She lived!

In the last week a dear dear person I knew died. Her life was everything we are called to be. She had a loving family and loved and cared for them every day of her life. She loved God and often wrote wonderful posts about his love and his care for her. She never lost this nearness to God even in the darkest of times.

Her name was Elaine. I first met Elaine as a Parish Nurse and her health journey would have crushed most of us early on. She was determined to live every moment of her life in spite of all the doctors who couldn’t see her going on for long. She not only went on but went on with joy. She traveled, boated, spent time with family and friends. She shared her joy with everyone and each day was one to be explored and lived. She lived! Each and every day she lived!

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Now she is gone but never forgotten. Her example will remain with all of those who knew her and spur us on to live fully every moment. She has transitioned to be with the God she loved and who she knew with her whole being loved her. While those of us here are saying goodbye others are welcoming her home. Good journey Elaine.

Music feeds the soul

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Today I had fun making some playlists for my Amazon Alexa. Now I have some of my favorite music ready to go. Music has always transformed me. Just sitting and listening I can feel my body relaxing. Music feeds my soul.

As a youngster (too young for clubs) my father would nevertheless take me with him to hear great musicians. He loved New Orleans Jazz. He knew most of the people and they knew he wouldn’t order me drinks.

I also played piano and took lessons until college. My teacher was friend with some of the great pianist of the time and I got to meet Rubenstein…a big thrill for me.

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I have always loved all kinds of music. I was exposed to everything. There is hardly anything that I don’t like. I can get tired of some things. Being the age I am I also can’t get playing music so loud that you damage your hearing. I like loud but there is a limit.

I have often wondered about the damage to the hearing of some young people. I am sure they don’t realize that those little hairs in the ears can fail if pushed too far. It really is too bad but maybe good for the hearing-aid people. It is also interesting to me with all the ability of electronics today that someone doesn’t make a hearing aid that really works for a reasonable price.

Happy Valentine’s Day

There are stories about where Valentine’s day originated. Most versions have to do with a Valentius. All the stories agree that he was a hero who helped during the early Christian days in Rome whether by marrying young men against the orders of Claudius II or by helping Christians imprisoned by the Romans. February 14th may have been chosen by the Roman Catholic Church in order to coincide with a festival dedicated to one of the Roman gods. During its history the church did this for several holidays to make it easier for cultures to shift to Christianity.

None of this matters in the big scheme of things.

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Hope your Valentine’s Day has been filled with joy and love!

Share joy, hope, love

It is night but after the night comes the morning. And with the morning there are new opportunities . There is so much to be shared. People who need love, hope, joy. Each of us needs to do what we can to bring that to others. Our sharing can make all the difference in someone else’s life. It doesn’t have to be physical things. If we have things we can share that others need that is a blessing. But to share ourselves is more important. For by giving love to others we enhance our own lives as well.

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It is easy to get tangled up in “why do we do things? For ourselves or for others?” There is no confusion… we do it for both. We are not free from receiving good from the ways we reach out. It happens. But we can’t dismiss it as being selfish alone. Out helping others can bring them love, hope and joy. It can also bring the same things to us. That is not a wrong thing. It is just the way it works. God wants us to derive pleasure from helping others. It’s joy will remind us to keep on giving.

In my life I loved getting gifts. Interestingly enough, I now get more joy from the giving of them. There is something about the faces we see when we share of our belongings and especially of ourselves.

Share, share share. Don’t be afraid. You will not lose….you will gain!

Be creative..especially for others

Tuesday is a day that I always look forward to. On Tuesdays I meet with friends for knitting and conversation. We are a group who before starting this group did not know each other. We are all different. We are from different countries, different social groups. This makes the group inspiring and conversation is stimulating.

To add to it we are also being creative. One of the members is an amazing artist and does many pencil drawings for children to color. Each of us is creating something usually in yarn but not always. Most of the things we create are for others. We also offer free help teaching  to knitting for anyone who want to learn. This group is such a joy.

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scarf for one of my granddaughters

I have been knitting since I was a child. It reminds me of the my wonderful mother and the many things she taught me. The motion of my hands and the creating of something both beautiful (I hope) and useful have a calming effect. Knitting can allow the brain to rest (if not too complicated)  and the mind to let go of stresses. Seeing the finished product brings joy. Now that I have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren it is fun to do things for them and for friends.

There is more to learn

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Yesterday we had a high in the 80’s. Last night it went down to 45. For us that is winter. Where is fall? I actually enjoy the cooler weather and look forward to having a fire in the fireplace.

One of the most difficult things about growing older is when you begin losing friends and contemporaries. Going to funerals is not much fun. The only blessing is that most of them have lived good, fruitful lives. You can be grateful for the time you have known them and the joy they have brought to life.

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I don’t mean to sound depressing. Most of the time growing older feels to be just another phase of life. It has some incredible joys and blessings. I have experienced so much and learned so much and writing has allowed me to continue to share. I try to appreciate each day. One of the hardest things is to learn to live fully each and every day. Time is not to be wasted but experienced. If only we could learn to let go of living in the past or the future and just be where we are at the moment.

Treat yourself

At our knitting group today I really indulged myself and ate a piece of cheesecake. It was fabulous! I don’t do that often and for some reason felt like I deserved it.

There are times when we should please ourselves. It is too easy to get caught into not treating ourselves. Turn loose of any guilt. We are allowed to do something nice for ourselves. Find something that you enjoy and do it.

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Take a bubble bath

Have a glass of wine

Go to a movie

Spend time with a friend

Have something special to eat

I’m sure that you could add many things to the list. Take the time to treat yourself!

Don’t fear

It is a funny thing about love. We really can’t experience the fullness of it unless we are open to it. Being open, however, puts us at risk of being hurt. That is the trade off.

vulnerableSometimes we choose to love someone and are hurt by that person. It happens to everyone. Sitting back in fear gets us nowhere. I know people who have spent their lives alone because they couldn’t accept the uncertainty. Love is rarely certain.

We take a risk when we choose to love. I have taken that risk more that once and been hurt. I also took that risk 56 years ago when I married my husband. That risk paid off. Not all of them do.

For me, a life without love is a barren life. Yes, I have been hurt by relationships. Sometimes even those we think of as friends can hurt us terribly. It takes time to know a person well and the person we see at the beginning may be wearing a mask. We may not find out until later what is underneath.

I know someone who was married for years only to discover the person she loved was a criminal. We can be fooled.

Is it worth it? Yes, yes and yes! If the love is lost we will experience pain. We learn from the pain and become someone who has more depth. If it lasts it brings joy.

Don’t stay away from love out of fear. It is one of the most fruitful things in life. You can’t afford to not live fully!

Grandparenting– great fun!

I am so bummed. I can’t manage to get my IBSD under control. It is better than it was but still giving me problems. I feel bad complaining because I don’t have the problems that many people have. The hardest part is not being in control

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There is a new baby about to be born into our family and the mother is sure that her child will be perfect. I suspect that most of us felt that way before we had children. We had expectations that were usually completely wrong. When we are young and naive we think that everything will go the way we expect…and then life begins.

 

When we have children life is no longer in our control. It really isn’t anyway but we don’t realize that until things go wrong. Children are their own selves and have their own minds and personalities. Every day is a new experience. It is amazing how quickly they get smarter than their parents. They are superior at reading moods, finding loopholes and pitting parents against each other.

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It makes me glad that I am a grandparent and great-grandparent and can love the children and send them home. Life is good!

It’s the little things

Why-I-do-What-I-do-to-Spread-the-Joy-of-Creating-with-your-HandsLately I have an increased love of baking. It has resulted in extra bread at home and the problem is making sure that we don’t eat all of it. I am giving a good bit away and plan to keep doing that. There is something therapeutic about kneading dough. You can beat out all of your frustrations. Then there is the smell you get in the whole house when it is done.

Creating something that works out is a real boost. Just to be able to say to yourself “well done.” There are so many things in life that we can never see the results or have someone tell you it was a good job.

There are a few things that I like to do because they provide instant gratification. One is mowing the lawn. There is something about seeing the neat rows where the lawnmower has been that give me a lift. The smell of new mown grass reminds me of my childhood. My father mowed in the summer evenings when the days were long. As a child I was put to bed early but the open windows in my room brought in the smell of the mown grass. It brought a sense of peace and comfort to me.

happiness-quote-its-the-little-things-in-life-2065I also like making a bed. Just looking at the neat covers when done gives me satisfaction. I can leave the room knowing that it is completed. It doesn’t matter that usually no one else sees it. It is done for me.

Some things that give us pleasure are simple and it is so easy to skip them. Just taking the few minutes to make something look better can boost our mood for the day.

Find the small things that increase your joy. Don’t skip them out of laziness. They can make a huge difference in your whole day.