“The Rest of the Story”

It is important to build an intellectual base for your goals. Formal education is fine. Self-education is vital. ~Paul Harvey

It’s Thursday so odds are high we were at an estate sale somewhere.

Today, in my opinion, I walked away with a little nugget of gold.

There are not many positive things I can say about my stepmother, Irene. I was reminded of one today when I came across this book, Paul Harvey’s America.

Every Saturday Irene listened to the Swap Shop which was followed by Paul Harvey. The Swap Shop always had some very interesting things for sale. I didn’t understand many of the things people called in to sell–in Iowa the majority of things revolved around the farming community. I’d listen and wonder why in the world Irene listened to them. Maybe it was to get the radio on and tuned in so she could listen to Mr. Harvey.

I did not understand the appeal of any of it. All I wanted to do was turn into the local rock station so I could hear the weekly countdown. Fat chance that would EVER happen.

I do remember the first time I stopped brooding long enough to listen to The Paul Harvey Show. I tried hard to hide the fact I was interested in hearing what he had to say. Even as an early teen I could see his point of view which made me question once again–why was Irene listening to him? If she liked him maybe we did have some common ground? Maybe I needed to give her a break.

In a matter of minutes I began another trip back in time thanks to another book found on the shelves of someone I never knew.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story.

“The child I was

is just one breath away from me.” 

Sheniz Janmohamed, Firesmoke

I am…

B…simply being.



The Summer of Fudge

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” 

Gautama Buddha, Sayings Of Buddha

We rushed about this morning so we could go to a large estate sale. The wait to get inside to view all the treasures was long and the worthiness of this investment of time was certainly debated among all of us who waited.

For me, it was worth every minute. I was able to walk on elegant rugs as I meandered through all the custom furniture, bronze artwork, and then stand beside the restored 1880’s Steinway Parlor Piano. My inner child was thrilled.

My greatest find was a surprise. In the kitchen was a bookshelf hidden inside a built-in cabinet. As I walked over the red and white cover of this cookbook caught my eye. The cookbook was in great condition with a note attached telling me it was an intact Better Homes and Garden’s Cookbook, First Edition, Third Printing, Copyright 1953.

This was the same cookbook my mom had–the cookbook I used the summer I call, “the summer of fudge.” All those memories unfolded before me as I turned and looked at page 135. On the left hand column was Chocolate Fudge, the right column White Taffy. That entire summer I’d fine tuned my candy skills with that one fudge recipe–it met all my requirements–it was super easy and I knew we’d always have all the ingredients.

As I put this book on my own kitchen shelf, I remembered those summer afternoons. It was a very unstable and unpredictable time in my life. Actually seeing page 135 again reminded me how making candy was the one constant in my roller coaster life. Without a doubt, as I measured and stirred, I subconsciously understood I was in control of that little space in time. I knew as long as I followed directions and stayed patient, things would be all right.

“I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I took joy in the things that made me happy.” 

Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

I am…

B…simply being…


The Messenger

But in real life things don’t go smoothly. At certain points in our lives, when we really need a clear-cut solution, the person who knocks at our door is, more likely than not, a messenger bearing bad news. It isn’t always the case, but from experience I’d say the gloomy reports far outnumber the others. The messenger touches his hand to his cap and looks apologetic, but that does nothing to improve the contents of the message. It isn’t the messenger’s fault. No good to blame him, no good to grab him by the collar and shake him. The messenger is just conscientiously doing the job his boss assigned him. And this boss? That would be none other than our old friend Reality.” 

Haruki Murakami

Yesterday my very own personal messenger stopped by to deliver a message. This message served to remind me exactly why I’ve often said reality sucks. In a matter of minutes, my world took on a slight tilt.

I needed some time to think.

If nothing else, I’m usually adept in finding ways to escape.

One this hot August day, I decided my mode of escape would be to go to an estate sale. It was not far from our house. It’d been publicized because it was at the home of a well-known retired astronaut. Those of us who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s know our space history and idolized our space heroes.

When I arrived at the sale, I’m pretty sure many waiting beside me were there just to see a place Captain Jim Lovell lived for part of his life. Hey, that was part of the reason I was there! This was confirmed by the fact many who walked out of the sale carried nothing–only the big smiles on their faces.

In hindsight, an estate sale may not have been my wisest choice for making a break from real life. Even on a good news day, I find these types of sales a stark reminder of the final days of life–not to mention it is a not so subtle reminder to get my own shit in order.

I walked through the rooms, thinking about many things. Not much caught my eye–maybe my mind was too preoccupied. As time passed I felt I’d received guidance and encouragement. Maybe it was left over energy from the miracle we call Apollo 13?

Earlier in the day I’d asked for help from my angels and spiritual guides. I asked for input in how to help my friends when they face crisis in their lives.

That help would come with conditions.

In order to help others I could no longer dodge my own old baggage. Dealing with that would not be so easy. I knew with the help I’d asked for, I’d be able to heal myself as well as help those I love.

I feel as though the frame holding my tapestry has been enlarged–the mighty weaver has many more threads to add and intertwine–I am thankful.

Dear God, when my problems seem overwhelming, I trust you to take care of what I cannot. I choose to fix my gaze on you and trust in your mighty power. I know that nothing will happen that is outside of your knowledge or control. Teach me to find shelter in your presence, to follow you one day at a time, and to take the steps that will overcome the challenges I face.  Amen. ~Maria Shriver, I’ve Been Thinking~

I am…

B…simply being…

Have a safe and happy weekend. Know you are loved.