Connecting Beyond

LR edited (1 of 1)

If change is what you want
in this world
change must first begin
with you.
This includes to choose
to end
the blame game

and change only what you can —

Macro Photography Without Tripod/ “Change” 2016©AmyRose

View original post

Friends Among Cabbages

The grocery store was awash with shoppers filling carts of silver wire on rolling wheels of four. Rounding the bend I spotted plastic jugs of milk, a sack of red potatoes and two boxes of Mini-Wheats heading straight away. I swerved to the side before racing a plush bunny in blue. One long and lean leg swung over the side, enjoying the ride. And, just in front of him was a young woman checking her list, pushing a buggy brimming with apples and oranges, boxes of diapers and a tall can of whip cream tipping next to mold of bright green J.e.l.l.o.

Slowly, I scanned the array of fresh, red meats, not sure of what to fix or eat. My kids were coming to stay with grandbabies too. I needed something easy to throw in a pot, to cook all day while I finished working. What would it be for me?

Just then, an elderly man of about 75 years or more, tapped my shoulder.

“Excuse me, do you know where I might find the corned beef?” “Hmmm…it should be right here,” I responded. “Let me find it for you.”

I scanned the coolers, but couldn’t find corned beef anywhere. “Do you think we should ask someone,” inquired the man with the kind moon face. His hair was balding blonde, and his eyes were clear and crystal blue. Looking into them, I sensed something faraway, as if he felt all alone in the world.  Surprisingly, he took my hand to introduce himself.

“Hello, my name is John, what is your name?”

“Kim,” I answered, grasping his long fingers in my own.

“Kim, that’s a beautiful name. Nice to meet you.”

John smiled, making me blush. A warmth surrounded him, making me feel comfortable, and happy to meet him. I went on to find an employee of the store who soon discovered a fresh batch of corned beef in the back room.

“How do you cook it,” John asked? “It’s just me, this year,” he said, bending his head.

With a gentle smile, I told him how my mother used to cook corned beef. “She added a plump head of cabbage with a bunch of carrots before dropping in red potatoes together with an onion and spices. Then, she simply cooked all of it together in one big pot,” I added with a big grin!

“Thank you!” John’s spirits were starting to lift. Perhaps my enthusiasm was rubbing off on him a bit?

“You know, John, I’m glad I met you,” I said, scooping up a package of corned beef. “This sounds really good to me!”

Together, John and I rolled over to the cabbage bin, new friends by happenstance.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Enough Already!

Each and every year during the holiday shopping days of December, tips of my fingers feel the softness of sleeping baby dolls.  Ears listen to Thomas’s bright red engine while colored buttons with bright lights flash and shout, “Green, Tri-Angle” or “Blue-Circle!”  With new grandchildren climbing aboard my own train this Christmas, my shiny cart of silver steel was filled to the brim, barreling toward the nearest check-out, albeit missing one black wheel.

The next day, assorted piles surrounded me.  I sat on our maple floor of stained cinnamon.  Behind and to my right, a beautiful golden glow exhaled from inside the fireplace.  Deep, coffee-colored knots, striations of grain and other imperfections shined within the wood of long, wide planks.  “What a picture,” I marveled to myself.  “One that only nature could begin to paint.”

Sorting gifts into piles, I quickly realized that I had far too many presents!  Did my two-year old grand-daughter really need three different baby dolls, one that even sparkled and shined?  Could my precious one year old change a ‘pretend’ diaper or whisper a doll to sleep in a new stuffed rocking chair?  Is it possible for my little 8 month old grand-son to dump a truck or play the drums?”  And the twins…well, they aren’t even here yet.  Still, Santa’s bag has several presents to put under the tinseled tree for the two nearly-to-be.

Enough Already!

Grabbing a couple of plain brown paper bags, I began to fill them with toys and clothes my grandchildren really don’t need.  Instead, there are other kids who truly do.  Tomorrow I’m off to one of the local charities in our community.  A nondescript block building where volunteers collect food, clothing and toiletries for all kinds of people.  People who are much like you and me.  Some are sick while others have lost their jobs.  Many work, but can’t quite make it from month to month.  Others have no home to call their own except for a car parked at the curb.   There are young families, elderly couples, single parents and veterans who have proudly served our country.  Shhhh…rumor has it that Santa will be stopping by, passing out toys to every little girl and boy!

Another lesson learned for me.  Little ones in life simply want the precious gift of time.  That alone is pure magic, enough to light a candle of wonder behind dreaming eyes of innocence.

Enough Already!



The Memory Journal

When I close my eyes, her smile is tilted slightly towards the sky, as if receiving a silent message meant for her soul alone.  She had an outward beauty of course, but her inward beauty was unsurpassed.  Calm in times of insurmountable struggles, tremendous trials and personal loss, she had an inner peace that gave her strength.  She was one of my father’s sisters who was diagnosed with a rare chronic illness named, Friedreich’s Ataxia.  She was my special Aunt Joan.

Aunt Joan was a nurse by trade.  As a young woman, she took care of the sick and needy in a Michigan hospital.  She married a strict Lutheran Preacher with a dry sense of humor.  In turn, she became a minister’s wife who eventually bore and raised four children.  I often thought my mother was in a ‘race’ of sorts with her.  Together with my father’s other five sisters, they were forever having babies.  During family gatherings, some of my cousins and I peered under soft yellow blankets to catch the wrinkles of newborns cradled in their laps.  I was part of the older group.  It was our job to barricade running toddlers before they trashed our grandmother’s goods.  We were a lot like the “Kennedy’s” in that way, except our family was never rich or famous.

I don’t remember the order of such, whether Aunt Joan’s diagnosis came before or after her older sister, Helen.  They were fairly close in time, as I recall.  Either way, Aunt Joan was quite young.  I believe she learned of it soon after she bore her fourth and last child, a son.  She named her baby, Paul after my father who became his Godfather.   How difficult her life must have been, tending to four young children in addition to being the picture-perfect Pastor’s wife?  All this while living with such a devastating chronic condition?   If she ever questioned God, no one knew.  Instead, Aunt Joan was full of gentle smiles, taking her condition in stride while raising her brood of children proudly. Even after her body did not respond to her brain’s unmistakable commands, she persevered.  My aunt never complained.  Not ever.  Not after forty years or more.  Not even later in life when she lost her youngest son to a another chronic condition.  Life was not fair.

All of my aunts have given me exceptional gifts.  Life Lessons that can’t be learned by reading books or researching on a computer.  Growing up, I must have taken subliminal notes scribbled in invisible ink.  Lucky for me to have filed them away in a memory journal to be discovered during my own times of adversity.  Thank you, Aunt Joan.  For your life and the wisdom your shared with me.

Bless you together with your loved ones in heaven above.

English: My Heaven

Edited from one of my earliest posts 11/16/13 in dedication to my Aunt Joan