting training in a different field, educating our self better in where we are so to seek employment in the same field but different company. To learn more and improve who we are making who we are more capable and more interesting to other employers. 

We may be in a bad relationship. Depending on what the issues are, one may be able to leave on their own, or they may need assistance. You may need somewhere to run to until you can fully get back on your feet again. 

You may want to play a sport, or a musical instrument, or act or write or any other activity, but wonder if you are good enough? No matter what your interest, it takes work. It takes practice. It takes determination. It takes not accepting the good enough, but seeking the better. Professional and Olympic athletes spend not only hours but years honing their skills. It is the same with any other endeavor.

 There may be people who come into your life, who mean a great deal to you, only to disappear. Who may remain, but do things that cause you pain and problems. It is important to learn when to accept that they aren’t good for you and to walk away.

Accept that God does love you and wants a relationship with you.

I gave my life to Christ as a youth. As  teenager I began slipping away. As a young adult I really lost my direction. After my now late husband and I married and were expecting my son, I felt the familiar calling. When my son was a youngster, I had my first article appear in the local paper. The night it appeared, I prayed, “God, show me where you want to to go with this. Show me Your way.” The next day, I received a post card from the church I had not attended in years, inviting me back. The following Sunday I returned to church and haven’t regretted a moment. It has been a continual growth as I seek and walk the path He has intended for me. I have learned so much, gained so much understanding and along the way, He has provided for our needs. Because I accepted an invitation.

We can accept our life or our situation if we choose. We can accept the understanding that we can change that situation. We can accept that we are never, ever, alone or abandoned. Even when we think we have wandered too far. There are two sides to acceptance. It need not be a coin toss for us to decide which we prefer.

The right path, is narrow, with many twist, turns, hills and valleys. It is a struggle, it is a teaching event. It is a walk that will make you stronger, don’t be afraid to choose it.
Posted in encouragement, faith, growth, inspiration, life's journey, memories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Day 204; Footnotes of Trust and Obey

I feel bad.

Apparently I have either lost a chunk of money, or I have put it in a safe place that is even safe from me.

A couple of weeks ago I put some money in my purse to pay for groceries. The grocery bill exceeded that amount even though I had tried to be very careful. Instead of using that money, I went ahead and used my card. Today I thought about that money and decided that I would deposit it in the bank to cover a part bit of that dental bill. It wasn’t where I put it, in fact it was nowhere in any part of my purse. I know because I dumped everything out and checked every corner and pocket and everything that was in there.

Alright, I had to have taken it out and put it in a safe place. I checked all my usual safe places. Three times. I was on my fourth trip around when mom called, for probably the fourth time today. I was exasperated because of not having found that money, but I tried to be polite. It was mom after all. From the way she talked, she must have picked up on my frustration and told me what she wanted to and hung up. Great. I’ll need to apologize tomorrow.

 In the end, I gave up the search. With it being nowhere in any of my usual places in the house, I fear I have lost it somewhere, somehow. How, could I have been so careless? Did I deposit it already? I checked my account and didn’t see that amount. What ever happened to it, I can’t let myself worry. If I lost it, there is nothing that can be done. If I have it stashed somewhere, maybe it will turn up at a time when it is the most needed.

 One thing I did manage today, after grocery shopping and getting my kitchen all spiffy, was figure out how to get sound from my television. My son had given me a nice speaker for Christmas last year. Some how or other I managed to cause it not to work. Not really difficult for me but frustrating. I finally followed the cables and yanked the one out of the television. I was listening to the sound directly from the television which annoys my son, but at least I was hearing something. He got the speaker working again after he got in from work. I was calm about it though and not allowing it to get me all bent out of shape. Even though I did tell my son that I had killed it.

 I’m still having to watch what I eat thanks to my jaw healing from the tooth extraction. I asked my son and he agreed to tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. One of the best comfort foods out there.

  Today, gave me the opportunity to be one way or the other. I could be calm. Or I could panic. I could be patient. I kind of failed that one. Sorry mom. I could be trusting believing that no matter what, everything will be okay. God will provide. I have to believe, trusting in my faith and knowledge that everything will work out. My focus needs to not be on the things of this earth, but on Heavenly things.

 I need to remember, that those whose faith may not be as strong yet, or who may not believe, see me acting in fear and worry rather than trust, then they may wonder why they should believe. Our actions are our witness more than our words.

 I’ll take time in a few minutes, spending time in the Word, feeding my soul as the soup fed my body. I’ll allow it to calm me, reassure me, show me, that everything will work out to the glory of God. That as He has provided in the past, He will provide now. All I need remember, is to trust and obey.

Posted in encouragement, faith, family, home repairs, inspiration, life's journey, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments