Today’s Blog

You’re Always My Home. Never Obsolete.

Wow! I discovered some ancient electronic devices yesterday, in the Babe’s office closet. A Garmin. A camera with film still in it. A full camera setup you could print photos from when it’s docked. There are three or four boxes of “ink” cartridges for it. We got it when the grandbabies started to come. It was perfect. Fourteen years ago!

And then the very first digital camera we purchased. It was in 2001. We attended Stephens Ministry Training in Orlando and saw Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jr. driving in the 24 Hours of Daytona. They drove Porsche’s. I remember this, because the Babe accidentally erased all the photos we took that day. The Museum. The part of the race we saw. It was upsetting at first, but we remember that day. And we shared it. No big deal, in the grand scheme of things.

So here we are, gathering things to de-clutter a closet. I do remember the fun we had learning to use those advances in technology. Until the next one came along. When the kids started getting married, we bought a movie camera! Wow. That was a hard one to part with. We just never used it. And now, all those things that were once another item are now included on your cell phone. I will probably keep the last slimline camera we bought. It would produce adequate photos without having to scale them down for use on WordPress.

And just like that digital camera, we can have do-overs every day of our lives. God gives another chance to do good things. I love signs all over the house. We have some from Redline Steel. It’s a company we have followed on Facebook. They have specials all the time, offering a free item for a delivery fee. The sign, “Thankful Grateful and truly Blessed,” was one the Babe picked out. We talk often of how good God’s been to us. We try to live that gratitude every day.

Somehow, I picked out two of this sign:

Two of these? No Problem! I’ll use them both.

For us, the word home is almost sacred. Like Church. No matter where we live, as long as each other are there, we’re home. I’ve been able to leave every home I’ve lived in without tears. Moving on is a natural part of life. I’m sure new good times will happen in a new-to-us home. Billy Joell sang a song titled “You’re My Home.” I love it. The Babe’s my home, and I am his. We truly are Blessed. This home is our favorite. Ranch style, three bedrooms, large kitchen, living room with gas fireplace. Laundry on the same level. We’ve made upgrades to the counter tops, master bath, added new paint, and a beautiful fence. It’s us.

Loving someone for nearly 25 years is an accomplishment these days. It’s not impossible. Meeting in our 40’s was a good thing. We both knew what we didn’t want. We learned quickly to trust each other. It wasn’t easy after a lifetime of disappointments for each of us. We were mature enough to know what was really worth arguing about. We are home with each other. Nothing goes obsolete with us. We value between us. We respect each other, and our relationship. Every day is new. I love our time together.

I’m going to spend the rest of the day (until my back cries for mercy) going through the “stuff” in the Babe’s office. And today is the last Carol Gino session about being more aware of what’s around you. It should be interesting. Be Safe out there, my friends. Be Grateful. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Thoughtful. Masks and Vaccinations. We’ll rebound better than before. Together. See you tomorrow!

Thursday Tidbits

I’m sharing a video today of a show from Nebraska News Network, called Quarantine Tonight. Last night, they featured a local band, the Ken Sitler Band. They play Eagles, Pearl Jam, Rock and Roll, and some original songs. Very accomplished musicians. I believe in broadening my musical horizons. It’s a good show, and different from my normal taste. And I like it! You may, too.

Orestes said, “Often the test of courage is not to die, but to live.” How very true that is. Why? When I was young, I thought my only life and goal was to be a wife and mother. I honestly knew in my heart I would die, I would cease to exist if anything happened to my husband or children. God showed me that wasn’t true.

When my oldest son drowned and was revived the summer between kindergarten and first grade, I felt that fact hit me square in the face. My son was in the hospital with possible brain damage, and I was still functioning. I was still taking care of his little brother Nick, I was still pregnant with my daughter, and God sent me many messages that blew my childish beliefs out of the water.

My marriage fell apart, and I didn’t die. Instead, I flourished. God gave me the courage to live, and to make my life so much fuller by leaving. It’s been such a great experience these last nearly 40 years. Sometimes you have to break things apart to make them whole again. I learned. I grew. I flourished. My son was normal, and he’s a very special spirit. I’m sure he saw God that day. He had more things to do. He’s one of the happiest and calmest people I have ever met. I do think my daughter felt my emotional turmoil when the accident happened. I don’t think that can be hidden from a baby growing inside of a mother’s body. I worried she would have issues upon her birth. She didn’t. I was so grateful.

I stood against the destructive patterns I formed and observed growing up. I didn’t treat my kids as I was treated. In doing that, I probably missed giving them what they needed; I gave them what was missing from me. If I could have a re-do, I’d take it. But I can’t. All I can do is ask for forgiveness where it’s appropriate. Create healthier boundaries, guidelines for what I’ll tolerate and what I won’t. Respect demands that of us. We were meant to live bigger than we do. I’m learning some of that with Carol Gino this week. She is a very wise woman about how spirits work in our lives. I’ve had that happen, with my son drowning and when my dad died. It’s quite powerful.

It’s up to us where our lives are headed. Yes, we can choose to be stagnant. Or we can choose to grow and evolve. It’s easy to curl up and want to die. It’s hard to stand and face the fury of life. The strength you can develop is unbelievable at first, until you grow to rely on it. It’s part of who you are. It’s part of what you’ve hidden because God knows why. Don’t hide your light anymore. Show it to the world. Your story could be just what someone needs to hear. Thank you for reading today. Be Kind. Be Courageous. Gain Strength. Gain Resolve. Use your superpowers for good. See you tomorrow. Be Careful out there!

Discovery Wednesday

It’s a cloudy, humid day at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. It’s supposed to rain later today, right at the time Gavin has his first ball game! Oh wow. I hope we get to attend. I missed baseball the most last summer! I’m sure the game will be made up if its a rain-out.

More straightening up will be in order after we visit a bit. I haven’t accomplished as much as I’d like to, I found some baby pictures of our three year old granddaughter Kayla Jolee. She is such a cutie. I’m not allowed to share photos of those grandkids, and I will respect the parents’ wishes.

Today, I’m embarking on a Soul Discovering voyage. I think it will be interesting. I want to live a fuller life, and be more aware of life around me. I look forward to it at 2 p.m. today. Carol Gino, an author, nurse, and companion to Mario Puzo (who wrote the Godfather), it leading the soul searching endeavor, to find out what our souls are looking for. More tomorrow on that.

The rain has started and it’s too cold for us to be sitting in the rain. I truly believe the game will be postponed to another date. Darn! But we’ll meet our friends for dinner later. So, we’ll have a nice evening after all.

Today I received my first official piece of junk mail for Jewell Publishing, LLC. It was addressed to my attorney, at this address. How funny. The Babe handed it to me since it was the attorney’s name, OR Payroll Manager. Haha! I need a bank account first! Haha!

One area of human behavior I’ve never understood is wishing or delighting in someone’s misfortune or harm. The book I read that in further explained how a crowd gathers at accidents, fire scenes, and seem to be more excited than empathetic. I don’t believe that is what’s in every onlookers heart. It’s not in mine. Rendering aid is my first thought. Helping. Some of us are more geared towards that.

Whenever we delight in the misfortune of others, we demonstrate two things for sure: We don’t know all the facts, nor do we know what anyone deserves. God’s the only one with knowledge of those two things. So we can reap what we sow, let’s wish others good things, so we may reap what we sow. Let’s work on that today. Root out Schadenfreude. That is a German word for “Delighting in the Troubles of Others.” Let’s get rid of that. It’s destructive. Be Kind. Be Empathetic. Thanks for reading, we’ll see each other tomorrow! Blessings!

Acceptance

As people living on this earth, we’re never done growing and improving. It doesn’t matter if you’re an addict in recovery or a person simply trying to be a better person. We will never be finished! That is the blessing and the curse of being a person in this imperfect world.

It’s difficult to admit we’re not perfect. But you know what? After you are honest with yourself, it’s quite a load off your mind and soul. Accepting you’re not perfect helps a lot. And God loves us just as we are. He’ll give us every last chance there is, that’s how much he loves us. If nothing gives you goosebumps, that should. We get a lifetime of do-overs. What luck!

As we grow and change, we may or not want what we wanted ten or twenty years ago. That is especially true of things that keep us from achieving what we need to achieve in our lives. I have learned that despite the fact I only ever wanted to be a Mom, there are many, many years beyond being a Grandmother that can yield some awesome things; creations you’ve always dreamed of, getting to do more than you ever thought possible, and learning more than you could imagine.

There is a vitality in learning. In taking risks to do something you’ve never done before. In putting yourself out there for the world to see. Some will love what you do. Some will not. Will that stop you? I think not. As you go along, you have a new community you enter. Other people who love what you do. Others who understand your new found passion. Others who encourage you. It’s grand. Some will not be happy for you. Some will not understand why you want to work so hard when you’re retired. And that’s fine. You remember where you came from. You still love your people. You are not willing to accept the status quo. You want to push your limits, within reason. “Go for it,” I say! Why not?

We’re all born to reach towards love. We all reach towards our needs, in love and in life. Some lessons we learned weren’t universal. We are lovable. We can love. Our ideas aren’t wrong or crazy. Just because you’re different doesn’t mean you’re wrong or crazy. Since I almost always had my own room, I practically lived there while I was growing up. The old Beach Boys song, “In My Room” was one I related to on every level. I drew, designed fashion, wrote plays, and tried to draw. Mom always said, “You should quit trying to draw people. They’re terrible!” Thanks, Mom. I’d like to learn how to someday. My bucket list is long, and has numerous items like learning to paint. Learning to draw. Finish every quilt I’ve ever loved. All creative endeavors. My soul feels so good while I’m writing, learning, sewing, quilting, all the stuff I love to do.

I’m gradually carving more time out for all of this by correcting my bad habits that sabotage me. I’m not scolding myself when I fail. Some days I do. It’s ok. Tomorrow I won’t. Baby steps towards more life in my hours. And being positive. I would have never made it this far if I hadn’t always tried to be positive. So far, it’s worked for me.

On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, author, nurse, and companion to Mario Puzo, Carol Gino is holding a three day Facebook Challenge about discovering the rest of your soul – and adding a new level of consciousness to your life. I am very interested in this. I believe it will be an asset to me to learn what she has to teach me. Because of certain close calls in life (my son’s drowning, my other son’s ruptured appendix, and things surrounding my dad’s death), I think there is something there, inside of me, that I need to find and release. I believe it should be enlightening. Join us if you’d like. 2 p.m. CDT. Soul Star Academy on FB.

Thanks for reading today. We’ve had three weather changes already today, and it’s only 12:11 p.m. Rain, Sun, Rain while Sunny, and now more sun. Crazy. There’s a closet calling to me. It’s my spot to de-clutter today. Onwards, to better habits, folks! Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be back tomorrow. I know I will. See you then!

Magic Monday

Monday is another beautiful day outside here at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska. It’s perfect weather. It pained me when I was still employed at Mutual of Omaha and had to work on gorgeous days like this one. It pained me! When I was first married, I loved being home with the kids, we spent a lot of time outside every day. We all enjoyed it. I wish we were closer to our one and three year old grandkids. It would be fun to play with them like we used to play with their Mama!

Part of my examining my bad or lazy habits struck me over the weekend. I need to take better care of me. After all, your body is your Temple, right? I don’t do too bad, just could take a little more time for myself. Instead of writing this morning, I left to get a mani/pedi. I was the first customer, so it was nice and quiet. I thanked God this morning for my feet and hands. They have walked many a mile in my life, with a sick baby, pushing a stroller, walking several blocks to work to save money on downtown parking, and pacing the floor while Dad was dying, while the Babe had any of his surgeries, and taking Mom to get her COVID shots. My hands have held babies, their hands, made cookies, crocheted tens of afghans, sewn clothing and quilts, and worked many needlework projects. I’m grateful for all these hands can do. I pray I can keep doing them for years to come.

So the mani/pedi was a way to thank my hands and feet for a lifelong service to all the stuff I like to do. Just showing some gratitude for jobs well done. I got the car washed and filled the gas tank, and picked up my grocery order. I love doing that. It’s so much easier for me. The only bad thing is the Babe was gone so I carried everything in myself. That’s always a back breaker. It took over an hour to prep the raw veggies, make salad, and wash all the apples. You know, I thought I was ordering one bunch of bananas? I got one single banana. LOL. I’ll have to check my order. It’s just funny to only get one. “What was I thinking?”

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

So, on this beautiful Monday in Spring, here’s to all of us who try to be more conscious. Here’s to all of us who order only one banana. Here’s to all of us who do too much in a day then are glad for an afternoon nap. It makes life interesting and messy and beautiful. And makes me very happy. I hope you are, too. Thank you for reading. I appreciate it a lot. Let’s all have a beautiful evening and look forward to seeing each other tomorrow. Be Safe out there. Be Kind. You will never regret being kind!

Happy Easter, 2021!

This is one beautiful day outside, folks. Throughout my 60 + years on this earth, I’ve seen many kinds of weather for this day. Of course, since Easter is based on the phases of the moon and is never on the same date, the weather can vary greatly because of that. This year, however, I believe it’s beautiful outside as a symbol of our hope returning after last year.

The year of COVID-19 had us all in a state of stress and wonder. Some of us fared worse than others. Some people lost jobs, money, housing, and any sense of security we had. Our children suffered through remote learning and not seeing their friends, if only on a screen. Child care turned into a parent working from home, and stress was there, finding families trying to make the best of a bad situation. Sadly, the husband of Omaha’s mayor, a reknowned trauma surgeon, took his own life last month. Sadness overloads.

After receiving both vaccinations, the Babe and I feel better. I’m choosing not to think about the issue of “the vaccine will give you protection for six months.” Six months? That doesn’t seem long enough. Wow. Nope, I will not stress over it. I’m choosing to be grateful there is a vaccine. I’m praying I finally get to meet our youngest grandson, Cody Wyatt. He has a disarming smile that makes me melt, even just from a photo. He was born in January. If you have a spare prayer or two, please offer it for us. We appreciate it! Let us know if we can return the favor some day.

I feel some revitalizing energy this week. I think it’s from the hope of spring and the changes in nature we observe from our deck. I have promised myself to get more organized and not let so many things go too long without tending to them. If I keep things tidier, it won’t be overwhelming. Last year in May, we lost our cleaning lady. Since the babe was home and we quarantined, so we sort of kept up. I looked around this much later and see things I don’t like. Knowing I’m the only one that can change the situation is making me change some habits. They may seem small, but it’s a bunch of little things together that will help.

Have you ever seen the meme about laundry? It says the clothes get folded 7 – 10 business days later. I fell into that category. I got to dislike the clothes baskets. During the last two weeks, I’ve folded the clothes the same day they’re washed. Just standing long enough to do those tasks has my back hurting. But the work is done. It’ll hurt no matter when I stand up and fold clothes, so I might as well get it over with. So I do.

Dusting is another bane to my existence. I really don’t like doing it. It’s an endless chore. And our headboard and foot board have this ridiculous lattice like cut outs that are constantly dusty. They will now be dusted at least once a week. It’s the only way to stay ahead of it. And the electronics. Dust magnets, they are. Well no more. That’s my next vow.

Once we have those habits established, the Babe’s office will be cleared out of stuff we don’t need. The thing about extra room is we tend to get more stuff. Stuff we don’t need. We both were bad about mail, receipts, etc. Next year’s taxes will be easy to do, I’m going to keep stuff filed where it belongs, it’ll be easy to grab a file of medical expenses instead of flipping through hundreds of papers. All little steps that will make life easier.

We all have things we need to change. Let’s do it together. You’ll have more time to engage in things you love. Playing with your kids or grandkids. Writing the next great American novel. Painting a masterpiece for your friends to see. Woodworking. Building toys. Volunteering. Reading. Or all of the above!

I’m starting a Carol Gino led challenge this week, from Wednesday until Friday. It’s called, “Women in Life Transition: Bring ALL of you to Life!” It’s a Facebook challenge, and I need to check the time. Check it out if you think you’d be interested. It will help determine your soul’s purpose. I believe I know what mine is, but it may be totally different than what I think. You never know. I’m grateful for the opportunity to discover it. Check Soul Star Academy on Facebook for more information.

Thank you all for reading today. May you all have a peaceful afternoon and evening. I’m grateful for you being here. Feel free to comment, and it’d be great if folks would share their e-mail addresses. Then I can send you personalized info about my books and several other things we’re working on. Be Kind. Be Purposeful. Be Compassionate. Be Who You Looked Up to As A Child. And stay safe out there. See you tomorrow!

Saturday Leaps of Faith

The Neighborhood at the Home Office in Gretna, Nebraska is teeming with activity! Homes have loads of fresh mulch or good black dirt dumped in their driveways. Yes, it is a beautiful, calm, sunny day for the first Saturday in April. The day before Easter. As kids we learned this was the day all of the followers of Jesus were on the low-down. They were gathered in groups in rooms with the lights off, windows and doors locked, wondering what they do now. They did not want to meet the same demise Jesus did. Their faith was shaken. They all had doubts, not just Thomas. It had to be the longest 24 hour period in all of their lives.

The nuns sort of told us we should be engaged in prayerful, quiet activity all day. Our mom’s all loved that. Then of course, we had to go to the Saturday evening service at 8 p.m. It lasted a very long time, and often we walked home at 10 p.m. It was safe back then! Of course, we were required to go to the Children’s Mass at 9 a.m. These were the days before Saturday services “fulfilled Sunday’s obligations.” I have to laugh, my Protestant friends say Catholics are the only ones who are concerned about things “counting,” and the world famous 15 minute Mass at St. Mary Magdalene’s Catholic Church in downtown Omaha. Ask us, we’ll tell you.

I’m glad the different religions finally realize God loves us all. Equally. Yes, equally. He doesn’t favor one over the other. Some religions are founded on mistaken ideas, and call for things far outside what God expects from each of us. Find yours and concentrate on how to have spirituality in your life. Be with people who reflect your beliefs. Be accepting, kind, tolerant, inclusive, and stand by your beliefs. It’s about integrity. One of the best things a person can have.

Two years! Wow! This is pretty cool, folks.

In other news, I didn’t realize this was my second anniversary with WordPress! How fun to have this milestone today. It took a leap of faith on my part. I didn’t blog much until that July 5, 2019, when we lost our Roxie. I had to get the distress and grief our of me. It was devastating. Someone entered our yard and left a gate open. There were still fireworks going off, she was scared, and ran into traffic on the highway, two blocks away. Her last minutes had to be full of terror. My book for kids is about her and our grandson, Gavin.

Speaking of a leap of faith; my featured header photo today is a collage of the CD’s I’m listening to today while I work. I’ve not met two of them (or you’d all know about it!), Kevin Costner & Modern West and Bruce Springsteen. I will say I do not agree with Bruce’s politics. He has done a lot of good for people through his career, he had food drives at his concert sites before we heard of them; he chronicled the demise of his hometown, closing factories, etc. He has a song on his “Magic” album called “Leap of Faith.” Give it a listen. I like it.

At any rate, the others are some local singer/songwriters who took their own leaps of faith and put themselves and their original songs out there. Billy McGuigan and Jimmy Weber are two local musicians who we enjoy a lot. They have special chemistry when they perform together, and they are both very dynamic solo or with their bands. Fine, fine musicians we’ve had the pleasure to get to know. They both never cease to amaze me with what they do. Billy has a new solo album, “Together,” it’s doing well. The Babe and I get to see him and his brothers in the band perform this great album in person next Saturday at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Looking forward to it!

And Jimmy Weber has a friend/road manager/sidekick, “Handsome” Jake Mayer. They are in Nashville, TN this week recording another new album of their original music. The just released one, “Black and Blue Heart,” hits so close to home if you’ve ever been alone. I have. I cannot wait to hear what those two have been up to. Jake is an amazing lyricist. One day, I hope to talk to him about his words as they relate to Jimmy’s amazing music. What those guys do with a guitar and a bunch of words (both carefully chosen), is pure magic. There they are, taking their leap of faith.

Ray Scott is someone I’ve never met, but I did just about see his show one night at Buck’s in Venice, Nebraska. Jimmy Weber opened for him, we saw Jimmy that night, but the Babe wasn’t feeling well. He had a wound vac attached to him and he just couldn’t sit up straight anymore for the evening, so we had to leave. Hopefully next time he’s up this way, we’ll be able to see him live. I’ve purchased a bunch of his CD’s and like his style. His voice is unique, and he just tells it like it is. Check the usual music outlets to listen and purchase. His leap of faith was to do things his way. And he’s a big man, I don’t think anyone questions him much.

Rick Tiger is a singer/songwriter from Louisiana. The Babe and I met him the first time we saw Jimmy Weber perform alone. Jimmy sang first, and Rick followed. We loved him. He has written many songs you’ll recognize, and any more you can relate to. That night, he sang about Coffee & Conversations, which reminded the Babe of waking up at his grandparents farm in South Dakota. Once he walked me through the property and identified where everything used to be. The barn was gone, but the memories of it weren’t. You will be reminded of something in your life if you listen to Rick long enough. And he’s the nicest man you can meet. His wife Joyce is such a kind woman. They are perfect with each other. Blessings abound in their life, and they will tell each other about it. Nice, nice people.

When you’ve spent a little time with people who are so talented, it’s inspiring. They are taking their leaps of faith. And I’m about to take mine, by publishing my first book. I’m excited beyond description. Thanks for being on this journey with me. Thanks for the examples and encouragement, guys! I appreciate it a lot.

Thanks for reading today. Tomorrow is what it’s all about. The renewal of Easter Sunday. I vow to renew habit I need to renew. I vow to exhibit behaviors to make me a better person. More patience. More understanding. More listening. And I’ll continue to love words and stories, whether they’re on the page or in a song. Good music makes me write better. What a motivator music is! What great music to be motivated by. Have a beautiful rest of the day. I’m going to the deck, where we’ll probably stay for the rest of the day. God’s been so good to us. See you tomorrow! #Grateful #Blessed

Good Friday

In the Christian world, this is a day like no other. It commemorates the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. The belief is Jesus died for our sins so we could enter the Kingdom of heaven. I’m blown away even all these years later. Whatever beliefs you have, it’s hard not to believe there is something greater than this earth. Heaven, in my opinion, is a place where we’ll all be restored to health physically and spiritually, and we’ll have an even better existence for eternity. We may disagree about a lot of things. And that’s ok.

As kids, we were taught by the nuns pre-Vatican II that we are not worthy of what Jesus has done for mankind. Many, many prayers began, “Lord, I am not worthy.” And we’re not. By enduring a death by Crucifixion, Jesus wiped away a centuries old curse put on our souls when Adam and Eve sinned against God. The pageantry accompanying the services of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday really drove the point home. The dark church building, the dimming of the lights, the music, the litany spoken, the fire and brimstone voice of Monsignor Aughney, all made for a memorable experience.

I can’t imagine they still use that approach now. I haven’t attended those services in years. In the Methodist Church, I see a focus on how much God loves us. How special we are. They focus on after Christ’s death, not the crucifixion. The cross in the Protestant churches I’ve been in focus on the empty cross. What Jesus did for us after that horrible act. It’s a much more positive message. My God has never been an authoritarian God. He is not a punishing God. He guides me towards right over wrong. He gives us so much beauty in the world, in nature, and in our humanness. It’s our choice to use it for good or not.

Through my life, when I’ve forgotten God and strayed off my path, I’m reaping what I’m sowing. And I’m sorry when that happens. I know better. But I’m human. We all are. Let’s just stay the course, and do what we’re supposed to do. It really isn’t all that hard. We make it a lot harder than it is. Humans want what they want. They want it NOW.

Let’s just think about that aspect of our very human nature as we go from today towards Easter. You don’t have to be a religious person to be thoughtful and spiritual about being a better person. I try every day, and boy, can I fail quickly! We all do. Let’s collectively be better. How? Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be Courteous. Hold a door open. Pick up your litter if you drop something. Donate anything you don’t love or need. Reduce our excess.

Thank you for reading today. I will be here again tomorrow, and hope to see you, too. Have a beautiful weekend. Be Safe.

Opening Day!

It’s opening day for baseball in our country. How exciting! All those teams with a bright, shiny, new season to play the best game ever invented. From what I understand, there will be limits to the sizes of the crowds, but at least some lucky people will be able to watch this All-American game. Finally! It’s a good sign, and I hope we’re deemed safe to play an entire season and are allowed to gather at stadiums across the country. Good luck, boys!

The weekend will be suitable for outside Easter Egg Hunt. Lucky kids! When my kids were little, we all still dressed up for Easter. The new outfit, shoes, socks, everything was a look ahead to the growth of spring and summer. In religious sects, it’s a look at Christ, dying for our sins, and His Resurrection from the dead. A lot of Churches will reopen for this huge religious feast. I remember thinking the nuns were crazy for telling us Easter is a bigger deal than Christmas. As we grew older, I understand that.

Spirituality plays a part in my life that extends way beyond a church building. The two people I admire the most were living examples to me of good Christians. They were my Grandma Jewell, and my dad, her oldest son. Dad had a lot of faith, and so did Grandma. She prayed for all of us, for the world, for the little children who don’t get enough to eat, and for anyone with problems. She was very humble. Once we were talking about my dad and his brothers, all who did well at their jobs. I asked Grandma, “You raised three accomplished men.” She said, “I cannot take credit for that, they did the hard work.” Very modest. And correct.

Our families will not be gathering this Easter. It’s hard to get everyone together, and sometimes someone has to work on the weekends or holidays. We’ll all text greetings and enjoy the time however we spend it.

I need to end this now, and wish you a Happy Holy Thursday. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be Safe out there!

The Shoes

I suppose I have to confess, I’ve kind of been a shoe freak all my adult life. Having flat feet as a kid, Mom always made me wear tie-on shoes for more support. It didn’t matter. All my friends wore cute ballet flats and penny loafers. In high school, the fad was suede two tone brown tie on saddle shoes (once we could wear anything but black shoes). I was right at home. During my stint as a Pom Pom girl, we wore black and white saddle shoes.

Earth shoes came and went. I never owned Birkenstock’s (not a sandals person). I loved wearing high heels. During my career in HR and IT, I wore three-inch pumps. At 5’8″ tall, I became 5’11” tall. There was much less of me to love back then (translation – I was in good shape!), and I know I turned heads. If I tried to wear those shoes now, the only thing I’d turn would be ankles if I tried to walk very far.

After my major spine surgery in 1996, there was no way I could wear heels again. At least, not for a while. I bought sensible tie on Hush Puppies to wear with my slacks and jackets. It looked more professional than wearing sneakers, which was not allowed. Huh. I realized I’d come full circle in the shoe department. It’s the brand Mom bought for me. I hated them but knew my new limitations.

Funny thing is, if I’m taking Mom somewhere, I wear my very sensible and supportive New Balance shoes. I wear them all the time I have to walk, shop, all that stuff. I have to. There is no choice anymore. Mom’s doctors want her to wear the New Balance brand. She doesn’t want to. She claims she trips. She complains they bend very little. I tell her, “Mom, they’re not supposed to. They’re to help you be more stable!” She won’t wear them. If she falls, she’ll be sorry, but there’s not much I can do about it. She’ll do what she does. It’s all over at 92 if she falls and breaks something. Funny, I didn’t want to wear mine either, but she forced me. The circle of life never ceases to amaze me.

Before 1995, I had pumps in 2 1/2 and 3 inch heels. Colors? Dark Brown, Navy Blue, Black, Black Patent, Nude, White, Taupe, and Beige. I had dress winter boots (with 3 inch heels, and I never slipped and fell) in black, taupe, brown suede, and flat heeled black ones for casual. I kept every pair in their original box, stacked on shelves by color. Easily selected. that way. We had one bathroom, and all four of had to be ready to leave by 7 a.m., so there was no time for messing around.

The first time the Babe ever looked in my closet, he asked, “Are you related to that Marcos woman?”

Funny man. The woman he referred to was the wife of the Dictator of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos. Her name was Imelda. She was the queen of 80s excesses. They reported she owned 1,200 pairs of shoes. Oh, Babe. My collection paled in comparison!

After we dated longer and became engaged, we lived in my house since my daughter was still at home. I needed to make room for this man who would become my husband. The hardest thing and the first things to go were all my shoes I couldn’t wear anymore. It pained me a lot. True to the Babe’s sense of humor, he outstretched his arms and said, “But look at what you’re getting in return!” Yes. It remains to be a good trade-off.

A few years ago, I found a couple places who had fun flat soled shoe designs. I had fun shoes, despite being doomed to wearing oxfords forever. Here is a sample of the shoe fun I have now. I’m adaptable.

The Sunflowers and Hexagons are new to the collection. The Sunflowers are happy; the Hexagons remind me of quilting (I’ve been working on a hexagon quilt, Grandmother’s Flower Garden, for years). My love of music resulted in the matching musical note shoes and purses in yellow and black. My Irish heritage inspired the boots with shamrocks and green, and the pretty colors resulted in purchasing the black and multicolored boots. Believe it or not, the boots soothe my screwed together ankle break from nine years ago. It hurts a lot less when I wear them. And my Cubs shoes. They speak for themselves. Go Cubs, Go! This will be your year!

When my Kid-Lit book is ready, help me decide which shoes to wear, ok? I’m sure I’ll be asking. All bets are off if the Cubs play that day, though. Thanks for reading today. I appreciate it. It’s a sunny but chilly day out today. I love the brightness. It helps keep the spirits up. BTW, after yesterday’s second Covid Vaccination? The site the needle entered doesn’t even hurt. I have no after affects. I’m grateful! Make it a beautiful day today. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Thoughtful. Let’s watch out for each other, ok? See you tomorrow. Be Safe.