Who is Driving Your Car?

My family recently completed some car shopping. Now, you probably need to know that I am not a fan of car shopping, and if ever there was a time not to car shop… well that would be now. Selections are almost non-existent as most car dealers have almost empty lots. But for some odd reason we chose this season to car shop. When we go to look at cars there is always the drive through the lot to decide if we even want to stop. Then if we find something we are interested in, we stop, get out, and look around… and wait, because someone is coming. Now we are moving into the part I don’t care for – the whole sales piece. However, this time, because selections were slim the experience just seemed different. We shopped several lots. We looked at Mazda, Subaru, Nissan, Honda, and I can’t even recall the others. We looked at a multitude of cars. There were some common themes though. For me, I only wanted a car with a sunroof. Ok, so now you know one of my vices, I love the open sunroof. I get the sun and fresh air without the volume of wind. For him, he likes a good deal. We looked at so many cars, almost bought a few, and then finally found one to take home. The process was not nearly as bad as I anticipated it being. It probably helped a ton that my husband did a lot of the shopping online and I was only present for the cars we knew we were interested in. This is the one that got to come home with us, it is my first Subaru, but it will not be my last. I’m having much more fun than I anticipated. You see, I hated to leave my Murano at the dealer, it was a great ride. I wonder now where it is. Until I drove the Subaru, the Murano was my favorite car ever. I sincerely enjoyed owning that vehicle. I really do wonder where it is? I wonder what happened to it next? We took good care of it, I wonder if someone was able to find a great car at a decent price. I wonder who is driving my car?

I think I shall drive, thank you…

I know you could say that I am driving my car and I am. But I really did think about this the other day and wonder who is driving my car. I talk to the kids I work with about that concept only in a different light. I frequently ask them, “Who is driving your car?” So who is? You? Your friends? Your anger? Your addictions? You see, we are all going somewhere. Each day we move forward or backwards. We do not simply stay in a motionless state. So if you use my example of a car that signifies the movement, who is driving? Obviously the best answer is “I am!” Not my anger, for where would it take me? What kind of destruction could I end up with if my anger were the driving force in my life. And certainly not my friends, for they need to drive their own cars. If they do great things, good for them. If they do things that didn’t turn out so great, well then I am glad I am still driving my own car. I also don’t want my addictions to have such a strong driving force that I live my life around them. I want to be in control, I want to have self control, and I want to drive my own car. I want to decide when to slow down, speed up, turn and stop. I want to be able to make great choices for myself and my life. I want to drive my own car.

Along for the ride?

I also want to bring along people who are good for me, and I want to be good for them. l shall also be selective of who I let ride with me in my car. You see, where I am going with my life is important and I want people on the journey who will help me arrive at my goals. I hope you are able to find the same thing in your life. It is ok, no it is important, to set healthy limits and it is ok to say, “Yeah, you can’t ride with me right now.” People can be an important part of our lives, but they don’t have to drive, and they don’t even have to ride in the front seat. I reserve those spots for healthy people who are helping me to go healthy places. Be well my friends, thank you for spending part of your day with me.

Turning the Kaleidoscope

Today’s blog is a slightly different perspective, stay with me though and hopefully you will glean something helpful in these words. A Kaleidoscope Life… the concept is that if you turn the kaleidoscope even slightly you change the picture. So, if we apply that concept to our lives… if you change something even slightly you change the perspective. In essence, if life is overwhelming how can you look at it in a way that seems less overwhelming so you can take it on? If parenting today is more than you can take, how can you change the view, so you feel more refreshed and ready to take it on? If depression and loneliness seem suffocating, how can you change something slightly, so you feel able to breathe and face another day? Some days to look at life with a new perspective seems easier than other days. You know kind of like cleaning a window or a mirror. Have you ever cleaned and cleaned and yet it is still full of smears? Nope? Just me? Well, I have – happens to me often as a matter of fact. There are days I walk away from the window or mirror and say, “well that’s as good as it’s getting today.” So, is it enough? My window/mirror is still not clean. I still cannot see through it as I wished to. I still see an image with smears. So, is it enough? Sometimes, for me, it is and other times it is not.

Making Progress

On the days that it is enough I must consider a couple of things.  First off, what did the window/mirror look like when I started with it?  Is the current image I am looking at better or worse than before?  The answer I usually end up with is, “well, it is not what I want, but it is better.”  So, while I did not arrive at perfection, and let’s face it we don’t usually land there, I did arrive at a better place than I began. So, the current image is not what I wanted, but it is better than the one that I had.  For today then, that was progress.  We need to let ourselves off the hook with less than perfection and be glad for forward movement.  Tomorrow we can make more forward movement, but today there must be some level of, “whew, it is better than it was yesterday.”  That may seem insignificant regarding my window/mirror issue, and it is.  But it is not to the issues we all face regarding life, depression, money concerns, parenting, illness, loss, grief, joblessness… there are so many potentially overwhelming issues facing each of us.  Sometimes life can seem to be a bit much.  Sometimes it seems that everyone else carries it better than you do.  I don’t believe that’s true; I think they make it look easier, but that doesn’t mean it is easier.

Seeking Support

Then there are the other times in my life.  Remember I told you there are times that I clean my window/mirror and it feels better, yet not perfect so sometimes I am good with that and I go on and other times I am not.  There are times in life that the level of clean I have achieved is simply not enough for me.  Have you ever cleaned and cleaned on a window/mirror and just known that you simply could not get it clean enough, yet cleaning more seemed to make it worse?  What do you do next?  Walking away for another day is always an option, that’s what I suggested above, but what if that doesn’t feel like an option you want.  What else is there for you?  For me, my next step is to ask for help.  To call on someone else to have a go at the smears on the window/mirror.  Obviously, I am referring to more than a window/mirror – although I really do ask for help in this situation.  But in life, when I have tried and tried to give myself a new perspective and I just cannot seem to do it, well, then I call on someone else. 

Finding a New Perspective

Getting a new perspective is essential to me, I want to feel better and sometimes I simply cannot do it alone. I begin with trying to do it myself, like the window/mirror. Then I might even try something new, maybe read a book, listen to a radio show, go get some exercise, go for a drive. Whatever, I just try to do something to give me a fresh view of life. I am trying to move the kaleidoscope slightly so the current view feels less overwhelming and I can take it on. However, there are those days that nothing I do seems to work. On those days I ask for help. I have ‘go to’ people in my life, family and friends that I know will be there for me, and I am eternally thankful to have them in my life. But honestly, even with a good support system there have been times in my life that I needed more. There were times that I simply need an uninvolved person to provide me with a new perspective. I believe asking for help from the resources around us is a strength, and I am all about feeling stronger. This blog felt like it was a bit of a downer when I began it, but I also recognize how overwhelming life can be. I wanted to take a moment to say “hey, let’s help each other, lets move forward together.” I hope each of us can turn our kaleidoscope and find a new view, but when you can’t, when your arms are too tired to hold up your kaleidoscope and turn it, ask for help. Find someone to help you until you are better able to help yourself. The view will change. Life will seem less overwhelming. You will be refreshed and ready to take life on again. It may not happen today, it may not happen in a day, but it will happen. Keep moving forward and find others to help push things along when life gets hard. Be well my friends! Thank you for spending a part of your day with me!

Time, Where Did You Go?

Greetings Friends!  I hope you are well.  I have had a busy summer, and so, I wrote a little less.  But I have missed you and it is time to get back into a routine.  I work as a School Counselor, which means my summers are all my own. For the most part, I get to do the things I want to do with my summer.  Thinking about my summer winding down makes me evaluate how I spend my time.  I hope you each had a great summer and were able to do all of things with all the people that you were hoping to be able to do.  It seems time slips away so rapidly.  Often it even seems to move faster without any warning.  I do not have the ability to stop time from moving–the seconds keeps on ticking even as sand falls through an hourglass. Luckily, I do have the ability to choose how I spend my time.

Summertime Goals

I began my summer knowing what things I wanted to have accomplished by the end of my summer.  So, in essence, I set summertime goals for myself.  My usual summer goals involve some type of project, maybe some travel, and some rest.  This year, my goals were very different.  Family was the top.  I wanted to make some family memories.  I also began a part-time job this year and wanted to spend some time getting into that role so I could continue it when I returned to my regular life.  And I wanted to write, so I spent some time working on a book.  It has been a busy summer, but a good summer.

Summer Adventures

My family goals were met in many ways.  I was hoping to go on an adventure with my parents.  And you know what?  We did it!  Twice!  We road tripped across country from Tennessee to Nebraska with stops along the way in Missouri. Mom and I ate outside in downtown Kansas City, we walked around a fountain park, and had a tour of the city by my niece. I was able to go back and see where I attended college…. fun times! I enjoyed the big and the little of the trip. I enjoyed the big and the little of my summer. I always wish there was another day. I always seem to want just one more day to do things with the people I love and, well lets be honest, even just to have a day to myself for R and R. It is important to plan for adventures, memories and rest. Start a list and plan for all of the above. What things do you want to accomplish before the end of the summer? What things can you do with family and friends? How about for yourself? Take some time to create a list and start crossing things off of it.

Making Memories on Less Money

What memories were you able to make this summer?  The summer has not yet ended, if you haven’t had an opportunity to make any, now is a good time to plan.  A day at the zoo?  A movie night?  Camping in the backyard?  Oh, I know, kayaking.  I need to do that!  What about a day trip?  I remember one summer, when I didn’t have a lot of extra cash for recreation.  I was a single mom and I was working on a reduced income.  But being single and on tight budget didn’t mean I wanted less memories for my kids.  That summer our biggest activities were trips to the local library for reading fairs and my favorite, camping out in the back yard.  We had such fun!  We have since had great times on big trips, but the memory wasn’t made better because of the additional expense.  It was made better because of the people I shared it with. 

Just Start

It seems that sometimes the thing that keeps us from making memories with our families is simply setting out to achieve the goal.  Your memory may not involve 1500 miles, but you can still make memorable events for your family.  Pick something, plans several somethings, and enjoy each other.  The point of making memories is to enjoy each other and spend time together.  Make a list and start today. What great fun can you plan for the rest of your summer? What memories will you make that you can keep with your forever, long after your children have grown and moved away? Just get started on some today… and have such great fun together! Enjoy your activities, your family, and the rest of your summer.  I hope you are also able to find some down time to catch lightening bugs, ride a bicycle, go for a walk, play with a pet or just rest.  Thank you for spending a part of your day with me! Be well my friends!

Joyful Journeys

I enjoy taking photographs; it is somewhat of a hobby of mine.  I have learned a great deal through my hobby.  Recently, I became aware that one of my greatest lessons was just to enjoy the moment and just to get out and about. You know, more into the world in which I live.  I think I often am so busy working towards the next moment that I failed to appreciate this one.  Have you ever looked at your life and realized you were missing out on the little things?  From time to time, I find myself pausing and realizing just that. We spend so much of our time worrying about building for tomorrow sometimes I think we forget to live for today.

Moments Matter

We have to remember that little things are important too.  The moments when we share milk and pop tarts with our kids on a slow Saturday morning or play with the dogs chasing frisbees on a summer afternoon.  We must find the beauty in our daily lives too. Good things, joyful things help guide us to the tomorrow’s we are seeking. The journey is as relevant as the destination—actually the journey is far more relevant than the destination.  How you live in the daily moments matters so much more than the status you end up with.  Working on a college degree?  Great for you!  Training for a new job? Awesome!  Planning a new move?  Wow, so much work, wish you the best on that! Planning for retirement?  Congrats! But, whatever it is you are doing remember the journey matters.  Trust me, you learn these things over seasons of your life. When you and those around you look back, those journey moments when you took time to enjoy a moment, those are the moments you will remember.

Arriving, with Joy!

I want to “arrive” whatever that means; with all that thought entails. You know, I want a decent home, nice car, good job, kids are doing well, maybe even a beach house for retirement.  Yeah!  Definitely a beach house for retirement.  But I don’t want to focus so much on the “arrival” that I forget to enjoy the daily parts of the journey. You know the moments, the school plays, the walks to the park, pushing on a swing, fishing with your kids, reading a book for a peaceful moment, playing with the dogs, building a tent out of blankets in the living room, camping out in the backyard, or playing hopscotch—wait, sorry wrong generation you guys have no idea what that is. But you get the idea. Enjoy the journey, find joy in the little things and in the people around you.  Be that person that others find joy with.  Take time to stop and smell the roses more often.  When we look back, we will all be so glad of the little moments.  Take it from someone who is still learning these lessons—go plan some daily joy for your self and your family.  It doesn’t have to be big. Often the littlest things were actually the big things. Pick a small thing and plan some fun! Appreciate yourself, your family and your world, enjoy my friend. Thank you for sharing your time with me.  Be blessed my friends.

Cherishing the Moments

I recently had the opportunity to travel with my parents back to my hometown. We all now live several hundred miles from where I grew up, so it took us a couple of days to make our journey. Our trip brought me back to a truth I believe in – life really is much more about the journey than the destination. We travelled quite a bit, over 1,500 miles total. We opted to drive, we are a driving family and driving allowed us to take our time and stop along the way to visit family. It was indeed the trip of a lifetime, well it was for me, I might have driven them a little bit crazy.

New Roads

I loved our journey, but it really was the little moments that meant the most. Now, don’t get me wrong, that is a long way to drive and there were parts of our trip that were just long. And I really am certain we all probably drove each other a little crazy every now and then. But overall, I loved our journey. I really like to drive, I believe I inherited that from my dad, he is a driving man. Our miles flowed really well, no major traffic back-ups which was amazing considering the miles and the three major cities we went through. St Louis was an interesting adventure for me this time, I went the same way I always do. You know, the same way everyone goes. And then my dad piped up and suggested he travels around the city on another interstate. There is another option? How come I didn’t know that? Wait, maybe I did but I forgot? On the way home we went on his route, and you know what, I liked his route too! Isn’t it funny that it was natural for me to go one way and he another and neither of us considered another option. I think we do that in life too, think our way is the only way until someone says “hey what about this?” Maybe we should all say “hey what about this a little more often?”

Priceless Moments

Visiting friends and relatives was one of my favorite parts of this trip. It was good to see people I had not seen in years, I wish I had been able to visit more. We have all changed, life does that to you. But it is so good to re-connect. I have not been back home in years – it is so far and home is here now. But I was so thankful to be embraced by people so readily. I think I shall not let as much time pass between visits this next time. I think sometimes my life needs to slow down, I need to slow down, and appreciate the smallest of moments. Moments like the really good pizza shared with an old friend, the nephew who is willing to jumpstart a truck so he can show you how it runs, the grand niece who teaches you how to play a whole new version of “I Spy”, the parents who are willing to tolerate and love you and the family who supports your crazy adventures. I think I shall focus more on the moments in life, well, I will for this moment anyway. Tomorrow will probably hold a new adventure. I hope it is great as this adventure was, for this one was golden! Be well my friends, and thank you for spending part of your day with me.

Lonely…. or Royalty?

Today my writing was slightly different, I hope you enjoy my journey with you. I am writing to you from a table in the center of a restaurant. I do feel the need to tell you that I don’t sit at tables, thus I don’t sit in the center of the restaurant. Personally, I like a booth because it feels a little more private. I can sit off to the side of the restaurant and people watch without feeling like someone is people watching me. However, I also have this favorite waitress. So, I am willing to compromise my table selection for my waitress selection, and today is such a day. Now, mind you, I don’t mean I am at the center of the room within a group of tables. I mean in the center, all alone! We are off in a room and because there is a large group on one side and a small group on the other side…. and, well, here I sit. One more little fact, I am indeed sitting alone. You have joined me, so it is you and I now. Today is one of those rare times when my family is all going in different directions and my direction was brunch after church.

You Have to be Kidding Me?

I waited patiently for my table; I am always willing to wait to sit in my Hailey’s section. She isn’t my Hailey; for we are not related at all. As a matter of fact, we met her when she waited on us years ago. She was the girl with the purple in her hair, a smile on her face, and excellent service every single time. She rapidly became our favorite sever, and now our friend. Our friendship with her has evolved into something that blesses us. So, we always wait for her section. I will give up my place in line and patiently wait for I have come to see my friend as much as enjoy my meal. I was willing to wait for a table in our sweet friend’s section. So, wait I did, a little longer than I anticipated, but some things are worth waiting for and Hailey is one of those things. Imagine my surprise when I was offered a table sitting in the middle of a room. This is usually a “do you have something else available?” table. I seriously thought about it, but it seemed to be a fairly rude comment as I had already requested sitting in Hailey’s section. So I sat, and cringed inside while I waited for my friend.

Perspective is Everything

As I sat, I began to write to you. Sitting in the middle of a room is much easier to do when you have a phone to look at. I began this blog thinking about comfort zones, but the longer I sat, the more my focus changed. I began to embrace my position in the room. I had the perfect vantage point to people watch everyone. And I wondered what they thought of me… “Why is she alone,” “How awkward, sitting by yourself in the middle of the room,” “Aren’t you glad that’s not us, sitting in the middle of the room?” Then it occurred to me that my countenance and my attitude, my perspective, had everything to do with whether I was content with my seat or uncomfortable. At the end of my meal another waitress brought a chair to my table with a question of “Would you mind if we returned the extra chairs to your table?” For you see, I was sitting at a table with only two chairs, they had used the rest for the party. I assured her it would be fine and thank you for asking as “I am indeed the center of the room.” She returned with, “Well, if you are the Queen of the room, you should certainly act the part.” And we laughed, but she had a point; act the part, enjoy the moment, embrace the position. Here’s to the moments in our lives, may we embrace them even if they feel awkward and uncomfortable. By the way, I had a really nice brunch, with excellent food and service, as always. See you next Sunday Hailey! And as for me, I will chose royalty over lonely any day of the week – sometimes it’s all about attitude! Thank you, friends, for spending your time with me, be blessed.

A Water Mindset

I’m drinking a glass of ice water while I type this. I really like ice water, although I am pretty sure that is unimportant information. As I was drinking my water though I started thinking about the water in the glass. My glass is about half full. It started out full, but I have drank half of the glass of water so now it is half empty. Or is it half full? When you look at a glass of water that is half full or empty how do you see it? We have all heard the sayings about attitude and whether our glass is half full or half empty. Wait, you haven’t heard that? Ok, so the nutshell version is this. If a glass of water contains enough water for it to be halfway filled is that half full or half empty? The pessimist, the person who worries entirely too much and always views life with a negative perspective, will tell you that the glass is half empty. On the other hand the optimist, the person who is entirely too bright and cheery all the time and finds the good in most, if not all, things will tell you the glass is half full. You see how this worked right? One glass, same amount of content and yet two different views. So, is the glass half full or half empty?

Keeping it Real

I would like to tell you that my glass is overflowing. It really isn’t, remember I have drunk half of its contents, but I like the sound of that. You know, that eternal optimism… overflowing, what a great mindset. That would indeed be my goal, to have that type of a mindset. But alas, that simply is not where I am most of the time. It is where I wish I was, it is where I strive to be. But my glass often seems to have an invisible leak, for I usually think it is closer to empty than to full. I find myself focusing on negative worry way more than I am comfortable with. I have to wonder why we do this to ourselves. Why not focus on the good? Why not embrace the positive things in each day? I understand the concept is challenging, but can you imagine how you might feel if you focused on the positive in your day/week/life? Changing that one thing, our view of things, could change so much for us.

Moving Toward Positivity

I know this idea of moving from a half empty to a half full attitude may not be easy. I do understand what I am suggesting, and I understand that for some that may feel almost impossible. The beauty of life is that you do not have to do it alone. I do know sometimes life can be overwhelming. Trust me when I tell you I know too well pain that you didn’t imagine you would ever heal from. Some of the pain in my life I will never heal from. There are pains and emptiness from the loss of loved ones that is sometimes overwhelming. But, while I believe in experiencing life, I also believe in healing and in finding the good in the moment. I understand sometimes it seems impossible. Sometimes we have to get others to help us find the good.

Living a “Half Full” Mindset…Starting Today

So let’s get started in that half full mindset. I have been known to generate lists and to encourage others to do the same. One of my lists is “what makes you feel good.” It is a great list. Think about it, you spend time writing down what things and people make you feel good. Then, when the glass appears half empty, pull out that list and work towards a mindset of knowing the glass is indeed half full. Nothing changed, but your mindset. And yet everything changed. Changing how we look at life can indeed change how you feel. Sometimes, for some of us that is more difficult than it is for others. Sometimes we need help changing our mindset… ask someone for help. Feeling better and seeing your glass as half full, or even overflowing, is worth asking someone for help with. Remember changing one thing may change the view. And change begins with one little thing at a time. Thank you for spending your time with me today, be blessed my friends..

Becoming a Difference Maker

Earlier this week, I watched an interview with a retired professional basketball player.  He discussed many things, but the thing that stood out to me was the story of his childhood and of his intended legacy.  He was raised in a poverty situation by his mother and grandmother.  The was no mention of positive males in his life other than the coaches he would later meet as he would grow to become a tall and talented young man. He and his family lived in what he referred to as “the projects.” Which as we know is often the term for subsidized housing units crowded together into communities.  As I said, it was his story AND his intended legacy that I found interesting.  He spoke of what he could to do help his fellow man.  This individual happens to be black, and he indicated an interest in helping anyone who is poor, but even more so helping individuals of color who live in poverty.  He expressed how important it is to him to help others out of poverty and made comment that helping people out of poverty helps to restore their personal power. 

Power and Poverty Relationships?

That is an interesting thought, I found myself pondering it a bit.  Do people who live in poverty feel they have personal power?  Well, I would assume the politically correct thing to say is “yes.”  But I do not know that to be true.  I have certainly been poor, or sure felt like I was.  But I have never lived in urban poverty, in housing project poverty, and I have never been alone with no additional resources outside of myself.  So, I honestly don’t know how powerless those individuals feel.  But I have a feeling the basketball player knows more about it than I do, you know since he lived that life.   I once stood in a housing project outside of Cincinnati, Ohio and did a 360–looking all around me.  All I could see from any direction was the housing project.  It was so large there was a store and a doctor’s office on the grounds.  I do not know what that level of poverty feels like, and I have no idea how powerless I might feel to try to get out of that situation.  I do know that I have watched countless people try to rise above where they are in life only to fall back down.  It does indeed seem to be much more difficult to move upwards without someone there to help support and encourage you.  The reality is many of us are only one rent payment away from homelessness. 

Rising Above

So, what Cindy?  What in the world is your point with this post?  Well, I guess I had a couple of thoughts.  One, just to create an awareness that maybe rising out of poverty is not as simple as people think it is.  This really is not one of those “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” concepts.  You know where we all realize everyone could do it if only, they were more determined.  Not the case here folks.  Imagine how difficult it is to keep a job with a car that you can’t keep running.  Buy a better car?  Great idea, but I don’t have the money.  Save it up?  Again, great idea, but I live less than paycheck to paycheck.  I could get more money by working more, but who would watch my kids?  Wait, my office just closed, need a new job.  They moved the office across town and I simply can’t get there.  It really is like a house of cards, one card falls, and you have a heaping pile of fallen cards. 

So, What Can I Do?

So, back to my point.  Why am I sharing this?  Well, it was the rest of the interview–the what is your intended legacy.  How can we make a difference in the lives of our fellow man?  Give the man on the corner money?  Maybe, although most agencies that serve the impoverished and addiction communities are actually discouraging those acts due to addictions.  Send a check to my church to help the community?  Volunteer at a food kitchen?  Help build a house through Habitat for Humanity?  Watch a single mom’s child so she can work?  Send an encouraging note?  Pack a lunch for a child who might need it?  Buy a lunch for the fast food worker and tell them “Thank You.” The list goes on and on and on.  Each of us have different abilities, skills, opportunities, and resources.  But I would argue that each of us need to do SOMETHING.  For you see, that bootstrap image, do you know how much easier it is to pull those proverbial bootstraps on when someone helps?  If each of us could help someone imagine the difference, we could make.  I am so very thankful for the difference makers in my life, I am thankful for all of them, but I am especially thankful for those who carried me through life when I simply could not walk on my own. Here’s to all the difference makers–go be one. Be blessed my friends, thank you for spending part of your day with me.

Enjoying the Days of Wildflowers

I am so excited about the coming of summer! I just want to be outside. I am tired of being inside, I am tired of winter, I am tired of the cold, I am tired of COVID and I am tired of masks. But I love spring and I am so happy about the coming of warmer weather. It is so exciting to me when we get to stay outside longer in the light of the day as the evenings still have warmth and sun. I get to watch the sun go down long after I get home from work. Ahhhh… did I mention I was so ready for these seasonal changes. I find I am so eager to get home and get out. I feel like many days are a celebration of just being able to spend time outside. Even just a walk or playing catch with the dog or pulling weeds feels a bit like a treat to me. I think I was more than ready for the break and the warm weather. I’m pretty certain I will be ready for the break from the warm weather sometime around the end of summer, but for now I am glad it’s here. I do think it’ s interesting that about the time I have had enough of one season a new one rolls in. I am thankful for that, for the change. Sometimes I think I get overly impatient for something new. Maybe I just wanted some change? Probably so, but I am still glad to have it.

Emerging into today, and tomorrow

What will you do this spring? Do you have any great plans? I do not. But I do plan to try to appreciate being out and about. I think being out and around people is something I have taken so for granted in the past. When I take a walk down the street I am so glad to see people that I find myself waving and calling out from a distance, just being around people feels good to me. I think I just want to make sure I take a moment and appreciate the little things, the things that I always took for granted. Last spring looked so different. We were approaching an uncertain time, this year looks better. Many have lost loved ones in the past year, and I do not want to minimize their grief for I think it is probably enormous. I cannot imagine emerging from this season without some of your loved ones with you. But I am thankful to be here, and I am thankful for spring and the emergence of a new season. The buds, the flowers, the weather – they all just seem to breathe new life and energy into me. For today I shall pull weeds, play with the dogs, and look for worms, frogs, lizards, and wooly worm moths with my awesome neighbor. You know hanging with a youngster keeps you young, you should try it. Enjoy spring whether you make grand plans or little ones, enjoy each day. Thank you for spending this time with me. Be blessed my friends.

Creating Lasting Childhood Memories

I love the memories we make with our children. I was just thinking the other day about all of the sweet memories my parents and family helped me create as a child.  What do you recall from yours?  I know we all have some memories of our childhood we would prefer to forget.  Sometimes life dealt us less than desirable circumstance, and other times we simply made bad choices which necessitated consequences we might not have desired. But I’m not talking about those memories, I am talking about the good ones, the memories we recall with a sweet fondness. I remember my brother and I swinging as high as we could while singing “leaving on a jet plane” as if we thought we could swing high enough to fly.  It was great fun.  And the tire swing, I will forever remember the truck tire hung on the mulberry tree with a green horse rope.  Truck tires make even better tire swings than regular tires, you can fit two people on these because they are so big.  My family has always had plenty of trucks, so I’m sure truck tires were easily available for use.  I think my dad and my Uncle hung that tire for us at my Grandparents’ home, but I am also pretty sure my brother climbed that big old tree to hang the rope–oh the memories.  My family has been gone from that area for nearly 20 years and I know that tire is no longer there, but I feel like it is.  The memories, oh the memories of all those days on that swing with the cousins.  That was the best tire swing ever!  And lightening bugs, do you happen to remember catching lightening bugs?  An adult, usually mom or grandma, would get us a jar and poke holes in the lid for our mission.  Then, just as the sun would begin to go down, we would see lightening bugs and capture them for our jar.  I have no idea why we did that because we would have to release them or they would die, but it was fun.  And youth activities in the community, there are so many things kids can do these days.  I did girl scouts, and I remain thankful that my mom signed me up for those activities.  I am today still in contact with my leader when I was a child.  There were so many good memories, frequently made with little money and a lot of love.

Slow Down Life, Take a Moment for the Creation of Memories

Sometimes our current society gets a little too busy. Technology has advanced so many things, but has it also trapped us? Do we remember how to provide childhood memories like the tire swing and lighting bugs? When was the last time you did something so simple, yet profound? We have to spend time investing in our children, but we also have to spend time creating memories for them. There are so many things we can do with our kids that are not costly. Sure there are hobbies and trips and so many great things, but there are also inexpensive daily activities. Have you ever tried a camping excursion in the living room? Do you know how cool it is to build a tent over the couch with blankets and chairs? I am here to tell you this is a great activity. How about blowing dandelions in the yard? I know they are weeds, but this is fun. Do you have a pet? Walking the dog is always fun,. And even more fun after the dog is leash trained. Do you know that you can google recipes for homemade play dough and salt dough? How about baking cookies, even if it is just a box of cookie mix, still simply making memories. There really are so many things we can do. What is important is that you are intentional about doing things to create memories for your children. Those childhood memories are such a gift later. Trust me, I am sitting here enjoying walking through the years with you. Take a moment and become intentional about creating a lifetime of memories. Have fun! Thank you for spending your time with me. Be blessed my friends!