Walk

I have started walking again. It isn’t as much as I used to walk, which was about 3-6 miles a day. Things change, or I should say I have changed and so has life. We take so much for granted, yet it is always there.

I love walking later in the day – towards dusk. The cooler temperatures, the setting of the sun, the stillness on the roads. I have been walking in my little hometown among the neighborhoods. What I have realized is that I miss walking in the country. Right now it is pretty quiet as the farmers have yet to start harvesting and the road that leads to out of town is under construction.

The biggest reason I miss walking out of town is that I miss my walking buddy. She loved going with me every day. Sometimes we would go in the mornings and sometimes in the early evenings. She knew exactly what to expect when I brought out the leash and said we were going for a walk.

She has been gone for over 15 years and I still get tears in my eyes when I think of her. Posha was my dog. She was my companion. She was my protector. She loved to run in the ditches when we would head out of town. I never worried about her popping up over the road into traffic. She was head down, sniffing out, running right with me.

Our walks would take us around the mile sections. The changes in scenery were subtle, yet significant enough to see them. The colors – even green has many shades – would tell you what part of the year it was. Spring and fall have that distinct smell. I love the smell of the turned earth in the spring when you knew the days would be getting longer and warmer. Fall has the scent of football games, fires, and road trips. What more could you ask for?

Winter cripsness bring back childhood fun – snowforts, sledding, and angels. Summer smells of freedom, long lazy days, cut grass, chlorine. You cannot forget where you came from.

When I walk and flood my senses with smell, I am reminded of everything I did, saw, and lived before now. Walking is a true meditation in life. It frees me from worries and opportunities and helps me figure out the next steps. it is the piece of my puzzle that I have lost and now found its right place to complete the picture.

What do you do when you need to right yourself with the life you have created? do you walk, participate in a hobby, journal, or do you simply sit and meditate alone? I do all these, however, walking is by far the best therapy for me. I would love to hear from you .

God bless.

Where are you supposed to be?

It all started over a year ago. One more move and we hope this will be the last one. Giving up, what we thought was our dream home, to a rough commute. The longest either one of us had to make in all our years of jobs.

The attitude in moving to a “different” community was – we will continue to do what we always do when we need to do it. We are not loud and noisy. We are creatures of habit – aren’t we all. We work, we sleep, we relax on our time. We take care of things when WE want to take care of them.

Sometimes the journey takes you down a path that you would have never thought was on your map. New experiences, new friends, new places and yes, new habits.

The welcoming from a small community is just what we didn’t expect. Coffee on the door step, a bag full of notepads and pens, unexpected introductions from passerbys. Yes, we are nice people and so were they.

A small note attached to the coffee has led to an unexpected habit in our spiritual lives. I have always said that we are believers in our heart. We have talked so many times about revisiting our beliefs and where to go. The work schedules and the time crunches just made each of us feel that we couldn’t start and that we didn’t want to go if the other wasn’t present.

When you choose to return to a place that you needed to have in your life, it changes things. Choices reflect change. Through thick and the thin, the hard decisions become easier when you can see the light. We needed something. We have both been knocked around – by life and by each other (not literally either).

I have had a lot of time to reflect on my beliefs. Each of us has those nagging questions and yes, thoughts. Can I be the person that God wants me to be? Am I worthy all the same? Does He even want me back? Why would He even want me back? So many other questions that I became overwhelmed and we did nothing.

Almost six years ago, my faith was hit hard and I didn’t care about anything. I was mad, angry and found it hard to even think of believing in anything that was good. When you see someone you love being taken from you, all you can do is watch and I had a hard time praying – maybe I prayed because I “thought” it would help – it didn’t. Up until that time I told myself I didn’t need to go to church and I can believe how I want to. No one needs to tell me “how” to do it or what to do.

I watched my sister take her last breath and I knew her faith was so strong that it didn’t matter what I said or did. She has made me think hard about what it means to believe, be faithful, be strong in that faith and those beliefs. I had struggled for four and a half years to figure it out.

That bag of coffee on the step changed everything. If you know one thing about me – I believe everyone comes into your life for a reason, whether for second or for lifetime, and this is true. Some texts and BAM! we are having Pastor and his wife over for a visit – right before the big “shut down” in the pandemic.

That was our biggest “aha” moment. We challenged all those beliefs we grew up to know and guess what – they aren’t any different than they were before. Our eyes were opened up and guess what – so were our hearts. We realized that it didn’t matter how you get there as long as you grow and as you continue on that journey, it will get you there all the same. We had finally found our home.

Fast forward 15 months and we have settled quite nicely into a better routine. New experiences, new friends, new place and yes, new habits. Which brings me to the most awesome of all experiences.

The town we live in is about 500 people and it has two churches and a Christian school. Every 4th of July, there is a huge celebration – a fundraiser for the school. It is absolutely amazing. When you think about this, it will blow your mind.

The town starts with a Walk/Run sponsored by the local bank. It generates a dollar amount for each person that signs up for this walk. Now, comes the fun part. When you start that walk/run there are 3 times as many people taking part in that than there are people in this town! 1,500 people had signed up for that walk/run of the one mile that is required to generate those dollars. One thousand five hundred people!!

After this amazing feat, there is another fundraiser – smoked bbq pork dinner (and yes you can smell this before the walk/run). The smokers have made some rib racks to be auctioned off before the meal. Krispy Kreme is also available! We enjoyed some of the donuts at home before heading back to the school for dinner!

The school gym was packed with kids, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends. The topping on this was the 1919 root beer floats for a dollar!!

We spent the next few hours at home and watched as the kids enjoyed blowup bouncy houses with some cool water attractions across the street – again more fundraising as they could play all day for ten bucks! There were softball games at the diamond, bean bag and spike ball tournaments on the church lawn, too.

The parade started at 6 p.m. on mainstreet. We were treated to parade floats that were homemade by neighborhoods throughout town – you really get to know your neighbors!! There were your garden variety tractors and advertising by local businesses, also. The kids were not dissapointed by all candy that thrown out.

We did not have to make a single thing to eat at home. You see, there were concessions at the field across from the church – brats, chips, water, cookies. This tided us over until the outdoor ice cream social and local entertainment. We watched as people strode from home, cars, and bikes to the church.

We returned home to enjoy the fireworks display that was provided at 10 p.m. It was an awesome display to end the evening’s festivities!

Throughout the day we marveled at all of this. We both commented about how strong this community was, how we were blessed to be a part of it, and most of all how this all played out on this hot July 4th! I do have to comment (as Dave and I discussed this) that all this fun included anyone – there were things to do for any age – without alcohol being offered anywhere for anything or anyone. With that being said, we thought about all the celebrations we have been to and experienced. Nothing has compared to the celebration of Freedom as much as this did.

You may say, but look where you live. You may say, no one must drink. You may say, you don’t drink anyway. You may also say – that town has always been a “dry” town. And I say to you – There are new experiences, new people and new places to be had.

Dave and I often say how blessed were are to have found this place. To be a part of this community has changed many things. We know we have missed out on many things – but, it finally tapped us on the shoulder and showed us a new path.

Yes, I still miss my little sister like crazy, however, without her, I may never have found the place that I have been looking for all these years. Her strength, courage, belief, and faith, have finally taken hold of my senses. I know we are suppose to be here, now. It took a long time, but we are home, right where God wanted us to be.

Summer and Work, Work, Work

Shorter Summer Days

The summer passed me by

And I know the reason why –

Work, work, work.

 

The leaves quietly fall from

Our trees to the ground –

They are purple and dry.

 

The colors and smells tell me

I know – you should be be

Doing something besides –

Work, work, work.

 

A lawnmower and a child,

Both picking up leaves.

One for her mother the

Other for what Mother Nature has done.

 

The ladybugs are thick

Flying in the air-

Slowly finding a home on my

Home in the trees.

 

The dog has hardly time

To shed anymore, her coat

Will slowly thicken.

She will enjoy the outdoors, so do I.

 

The summer has passed me by

And the days are getting

Shorter.

Fall is in its first beautiful week.

Work, work, work.

 

Written September 27, 2001, by Me

 

 

 

Challenge and Change and Virus too!

 

Every day is a new challenge for our leaders.  Challenge and change and virus too!  They have never had to deal with something like this.  We all have to chill and pray that they do the right things to keep everyone calm and as safe as possible. We are our own worst enemy when it comes to stuff like this.  Even when our population continues to rise, with the wars, illness, and violence, we have to think about the good of the whole and not the individual.

I guess there is something that has to (and yes, I am writing this) offset the population in order for the rest to survive longer on this planet.  We have been given one planet and are we making the best of it?  Are we doing our part now to prevent anything worse to happen?  War is not just about bombs and guns. It is about each of us waging against each other. Taking this seriously has got to be a standard and norm for all of us.

So many have quoted Bible verses in order to put this into perspective.  We have all seen or heard them.  Can history repeat itself?  Without a doubt, I believe it can.  Is our faith strong enough to bring us through this?  Most of us would say yes.  I am a believer that for whatever reasons, beyond our control, God has a plan.  We don’t get to know that plan.  Our job is to do what we are supposed to do, right here and now.

I cannot imagine how it would feel to not be able to do what I want when I want, where I want. I cannot imagine having to fight for a scrap of food or clean water. We take so many things for granted it is really quite pitiful. I know that a lot of us have thought about the here and now and how things were and we really truly want to change. We want this way of life – just not the fight to get our simple needs met – but the exchange of conversations and the time with family and friends. We all need these moments to truly connect to each other and to ourselves.

Could we all stand truer conversations with those we love and care about? Are we learning to show more compassion for strangers? We can all do our part to make our lives richer because we had to slow down, change our courses of living.  Doing these things in order to have a life well lived – not the rocking chair that never moves but back and forth – is what we are sent here to do.

Romans 12:10  Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;

These are times when our friends and neighbors should feel this, know this, and feel accepted by this.  It is time to reflect on the changes that have been made and are coming.

Change can be good. Life can be good. We can be better at both. We are good at both. Think about all the things that have changed for the better to make our lives enriched with those we love.   Challenge and Change and Virus too!

Curveballs – Can Help or Hurt Us

 

Curveballs - Can Help or Hurt Us
HIT OR MISS

 

Curveballs – can help us or hurt us – that is a great way to think about things. I can either hit things out of the ballpark or miss and try again. Home runs don’t happen every day, but they can happen more often with practice.  That is why when you miss, you can keep on trying!

When we practice, we learn what didn’t work and what will work.  We think about the ways in which we can make things better.  A curveball is sent to the batter, he can either swing or let it go to the catcher.  Maybe he sees how the ball came in – fast, inside, outside, low or high.  Maybe the ball is outside the batters’ box – the pitcher must be right on to make the batter swing.

Sometimes we wait to see how things could be.  Waiting is a terrible thing to do.  Why do you ask?  What if by waiting, we miss the opportunity to get better or we miss hitting the home run we have been wanting to hit all along.  Another way the opportunity comes to you, curveballs – can help us or hurt us.

I took a few chances in the last couple of weeks.  Heck, my hubby and I both did.  We didn’t know what the outcome would be, but we were betting against the odds and looking to hit it out of the park.

Being scared is easy – your mind makes up all kinds of reasons for not doing something.  It is constantly looking for reasons to keep you safe.  I have been reading a lot and listening to experts tell me one thing – Your brain is hardwired to keep you safe.  It is constantly on the lookout for the proverbial saber tooth tiger, the savage in the next village, or the approaching dangerous weather.

Decisions are so tough when you have the emotions that go along with the outcome.  If we can make our decisions without emotions, many of us wouldn’t be in the turmoil that we are in.  We always want what is best and our FEAR takes us to levels of uncertainty that can only be soothed or escalated after we have made that choice.

We are creatures of fight or flight.  Our brains are hardwired to always look for the enemy – in this case, the what-ifs that might have bad outcomes.  If we didn’t have to think about the emotional toll for any of our decisions – life would always be a thrill ride.  Yes, a thrill ride.  Taking those plunges and climbing those mountains – because we can and that is what we chose at the time, without fear.

We don’t need to worry about those things anymore.  We need to tell our brain that we can do the things we want and learn from the failures.  Making our choices safer – doesn’t allow us to learn and grow from them.  Granted, I do not want people to make decisions that will harm them or anyone else, in an incapacitated way.

We spend months, sometimes, in trying to decide what are the what-ifs.  We have others to consider all the time.  It is never a one and done decision.  We have to make choices that not everyone agrees with but the best choice has to be made.  We can’t sacrifice one without changing the fate of the others – curveballs – can help us or hurt us.

I love trying new things that I would have never dreamed about trying.  The interests may have come from a family member or friend.  I might have put a lot of time in at first and then walked away or I may still be dabbling in week after week.

Going back to the batter – what are his choices?  Swinging and hitting, swinging and missing, or watching the ball go to the catcher and hope the call is foul and walk to first base.  I enjoy at least taking a couple of chances and seeing if I can connect.  Letting the pitcher know I am not scared to try.  Learning that I can hit the ball, make that one connection, to get to first base or circle the mound, is all I need to know that I can do it and will do it.

That is not a failure and I am no longer scared.

I read a saying once -“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.” – Robin Sharma –  http://www.robinsharma.com/ has some great insights.

Mix it up.  Try something new – even if it isn’t on a grand scale.  Make it count and chalk it up to new experiences.  Choose to live a life well-lived.  Opportunity knocks all the time.  What door do you want to walk through next?  Where will your life lead you?  A curveball can help you or hurt you.  When will you swing?