Thinking about Memorial Day

Do you remember the paper mache’ poppies? You know the ones we used to see everywhere when we growing up. I was one of the kids passing them out at the local grocery store in exchange for whatever donation was given. I am sure I was not happy to spend my Saturday there!

I was young and really did not appreciate–if I even knew–what that poppy symbolized. Because my dad was a veteran of WWII, he was an active member of the local VFW. My mom, my sisters, and I were part of the American Legion. One of the things we did for Memorial Day was make sure everyone had a commemorative poppy.

Late Saturday, an older man came up to me and asked if I knew what the poppy represented. This type of interaction happened to me all the time. There could have been ten other kids standing around but I was the one who was asked the questions. I debated saying I did know, but thought he may quiz me about it. I was honest and said I really did not know the whole story.

He told me it was important to know and shared this with me:

First of all, he said, you are not wearing the poppy correctly. It is to be worn over your heart. As he looked me straight in the eyes, he stressed that I would understand why this was important after he finished his story.

My memory is not complete so I am borrowing from an American Legion post:

The red petals stand for the vast outpouring of blood; the yellow and black center, the mud and desolation of all battlefields.

The green of the stem is symbolic of the forests, meadows and fields where generations of Americans have perished to make this land free.

The stem represents the courage and determination of our fallen warriors.

The assembled product, a flower, is a symbol of resurrection, which is sure to follow.

His words were much more simple, filled with the type of emphasis that only comes from being there, really experiencing the battles of war personally. He watched my face as he spoke, pausing now and then to make sure I was getting his point. When his story was complete, he stepped back in silence and somber reflection. He leaned toward me, asking me if I thought I understood why it is important to wear that poppy correctly? Now I was able to honestly answer that question. Which I did, with a soft and respectful, yes.

That was decades ago–probably over fifty years have passed since that grocery store lesson. I can picture myself standing beside this little round man, dressed in his bib overhauls, giving me the gift of a very powerful lesson about the real cost of the freedom.

Oh the challenges our nation has faced since that long past day in May. One thing has not changed. As Memorial Day approaches, it is vitally important for us all to remember those who have fought to defend our freedoms and those who protect us today.

We are in such turmoil and unease. As I asked last night, I ask for your prayers, remembering our great country and for those who defend and protect us. God bless them, God bless us all, and please, God, bless America.

I am…

B…simply being…

Peace. I love you.

 

 

 

A Time For Reflection

Mother’s Day.

A hard day for those of us who have lost our moms. It doesn’t matter how old we were when the loss happened–this is a life event we all carry with us from that day forward.

I send my love out to those of you who are facing your first “motherless” Mother’s Day. May your memories give you comfort. May you come to understand, as I have, that your mom will always be with you. Not just in the memories, but in little things you do, little things you say, little habits you may not have recognized until now. I was blessed with a mom who loved me. Unfortunately, my mom, my sisters, and I were not blessed with much time.

Time. It is such an illusive concept. We keep thinking we have more. Don’t be fooled. As we’ve all been told, life can change in just a matter of seconds. This Mother’s Day, put the electronics away. Open your mind and heart by spending some attentive quality time with your mom. As anyone who has lost their mom will tell you, we would give anything to spend one more day with them. We’d ask questions, really listen to what she told us, and share stories of our own. We would make sure she knew how important and special she was and is to us; how her life lessons are infused into our very being.

Use your time wisely, my dear friends, and cherish those you love. If your mom is here, please make sure she knows how important she is to you. Only you can do that.

Make your mom, and yourself, proud.

I am

B…simply being…

Peace and love to y’all.

 

Another Trip to the Library

I have a great library. Now that I am retired, not only do I have more time to read but I can choose HOW I read. I can read a new book or I can re-read a book that has become a traveling companion. These select few are special and I feel as though they are “old friends.” Some have traveled with me for many years. Not only do they share their printed words, but they magically pull up memories of what was happening in my life the first time I read them. I can see where I was, who I was with, see my notes and highlighting, and physically feel what was going on in my world at the time. Oh the power of books! I am blessed to have some very big hitters.

Simple Abundance, by Sarah Breathnach, is one of my favorites. My first copy was a gift, making it very special. This book has been around for a long time, very popular in the early 90’s. It was one of the books read by a group of women I met with once a week for years. I’ll always remember the night one of the leaders of the group talked about the book, explaining what she liked about it and shared different readings with us. She had passed her copy around and we all wanted to know where we could find our own copy. She said she had a surprise for us–and handed out a copy for each of us.

The book is set up to read an entry a day. I’ll share the beginning of what Sarah wrote for January 5:

Many women today feel a sadness we cannot name. Though we accomplish much of what we set out to do, we sense that something is missing in outlives and–fruitlessly–search “out there” for answers. What’s often wrong is that we are disconnected from an authentic sense of self.   Emily Hancock

I think many of us are searching for our authentic selves. As I give my thanks for my blessings today, one of the things I am grateful for is being able to share my search with you.

God bless you with love and peace.

I am…

B…simply being…

 

 

 

A Slow Day

Everybody needs a slow day–I took one today. I am learning to listen to my body and some days you just don’t push it.

In light of that I’m sharing simple things today.

First thing to share is that our friends brought home their new puppy today. She is adorable. I’ve attached a picture of her so you can fall in love with her, too. She is described as very affectionate and ALL puppy. Cannot wait to meet her and hold her squiggly little body and smell that puppy breath.

Secondly,  I’m sharing something I discovered about a month ago. I’ve wanted to go back to school but honestly, could not commit to the time. Not sure how I stumbled upon on-line courses called MOOCs. I had to Google the acronym to see what it was and found it stood for: Massive Open Online Course. The courses are offered through several different sources for pretty low prices or free. The source I am most pleased with at this time is Coursera–you can check them out at: Coursera.org. They offer a wide variety of courses for free or a fee if you want a certificate of completion.

Lastly, but most importantly, I am thankful my husband was home today to take care of me. Thanks, Mickey. Your attention alone made a world of difference. I had three other care givers–all three dogs were beside me while I rested. Of course, part of that fact is they are allowed on the bed during the day–that might have been a huge incentive. Regardless, it was a joyously lazy day.

I took advice from Anne Lamott today:

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you. 

I am rested, renewed, mostly recharged. I am…

B…simply being…

Peace and love to all.

 

My Guidance

I was clearing some space on my desk when I saw my Guide for the Advanced Soul sitting beside my computer. I am always curious about what that little book will tell me. This is the guidance the Universe sent my way:

The people we are in relationship with are always a mirror, reflecting our own beliefs, and simultaneously we are mirrors reflecting their beliefs. So relationship is one of the most powerful tools for growth…if we look honestly at our relationships we can see so much about how we have created them.    Shakti Gawain

I wish you all love and peace.

I am

B…simply being…

 

Musings

I’ve had some extra time this week to think about things. What that usually means is I take long walks into my past. This week was no exception. There are some things back there that have always puzzled me. I found some unusual help this time though, from “The Royals.”

I have been running from myself for most of my life. When Prince Harry and his brother, Prince William, began talking about their mother, Diana, a switch turned on for me. I found, and continue to find, great comfort in their words when they talk about the struggles they have had in their lives after her death. Whenever Prince Harry speaks,  his words give me chills. It appears we had and have some of the same challenges. By speaking out he gave me a very valuable gift–he opened the door for me to speak of my own challenges. I am grateful for that.

I grew up in a little town in northeast Iowa. My family was not from there originally, a fact that I think was hard for my mom. Looking back on life’s events as an older adult gives me such a different perspective of things. My mom had been a single working woman, living at home with her parents, until she was 27 years old. She thought she was an old maid. She often told me how she met my dad at a dance. She said she knew when she met him he was special but did not think he was ever going to ask her to marry him. Looking back, that is the only story she ever shared with me about her days as a single woman. Of course, I was so young I would not have understood much more than that. She never had a chance to share more–she was dead by the time I was ten, my younger sister eight, and my youngest sister, six. That, my friends, is the tip of the iceberg.

I only have a kid’s memory of so many things. Our small community had its share of tragedies during this time. The most significant one I remember is that a classmate of mine’s mother died after being in a car accident. I think we were in second grade so we were probably seven years old. I had to be at school early that morning–I was in trouble for having a messy desk and was supposed to come in and clean it out. When I got to my room, my teacher was not there so I went looking for her. I found everyone in the room next door all standing in the front of the class room. They were talking softly about a car accident. One teacher said that the doctors did not think that my friend’s mom was hurt very badly. They were wrong, she said.  My classmates mom had died earlier that morning from a head injury that had not been detected. Lots more whispers.

I stood there thinking, how can that be? Moms don’t die.

In my mind, I see exactly where I was standing that day–how the soft morning sunlight came through the windows, illuminating the desktops, reflecting off chalk dust that was always flying through the air. The huddle of teachers remained close together in the front of the room. I remained invisible. Yes, they said, she had been hit from behind. You know, they said, it’s that bad spot out on the highway where so many other accidents had happened. Well, it’s been icy, they said, so she had a cement block in the back of her car for traction. When she was hit, they said, it flew and hit her head…

No one noticed as I turned and quietly walked out of the room. Oh, so many questions I carried out with me that day.

I wonder if my friend, my classmate from so many years ago, has any of the same questions I do? Does Prince Harry comfort her as he speaks of his demons? Do my other friends who also lost their moms when they were young feel the way I do–like you’ve always been a little lost? Always searching for something…

The month of May has always has been a time when I question so many things. I’ve sidestepped them for many, many years. Now it is time calm my demons by writing about them. If Prince Harry helped me, maybe I can help someone else?

This part of my life made me, me.

I am

B…simply being…

Wishing you all love and peace.

 

 

 

Resources

I had forgotten how comforting it was to have a resource to turn to when I needed some type of encouragement. We all have to do our own soul-searching. What is good to know is we have other resources out there to help us along the way. Advisors we can keep close to us–just an arm’s length–like my little book, A Guide for the Advanced Soul.

I have several “advisors” sitting close by me. I’ll call them in for consultation often and share their words of wisdom. It’s all part of why I believe we are here–to help each other in our journey. Heaven knows, we need that type of help right now. We are all questioning so many basic things.

Venice Bloodworth was introduced to me by my husband, Michael. She was someone totally new to me until he shared her book. Now her book is another one in the front row of my go to authors/advisors whenever I need someone to make sense of things. Someone to renew my hope in–well–something.

Venice wrote her book, The Key to Yourself, in the 50’s. The copyright of the book we have on our shelf is 1952–a year before I was born. I’m not sure why I even noticed that but it made a really big impression on me. She wrote then what many of us read a few years ago thinking it was the first time someone had written it. Her wording is a little cumbersome today, but that makes it even more special to me. An example from a quote she credits to “Selected” which begins Chapter 3:

The Conscious Mind

If you think you are beaten, you are; If you think you dar not, you don’t; If you’d like to wind, but you think you can’t, It’s almost a cinch you won’t’ If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost, For out in the world you’ll find success begins with a fellow’s will; It’s all in the state of the mind. 

Later in that chapter she says: It is strange that we so long failed to understand the wonderful power of thought, for it is taught by every religion and philosophy in the history of the world. Paul, when in captivity and chained to a Roman solder, gave to the world this message:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are  just, whatsoever things ar pure, whatsoever things are lovely, and of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.. 

I, like many, am troubled by what is unfolding around us. I am unsure what to do other than try to find a way to help each other through it all until we can figure out what to do next. Our minds are powerful. As Venice says, if we think we’ll lose, we have lost. We–all of us–have to rediscover our own power. Look for our advisors–whether it is by talking with each other or rediscovering words like these shared by those who have passed this way before us.

I am.

B…simply being…

God bless you all with love and peace.

 

 

 

 

Insight

Years ago a friend of mine showed me a book she said she consulted daily. The name of the book was, A guide for the Advanced Soul, by Susan Hayward. She handed it to me and told me to open it to any page. What was written on that page, she said, was  my guidance for the day.

The book impressed me so much I bought it the next day.  I have not found the words I remember reading that night so long ago. The feeling I had while reading them has never left me. I knew that night, down to my very soul, that my life was about to change in a very big way.

What happened, you ask, that made me think something was happening in my life? Something very simple–I went out for lunch–a lunch that had been in the works for months. I finally met that friend of a friend–yes–a blind date. Love at first sight, you say? I have to say, yes. There really is a thing! I was the biggest skeptic in the world until that day. In less than an hour I had become a believer. Twenty five years later, I still believe.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the “stuff” that bombards us all day long we forget to look for the magic. You know, all those unexpected blessing that simply shower down on us at times when we least expect them and often when we need them the most. It’s some powerful stuff, love. Remember that. Do not take it for granted.

Tonight, I have consulted my guide for the advanced soul. Let me share the wisdom found:

Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and universe is endlessly bountiful. Just put forth a clear enough request, and everything your heart desires must come to you. 

                                                                                         Shakti Gawain

I wish you all peace, love, and a restful night.

I am.

B…simply being…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being Human

Taking a step away from my own story tonight and sharing my thoughts about something that has been in the news for the last 24 hours or so.

The talk today revolved around Jimmy Kimmel’s son, Billy. For those who may not know, he was born with a congenital heart defect, resulting in a successful open heart surgery when he was only a few days of age.  He did well with this surgery but will have more in his future.

I can hear the first comments out of many people’s mouths today, “Well, didn’t they have an ultrasound? How could they have missed a hole in the heart?” The blaming begins…

I am a retired pediatric echocardiographer. Translated, that means I performed  ultrasound on baby’s hearts. My patient population ranged from the fetus to the adult with congenital heart disease.  I was very fortunate. Before I retired I was able to do fetal echoes on women I imaged when they were neonates. What a joy that was for me. Heavens–I miss my patients and their families.

One of the things I wished my patients understood, and I feel most sonographers would agree, is the fact that we carry their stories and images home with us every single day. As a sonographer, we sit right next to our patients–definitely in their personal spaces–often putting all our body weight into their bodies in an attempt to confine that fetus. We are  not there to get “pretty pictures.” We are there to get diagnostic ones. We are accessing that little fetus to make sure all parts are normal in position, size, shape and function. All of this goes on while we hear all about your life–people who are nervous share a lot of personal information. As we work and listen, we attempt to keep our body language normal, our faces neutral, often fighting back tears. We understand just how drastic this woman and her family’s lives are going to change in just a matter of moments.

There is an obstitrician along with his/her ultrasound staff in the LA area who are very unhappy with the results of their studies done for Jimmy’s wife and unborn son. Unfortunately, ultrasound is not an exact science. Many things contribute to a successful diagnostic study: the age of the fetus, how cooperative that little person is at the time of the study, the experience of the sonographer, the experience of the physician reading that study, the level of suspicion regarding possible defects, and the amount of time that practice allows for each exam. If it is a first pregnancy, a young mom, no family history, all other images and prenatal studies normal with an active fetus, imaging compromises may be accepted. Factor into that entire equation the fact that this was a study done on a celebrity’s wife–sigh…

We are all only human–but that is not comforting to those involved with this case. Not for any of us.

My prayers go out for Billy’s continued successful recovery along with prayers for those professionals who are beating themselves up over missing this prenatal diagnosis. God bless you all.

Wishing you all a restful night filled with love and peace.

I am

B…simply being…

 

Still Standing

“No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side.

Or you don’t.” 

Stephen King, The Stand

A quote from one of my favorite books, The Stand. This book caused me to lose many hours of sleep–not just once but several times over the years. Even after all these years there are still times when I get anxious when I’m watching a newscast and the announcer starts to cough. Noooooo……

This week has certainly seemed like some type of endurance test. I am thankful to say I’m still standing and mostly smiling.

I was skimming Rabbi Naomi Levy’s book, To Begin Again, in search of something to add to my story today. When I found this segment of Chapter 8, The Comfort of Prayer, I knew I needed to pass it on.

     “Often people who are in trouble ask me to pray for them or their loved ones. They say, “Rabbi, I don’t know how to pray.” But anyone can pray. There are, of course, the prayers that were written long ago by our ancestors and have been codified into liturgy. But there are also the spontaneous prayers that flow from our hearts. They might not appear to be as beautifully crafted, but they are infused with an eloquence that is just as powerful–the passion of a soul crying out. A prayer does not have to be a ritualized, structured piece of writing. Anything that comes from the heart, that we communicate to God, can be a prayer.

     There are petitionary prayers where we ask God to help us There are prayers of repentance where we turn to God after having transgressed. There are prayers of protest where we cry out in anger, and there are prayers of gratitude for blessings. There are daily prayers and once-in-a-lifetime prayers, communal prayers and individual prayers. There are long, drawn-out prayers and prayers of just one word: “Help,” “Thanks,” “Sorry.”

     There are prayers with no words at all. They are the thoughts that we don’t even have to utter. Hager and her son Ishmael were lost in the desert, dying of hunger and thirst. The Bible tells us that God heard the cry of the child. Nowhere in the narrative does it say that the child cried out to God. So how could God hear the cry? The answer, according to one interpretation, is that there are cries that are silent and are heard by no one. But God hears even our silent cries. 

     Every one of us has a different prayer on our lips. Some of us cry out in bitter protest. Some whisper a secret longing. Others weep in pain. Our needs may be vastly different, but ultimately all our prayers contain the same yearning: a desire to be heard.

     In our daily lives we are so often misunderstood. We carry thoughts within us that no one knows, hopes that have never been voiced, confession that are too terrible to speak of, yearnings that are too deep to share with even those who are closest to us. And so we pray in the hope that God will listen and accept us in all our frailty, in all our end, in all our failings. 

     Each of us has a prayer in our hearts. A prayer of singular importance. Chances are we will only find it by opening our hearts and speaking directly to God. When the moment is right, close your eyes. Take a deep breath, and as you breathe out, relax. Without censoring or editing, look inside yourself. Look deep down inside. Find the prayer of your soul. Tell God your pain, your hope, your rage. Tell God your secret. Tell God what you need to say and listen for a reply. 

 A Prayer

God, I need to know that You are with me; that You hear my cry. I long to feel Your presence not just his day but every day. When I am weak and in pain, I need to know You are beside me. That in itself is often comfort enough. I do not pretend to know Your ways, to know why this world You have created can be so beautiful, so magnificent, and yet so harsh, so ugly and so full of hate. The lot You have bestowed upon me is a heavy one. I am angry. I want to know why: why the innocent must suffer, why life is so full of grief. There are times when I want to have nothing to do with You. When to think of You brings nothing but confusion and ambivalence. There are times, like this time, when I seek to return to You, when I feel the emptiness that comes when I am far from You. Watch over me and my loved ones. Forgive me for all that I have not been. Help me to appreciate all that I have, and to realize all that I have to offer. Help me to find my way back to You, so that I may never be alone.   Amen.”

May Rabbi Levy’s words comfort you as they comforted me.

Have a safe and joyous weekend.

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

Good News Day

“Start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart.” 

Roy Bennett

Yesterday I learned two very important people in my life received good news from recent medical tests. As I sighed with relief, my heart filled with joy.

Something once taken for granted is now seen for its true worth–a priceless, precious, gift for us all.

Dear God, I thank you. I am so grateful that you encourage me to celebrate my life with the wonderful people you have put in my life. Thank you for the many times you have blessed my life by answering my prayers. May I never forget your amazing goodness. Amen.

Maria Shriver, I’ve Been Thinking 

I am…

B…simply being…

May God bless you.

~Peace~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winding Down

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” 

Leo F. Buscaglia

Things feel like they’re winding down in Hibdonville. Thank you for listening to my latest RV stories. Your encouragement and kind words were and are appreciated.

As I’ve looked back on the past two weeks, I see over and over again just how lucky we were in every story worthy situation. In addition to that insight, I see other important components. At the end of the day, we are all together–man, woman, three dogs, no one is injured, and we are optimistic enough we are preparing for the next adventure.

For me it’s important to note Michael and I stuck it out together. I’ve mentioned this in all my stories but I gotta tell you, my hat’s off to my husband. He was traveling in unfamiliar territory beside a wife with no sense of direction who randomly confuses right and left with three dogs panting in the backseat. His was not the easiest task in the world. Because we are all human and tend to take things we shouldn’t’ for granted, this is the type “stuff” that is under appreciated–if it’s acknowledged at all.

I thank you, Michael.

I love you.

“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow – this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.” 

Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

 

Inconveniences

“If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience.” 

Robert Fulghum  

In all our years traveling by RV, we have never had so many “inconveniences” as we had on our latest trip to Colorado.

A blown tire, a new star on the windshield of the truck, and the top of the dinette table coming off sometime during the tire repair.

Through it all, we remained pretty calm. The dogs watched the two of us like it was all part of the deal. That fact alone is incredible to me and I am so grateful.

Our time in Howard at Pleasant Valley RV Park was wonderful as always. It is my home away from home place and re-energized my soul.

On the way home, we stayed in Santa Fe for a few days. The weather was wonderful and our lunch at LaFonda was delightful.

When we get home we were handed our biggest challenge.

We pulled up to our drive and Michael tried to open the garage door. His “clicker” would not open the door. No big deal–he does not use it often. We both expected it was due to a bad battery. I grabbed the dogs and headed up to the garage. I used the key pad and the door did not open.

Hmmm.

We knew there had some bad storms while we were gone. My initial prayer was that the garage door opener had not been damaged.

Little did I know how the tune of my prayers would change over the next few hours.

While we were gone, the GFI had been triggered in the garage. Unfortunately for us, that GFI controlled all the power for the garage. In our garage was a chest freezer and a frig/freezer. Both units were full and had been without power for probably a week or more.

All my radiology friends–remember those trips to the morgue during those hot summer days?

In a matter of minutes, I was transported right back to that spot at St. Francis. I could see myself pacing that long, dark hallway by the storeroom. Now I realized there was no one I could call for help.

Once again, the two of us got ‘er done. It was far, far, far from pretty.

Thank God for that heavy-duty mask I’d stashed away from hospital days.

I’m still not sure the little ‘frig will recover. The chest freezer was so full nothing had spoiled yet. This little Montgomery Ward freezer powered right back up and is working–just like it has for the past 40 plus years. It is the last thing I have from my Iowa days. Gotta tell you–tears filled my eyes as we talked about how it was not working very efficiently anymore and re-filling it was probably too big a risk to take.

Oh…isn’t it incredible the things that can stir up old and powerful memories? Those memories provided a very blessed silver lining to an otherwise very tough day.

“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass… get up, get up, get up!!! Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” 

Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~ 

 

 

 

 

Mis-Adventure

“Our God is sovereign. That means there’s no such thing as luck. Anything that happens to you, good or bad, must pass through His fingers first. There are no accidents with God. I like the story of the cowboy who applied for health insurance. The agent routinely asked him, ‘Have you ever had any accidents?’ The cowboy replied, ‘Well no, I’ve not had any accidents. I was bitten by a rattlesnake once, and a horse did kick me in the ribs. That laid me up for a while, but I haven’t had any accidents.’ The agent said, ‘Wait a minute. I’m confused. A rattlesnake bit you, and a horse kicked you, Weren’t those accidents?’ ‘No, they did that on purpose.” 

Tony Evans, Our God is Awesome: Encountering the Greatness of Our God

Oh, the stories I have to share, my friends.

Nearly two weeks ago, Michael and I headed out with the dogs to visit friends in Colorado. The RV was packed to the brim–we were all ready for a few days away from the heat of Texas.

Just outside of Lubbock we blew a tire on the RV. Shreds of our tire joined the many other shards already littering the side of the road.

I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to blow a tire–now I know–lesson learned.

All-in-all, things went well. The blown tire was on the curb side of the RV, meaning Michael was not right next to the highway as he struggled to assess damage and change the tire. Our three dogs handled it well, moving as asked to the front seat of the truck when Michael needed to get under the seat they were secured to in order to access the heavy-duty jack. The spare tire was in excellent shape, the jack worked, and every vehicle passing us never seriously compromised our safety.

As with any scary situation, it feels better if you walk away feeling you learned something from that experience.

Here’s what I learned from this segment of our trip.

  • Before hitting the road, make sure everyone knows where your emergency equipment is located. If it’s not easily accessible, move it so it is.
  • Review how to put things like jacks together before hand so repairs go faster.
  • Pack water and snacks for all–be sure to include something your dogs can use as a water bowl.
  • Have alternate RV spots to spend the night in case you are delayed.
  • Lastly, and most importantly, never ever text and drive. As I stood watching for anyone not paying attention in the steady line of traffic coming our way at speeds around 75-80 mph, I prayed each and every driver was paying attention. Stay alert, giving those working on the side of the road all the space you can as you pass.

Thank God for cell phones and internet. By doing a quick search, we were able to get to Discount Tire in Lubbock before they closed. Even though they were busy, in a matter of hours, they had four new tires in place and we were back on the road.

As I sat and waited in Lubbock, I thanked God no one was injured. I thanked God our GMC truck kept the trailer in control and the damage to the trailer minimal. We’re fortunate Michael and I have been traveling together by RV for many years. We’ve learned each others strong points and work well together getting whatever needs to be done. I’m not saying it’s always pretty–but we get ‘er done!

What surprised me the most was how our dogs settled in and acted as if this was just another day. They sat quietly beside me, watching people and cars come and go as I tried to pre-determine what person went with what car. I learned I am not good at that game but it certainly entertained me! Even Mother Nature stepped up her game–the dark rain clouds building all around us held off until we were well down the road.

“Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given.” ~ Marelisa Fábrega

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~  

 

 

 

 

 

Simplicity

“I do not particularly like the word ‘work.’ Human beings are the only animals who have to work, and I think that is the most ridiculous thing in the world. Other animals make their livings by living, but people work like crazy, thinking that they have to in order to stay alive. The bigger the job, the greater the challenge, the more wonderful they think it is. It would be good to give up that way of thinking and live an easy, comfortable life with plenty of free time. I think that the way animals live in the tropics, stepping outside in the morning and evening to see if there is something to eat, and taking a long nap in the afternoon, must be a wonderful life. For human beings, a life of such simplicity would be possible if one worked to produce directly his daily necessities. In such a life, work is not work as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done.” 

Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

Today was my second day of mowing with our new John Deere. I have to say in my wildest dreams I never ever thought I’d say I owned a Deere.

The plan was to take a picture of me as I mowed. A problem with that plan presented itself very quickly. Because it has been so very dry here from the moment I began mowing I was immediately covered in a substantial layer of reddish-brown powder. It’s not that I’m that vain. It just seemed kinda silly to take a picture of someone so very well camouflaged.

Now I understand why people in the old Western movies wore kerchiefs over their faces.

So, for the sake of storytelling, I took a still of “Bull,” our little tractor. He did a remarkable job today. I’m starting to get pretty attached to this little guy.

As I type I am having a hard time believing we are heading into the last holiday for this summer season.

As I pour my wine, I wish you all a very happy and safe Labor Day holiday. Take this time to rest and spend time with those you love. I am reminded daily time is promised to no one. Grab and treasure every minute. Let the small stuff go. Live and love like there is no tomorrow.

I’m taking my own advice and stepping away from the daily posts for a couple of weeks so I can spend time with people I don’t get a chance to see often.

Just think of the stories I’ll have to share!

“Thank you for the day and night,

for rainy spells and summer’s light.

Thank you for the skies of blue

and puffy clouds in grayish hue.

Thank you for the gigglefests

and midnight’s cloak to hasten rest.

Thank you for tomorrow new

and yesterday’s tomorrow too.

Thank you for “I’m glad we met”

and also for “we haven’t yet.”

Thank you for the peace of mind 

a grateful soul doth always find.

I am…

B…simply being…

I love you all and wish you a holiday filled with heartwarming memories.

~Peace~

Resting

“I make no secret of the fact that I would rather lie on a sofa than sweep beneath it.” 

Shirley Conran

Yesterday became a rest day.

I was exhausted. The early morning heat took its toll quickly as I worked in the front yard. Those weeds were a lot stronger than I’d anticipated. By the time I was done, my body told me in no uncertain terms she needed some time to refuel.

I listened.

“Each wave that rolls onto the shore must release back to the ocean. You are the same. Each wave of action you take must release back to the peace within you. Stress is what happens when you resist this natural process. Everyone needs breaks. Denying this necessity does not remove it. Let yourself go. Realize that, sometimes, the best thing to do is absolutely nothing.” 

Vironika Tugaleva

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

Anticipation…

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.” 

A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

When I was working planning a trip was stressful. There rarely seemed to be enough time to get it all together.

Now…I’m still a 5-star procrastinator. I’m sure there will be last-minute running around doing all those things I should have done much earlier.

The difference is I now have time to think about all the things I’m looking forward to seeing and doing.

In no particular order, I’m sharing my very short and simple list for our upcoming trip:

  • Sleeping with the windows open.
  • Wearing long-sleeve shirts and being chilly.
  • Waking up to the sound of the river right outside my door.
  • Fly fishermen.
  • Seeing mountains and pine trees.
  • The sound of wind through aspen trees.
  • Canyons with switch back roads.
  • Walking the dogs down the country road with little or no traffic.
  • Cows.
  • Horses.
  • Big Horn Sheep.
  • Afternoon beers around the picnic table.
  • Conversations with old friends.

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Power of Music

“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!” 

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 

As a kid I sang all the time–didn’t matter what I sang about–I made up my own songs.

I sang as I roamed around the house, as I ran through the neighborhood, and while I climbed and sat on the swing set in our backyard.

In school, I was always a part of chorus. Somehow I was always lucky enough to be part of the school shows in spite of the fact I could not read music.

As with so many things, time went by and work obligations grew. I had so much on my mind there was no room for music. My singing and my music fell to the wayside.

Over this past year I’ve rediscovered both. A lot of that is thanks to my friend, Lana.

Lana and her husband, Doug, know their music. I mean that in a very literal sense–they know the bands, the songs, and the history of if all. I’ve been the fortunate benefactor because they’ve always shared with me.

Now music is back in my daily routine. In fact, I just bought our tickets to an annual music festival held in a little mountain community in Colorado. I am so excited. I know I’ll be back in this peaceful valley, listening to the music that soothes my soul.

Thank you, Lana and Doug, for being you and sharing your love of music.

“Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.” 

Hunter S. Thompson

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

I am thankful for my friend, Kimberlee Salimeno, for allowing me to use her photo in my blog today. Thanks, Kimberlee, I love you. Please note, no-reuse of this photo without permission from Kimberlee.

 

Sunday Dinner

“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.” 

Frederick Buechner

I’ve been thinking about family lately.

I think turning 65 is pulling at some heart-strings.

For many years every Sunday my sisters and I would get together for family dinner. I’d cook and we’d sit around. We’d share our stories of what happened to us that week, play cards, and drink some beer.

It was, by far, the most under appreciated time of my life.

As we begin our weekend, let’s all make a conscious choice to take time to appreciate those you love. Absorb every single moment, tucking those irreplaceable times safely away in that place you put all those special memories. One day these every day occurrences will give you comfort beyond measure.

“I may not always be with you 

But when we’re far apart

Remember you will be with me

Right inside my heart” 

Marc Wambolt, Poems from the Heart

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~