Reflecting

Tonight is a little bit hard to write. I am hoping that on Monday we will have countertops for the bathroom. They have failed to be here several times and it makes me doubt that they will be here on Monday.

to lose a friend

Life continues to throw sadness at me. A friend of my husband’s has died. I know that both of us are feeling how fleeting life is. As we get older and is sometimes difficult to face the fact that you have few years left in front of you.

 

But most of the time that’s not what I think about. Most of the time I like to think about what can be done. What things can I do? How can I give someone a smile or a helping hand. Those are the things that seem to make my life worthwhile at this point.

Each time I can do something for someone there is a warmth that washes over me. I know that this is where my joy lies.There is nothing that can take away your own worries or sadness more than being of help to someone else.

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Not concentrating on yourself but thinking of others doesn’t allow thinking about yourself. Be of help to someone today. It will be the best help for you.

Awareness

Mental health day is here and I hope that those who do not suffer from these problems will look with kindness, compassion and most of all acceptance on those who suffer. We have to continue to aid awareness and understanding. We will not remain silent but will continue to seek hope for a new future.

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God bless all those who suffer from mental health issues!

Life goes on

Life continues to be interesting. This morning my Keurig quit. I use a golf cart to work in the yard. it is my workhorse. It wouldn’t go this morning and the cart that I hook to it has a ruined tire. I guess I should be happy since I have no plan to do yard work without it but there are things that need doing. Fortunately I have another coffee maker so life continues. Also my computer has gone to the hospital and I am using my laptop which I am poor at typing on so please forgive any flubs. Hopefully nothing else will go wrong.

what else

We have been told that next week countertops that are slowing any more progress on our bathroom will be installed next Tuesday. So we sit with nothing being done until next week. The good new is the rest will be done quickly??? I hope.

Someone recently questioned me why “at my age” I would do things like Community Conferencing, Mediations or other volunteering when I could be playing bridge or joining clubs. What a question! I believe that “at my age” we should be giving back with what we have gained through living this life. I explained that to them….probably to no avail. Oh well, I tried.

 

Mostly moms is the reality

raising aloneTimes are tough. There are many children who are being brought up by single moms. Most of the work hard and do their best for their children. Still, being without a spouse is doubly hard. I think it takes two parents. The stress on one parent is horrendous. We all need help and in the case of raising children it is critical.

Regardless of who is doing the raising having more than one person to be looked up to and hopefully emulated is so necessary. It is helpful if boys have some male in their life and a female for girls. This is not always possible but hopefully some other family member is able to step up and help.

raising alone 2When we grew up in small towns there were many others to help. It really does “take a village” to raise a child. The more adults loving and molding growing up the better. Many of the children I am seeing now have only one parent and it is most frequently the mother. We need to grow the organizations “big brothers” and “big sisters” to fill in the gaps. children who are mentored do so much better. If not they seek affirmation from all the wrong people.

We must care for our youth

Somewhat normal?

love-warming-your-soulThis is the first day that things have felt somewhat normal. We put everything back on the porches and cleaned up some of the mess. There are small tree limbs and scattered pine and oak stuff everywhere.  It will take a while to get it clear but we are lucky that’s all there is.

 

It is nice to see the sun today. Sunshine always makes me feel better. Now I have some catching up to do with my Community Conference case for next week. Back to routine.

How-To-Help-Teens-After-Rehab-676x400This volunteer work really is important. Everyone involved is hoping that it will help to keep kids from the courts and keep their lives on a better track. It gives me a good feeling to try to help. The schools have become so strict regarding what kids can do that sometimes it is overkill. We have had children sent to court for drawing a picture of a gun. Hopefully the program will be able to see if this is a truly troubled child or just one who wasn’t thinking. After all, they are still children. Maybe some who need help can be sent to the right people.

It is nice to be thinking about this instead of constantly watching the Weather Channel and the storm. I hope the storms showing up now don’t affect anyone.

You raise me up!

I have always loved this song. It is such a powerful message. I don’t know how you see the meaning…whether it is God you see or someone dear to you. Either way it speaks clearly of being affirmed and loved. I can see my God and my family/friends in it. I have been held up so many times in my life. In any crisis or when I don’t trust myself someone has been there to encourage and lift me up.

It must be so difficult to live without this kind of assurance. I know that I am blessed to have it. Some don’t have family they can count on or the sort of friends who stick through anything.

It has been said that to have this support from others we have to be there when they need support and I have found that to be true for me. Being there through thick and thin is what it is about for me.

I was also blessed to grow up in a family who had God as a core belief. They were not concerned about denomination or intricate doctrine. Just the underlying support of a loving God.

 

Volunteering with program to divert children from the Court System

Today I finished cleaning out the bathroom that is to be renovated. It will be nice to be able to shower in the middle of the shower instead of standing against the wall. The shower has leaked through the door in spite of our many efforts to stop it.

Tomorrow we have the workmen coming in and will live in the other bath until it is done. No leak and some other needed fixes will be wonderful.

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I have begun using my volunteer time to do Community Conferencing. The program hopes to keep children out of the Juvenile Court system by having all parties to a problem sit down and find a solution themselves. If we can divert even one child from exposure to consequences that may bring drastic life changes it will be worth the time.

I hope that through the process the children are also able to learn that actions come with consequences. It is something that should be learned early on to keep the consequences from being life altering.

Taking in strays with love

There are some days when you don’t feel the least bit creative. Recently I realized that I have written almost every day since July of 2017. How in the world have I managed to do that? I guess I can say that my brain is running all the time. I wish I could have the kind of ideas that would produce a novel but that is not me.

I think a lot about helping other people. I grew up in a family who cared deeply about others and helped where they could. Over the years I have made the comment that we “take in strays.” My parents had two war wives living with us during WWII. They were there for years until their husbands came home. They got jobs and became part of our family. For me, they were like extra aunts. I grew up enjoying a variety of people.

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During my teen years we had two school teachers living with us. They were the big sisters I never had. I learned so much from them including how to sing harmony. We washed dishes in the evening and sang.

I learned early on that for me, sharing problems made them less scary. I also was there for anyone who wanted to lessen their own stress. This was also true in college when I seemed to attract all those with were seeking a listening post.

Our travel during my husband’s military service exposed me further to different places and different faces. Life was varied and good.

My husband retired from the service after 20 years and since then we have been in one place. We have continued the family tradition and have housed friends of our kids and one friend of ours who was with us for a year after the kids were gone. People asked why we would have someone move in with us until our friend painted all my kitchen cabinets. Then they wanted to know if he could live with them.

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We have no one extra right now except for our two rescued bassets. They are such a blessing to us. I continue being a sounding board for others and am able to share my joys and griefs with friends. There are always challenges and things that make me step back and struggle but I will keep on exploring all that life will bring me.

Thank you for reading these ideas and thoughts through the years.

The Knit Wits

My friend and I have started an knit/crochet group meeting at a local coffee shop/restaurant. We have been meeting for quite a while but the group has suddenly begun to grow. It seems that we are gaining women who enjoy creating something beautiful while spending time with others. No phones, no media, just us. Since this meets at about 11:00 am we don’t have a lot of young women who can come but there are some young moms who stay at home with children who may want to join. I hope this happens. It will be a wonderful opportunity to share our old ideas and learn new ones.

The atmosphere of the place engenders pleasure and calm. It is like being in one’s home without having to clean and cook. This is an oasis on the islands where we live. There are sofas and lounge chairs where you can just chill. I love this place. The Friendship Coffee Company

Help where you can!

Yesterday I didn’t write which is unusual for me. I spent the afternoon with my friend while someone came to get a history on her husband and help to evaluate her husbands mental status. He has had such a devastatingly physical journey that it has taken its toll. It took all afternoon to get it all down on paper.

She wanted me there because I have been on a good bit of this journey with her and could help with the history. Just having someone write it all down made me realize what an extensive and harrowing time it has been.

I feel so humbled by how she has weathered this whole scenario and my heart aches for all she has been through with him. I don’t think anyone can appreciate the level of exhaustion and stress seen when a long illness puts their partner into the caregiving role.

fragile

It is so important for caregivers to have time away from the situation. Without it their physical and mental status is at risk. It is a blessing when help can be afforded but in some cases that is not possible.

Most people just keep going and hate to ask for help. Frequently there are friends, neighbors, church members or others who would be willing to sit for a while with the ill person. When they do it is important for the caregiver to do something for themselves…..meet friends for lunch, go outdoors away from home, or whatever rejuvenates them. Too often they take that time for errands and tasks that must be done. This may be necessary but even a short while doing something they love will help.

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If you know someone who is a caregiver take the time to offer help. Be specific. Tell them you can sit for them or run errands or, if they can, take them out. Caregivers need all the help we can give. It is so easy to continue with our own agenda but remember those who have no time for themselves.