ORGANZA



It is out of fashion now ....but it invokes such strong memories none the less.

It was her Sunday best!  She stood with her sister along side the full sized bed, and she watched as her dad was feigning to sleep. Her mom's smile lit up the room as she presented her 5 and 3 year old daughters, already dressed for church, to her husband. Her chin was down, but she raiswed her eyes to see if the dress she wore was met with the same excitement from her dad, that she had.


The rough tickle of the waist seam,  raw with crinoline and organza, scratched her soft skin. Even when it scratched, she was so enthralled with the smell of the ice blue, Dotted Swiss organza dress that she ignored the irritation. The super light fabric moved ever so easily in the spring breeze that was emanating through the screen window. She had practiced swirling in the living room over and over, so her smile was broad and she felt like a princess. As she waited for her father's reaction, she turned her face to the side so that her nose would bury deep into the puckered puff of her little sleeve. It smelled so good. It was at that very moment that she made a memory  to last a lifetime.

At 60 something I had the pleasure to purge my home, it was a challenge on a facebook post. Today, I was to empty my bedding stores! I knew it would be a challenge, not only for the amount of bedding I have "hoarded" over the years, but for the sake of having to let go of some of it too.  No, I do not have that dress any longer, but in my stash I found one lone organza ruffled curtain. I held it up to the light and watched as colors and swirls filtered through it.  I wanted to keep it, but I don't even have a single window that it would fit.  So, into the recycle bin it had to go. As I was ready to toss it, I took one last look and remembered that dress and wondered to myself, -could this smell like that. I slowly bunched it up in my hand, and raised it to my face. Not wanting to be disappointed, I steadied myself for the nuance of fragrance. Then, my face lit up and as I took that long deep sniff, a broad smile twinkled and I was transported once more to a day so very long ago. .......Tell me  now, can I  really let go and throw it into the recycle bin? What do you think I did? Pin It Now!

THE DESERT



Dry.....when all the tears have been cried and the words spoken the heart is dry. Like a desert it has ceased to flourish. The wind blows and transforms the landscape into ripples of itself  day after day, leaving behind hidden tracks. Changing over and over again, but still remaining the same in contour, and if you look carefully you can see that it has some sort of grace upon the landscape that transcends what is physical.

Mourning does that. Whether the loss of a love one is physical or mental, the pain is such that it leaves ripples even if covered over in smiles, steadily ticking of life minute by minute.  The hidden tracks are known only to the layer beneath the wind blown sands, and they remain constant there.

But, when you look carefully you can see the grace shine forth in the living! It comes to sooth the dry and replace it with supple elegance. Life is renewed in the freshness of grace. The glow emerges, and radiance blinds the desert like a hot orange sun rising over the dunes........life resumes.






Pin It Now!

A Message to my Dad on Father's Day


~I made this card to symbolize me as a little girl in a bubble of protection at the seashore while my dad fished. A sweet memory I hold. I thought he would like the card......

Tears trickled quietly behind sunglasses following the contour of her face, dipping into the wrinkles and valleys like water in a twisting turning river bed. Trying not to take a gulp of air and begin the uncontrollable gasping sob, she controlled her breathing first by exhaling the hurt and then the anger. When she was finally able to breathe again the flood became too much to hold back and she desperately tried to blink away the salty water like windshield wipers on extra fast. She had been yelled at and chastised and invalidated just like when she was a child.

Her mind flitted from hurt to anger and her emotions flitted in unison to create bucket loads of sadness to words conjured in her mind not to be spoken out loud. Her silent dialogue between herself and a ghost did nothing to make the crying subside. It wasn't until her racing mind filled with spiritual answers of basically sucking it up- to the rationale of not doing it any longer wore her out, did she wipe her face. It was wetter than a warm day could dry and there were no napkins or tissues in the console so she made do. Looking in the mirror she saw what she had done to herself and realized the redness in her nose was there for the duration of the long quiet ride home. She sighed and knew in her heart that even though she never wanted to go back there she would return the next day and try again.

Dementia and Alzheimer's is not just a condition of the elderly it is a condition of a family. When first we begin to see changes we try to rationalize and in the beginning we can handle the issues that come up. Then one day you find yourself in a pit of despair not knowing what the right coarse of action is. Guilt, and exhaustion, and fear, and angst play out on stage for all to see except for the ones cast in the main role, for they are blind to see. 

The day is coming soon that we must awaken to the reality of what is happening to our family in order to transition into the next phase. Even when there is confused opposition we must realize that the safety and well fare of the one afflicted is paramount in order for ALL to regain a sense of wholeness.

~He took the card and turned it over and over in his hands, he was disappointed I hadn't thought enough of him to have brought a store bought card.


Pin It Now!

THE BROOK


The folds of her cotton dress poofed in the breeze and came to slap the back of her leg as she strolled down the street with her babies following close behind. It was spring, and the weather had changed allowing her to take her newborn out to basque in the sunshine for the first time. Little shoes slid along the sandy covered edge of the road and began to kick up dust. Her little ducklings tried hard to keep up with her pace in a half run and half skip cantor. 

Down the street they went, until they came to an unexpected turn to the left. Excitement showed on the little one's faces because they had never gone for a walk in that direction before. Carefully she looked for the opening in the woods that led to a path. The coolness of the trees, now in bud shadowed their route and birds chirped at their presence. The breeze followed and soon they could hear the rushing water of a full brook fresh from the thaws of winter and rains of spring. The wet leaves lay like carpet around the banks and purple flowers dotted the edge. It was a magical secret corner hidden from the everyday places the children were accustomed to. It was just perfect enough to become a memory for them. 

55 years later in early spring one of the children traveled that road looking for a particular dogwood tree on the opposite side of the street from that magical place. It was early spring gray and cool and the air was full of drizzle. She peered along the back edges of the woods in between worn houses and decaying garages. Maybe it was too early to see the dogwood flowers just yet. When she got to the top of the street she remembered that walk from long ago and smiled to herself as she looked left. Elderly housing now stands where her magic brook had once been. Dismissing the memory, she turned right and looked one last time down the row of yards to catch a glimpse of the tree, when all of a sudden.....

A brook! The perfect curves and color and force of water that had been in her memory for all of those years, was meandering in front of her but why? How? What? Had the memory she held all this time been wrong? How could it be that the color and depth and curves could be so perfect, but the location could be so totally wrong? She smiled when she realized the brook had actually been in her own backyard all this time. Just 30 feet from where she played everyday as a small child.  She now saw the entire picture. The housing had not been built over the brook, it never strayed it was always there. It was quietly hidden in the woods only to be in full view during the winter season. A time when the children would not be out in the woods! It was kept secret from the ducklings to protect them, with a little antidote added as a shield of sorts when that mother warned them not to go near the dogwwod tree for it was poisonous! Coincidentally it was just outside the banks of that brook! The very reason why she came today. She was looking to see if the tree in her memory was the kind of dogwood she knew as an adult gardener or was it some mystical poisonous tree that had been a secret, checked in her memory.

As she strolled those babies out for their walk on that sunny afternoon she wanted to make sure they had a beautiful spring memory to hold with them for a lifetime, but she didn't want to jeopardize their safety. She knew that brook would be a temptation therefore she took a route that would be long and safe and just a little bit boggled never knowing the truth would be learned by one of those children long after that magical time. 

 What a wonderful present all this time later mom! ~thank you! Pin It Now!

PICK A CHOCOLATE

The earth has turned around and faces the sun in a different perspective now, creating a new season. I notice it is dark today when I rise. Most winter mornings I linger in my bed for an extra 15 minutes, for my head does not comprehend the time, and darkness prevails by tricking my mind into thinking it is still all about sleep. Often I give in, close my eyes and wait until the sun rises just over the tree tops, or maybe I will catch the hue of the slightest blue peeking in through the edge of the shade that doesn't quite fit tightly against the window frame. But all good things come to an end and before I know it I have thrown back the comforter to start my day.

Today the darkness left no shadows, and the moon had set creating an abyss of light~lessness that almost hurt my eyes as they strained to see anything. For some reason my head was clear and I was done with rest. So I rose and began my day earlier than usual. Everything was easy and the quiet was welcoming. I could center my thoughts as I went through my routine. Finally, descending the stairs creaking beneath my bare feet, I flipped on the lamp beside my desk to read my messages that came in over night. Amongst the spam I find treasures from those who have sent me love notes while I slept. Some question something I have said or made, some are just sending a quick hello from across the country, or  maybe someone sends a note recapping the appointment they took my dad to on the day before.

Then, when I am done I sit quietly.

A thought comes into my head...."Life is like a box of chocolates", such a fabulous quote that is. I stare at the box of candy above and can easily see just how different each one is. A couple are similar except for a minor elimination of design or texture. They are much like our days, similar with insignificant changes to make them unique! Some of those days are as smooth as the silkiest chocolate with a poignant dash of color to make you pause and wonder why, and others are just like that special one of a kind chocolate heart that you treasure because you know there are few of them in comparisson to the rest. Each day is like those chocolates, you can see and feel each in a slightly different way, and picking the day you intend isn't always what you get, you can't quite tell what is on the inside until you taste it, but it will be filled with surprises! Some good, some plain and ordinary, some not so great, but filled none the less. Then, once in a while you  will have an experience that is special, the kind of day that comes deep from within your heart and just like the heart shaped candy it makes you smile.

........ and you wish that all your chocolates tasted like that!








Pin It Now!

LETTING GO

Funny how it happens.....it isn't even a conscious thought ...it just happens.

Her patent leather shoes scuttled across the floor of her bedroom one last time. She didn't realize it would be the last time but it was, and she hadn't even given it another thought.

She was proud when she opened the box from beneath the Christmas Tree. She could tell from it's shape that is was something she had asked for. She unwrapped the green and red paper with faces of snowmen on it and removed the box lid. Her face brightened with a smile as her mother handed her the pennies that had been stowed away in the pocket of her chenille robe. She took them in her hand and fumbled just a tad as she slipped them into the slot of her new pennies loafers. She was 10 and felt like she was grown up because she didn't have to wear patent leather shoes anymore.

In an instant the passage of life happens. Over and over again little blips change forever the way a person lives and unless they are significant milestones those blips go unnoticed. The day you lay your doll down for the last time because you are too big to play with dolls, or the day you make that last entry into your childhood diary, or the moment your heart changes from that flirty girl to the responsible woman. It is the normal progression of living and it happens without a thought.

Then the day comes when you can see that path behind you, it is a time when you realize the path in front of you is shorter than that path behind. You hear it coming and you feel it's presence but it is like you cannot even believe it is upon you. Days and weeks and months go by and it it trying to catch up to you when all of a sudden it is walking beside you. It takes hold of your hand and a new sense of life embraces your heart. It is like reckoning with the fact that for one last time you will live as you did before, and then have to lay that down and begin living the rest of your life. You begin to nest again but in a different way. You empty out clutter and it feels good. You organize closets and it feels good and you carefully hold items that you cherished for reasons you barely remember and caress them in your hands and it feels good. Some of those items will be placed back in the crevices from which they came but others create a conflict within you. Now you have to decide to let go, one item at a time. It may take moments or days or even years but eventually they are all passed on before they are laid down and forgotten.

The bright peacock blue tea pot sits alone on the cold marble counter top and waits for it's purpose. It has been filled for the last time in these surroundings and will be passed on. Shiny and pristine without blemish or chips it continues on it's journey to heal hearts, comfort sorrows, rejoice in good news.

Funny how it happens....it isn't even a conscious thought.....it just happens.

Her teapot steeped in boiling water one last time. She didn't realize it would be the last time, and she hadn't even given it a second thought.......until now. Pin It Now!

IN AN INSTANT

 

Her eyes were still sleepy when her father woke her and  she fought the light in them when she saw that it was still dark inside her room. Her dad was excited and rushed she and her sister into the kitchen of their second floor apartment. The lights were off but the room glowed in red. She could not figure out why until her mom said look girls there is a big fire downtown and you can see it all the way up here at our house. She felt butterflies in her stomach because she had never seen anything like it before.

The next day the family piled into their pick up truck and drove down the street to town. There were lots of people gathered on the side walk. As they neared the intersection Dad looked at Mom and said oh no it is the Panther Rubber. That was the factory in town where they made soles for shoes. Her eyes grew wide as they passed it by and she saw the charred wooden structure standing against the blue sky like a monster. Then she heard her mother say that a young fireman had been hurt and was in the hospital. She began to cry.

Decades later the sun shone in her eyes as she waited for the owner to help her with a request for custom moulding. The workroom was empty now and clean. The twelve pane windows hung high in the loft and streamed sunlight onto the now quiet tables. The wood was worn and hollowed out on one end where workers stood for eight or ten hours crafting mill work. She could see dust particles floating in the beams of sunlight when her thoughts were disrupted. We don't make moulding here any more miss, he said. Her heart sank because she had always ordered unusual pieces of wood intricately molded to fit her turn of the century decor from them. "What?" she replied. "I am retiring and no one wants to do this type of work anymore. I wanted to sell the shop to someone who loved to work with their hands but I got no offers. Do you know I have worked here since I was twelve!" He began to reminisce about his days of work and she could see the picture he painted for her. She could see the older men teaching him the craft. Her throat began to choke up because she was sentimental and loved the stories of those times.

That story came to mind as she drove the district of town that had rows of warehouses lined up along the railway. Some were made of brick and some were wooden and all with stories that were silenced now from years of neglect. She came to ferret out the story she had heard the night before on the 11:00 news. BREAKING NEWS: a fire was burning in the city. She quickly got out of bed and looked out the window to see the orange glow and a smile came across her face as she remembered being five. She almost threw on her clothes to get in the car and fetch her grandchildren out of bed to experience what she had experienced as five. Then she thought better of it, for her daughter would surely think her crazy.

The sun was bright this particular morning and the air had a prelude of fall in it. The news called the building an abandoned warehouse. They reprted that the fire began around 10:30pm and quickly went to five alarms. It was big fire for this day and age when there are smoke detectors in almost every building. As she drove the mile from home  people were rushing off to work but she could see the red lights of firetrucks on the left. As she approached the intersection her heart sank. She felt sad at seeing the charred scraps of wood because she recognized that building, it was the old Batson Millworks Building. That lovely old wooden building from the early 1900's where the ghosts of carpenters have been released. It will all be forgotten now. She eyed one 12 paned window still in tact along the sidewalk and wanted to jump out of her car to rescue it....for no one will remember what it was like to have the sunbeams stream through it onto the heavy wooden floors as the whir of saw blades hummed and the men began their work day. Pin It Now!

The end of a day


The sun sits a little lower in the sky behind a humid haze.  Streaming into the window it casts a shadow brightly on the wall. In a few minutes it will be on my face and finally shine in my eye as the end of day approaches. The blue of evening commences, bringing with it cooler temps and heavy quiet.

A new baby's mom walks in exhaustion, an old man sits in boredom and confusion beside his bed, an upbeat mom- to- be worries about the days ahead, and I listen to it all through the chirps of birds outside my windowsill.

Saddness comes into my heart as I struggle to sift the diamonds out of the silt of the day. I peer intently into the sludge trying to see what was beautiful. Then I find a baby's face serene in sleep. The rosy blush of color on an old mans cheeks. The upbeat conversation of a mother to be, and the chorus of birds, and breezes rustling in the leaves make me smile.

The rays of sun, shine on the wall of life through the blues of living and all is right as night settles in~ all is right where it is supposed to be. Pin It Now!

Lonesome Highway


The television light peeked through the crack in my door, and I could hear the muttering of words and music as I tossed and turned in my bed. Nothing was comfortable. The covers did not comfort me but challenged my legs instead, and tangled them up as I moved restlessly about trying to find the spot that would lull me to sleep. I would scrunch my pillow and make a nest in the corner against the wall and finally somehow without me even knowing I would be asleep until the break of day.

I distinctly remember having some rare but difficult times trying to fall asleep when I was a child of sevenish. Maybe it was because I feared my parents would die, or maybe I had a test in school or maybe it was because my parents bickered during dinner time, no matter the reason it was always unsettling because it was out of the ordinary.

I thought of that as I drove through the quiet towns this particular night. Never crossing the path of another vehicle, left with the woeful lyrics of a country song playing in my head I traversed from town to town in a big box pattern listening to my thoughts. I was tired but could not sleep so I got out of my tangled bed and dressed and went for a ride. I watched as the clock ticked away from 2:15 to 3:30 and then 4:00. I peered into the homes that had a single soft glow above the kitchen sink, and wondered if the occupant had fallen asleep with the tv on when a lonely blue haze cast it's light from the windows dotting an otherwise black surrounding, or were they struggling with the after midnight hours tonight too.

I drove by the homes I lived in, and the homes my peeps live in now, and the cemeteries, and ponds, and eateries all dark and eerie. Then, I felt quiet. My mind was not running and my thoughts had stilled themselves. Before I knew it I did not feel the tangle mess of the day and I was ready to drift off to sleep. I turned onto my street and quietly returned to my home, shut off the lights, climbed the stairs, pulled up the covers just as the birds began to chirp first one, then two and then.......and then ........, and I dreamed. Pin It Now!

Monday Morning Gray



When morning breaks and the children stir from their beds the sky is milky, and and the breeze is heavy. Rain is on it's way, and the contrast from the weekend just past is significant. Gone are the white puffy clouds that sailed on a bright blue canvas overhead. Gone are the bright eyes and shrieks of laughter that punctuated the days between smiles filled with humor. Gone are the tickles and jokes and glances of love between parent and child, young and old, older and brand new!

This day is filled with heavy, salty, gray air and brings with it a slower tempo. The effort to function is significant and just like the scratchy throats, puffy eyes, aching arms and legs that have to recoup from a weekend of fun, it seems that the universe needs to do the same. Happy Monday! Pin It Now!

Disorderly Calm



I felt a tear run down my face after I had succumbed to the pain in my chest. It was at the very same moment when I let go and I realized there was nothing I could do to make the situation better.  I clasped my cheeks in my hand and looked up at my calendar. A simple black and ivory sketch of  five lobster pots sitting against a weather worn shingled shack with a conglomeration of buoys hanging from rusted nails along it's facade caught my attention. I sighed and became distraught when I realized not every lobster pot had horizontal slats. Some of the pots had verticalal slats and it made me crazy.

I sat for a moment thinking of why that was so. I couldn't find the answer except that to know it was not important. The artist saw fit to make it such. It became my answer in my quietness and I realized that even as a mother I cannot fix everything. Sometimes other factors that I have no control over, create an upset. I have no business in trying to fix it and it is not important that I do. What is important is that my children learn for themselves the hard lessons in life that I cannot fix and clean their own house, and that I learn to let go of the not so neat situations and stop trying to place them all in a satin lined box where everything is safe and perfect! Sometimes rusty nails cause pain, and sometimes all the slats are not facing the same way....but in the end the ivory and black that create a story compliment one another to blend into a lovely sketch. Even if you get a splinter or two along the way trying to straighten it all out. Pin It Now!

A Father's Lesson never forgotten


Spring had come and my dad held my hand, I was about to turn 7 years old and it was the first time I had ever been able to walk to school even if it wasn't by myself. I felt like skipping and running and hopping and yet my dad held onto my hand tightly until we had crossed the busy street and veered down a quiet roadway. The street was lined with nicely painted homes each with neatly manicured lawns. I walked on the sidewalk and then felt my dad let go of my hand. Immediately I began to skip ahead of him. Not too far ahead of him but just enough ahead to make me feel like a big girl. I twirled and just as I came full circle I felt my foot leave the concrete and sink into the lush green lawn. At the same time I heard the stern voice of my father crack the glee and declare. "Donna, get off that lawn" I looked up to see his displeasure and although I knew it was an accident from carelessness I prepared for a scolding. "You must never ever walk on someone's lawn" he said "that is disrespectful and it is not your property, do you understand" he said. "yes daddy" I murmured and I never stepped foot on anyone's lawn again.

Even today I will carefully walk around a front yard and up a walk or driveway even if I have been invited by a friendly neighbor to chat instead of taking a quicker route that would have me walk on their property.

This experience from over 50 years ago keeps playing in my head today and has been playing in my head for a couple of weeks now. Let me begin.

I have lived in the house I live in now for thirteen years. During that time I have enjoyed the company of a lovely neighbor in a perfect neighborhood. It has been the best place I have ever lived, in fact even though it is in the city I prefer it over any of the numerous homes in which I have had the privilege to live.

That is until now.

A few months ago that home that belonged to my lovely neighbor sold. When she moved out  I was excited to meet the new neighbors who moved in. They were bustling to get unpacked when I first noticed items that were being neatly staged in the once unobstructed garage.  Pieces of neatly stacked used carpeting, worn wood, extra kitchen cabinet drawers from a previous home, milk crates with odds and ends and more milk crates and more milk crates still were being brought in to the garage until there was no more room except for the last decorative embellishment. A beautiful 2008 used calendar!

Now,  I always loved to move because it gave me a chance to purge my clutter and old stuff. In fact I think the 2008 calendar certainly would have been in my paper recyclables before I had come to a new home, but now it sits in a garage with all that stuff and it  has a new home leaving the cars to remain outside.

As days went by, more and more embellishments decorated the area around my neighbors home. Potted plants await spring, or so I surmise and they have been carefully left as close to my home as possible for me to enjoy. It seems so unfortunate for the people who own them not to be able to see them, for their view is obstructed from their windows by the beautiful hemlock hedge. The plant material and  bins and other yard ornamentation that adorn the exterior of the garage cannot be enjoyed by them. The garage door remains open daily and now things that do not fit inside stand guard like sentries. I do wish the left side door was either opened or closed instead of ajar. I am such a neat freak.

Christmas has come and gone but I must say it has been delightful this season. I would awaken each morning and peer out of my window with anticipation and excitement to see where the trailer has been moved to. It felt like I had my own personal Elf on a Shelf, for I never knew where it would end up! Sometimes it was behind a car, or beside a car, or in front of a car or even on the front lawn filled with yet more carpet scraps! It was and still is beautiful and fun for the kids too!

Yesterday, I was excited to see yet a new vehicle arrive. It was bright red like Santa's sleigh and filled with goodies! It had curved white grid work like the runners on a sleigh or antlers on a reindeer that perched high above the truck to hold even more items! I was overjoyed to learn that a new adult elf moved in to that home  adding to the people living now there. He made it a total of three adult families living in a single family home. Jolly good times I recon to be had by all.

I still hold true to the idea of being a friendly and considerate neighbor so, after the snowfall my hubby and I donned our winter apparel and grabbed some shovels and began to embark on our winter ritual. One throw of the white fluffy stuff over our shoulders after another finally paid off. As we continued to shovel, the young elf who is only 21, and his papa came out side to greet  us. They had great big friendly smiles on their faces and held cups of hot coffee in their mittened hands. They chatted with us the entire time, until we were finished shoveling, making the work go faster. Hubby and I straightened up, backs stiff and shoulders heavy and as we looked down the driveway at a job well done, we smiled knowingly at one another. We had shoveled the entire 150' driveway!

Oh did I forget to mention something. I told you we live in the city remember? But did I tell you this. We share a driveway!

I don't think the new neighbors realize that a shared driveway means  shared work and respect for each others property and boundaries too, for as we shoveled around their cars and trailer in order to get our own cars access to the roadway they did walk out of our way as not to impede our progress. Now I know why after 100 years why they wanted us to sign and agreement before they bought the house. They may have anticipated that we may have wanted to put up a privacy  fence and now we cannot!

It is going to be a different sort of New Year....I resolve to make myself happy one way or another!


Pin It Now!

Happy Holiday Greeting

Click to play this Smilebox collage
Pin It Now!

The World Did Not End



Wind howls outside my office window, battering rain against the panes of glass, but it doesn't touch me. I am secure in knowing from experience there is safety within the walls of my home.

I think about that statement as I reflect on all that 2012 brought with it and think about how simple those words can make my life.  This past year was filled with stories of my life, written here on this blog in prose that was filled with imagery and metaphors. We all have pain and hurt and experiences that we remember in our day to day hours. They creep in when we pick up toy from living room floors, and scrub bathrooms or sometimes even when we lay in the sun, but some of our stories are held deep within our hearts not to be shared until the grace of God opens up our voices.

That is what happened this year. As Christmas approaches I remember being in third grade and chosen to be the Blessed Mother in a school holiday pageant. I was teased from then on about being so sweet and kind, after all who else would be chosen to be her. It was a tough role to live up to! My life did not parallel hers for one second. Deep down I did not feel sweet and kind because every blemish, however innocuous seemed dirty. She may have had the same feelings as a woman when she was chosen to be the mother of our Lord Jesus. Perhaps she held some secrets and then when the grace of God revealed her voice she was able to tell of her conception, and fears and wisdom and pain to share with all the world along with the stories from the apostles and Jesus himself.

God revealed my voice this year and I shouted all my stories over and over to anyone who would listen. I wrote the black and white history of my heart in a book that may never be published, but it will always be there for me to read and search out answers whenever I want to. It is not spiritual like the story of Mary, but it gave me such great healing. A lifetime of lies and secrets and hurts and injustices fled from my heart into an ocean deep enough to keep them where they could never hurt again.  I learned that by sharing those stories I released them into the expanse of the universe to help others, but most of all me.

It is 12/21/2012 and the world has not come to an end as pop culture predicted. The Mayan Calendar predicted and end to non time and a beginning of time, the end to hatred and the beginning of love, and end to lies and the beginning of truth, the end to sadness and the beginning of JOY.  I can see now that  the howling and labor pains of 2012 did not hurt me, but instead it gave me rebirth. I look forward to celebrating the commencement of 2013 and welcome the new lessons I will learn  in hopes that they will not be buried, but will be shared instead as experiences for others to learn from.


I reflect once again on the scene in the manger when Mary looks down at her son and feels no more pain of the hours the preceded that moment and I think about how labor pains bring great joy in the end. The work we do on the journey of our lives is like labor and that work will render up fruits that will always remain sweet, especially if you keep step in the light of Jesus.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Life!

Pin It Now!

The Ending


there was a small child safe and content, with their head upon a pillow carefully listening for the words that would be recited in a soft flowing voice. Listening for the words that  began each time and  in the same way with..... Once Upon A Time ......they would settle in believing, YES knowing that there would be a happy ending.

The story begins and  it is ripe with visions of fairies and butterflies and the sound of flutes vulnerably weaving it's words down  a path through beauty and peace. It follows the magic of a beautiful butterfly, like a dream until it finds itself on the edge of  dusk and the lurking  forest. It continues its flight and  leads the participant into darkness and fright. Each grove of tall pines becomes a maze where the traveler feels trapped and confused. The heartbeat flutters until it becomes noticeable enough to cause the breath to wildly hasten it's inhale and exhale. Fear begins to ooze into the soul and mind transforming thoughts until nothing is real. Suddenly the chapter ends and the book cover is closed shut until the next time when the journey would continue. But for now it is time to sleep.

As they grew, the child remembered the lessons they had learned at bedtime story telling, and they mourned the losses of innocence. The soft sweet endings had been replaced with other scenarios. Some were haunting, some were instructive, some were unanswered for decades, and some just waited for the book to be reopened........

.........   in every Once Upon A Time the wretched witch, or bully, or demon, or troll is overthrown by a prince, or a spell, or an angel, or the huntsman and the story ends. Here too the darkness of the forest begins to lift in the dawn, and rays of sunshine filter through the trees until the child sees the unwavering safety of  home, and she realizes everyone lives happily ever after!


Pin It Now!

THE GREEN THING



I saw this story the other day and it made me shake my head for many reasons. Some of which were, Arrogance, Ignorance, Political Correctness, Disrespect, Respect, but most of all Sadness. Enjoy and see what you feel.



Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't ...
good for the environment.
The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days."
The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment f or
 future generations."
She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day it had common sense.


Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truely recycled.
But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
Grocery stores bagged our groceries in
 brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.
But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then.
We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a
 health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled
 writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But we didn't have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?
Pin It Now!

GLOWING


Did you know November is the grayest month of the season in the hemisphere in which I live? I read that little tidbit of info somewhere long ago,  probably in the Farmers Almanac to use on such an occassion as this. Well, then it should not have surprised me when I awoke this morning to see the fog across the golf course when I had expected sunshine! The unusual warmth of the morning  brought with it clouds, but I had overlooked the phenomenon there would be no sun to accompany the mild temperatures.
Almost all of the leaves have fallen here in New England, and they are littered across the still lush green lawns waiting for the last cleanup of the season.
As I stand at my sink and watch the squirrels scamper across the yard picking up the 'helicopter' seed pods from this years maple trees, I think to myslef how wonderful the cycle of nature is. It is the squirrels that forage through the leaves to find each pod to harvest for their winter stash. Those that are overlooked grow in the most obscure spots to be plucked out when it comes time to weed in the springtime. I simultaneously think of how I wanted to get a few " have a heart traps" to relocate the many squirrels that reside here only to realize that if I had done that, it would be I in the springtime plucking thousands of sprouts from unharvested seeds. Thank you Lord for letting me see just how important these little guys are. I'll let them stay. They make my life easier!
It was then that I turned to empty a receptacle in my pantry and I was met with a brilliant fireryglow of red. The last tree to drop it's leaves belongs to my neighbor next door. We always have to wait until after Thanksgiving to rake because it is so stubborn to drop. However like the squirrels it to does a job. On the gloomiest days of November it shines in radiant glory to cast an illumination in an otherwise sunles gray room! Again thank you God for the little nuances of the seasons that make me smile when I take a moment to notice!
Pin It Now!

PERFECTION.....BEND or BREAK


I remember sitting at my desk crumpling a piece of yellow lined paper after I had made a mistake practicing my penmanship. We had learned the Palmer Method in first grade. In fact we learned to write cursive before we learned how to print which made it difficult for us to read at first! They only tried that way of teaching for one year! It proved not to be perfect!

We practiced that pennmanship ritual for hours each week on yellow lined paper and finally when it was perfect we got to write on white lined paper with ink. We strived for that accomplishment over and over until it was PERFECT.

That is just one instance of what "grew" me. Today I am working harder than ever to over come the need for perfection. In some ways I am embracing the idea because it certainly frees my spirit, but I still hold on with a pang to think that I am dumbing down and not trying my best.

I have been working on that for a few months now and today I was put to a trial.

Hurricane Sandy rolled in with close to 80 mile an hour winds yesterday and I sat in my front room looking out the picture window at my awesome perfectly shaped pear tree. It was being thrashed around and with each gust of wind I would hold my breath to see if it was safe. After the power went out, I left the house and returned a few hours later to see this. I was not on guard and did not wish the tree safely through the storm. It broke.

I sat today looking at it from every angle and my heart sank over and over to see it in some angles as imperfect. After all we chose this tree because it was so symmetrical and PERFECT! Now it isn't.  I wrestle with the idea of whether or not to cut it down, but then it will not match the size of the rest of the landscaping should I decide to replace it. But it isn't quite perfect now, so how can I leave it standing? Large areas of light shine through where the canopy once was full and lush. The squirrels are even perplexed looking for their abundance of miniature fruit to store for winter. They had thought they had enough to winter them over and now much of it is gone.

"PERFECT".  I wish I could let it go, but it is gnawing at me. I will work on it over the winter and revisit the tree next spring. Perhaps I will be grown by then into a more relaxed being and let this tree grow into a less perfect specimen too, as a reminder each time I look at it to remember that I can be a little less stringent and bend before I break! Pin It Now!

Little Things That Make Me Smile


Usually when I begin a story I try to remember an incident from my days as a child that reflects the same feelings I have today as an adult. Today as I sat in front of my keyboard I tried to remember what I felt like as a child when a small thing turned out better than I had expected and could not grasp a memory. So I am going to skip that part and delve right into the simple excitement from yesterday that made me smile when I realized WOW this is better than I expected!


All during my growing up years and especially my married years I have enjoyed and RELISHED in design and decorating. I began just by arranging and rearranging furniture in my home over and over to the point my husband always was nervous walking around the house at night for fear he would stumble on a piece of furniture that was not there the day before.

That luxury finally erupted even more when we bought homes, refurbished, renovated and restored them only to sell them a few months later and buy again! I loved it and got great satisfaction when things went better than right and great frustration when they did not.

It has been many years since I have engaged in that transformation mainly because I am in a home that I love and it is just how I want it to be....well almost. Now, instead of renovating and restoring it is all about maintaining. Things wear out and need fixing and that is where our money is being spent. Pretty much when we fix the things that need fixing they look just like they did before we fix them. So not too much excitement there. BUT YESTERDAY that all changed and I felt the blood tingle and rush to my brain in excitement when the brand new garage doors were lowered for their debut and I actually squealed when I saw them for the first time. There they were standing tall and proud and AWESOME. They finally were the cherry that was on top of the sundae and they matched so perfectly the house we had restored six years earlier. I was more than happy and I love them.

Ahhhhhhh, that feeling. I missed it but how sweet to have it once again. Oh, I looked at those doors one hundred times yesterday and it was the first thing I checked on when I got up this morning too! Then I remembered my mom's words form 1977 when she said to my husband. "You need to buy her a doll house or she is going to run you into the poor house."  Oh, Oh has my blood begun to boil once more! I think I will begin with a gallon of paint and some strap hinges! WINK! Pin It Now!

Ebb and Flow

When the tide comes in there is a point in which it is neither moving forward nor retreating backward. Just before the rhythm catches it up and moves it in the opposite direction, it lingers in a limbo of sorts. The peace of that limbo is exhilarating!

Then, as it commences to move forward, the flow rushes in once more lapping at the shoreline right where the seaweed had grabbed onto the sand. It was a last effort for the debris to remain there instead of being brought back out into the sea, but this time it will succumb to a stronger cycle and disappear. The tide covers over all that was beneath and it is forever changed.

Always moving, the waves roll forward and just before they reach the place where they will once again turn, they halt the surge for one last retreat before they surge ahead and crash into the boundaries taking back one more inch that was not taken the day before. The cycle begins again changing  the shore line and taking more and more until it will one day be gone. Then the sea will have its victory and revenge on all which bound it! Pin It Now!

OCTOBER MORNING


The orange yellow glow from lights breaking the gray cast on a rainy October day made her feel cozy and safe. Breakfast was already on the table and her feet dangled and swung freely under the chair for they were not quite able to touch the floor. She watched as her mother made lunches for school, and she listened as her two younger siblings chattered away still in their pajamas, for they were too young to be going to school and watched Captain Kangaroo instead.

As she climbed out of the taxi cab her foot hit the wet maple leaves in the parking lot. She walked along the edge of the curb, scuffing up the already beaten down leaves that had been run over with tires and walked on by shoes and she could smell them. She breathed in and loved it.

Climbing the eight granite steps to the school vestibule she saw remnants and pieces of leaves that had escaped from the soles of shoes to remain outside, but as she entered through the heavy green doors she saw one speckled orange and rust and yellow maple leaf on the ground, and she picked it up and put it in her coat pocket.

Six rows of eight desks, placed like soldiers on hardwood floors dressed the classroom. Over head were half as many rods holding milk glass globes illuminating the desks in a soft warm glow. A dreamy glow, the kind of glow that on a gray rainy morning could lull you to sleep, or at least a day dream or two. She loved to daydream, and although she could hold her own in class she was not a scholar, she was a dreamer!

TODAY, she showered and dressed and when she had finished she took her morning drive to the local coffee shop, Dunkin' Donuts to be literal. The wipers played a rhythm on the windshield and she drove back home. It was her usual routine at 6:30 in the morning. The rain had lessened to a soft drizzle and as she let her foot drop out of the car she felt the old familiar squish of wet maple leaves beneath it. She smiled and remembered a long ago school day, and as she closed the car door she stood for a moment letting the drizzle tickle her face and she took a deep breath in, it was the most wonderful fall smell, as she walked to the house she looked up at her kitchen windows illuminating that familiar safe glow! Then she sat down at her desk and turned on the lamp that lulled her into a daydream....


Pin It Now!

A Look Back

I stared out the window remembering the days of being a young mother and thinking that was when I thought I lost myself. I used to be fun and happy and vibrant and on the go and waiting to go at a moments notice. Then, I did what all girls at that time who were my age did, and I got married. Not long after that, I had children which began a new chapter in my life. I can still see the days when I would wake up and not even lifting my head from the pillow I would close my eyes again and say to myself "not another day"! It just seemed so monotonous and run of the mill. The same routines and schedules with nothing new to look forward to. Then, when I couldn't stand it any longer I would clean. It became a sense of relief for me.

That was over 35 years ago. Now I stare out a new window, neat and clean with no noise in the background and no schedule to keep and I dream of those days that are behind me. They sped along so swiftly. It makes me think of the isolation that some young mothers have. They go about in their day to day routines feeling lost within themselves. What a shame that there is not a mentoring system for them from older moms who have been there and done that and can share how important their time right now is. A mentor who is not a family member, someone who will not judge but support,  a complete stranger that she could lean on. To hear a lesson that things don't need to be tidy and neat right now, for there will be years ahead of them when all that will be routine. How nice it would be to hear " let it go and be young at heart and play and nurture and enjoy", or "embrace the person you are for the person you left behind will be waiting ahead of you in the future to be at your beck and call when the schedules are gone and you long for them back again".

Standing at the window I realize you never lose yourself for real you just transform!


Pin It Now!

A Question

Is it perfectly ok to be yourself? ...ALWAYS?

I pondered that question for a bit this morning as I sat at my keyboard.  As the activities for the day that lay ahead played in my head, I felt myself looking around, and I wondered if I had the right to be what "I am" for as long as I wanted.

If I am a person who needs to be free from everything in order to be happy, then am I allowed to do that at the expense of others?

In fact if I am allowed to do exactly what I want, is that not at the expense of someone else who has to work hard for my luxury? The law of relativity states~ that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

If selfishness and greed are the underlying factors wrapped up in the guise of creativity, then is compassion, generosity and unselfishness dull?

What is the gnawing feeling inside that creates angst when you need to go against the grain of who you really are? Isn't it the checks and balances of life....and if you balance them, are you who you truly are only on one side of that balance?

Does being out of balance feel like this picture to you? Or does being in balance feel like this picture to you?

I guess the answer may be all in YOUR perspective!







Pin It Now!

The Trilogy

She had been contemplative for the past few days because of the season that marked a moment in her life that had been hidden for years. A secret in her heart. She rode in the car traversing through traffic and hadn't realized she was softly sobbing.

It was a sound that was almost unrecognizable and the almost silent sobbing had gone on for several seconds before she became aware of it. Lost in her memories she was reawakened to what was around her,  that is when she became even sadder for she felt utterly alone.

The golden sun of the day beckoned her to remember every detail but she could not. That year was long gone and she could not remember it all, she could only feel the memory. She recounted the routines in her 1973 schedule and it left her to believe that she would probably have been at work. Lunch to be exact. Looking perfectly normal to those around her on the outside. Efficiently performing her responsibilities she would quietly and solitarily wait, and as the hours passed she waited, and waited still.

The next two days would seem endless for her, or would they? For the end would come all too soon, filled with fear, and regret and most of all uncertainty. She would leave one part of her life and enter a new part. Forever changed. It WAS the UNCERTAINTY after all...... for how could she have known when the time or the circumstances would culminate in the haunting of her soul. She couldn't imagine it for it was a year that was so far in the future from 1973. 2012 was far removed from what was happening then, and a journey in a life that was filled with many twists and turns still needed to be traveled to that place in a space of time that was now!

 How peculiar she thought.  Hadn't she always moved ahead from that day, the details buried deep,  and sometimes forgotten. No big deal. She was 19 and life was waiting ahead of her, and she thought she was tougher, but the odds were against her. She was one in millions and the odds were undeniable. Those odds may not have caught up with her right away, but they always catch up now don't they...one way or the other. (to be continued) Pin It Now!

THE TRILOGY: part 2

We learn life's lessons through experience. Beginning with falls when we are toddlers, to scrapped knees and then more, we are always learning. The lesson of a mosquito bite too leads to experience, for it is there all of a sudden pressing to be scratched. The nails on skin eagerly searching for just the right spot to relieve the sensations of nerve endings beneath the outer layer of skin. The next time the insect secretly feasts upon your arm you are prepared for the sensations, that is until you come to the realization the sensation is much more intense and cannot be quelled without the help of medicine Then you realize through experience that it does not feel like past bites and it is different, it is different because it is poison ivy and that is not quite the same as a mosquito bite now is it....

...... November of 2011 was no different than any other month of the years that had proceeded it until that familiar itch came from out of the blue. An itch unheralded ...just there. Familiar but unnerving none the less. When she tried the simple remedies from past experiences they worked. The itch of a daydream was fleeting and life went on. December brought with it a second bite this time less annoying, and it only lasted a short time, it was an anniversary of sorts. The date comes around each and every year, catching a momentary acknowledgement from her of a time long ago, but it demanded nothing more significant than a fleeting thought, because it had become just a spot in time that had reminded her of something old and unremarkable.  When winter set in 2012, the mosquito's of life had gone to sleep. Time kept pace and days rolled into nights, and then weeks, and months, until February. February brought with it snow and cold and bright sunshiny days, and a severe case of poison ivy. Out of season and unexpected, it raged with fury. Every emotion welled up against it's poison and the medicine couldn't quell it, not even for awhile......she was about to embark on a new experience filled with wonder and excitement and life,  contrasting with betrayal and confusion,  sorrow and regret. She could not know on that winter's day that eight months later she would learn the lesson she never quite got 40 years before. (to be continued)



Pin It Now!

THE TRILOGY: Part Three


....The heart beats faster and the breath is quicker exuding excitement from deep within a soul that brings life to an otherwise dormant creature. A second in time can change a lifetime, and yet while the heart is beating nothing seems real and the chance is taken with one swift step so as not to lose the opportunity. Not knowing if the clock can be turned back or if the future can be restrained, the step is taken without the advantage of experience.

Waiting patiently the anticipation mounted to a level she hadn't felt in years. She has thought back at that moment over and over again for the past seven months. The turmoil in that time had tossed her thoughts in a torrent of storms. Thoughts as deafening as thunder and tears as drowning as torrential rains, they would sometimes subside into glimmers of rainbows and even breaking sunshine but they always returned again in an unyielding seasonal cycle. Each season brought with it a new set of rules until the one she dreaded most, inevitable as it was, stealthily crept up. It was time for the lesson to be learned. The year was exactly the same in days and weather as it had been in 1973 and it was not a coincidence.....

The windshield wipers beat a soft cadence back and forth drowning out all the sound of the outside world so she could only hear the words in her head as she remained silent in the passenger seat of the white Plymouth Belvediere. The rain fell like tears, the tears she could not shed for she needed to be brave. She was alone after all. Even with people around her she was alone. She was preparing to hide this October day forever in her heart. Allowing it to be buried. The colors were masked, and the steel and glass and dirt and iron all mingled into the fog and rain and the dull skies of a colorless fall loomed around them. She remembers only the echoed words of life around her as she entered the bubble that would become her life for the next 40 years. For the day had arrived and in a second she would be changed for ever....or so she thought, that was until February 2012 came. It had been waiting for her all this time. It had been patiently waiting to teach a lesson. It would take 8 months in a perfect year with perfect days with perfect weather in order to bring her back. To bring her back to where she needed to finally feel it all from 1973.

A NOTE FROM ME: 

...when February showed it's story in a new chapter with a new beginning I had no idea where it would lead. I have no idea still but I know there were lessons to be learned. Grief and sadness enveloped me. As well as denial, betrayal, abandonment and shame along with guilt and acceptance. Well, the acceptance is still difficult and perhaps the lesson hasn't fully been embraced but I am still growing. I guess the most poignant thing I learned was that time has no boundaries and life will catch you no matter how long you run from it. It will be gentle in the healing though and that is what is most encouraging. For after it beats you down, waiting for you take a hard look at it, it will be gentle. The most difficult part of the experience was feeling the itch (pain) and learning how it felt to actually feel it. For when it was done I could look back at 40 years and play all the experiences back in fast motion to see where I made my choices, it was then the lesson was brought to the forefront. That is when I learned how to be softer. I no longer need to be strong and brave. I could finally lean on those who loved me. That is when  I learned how much I had been loved. Now I felt safe and I could finally begin to let go of the secret.

I am sure the story has not ended but I know the experience has taught me much. It is another piece of the puzzle of life and it will be there for me when I need to call upon it again. The poison that it brought with it has been quelled and I have the medicine for it now.

Thank you all who have traveled this journey with me. If you are a constant reader I am sure is has been perplexing. It began with story of the dragon and I am hoping it will end here. At least in public view. I hope to be writing in a lighter fashion in the year ahead and thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your care and concern. God bless.~Donna Pin It Now!

My Brothers Birthday

Her eyes were still sleepy and she opened them to feel the sun on her face as she stretched her arms up above her head. It felt cool and crisp under the newly washed sheets but the warm glow of sunshine in the room made her still think of summer.

She saw the little body of her sister laying still and quiet under the covers of her own matching bed and then she heard footsteps walking up the hallway. She turned towards the door expecting to see her mom but instead there stood a man. She recognized him as Donnie. Donnie Hannaford who lived  downstairs in the two family turn of the century "four square". Before she could ask he said, "your mom went to the hospital last night to have your baby. You have a new brother!"

Immediately she felt her stomach turn and she thought she would be sick. She was excited to have a new baby brother but she missed her mom and it felt lonesome not having her in the house that morning.

The week ahead was unpredictable for her and she could sense her face from within her head, almost like she was having an out of body experience, it was looking sad and she hated the feeling her stomach had too. Each evening her dad would come for supper after work to check in on her and her sister before he went to the hospital, but the visit didn't take away those uncomfortable feelings. Even now 55 years later she feels that uncomfortable sensation in her stomach as she lay in bed, with the first chill of fall lapping on her face and shoulders making her shiver. She pulls the sheets up under her chin and she thinks about when she was four years old,  that morning long ago that imprinted how life would feel each time she felt abandoned in her sun drenched golden hued life.~Happy Birthday Brother Pin It Now!

The Monarch

I hung a few things on the clothesline today when something against the clear blue sky caught my eye. It was high up in the air almost to the top leaves of our Black Walnut tree that stands nearly 70' tall. Then I recognized the orange color as that of a Monarch Butterfly. I had never seen one so high and wondered about it for a second. Then another came towards it. Mates I thought and I finished hanging my laundry. It crossed my mind to think of those close to me who have passed. Butterflies always make me think of those who have died.

Later, I went on an errand and stopped by my favorite cemetery. I had been looking for a particular grave site for months and thought I would check to see if the caretaker was in to guide me to the site. On my way I was noticing lots of monarch butterflies in various parts of the city and even into the next town. I felt sad for them, for the weather was going to change soon and I wondered how they would survive. I got to the cemetery and FINALLY got directions from the caretaker to the grave site that I had been searching for. It was then  that I saw it. It was unmarked and it was no wonder why I could not find it all those times before. The odd thing for me on this day was this. As I walked to the site behind the caretaker I stumbled upon another burial plot. Another one I had wondered about for years. Like an open door greeting me here it was. Overgrown with lawn and flush with the ground a simple stone marker lay there quietly.  Nothing around it to mark a family name.

...and I recalled a story.....

My mother was thirty five years old and stood in the kitchen somber and stoic. My impression of her at the age of 11 was cold.

 I heard her say "hello?" when the phone rang, and then nothing more until she said" thank you for calling"  and "goodbye."

It was my first glimpse of death since I was two. I took all the emotion I saw in her and tucked it away for when the day would come when I would need to copy it and be cold too. My mother closed the bedroom door and it wasn't until supper time that I learned why she looked like she had when she hung up the phone.

She had had my brother, now nine months old, earlier that year and her best friend had had a baby boy too. It was the year after John F. Kennedy had been assassinated so both boys were named after him. Elaine was my mother's friend since they were children, and all of their children including me grew up together as friends too. We shared in birthday parties and Brewster beach summers.

"Last night Elaine had put the baby down, and then went into the kitchen to make Franklin a cup of coffee" my mother began , relaying the story to my father as she set the table. Then she continued,  "as she brought the cup of coffee into the living room she collapsed on the floor." I felt my eyes widen. I thought to myself that doesn't happen to moms. "She had a brain hemorrhage" and she ended the story matter of factly. It was never discussed again.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about a fire that I witnessed when I was five. I wrote about the person the house belonged to, and I wrote about the house where I was attending a birthday party. I wrote about how all those pieces of a puzzle came together again when I was eighteen. I thought it was strange then but it is even stranger today.
Today the grave sight I was looking for was of the owner of the burned out house. Stranger than that was the one I stumbled upon, for that one was of the owner of the birthday party house. Doris was her name. They lie just across the grass from one another obscurely hidden from each other and from me. Until today when they are rising up to meet me all at the same time some forty years later. beckoning me. What are the odds? Coincidence or fate?

The most curious surprise was the burial marker next to the owner of the birthday house. It was Elaine's. It made me wonder why she wasn't buried next to her husband Franklin. It made me wonder too why Doris the owner of the birthday house wasn't buried next to her husband. It made me wonder about the stories buried and lost forever. Pin It Now!

quiet still AWEsomeness


I chose this picture as a link to my BackYard Door blog because it is symbolic of how I am restored. When I picture myself standing at the edge of this scene I pause and take in the moment before entering the fenced pathway. I settle my soul and reflect upon my life, the life that God has given me. I have a choice as I stand alone in the silence of Him. I can be who He wants me to be or I can choose not to be that person. So often I never stop to feel the quiet of His presence and therfore get lost in the noise of what life deals me. Then I wonder why I am in such chaos. I forget to stop!

If I would just listen to what I know. If I would just go back to what feels comfortable to me. If I would just STOP for a moment before heading down a pathway it would all be there in front of me like a vast quiet ocean of peace.

...... before you take one more step in your day, look beyond this pathway out to the horizon and be still, take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, feel the warm sand between your toes and be drenched with sun shining on your forehead. Listen, listen to the soft words deep within you. Pin It Now!

Tech vs Nature

Catching a glimpse of something moving on the floor of the garage she screamed and ran up the stairs to the second floor. Her heart was beating fast and she got on her knees and held her hands up in prayer and yelled to her mother that there was a scary thing that looks like this, (emphasizing her contortion),  in our garage.

I was five when that occurred and I have never forgotten that story after all of these years.

Sometimes surprises well up for days inside your being and you don't even realize the transformation has begun until a note is struck in a song on your car radio, or a shadow casts itself across your windshield sparkling enough for you to take notice, or a slight sound beckons you to turn your head.

I am blessed to have those experiences today!

I have had a full morning already and it is only 9:25.  But now I have a minute to take the time to hear the notes of Rascal Flatts coming from the speakers on my computer, and the sun shines golden on the last bit of summer, and I am blessed to have heard the tiny pat of..........hold on a second that's for later!

6:30 I brushed my teeth and got ready for my 7:00 appointment

7:00 I was greeted with pleasant smiles and warm welcome in the local car dealership

7:30 I was already playing Words with Friends and checking emails on my NEW iPod

8:00 I looked up from my iPod and noticing the bustling of service attendants and chairs filling up in the amenity filled waiting room with new customers....the tv keeps us entertained, and I have texted lots of friends who are up and busy with their day too!

8:45 I hear the gentleman beside me on his lap top, and look to see him reading medical reports, as he checks in with a young patient on the previous day's procedure

9:00 INTERRUPTED......my car is ready! Under promise (Amanda this is for you) and over deliver gotta love it!

Perfect day! Uninterrupted thanks to technology!

Oh I almost forgot to tell you I had a passenger with me this morning.......wish I had a camera because he was very brave.......

......... okay so I took the audio signal of a faint  sound coming from my passenger side window and turned my head in that direction to witness a praying mantis hanging on for dear life as he took a ride with me. All I could think of was the Twilight Zone plane scene and that day when I was five!!!  I haven't seen a praying mantis in years what a pleasant surprise....I am glad I took the opportunity to appreciate what is around me even when I am hooked into technology! I am having fun and my heart is light like lemon chiffon! ENJOY your day! Pin It Now!

ALONE in simple praise to the creator


Alone, she waited for someone to come into chat with her and when they did not she immediately reverted to sick thinking that she was abandoned. At noon she changed her shirt and looked in the mirror before leaving the house, she was taken a back at the image reflected in the mirror and then she remembered she had carefully applied new make up this morning and for the first time since 2004 she had added mascara to her lashes. The dewy complexion that reflected was bright and not what she was used to. She didn't look ashen but instead she looked fresh and pretty. She actually allowed herself to think the word "pretty".

She drove to the diner and ordered a tuna melt sans bread as she continued her quest to loose weight. Already down 20 pounds she wanted to loose 20 more. After paying the bill she felt her stomach knot up and she felt the dissatisfaction with how the day had turned on her. She had been feeling quite happy and her step had quickened as of late but today it was once again heavy,  she tried to rationalized it as being temporary. She wanted a fix but knew she could not without the consequences that would eventually trap her into a free fall. So she mustered up the strength to remain busy.

Instead of going straight home she took a detour that would hopefully find her in a serene place with nature's quiet and replenishment surrounding her. The corn stalks along the road and the neat rows of hay in the fields were not enough to quench her heart. She slowed her pace along the country roads as she came up behind a student driver and she remembered her own events of her summer driver's ed lessons years ago and rested in that time until the student's car turned off the road.

The scenery offered no easing of the emptiness and she drove home. When she walked up the stones to the back door she was captured by the light yellow that stood alone hidden in a corner of  her garden. The summer drought had taken it's toll on the flower beds and they were all brown and dried, mimicking how she has felt these past months. The spring colors had given way to the bright hues of Day Lillie's and they too had faded and curled to make way for the asters and chrysanthemums to come, but for today the lone yellow rose stood by itself  amongst the decay in pure perfection.

She looked at it and thought to herself this is, beautiful, simple and elegant and she grabbed her camera to capture all of it.

One tear is all that needs to be shed like the rain drop on the petal, and then the rest of the day can be hers to stand in perfect dewy glory all alone. For God sees His creations, the rose and her, perfect and unblemished. Pin It Now!

You can't teach an Old Dog new tricks!


The school bell rang and we took our seats in quiet. As we settled in, we personally assessed what the new school year would be like and we tried to figure out the personality of our newest teacher.  She stood tall and stoic at the front of the class as she welcomed us to our classroom and began to hand out those familiar, warm, purplish blue, aromatic mimeographed copies of paper.

(I changed the word from xerox to mimeograph for my handsome cousin below.  He proofreads my blog in order to save me some embarrassement! Thanks 'cuz!)


 We took the papers freshly printed with the rules and expectations for our new classroom in hand.
We all instinctively brought the paper up to our face as we passed the rest of the copies behind us. It was heaven and we all, yes ALL loved to smell it!
Well those days are long gone and those nice smelling copies have been replaced with Ink Jet copies of pristine black and white that no longer sport the gradient edges of color and toxic aroma!

My own printer is not as personal to me as those old copies were and it does not speak to me in the same endearing way, but it does speak in demanding queues of unending thirst. It seems to drink ink faster than I drink coffee!
Yesterday as I was completing a job I was doing and I ran out of black ink. Luckily for me I was able to finish it in the beautiful colors of Night of Navy and Melon Mambo, but I knew I would have to get more black ink today before working on any other projects.
Early this morning I drove to CVS to pick up a prescription. As I entered the store I remembered to scan my Extra Care tag as my daughter has instructed me to do EACH and EVERY time I visit there. I can't even think of why because I NEVER get a coupon for anything I need! Reluctantly, or maybe because it is now a habit, I scan my card. A tongue of coupons comes out from beneath the scanner and I search for SOMETHING I might NEED! Hair coloring, notepads, vitamins, INK!!!! INK!!!! Did I just read INK!!!! To my amazement I realize I can finally USE a coupon. So I hurry over to the ink department and grab number 92, after all I have a new printer and even though the old numbers 74 and 75 are embedded in my mind but I know I now use 92! Beyond belief it is even on sale from $22 to $14 and I now have a $5 off coupon too! Lucky day, lucky day! I am ecstatic that I made a coupon purchase without help from my daughter and it was a profitable one!
I picked up a coffee to celebrate and went home to install my new ink cartridge. The packaging was extra difficult to open and not like the familiar ones I buy at Staples. As I ripped it open jaggedly with a pair of scissors I thought to myself well it is good I do not need to return this, and I  took the clean cartridge in my hand to place into the printer. I opened the lid of the machine and the whirring  and clicking sound of the carriage rolled the used ink cartridges to the right. As the used cartridges passed my eyes I saw them.....the numbers 74 and 75!
ARE YOU KIDDING ME! I now use 74 and 75? 

I hate couponing because as I said they never have anything I NEED or USE.........have a good day, I just wasted $9 anyone need  black number 92?
Pin It Now!