Getting Off the Stage…

Dear Reader:

Mollie’s mom, Marcia, flew down from New Hampshire to be with Mollie and the family with the arrival of Eloise to help out. (Next time Marcia…get  a contract that defines the term “help out.“) She and Mollie had talked about all the things they wanted to do with the boys back in Pre-School…and at that time… in the balmy weather.

The balmy weather quickly reverted back to frigid weather. But still everything was good. They even packed up the whole family to go visit Marcia’s sister, Sue, and her husband who ‘half’ their year up, since retirement, between Vermont and Fripp Island. Still going good…until Sunday night and then Rutledge came down with some kind of virus.

So their trip had to be cut short and now Rutledge was home so all their plans for daily trips and excursions halted. Just about the time they thought they could get Rutledge back to school to free up some time…Lachlan came down with the same “bug.”

Three times Marcia, Mollie, Eloise, and I tried to get together during this past week…but conditions just kept deteriorating. Yesterday was Marcia’s birthday…so we were praying Lachlan and Rutledge could return for the last day before Marcia was to go home. Not to be.

Mollie texted me yesterday and said that the whole family was at the doctor’s office…Rutledge and Lachlan both tested positive for flu…Rutledge on the tail end of it and Lachlan right in the middle. The concern was Eloise…didn’t want her to catch it. Mollie and Eloise tested negative…so they plan on quarantining themselves as much as possible in the bedroom this weekend until Lachlan is past the contagious stage.

Marcia was the errand girl, besides being Nana,  while Walsh was at work….picking up groceries and prescriptions. It was a stroke of luck in one sense that Marcia was there at such a critical time…but it was certainly not the bonding time for Marcia, Mollie, and Eloise that they had hoped.

Since Mollie and I had already planned to take Marcia out to lunch for her birthday yesterday…I “kidnapped” Marcia and between errands…we did stop for lunch. It was a beautiful day…finally the balmy day Marcia had looked forward to all week. (She said the weather here this past week was no different than New Hampshire.)

And speaking of…I told Marcia that her birthday present from me was right on target…and she would see the humor in it. (especially after this past week of illnesses)

I had ordered her one of the “homesick” candles…the New Hampshire one that contains indigenous smells from her home state. She just laughed…she said she was definitely a little homesick and her husband Bruce was ready for her return too…but she was glad she was able to be there in this “bug” crisis. Walsh and Mollie are too…not knowing what they would have done without her.

I told her that I had read an article about ‘getting off the stage’ and, instead, ‘sitting in the audience as an observer‘. Marcia laughed and said that was what she was ready for…no more drama on the stage just observations from the auditorium watching…

Sometimes in life we do have to be a player in the drama but many times we can avoid the stress of too much drama by choosing to be a member of the audience over being a member of the cast…or perhaps watching a movie instead of being in it.

Bob and Fran German term this decision-making call a “stay out of the fray” move.

” The choice is much healthier and can be more satisfying to merely watch and listen to the story unfold…staying calm and cool. Try being the “observer” more and more. It can be a positive step forward to a pattern of making stress-free choices and an overall calmer demeanor.”

Most times this good advice is easier said than done…but we also realize that most of us can cut down on drama participation by stepping back and giving ourselves time to observe.

So until tomorrow….Father help us know “when to fold and when to hold” when it comes to helping or advising others around us. It can feel like a tightrope sometime…but we always know You are our safety net.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

 

“High Five” and back at you Eloise…she is hanging tough and we all pray she gets through this flu season safe and sound. Such a little cutie bug!

 

 

 

 

Rutledge, at four, is such a little man now…He took himself upstairs, ran a hot bath and climbed into bed taking a long nap. Maybe he is going to be a doctor when he grows up.

 

 

Look at the cute “Happy Bag” Marcia gave me…There is “Hope” the Owl and a Happy Box where I can write one happy entry each day for all the blessings I have.

My first “happy” entry Marcia… was having a chance to get together with you on your birthday while you were still here. So much fun…just getting out and catching up on each of our lives.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Which Way Do You Want the Dust to Settle?

Dear Reader:

The past couple of days have been filled with medical appointments…and I am glad today is a “freebie”…any day that I don’t have an appointment is a good day for me.

In one waiting room I overheard a receptionist talking on the phone to someone saying that she sure missed the janitor who normally came in and cleaned up at night…apparently he had the flu and had been out a few days. She was telling the caller that if he didn’t get back soon she was going to have to start dusting the waiting room area before starting work.

I then heard her giggle and she responded with something like: “You are absolutely right…how does so much dust accumulate in a place where all the people do nothing but wait. Go figure!”

I found myself smiling while flipping through the magazine on my lap. She was right…I wasn’t doing anything…everyone else was staring down at their iPhones or at the television set. Yet, it was apparent that dust had settled in from the early morning rays coming through the glass entrance…dancing merrily along shimmering as they fell on to the tables, chairs, rugs, and floors.

I remember as a child one time wondering if a person stood perfectly still and did nothing…if he/she would age. Today, of course, I know that answer…that, not only would they age…but faster than everyone else because the muscles would atrophy and since no part of the body was being used…everything would start failing…outwardly and internally.

Life is about movement…the more we move and stir the dust the better off we are. It is the way our bodies were made to carry us through life.

Tommy and Kaitlyn picked me up from the airport when I returned home from Ireland a few summers ago. I had cleaned and cleaned before I left so I could return home to a nice, sparkling, fresh-smelling house. It was not to be.

I had left the air-conditioner on… but at a high level so it wouldn’t cut on much to save energy/money, the windows had been closed and locked…so I returned to a hot, dusty, stale-smelling house…all that trouble for nothing. And no one had even been there.

The house looked like, smelled like, and felt like like a dusty, rusty old museum. It didn’t smell like home. It was as if when I left I took all the energy of the house with me and all that was left was a facade of what once was. The “Happy Room” was very unhappy!

It took me a few days to get the house and me back in the routine of daily life again…to let the dust blow back in from the movement of people coming and going…not just stale dust from nothingness.

So until tomorrow…Isn’t sparkling dust, falling with the sun’s rays so much more natural than layers of old dust caught in a dark corner? Humans were made for light and life…returning to dust only when life is over.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*I love this last stanza of the poem “Still His” about remembering the person our Creator originally made…not the one molded by others after birth. Diane Peacock came up with the idea and her friend, a noted poet, Laura Lauzon, wrote the poem.

We forget the original artist.
We forget the one who formed us from dirt,
who had his hand on us first,

who placed his original print
on the underside of our soul.
We are more than decorative.
And if we took time each day
to tip ourselves over
we’d see the engraved print of his finger
standing in relief, marking us as his,
marking us as godly original.

………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Two Happy Birthdays Today!!!.…my wonderful nephew Lee and Mollie’s especially loved mom… Marcia! I hope both of you have a wonderful day surrounded by those who love you and many others who wish you well on this special day!

*Ambika, our “darling from Dubai” shared this picture she took on a road trip where she saw God. Beautiful Ambika!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

When was the Last Time You Saw God?

Dear Reader:

I am so glad I decided to go back and re-read Louise Penny’s detective series…because I realize now I was reading the books so quickly the first time around…in my eagerness to discover “who dunnit” that I missed many subtle, poignant and powerful spiritual messages held within the pages…far more important than the capture of the culprit.

I don’t want to give anything away…but there is a beautiful spiritual side line story that becomes the benchmark of courage and hope for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache…a personal story that he carries with him, as a shield,  through a series of political corruptions that explode around him…dragging him down into a dark abyss of betrayal by close friends, jealousy, and power run amuck.

In book two…the first hint that Chief Inspector Gamache did something morally courageous comes to light…but we only get hints of what is to come. He finds himself in a situation where his moral compass must decide whether to overlook injustice at its worst and cover up his knowledge of mis-doings from his own police force and close friends or expose it to the public at large.

Before the situation explodes Gamache finds himself in an isolated fishing village finishing up an earlier case. In this rocky barren plot of land Gamache finds beauty in the lichen on the rocks and almost invisible purple flowers. He doesn’t find God there…but in a diner.

He gathers his courage to tell a Three Pines resident this most personal story:

The friend immediately asks Gamache back…”What was God eating?” 

“Lemon meringue pie” Gamache replies with a twinkle in his eyes.

“He was dressed like a fisherman…but He looked across the room at me with such tenderness, such love, I was staggered.”

The “fisherman” then finished his pie and turned to the wall…rubbing something on it and then He “turned back to me with the most radiant smile I’ve ever seen. I was filled with joy.”

Before the fisherman left he looked back at Gamache, one last time, with a warm and comforting smile…as if to say he understood and it would be alright.

As soon as he left Gamache rushed over and wrote the four simple lines in his notebook that the fisherman had written on the wall. He knew then, immediately what his soul had been trying to tell him…that he had to do what was morally right…and let the consequences fall where they may. Because he had everything…

The four lines were:

“Where there is love, there is courage

Where there is courage, there is peace

Where there is peace, there is God.

And when you have God, you have everything.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Throughout the series…other characters see God…as a road worker carrying a sign or a homeless woman carrying a life-altering secret…God appears in the most mundane but extraordinary circumstances simultaneously.

There is no doubt in my mind…that my dolphin, was God revealed in one of His most beautiful creations that day back in 2008 (off the jetties at Edisto)  following my initial breast cancer diagnosis. And the lines (the mental impressions) I still remember from that foggy fall morning, the sighting of the dolphin jumping above me sitting on the jetties, are:

It’s going to be alright

Everything is just as it should be

You are a part of the universe

Go live your life

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

Now how about you? Have you ever experienced a moment, an incident so mundane, yet so powerfully memorable, where you knew or at least suspected that You met God…that you were on Holy ground…that our Creator was as real as the Velveteen Rabbit…because to be real is to be loved?

From little children on…aren’t we taught that God is love…that the words God and Love are synonyms. So if we reject the notion of God…aren’t we declaring that we don’t believe love exists either? I, for one, wouldn’t want to live in a world without love…without God.

I finally remembered a popular song from a few years back that addressed the topic of seeing God all around us…including everyday people….do you remember it? It was called “What if God was One of Us?” by Joan Osborne.

If God had a name what would it be?
And would you call it to his face?
If you were faced with Him in all His glory
What would you ask if you had just one question?

And yeah, yeah, God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
And yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Tryin’ to make his way home?

*I love the Gregorian (Masters of Chant) version of this song

Gregorian – One of Us – YouTube

………………………………………………………………………………..

So until tomorrow…I never see a dolphin without remembering that sacred moment in my life almost ten years ago…and now I will never eat a piece of lemon meringue pie without thinking of God, also…and the fictional Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Anne texted me yesterday…and said that the stuffed monkey I gave Nala as a baby…is still her favorite toy. I replied back…that from the monkey’s point of view…the photo’s title should read:

“Love Hurts”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Learning From Nature About Life Changes…

Dear Reader:

In the midst of a depressing inspection around my yard and garden yesterday…I learned a valuable lesson.

Every time I look out my side window now…all I see are brown fromes dragging the ground and driveway…All the plants that were so beautiful, like the Ginger Shell, are pitiful looking “sticks” and stems staring back at me.

The same is true of  most of the plants in the back yard….I keep remembering them in their glory…like the Confederate Rose and the long-stemmed sunflowers. Now they look like a broken shell of their old selves. The morning glories that lined the fence with such beauty are now brittle-looking “spider webs” still clinging to the fence.

It is time to cut back all the dead stems and branches now…leaving only the most important part of the plants and bushes…their main sustaining root system…the heart of the foliage.

Don’t we humans have to learn to “cut back” too sometimes for the good of ourselves…whether it is for financial, health, or social reasons…to allow ourselves time to re-group and grow stronger for the challenges ahead?

Even the gardenia bush took a brutal “hit” from the ice/snowstorm….but other bushes still retain their own unique beauty.

As I was “whining” to Vickie about my ugly-looking back yard and garden…she stopped me at “our” rose bush by the driveway and pointed out the new tiny buds already trying to form again on the stems.

“They are working so hard for you…but just undercover. I will cut back the rose bush to help them in this effort and you need to cut back the dead stems and branches of the other plants and bushes… but never cut the root of the plant…instead “root” for it…because it is preparing itself for survival during the next couple of months while already planning its glorious spring return. Nothing is as dormant as it seems…life never rests.”

So true! Take “Big Red”…it hasn’t stopped blooming all year…and continues to bloom even inside the house waiting to return to its beloved white bench and bask in the afternoon sun on the front porch. It is just patiently waiting out the time…while continuing to form more blooms.

This May 31, 2018 “Big Red” turns 10…I will definitely be having a birthday celebration for my beloved geranium…what did I ever do before “Big Red” came into my life to mentor me through the good times and hard times with its amazing ability to persevere under all kinds of conditions. I love you “Big Red!”

So until tomorrow…Let us never forget that the winter season is the season for cheering on our forlorn-looking plant life…knowing that life hasn’t ceased, it is simply digging deep within itself to  start planning its annual resurrection of beauty and glory.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*I found this list of “changes” for 2018 several weeks ago and think today is as good as any other to share them…I can easily identify with each of these New Year challenges.

*I am so proud of Eva Cate…she got Student of the Month yesterday…! Love you sweetie! Way to go!

*While moving “Big Red” last week after the temps dropped back in the twenties overnight….Luke picked up a big red blossom that broke off during the transition from the porch to the B&B side dining room table. He was so concerned but I assured him it was fine…”Big Red” had more buds coming. (*The blossom looks beautiful on the bathroom counter.)

Luke and Chelsey are all into the story of “Big Red” and Luke said if ever necessary they will carry big banner signs…“Save Big Red!” 

The neighborhood loves this special geranium…it has become a fixture on Rainbow…with neighbors slowing down to inquire about the plant…if it has had to be taken in for a few days.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Intuition is a Lonely Path…but the Right One

A deserted path through the forest in Taipei, Taiwan.

(Neil Wade Photography– *This hauntingly beautiful photo, depicted in my own personal imagery, matches exactly what the path of personal intuition must look like…darkness with flickers of lighted hope)

Dear Reader:

No…I am not suffering from short-term memory loss…I do realize that I just talked about the origins of intuition in man and its significance in our lives…it is just that my intuitive heart yearns to connect with others in this search for the path we are to follow.

My wonderful family “brother,” Bill Dingle, sent this insightful response to the first post on the topic of  intuition, yesterday, that I want to share with you. (He nailed the essence of the meaning of intuition with one word…Something)

“Last night during our family devotion, I told the children that one of God’s names is “Something, “because often we say, “Something told me to do (or not do) such and such. God is always speaking if we will listen and obey, right away, first time. LOVE to all! BLESSINGS!”

How true! And “Something” is a God Wink…a foundation phrase behind this blog. Don’t we waste so much time in life trying to listen or be influenced by other people’s opinions instead of separating ourselves from the crowd and following our own personal path of intuition…our own “road less traveled?

It really is a choice of listening to the brain or the heart…Are we trying to control our lives by listening to societal “experts,” even meaningful friends…instead of listening to our own Divine Spark… God-given within us?

I know my excuse is the loneliness of the path…I love people and doing things with other people…not so much by myself. My garden has helped me in this respect…forcing me to take time to nurture nature within my own set boundaries…and not others’ perimeters.

Once again I call on Mary Oliver…to put this in the perspective I need to come to grips with…while gathering the courage to find my own way with God’s guidance leading me. (I hope her prose speaks to you also…or if not…find a voice that does speak your feelings…it helps eliminate feeling isolated in this intuitive endeavor. )

The Journey

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice – 

though the whole house 

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug 

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you had to stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy 

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night, 

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do –

determined to save 

the only life you could save.

by – Mary Oliver – Pulitzer Prize Winner

New and Selected Poems

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

I continuously doubt myself when it comes to following my intuition but I have suddenly realized (from the perspective of an ole’ history teacher) that the “famous” people we now study and look up to…had their doubts too when it came to making some of the most important decisions in their lives by following their own intuitions…many times against popular opinion.

Leaders aren’t considered great because they are filled with absolute certainties…great leaders are born out of doubt…the doubt that humbles them and then requires them to find the courage to overcome their inner doubts and misgivings…as they  follow their own path to greatness.

So until tomorrow….Let us all listen for the new voice we begin to hear… along our less traveled path…our voice…through God’s voice.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*How I delight in the sun dividing its rays/energy among the slants in the shutters in the “Happy Room.” All is takes is for one shutter to be a little off for the rays to skip a slant. And the final result…the most beautiful imperfection…so much more interesting than perfection.

It reminded me of the Leonard Cohen quotation Anne drew for me…

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A Garbage Free Day…

Dear Reader:

Like many other residents of Summerville… I was wondering if the garbage would ever get picked up again. It wasn’t just the snow/ice storm delay…our neighborhood garbage was never picked up the whole week before the storm, then after the storm and then after New Years…over three weeks with no pick-up. Summerville would soon be turning into “Smelly Summerville in the Pines.”

Except for strangely…recyclables. Last Friday, January 5th, our neighborhood heard a marvelous sound…the sound of the garbage truck. I texted the neighbors to let them know it was coming to our street…only to be dismayed that they were just picking up the recyclables and not the long-term food garbage…which was the aroma culprit…not the plastics, papers, and glass.

Still shaking my head…I told my neighbors to stuff more bags in my garbage can (since I had been in Mt. Pleasant for a week and mine was emptier)…but then miraculously late Friday afternoon…the old, old food garbage got picked up! Hallelujah.

I went out to thank the garbage helpers and tell them how much the neighborhood was going to be grateful for the pick-up. I didn’t mention the long, inexplicable, delay before and after the storm…but just simply thanked them for picking it up.

When I first went out with my Iphone I think they were nervous…thinking I was going to berate them and the company…I could almost feel them bracing for it…but when I thanked them instead…an almost visible shudder of relief crossed their faces and slumped shoulders…they must have had their “fill” of negativity that long day.

When they left Vickie sneaked out of her home and put up all our garbage cans…Our”Rainbow” street looked clean and pretty again…and this neighborly gift made me so appreciative of the fact that I have such amazing, caring neighbors.

It, also, made me very aware of how much we depend on town resources to keep Summerville the beautiful hometown we all love.

 

As I was skimming through the anecdotes from  (101 Ways to Be Young at Any Age) I came across “The Law of the Garbage Truck.” When it is applies to the people around us…it takes on a different but powerful meaning.

“Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, full of stress, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it on you. We need to not take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish others well, and move on. Don’t take other’s garbage and spread it to other people.

The bottom line is that grounded and happy people do not let “garbage trucks” take over their day and steal their joy. Life is too fleeting to let this happen. So…love the people who treat you right and even save some love for the people who don’t. 

Life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you react to it. Have a garbage-free day!”

So until tomorrow…Be kind to others…who knows if one act of random kindness might be someone else’s memory forever.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

 *Hemingway was right when he said “There is no friend as loyal as a book.” 

I am re-reading one of Louise Penny’s books and in it I re-discovered this Martin Luther King, Jr. quote which is just as, or perhaps more, applicable today than when first uttered. Food for thought.

“We live in a world of guided missiles and misguided men.” 

Today…let us remember Martin Luther King, Jr. with this Gandhi quote…

“Your beliefs become your thoughts

Your thoughts become your words

Your words become your actions

Your actions become your destiny.”

How important it is today to share basic core beliefs about fundamental right-doings that humanity can share and endorse as all children of our Creator.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Letting our Intuition be Our Compass

Dear Reader:

I, personally, think one of the greatest losses in modern civilization is our loss of personal intuition. The dictionary defines intuition as: the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning; an instinctive feeling. 

For thousands of years our ancestors depended on their inner compasses to simply survive…especially in the hunting and gathering days. On the simple fact that man survived…we know this inner ability served him well. The better one’s intuitive skills…the longer one’s life longevity.

Today, in our computerized high tech world..reality within the realm of success or failure… is acknowledged only by the ability of a computer to recognize it through data. Without hard core data to back up an intuitive feeling about a business proposal…most people are pushed aside in favor of the computer’s findings. And unfortunately computers don’t have intuitive skills…only producing what they are fed.

So many of our intuitive feelings, in life, are God Winks and our inner compass is simply a lantern carried by our Creator to map out our individual paths leading back home. We must be still to ingest the intuitive feelings within and respond accordingly.

I was about to delete the picture of the beautiful oak tree in Hutchinson Square off my desktop earlier today…when I recognized that the discussion I had with my “Wishing Tree” was a perfect example of the power of our inner compass.

I had left Mollie’s house two weeks ago today…New Year’s Eve…with Mollie making a gumbo dish for New Year’s Day and telling me it was a quiet day for Eloise…she hadn’t felt anything …so she thought there would be no action anytime soon. Her voice was tired…she was so ready for Eloise to come.

As I rode past Hutchinson Square coming back into town…the white lights on the trees, shining in the fading light of a late wintry afternoon, made me stop and pull over to sit on the bench and have a talk with God. I asked Him if it was okay with him (and Eloise) we sure would like our latest baby to come on.

Mollie was exhausted and getting little sleep… anxious for the baby’s arrival…if it be His Will…it sure would be nice to have her arrive and brighten this old world up for the New Year as only a new birth can do. One hour after this prayer…I got the text from Mollie that she and Walsh were heading to the hospital…Eloise was on her way…she was born a couple of hours later New Year’s Eve.

I think prayer and intuition go together like a compass and a lantern…a lighted path that only we each can see if we follow our God-given instincts…our moral compasses.

I love Mary Oliver’s prose from her poem titled:

 “Prayer”

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

God sure spoke that night…I remember, after getting the “green light” text from Mollie, thinking, “Wow…you sure do work fast God…I should have prayed this prayer earlier! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!”

So until tomorrow…I think intuition is simply a prayer peep...letting us know that if we follow our heart, not just our head, and do what God has taught us to do morally …love our fellow man…then good things always follow.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*…And speaking of a God Wink…Mollie sent me Eloise’s first little smile and wink…two weeks old and she already thinks the world is a funny place…or perhaps just her two big brothers. It could also be her Nana who is there now (Marcia, Mollie’s Mom) ….Being surrounded by love always makes us smile.)

I made a copy of the photo and took a pink ribbon and tied it on Eloise’s Japanese Maple tree which will hopefully get planted this weekend. Anne and I went to Hollow Tree Nursery yesterday (and Duke’s) to pick out a Japanese Maple tree for my latest grandchild. From the tallest to the smallest…Now I have to order a name plaque to go by her tree too.

Bunk beds came to the Turner house…Eva Cate has wanted them for quite some time. Lori, Mandy and John’s wonderful neighbor (and Eva Cate’s friend Lily’s grandmother) had some she was ready to get rid of…so the transition took place yesterday. Both Eva Cate and Jakie are thrilled! Thank you Lori! A new look for Eva Cate’s room.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments