Thursday, August 11, 2016

My mom is beautiful

My mom is beautiful!
She is loving.
She is smart.
She makes me laugh with her humor.
No one listens to me the way she does
without judging or condemning.
She is always there to support me,
encourage me and show how proud she is.
My mom is humble.
She has no clue what an impact her life,
her spirit, her support, and her radiant smile have on the 
people around her.

Whether her hair is long or short,
brown or white, even now as her face has a few more wrinkles 
and she no longer cares about dolling up her face with makeup.
My mom is beautiful.

She is 82 years of beautiful.
Living her life loving others and now
loving her four legged companion who is always by her side.
She walks each day at 5 am with her Samson dog.
Mom stillenjoys her cup of cocoa while others sip their coffee.
She says coffee smells wonderful but yuck the taste!

Mom may not remember everything anymore but who of us remembers everything?
We don't know we don't remember because we can't remember what we forgot.
Hmmmmm.
Mom trusts those of us who love her and isn't burdened by worry.
She no longer stresses about the little things in life.
What a blessing that she is genuinely happy.
Her yes attitude whenever asked to go do something is one of the things I admire most.
Too often I over analyze what I should do. 
Mom goes and enjoys the going.

I am so blessed to have my mom and that she still comes to spend time in my home.
Yesterday we went to lunch, got a haircut and did a bit of shopping.
Simple?
But I know so many no longer have these simple days with their moms. 
I don't take it for granted that I get to spend time laughing,
enjoying time with my lifelong friend.

My mom is beautiful.
The best compliment I can receive is when others compare me to her.
When I grow up I want to be just like my mom.
Beautiful inside and out.

In Him,
Joyful
6-11-16

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Early Morning Mom Time

Not a lot of blogging lately for a marvelous reason. Mom is here! Mom and I both tend to get up early and when she is here we sit for a chat. She has her daily cup of cocoa while I savor my couple cups of coffee. I am so blessed to have my mom here and in my life. Her visits are a gift I cherish. Just the two of us sitting on the couch in the early morning is my favorite.

Yesterday, Ron, Mom and I drove up into the Jemez near our house. We saw an abundance of wildlife, gathered obsidian, and enjoyed the incredible scenery. Mom has a bag full of obsidian to add to her rock garden when she gets home and we got cherished pictures and videos of a treasured day together. It was a wonderful day together.

As the years pass, I find myself being more aware of the possibility of lasts in my life. Every summer I get to go for a road trip with Lissa, Mom or Ron. The past couple years I was more aware that these won't continue forever. Lissa is getting older and will be more involved in life at home and not able to come along with us. Mom is 82 and will one day soon say no thank you when I ask her to get herself in my car. Ron and I have each other but so many of our friends have lost the love of their life to one disease or another. I need to focus on embracing each memory rather than worrying if this is the last.

So the next couple of weeks I will sip my coffee and enjoy my mom. Her cocoa and my coffee combining to make a pleasant aroma in the early morning hours. Ron may have to take a few 'bedhead' photos of her under the blanket with a warm bathrobe and me content with bare legs and arms. We are similar in some ways and so different in others. Hope we never accidentally pick up each other's cup. There would surely be some spewing of hot liquid in the room.

In Him,
Joyful
8-7-16

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Spit Shined And Ready

August is a weird time of year. It is one of the hottest months but instead of grabbing swimsuits and sunscreen we all run around gathering school supplies and the perfect first day of school outfit. The shift from free time summer lounging to get up and go school year begins in the minds and dreams of parents and students alike. Even teachers and school staff begin planning and anticipating the new year's adventures. What friends will be in my class and who will my teacher be are so important to a child's life. The next year will be spent in the community they call a classroom. Personalities, teaching styles and even discipline create the environment these students will spend the bulk of their time in for the next nine months.

It is so touching to see all the first day of school pictures on Facebook. Kids all decked out, backpacks full of school supplies (don't forget the Kleenex), and some even carrying flowers for their teachers. First impressions are occurring as they slip into their assigned seats and look around to see which other kids will become cherished friends. Teachers know that the first few days set the tone for the year so they choose their words carefully to convey firm rules paired with kind hearts.

This year we are in an election cycle and there is usually the recurring charge that teacher's unions are only out for teachers and that American education falls short on so many levels. It can't be denied that there are good and bad teachers just like there is an array of talents in any position. But the truth is in these first days of August as we pull out our planning books and look to the new school year, teachers are hopeful. Hopeful that they can touch hearts and lift students along with the academic curriculum they will present.

This is my first year on the sidelines in almost 40 years. Some of those years were waiting at the bus stop to greet my students and many were as.a mom wrapping tin foil around the stems of freshly picked flowers for my own kids to present to their teachers. This year my teaching supplies are in our storage shed and my children will be picking flowers for their young ones to take to school.

I smile to myself as I think of all the students and teachers who will spiff themselves up for their first day of school. What a wonderful season of fresh starts. My memories flood my heart. God has a new plan for me this August but I am so blessed by all the school starts I have enjoyed.

In Him,
Joyful

Friday, August 5, 2016

My List For Creating New Memories



Dayna Brown would be 60 today.
She died too young at just after her 29th birthday.
With her went all the memories and adventures we shared.

In life there are those who walk beside us for a moment, a season, and those who are with us a lifetime. I realize today that though Dayna left way too early she continues in my thoughts and memories even so many years later. 

I grieve sometimes the friendships that have slipped away but treasure the memories of time spent with each and everyone of the incredible people who have shared my life and my heart. Time or energy keep me from reaching out and rebuilding some of those bonds even though I would love to spend time with those people. How is it that I let my life get so full that I only keep up with people I love through Facebook posts and a like here and there? It is also true that I get in a routine of spending time with a handful of current people or coworkers in my live and neglect those who aren't as nearby.

Perhaps along with my to do list of mundane chores and errands I need a more rewarding list of people I need to sit down and chat with on the phone or over coffee. I admire those who rekindle friendships and relationships along life's path. This summer Ron and I stopped and saw family and friends we haven't seen in a decade. The love and friendship were still there and within moments we were in comfortable conversation full of laughter and memories. Catch up conversations can start on FB but hopefully will blossom into more with valued people in my life. 

The memories of carrying around brick dolls Dayna and I made by drawing faces and wrapping them in hand towels is mine alone now. But the memories of garage parties in Livermore were shared as we stopped to visit friends this summer. Each memory is so important to me. But the relationships with my friends are still there and it is up to me to reach out and embrace them. New memories are waiting to be gathered if I choose to. Guess I will go write my list. Be expecting a call soon.

In Him,
Joyful

Friday, July 22, 2016

Floating The Day Away With Kayla

Is it possible to inherit the skill of floating? My grandma loved to float as much as my mom and I do. Yesterday I found out that my grand girl, Kayla, is a natural floater too. Brittney, Cam, Ron and I took the kids to American Lake for a picnic and to swim. What a beautiful place. There were bald eagles fishing and the water was perfect. We all jumped off the docks, played with sand toys, tried to capture fish and Kayla and I spent time floating. Wonderful time just watching the clouds go by holding hands with my grand girl. It doesn't get more peaceful than that.

In Him,
Joyful
7-21-16

Thursday, July 21, 2016

This Is America

We all have parts of our personality that on closer inspection are clearly signs of mental illness. Whether it is my orphan spirit or someone else's obsession with Pokemon Go it seems that all of us have our quirks. I certainly can't understand the millions who are following imaginary critters around with their noses to their phones following these Pokemon characters. But likewise, they wouldn't understand my obsession for finding a Princess beanie baby a decade ago. Some of us get all decked out in our team's garb to scream at our TVs like it will actually help them score a touchdown or get that interception. Ronnie B's pursuit of stone calendar petroglyphs only makes sense to his archeology buddies. Most of us think it is insane to spend time out in the hot sun scrambling over rocks to take measurements and DO MATH to better understand the workings of a scribble on a rock. To Ron this is a passion. For the most part we accept each other's preoccupations without judgement on hobbies, activities, and various pursuits.

Life unfolds for each of us differently. Our families, upbringing, and all the daily happenings in life lead us to and away from interests over the years. Likewise, how we feel about politics shifts and changes over time. In this season of conventions and elections we don't and won't agree with each other's positions on candidates and issues. But like our obsession for video games and sports teams, it is possible to not understand and agree without judging and condemning. I know living through the adoption of my children, our families loss through a suicide, and struggles with addiction have directed what issues are important to me. A friend who went through the hell no mother should go through with the after effects of immunization makes that a most important issue for her. Those families who have children with Autism or those struggling with cancer heartbreak will surely look more closely at the positions on those when deciding how to cast their vote. We come to this election, this moment with different hearts and thoughts simply because we are different people with varying experiences.

In America, we try to help others around our globe obtain the right to vote.  In Peru, their citizens have to pay a fine if you don't vote. There are slogans to encourage our citizens to vote and campaigns to get out the vote. This year a record number of people voted in the US. That is something we should be celebrating. Instead, the rhetoric is how did we end up with such horrible choices. Clinton and Trump are our choices because Americans took the time to vote for these 2 candidates more than any other. We don't have to be thrilled if neither is our choice but we DO have to respect that voters decided based on their visions of what will be best for our country. When we are through this process and have our next president we all need to accept the people's choice and unite behind the leader of our country. Let's focus on the positives in this election cycle and stop condemning each other and our candidates. There is more at stake here than who wins the Super Bowl. What is at stake is that we are judging each other for the views that they have come to honestly through the life they have lived to this point. It is their right to vote those views. This is America.

In Him,
Joyful
7-21-16

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Papa's Rules As Told By Grandkids

Rule #1~ No whining.
Rule #2~ Do what Papa says.
Rule #3~ Old guys rule.
And the unofficial rule is~ always eat sandwiches.

These are the rules my Washington grandkids told me they had to follow when Papa came up and took care of them for a week last September. Kayla really didn't want to repeat Rule #3 even though she clearly remembered it. Timmy, however proudly told me OLD GUYS RULE with a fist bump for his Papa. Even Kenzie didn't complain that Papa's. Menu mostly consisted of sandwiches. It tickles me to hear how much fun they all had with their Papa.

This year Papa has been making videos with Timmy and Kayla complete with sound affects. The sound affects are definitely important but the giggles and grins are what make these videos priceless. 

After 39 years of being married to this Papa, I wouldn't think I could love him any more. But his love of our family and the joy he brings fills my heart. Watching him with our grandkids brings up memories of all the trips we shared with our own kids throughout the years. One of my favorite moments in our Alaska video has to be the Ho~Down we recorded. It was really a simple moment shared between the kids and their Dad but was captured forever on film. Ron got out his harmonica at a campsite and got the kids all clapping, stomping their feet and singing. Presto, instant Ho~Down. The giggles and grins were most certainly the most priceless of that moment as well.

Today, we are off to a wild animal park where the elk will most certainly stick their rather large heads in the van to take bread out of the kid's hands. Our cell phones will record all the excitement of these moments we get to share. I'd say life is pretty good in retirement with my Ron, their Papa, and the man of my dreams. 

In Him,
Joyful
7-19-16