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.

Habits – Resolutions?

Habits are one of those things that, no matter what it is, it is either bad or good. You name it and anyone will tell you – bad or good.

We all have them. Some of us have had them forever and many of us have just started them. Smoking, eating, drinking, chewing our nails, swearing – these would be classified as bad. Exercising, eating healthy, reading, going to be early, limiting computer time – these would be good.

I have had a few bad ones and a few good ones. I have started and stopped them too. We are always looking for a quick fix, an easier way, or really – we are just plain lazy (I mean that in a good way).

We are conditioned to do things the easiest way with the least amount of energy. It takes discipline and I know I have to really work on staying focused to form that “good” habit.  It is so much easier to just keep doing what I have been doing, because, well, basically, it’s easier!

What is one habit that you would love to conquer, improve, or lose?  Suffice it to say, I smoke.  It is one of those habits I have continually struggled to lose.  I have quit the longest for four years.  I know people that have started the stopping process and proclaimed to the world – I QUIT!  I have been one of them, only to start back up in secret!  Ouch!

What is it that truly makes us struggle?  Have I tried too hard or not hard enough?  I think I have tried really hard and then – BAM! – back at it.  Most people, who don’t know me well, can’t believe I smoke.  I like to think I am a polite smoker and I really only smoke half a pack a day.  Some days, more than others, however, I still smoke.

Do you find pleasure in your habit – good or bad?  I just enjoy sitting and doing nothing!  When I sit and have a cigarette, I am doing nothing!  I am a go, go, go kind of person so it means a nice, quiet break from a lot of things.

Boredom comes to mind – eating, drinking, smoking, etc.  I have lots of hobbies.  Most of the time I do really well and find myself absorbed in doing things that I don’t think about smoking.  

Habits – they say 30 days to kick it, but, science has been studying it and it is truly longer for most people and yes, shorter for others.   Mindset, ah yes, that lovely word. 

We have been hearing and reading about it.  I know I have.  Change your thoughts and you will change your habits.  It is a real game-changer and for a positive person like me, you would think it would be easy to quit.  Smoking doesn’t change who I am and so I can still be positive.  

On the other hand, smoking changes who you think I am.  It has all the connotations of being a bad, dirty, smelly, unhealthy person.  Who me?  Have you met me?  Oh, yes, it is unhealthy, dirty, and smelly.  So is overeating and drinking.  

A habit is a choice.  We choose all the time.  Sometimes we are struggling with that choice and so are you.  

Choose to eat better, exercise, abstain.  Personally, I am not doing too bad in the habit department when I think of others who have habits that I wouldn’t want to take on – good or bad.  Choices.

As long as I can work on changing my bad habit – that should be all that counts.  I will applaud your diligence with your good habit as long as you understand and support me trying to make mine go away.  

Our habits do not define us.  

NO, I did not make any resolutions.  If you did, let me know what they are and how you are going to make them stick!

Happy New Year!

When Will it End?

I wrote this middle summer.

It’s been a crazy four months. We started with Covid and now we are dealing with riots. Where does it stop? We have enough crap to deal with and yet people are going crazy – seriously!

If they would spend their time thinking and finding jobs, this country might settle a little and things might get back to a comfortable “normal”.

Destruction never helps anyone – ever. It brings distrust, being uncomfortable, fear, and mostly it disrupts everything we have come to know.

I am all about doing the right things, but, trying to damage everything is not the answer.

Our values, our friendships, any relationships we have, are all turned on their sides because we “feel” that one word or thought spoken, will bring fear where it shouldn’t.

The freedom to have opinions and speech are becoming something to fear!

We should be afraid of nothing. We each have our own beliefs that bring us a reality that we see. No one should fault us for feeling how we feel or thinking why we think.

Nothing makes me sadder than knowing our children and grandchildren, and all the generations to come will have to endure the fear because this country has brought it unto itself.

I cannot undo what others have done – they thought they were right. I cannot change people – they have to change themselves. I can only give a voice to those that want to see healing and better direction to those that are lost.

Time – they say – changes nothing or everything. It’s true. It marches on no matter who leads that change. We don’t get chances to fix what was done. It is done. It is the past.

So many people believe – and I am one of them -that God has about had enough of this. Bringing all of us to a point where some don’t care and that will forever change the face of humanity. How? By delivering those of evil to their end. Wiping out the weak in Spirit. Shaking us by our shoulders and shaking His head saying – NO MORE!

This has got to stop, showing us the evil that the devil has placed in those that do not believe – or it will change things for the worse.

We know what we should be doing – do good, take care of our neighbors, teach our children, pray for each other, see the blessings, lend a hand or food or shelter. These actions will become the “norm”. They are stronger than the violence, destruction, and disease that is going on right now.

Now we are in the Holiday season and are still struggling to feel “normal”. Canceled family holidays, shortened or no vacations, smart trips to the store, no unnecessary travel- all these things are what makes our new reality.

This Fall, Pastor reminded us of Psalm 57 -It is during the Time of Trial for David

57 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.

He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.

Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.

They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.

My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.

Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.

I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.

10 For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

11 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.

KJV

I couldn’t help but see the value of this verse after I wrote my thoughts this summer.

May your days be merry and bright, your needs be filled, your family be healthy, your appreciation for all you have be strong, do good when you can, pray for those you do not know, and most of all – God will see us throught this.

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!

Oh What a Night – Music and Change!

 

 

 

That was the last time we stayed up all night.

“Oh my God!  Can you believe she wore that?”  I exclaimed, walking down the crowded street.  “That would be the last thing I would want to wear.”

“Yeah, well, with a body like that, I would wear it too.”  My best friend was always saying how she wanted to have a body that would be killer in anything other than what she was wearing.

We walked the next couple of blocks to the train and noticed the rain started falling as we got to the platform.

What a night!  It was a struggle getting into the disco, but we managed to get in, just as the music started to play.  The crowd was already on the dance floor and the music was taking on a new vibe.  Sue and I had never heard some of it before and we were thinking that maybe we should have waited and gone somewhere else.

 

Elvis had just passed away in August and the world thought it would end without his music.  We were young, seeking something different, watching, and waiting to see who the next “big” thing would be.  I couldn’t understand why someone so young, full of life, ambition, and charisma, was gone.

Anyway, we got on the train and sat back exhausted from dancing all night.  It didn’t matter that we didn’t have dates, we enjoyed dancing and that was what tonight was all about.  Saturday nights, freedom from parents, restrictions, our menial, part-time jobs, and we had time.

Hours earlier

“I don’t want to stand here forever.  What if we say, by 9 pm, if we don’t make it in, we go downtown to that new place?”

“Let’s wait.  We are so close to walking through that door.”  Sue was always wanting to wait, wait, wait.

“Ok, Fine.”  I lit a cigarette and puffed away.

“We are in!!  I can’t believe we are here.”  Pushing her way through the crowd we find an open spot against a wall and watch.   The dancers on the floor weren’t coupled up, but dancing in lines and large groups.

“What are they doing?”  I asked as I watched them swinging their hips, taking large, sweeping steps, and pointing to the ceiling.

“Oh, that?  It’s all the new craze, man.  That new movie, what was it, oh, yeah, Saturday Night Fever, had some new stuff in it and everybody is doing it!”  A tall, red-haired, freckled guy next to me explained what I was watching.

I smiled and said thanks.  Sue and I didn’t waste time.  We slid right in and joined the fun!  And boy, was it fun!  December 31, 1977, was a night to remember.  The end of something old, a start to something new, and the time of our lives.   Did I mention that was the last time we stayed up all night?

December 31, 2019

Elvis has been gone 42 years, the Bee Gees still get played, Star Wars has enough movies to be played by several generations that it will never be forgotten, and the beloved John Travolta will forever be dancing in that white suit pointing to the sky in Saturday Night Fever.

Sue and I keep in touch via Facebook and a few chance meetings.  We don’t stay up late anymore – those days are gone.  Things have changed so much – school, marriage, deaths, births, jobs, technology.  Now the sand is slowly filling up the bottom of the hourglass.  Time, we had so much of it back then.

Originally written January 17, 2020

Prayer is Not Always Done in Church

 

Praying anywhere

 

 

Prayer comes easier to me at night.   I try to pray. Doing it doesn’t make me more or less religious.   I do it because I believe. I am a strong believer that there is more than we can ever know.

Religion doesn’t have to mean an hour, or whatever time, of praising God. It is the belief that there is a God. Some may argue that you need to know the scriptures or read or study the Bible – I don’t.

We started going to classes as we grew older and eventually stopped going to church.  I was brought up by good parents, good role models, and supporting family and friends is why I argue that.

Faith is a strong virtue, but only if you are compassionate, kind, and try to see the good in others. That, to me, is faith. Faith that everyone is as you are.

Understanding your family and friends, sharing kindness, showing vulnerability- these are values of virtue. The definition of virtue is – behavior showing high moral standards.

It boils down to that – behavior. We are human. Everyone makes mistakes. All we need to do is ask for forgiveness and apologize.

I am surely not of “high” moral standards. No one I know is. Judgment day comes to all of us. And I do know this – God forgives all because He is an all-forgiving God. Not having a religious background, I still know that.

I can’t recite much of anything, except the prayers learned in religious education. They are all I need – to learn, to remember, to understand. It is enough for me to work on my own “high” moral standards without having to go somewhere to do it or someone telling me how to do it.

I have a home, a sanctuary, to pray in. Asking for forgiveness, receiving guidance, and feeling safe are things I can have wherever I want. To tell you the truth, I drive and thank God for another day. That’s all I know he wants me to tell him – the simple prayer of thankfulness.

Think about all the things that you worry about, the people you lost, the words you said, the things you’ve done wrong – just ask for, say a prayer and be grateful for another day.  Have faith that He will answer when He knows you are ready.

Faith – strong belief in God – is believing in something that you can’t physically see, hear or touch. You just believe. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t make it untrue. I like knowing that. Knowing that I believe because I just do.  Say a prayer tonight, it can just be a simple Thank you.

Prayer

I try every day to be thankful. I try every night to pray. I don’t do it because I’m religious, I do it because I believe. I am a strong believer that there is more than we can ever know.

Religion doesn’t have to mean an hour, or whatever time, of praising God. It is the belief that there is a God. Some may argue that you need to know the scriptures or read or study the Bible – I don’t.

Being brought up by good parents, good role models, and supporting family and friends is why I argue that.

Faith is a strong a virtue, but only if you are compassionate, kind, and try to see the good in others. That, to me, is faith. Faith that everyone is as you are.

Understanding your family and friends, sharing kindness, showing vulnerability- these are values of virtue. The definition of virtue is – behavior showing high moral standards.

It boils down to that – behavior. We are human. We make mistakes. We ask for forgiveness and apologize.

I am surely not of “high” moral standards. No one I know is. Judgement day comes to all of us. And I do know this – God forgives all because He is an all forgiving God. I don’t have the religious background to know that.

I can’t recite much of anything, except the prayers learned in religious education. They are all I need – to learn, to remember, to understand. It is enough for me to work on my own “high” moral standards without having to go somewhere to do it or someone telling me how to do it.

I have a home, a sanctuary, to pray in. Asking for forgiveness, receiving guidance, and feeling safe are things I can have wherever I want. To tell you the truth, I drive and thank God for another day. That’s all I know he wants me to tell him – I am thankful for another day.

Think about all the things that you worry about, the people you lost, the words you said, the things you’ve done wrong – just ask for and be grateful for another day.

Faith – strong belief in God – to believe in something that you can’t physically see, hear or touch. You just believe. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t make it untrue. I like knowing that. Knowing that I believe because I just do.

Fall into another Season

 

 

fall on the lake

 

I wrote this last fall and have finally had a chance to publish it.

I have been feeling a little nostalgic, lately.  Fall always brings back those childhood memories.  The clear skies, fresh air, short days, football games, leaves falling – there is just something about this time of year.

Yesterday and today I spent a couple of hours just burning leaves. Why is this important? Sometimes connecting with nature and listening to the sounds is therapeutic.

My neighborhood is relatively quiet. We live on a dead-end road with many summer families. The highway isn’t too far away and the sounds from across the lake, today, can be a telltale sign of what is going on. Lawnmowers, power tools, vehicles – these interrupt my silence.

The wind through the trees, the squeaking of the branches, and the few birds that stay year-round are amazing – blue jays, cardinals, seagulls.

The remnants of summer – lawn chairs, a basketball, late-blooming flowers, robins chirping and heading south, boats getting that last trip on the lake.

Time stands still. The smoke rises until the breeze pushes it over. Memorized by the red, orange, and yellow flames. Crackling of leaves giving their last energy to the fire. Ashes to ashes.

Green needles from the cedar lose their moisture and slowly join the leaves. They will meld together and fertilize the earth again.

My hubby and I usually do this together and it takes all day. Today my Dad joined me when I was almost done for the day. As I stood patiently waiting for the clippings and leaves to burn, he said it reminded him of hunting. Standing, watching, listening, waiting. Waiting for that one opportunity to shoot.

I went hunting once. During my senior year of high school, I was 18. It was one of the most peaceful experiences I have ever had. Alone in the woods, trees dropping their cover, animals scurrying for scraps of whatever they were looking for, silence.  The season begins, protecting the earth until it renews in the spring.

Fall is one of the most magical times of the year for me. The nostalgia, the smells of the upturned earth, the coming of winter, changes. Changes that take place under the leaves and snow and sometimes inside of us.

 

Falling

I wrote this last fall and have finally had a chance to publish it.

I have been feeling a little nostalgic, lately.  Fall always brings back those childhood memories.  The clear skies, fresh air, short days, football games, leaves falling – there is just something about this time of year.

Yesterday and today I spent a couple hours just burning leaves. Why is this important? Sometimes connecting with nature and listening to the sounds is therapeutic.

My neighborhood is relatively quiet. We live on a dead end road with many summer families. The highway isn’t too far away and the sounds from across the lake, today, can be a telltale sign of what is going on. Lawn mowers, power tools, vehicles – these interrupt my silence.

The wind through the trees, the squeaking of the branches, and the few birds that stay year round are amazing – blue jays, cardinals, seagulls.

The remnants of summer – lawn chairs, a basketball, late blooming flowers, robins chirping and heading south, boats getting that last trip on the lake.

Time stands still. The smoke rises until the breeze pushes it over. Memorized by the red, orange, and yellow flames. Crackling of leaves giving their last energy to the fire. Ashes to ashes.

Green needles from the cedar lose their moisture and slowly join the leaves. They will meld together and fertilize the earth again.

My hubby and I usually do this together and it takes all day. Today my Dad joined me when I was almost done for the day. As I stood patiently waiting for the clippings and leaves to burn, he said it reminded him of hunting. Standing, watching, listening, waiting. Waiting for that one opportunity to shoot.

I went hunting once. My senior year of high school, I was 18. It was one of the most peaceful experiences I have ever had. Alone in the woods, trees dropping their cover, animals scurrying for scraps of whatever they were looking for, silence.

Fall is one of the most magical times of the year for me. The nostalgia, the smells of the upturned earth, the coming of winter, changes. Changes that take place under the leaves and snow and sometimes inside of us.

Grandchildren

The blessings that they bring.  Babies born onto our children.  Little versions of our babies when they were babies.
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Crying, eating, pooping, smiling, crawling, giggling, growing little by little until all of a sudden they are the best version of two people who fell in love in the first place.  Take back the long, restless nights, and it really wasn’t that bad nor was it that long.

I couldn’t wait to hear what their voices were going to sound like after all the grunting and wailing they did for things they wanted.  Soon the words turned to sentences.  Their personalities developed and their likes and dislikes start to show.

I think that they are an extension of ourselves once removed.  Seeing them reminds me of the girls when they were little.  Wondering if I was anything like they are.  Seeing, touching, hearing.. unafraid.  That’s what I miss.  I see how they try anything without knowing what could happen.  Taking those first steps, jumping off the couch, trying adult food for the first time, touching a soft cat or prickly pinecone.

We have eight of them and that is all we will have.  The oldest will turn 21 the end of this month and the youngest is a year and a half.  Wow, is that crazy or what!  

I love watching them grow, seeing what they are doing, the challenges they face, the individuals they are becoming.  School, health, dates, driving, jobs – it all takes time and that is what they have more of than anything else.

I just want them to know that we care, we want them to do their best, we will catch them if they fall, and we will let them take the responsibility if they make decisions that we disagree or agree with!  

There are times when I think back to my grandparents and know that they approved and disapproved of many things.  I loved it when they scolded me and I knew they really weren’t upset, just a little disapproving of my choices.  We all turned out pretty well, anyway.

The hubby and I argue, sometimes, over the way they were raised.  We aren’t their parents, they have their own.  We watch and wait until our kids ask us for advice and, sometimes, we give it anyway.

I will always remember my Great Grandpa on my paternal side.  He was the most fun.  I was young when he was old and yes, I remember the day we laid him to rest.  It was heart breaking.

He loved to play tricks until we cried or skip with us down a dusty old road.  Memories are what I have.  I hope that my grand kids have those too.

We have favorites, whether we like it or not, and try not to show it.  I think that because we didn’t get to be involved with some of the older kids, when they were little, we missed some of the bonding.  Who the heck knows how to be grandparents anyway????

Snuggles and hugs, kisses and high 5’s.  Diapers and distress.  Driving and dates.  School and jobs.  The older they get, the less we see them.  They get busy just like us.  Scheduling time is what we need to do.  We can no longer just drop in and expect to see the older ones. 

Cherish what you have, look forward to what is coming, and remember what was.  These are great times  – Grandpa and Grandma!