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…

 

A Thoughtful Tuesday

It’s Tuesday, the week of Thanksgiving, a day filled with thoughts to share.

Two months ago I re-started my morning journaling. This simple act has become my daily hymn to self–a road I’m building, brick by brick, one morning at a time. This early morning time has given me the opportunity to experience sunrise unfolding outside my office windows. This commitment has formed the foundation for the bridge that connects my hand, my brain, and my memories.

There are mornings when I’m surprised with the emotion literally pressed onto the pages as the words fly across the pages. It feels a little like magic, this small, consistent, practice that has opened and freed my mind of many crazy thoughts that’d begun to control my day-to-day life. I’m very aware there are still outliers, those deep-seated thoughts and beliefs who’ve become scary strong from years of cunning evasion. Because I have had good teachers in my past, I know this work takes patience and persistence. I will continue to tell my stories. I believe being a brave storyteller has created open spaces in my memories. Each tale shared helps push another part of that old belief system out of its secret hiding place.

“Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There’s magic in that. It’s in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift. Your sister may be able to see the future, but you yourself can shape it, boy. Do not forget that… there are many kinds of magic, after all.”
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circu

I am…

B…simply being…

Love and blessings to all.

Peace

 

 

 

A Memory-filled Monday

It’s Monday, the week of Thanksgiving.

There are so many thoughts spinning through my mind today.

One of the first thoughts flying through my mind this morning was sparked by the guys working so hard picking up our trash. God bless them, especially today, bulk trash day. On this day, whatever homeowners drag out to the curb, they pick up. The amazing part–the guys picking up bulk stuff walk/run behind the truck–like the old days.

So, what makes this memorable?

To explain that involves storytelling and a disciplined search through old newspaper clippings. As I watched these guys work, I remembered being part of a newspaper article written many years ago when I was working at St. Francis Hospital in Waterloo, Iowa. I’d just finished my two-year radiologic technology program. I was newly married and needed a job. My classmate, Mary, was lucky. She’d found her niche in nuclear medicine and had been offered a job covering that part of the department. Me? That was turning out to be more difficult. Our growing department had very busy times which were almost consistent enough to warrant another full-time person. With some creativity on someone’s part during a time when budgets were more flexible, I was offered a job as a “jack of all trades.” My job description had no black and white details–it was purposefully fuzzy gray. I was okay with that. I knew I was the newest of the new–a neophyte. I needed to be and was open to anything.

This was in the early to mid 70’s. The hospital was in the early stages of starting a cardiac rehab program. Part of the rehab protocol involved having a treadmill stress test as part of the initial cardiac evaluation. In addition to the rehab program, treadmill testing would be available for diagnostic testing. The team needed a non-nurse medical person watching for EKG changes. Those creative thinkers had found a niche I could call mine.

Because I’ve spent a lot of time lately going through all my older pictures, I found this one pretty quickly. Looking over all the different details represented in this photo, I smiled as I realized it represented the very beginning of my career. A career that would expand in many different directions, into other areas, and play out in other areas of the country for the next forty years.

Today, as I watched out the office window, in my mind I saw one of my favorite treadmill patients. His test lasted so long we had an audience of people observing him run and run and run. We’d progressed through all the stages quickly because we were unable to move his heart rate much above his resting rate. He was rock steady. No arrhythmias, no segment changes, no chest pain.

Finally, we asked him what he did for a living.

He smiled, chuckled, and replied, “I work for the city. I’m a garbage man. I run like this every single day.”

Laughter filled the room. Looking at each other, we shrugged our shoulders while wondering what to do next.

I can still see him looking around at us, smiling as he continued to run.

Finally, we admitted defeat. We stopped the test. His recovery time was unmeasurable–ours–not so much.

My Monday gratitude list focuses on my career. What a gift it was and continues to be as I remember those who were part of my life in such monumental ways. For my entire career, I was in a front row seat as the imaging field exploded in so many different directions.

I am thankful I have the time to remember, reflect, and share my memories of what became my life’s calling. Oh, at the time I certainly did not have such a positive take on it all. Then it was just the day-to-day “stuff.”

Now, I realize how fortunate I was to be where I was, when I was, with all the people I was with–sharing a journey that took us on a very unpredictable ride.

I am…

B…simply being…

I love Y’all.

Peace

 

 

A Life Line

I’m not sure how Thanksgiving could possibly be next week. I’m pretty sure I say these exact words every year. I am realizing that time really does speed up after retirement–kinda like those vacation days I waited and waited for–in a blink of an eye, they were over!

Now, all my days are like those vacation days. With that awareness in mind, I must remember to make lists or that thief of time will take advantage of me.

After procrastinating all week, today was deemed the day to go into the city and run errands. Oh…I commuted into the city almost every day for over thirty years. I’ve been spoiled and become very comfortable with my quiet country life. The pace and the rudeness of the city wear on me quickly.  I found myself rushing in order to get back to the peacefulness of home.

Following a pattern that developed this week, I found a prayer I thought would be a great one to share as we head into this stress-filled season. I was not familiar with Rabbi Naomi Levy until I read this prayer. I think she will be a wonderful teacher to have as I journey forward. This beautiful prayer is called, A Parent’s Prayer for Patience. As I read it, I felt you could substitute the word “child” with “parent” or “friend” or a specific name. However you fill in the blank, I know I could have used these words many times in my life. I am very thankful to have them for my prayer journal now.

As the craziness of the season begins, may this prayer be a lifeline for you as well.

When my child tests me, teach me, God, how to respond with wisdom. When I grow irritable, send me patience. When my fury rages, teach me the power of restraint. When I become fixed in my ways, teach me to be flexible. When I take myself too seriously, bless me with a sense of humor. When I am exhausted, fill me with strength. When I am frightened, fill me with courage. When I am stubborn, teach me how to bend. When I act hypocritically, help me to align my deeds and my values. When mundane pressures threaten to overwhelm me, help me remember how truly blessed I am. When I lose my way, God, please guide me on the road back to joy, back to love, back to peace, back to you.  Amen

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

 

 

 

Best Laid Plans

Today was the day I’d planned to cross so many things off my to-do list.

Oh, the best-laid plans…

Bud and Ruby did get their baths. In hindsight, that would have looked much more impressive if I’d thought to give each dog their own individual line on my to-do list.

What created the snag in my day boiled down to one little flash of time when I clicked on the “resume episode” button for Season Two, This is Us.

In a nano-second, my to-do list fluttered out the window.

In an attempt to accomplish something, I streamed episodes as I cleaned dog ears and listened to the next episodes while I sprayed, lathered, rinsed, and dried both Bud and Ruby.

The problem is, here I sit…trying to pull a rabbit out of my hat.

Search as I may, that rabbit is MIA.

Luckily, I do have a  prayer to share.

It feels very appropriate for today since this prayer asks God for help learning patience. Specifically, this prayer asks for patience with self.

Lord, teach me to be patient with life, with people, and with myself. I sometimes try to hurry too much, and I push for answers before the time is right. Teach me to trust Your sense of timing rather than my own and to surrender my will to Your greater and wiser plan.   Amen

Isaiah 40:31 (NHEB) But those who wait for the Lord will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run, and not be weary. They will walk, and not faint.

I am…

B…simply being…

Love and peace, Y’all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Puzzle

“Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.”
― Ann Patchett, Truth and Beauty

This short little quote describes how I feel about my afternoon writing sessions.

I’ve discovered, because of my persistent dedication of time these past months, providing unquestioning and gentle patience while coaxing out memories, experiences, and life lessons, a figure has slowly emerged from the shadows of my mind. I’d always known she was there. I’d never asked who she was–I don’t think that piece of the puzzle was meant to be as easy as asking that simple question. To get that answer, I had to earn it. By establishing a consistently secure place, that mystery person I’d always thought to be my imaginary, silent, but always encouraging friend, was, in fact, me.

Writing has helped me pull myself together–literally and figuratively. Where it will take me is still unknown and is nearly always surprising. These afternoon writing sessions remind me of one of my most favorite people who would set up a place to do super-sized puzzles over the cold winter months. Like Clarice, I’m working on the outside edges of my life’s puzzle. That middle part is going to be quite a bit more tricky.

“Ever since I was young I enjoyed solving puzzles and having the pleasure to see the bigger picture afterwards. But even after all that, I found that life could be the most challenging puzzle we have to face. It’s one of those things that even if you have all the pieces and could see the whole picture, it still takes time and patience to solve it. At times, we feel more at ease not knowing the whole picture, not knowing the whole level of difficulty or number of pieces that we’re missing, but just building up one piece at a time. The problem with this approach is that the only clues that we have for matching two pieces are the shape and a small glimpse of the image. We so often find comfort in building up the corners and the borders but very rarely do we adventure in the middle of the puzzle. We’d rather work little by little holding on to our safe border and only move towards the center when the pieces are still in touch with our borders or roots. On the other hand, you could be one of those people that just jumps in the middle and builds up on every piece you have in order to get small portions of the truth of the bigger picture every now and then. Not having your borders or corners in place might mean that you don’t need to know your limits in order to realize that the puzzle will one day come to an end. Nevertheless, every piece is equally important and it gets handed to you at a time where you have at least some matching piece. That doesn’t mean you should only focus on one point or piece and limit your possible connections. Spread out and you will find even more connections. The truth of the puzzle information comes in different shapes and colors but in the end it’s all connected. Information might be divided, spread out in different areas, different people, different experiences. What’s important to remember is that every piece is meant for you. You might throw it on the side now and use it later, but it will forever remain a part of your bigger picture. Work on your puzzle, with patience and care in moving forward and with a hopeful spirit that it will all work out in the end for your highest good!”
― Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache

I am…

B…simply being…

I send you all love and wish us all peace.

 

 

 

 

Little Man

I think I’ll call this past week “The Week of Duffy.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. Duffy is very capable of positioning himself in the center of things, anytime, any place. I think he got a little more than he bargained for this time.

Today we went for his one-week checkup. Dr. Laura looked him over, felt he was doing well except his incision showed signs he’d been licking more than I realized. Obviously, he is very proficient at getting those licks in when he knows I am distracted.

Well, little man, you’re busted. Dr. Laura’s evaluation forced the placement of that little blue bandana when we got home.

I don’t know what you guys think but my best guess is he is not at all excited about how this afternoon played out.

Anyone who knows me well understands the very simple fact–HA–just like Duffy–it does not take much to distract me. Meaning–my creativity and writing have been challenged. The positive side of that is I begin to clean, sort, and file. Yes, my dear friends, I’ve re-discovered things I’ve stashed away. Now is the perfect way to share them.

Today, thanks to Pinterest, is the prayer I’ll share today:

Healing Prayer at Bedtime. 

Lord Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, go back into my memory as I sleep. Every hurt that has been done to me, heal that hurt. All the relationships that have been damaged in my whole life that I am unaware of, heal those relationships. But, Lord, if there is anything that I need to do, if I need to go to a person because he or she is still suffering from my hand, bring to my awareness that person. I choose to forgive and I ask to be forgiven. Remove whatever bitterness may be in my heart, Lord, and fill the empty spaces with your love.   Amen

I am…

B…simply being…

Peace and love, Y’all.

 

 

 

 

A Workday Prayer

Oh, the little treasures continue to unveil themselves.

My latest find? A prayer I found stashed in the cover of my old journal. I thought it’d be a great thing to share at the beginning of the work week.

Lord Jesus, as I enter this workplace, I bring Your presence with me. I speak Your peace, Your grace, and Your perfect order into the atmosphere of this office. I acknowledge Your Lordship over all that will be spoken, thought, decided, and accomplished within these walls. Lord Jesus, I thank You for the gifts You have deposited in me. I do not take them lightly but commit to using them responsibly and well. Give me a fresh supply of truth and beauty on which to draw as I do my job. Anoint my creativity, my ideas, my energy so that even my smallest task may bring You honor. Lord, when I am confused, guide me. When I am weary, energize me. Lord, when I am burned out, infuse me with the light of Your Holy Spirit. May the work that I do and the way I do it bring hope, life, and courage to all that I come in contact with today. Oh Lord, even in this day’s most stressful moment, may I rest in You. In the name of Jesus, my Savior, I pray.  Amen.   ~Unknown

I am…

B…simply being…

I send you love.

Peace

 

Fate

“You can go through life and make new friends every year – every month practically – but there was never any substitute for those friendships of childhood that survive into adult years. Those are the ones in which we are bound to one another with hoops of steel.”
― Alexander McCall Smith, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

Like so many others, through the magic of Facebook, I’ve reconnected with many of my early childhood friends. What a treasure. With the opening of that treasure chest, other jewels continue to reveal themselves. I chuckle as I discover little stacks of mementos that have survived years of neglect and the even higher odds of multiple cross-country moves.

Writing today’s story is such an enjoyable way to begin the weekend!

I wish I could put names on all these faces, but fifty plus years and a few adult beverages later, I feel it wise to let the smiling faces speak for themselves. These pictures were taken at the celebration of our last day of our last year in junior high. This day was all about us–a special day capping off a very special time.

These two years are filled with a wide array of memories. Some funny, some sad, and one, to be shared later,  I find quite unbelievable. Our days began early because we traveled from Traer to Dinsdale for our seventh and eighth-grade years. These daily trips of about twelve miles or so fulfilled one of my childhood wishes. Being a town kid, I’d always wanted to ride the bus. Our reorganized school district utilized unused buildings for the junior high years. I’m not sure our parents agreed, but their decision felt like a personal gift to me.

Through wind, hail, rain, sleet, and snow, we made our way over hill and across dale to Dinsdale. If we were on the bus where the bus driver allowed us to make noise, a woman driver, we’d sing a whole jukebox full of the most popular songs of the time, practice songs from different school programs, or scream out school cheers. The other bus was the quiet bus. It was driven by a male driver. I can still see his steel-blue eyes reflected in the wide rearview mirror as he surveyed the bus, making sure we were behaving ourselves. From day one he told us there would be no yelling, no “roughhousing,” and no funny business. Loud or quiet bus, it was during these slow and steady rides I learned to play Pepper, failed to learn poker, and realized that this thing called love was difficult and pretty complicated in a small Iowa town in the early 60’s.

Little did I know, like the country song I’ve been hearing a lot lately, there is a “last time for everything.” Shortly after these pictures were taken, my family moved and I would lose my little circle of friends.

These pictures and a few others I clung to from this time, would become very special to me over the months and years to come. I’d look at these faces frozen in time, the tall, backlit windows,  and that snippet of crap paper stretched across the walls. I even noticed the arrangement of the tables, who was sitting where,  and the scattering of the chairs in the lunchroom. I’d sadly remember the innocent excitement of the day. I’d close my eyes, remembering the songs played, especially those few slow songs requested in hopes of being asked to dance by that one special person. I heard the pounding sounds of bare feet as we ran across the gym floor, the quick and high giggles of the girls intermixed with the embarrassed snickers of the boys, the sweet smells of nervous adolescence.

We were young, full of ourselves and our hopes of future.  We could and would change the world. We were unstoppable. The future was at our fingertips and it was all ours.

Oh…that fickle finger of fate…

“Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant filled with odd little waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like.”
Lemony Snicket

I am…

B…simply being…

I love you, my friends.

God bless each and every one of you.

Peace

 

 

 

 

Random Thoughts on​ Gratitude

I’m sure I’m not the only person feeling weary this week.

I can’t pinpoint the event that pushed me from tired to full, blown-out weary. At some point, I’d crossed over.

Challenges, like little knights atop armored steeds charging the castle, were aligning themselves across the horizon of Hibdonville.

I knew there was only one way to stop the charge. I had to gather up my blessings.

This is what I found. A picture of our friend, Dayne’s retirement.

A picture of our friend, Dayne’s, at his retirement celebration.

Sometimes God gives me what I call a “pay attention to this because I am only going to do this once,” type of gift. This is how this “God Wink” played out.

I was up earlier than usual so I could finish up yard work before it got too hot. As my pre-work motivation, I’d given myself a few minutes of computer time. The first thing I saw that morning was a post written by Dayne’s daughter. Today was her Dad’s last day of work.

Our plans changed, thanks to Facebook. We flew into high gear and made it to the party with time to spare. This last-minute change fueled the details for one of my best memories. The priceless look of surprise on Dayne’s face, the laughter shared among old friends, and the pure joy of being there.

It was a day filled with gifts we all gave to each other and a gift appreciated again today.

I am…

B…simply being.

Love and peace Y’all.

 

 

Giving Thanks

“Rest and be thankful.”
William Wordsworth

The past few days have been long on worry, short on rest.

Things took a giant turn for the better today. Duffy’s surgery went well and he was able to come home late this afternoon.

All is well in Hibdonville.

I am thankful for that and for all of you who took such great care of me.

Thank you.

I am…

B…simply being…

Peace