Timeless Gifts

“I was discovering that the most precious gift someone can give us is time, because what gives time its value is death.” 

Ingrid Betancourt, Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle

My first Christmas present arrived yesterday.

I debated about one minute before opening it.

Inside I found three perfect gifts–a heart rock, a handmade Christmas ornament, and a candle.

What made them so special?

The time invested by my friend who sent them my way.

The ornament took Mary a lot of time to make. I knew she was probably thinking of some of our escapades while she stitched away. The heart rock was a gift of happenstance–found on a hike with her grandson, Sam. This special rock told me she’d thought of me throughout her day. The candle is a gift of a candle is always special because I love the warmth and light they represent to me.

The most precious gift of all? The gift of life-long friendships.

Thank you, Mary. I love you.

IMG_1943

Thank you, God, for the gift of friends.

To be known, and yet loved is a blessing.

Thank you for all those who see me, 

Who seek to understand, support and nurture me.

I am forever grateful to be able to come just as I am, in every season

To walk in intimacy and love with others.

This is the richest blessing, the greatest gift and the beautiful legacy of your walk and life amongst us.

Thank you so much for all my friends and loved ones. 

Amen.   ~Author Unknown~

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

An Illusion

“Time is an illusion.” Albert Einstein  

I remember hearing my parents and their friends talk about how fast time goes when you get older. Thinking back to those conversations, I see myself shake my head and begin to roll my eyes. These words seemed to be a secret code that’d unlock the door to the vault containing all the most adventuresome tales, true or imagined, of each person seated around the table.

I’ve found a couple of explanations as to why time goes faster as we get older.

Chelsea Handler, in her new book, Life Will Be the Death of Me, has this to say:

“Time speeds up as it goes by. Someone explained to me that there is a mathematical reason for this: as you age, each year becomes a smaller percentage of the life you have already lived. I’m forty-two as I write this. One year now represents a small percentage of my forty-two years (about 2.38 percent). But when I was eight, one year was a really long time; it was an eighth of my life. (This is why summer lasted about four years when you were a kid.) This may be why I now feel an urgency to know more, to do more to be more.”

I heard this explanation of time on one of the local morning talk shows:

When you’re ten, it feels like you are going through life at ten miles per hour. When you’re twenty-five, you’re traveling at twenty-five miles per hour, thirty-five you’re running through your days at thirty-five miles per hour. Today, I’m traveling at sixty-six miles per hour, wishing I could take my foot off the accelerator and coast for a while at fifty-five.

“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” 

Dr. Seuss

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Thank you, Jo Heiple Thedens, for letting me share your photos in my blog. Each photo has its own personality which makes me smile and remember my Iowa roots. 

A Case of the Guilts

“I’ve got a bad case of the 3:00 am guilts – you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do right? Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm glass of regret, depression and self-loathing.” 

D.D. Barant, Dying Bites

Yesterday was a day full of reality checks.

My first check point was at the vet’s office. Oh, this has not been a good place for me this year. Yesterday it was time for Bud to have his annual rabies vaccine plus I wanted him to have a basic check up. In a few months he will be fourteen years old. Holy Cow, in small dog years he’s eighty some years old.

With that thought firmly ingrained in my mind, I thought I was prepared to hear anything the vet told us. I was not really ready to hear he had a significant heart murmur. All my years in imaging and doing echocardiograms flew into action in an attempt to put up some huge wall in order to defend my dog and my own ultra sensitive dog loving heart. I had to let my past go in order to hear the cautions voiced by Dr. Lauren. As I listened, I filed all my worries away, a pseudo coping method I’d devised over the years so I could randomly pull each and every one out later. Until lately, I thought this was one of my best stress management skills. With all the negatives stashed away, I went on about my day.

The next check point was my dentist. I’d been dreading this trip for a very long time. As it turned out–surprise–my anxiety was wasted. Every part of my visit went well. The reality was paying out of pocket for dental care. Because dental care is so important to overall health maintenance, I don’t understand why there isn’t affordable care for all–a subject that warrants its own story time.

Early this morning all those concerns and worries I’d stashed away resurfaced and wanted my full attention. They had all jumped out of their little file folders and wanted immediate attention.

The neon sticker was flashing on the Bud folder.

My little 18 pound dog who’d been such an important part of my life for nearly fourteen years was aging faster than I’d appreciated. I’d taken his companionship for granted. The sand in the giant Wizard of Oz hourglass was running fast and running low.

My Bud teaches me every single day what matters most is simply showing up and being beside those you love. No matter where the day takes you, be there, in that moment, share your toys after an appropriate amount of time, be persistent in asking for what you want, especially those treats, and, most of all, at the end of the day,  cuddle up as close as you can.

Thanks, my Bud. I love you.

Yes, that awareness work I’ve been doing? I think God just did a test of my emergency alert system.

I believe He’s telling me I have some work to do.

“People say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone…truth is, you knew what you had, you just thought you’d never lose it.” 

Nitya Prakash

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Treasures

“The greatest treasure in life is the possession of time.” 

Sunday Adelaja, How To Become Great Through Time Conversion: Are you wasting time, spending time or investing time?

I found another treasure in my little used bookstore.

It’s the small book pictured above and it is packed with things that make me sit back and think.

Finding books that were gifts to others always tugs at my heart and makes them very special to me.

I always wonder if the person gifted the book actually had the time to appreciate it?

These are the books that become immediate treasures for me because I now have the time to scour the pages and share what I find with others.

In some type of odd unspoken ceremony, I’ve become the surrogate recipient.

There is only one page ear-marked in this little book which makes my choice of what to share first very easy.

Heart Of My Heart

While striding on life’s pathway

fill up your days with cheer

just laugh at rainbows, small or great, 

to banish every fear.

Hold tight to what life offers

content with all you do

for all adventures help create

the treasure that is you.

~Kris Ediger

I am…

B…simply being

~Peace~

Gifts

“If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that—warm things, kind things, sweet things—help and comfort and laughter—and sometimes gay, kind laughter is the best help of all.” 

Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess

It’s hard for me to believe tomorrow is the first of December, 2018.

Which means Christmas will now be counted in “days away ” and shopping begins to inch toward “frenzy” mode.

If there is one thing I’ve learned this year is how quickly things change. Which, for me, means I need to make a few changes.

This year instead of buying I’m going to find ways to spend more quality time with those important to me. Honestly, I don’t know of anyone who need more “stuff.” I do believe there are many of us who need a few more minutes of quality time spent with loved ones.

So…I’m going to make that happen.

The cost to me = zero.

The return value = priceless.

“You give but little when you give of your possessions.

It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” 

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

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.

 

Balance

Balance is the key to everything. What we do, think, say, eat, feel, they all require awareness, and through this awareness, we can grow. 

Koi Fresco

I thought once I retired, it would be easy to find a way to balance my life. My very fast paced, busy career ended and there was nothing in my life to fill that vacuum. My life’s scales that had been tipped to the work side for so long began to tip off center and rapidly topple off-balance. I had no idea how to correct that swing and bring my new life into any sort of balance.

I found a quote attributed to Jana Kingsford that gave me a hint of insight. Jana said, “Balance is not something you find. It is something you create.”

I realized it was up to me to become aware of what I needed in my life to create balance. On the journey to Wyoming for the eclipse, I gave myself the gift of time. Time to rest. Time to really see and become aware of the beauty surrounding me. Those discoveries continue to unfold, giving me the energy needed to keep myself and my life in balance.

I am not saying I have it mastered.

I imagine, for me, the balancing act will an ongoing process and always somewhat tenuous.

I’m okay with that.

I am…

B…simply being…

Be kind and pray for each other. There are many in our country tonight who need our prayers.

I love and thank you.

Peace

 

 

 

Ronnie​

When I was young, a large part of my summer was spent at my grandparents. Knowing that was one of the best parts of the last day of school–I began counting down the days until I would be in little kid heaven.

I’m not sure who was more excited, my Grandma, my cousin Donna, or me? My Grandpa was working most of the time as a janitor/handyman for the owners of their apartment building which left my Grandma alone a lot of the time. Even though Donna was living with my grandparents full-time, she was not around much. She was working full-time at Woolworth’s as a waitress so she could save money for her late summer wedding.

The only person who was NOT excited about my being there was Donna’s fiance, Ronnie. Because I was there for a short amount of time, Donna’s goal was to see me as much as possible and keep me happy.

These goals did not bid well for Ronnie.

In order to keep some peace with her soon to be husband, Donna and I planned out our time carefully. Before she left for work, we would decide what time I would come to Woolworth’s and share fries and a coke. This summer was the first time I had ever had fries and a coke. I was feeling so very grown up–like a teenager, for sure.  After dinner, she’d promised, I could go with her and Ronnie for ice cream.

How could any kid be unhappy with those plans?

One of the neatest things about my grandparent’s apartment building was the fact it had a fire escape. Not only was it super cool looking, in a kinda creepy way, but people used it. Up and down the back of the red brick building, the jointed black staircase was broken into porches, little gardens with flower pots, and clothes lines.  This stairway was also very functional.  It connected the people in that building to a very busy back alley.

It was this alley Ronnie used as his personal driveway. Every evening he would pull up and honk for Donna to come join him. His chivalry was the point of many arguments between my cousin and my grandparents–an argument she rushed to avoid the last evening of my visit, by quickly jumping onto the window sill and out to the landing.

Try as I might, I was much slower than she–a point, I’m sure, only endeared me more to Ronnie.  His honks grew in length and in number–an action which only increased my anxiety about being on a mass of iron suspended off the side of this very tall building. As I dashed downward, I began to smell the rust and oil of the iron railings coming off onto my sweaty hands, I heard louder squeaks and moans from each landing and sets of steps as I ran across and down them, and, with an odd sense of relief, I felt the generalized sway of the entire structure as it seemed to push me off and onto the alley below.

I’d made it.

Tonight Ronnie had his new car–a red and white convertible–the top was down. I scrambled in as he stepped on the gas and we raced, music blaring, down the alley and out to get my ice cream. It was my last night and we were celebrating!

Some of us much more than others.

My order for the night–a LARGE cone–make it a twist, please.

We all should have seen it coming.

It was summer. It was hot. The top was down and we were driving because Ronnie was tired of waiting for me. I was a kid with a large, melting, ice cream cone. I was sitting in the front seat–between them, naturally, when they pulled up to drop me off.

I knew I had used up all of Ronnie’s patience. I was going fast to get out of the car–the brand new car. Before anyone could offer to help me, I sat my still very large, now melting more ice cream cone, on the dash–over the speaker–

In slow motion, that large melting mass of ice cream toppled over–the mound of ice cream oozed onto and into the speaker, down the dash, over the radio, and drizzled onto the floor.

Crickets–all around me–I heard crickets.

As I was running, I heard Donna say something like…it’s her last night….

I did not have time to worry about anything as I escaped upward.

As you can see by the photo, the wedding did take place….without any help from me.

I am…(now hungry for ice cream)

B…simply being…

Love and peace, Y’all.

 

 

 

 

 

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.