I did not go to church today.
I drove around taking pictures of church steeples.
I walked up the steps of a big old church to get an artsy shot and there sat a young man who looked like he’d had a rough night, a real rough life. He was waiting for a bus.
He didn’t give me any eye contact. I stood right next to him as I took steeple shots. I was in his space now so I said to him, “I’m taking pictures of steeples today.” He looked at me like ‘ok whatever crazy lady, who I don’t know who just got out of her car while I sit here and wait for a bus.’
Then a few moments later he spoke up,”Any reason why?” I answered,” Yep, sometimes I pick a theme and just go with it. I recently did old steps that lead to nowhere, also shadows, stuff like that.” He didn’t say anything as I snapped a few more pictures. I was sure he’d lost interest in our conversation. Then as I was leaving he said,” You could do waterfalls.” I turned around and said, “That’s a good idea!” Then he added in an upbeat tone in his voice, “..or tree stumps!” “I hadn’t thought of that one.” I answered, “Thanks for the good ideas.”
He gave me a nice smile and sat up a bit straighter. You know, I think I did go to church today.
I write this on a quiet Christmas.
My loved ones are far away, yet I still find myself almost giddy with joy. I do feel blessed to have the love of family and friends. I have a home, a job, and all my needs are taken care of. All this makes me happy. But I feel such an overwhelmingly deep joy that can’t compare to anything else in life, that I’d be a fool not to share it with others and let you know how to have it too. Christmas is a great reminder of the source of my joy.
This time of the year can be crazy and stressful or beautiful and meaningful. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Solstice , Kwanzaa, Christmas or something else, there is so much to do.
December is busy for me. I celebrate not just Christmas, but also our wedding anniversary and several family member’s birthdays.
I’m older now and more relaxed about a lot of things but the first few years as a young wife, I wanted to have the perfect Christmas.
(spoiler alert: this is not soft…sometimes i think too much)
i am writing this out of a deep frustration…
…at how the obvious is not noticed and the endless piles of mud are tossed..all the deep and lovely words about time and space and truth and beauty are raped by those who have put up a wall so high and so thick that no miracle or magic can be seen or heard through it……on our short journey through this life experience there is no place for these solid walls…
That’s just me hangin’ out by the jack-o’-lantern waiting to go trick-or-treating. It was 1961 and I was 5 years old. (Notice the dog face to the right of the pumpkin. I wish I could say this was a ghost dog that appeared when the picture was developed, but it’s nothing like that, it’s just our dog, Lassie.)
My mom had taken me to the five and dime store to buy my costume.
ON THIS DAY
(I spoke at my mother’s Celebration of Life service on August 29th. Here it is.)
For the past several years my mom was living her life in a wheelchair unable to do much of anything, losing the strength to hold a book or spoon, stay awake very long or to even speak.
This could be frustrating at times for her, this once independent, active person. And, I’m sure when she thought back to her prime years, that she found joy and satisfaction in those memories.
Sometimes on my visits I would read from one of her old journals she’d so faithfully kept for most of her life, and we’d both marvel at how much she used to do in one day. As her memory failed, her own written words from years past were interesting and enlightening to her.
I used to work for a temp agency that placed me in offices around the city to fill in for receptionist and office support work. A particular job could be anywhere from one day to two years. I worked all over the city, meeting lots of people and experiencing all types of office environments.
I walked into the drug store late on a Friday night when I noticed a sign saying “OPEN 24 HOURS”. I’m glad they stay open late. It was the only chance I had to get shopping done before the weekend. Next stop would be the grocery store, open until 11:00.
When I was growing up in the 1960s, my dad owned a hardware store. You’d never see that sign in his store or any of the stores in our small town. They all closed at 5:30. But Friday nights were different. The stores stayed open until 9:00.
For me, springtime isn’t just the greening of the earth and watching nature awaken in color as I enjoy the warmer weather, it’s also a time to gather with other women in church basements and eat salads.
The first title for this was, “My Six Degrees Of Separation To George Washington”, but as I got more involved in the writing, the farther I went back in history!
Here is how it all started.
My dad…I thought he was the next thing to Superman. Even though he didn’t leap from tall buildings, (although I did see him fall out of a tree once landing on his feet!), he could do a little of everything, and do it well.
road to Nancy’s
After driving over 100 miles, I turned off the freeway to a county road then onto a narrow dirt road that leads toward Nancy’s. Driving through the lonesome wooded hills and swampland, cattails grow on both sides of the road. Nature looked picture perfect on that summer day out in the middle of nowhere. One more turn goes down a crude winding driveway that leads to her large rustic house, an impressive work of construction done by her husband’s hands.
Here is where hospice was set up for her.
I’m that driver with the loud music on. Heavy bass, please. I enjoy TV. Most of it’s junk to me, but what I like, I really like.
I love to have my family around me. There is no sweeter sound in the house than the voices and footsteps of those I love.
We live in a noisy world. Sounds are everywhere and are a normal part of our everyday lives. Sounds from people, traffic, social media, TV and music are whirling around us in a constant hum, and we just sing along.
Have you ever found yourself in a very quiet place?
This apple has come a long way.
This morning it glowed in the sunshine like a giant ruby. My husband brought it home after he’d been to visit his mom. She lives with his sister in the old house that has been in the family for five generations.
When I was a kid, my friends and I were outside all day long in the summer. After breakfast I was out the door and into the summer sun where us kids decided what we wanted to do when we wanted to do it.
We were old enough to leave the yard but not old enough to have a summer job. This is a glorious and brief time in a person’s life. Those years between your mother’s apron strings and sliding into the work world. The ‘Tom Sawyer’ summers, I call them. Days spent outside, barefoot, with no keys, money or phone to carry. Days that were simple.
Usually my blog has pleasant postings. True, my world is full of recipes, pretty junk and I’ve been to cool places, but to be honest it isn’t all cupcakes and monkeys.
I’m going to share with you the other side. The yellow house isn’t always fluff, one day it was iron.