Very Inspiring Blogger Award


I suppose Bobby-C at http://bobby-c-blog.com/ & http://bobby-c-health.com/ has given up on me by now.  “Wow,” he’s probably saying.  “That was a waste.  Why did I bother to nominate her blog?  It’s been sooo long.”  Please, Bobby-C, don’t give up on me!

Procrastination is a terrible fault of mine.  Life takes over, pushing everything back ‘one more day’ until each becomes further from the next.  Suddenly days turn into weeks flipping a card-stock calendar page up above to the nail pounded in my yellow mudroom wall.  Poke it through the perfect hole…there it is, a glossy picture of a brand new shining month!  Whoops…if I don’t get going another page will turn on me.

With undeniable gratitude I thank Bobby-C, for nominating my blog for the, Very Inspiring Blogger Award, together with his patience at my formal acceptance.  Bobby blogs at http://bobby-c-blog.com/ & http://bobby-c-health.com/ where you will find his most inspirational journey through personal goals and aspirations.  He’s a dedicated family man, full of life spirit who loves the outdoors and all that it entails.  The father of four grown children, they are most important to him together with his lovely wife.  Thank you, Bobby, for this beautiful award.

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The Rules of Accepting This Award Are As Follows:

  1. Thank the person nominating you and post a link back to them.
  2. List the rules and display your lovely award.
  3. Share seven facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 bloggers who inspire you & let them know they’ve been nominated within their own comment sections.
  5. Proudly display your new award logo on your blog page and ‘follow’ your nominating blogger.

Seven Interesting Facts about Myself:

1.  My worst subject in school was math.

2.  A favorite hobby of mine is going to the movies.

3.  Although I’m not a big eater, I can gobble down an entire Banana Split in a matter of minutes. Don’t dare ask me to share!

4.  I’m looking forward to an October vacation with my husband and friends.

5.  My favorite way to shop is on-line with free delivery!

6.  I’ve been told by my doctor recently to gain weight!  Who would have ever thought such a thing???

7.  I started the year as a grandmother of one.  I’ll end the year as a grandmother of five.  My eldest son presented me the gift of a precious baby boy in April, my youngest son married a beautiful young mother of one.  He’s adopting her little, Briella.  Together, they are expecting twins…girls!

The 15 Inspiring Blogs Nominated Are:

1.  http://faithsimone.com/

2. http://thelifeofaflurozebra.wordpress.com/

3. http://darealztalk.com/

4. http://ramblingsfromjewels.wordpress.com/

5. http://pathsofthespirit.wordpress.com/

6. http://west517.wordpress.com/

7. http://firstnightdesign.wordpress.com/

8. http://zar4h.wordpress.com/

9. http://childrensbooksheal.com/

10.  https://osarobohenry.wordpress.com/

11. http://elenacaravela.wordpress.com/

12. https://elizabethmeltonparsons.wordpress.com/

13. http://evgenygridneff.wordpress.com/

14. http://nestpirations.com/

15. http://bisforblessed.com/

In spite of my best attempt at fact-finding, I realize that some of you may already have this award or that others may not accept awards for personal or religious reasons. Regardless, please know that your blogs inspire me.  I appreciate your work, the messages you write through your words or the art and photographs you present.  Thank you for what you give to me as well as others here at our WordPress family.  Should you choose to accept this award please visit my site @ http://kimgosselinblog.com/.  Thank you  so very much.

The Simple Life


After ten long hours scrunched in the car, we finally made it to the farm.  Gravel under tires made the familiar crunching sound.  We pulled in atop loose stones, pebbles of grey and white designating a drive-way amid acres long called, home.  Did I miss the turn of the key or the sound of the melody?  Four doors suddenly sprung open like a long closed box.  Out popped arms and legs in different sizes and shapes.  Stretching and bending this way or that, reminding me of my little brother’s green Gumby toy when we were young.  Perhaps his horse, Pokey is eating hay in the barn?

The farm belongs to my father-in-law, but it is my husband’s legacy.  It’s important that my children and grandchildren know where their father and grandfather came from.  Where his life began.  They may not remember this trip today, so my pictures will be a remembrance forevermore.  I want them to see where he lived and grew-up as a boy, to listen to stories of the simple things he took pleasure in.  To grasp the meaning of how different life was not so long ago before technology stole time away.  How good things were when fun could be bicycles and books, playing in fresh air or running and jumping until legs-were-so-tired.

The old farm-house sits among 80 acres of lush dark soil, green grasses, woods, streams, fields, and trails in a little town called Shelby, on the northwest side of Michigan, not far from the Great Lake of the same name. It is beautiful country, so peaceful one could hear their own name whispered in the wind.  Nine children were raised within the walls of the cozy home that is made up of three bedrooms with one bath for all.  Impossible now perhaps, but back then it was not out of the norm.

Living on a farm came with chores to do, depending on birth order.  Older siblings saw more animals raised in the barn than younger ones.  A cow of black and white, chickens, pigs, and cats to catch the mice.  My husband remembers milking cows when he was very young in a silver tin before gathering eggs for his mother in a wicker basket of biscuit brown.

A lot of the family’s food came from crops grown in their own dark soil.  So rich, it was and still is nearly black, the color of coal.  There were vegetables from gardens and planted crops plus mouth-watering fruits falling from trees drooping above.  Cherries and asparagus helped to provide for the family, while my husband’s father worked hard at a factory job too, nearly each and every day.

My husband tells me of a wonderful childhood where his playmates were mostly sisters and brothers. Sports were a family favorite and for a while they had their own small basketball court poured near the red wooden barn.  Kids formed small teams to play baseball, football or croquet on the massive lawn.  They rode buzzing mini-bikes up and down the dirt path or fished in glass streams using scraps of cream-colored rope for line.  On the end of their hooks were stolen pieces of pink bologna, curled and shriveled, ready to lure miniature fish from under speckled rocks.

When darkness fell, a freshly scrubbed brood gathered round the square black and white television set, straddled on four wooden legs.  If the space-age antenna worked just right, two or three fuzzy channels came in.  Sometimes arguments broke out until a patient mother stepped in to decide what show would be watched.  Before long,  bedtime fell upon freckled faces with long lashes.   Soon weary feet of bare climbed steep steps to  the top.  Under eves, bunk beds were shared while sweet dreams danced beneath blankets of curly heads until morning when a new day began.

Today, it may be hard to imagine the simple life above.  Gone forever it is, I’m afraid.  In our suburbia  it’s rare for children to have real space to play, and it’s not safe to let them go off for the day like my husband once did.  For good or bad, technology has replaced much of our children’s freedom, leaving them little room for down time. Still, at every opportunity please allow children to be kids.  Let them run and jump, play and grow.  Encourage them to use their imaginations.  Dreams are sometimes born through simple things.  A walk in the park, flying a kite, catching a fish or reading, “Run-Spot-Run.”

 

Tragedy


My mind has been in a vortex of mixed emotions this past week.  Upon returning from a family vacation in Michigan, it seems a river of sadness was about to wash over the hair on my head. When the wheels of my car crossed the bridge of the muddy Mississippi, my St. Louis town together with its people were about to change.

Yes, another young black man was killed by a white man in our country.  This time it happened in Middle America, about thirty minutes north of my home.  It’s been nearly a week yet the city that I love is still in turmoil.  Protesters are in the streets day and night.  Anger is palpable, not only seen but felt.  Tear gas blinds. News anchors run.  Fear is here.

Reports on CNN differ from hour to hour, day to day.  Who is correct, what is the real story?  Bottom line, a tragedy has occurred.  Life has been snuffed out.  A boy has been lost forever.  “Justice,” rings aloud from the crowd…over and over again.

As a white woman, I will not pretend to know what it feels like to live in a black body.  I do not.  Still, I am human, I am a mother, and I live in a house located in a neighborhood where families are raised. I feel empathy.

My husband’s best friend of 25 years is a black man who lives in Jacksonville, Florida.  Our families have vacationed together and visited each other’s homes on several different occasions.  A few days ago, he called to say he does not understand why the protesting continues.  The dead boy’s neighborhood is being destroyed.  “Hasn’t enough harm been done,” he asked?

Not long ago, this same neighborhood is where I soaked the spirit of children’s imaginations while helping to encourage emotions on paper.  Families were enthused at the prospect of their children’s lives lighting up.  The community was on an upswing.  My article, Writing Stars was inspired on that day, http://wp.me/p41md8-11W.  I remember my husband stopping at the local ‘Quick Trip’ for a large plastic glass of iced tea.  Today, it is the site of “Ground Zero.”

The police here and politicians all over the country are still investigating.  I pray for peace, for no one else to get hurt.  Who knows what the real story is, or when justice will happen, whatever that may be?  I only know a piece of my city looks like a war zone.  War kills.  Haven’t we had enough of d.e.a.t.h.?

“Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.”  John Fitzgerald Kennedy

 

 

Ajayatao’s Children


My world is turned upside down having learned only moments ago that our dear blogging friend, Ajayatao, has passed on into God’s, heaven.  I cry tears for myself and others at losing this gentle soul upon our living earth.  Yes, I am selfish.  I miss his soft spirit already this morning.  Yet, I believe children above are smiling today.

Ajayatao had tremendous gifts.  How I loved his talented eye at getting the perfect shot with his camera upon passing an exotic flower, a sunrise over ocean waves, or a crinkle within the corner of an old woman’s weathered face.  He found artistry in God’s waiting wonder, sometimes writing beautiful words to accompany his alluring photographs.  No one shared more than my lovely friend, Ajayatao.

But, by far what I shall remember about Ajayatao, is his love for children.  This, I shared with him.  Often, we commented back and forth regarding the photographs of our ‘little ones.’  He had a special place in his wide, open heart for young children…like God, I think.  This is how I ‘picture’ him now.  In heaven surrounded by chubby faces, moppets of curls, tenderness, faces in need and pure innocence.  He loved them all.  I know because he told me so.

I will miss you, Ajayatao.  Your loving ways, your words, your photographs, your comments and most of all, the tender spirit that surrounded you.  Thank your for your time with me.  With all of us here.  You have been a gift to share forevermore.

Fly free on angel wings, Ajayato.  Close your eyes to capture children’s loving hearts for all eternity.

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Priorities


Yesterday, I admit it.  No words in my head.  Lots of images for future posts to come, while ten fingers rested ever-so-lightly atop an old keyboard friend.  Not once did they press a printed letter up or down.  Never, did I see a word appear on my old familiar screen.  Instead, it remained blank the whole day through.  Like a ghost of white, it called out to me through French glass doors of an empty library room when darkness fell.

The last month of travel, together with visiting my dear Great-Aunt, seemed to sap the energy from one bone to the next.  Whispers of my old St. Louis town wafted through open windows as our car traveled back from Michigan.

When I woke-up the next morning, I heard the message loud and clear.  “Take a rest,” my body said.  Still, there were appointments already made.  Red X’s penned on the calendar that told me so.  “Get up,” they said.  Oh, how I hated to get out of bed!

Suitcases were unpacked the night before.  Clothes in lumpy piles plumped among the sunlit, wooden floor to be sorted sometime later.  Garbage cans were dragged across the driveway to the curb before whisking ‘Doodle Dog’ off to the groomer.  Whew…..a fresh smelling bath with a trim for him!

With seconds to spare, I made it to a doctor’s appointment.  Yes, barely on time.  Annual blood tests taken with an X-ray, too.  Next, I stopped to pick up my husband’s dress shirts from the cleaners, all perfectly pressed.  He’ll be flying in late from work tomorrow.  One thing less for him to do.  A few minutes later, my cell phone rang.  It was the dentist calling to remind me, “one more time.”  Off with my head!  Truth be told, I think I’d rather…J

A few calls on my Bluetooth to check-in with my son and some friends before stopping at the store for milk and bread.  Maybe a banana, some salad and a chicken breast or two.  I’m almost afraid to check my e-mail box.  It’s been several days.  There wasn’t any service in the thick woods of Michigan.  I may tackle that chore next, I guess.

My ‘words’ will come to me, tomorrow and hopefully the next.  They’re in my head, perhaps hiding under a wished for mattress or squeaky springs with a fluffy feather pillow.   When time is taken off, the clock at home seems to stop.   Yes, my work has piled up.  It’s waiting for me.  Yet, all is worth it in the end.  Life is fleeting, gone too fast.

Hmmm…When I think of God’s gift of feelings that I’ve just been given, the waiting work hardly seems to matterMy sweet baby grandson held against a beating chest, napping in my arm, or resting upon my lap.  My precious grand-daughter giggling with delight, her ringlets of curls swinging like a picture postcard against a backdrop lake of blue.

When on my death-bed, will I wish that I had worked a little harder for one more day or rested just a little longer?  Never for a second against that backdrop lake of blue…..

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For Emma and Others


Since I heard the news last week, I told myself I wasn’t going to write about it.  Over and over again, the brain in my head whispered thoughts to me. “No, no, no,” it said!  Yet, here I am sitting at my desk where those same thoughts are speaking silently aloud to me.

Invisible memories traveling from my mind down the length of my arm.  Long fingers resting with air-filled tips atop printed letters.   A familiar keyboard speckled in dust.  Tap, tap, tap.  Jumbled words appear on a screen of white.  What will I write?

About a week ago, another child ‘close to home’ was admitted to St. Louis Children’s Hospital with the forever diagnosis of insulin dependent diabetes (T1D), an epidemic in Chronic Conditions.  I write, “close to home,” because this sweet, young girl is the daughter of my son’s co-worker at the National Weather Service.

A small office, everyone works hard to ensure the safety of the general public by tracking weather patterns and providing them forecasts ahead of danger.  Although men and women work in shifts, they are tight, like a family.  Nimbus, my son’s diabetic alert dog is always by his side.  Each time a co-worker opens the door, a moist black nose of the darkest night sniffs the air, making sure the scent walking in belongs with the ‘others.’

Upon hearing of the child’s T1D, diagnosis, I sighed before unconsciously biting my lip.  Eyes brimmed with glassy tears.  One or two spilled out.  Later, I washed dried salt from my cheek.

It doesn’t matter how many years have passed since I first heard the word, diabetes.  Whenever I think of that moment, the feeling is still here within me.  Deep down in the pit of my stomach.  A spring that never unsprang reminding me of a “Slinky” that was never removed from its original box.

I know how this mother felt when she received her daughter’s diagnosis.  The word probably came out of the doctor’s mouth sounding like it was in slow motion or under water.  Muffled, garbled and not understood.  In a split second, her family’s life was changed forever….

Overwhelmed, exhaustion finally set in.  Suddenly, this mother was the newest member of a club she NEVER planned to join.  Yet, there in a pastel, painted cement block room was an IV pole saving her daughter’s life with the magical powers of insulin.  Drip, drip, drip.  Thank God.  Yes, Thank GOD….

There is nothing good I can say about diabetes.  Absolutely nothing.  For those who follow my blog you know I try to stay positive.  I believe there is a reason for everything.  We may not understand it at the time, but eventually we discover it.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, will provide Emma with a book that I wrote over twenty years ago entitled, Rufus Comes Home.  She will receive it free together with a cuddly stuffed teddy bear like every newly diagnosed child in their “Bag of Hope.”

Here is the irony.  Emma will read a book written by the mother of one of her father’s co-worker’s.  It was written shortly after her father’s ‘co-worker’ was diagnosed with diabetes when he was a young child….just like little Emma.  Hopefully, the story will help her and her family cope while giving them some sense of peace during this most difficult time.

I am not promoting the book.  Fourteen years ago I sold my tiny publishing company together with rights to all of my titles.  I no longer receive royalties.  Regardless, it truly warms my heart to know that this particular story is still helping children many years after being written.

If there is a ‘reason’ for my son, Jayson developing diabetes, certainly it was to inspire others through the books I wrote.  They never would have helped another without him blazing the first trail.  I thank you in my heart forever, my son.

What will Emma’s “reason” be?  Perhaps one day she will entertain us as a beautiful ballerina or sing upon a stage?  Maybe she’ll become President or wear a Miss America crown upon her lovely head?  She’ll help another family or go on a Mission far across the great blue sea…  She might become a doctor or a scientist working with a microscope?  In spite of living with diabetes, Emma can capture wishes while living all of her dreams.

I’m still hoping there will no longer be a need for any of the books I wrote on Chronic Conditions.  Someday in the distant future…. How wonderful that would be!

No more Emma’s.  No more, Jayson’s.   My own wish you see…my every day dream…my evening pillow prayer.

 

A Few Statistics on T1D (insulin dependent)

As many as 3 million Americans may have T1D

15,000 Children and 15,000 Adults are diagnosed each year

80 people in the US are diagnosed EVERY day

Each year, T1D costs our health care system nearly 15 BILLION dollars.

There is NO way to prevent the onset of T1D.  It’s thought to be triggered by a combination of environmental and heredity factors.

Insulin is not a cure, it’s Life Support

 

Symptoms of T1D

Frequent thirst and urination

Drowsiness or lethargy

Increase in appetite

Sudden loss of weight

Vision changes

Sugar found in a urine sample

Fruity odor on breath

Heavy or labored breathing

Unconsciousness, seizure, or stupor.  Call 911 Immediately!!

 

 

Sisters…Friends Forever


Sisters…I’ve had them in my life for over fifty years. 

Middle’ Sister was born on a snowy Christmas Eve morn while little brother and I searched Santa’s treasures under whiffs of a fat needled tree.  Santa brought me a cherished doll that holiday.  Perhaps it was something to love me.  Soon Mama would be very busy with her own baby doll of new.

I remember hearing big tires drive-up on crushed pebbled stone.  Sound my ears heard before the car engine stopped.  Two heads peeked up and over the back of sofa springs to see out window panes in our itty-bitty house of asphalt shingled pink.

Through the front looking-glass, my budding brother and I saw Daddy-So-Young hurry to get out of our old weathered car.  Running to the other side, he opened Mama’s door.  Carefully, he lifted something from her arms.  What could it be?  Another gift for under the tree?  Cradling a pink bundle of newness in his big strong arms, Daddy helped Mamma gingerly step out onto that same crushed stone.  “Careful,” he said.

Inside our front door we gathered round our tiny living room.  The special Christmas present sounded like a mewing kitten.  Oh, how wonderful it would be!  No, beneath the pink flannel blanket lay tiny lids with lashes so long.  Creamy skin with yellow downy hair peeking out.  Snowflakes fell while melodies of Christmas Carols drifted from an old radio. Little brother saddled-up his rocking horse while “Chatty Cathy” looked at me from under silver tinsel smelling like pine.  I pulled on a white plastic “O” behind her head before carefully letting it go.  “I love you,” she said, over and over and over again.

Six years later my youngest sister was born on a fresh spring afternoon.  While laboring in the same hospital, my paternal grandfather lay dying of cancer a mere elevator button below.  Push…push.  Down, down.  My father’s heart broke with grief.  His own father’s life slipped away day by day.  Push…push.  Up, up.  Ecstatic joy.  God’s miracle bringing a very first cry of breath into this world.  Tears down cheeks…. Why now God, why?  The cycle of life.

It’s been many, many years since the three of us…. SISTERS…. have been able to get together…really together.  As adults, we have always lived so far apart from one another.  States apart.  Finally it was time.  An added plus was having my niece there to visit with us. She looks so much like her beautiful mother.  Truly, they look more like sisters themselves than mother and daughter.  Too, my brother-in-law was home as often as he could be.  The perfect host.  He cooked like a gourmet chef, drove us around like a limo-driver, and often laughed together with the rest of us.

It was the perfect time to relax, to talk and giggle from the deep of our bellies to the very tips of our toes.  We cried until we hugged in our little group of three while telling secrets of long ago.  Sometimes we bared our souls.  No longer little girls or young mothers who had dragged children across floors from pant legs, after all these years we had finally grown-up.

Chronic Conditions was a distant topic during this visit.  Various long-term illnesses have affected our families in one way or another throughout the years.  We empathize with each other and are bonded by them in a way.  Still, on this special visit, we got together without any specific plan or any list of things to do.  From one day to the next, we saw the world anew.

Each morning before the sun rose over my sister’s fence, I swam in her aquamarine pool.  The fresh cool water cleared the cobwebs from my mind while relaxing my body together with my spirit.  In the evening, the three of us sat by the candlelit water, talking until wee, wee hours of the morning while drinking red wine.  Afraid to go to bed, for fear we might miss something said!

Some days our merry group of three shopped in little boutiques for things we didn’t need but purchased ‘just because.’  We strolled along paths of Plano, Texas, stopping to taste the ice of gelato.  There, we let it melt until it slid down the back of our throats to cool the bottoms of our toasted, dry bellies.

One late afternoon, we discovered a delightful sidewalk café where guitar music strummed behind the wafting scents of Spanish food.  We ate a light appetizer while sipping the proprietor’s famous strawberry mojitos.  Such a nice waiter we had together with excellent service.  “Mariano” was his name, and I was proud to pronounce it like he did, with a roll of the tongue.  Ma..r’….iano.  No doubt, I repeated it more often than necessary.  So lyrical was the sound of his name.  Mariano.

My sisters and I had the most fun of all that afternoon.  Sitting in the open air with a slight blowing breeze we said whatever came to mind, without a care in the world.  We made patio friends with everyone!  “Mariano…”  Mariano….My youngest sister kept calling him “Mario.”  Silly we were by then.  I have to clarify by saying we are lightweights in the drinking department.  Although I dare say we had a better time than anyone on that outdoor patio, we drank no more than two drinks apiece!

Today, I am back to refreshed reality, but closer to my two sisters than ever before.  I can tell them anything.  They are and always will be my very best friends.  How I wish we lived closer to each other.  Until then, more trips like the one above are promised to each other each and every year.

Sisters…Friends Forever. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expiration Date


From the moment we wail into this world there is an ‘expiration date’ atop our head.  Perhaps it’s stamped invisibly to the bottom of our baby wrinkled feet.  Exposed and bittersweet, this fact of life slapped me in the face yesterday, leaving a white fingered imprint across my rose, blushed cheek.  In some small way, I might think of this as a “Chronic Condition” to be lived with until my dying day.

While at a family gathering, in arms still young with muscles strong, my sons held sleeping newborns while toddlers ran to play and jump and sing.  Older, ‘little’ ones giggled at Grandpa’s silly faces while striving for his special attention.  Sitting in her cushioned seat was my great-great aunt with vision all but gone together with wrinkles much like an infant’s first.

Looking about the room of celebration for my son’s birthday together with my aunt’s visit here, the whole of our lifetimes existed in that space..that single place.  Soon, the Senior Menu was placed in front of me.  Gathered around the wooden, weathered table were my sons still so young and strong.  So proud.  There were babies in the womb, a precious toddler of two, an infant barely born and another learning first steps, too!  And through my arm, my beloved elderly one with kind words full of wonder.

Soon the love of family chaos erupted over a brunch of steaming food on restaurant plates of white trimmed in navy blue.  My aunt sat next to me where I held her withered hand in order to ease any anxiety.  In her ear, a small hearing-aid had been placed.  Slowly, I described the location of her yellow scrambled eggs and slice of dry brown toast with fresh banana slices on the side.  She eats like a bird, but ‘sings’ like an A cappella choir.

Although it was difficult for my aunt to see, she enjoyed the many sounds of newness.  How delighted she was to hear the noises of  little ones.  Soothing, short panting puffs of breathing infants…in and out.  “Sleeping like angels in heaven at night,” she later said.   Across the table, toddler Gracie, sang nursery songs in silly rhyme….”Five Little Monkeys Jumping on My Bed.”  Clicking her tongue, the wee moppet head of bouncing curls clearly pronounced my aunt’s name for the very first time, G.R.E.A.T.- G.R.E.A.T……. A.U.N. T.  S.H.I. R.L.E.Y.   And, baby Briella, giggeled aloud with enormous smiles of laughter while popping chubby fists of squiggly yellow into her drooling mouth.

Later, in the quiet of the evening, my aunt began to speak of dear lost loved ones.  She is the last of her eight siblings.  Many of which she nursed before they passed on into the world of our next.  She spoke of her beliefs on pain before death, why God has His ways and what they meant to her.  Clearly, her long number of years upon this earth and inevitable mortality was on her mind.

Life…..a treasured gift never to be taken for granted.  For, each one of us has an expiration date.

 

 

Elderly Lessons


It seems like forever since I’ve written a post.  There’s been a deep longing within my mind.  Something missing inside of me.  Ten fingers on two hands tapping air above cool, cotton sheets.  In a silent dream, a horizontal black keyboard appears.  Letters printed in white.  No sound.  Motion only.  Subconsciously, a realization that fingertips, my own are moving now.  During sleep!  First up then down.  Body tossing back and forth.  Fitful.  Later, words appear during REM.  What was written in my head?  What was said?  Gone forever now.  A writer’s mind….

It’s only been a couple of days since I left my office space.  My burgundy swivel chair near the turret window here.  My oh-so-comforting half-moon desk across the well-worn computer to travel to the desert land of Arizona in order to meet my elderly great-aunt.  Still, it truly seems like a month or more since words have been written.

Travel is not as fun as it used to be when I was young.  Gone are the days when I use to dress in a nice nubby suit, breeze through the airport to grab a skinny cappuccino and read the newspaper before catching my plane.

Today, it’s comfortable clothing most people wear to travel in.  Two hours early is the recommended time to breeze through security.  Remove my shoes from my feet and belt from my jeans or the buzzer will go off.  Lift my hands above my head while someone wearing blue rubber gloves will pat my body down from head to toe.

When all is done, fight the crowds to W.A.I.T.  Hopefully, my plane will be on time.  Wait more seconds, more minutes…maybe more hours.  Get in line.  Squish in-between others before it’s time to board the shiny silver bird.  Sit down.  Hopefully, I didn’t forget to bring some food in case hunger pangs begin.  Whew….how much longer before this landing gear goes down?

Regardless, my trip to Arizona was well worth any travel discomfort I may have endured.  Shortly thereafter, I walked into the front door of a little stucco ranch house behind a tall Saguaro cactus.  Sitting at a white, Formica table was a dear, silver-haired 88-year-old lady whose suitcase had been packed and re-packed several times in anticipation of my arrival.  A borrowed black handbag sewn with many outside pockets to carry all of her medication including precious eye drops to treat glaucoma sat safely on her lap.

The next day, I promised her a smooth and easy non-stop flight back to St. Louis.  Although my great-aunt was comfortable in a wheel chair, she was still a bit anxious being out of her normal surroundings.  I was eager to board the plane and ready to be on our way.  Soon a pleasant voice announced over the loud-speaker our expectations were not to be.  Our magical jet plane had, “Mechanical Problems.”

I won’t go into detail, but most of yesterday was spent inside rather than outside the Phoenix airport.  It could have been a personal disaster, especially for my elderly great-aunt, but we turned it into something as close to wonderful as it could be.

Together, we reminisced.  We talked and laughed.  We strolled down streets to shop for what we didn’t need.  We languished over a two-hour lunch, pretending to be in an outdoor Paris café.  Afterward, we bit into luscious chocolates neither one of us had ever eaten before.

Today, the two of us are very tired.  My precious aunt is napping this afternoon after nibbling on a lunch while sitting outside in the coolness of my patio garden.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

How very thankful I am.  My great-aunt teaches me without speaking a word….    

Discoveries


Discoveries.  Those first time moments that might mean the moon to a toddler who is discovering them for the very first time.  What a gift it must be to see ‘newness’ each and every day.  A bug on the ground, stars in the sky, puppy dogs, or cherry pie.

During the last couple of days I’ve been tending to my soon-to-be grandchild, the daughter of my son’s fiancé.  Of course, she holds a golden key to the heart of my whole family with her cheerful disposition and a toothy smile that lights up the room with rays of shining sun.

Sick with a chronic ear-infection, the little one sucked down a bottle while I rocked her in an antique chair.  Together, we sat cuddled against a black caned back while sitting on a lovely needlepoint woolen pad long ago dyed in the color of blush rose.   Cushy, it protects the perfectly caned seat that matches the back.  The chair came to me from my father’s family and is very sentimental, right down to the squeaking sound it makes.  Back and forth….squeak….back and forth….squeak.

When Baby Briella, finished her bottle it was nap time so off to “Grandma’s” nursery we went.  Although she loves to crawl, she’s nearly walking at this point.  Sitting her down on the carpet, I emptied the crib of any stuffed toys or blankets she might pull upon her face.  When I turned around, this is what I found!  Quickly, I grabbed my I-phone to capture treasured moments never to be repeated.  For the very first time, at “Grandma’s” house, a cradle of baby dolls were discovered!

First time moments.  Priceless…..