Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Today was the first day in 3 years that Fr./Brother Georges was not in church with us. It made me a little sad as I missed his big smile, bear hug and delighted voice saying, "Hello my sister" in his unique Syrian/Italian/Spanish accent.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I'm grateful today for an email I got from a blog friend. It's a little strange to be thankful for something that makes your stomach tighten and tears run down your face. Yet, even as I reacted in fear, I knew what she was doing was opening a door to my heart. By honestly sharing her own story she showed me a way to change the way I see some things in my life.
I'm grateful to Sweetie for knowing without words that something big was happening. He listened and comforted. He made some suggestions and encouraged me to look fear in the face and make some changes.
I'm grateful for some really cool salt and pepper shakers my sister gave me last night. If we win the lottery tonight I plan on being at Pier One tomorrow when the door opens to buy bowls, and plates and glasses to match them. For now I treasure the gift Jean gave me. It was the look on her face as much as the gift. She was so excited, she couldn't wait til Christmas. That's how I like to gift people - to be as excited about the giving as hopefully they will be at the receiving.
I'm grateful for time alone with my man. We weren't actually alone because we were surrounded by lots of shoppers as we moved from one store to another. Even if he's on one side of a store and I'm on the other, I like knowing we're in the crowd together. Can you be separated and together at the same time? I think so.
Wishing for you courage to face your fears, and someone to hold your hand while you do it,
Friday, November 27, 2009
This has been a very quiet day that I've used for re-writing a story I first penned right after my mother passed away. Today, I'm grateful for the gift of story-telling and hope to get better and better. It would be nice, too, if I could get faster!
Like most things, when I get caught up something, everything else gets put on the back burner. I look around the room where I've been sitting and it's clear the only way it's going to get picked up is for me to put this computer in a closet, lock it up, and give the key to Sweetie til it can pass inspection. Of course I will do nothing that drastic, but I could at least clear off the couch so that there is room for someone else to join me without impaling themselves on the telephone. I'm grateful I'm not held to a stricter code of cleanliness.
I'm also grateful that my sister sent us home with enough leftover turkey and ham for some delicious sandwiches this afternoon. I don't usually get too excited about leftovers, but turkey I think is as good the 2nd day as it was the first.
Most days I bemoan the fact that I don't have a magic pot of money from which to draw. At the end of the month my checkbook is pretty well emptied out. For this, on Black Friday, I am grateful. Since I am easily persuaded to do things that are not always in my best interest, I'm grateful I have not succumbed to the television ads and the stack of newspaper circulars drawing attention to gigantic money-saving sales where I would spend money I don't have. I'm pretty sure there is not anything I want badly enough to wrap myself up in blankets and sleep on the sidewalk outside a store until the doors open and people rush in. But I always feel like I might be missing something. Tonight, the news shows will be full of stories about the shopping madness and I'll be grateful I stayed home. That said, I might sneak out after dinner to pick up one or two items just to say I helped out the economy!
Wishing for you good food in your tummy, warm socks on your feet, and $$$ in your wallet,
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Today I'm grateful for rain. It's been dreary and overcast for two days. Today if finally rained. Not a gully-washer but enough to have to use the windshield wipers.
I'm also grateful for canned pumpkin, an apple-peeling Sweetie, and an oven that I don't have to tend by throwing logs on the fire. Looking at the mess I made after making 3 pies and 4 loaves of pumpkin bread, I think I am also pretty thankful for an automated dishwasher. I'm not a clean as you go kind of cook. When I've finished a big baking project the kitchen pretty much looks like a flour bomb exploded in the middle of the room.
I'm grateful I am not cooking Thanksgiving dinner. That job is going to my sister this year. All I have to do is show up with a pie and smile! The pie is made so I've got plenty of time to work on the smile!
On another note, I have a confession to make. After that post yesterday about mom jeans and comfort and Tim Gunn being a nunu- head, I pulled out my oldest pair of jean today and took my dad to the doctor, not thinking, or caring how I looked. The zipper worked, the denim was well faded, thus soft and there was room for my thighs to stretch out. Comfort was the name of the game.
Sitting in the waiting room I took note of the stains all up and down one leg. Then while sitting at a red light, I realized I could pull up a whole handful of denim at my thighs and still have room for the comfort I was declaring. Hmmm???? Had I gone beyond the comfort stage to the dowdy, what-was-she-thinking stage. I felt almost compelled to step into the 3-way mirror and fuss at myself.
Alas, I think Gunn and Oprah might be on to something. Comfort doesn't have to mean sloppy. Not that there is anything wrong with sloppy, but it's more of an indoor look, don't you think?
To my dear Firebyrd: Girlfriend, if I could afford cashmere sweaters I'd trade in all my comfy old sweatshirts. Alas, that isn't going to happen. But I'm glad you can step out in style.
Tonight I wish for you a kitchen that smells like cinnamon and ginger and a pie to share with someone you love,
* "Forever Grateful", Woman's Day, November 17, 2009, pg. 44
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Dad is a creature of habit. As soon as he is finished with his nightly ablutions, he hops into bed and turns on the TV. He turns into channel 3 and leaves it there waiting for the news whether he is awake or asleep. Sometime during this hour I tuck him in, put drops in eyes, and make sure he has water and pills for the night. All that done, I've started holding his hand for a few minutes and watch some TV with him.
The CBS nightly line-up changed recently. Now instead of listening to Dr. Phil rail at people, and, in my opinion, exploit them for his own gain, we watch Oprah. I have mixed feelings about Oprah. But I like her 100% more than Dr. Phil. Last week her guest was Tim Gunn, fashion guru although I'm not sure why. The show was all about making over men who, in the opinion of their loved ones, needed help with wardrobe and de-hairing.
Gunn lamented, and Oprah agreed, that Americans seem to dress for comfort. This is apparently an absolute fashion no-no. One subject in question was "mom" jeans, or in this case, "dad" jeans - a la President Obama. Forget that a pair of well-worn jeans is comfortable, according to Gunn it is cause for the fashion police to lock you in your room til you come to your senses. How, I ask, does Tim Gunn know this? I am sure he would never be caught dead in a pair of jeans. Even the straight legged, dark blue, no sags, jeans that he was touting.
What is wrong with comfort? I'm at a point in my life where comfort is not a dirty word. I see women wearing pointy toed, 4+inch heels and I wonder how they even stand up, much less walk. I have traded most of my dress shoes for brightly colored Birkenstock sandals. I'd also rather wear a soft cotton brassiere than something that strangles my boobs and makes them look two-sizes bigger. If both my feet and my breasts were wrapped up so tight, I'd be one very unhappy girl.
You can probably imagine that I am a "mom-jeans" wearer. I looked at a pair of my old standby jeans this morning and tried to judge my appearance the same way as Stacy and Clinton of What Not to Wear. No doubt if I stood in that 3-way mirrored booth wearing my jeans, a sweatshirt, and my Birki's I'd be chastised til the cows come home. Strangely as that thought passed through my brain, another took its place. My favorite pair of jeans has probably seen as much history as a dining room table where families gather for dinner and holiday festivities. How is it that Gunn and other fashion dictators do not take things like this into account?
I'm all about letting others do what they want as long as it doesn't hurt anybody. If women want to wear tight shoes, tight bras, or tight jeans so be it. But I'll go for comfort every time. Today I'm grateful for jeans with room to breathe. The perfect pair of pants to wear when sitting down at the Thanksgiving table!
Wishing for you the comfort of your favorite things,
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Here's a link to the quiz in case you're interested: http://www.beliefnet.com/Holistic-Living/Quiz/Are-You-Grateful.aspx?source=NEWSLETTER&nlsource=10&ppc=&utm_campaign=Inspiration&utm_source=NL&utm_medium=newsletter
Friday, November 20, 2009
I'm grateful for the hearty chuckle she gave me. Here I am fussing and fuming about our now clean but spotted house. It's spotted because several layers of paint have been removed, along with the dirt, grime and mildew. A certain someone in the house, who will remain nameless but who is quick to point out it is "HIS" house and "HIS" checkbook that pays the bills, only wants to re-paint the front of the house. Because, and I quote "the paint is only for aesthetics - not structural purposes. No one sees the back besides us, so why paint it?"
One reason I've stayed inside sleeping is because I can't bear to go out and see this yellow and white eyesore. However, after reading Molly's comment about the pink house with the purple door, I'm thinking maybe polka dots aren't so bad. We can start on the back of the house where no one will see it! How fun! Great idea, Molly!
Ooh! Ooh! I just had another idea. Maybe we could paint it with blackboard paint and get big pieces of sidewalk chalk and color to our hearts content. The rain would keep the walls cleaned off, so there is no telling what masterpieces we could create.
And even if we leave the back unpainted. I want a purple door.
Thanks Molly! You win the prize for making Merry Me smile!
Wishing for each of you, a box of colored chalk and a big ol' sidewalk (or house) to decorate.
The grizzly bear awakes, feeling a tad less sleepy but still rather grumpy. I'm not sure what's going on. Usually a nap, or two, or three, can revitalize my good humor. Truth be told I'm most likely just feeling sorry for myself, tired of trying to change what obviously cannot be changed. Whine. Whine. Whine. It was better, I'm sure that I secluded myself.
Yesterday in the periods of wakefulness between snoozes, I lay in bed counting my blessings. It helped I think. I'm thankful for, I said to no one but me:
- the house I'm in (the one which is currently being pressure washed and turning yellow/white polka dotted)
- the bedroom in the house I'm in
- the bed in the bedroom in the house I'm in
- the sheets on the bed in the bedroom in the house I'm in
- the pillow on the bed I'm in the bedroom in the house I'm in
- the quilt over the sheets on the bed in the bedroom in the house I'm in
- the black cat sleeping with me on the bed in the bedroom in the house I'm in
- ..... and so on.
Excuse me, but we were talking about America, not a third-world country. No heat? No electricity? No clean water? My selfish, pea-sized, whiny heart cracked open. Today I will add to my list. I am thankful for:
- The polka-dot house I live in
- The electricity in the house I live in
- The water in the house I live in
- The central H/A in the house I live in
- The washer/dryer/dishwasher, bathtub, and sprinkler system at the house I live in
Mr. Esparza also told me just what needed to hear, "even with everything you hear on the news, people are good." I was glad for the reminder of one of my own beliefs.
Gratitude, I'm learning, is not just about knowing what I have. It's also about being aware of what other's don't have. The awareness increases my gratitude and makes me more generous to others.
Wishing for you eyes to see all the blessings in your midst and a heart that's open to the plight of others,
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Sometimes when I first open my eyes upon another day, I say, "Oh God, not again!"
When I first opened my eyes upon today's morning I was being summoned across the hall by my dad.
"I need to take a bath."
Judging by the smell of poo in the room and one look at the bedside commode, I'd say he was right about the bath. His leg has been acting up so what I wasn't sure about was whether or not I was going to have to climb into the shower with him, like I do the dog.
Right off the bat I knew I was grateful for two things .... Clorox and room deodorizer. Later I said a prayer of thanks that Dad was indeed able to shower unaided. The day may be close when that isn't the case. It isn't here yet. This morning, however, there was a bit of discussion about how to help him pull on his pants.
"Here, let me help."
"You're in my light, I can't see what I'm doing."
"If you let me pull your pants up you don't need to see."
And so on....
It may sound like I'm trying to do too much for my dad. Hovering, and taking away his independence. I don't think that is the case, though I suppose my motives should be questioned. In the last week two of my elderly neighbors have fallen and landed right smack on their faces. One lady looked like a poster child (senior?) for elder abuse. The good news (and cause for gratitude) is that neither broke any bones. Thank you, Jesus!!! The reason I try to do things for my father is because he often looks like a plastic PlaySchool Weeble Wobble and I am selfish. Toy Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down or so the ad used to say. 92 year old wobblers, aren't always so lucky. I'd rather help him before the fall instead of picking him up after. According to a left-brain thinker who has each hand hold and step planned to a "T" before he moves, he doesn't need my help in walking across the room, climbing into the shower, or as previously mentioned putting on his pants. I can only hope he's right.
Another reason for a smile, i.e. gratitude, today is Dad's canary. According to the man who raised Ernst (short for the family tradition of naming every canary we get Tennessee "Ernie" Ford) he is a champion German Roller. I think this means that he's supposed to be able to make 4 different bird sounds on command. In fact he doesn't sing quite like the others we've had. This bird's song has more of a Bavarian lilt to it!
That's when he's actually singing. When birds molt they stop singing. Ernst is on his 3rd or 4th molt of the year. I think it has something to do with the number of hours of daylight he gets. Since he resides in the dinette where all our meals are served, he keeps human hours, not avian. Contrary to a few of my nicknames (Robin Redbreast or Cuckoo Pigeon sister) I'm not a bird, thus have little knowledge of what it feels like to have feathers falling out all the time. I think it might be itchy because all three of our birds scratch themselves a lot. Which, I think, is also the reason Ernst loves his bath so much.
He totally cracks me up. I put clean water in his cage first thing in the morning. After he's had his breakfast and mid-morning snack he hops over for a little drink of water. As if testing the water, he sticks his beak in first. Then dips his head a little further in and splashes some water on his shoulders (do birds have shoulders?). Next he jumps from perch to perch trying to decide what he's going to do. He knows and I know what his decision is going to be, but this is apparently part of the Tyrolean Bird Bathing Polka. Eventually he throws caution to the wind and jumps in, sits for a minute soaking up the complete divineness of the water, then unreservedly begins to dunk himself with great bird delight. Water goes everywhere. The other birds are often encouraged to follow suit with their own finch version, which is a lot like head banging but water is involved. The cats often sit nearby watching the show. Probably thinking how nice it will be to eat a clean bird, as opposed to a scratchy bird.
I am often at the table with dad doing our morning duet - dueling crosswords. I must say watching Ernst take such pleasure from something as simple as a bath, makes me grateful for the opportunity to make his life so good. Some seed, some fresh broccoli and clean water, does it get any better than that? I'm guessing if you're a bird, the answer is no.
Wishing for you time for a nice leisurely bath, help drying your back if you need it and something to make you smile.
P.S. I'd finally had it with the paragraph spacing on blogger, and the fact that sometimes the space demon would rather double space sentences for no apparent reason. I went to the help line and found several other bloggers who have the same complaint and none of them seem to have cracked the spacing code. There were a few unkind opinions of the little man who lives inside the Blog site and controls how the post that one has just written, likes the way it looks, and publishes only to find it all askew for all the world to read. I'm grateful to know it's not just me.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
- duck holding
- movie watching
- nose honking & pacifier stealing
- 1st rate hotels with remote control curtains
- buying all the equipment to make T-shirts then changing your mind
- house cleaning (not the act of but the end result!)
- the smell of roses (even though I'm pretty sure it's a spray and not the real thing)
- hearing about Grumpy Gertie running in the rain then rewarding herself with one of the biggest cinnamon rolls I've ever seen
- my new old lady duster
- dad telling me he'll make some bean soup
- dad telling me he'll go to the grocery store with me in order to get the right kind of pinto beans (Good thing, cause I didn't know there was a variety to choose from. I thought pinto is pinto.)
- taking my neighbor to the urgent care doctor and not having to worry about dinner because Sweetie was in control
- hearing the happy in my daughter's voice
- finding the lavender sachet had burst inside my pillow case (it looked and smelled like a lavender bomb had exploded!)
- crawling into a bed with fresh, clean linens and reading my book
- this picture!
Wishing for you something to smile about even when the world seems to have gone berserk.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Today I'm grateful for people who know how to listen. Those special ones who stop what they are doing when they sense you've got something you need to get off my chest. Listeners don't just hear what you are saying, they take it in. They are quiet, yet focused. They acknowledge what you've said but saying it back to you to make sure they heard right. They encourage you to speak from your heart by saying something along the lines of, "you look like you need to talk" or "I'm here if you need me." They wait patiently until you are through with your rant without interrupting with their own thoughts. When they sense you are finished they check with you by saying, "this is what I heard, is that right?" or "is there more?"
Driving down the road today for a little retail therapy I thought about how important it is to me to not only speak my truth but to have someone listen. This is the gift of many trusted therapists. Last night my own personal coach, aka Sweetie, waited for me to open up about how I was feeling. When he could sense that I was shutting down instead he gently and tenderly encouraged me to trust him. And I did. I spewed out my anger and frustration and grief and pain like verbal vomit. He listened. I cried and cussed. He listened. I took a breath and he waited. It was just what I needed.
You'd think it would be easy to listen, but it is really quite an art.
Wishing for you someone to listen when your heart speaks,
Saturday, November 14, 2009
There I was after dinner last night discussing have a Christmas party next month. I asked Dad questions about things mom used to have at her annual party; the more we talked the more he remembered. We were just getting to the like guest list when the phone rang. I talked for a few minutes, hung up, sat back down ready to pick up where we left off, when POW, like a cartoon balloon out of nowhere, everything about the evening changed.
I should have seen it coming. Dad had mentioned his lack of sleep the night before. I'd seen him scrunched over his desk figuring and refiguring. He looks like a cross between a Dickensian Scrooge and Scrooge McDuck of Disney fame instead of my dad. When says something along the lines of, "is this a good time to talk?" the acid in my stomach floods my gut and fills my esophagus. My heart beats to a fight or flight rhythm. My feet decide flight is the better option before my brain even knows what's coming. It's always about money. And when my father wants to discuss his finances with me, I dread what issues are going to come with it. Will it be how inept I am at handling money? Will it be that Sweetie and I aren't married? Will it be about making plans for my future of which there are none?
For any sane or rational person these topics are not life-threatening. But for me they are. I don't know why, and to be honest, I don't think I want to. I just want the topic to go away and never be discussed again.
Sweetie and I listened to his proposal(s). I scribbled a few notes. But in actuality I could not see or hear for the fear and anger that was coursing through my veins like Sherman through Atlanta.
I don't know what the outcome of the conversation will be. All three of us have headed to our separate corners to think about it. But I know it's time for me to act like a grown up, hold my inner child's hand, convince her we'll get through it and deal with it. That's what I need to do, what I want to do is go to sleep.
I don't usually dip into other people's medicine bottles. Last night I found a sleeping pill and downed it like it was a shot of Tequila. Perhaps I should have opted for Jose Cuervo instead. I slept some and then some more. The cat tried repeatedly to wake me up, yet each time I rolled over giving myself over to Somnus (the Greek god of sleep). It was 11:30 before I stumbled out of bed and a shower. I beat Dad by half an hour. Apparently, after getting things off his chest he slept soundly.
When I looked in the mirror I was not happy with what I saw staring back at me. All day I've been feeling angry, sad, and tired. I've been playing old tapes in my head, thinking lots of negative stuff. That's what anger does to me. I don't know how to express it, I hate to feel it so instead of beating a pillow with a baseball bat I beat up my psyche til I can cry myself into oblivion. Okay so I know this about myself, what now?
Well I'm reminded again of the 12 Steps of AA.
Step 4 =Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves; Step 5 = Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs; Step 6 = Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character and Step 7= Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
Lately I've been real good at judging my father's mood and character. Tonight I see very little difference in his grumpiness and my own. I get really frustrated when it appears he has no clue as to who I really am. In a moment of clarity this afternoon, I realized the same could be said for me about him. I am as stuck in my ways as he is in his. It is appropriate then to start one of those inventories 12 steppers talk about and see where it leads me. One thing is for sure, I'm ready to be released from the bondage of my anger. I'm just not exactly sure how to say (and mean) here it is God, you take it and keep it this time.
Now what does all this have to do with gratitude? With my vision so clouded over you'd think I couldn't see a blessing if it kissed me on the cheek. You'd be partly right. I've had to look, but not too far.
During the conversation from hell last night, I wrote on my paper: Jack (aka Sweetie) is a saint. By that I meant that he knew just the right words to say and when to say them. Unlike me who was seething in the corner trying to make myself invisible, he listened to what my father had to say, acknowledged his concerns and fears, diffused an atomic explosion, and knew when to draw the conversation to a close. I'm not sure how it was possible but in the moment of mixed emotions for me, I felt even more love for Jack. For this man's presence in my life I am extremely grateful.
I'm also filled with gratitude and surprise and love for a certain potter who out of the blue sent me one of her precious creations. She reminds me that while there is some healing that comes from looking inward, there is fulfillment beyond measure by reaching out in love and generosity. Especially when there is not reason other than to say "it matters." I am blessed to be a recipient and promise to look for opportunities to play it forward.
I'm touched with joy by an email I got today from a woman I know only through the blogosphere. However, I'm pretty sure we were sisters in another life. Our stories are way different yet at surprisingly very similar. She has opened herself to me and offered me a place to feel safe enough to do the same. She reminds me of the gift of girlfriends.
Lastly, if you are still with me because I have certainly lived up to the name of this blog and rambled on, I'm filled with a strange kind of love and thanks for my $700 cat and his sister. Boy cat waits til I'm in a quiet place then comes to me on his terms. He purrs, rubs, kneads, puffs up his tail and in a very feline way touches my heart. Girl cat on the other hand is like a baby. She cries to be picked up, follows me into the bathroom, waits for me to sit down, then rubs her head on my shoulder and cheek. When all the world seems dark and bleak, there is nothing like the unadulterated attention of a furry creature.
Blessings abound. I am grateful.
Wishing for you surprises in your mailbox, something furry to lie next to and enough introspection to turn your frowns into smiles,
Friday, November 13, 2009
In typical morning fashion I asked Dad how his night went. I try to get out of him how he is feeling but he's let me know on more than one occasion that he doesn't expect to ever feel good again so there's no point in asking him because it just reminds him he feels lousy. It's rather convoluted but I'm learning not to say, "Good morning, Dad, how are you?" Instead I say stuff like, "how did you sleep?" [I don't know, I was asleep.] or "how was your night?" This morning his answer was "Lousy." Like fingernails on a black board this kind of response is enough to set a daughter's teeth on edge.
Like a fool, I bit. I took the conversation to the next level instead of asking what he wanted for breakfast. [I don't know. What is there? As if the menu ever changes.] Why was it so lousy?
I didn't sleep a wink.
Did you take a sleeping pill?
No when I couldn't sleep it was already too close to morning and I didn't want to be too sleepy when I got up.
Oh so now you're sleepy because you didn't sleep.
He did not go into detail (my first reason for gratitude today) but offered that he had lot of things running through his mind. This can only mean that there is soon to be another discussion about how I'm going to live after he's gone. Good Lord, please keep you hand across my mouth.
I also had a little trouble falling asleep last night. I found I was running through the alphabet trying to name fruits. Some letters, like A, B, C are fairly easy, i.e. apple, banana, cherry. But I struggled with Q, U, Y and Z. Surprisingly, like a bolt from above, quince came to mind as I turned my computer on just now. I really don't have any idea what a quince is but I feel like it is a fruit people make jelly out of. Quince jelly, right? But unless you go for adjectives like ugly kiwi, yummy guavas and zesty lemons, I defy anyone to come up with fruits that starts with those letters.
My friend Sorrow posed a good question in yesterday's comment section. Is a nut a fruit?
But enough of that ....
Even Pollyanna might find it hard to find something to be glad about or grateful for after watching the movie from Netflix that has been in the house for 2 weeks. I turned it on while I did my stretching. [Speaking of stretching, I should feel grateful that my leg is getting better, but in my humble opinion, laying down on the floor and lifting my legs up and down and to the side, does nothing more than exacerbate the problem. This is contrary to my doctor's assurances that stretching is the ONLY way I'm going to get better. ] Turtles Can Fly is a 2004 film written and directed by a Kurdish Iranian filmmaker. It was the first film to made in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Knowing this I should have guessed that it was going to be grim. I mean how can a movie that takes place in a refugee camp, on the eve of the American invasion, with orphaned children as the main characters collecting mines to sell for pocket money be very uplifting? Naturally it addresses all kinds of war questions - religious/ethnic rivalries, no schools, rape, kids carrying guns bigger than themselves, wounded and crippled people living in tents and bombed out tanks, and the haunting of the soul sof those who live through it all.
Indeed I am grateful that neither I, nor my kids, nor anyone I know has ever had to live in such an environment. Still, my heart aches that there are children in this world where this is a way of life. I'm noticing that this is kind of a recurring theme in my gratitude posts. As Sorrow has so aptly pointed out, now that these people and situations are no longer invisible to me, what am I going to do about it? What can I do about it?
Today, I will thank my lucky stars for green grass, blue skies, and a life that is way way better than I give it credit for.
Wishing for you on this Friday the 13th good luck, good friends, good news and above all else a world at peace,
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
After writing yesterday about the Berlin Wall, the idea of personal walls has stayed with me. I think there was a time in my life when I barricaded myself behind walls of insecurity and fear. Perhaps even depression was a wall that kept me from truly living; kept ME protected from boogie men - real or perceived.
Today, I think my walls are more like sliding doors, not so rigid as a brick wall, but something I can still hide behind. Or like a turtle. I can stick my head out, check my surroundings and if I don't like what I see, I can pull myself right back inside.
I was still dreaming when I heard Dad call my name ... Mary! It didn't have the usual degree of urgency that most early morning calls have so I kept dozing. Then I heard it again and knew it was time to jump up and start moving. Today was bath day so all he really needed was for me to stand by at the ready outside the bathroom door while he showered. Like Goldilocks, I crawled into his still warm bed, Girl Cat joined me and we snoozed as we waited - one ear open cocked towards the door.
Soon after Paul the fix-it guy appeared on the scene, followed by all kinds of banging and clanging and vacuuming. I knew I was feeling kind of tired and funky, but my horoscope pretty much said it all when it told me to lay low. I figured that meant stay away from other people, grabbed my purse and left the boys at home to deal with the noise. Funny thing about walls, they can keep me in as well as people out!
Recently my vision has been self-centered. It's all about me, isn't it? But in the last 2 days I've noticed a homeless woman, two guys sitting on the side of the road, looking rather disheveled, and a man with only one leg driving his wheelchair with the stump of an arm.
I found I couldn't look at any of them in the eye, but watched their movements surreptitiously as I was stopped at a light. I felt a combination of feelings - sadness, pity, and guilt. "There but for the Grace of God" ran though my mind. I'm lucky to have a home to live in and a car to drive. I'm blessed to have good health, albeit with a few aches and pains.
Today, even though I feel kind of blue, I am still grateful for the things that fill my life with richness and pleasure. I'm reminded of a saying, attributed to an unknown Confederate soldier:
Monday, November 9, 2009
I don't think it's enough to just say "God Bless America."
We must say "God Bless the World."