“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” 

Meister Eckhart

A year ago today I began my blog.

I’ve enjoyed this adventure into the writing world–is it really possible a whole year has passed?

My desire to write has always whispered to me through the background noise of my inner critics. I ignored it for years–those negative comments were too strong. One day I simply knew I had to take the chance–there was nothing else to do but put the pencil to paper and get the words out there.

I made a commitment to myself to make it work. It was important to me to honor my soul’s never-ending request.

It was time.

Over this past year, I believe I’ve grown as a writer, gaining courage and confidence all along the way. I have not done it alone, though. I’ve been blessed with people who read my thoughts and encourage me to write and share more. I have to tell you–I wait in the wings for your comments to post–I read every word. Thank you all for cushioning the rough spots I’ve encountered along the way.

This year of reading, learning, and sharing, has changed me. It’s subtle but inwardly powerful. For the first time in my life I feel as though I’m in my own niche–my entire being is more at peace. My very personal pilgrimage has begun at last.

I’m not sure where my storytelling will go from here. The exact route is not important. What is important is I continue on this path–my path–and keep moving forward.

Thank you all for wandering with me.

“Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.” 

Shannon L. Alder

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless you all.




Simple Things

“The simple everyday experiences become the doorway to new thoughts and inspirations.” 

E.A. Bucchianeri

Yesterday we joined friends at Sweet Berry Farm just outside of Marble Falls, Texas.

I’m nearly 65 years old and I have to say, I’ve never ever been in a strawberry field.

It was incredible.

I saw rows of strawberry plants which stretched here, there and everywhere.

In my mind, I heard The Beetles song, “Strawberry Fields Forever,” playing over and over–forever.

Since this was our first time picking berries, Michael and I listened to basic instructions before we picked up our brilliantly white flat and headed out to harvest our very own strawberries.

Where did we even start–it was crazy to see mound after mound of berries–some plants still flowering, some had small unripened berries, and many were full of bright red strawberries.

It wasn’t only the berries that entertained us. Because Michael and I are people watchers, it did not take us long to realize we had just been planted (pun intended) in a new type of environment.

The parking lot alone made it obvious this was soon going to become a very busy place.  The groaning of engines we recognized as that distinct grind of a school bus–several of them–heralded the arrival of many many school children.

Our relative peace and quiet was replaced by chatter and giggles.

The school kids joined those of us already roaming.

There were little clusters of the elderly–walking slowly and carefully down the rows where they critically judged the plants before determining if what they saw was worth the physical effort of bending over. There were the seasoned visitors with two or more red stained flats stretching and quickly plucking plump berries from both sides of the rows. Then there were those first timers, like us, who were hesitated, peering carefully at each plant as we bent over and rustled our way into the ripening berries.

My favorite fellow harvesters, though, were the moms with children in tow.

Moms truly are examples of God’s best work and grace in action. What a treat to watch them navigate the challenges of the field–literally and figuratively. I could hear different moms patiently answer the barrage questions as they walked slowly behind the toddler or raced after the four-year-old. It was like listening to a chorus singing in an echo chamber–all around me I’d hear questions being asked of each mom at different stages–mom, is this one ready followed quickly by, how about this one? All those questions were answered in that soft, patient mom voice, advising them to leave that one for later or  praising them for the beautiful find.

Thanks, Dayne and Donna, for coming over and taking us out to Sweet Berry Farms. What a treat–walking rows of ripening strawberries, picking and eating our way along while being entertained by bundles of pure energy presented to us in the form of God’s children displayed in so many varied ages, shapes and sizes.

“Simple things relieve eyes; simple things ease mind, simple things create meditation, simple things are simply miraculous!” 

Mehmet Murat ildan

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless you all. Have a safe and wonder filled weekend.


Barbara Thinking About Barbara

“At the temple there is a poem called “Loss” carved into the stone. It has three words, but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read loss, only feel it.”

Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

Former First Lady, Barbara Bush passed away a couple of days ago. The flags are flying at half mast here in Texas. I imagine they are everywhere. Seems most appropriate here, though.

My heart is heavy.

I really liked and respected Barbara Bush. It certainly helped me form a bond with her since we shared the same first name. Growing up, there were not many Barbaras around which made me pay extra special attention to this one.

Plus she always seemed to have it all together.

Mrs. Bush reminded me of my aunts. Often when I heard her speak, I felt I was back at Aunt Marie’s house. When you were at Marie’s, you never knew what she or my other aunts were going to say. Whatever was said, you had to be prepared because it almost always came with a little bit of a bite while carrying with it the punch of a life time of filled with wide ranging experiences and subtle wisdom.

Unlike our world today, Barbara Bush always seemed the same whenever you saw her. Her body language was strong and confident, her face lined which reflected came from living a life full of challenges, and a smile that came quickly and had a sense of sincerity to it. Whenever I heard her speak she held true to herself and shared consistent set of family values. She never wavered from that–she’ speak her mind while living her life in a way that reflected back to the words she spoke. She spoke her truth. I may not have agreed with her at that point in my life but I always respected her point of view.

She was rare and she was beautiful.

It has not surprised me there have been so many tears shed these past few days as we all watch the clips and listen to her words one more time. We, the American people, lost a person who was real–someone who became and stayed as a member of our family.

Hearing she’d chosen to stop further medical care did not surprise me. She was leaving this life in the same manner she’d lived it–on her own terms. She passed on with her husband holding her hand and her family surrounding her. May we all be so blessed.

During a time when we’ve all been needing someone to believe in and hold on to, we have suffered a hard loss.

God bless you, Barbara Bush. Rest in peace.

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”

Shannon L. Alder

“At the temple there is a poem called “Loss” carved into the stone. It has three words, but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read loss, only feel it.” 

Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

I am…

B…simply being…

Love to you all.


Offering it Up

When my sister was sick, a priest from the Parish my cousin attended agreed to come visit with her. Over her hospital stay, he visited with her whenever he called on his parishioners.

I’ll never know what their conversations were about or what he shared with her. I do know she was at peace after his visits–with her illness, herself, and her future.

Oh, we Catholics absorb and soak up guilt–it’s in our DNA. Whether we are practicing Catholics or not, the guilt remains–and it is strong.

Lucky for us all, my sister, Sue, my husband, and I, also met this wonderful priest. Not only did he help Beth–he brought the grace of God to us all.

Even now, nearly eleven years later, we still talk about Father Kiernan–how he always knew the right things to say while reminding us all there would be those times in our lives when we just had to find a way to let it go, move on, and “offer it up” to God.

Today I stumbled upon the following quote which reminded me of the priest who came into our lives when we needed him the most–talking with us, listening to us, and sharing his own stories and life lessons. He reminded us about the gift of patience, the grace of God, and the power of love.

Thank you, Father. I will remember you always.

“Sometimes you welcome people only for them to show you how unwelcoming you are. Sometimes you generously help people only for them to show you how extravagant and evil you are. Sometimes you teach people only for them to show you how ignorant you are. Sometimes you open your doors to people only for them to show you how dirty your room is. Sometimes you make way for people only for them to block your ways. Sometimes you draw people closer to you only for them to teach you the real meaning of betrayal and loneliness. Sometimes you smile to people only for them to show you the color of your teeth. Sometimes you play with people only for them to show you how uncouth you are. In life, sometimes, your very best intentions shall be seen as woefully bad. Sometimes in life, your very good deeds and acts would see another meaning, but no matter how people perceive, accept and treat you or your good intentions, acts and deeds, know yourself, and dare not to be changed by circumstances so easily! Regardless of how hurtful circumstances might be, dare to guard your heart and your tongue, so you may not speak what you should never say that can make you miss your reward from the Sovereign Lord. Keep doing what you have to do, as you have to do, as a living sacrifice to your Father who is in Heaven, knowing that your reward is from Him alone, and wait patiently with a calm and an understanding heart for your reward from Him, regardless of the arduous nature of the hurt and trials!” 

Ernest Agyemang Yeboah

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.




The Gifts of Old Friends

“A good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.” 

Lois Wyse

It has been a busy time here in Hibdonville.

I’ve been studying the Texas laws and regulations for boaters. The little bit of time I’ve spent on boats was time spent enjoying the ride. I’ve never been responsible for the safe operation of the boat. Needless to say, I have a lot to learn. Lucky for me, I the encouragement of old friends who tell me I’ll love every minute. They are wise and kind with many hours on the water. I will listen carefully to every tidbit shared and use it to accelerate my learning curve. Thanks, Captain Jodi. I’m open to all and any tips you can share with me.

On a more personal side, Mother’s Day is in a month. Every year, because my mom passed away when I was young, these are hard days.

In the past, I’d brush the uneasiness away, feeling I really should be well beyond all this unexplainable sadness.

As I age and become more comfortable with myself, I now freely admit it has never gotten easier. In fact, I believe each year provides me with new experiences which allow me to question things–I see things with a more open mind and heart. This gift of time has allowed me to step back and look at things as a mature woman instead of a very confused ten-year-old child.

This is a struggle I share with another dear friend. Over the years she reaches out to me during this time. Losing our moms is one of the life experiences we share.

We don’t have to say much to each other–words are useless anyway.

We understand each other at a gut level.

Knowing I have Jane to lean on has given me such comfort over the years. Thank you, my friend,  for sharing yourself, your experiences, and your friendship.

“No friendship is an accident. ” 

O. Henry, Heart of the West

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.


Thank you, Mary Lou Williams, for sharing your wonderful photo with me so I can use it for my blog today. You are a treasure. I love and thank you, for this, and for loving me.   



Disillusionment with yourself must precede Enlightenment.

Vernon Howard


I am learning, with a little kicking and screaming along the way, there comes a time when I must step back and let it all go. 

I’m still working on the timing part of that lesson.

Yesterday, I was mentally and physically exhausted. We’ve had a lot going on and it’s taken its toll. 

It has all been very positive, which makes it very difficult for me to concede I need some extra rest. 

Why do I think I don’t have the right to be tired after good things happen? 

In place of writing yesterday, which is a treat for me, I rested. 

That hour or two of rest refilled my well—which was a good thing. 

This morning began with a beautiful sunrise, clear skies, and warm breezes. Hiding in the wings were a few health insurance issues which quickly created a series of problems. 

Thanks to having some extra reserve on board, I kept the frustration meter, for the most part, in check.

I am NOT saying I handled it as well as I could have–I AM saying I handled it much better than usual. 

Isn’t that what it’s all about—doing it better than before–making it possible to move on, building on that new experience and knowledge?

“You’re not going to always hit a home run in life. You’re going to strike out! You’re going to walk to the dugout of life, frustrated, while spectators chirp your name in judgment. They’re afraid to even get on the field, and you know it. The fact that you get back up there, unafraid, going after that next home run, makes you the person you are.” 

Ron Baratono, The Writings of Ron Baratono

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless us all. 


Port Hibdonville

“Now then, Pooh,” said Christopher Robin, “where’s your boat?”
“I ought to say,” explained Pooh as they walked down to the shore of the island, “that it isn’t just an ordinary sort of boat. Sometimes it’s a Boat, and sometimes it’s more of an Accident. It all depends.”
“Depends on what?”
“On whether I’m on the top of it or underneath it.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Michael and I moved to The Hill Country of Texas two years ago.

For Michael, it was a move that brought him back home.

For me, the move brought me to one of the places I’d said I’d never ever live.

In my 65th year, I am learning to be cautious with what I say I will never ever do.

Yesterday, another thing happened that I said we’d never ever do.

We bought a boat.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Texas, The Hill Country is also known for a series of dams that createThe Highland Lakes. These dams were built by the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) in the 30’s and the 40’s as a way to generate hydroelectric power and to provide flood control to an area that had and continues to have an impressive flood history. The five Highland Lakes are Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls, and Lake Travis.

The Highland Lakes are part of a series of six dams creating seven lakes on the lower Colorado River. This river–not the same river as the Colorado River we knew when we lived in Denver–has its origin in West Texas and meanders its way to the Matagordo Bay and The Gulf of Mexico.

The first, and largest dam, Buchanan Dam, forms Lake Buchanan, one of the two dams built specifically as a reservoir while providing flood control and power generation. The second dam, Inks Dam, creates the first of the two constant level lakes, Inks Lake. Dam number three is the dam visible from our front porch, Wirtz Dam. This structure creates the second constant level lake, Lake LBJ. Max Starke Dam creates Lake Marble Falls, the lake that receives the water released from Wirtz dam. Mansfield Dam creates the lake I heard the most about before moving to Texas, Lake Travis. Mansfield Dam creates Lake Travis and is the other dam built to function as a reservoir as well as being the only dam built to hold back floodwaters. I could not talk about Lake Travis without mentioning its other assignment, providing the background for The Oasis, the bar known for sunset views and a very popular Garth Brooks song. The last dam in the series is Tom Miller Dam, creating Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake.

The work of the LRCA presents us with thousands of miles of waterways to explore.

The call of the outboard motor has been loud and persistent.

We waved the white flag, surrendering yesterday.

It’s not the beach but this investment should be mostly hurricane free. Our boat will open up new vantage points where I will see so many things for the first time. This is the beginning of many new adventures–journeys that will provide the ingredients needed for our trips into the unknown–something that always adds alittle bit of extra spice to the experiences as well as to the stories.

“There’s nothing––absolutely nothing––half so much worth doing as messing about in boats.”
― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind In The Willows  

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless you all. Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll be seeing you on the water soon.




“I want to grow old without facelifts… I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I’ve made. Sometimes I think it would be easier to avoid old age, to die young, but then you’d never complete your life, would you? You’d never wholly know you.”
― Marilyn Monroe  

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve found so many posts on social media about age followed by many negative comments.

One woman said she hated getting older–she hated her white hair, her wrinkles, and how no one paid any attention to her anymore. She hated her body and her life.

Her words surprised me and made me think about my own feelings about getting older.

To quiet my mind, I took my usual course of action–I began to read and write.

I found several things–quotes attributed to people that surprised me. The quote by Marilyn Monroe was not only surprising but so sadly ironic and made me wonder, not for the first time, if she really did commit suicide.

There have been too many people in my life who have not had the blessing of time and old age.

Why them and not me?

For some reason, I have been given the gift of time. I’ve been given the blessing of getting to know myself–to grow into the person I know I am without the fear of failure or the disapproval of others. I am now free to be me.

These words capture my feelings so well:

I am not old… she said
I am rare.
I am the standing ovation
At the end of the play.
I am the retrospective
Of my life as art
I am the hours
Connected like dots
Into good sense
I am the fullness
Of existing.
You think I am waiting to die…
But I am waiting to be found
I am a treasure.
I am a map.
And these wrinkles are
Imprints of my journey
Ask me
Samantha Reynolds

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless you all.


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