Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Peaceful day

On this spring day, with gentle rains calming and quieting the whole outdoors, with leaves slowly unfurling in light yellow-green bundles at the ends of the branches, I find myself stilling too, and remembering the ongoing value of gratitude --  how it can set the mind and soul free from gloom, and send a ray of light into the deepest part of my spirit.

So I am thankful for: 

560.  texting the far away and dearly loved

561.  soft days when only a hint of sun filters through freshening rain

562.  that green that only comes in the early spring, promising the very best of times just ahead

563.  enthusiastic flowers shouting the new season in

564.  random notes of birdsong drifting in through windows

565.  moods - soft and mellow or wild and crazy - adding dynamics to life like the marks on a sheet of music.

    ...And while it's Cinco de Mayo somewhere, and partygoers revel with loud music and laughter and good food... right here it's time for rest. Later today a friend's dog is coming to visit for a week or so while they travel. Earlier today, one pet snake was discovered scooting sideways across the kitchen floor before it was recovered and replaced in its cozy home. Life is full. Life is good. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Crisp morning at the market

What number was I on in the Joys and Thank yous list? I don't remember, but here are more anyway. Life is so filled with details worth delighting in, and every one of them is a gift from the Creator, the Father of Lights who never changes. It's great to stop and be grateful once in a while.

     554.  - Crisp air at the farmer's market this morning,

     555.  - eating a fresh, hot quiche (gluten free!) while leaning against an empty vendor's stall,

     556.  - and sharing the morning with a friend.

     557.  - Buying a ball of roving in hopes of spinning it into yarn,

     558.  - a bouquet of flowers to beautify the dining room,

     559.  - and some Osage oranges to set on the kitchen counter.

I feel so autumnal!

Monday, October 8, 2012

autumn follows summer

Summer was crazy.  Seriously. 

We rarely travel.  But...

May: trip to Miami for Son's graduation with a degree

June: Gone for a week to convention with husband

July: family reunion on the Fourth


     1) Daughter went on her first mission trip, a big deal!  -- 
     2) trip to Wyoming to take a son to school for his first year -- 
                                         and when we got back home, 
     3) we went camping for a week and a half at the beach! Just what I needed!! Great time! Perfect birthday gift!

September, I was expecting to settle into a routine, but was feeling overwhelmed. The house needed a lot of catch up from being gone most of August.  Then the well pump went out and needed to be replaced.  Dishes and laundry piled up even more.

One of the Out West daughters got sick. We kept in close touch by phone and facebook, until she finally decided she needed to come home and see a doc who really knew her. It's been good. She is mending. Her plane back home leaves this weekend, and I'm a little anxious that she will be ok once she is back at her own place, looking after her own needs. It's a lot easier when you have nothing to do but sleep and eat what is made for you. 

The furnace went out the day she came home.  Of course it did.  Because life piles up sometimes. between the new well pump and the new furnace, we are going to have to reconfigure some finances. Not sure how that will all work, but such is life, right?!

Also, a dear cousin died very suddenly in an accident on the highway.  It was a real shock, and I was so deeply sad for a while. I will miss him, that's for sure! I am so glad for the rest of the cousins, who have all come together for each other is a wonderful way. 

So -- life piles up. I have been swamped in a pile of life! 

but in it all, I have been thankful for these gifts:

546.  time at the beach to be still after a lot of going

547.  a school for my son that seems a good fit for him

548.  seeing my offspring content in the lives they have chosen

549.  birthday cake made just for me by someone who loves me!

550.  family

551.  cousin care by phone

552.  being able to laugh at the pile that overwhelms. not always, but when i step back and look, how can I not?  

553.  truly amazing autumn colors, deeper and more vibrant than other years.  such incredible beauty!!

So, as the leaves blaze, and the air gets crisp, and daughter goes back to her own place, I will still expect, at some point, to find that routine that keeps being postponed.  We shall see. Life is for living, and if things come up, I will respond in whatever way seems best.  Maybe  having a routine is nothing more than a pipe dream for me. Life is rich and can't be put into tidy boxes.  Not this life, anyway!  Still, even if it's only a dream, I'll enjoy dreaming of the day when I have it all together.  :-)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Husband's birthday

Well, today is Husband's birthday, and I didn't know what to get him.  He probably already has all the things he really wants. Besides, I was not feeling real well this past week and didn't have energy for shopping.

But I had a thought. I suggested we all go out to lunch a RedRobin today after church. He loved it! We invited the in town family, and there were 11 of us. half of them were under 5, which of course makes everything more fun. His mom came too, and that was a fun surprise for him.

I think going out to lunch at Red Robin with his kids and grand littles was the best birthday he could have wished for. Yay for fun family times!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

So, Thursday was commencement, and Our son, after seven years of hard work and tremendous support from his beautiful wife, finally received his doctorate in Biology!! So proud of him I could burst! Friday was an awards and recognition ceremony. Besides that, we have gone on an airboat ride at Mr. Buffalo Tiger's place, gone on a sunset boat ride in the Keys, eaten at some fantastic local restaurants, tried new foods, visited the Everglades, gone to Robert Is Here Fruit Stand, met and talked with people from he Miccosukee tribe of Native people here, seen lots of interesting plants and animals, driven to Key Largo, soaked up a lot of fantastic sunshine, and pretty much had a fantastic time! Five of our seven kids are here together. I so wish the others could be here with us, but it is great to have this many together. Family ♥. 
Having your own personal biologist as a tour guide is definitely a bonus! ;-) Someone just has to say, "Thaddeus, what's that?" And we get the whole story. We have learned about the mating habits of alligators, and how they do this amazing community "dance" on late winter evenings, ending when they go off in pairs. Sounds beautiful and elegant! We have learned how the introduction of Python into the Everglades has affected the wildlife... apparently because people thought they wanted them as pets then changed their mind and let them go into the wild.
This is the first vacation trip we have taken in years! I'm soaking in every single moment of it.  It's so fun to have one little grandgirl with us who I rarely see, since she lives with her parents across the country from our home.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Time!

I am really enjoying this Christmas season! I hope you are too. In other years, the holidays have worn me down to the point that it was hard to even feel the joy and peace. It was hard to be worshipful. It was hard to move through my days, even! I was exhausted!

I am not a person who can bake a variety of cookies, and pies, think of beautiful, inexpensive gifts for everyone I know, shop without dropping, send dozens of cards (on time), keep my home company-ready at all times, and plan a wonderful Christmas dinner. Frankly, I don't believe anyone does all that.

How many times over the years have I heard the question, "Do you have your Christmas shopping done yet?" And felt little nag of guilt or inferiority because no, I didn't have it done? In fact I wasn't sure when it was ever going to be done because there always seemed to be one more thing that I needed... or else I would find one more thing that would make the holiday even better, it seemed. And by the way - does shopping for Christmas dinner groceries count as Christmas shopping? What are the rules for this question, anyway?

Here's the thing. That whole concept of getting your shopping done? It's a fantasy! It never happens! In our society, with constant advertising, you will always think of one more thing to buy. Or six. If you were to actually get gifts for everyone, then there are always more people who you can shop for, more decorations to buy, more food, and on it goes.

No one can do everything. We have to make choices. One year I might make a nice dinner, and another year, I might send out a family newsletter. I don't hand make gifts. I buy them. I don't send out cards every year, only when I have the time and energy. Yesterday I addressed about 6 cards. Just 6. Not 50, or 60, or 100. Just six. They might get into the mailbox today. Maybe. We'll see. I just cannot allow the demands of the season to stress away the joy of it. I hope I love on people the rest of the year. If they don't get a card I hope they know I still care, I just can not cover everything that I would like to. This year it mattered to me to bake cookies, which I never do... It's been so much fun!!

I spent an afternoon baking with my daughter. We had good times. Then later, I decorated a few at a time. And we shared them. That was fun. It gave me a chance to get creative. So far, the holidays have been so much fun this year! And yes I am tired and some things are not gettiing done... but I am having a good time and not forgetting what the season is really about:

Worship. Family. Love. Joy. and Peace. (Remember peace?)

I wish you all of these things today. And the restful moments in which to savor them.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor Day

Today we are remembering Pearl Harbor, the lives lost, the loved ones who grieved, and the sense of patriotism that attack engendered. The way people felt when Pearl Harbor was attacked must be a lot like I felt when the World Trade Centers came down. Shock, horror, fear, anger, confusion.

I have been thinking about the 1940s a lot lately. I wasn't there, but it seems like those times played a big role in who we have become today. The grief over men lost, the sense of loyalty to a cause, the big band sounds that kept up morale while women stayed home and worried for their men. All that fantastic music and the great dancing were a part of an overall picture that included war!

My parents would have been young adults then. Those times shaped them, and consequently, shaped us. I love to hear the stories and see the pictures from their lives then. I can't imagine the way life must have felt during that war. I wish I could go visit those times, and then come back here. I guess that's why I love old movies and stories from then.

The more I think about it, the more I'm convince that then or now, people are people. We have always had certain things in common. We shop to find the best price on groceries. We worry about bills. Young ones look for fun, find dates, and fall in love. We complain about the weather and politics. People start families and settle in to life. We want the best for our kids. We help them with schoolwork. So many things do not change. Our daily lives contain most of the same tasks, same concerns as ever. There are good neighbors and bad ones everywhere in every time. Friendship always nourishes. Bad things happen and our choices remain pretty much the same in how to respond.

I think maybe we can identify with the generations before us a lot better than we think we can, if we just stop and think about it. Maybe there is less difference than we imagined.

If you have a chance, find someone who lived through the forties and listen to them. Swap stories. Learn what is common to us all, and how individual differences play into the overall picture of life and history. Listen to the stories of their daily life, and write them down if you can... when these people are gone, we won't be able to hear first hand accounts any more. That will be a great loss. We need to savor it while we can. Their history is our history.