Wednesday, March 25, 2015

two years ago

I can't ignore what's swirling through my mind this week.  Nor would I want to. Today on this very day two years ago I lost someone who I knew all of my life.  She was that one constant that I could always count on to be there... just a visit or phone call away.  She fell ill suddenly and never recovered.  She only lasted long enough for me to get to her bedside and say goodbye.

Of course I knew her all of my life.  She was my mom.

I miss her more than any words could say in this space.  Her smile said, "I see you.  I love you.  You are important to me."  I can remember being a little kid in Kindergarten and just wanting to hurry home to be with her.  The last thing I did while she was still alive was hurry home to see her... to be with her.   Did she know I was there?  I hope so.

She loved her family.  She loved life.  I think she would above all else want me to be happy....

So, I'm trying mom.... I'm trying through my tears to see beauty around me the way you did.  The way you taught me through the way you lived.

Here are some images from my week, simple things, that brought me joy and would have brought her joy too.  I can only hope when I am gone that others miss me half as much as I miss her.

A fun whimsical birdhouse

Planting Spring flowers 

A new hibiscus plant

Walking on a rainy day amidst falling pedals

Hyacinths in the Spring

Very fragrant carnation-like blooms

Salmon and asparagus salad

Lettuce sprouting and thyme

Gardenia buds all over the place

A pretty and useful pail


Orchid blooming like crazy

The morning sky





Always in my heart.  
Mom.

Friday, March 20, 2015

some end of week words




I've been home for a few days now since my trip to Washington state to visit my brother and his family.  I hadn't been there in quite a few years and was so happy to be able to see them and blend into their lives for a little while.  The trip was full of lovely moments.  Good talks, wonderful walks along the river, seeing new things, being with people I love.

The walking, jogging, biking trail next to the river in front of my brother's home

I like to think about all the good things that happened over the course of a week. I'm grateful my life isn't full of extreme busyness as can happen sometimes.  It's nice to be in a season of life when I can have some say as to what my activities are. Choices.

I was able to do some planting this week. Geeze, gardening sure is hard work sometimes and good exercise! Lifting, raking, digging, carrying, bending...










Texas wildflower seeds I sprinkled beginning to pop through the soil
It's nice to see flower and vegetable plants and know in a couple months there will be a lushness to what is now just beginning to grow.  Life.

Flower plants and seeds ...  tomatoes, herbs like thyme, basil, cilantro, parsley and mint...  cucumbers and lettuce... for starters ....




A little bird I rescued from his "stuckness" in one of my house exhaust fans

It's important to not only keep our bodies active but our minds as well. The thought recently came to me that the greatest prayer or wish we could have for ourselves and others is to have peace with ourselves.  Peace with who we are, and with our story and life...  Peace.

I'm learning some new ideas though an old book by M. Scott Peck called Further Along the Road Less Traveled.  It is not only famous people who leave a mark on history, but we all do to a certain extent.  We all do.  Each person is important and to be valued.  "Nothing holds us back more from mental health, from health as a society, and from God than the sense we all have of our own unimportance, unloveliness, and undesirability."  We are likely to think we are too fat, or too unattractive, too old, too young, not clever enough... or any number of "not enoughs".... that keep us feeling unworthy.

As another week draws to a close, I want to move forward a little more toward that peace.... and I pray the same for my friends and family....

Happy Spring!








Thursday, March 5, 2015

the never ending "what ifs" of life

“If we know exactly where we're going, exactly how to get there, and exactly what we'll see along the way, we won't learn anything. ”   ~M. Scott Peck

The above quote reminds me of myself. I went through a time when I thought it important to try to control my life as best I could. Try to think out all the "what ifs" and have an answer or solution for each event that might happen. I guess I thought that would save me from hurt and prepare me best to confront whatever came my way. A way of self-protection. I didn't want to be unprepared or blind sided.

Good in theory maybe, but doing so also caused much stress and anxiety, living through each scenario as if it were happening and planning how to confront and solve each problem. Things that never happened.

I think after losing Edd to cancer and then my mom suddenly, I just didn't want to hurt anymore.

The truth is, and as I see it now, there just aren't enough scenarios we can think up. So many of the "what ifs" never happen. Sometimes they do, but why worry about them beforehand? Why suffer unnecessarily? Now I am believing that if and when an event DOES happen, I will deal with it then. Not beforehand, ruining TODAY.

I have thought a lot about suffering in the last ten years or so, especially the last five. I'm not at peace with it, nor will I ever be I suppose, but I've come a long way. There are some things I just can't even think about or I'll be an emotional wreck. Thinking of the suffering of animals or the horrible hurts some humans are experiencing.... but that is what empathy is about. Those without it are in worse shape. Being aware and a part of others' burdens is part of being human... rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep.

Suffering is part of living. Pain is a part of our existence. Often people try to burrow into a safe place so they do not have to experience it. Some take drugs or do any number of things to not feel their hurts, but in reality the way we learn is by working through our difficulties and problems. All of life should be a journey in learning more.

Having a plan is good. Very good. It's still a part of my makeup, but now I recognize the limitations and even negative consequences of ... thinking too much perhaps?

It also boils down to living by faith and not fear. I choose to not let fear dominate. Faith and letting go brings peace. Faith that God is ultimately in control and all is as it should be and I don't have to have all the answers... indeed I never will have all the answers. Life is mystery. I cannot change people or events. But I can love and learn and live every day with a grateful heart.






Saturday, February 21, 2015

orchid

I don't know why I sometimes fret.  When I look back on the most significant and special events of my life they were always orchestrated by God at the exact right time.  The best gifts I've received just fell into my lap and my sole response was appreciation.

I learned a lot from my first marriage.  Although it ended after 20 years due to issues that would never be resolved it wasn't all bad.  I had two beautiful daughters at an early age and enjoyed being a mommy so much.  Neither were really planned and I was so happy to have two little girls.  They were  my greatest joy!

Then I met Edd when I wasn't even looking for him!  How could something so wonderful happen in my life with so little effort!  

Remembering this causes me to have peace ... and contentment.  I've learned that God is fully able to do the seeming impossible if he chooses to.

Patience.

This little orchid plant that I was given by a friend almost a year ago has shown me what waiting can do.  When we don't give up but have a little faith!  When it was given to me it was blooming.  It continued to grow new buds until... it didn't anymore!  After about a month it slowed down and the stem turned into a dead-looking stick.  I knew the plant wasn't dead though because the leaves on the bottom were green and looked healthy.

I looked up "caring for orchids" and did what was suggested.  I trimmed the dead-looking stem by cutting off the dried-up shoots that stuck out.

And I kept it around.

I watered it when it became dry often wondering after seven months if I should just get rid of it.  I think I kept it because it was given to me by a friend.  It certainly didn't add any beauty to my home!  I stuck it in front of a large window behind the living room sofa.

And there it stayed.

One day as I watered it I saw some new shoots coming out of the dead-looking stick that poked out of the dirt.  Two brand new shoots!  Something clearly was happening after many months of dormancy.  A few days later I could see ever-so-tiny buds just beginning to form.

It's happened so slowly but very consistently.  The buds grew bigger and bigger and bigger and looked as though they would pop!

And now it's blooming again.  I'll know better next time.... and have a little more faith.

Patience my friends..... patience....











Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tonight as I sit in my cozy home with my faithful little doggy curled up beside me I am mostly content.  The day was productive and now I wind down with a hot cup of Honey Lavender tea. It's pretty much as delicious as it sounds.

While much of the country is shivering under mounds of snow and cold temperatures, here in Texas it's just right.  I love the way the days warm up for a while and then a cold front comes through and it becomes downright chilly again.  Today was a day to take advantage of the beautiful sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 60's.

I've always wanted to climb up to Mount Bonnell.  It's a great place to view the city, Lake Austin below and all the surrounding hills.  In reality there wasn't all that much climbing, but once up there I was happy I had boots that were fashionable and also good for hiking on rocks!  No slipping off the edge for me!  Just what I needed.... time outside during a beautiful winter(?) day.

Wishing my friends in the Land of Snow and Cold some warm cozy days ... and evenings too.







Saturday, February 14, 2015

V-Day

I remember not being that crazy about Valentine's Day before meeting Edd.  It was always a nice day, but not especially memorable.  As the kids came along I guess I made it all about them.  

The first Valentine's Day after meeting Edd took my breath away.  We couldn't be together on that day but a huge bouquet of red roses was delivered to my home.  I was completely surprised.  He topped it off with a diamond heart necklace the next weekend we were together.  

Every Valentine's Day after that he also made special.  The memories are numerous and each year the cards from him got mushier.  He told me every year not to get him anything.... said Valentine's Day is for girls, but I'd always get him a card.  I think my delight and appreciation for his kindness was the greatest gift I could give him.  It was what he loved the most.  Feeling loved and special and appreciated.

It's funny.  I still feel so much love.  I think we loved each other a lifetime's worth.  I can't think of anything else I wish I received from his heart that I didn't.  I only need to reread the cards and pull out the thoughtful gifts and .... remember.  My heart is full.  Still. 

So.  Today was nice.  I made some healthy dishes like Lentils Dal... a spicy dish made with ginger, garlic, cauliflower, and other aromatic spices.  Had some good talks with friends.  And I received the prettiest flowers delivered to my home from my brother and his sweet wife.  They are happily blooming now on the coffee table.  I feel blessed and content.



Friday, February 13, 2015

50 shades of skip it

There are times when our society especially disturbs me.  Now is one of those times as the movie Fifty Shades of Grey comes out in the theater.  It perplexed me when the book made its entrance and people made a fuss.  Now it’s even more disturbing.

I’m not a prude.  I couldn’t have had a better intimate relationship with my husband.  I guess you’ll have to trust me on that one.  I believe whatever a couple agree to in the bedroom is their business.  But I am weary of having graphic sexual exploits of others thrown around in public.  I mean are we in such need of validation that we have to try to get everyone to agree that what we do is all okay?

There is just so little wisdom anymore.

Explicit descriptions and images are shoved into the mainstream of our society’s consciousness luring people as though it’s something we all need to know about and be entertained by.  A man using sex to manipulate, control and cause pain isn't my idea of a good time.  Can’t we as a society care about other more important things and solve some real problems?  

One of the greatest things in life is an intimate relationship with someone you love, trust and want to please, but I find it creepy in the extreme to go to a theater with a bunch of strangers (or your friends?) and stare at a big screen to watch and listen to sexual acts and discussions that are designed to shock.  

The real troubling thing is the way we fall for these things and follow the crowd.  All the way to more and more dysfunction.