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

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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!



It was time for a break. Time to relax.

Last week, I traveled with my husband along the shores of Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. He worked and I guess I did too. For me, it felt different in some way. Quieter, more refreshing and relaxing, I’d say.

Early last week I tapped tips of fingers upon new keys of a plastic laptop while sitting across a wide lake of painted blues. Swirls of foam slowly leapt over twinkling beige sand. Gray and white seagulls wearing orange beaks flew high above before diving deep for fresh fish. Yes, I was writing. But, no way, no how, did my mind or fingers feel like they were working. Instead, it was inspiration time! My body was planted in a wooden chair of slats across the beauty of sun soaked aqua. It hadn’t felt so free in a long, long time.

Our hotel room looked at a vast lake of water-color blues under a sky of the same with clouds of cotton floating every which way. We were fortunate to have a balcony with a view of children playing in the sand. Toys on land. Plastic pails dipped in red, dump trucks painted yellow and shovels in blue, too.

A quick change of clothes for the two of us before strolling along the beach. Time to touch the water of clear, feel the cool and hang our feet over the edge of the dock. Gazing at our good fortune, we saw sparkling sand on the bottom while seaweed of emerald-green drifted upward toward the sun. Rocks of all shapes sat plopped in piles here and there, reminding me of a child’s building blocks. Nearby, colored fins in baby sizes swam through oval openings of hidden hallways under welcoming waves.

Along our way home, we passed a beautiful stream feeding into the lake. It’s where I often stopped to read a book or write words away. That particular afternoon we observed a local artist nearby who painted in a Plein Air technique. Brush-paint-swish-dab-stroke. Repeat. He taught art at the local high school and so enjoyed working with his students. His smile was serene, so happy he was to live his life. Yes, he was truly relaxed.

Very early the next morning, when all of nature’s creatures and most of the earth was still asleep, a great storm raged across the lake. Flags blew atop tall metal poles at winds of nearly 50 miles per hour.

My husband opened the screen door of our balcony to view sheets of rain running like miniature mice across the street. Lake waters could not be distinguished from the sky. The color of water appeared to be dove-gray, meeting the horizon where the two seemingly became one and the same.

During the next hour, my husband and I lay under down linens, cold from the open air above, yet warm underneath. Sounds of the storm danced soothingly in our ears. Cool and fresh, slight sprays of mist blew between miniature squares of rusted screen. Deep thunder growled low in the back of God’s throat, while lighting flashed above an angel’s halo of gold.

Our senses were exposed to newness in the ink of that early morn. Hearing, Smell, Sight and Touch. Before, and into the dawn of day, relaxation set in.

Inspiration needs fuel in order to ignite the best of our imaginations. Give yourself the gift of taking a break. Your body, mind and spirit will be better for it.


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Be Thankful

Sometimes I forget how lucky I am.  Maybe I just take it for granted.  Yes, my grown children live with chronic conditions.  No, I do not know what tomorrow may bring.  As a mother, I will forever remember the days of yesterday, when technology and medicine was far behind what it is today.  Life was a blink away from a door that scared me so.  Instead, I slammed it shut so I would never know.

From the day my children were diagnosed, I remember saying to them, “Be thankful for what you have, it could always be much worse.”  My boys were only three and six, back then.  Before I knew it, they grew from toddlers into teens, morphing into young men.  A dozen words that could have been a fortune cookie message ended up leaving a billboard imprint on their lives.

I was reminded of that time in my life last weekend while visiting the zoo.  It was a warm and sunny day here in St. Louis.  After such a long and frigid winter, it felt almost balmy.   Like beach weather without the sand near ocean land.  The gift shop should have been selling plastic pails with shovels to match the sunny day.

At the gorilla exhibit, I saw a magnificent Silverback weighing nearly 600 pounds.  He was one of the most beautiful creatures I had ever seen.  Around the corner and under a tunnel of sorts, was a large Plexiglas window to view their outdoor living quarters.  Children and adults alike could watch the ‘family’ who lived there climb wooden ladders, swing on ropes, dig in the dirt, or simply sit under the shade of the trees.

Directly behind the window sat a large gorilla with his head tucked under a blanket, peeking out as if to tease all who peered at him.  Crowds gathered while children pushed forward to get a better look.  In the very back was a young mother who pushed her son ahead, as well.  I was off to the side, watching her.  She was timid and shy, I could tell.  Her son was a handsome young boy of about six or seven, I guessed.  He wore jeans with a red cardinal baseball hoodie tied loosely around his waist.  Atop his head was a snatch of sandy blonde hair.  I saw them later and remember how it glowed in the light of the sun.

Like all mothers everywhere, she loved her son as much or more than any other one.  She bent down to tell him so.  She tried to push him several times to view the world on the other side of the plastic glass.  The crowd would not let her through.  Finally, an older man tried to help by making a path of sorts, enabling her to nudge her son to the front of the window.  Seeing the big gorilla playing under his striped blanket delighted the child, making him smile with glee.

The young mother was happy then, standing next to her son’s wheelchair, where she brushed his sandy colored hair with the palm of her hand.

Yes, I’m lucky and my boys are too.  Be thankful for what you have.  There is a lesson here.