Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from my grateful heart.

There is something magical about snow when you are warm and cozy in your home just watching it fall to the earth blanketing everything in white. It actually seems quite peaceful and quiet.
All heck will break loose later.
From the window right by my computer, I can see my red hummingbird feeder which seems so bright and colorful against all the white. There is one hummingbird in particular that seems to eat from my feeder the most and s/he is there now causing me to feel enormous delight. Bob is at the piano softly playing Christ mas carols and all feels right in the world. I wonder what my horse friends think about all this snow?

Today is Thanksgiving here in America and a time for me that I like to reflect on the blessings and all that I have to be grateful for.
I am always grateful when I get to awaken from another sleep and have another day in this world. The world doesn't always seem perfect, but then again maybe it is. We judge almost everything in our day even when we don't realize that we are judging....the weather, the traffic, our job, our boss, our co-workers, the food we eat, the line at the grocery store, how someone looks, how they don't look, the kids teacher, etc. It is a never ending list that we don't actually realize is going on inside of us.

I have to stop here for a minute and interject that - OH MY GOSH - my cup of coffee is so darn good.

People are being born and people are dying in the few moments that I am sipping my coffee. The circle of life on earth beginning for some and ending for others and there is so much in between. There is a quote that says we do not remember days, we remember moments. It is a true thought. As I sit here and try to think back on everything, I cannot remember full days, just snippets from here and there. That means I probably can't remember everything I have felt grateful for in the past, but neither can I remember everything that caused me distress of some sort.
But what blessings have come my way and what do I feel gratitude for right now?
Some days my personal world seems so small because I don't have a job right now, but every morning when I awaken, my world is filled with great things. I have a husband who loves me and when he holds me in his arms, well, I can't even bring forth the words to describe how that makes me feel. I have a cat named Zoe who comes to get her love and give her sweet gifts. Then I have 2 dogs that make me laugh everyday. I live in my sister's house here on the horse farm which is a really big blessing and everyday I see 36 horse friends. Now that may make you think I have lost a few cookies, but everyone of those horses have their own personalities and they all have their own way of interacting with me (and everyone around them). There is something wonderful about these big creatures and I love them all and enjoy seeing them everyday. Believe it or not, they make me laugh at times and they give out love as well as accepting love from Bob and me.
My children are healthy and my 2 grandsons are happy and healthy. At the moment, all is well with the rest of my family (sisters, parents, aunties, cousins, etc.) and friends. Everyone is warm and dry and they have plenty to eat.
I am grateful for chances. I feel like I was gifted with another chance when Bob came into my life.
My sister provided us with a chance to live in Woodinville where Bob had lived as a child and where I wanted to live after having come here for the first time many, many years ago. I only name 2 here, but there are many chances that come our way almost every day.
I am grateful for every mistake I have ever made.           Yes, it's true.
Sometimes our actions are labeled as mistakes by others, but good things can be born on the wings of mistakes. At the very least, we sometimes learn what we don't want to do again or have happen again. But if you get something wonderful, well, it was worth every minute.
I am grateful that I am an extra ordinary person. No I did not say extraordinary, I said extra ordinary. I am just me....everyone else is taken as Oscar Wilde said. We all want to think we are unique or special. What we sometimes forget is that everyone else is thinking that also. So we all are unique, special, and extra ordinary all together. We all have gifts to render to the world just as we are a gift to the world. No better, yet no worse than the one next to us.

I have a long list of other things I am grateful for everyday: whoever God let invent the hot water tank and running pipes, the refrigerator, a grocery store, my wonderful mattress, a heater, this structure called home, freedom, the ability to communicate with so many others in so short of a time, choices, someone who loves me, someone to love, sunrises and sunsets, the sun and the moon, light to darkness, the contrasts that exist list is like most every ones. I am grateful to be alive and to have so much even on the days I think I need or want more. Usually those are just things that I think I need or want more of. What money can't buy are the things I am truly grateful for.
So let me end here with a quote by Lydia Child -
Gratitude is the memory of the heart; therefore forget not to say often, I have all I ever enjoyed.

             In every thing give thanks. - 1 Thessalonians 5:18  KJV

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

For my favorite grandpa story

I mentioned during another post that my grandpa died when I was 21. My cousin was about 6 at the time. Grandpa and grandma were living near her family, but she never got to spend time at their home in Renton like my sisters and I did. Unfortunately, I don't have that many grandpa stories myself. Either I don't remember everything, or the memories have faded. Grandpa was more of a feeling and an experience anyway. Not something you can explain or put into words. Grandpa was love and security. You knew he loved you no matter what happened or what anyone said. It was a knowing that no one could take away.
As much as I like to think I'm the only one with  a grandpa or a sister relationship. My sisters have stories of time spent with other sisters and their own time spent with grandpa and occasionally I am surprised to hear this stuff because I didn't even know it was going on.

Anyway, one summer when I was about 13, the sisters and I were sent to the grandparents for part of the summer. Since I started my menstrual cycle that summer, I decided I was old enough to shave my legs and armpits,  and not ask the mom for permission.
I'm going to digress here for a minute because I cannot believe how archaic the old razors were. Are there any women out there that remember how you could just about shave off all the skin on your shin if you just barely did the wrong thing???  I mean OMG!!! What a mess and boy did it hurt.

Back to the grandpa story.

As I began my shaving the legs adventure, there were commercials for Nair. Now after  having one of those shin skin incidents, Nair was sounding pretty interesting. I had even brought some home and was thinking hard about trying it, but the fact that the chemicals burned off the hair did not sound really cool to me. I am a very cautious person by nature and I try not to do anything that would hurt me or cause pain.
Grandpa stayed up later than grandma did and he liked to watch the fights and sometimes old movies. We both hated Cal Worthington car commercials! I was telling him that I bought this Nair stuff, how it worked, and that I was considering using it. After I explained the method employed, he looked at me with concern and asked to see the package. He read the directions that explained you should do a test patch somewhere on your leg before applying the depilatory cream to your entire leg. This is the moment when you KNOW that you have the best grandpa in the world......he did a test patch on his very own leg. It was approximately the size of a dollar coin, maybe a smidgen bigger. The darn stuff worked and my grandpa had a bare spot on his leg. However, after he read the chemical list he told me he thought I should not use that stuff. It was kind of smelly anyway so it wasn't hard to agree with him. It just seemed so natural for him to do that. I will remember that bare spot for as long as I live and have a good memory/mind.
Grandpa liked to watch the golf tournaments as well as baseball. Sometime we'll talk about Vida Blue and the world series.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

30 days of Gratitude and other musings

I have a lot going on right now and I'm uncertain where to begin so here goes. I apologize in advance if it sounds disjointed.

Almost every morning I log into Face book.Yes, it's true, I took that leap also. I mostly go there to post a thought for the day, but because I love this time of year so much and my sentimental self rears up hard during Thanksgiving, I decided to have 30 days of gratitude and post a quote everyday hoping to promote that idea. If not to others, then at least to remind myself. And I do need reminding. It is easy to get sucked up into the everyday stuff and forget to be grateful for all that we have.
 I was talking to a friend last week while having coffee and bagels. I was telling her about camping in Mexico with a previous husband. I told her the story of watching a young girls head come up from underground as she came over to ask us for a sopa which I think is a sweater. All I really think about now and again is the fact she lived underground. What that means to me is the following: no multiple rooms, no bedroom with a comfy bed. No kitchen with a refrigerator. No sofa to sit on while watching TV. No bathroom with a toilet, a bathtub, and running water. No hot water heater like that which I am thankful for everyday when I shower. No stove to cook a good meal on. I am not sure what they did have down there, but I am pretty certain it wasn't much. And definitely no nearby grocery store to trot on over to to get some food.
Just listing that stuff makes you want to feel extreme gratitude. We have a lot here in America. I know we have poor folks and street people, but not many people live that way. I don't think there was a nearby food bank either.

So this week, we have elections going on and I am heartily sick of all the negative adds and the junk mail galore. I want to ask this of every politician in existence as well as the general you not get that no one is perfect and everyone can make bad choices including yourselves??? Oh my gosh! Get real and get back on track with what our country is really all about. I would like to know if any of the politicians have bothered to read the constitution? If they have then how could they possible think it is okay to have lobbyists or place earmarks in any bill? On second thought, maybe I better not get myself started, but the bottom line is this: we are all responsible for this country and what we stand for. No matter who we elect they may take a step in the wrong direction. That doesn't make them bad people. It makes them human like all of us....I know, some of you think they might truly be aliens, but they're not. I look at a ten dollar bill and I see the words "We the people". To me, that is pretty powerful. Let's quit pointing fingers and placing blame and get back to
"We the people".

To continue on with what else is going on in my week, I was informed that my previous husband who was a wonderful person and friend was really ill and possibly dying. I get the oxy-moron here of previous husband but wonderful person and friend. Things are not always what they seem and they are not always simple. This person has suffered from Parkinson's for at least 10 years now. He choose to get divorced and move back to the small town he grew up in 5 years ago. I didn't want this, but I found out that I couldn't stop it from happening. I cannot in my wildest imagination figure out why someone would up and choose to move off from all that he knows to live by himself and suffer alone. Our destinies are our own and no one can live them for us. I just can't for the life of me understand what his destiny was/is.
What I do know is this: I had a great life while I was married to him and I was happy. He loved me and gave me the space to be who I wanted to be without judgement. He actually handed me a great gift by leaving. Some of it was selfless and I think a tad selfish, but a gift none the less.
If this is your time to leave us old friend, may you walk in peace surrounded by loved ones who have gone before you. Thank you for loving me and being my friend. Forgive me if I let you down in any way.