Monday, February 22, 2016

Day 7 of Nature Picture Challenge

Day 7: Cinnamon, a very large bear who would grace us with his presence as he wandered across the trail up from the house. He would even stop and pose for a picture like the celebrity he was. He was very grounded and gentle. Big enough that the dogs didn't bother him, he would simple keep walking in his stately, poised manner. We miss him. 

When these picture challenges began to show up on FB, I thought, please, please, please, don't anybody challenge me. And then my good friend did. And I decided to accept although I haven't challenged anyone else or posted my pictures anywhere but on FB. However, I have really, really enjoyed searching out the nature pictures to post. I have years of landscapes, sunrises and sunsets, mountains, lakes, moons and wild animals. And to find the ones to post, I have scrolled through pictures of babies who are now celebrating teenage birthdays; toddlers who are in the Marines; performances by young actors and soccer players; dogs who have crossed the rainbow bridge; short hair that has grown very long; long hair that has been cut; visits from a myriad of friends who have graced our home over the years. This has been a real treat.

And so I will post a challenge. You don't have to post the pictures anywhere. Just scroll through your old pictures. Enjoy your moments in time as they flow past. The task will put a smile on your face even when it makes you a little sad. You will enjoy it. Thank you, Patty Carreras! It's been a Joy!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

How is it Done?

How does one teach reading? In one episode of Downton Abbey, Thomas offers to teach Andy how to read and then later a teacher takes over the job. And that got me to thinking about how one teaches reading. It must take a very special skill. Michelle’s kindergarten teacher told us that she (the teacher) had never had a pupil so ready to read. As I recall, her statement was, “She was ready. All I had to do was open the door and she walked through.” And I wondered at the time and I still wonder, how does a person know how to open that door. We read to the girls even before birth when I would read aloud while studying. They had books. But I had and have no idea how to teach a person to read. It really is an amazing skill and ability. How grateful I am for all those who have that skill and apply it to the next generation of young readers or even to an older generation who slipped through the cracks. I am truly impressed. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Short Snowshoe

Phew! We have almost 2 feet of new powder in the back yard (meaning the forest up the hill from the house). Dean went skiing with family so I was up the hill on snowshoes behind Oso. The problem with letting Oso plow the lane for you is that once in a while he veers off to chase a squirrel or a smell or to explore under a tree. I kept on up the hill. Pick the leg up high, step deep into the new snow, pick the other leg up high and step again into the new snow. This is a healthy, strong 73 year old body and it can only take so much of that for so long. We were on our way home very shortly, reversing our tracks so that it was a bit easier on the already plowed trail. Interesting though: Oso had been running and leaping and sinking in and popping back up and as soon as I said, "Come on Oso, we're going home", he was down the hill to the deck like the speed of light. Even my snow boy had had enough. It was lovely though and should be beautiful and easier for the next several days.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Celebration of Life

My last blog was about the circle of life and my sadness at the death of my cousin Becky. She was 95. This morning I talked to Evelyn, another cousin. . She is great for my soul. I was expressing my sadness over Becky’s death and she says: "Becky was old. I’m old. I go to my doctor and he starts on this list of things and I say, wait a minute. How old am I? I’m over 90. What else am I to expect? Get off your high horse.” 

Bless her. I want to be like her. She walks, sleeps, eats, enjoys her grands and great grands and is still in love with life. I’m so glad. And she is right ~ we need to talk to each other when all is well and happy as well as when someone dies or is sick. We need to celebrate life together as often as possible. 

Evelyn and me at her 90th birthday party almost a year ago. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Circle of Life

Yesterday I was gleeful and excited and so pleased and proud over the arrival into the world of Levi Robert McKay, #13 grand, born on the 13th, turning 13 into one of the luckiest numbers. 
I believe it was The Prophet who said, The deeper hole sorrow carves in the soul, the more joy it can contain. 

Today I weep over the death of a beloved cousin. Although she was 20 or more years older than I, we were of the same generation of cousins and we loved and related to each other from that perspective even though I am closer to the age of her children than to her. It was a call or email that I knew would come. And even when it did, I wasn’t ready. 

Becky had a sense of humor that was timeless and delightful. She would indulge me and later in life my children whenever we would go to DC. Seeing the national monuments was a lot more fun when Becky was your guide. 
                            Becky, seated, surrounded by cousins and her sister and her daughter.
I will miss just knowing she is in the world. And at the same time I rejoice that Levi is in the world and I anticipate seeing him on Face Time today or tomorrow and very soon in person. And in one of those ways that the universe has of caring for us, grandson Joshua called just as I was needing to talk to family. He had no idea that he was calling a crying grandmother. He listened and I shared and the voice of family was in my heart. Shortly after that Meredith called and Michelle emailed from a mall. Family. I am blessed to belong to a widely extended one that love each other and say it often. Those words keep us centered and grounded and blessed. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Bodily Energy

Bodily energy is an interesting phenomenon. Most of the time it is out and about and all over the place and it takes conscious meditation or slowing down to focus it internally. Once in a while though - like the last two weeks when I had bronchitis - it has a mind of its own. For nearly two weeks, my energy was totally focused on me, on healing, on restoring me to myself. For several days it was so internally focused that I could hardly open my eyes and I slept a lot. Even when I was staying awake most of the day, I had no sense of anything beyond myself. I did not care. 

Then slowly, almost reluctantly, bits of my energy began to turn outward again. I became aware that there was specific food I wanted.  I became aware of the pile of laundry. I picked up my Kindle and read. Slowly, slowly. I began to wander in the kitchen and even prepare my own food. I became a bit bored and wanted company. Playing a game on my computer didn’t exhaust me. 

And so my energy is slowly returning to its focus both inward and outward. This morning I even got up and got dressed first thing. Oh, I’ve been in clothes several times, including yesterday for a trip to the PO, grocery store and pharmacy. I’ve been outside. I always prepared for that later in the day though and came home to quickly revert to jammies and robe and even to get back into bed. Today, my intention is to stay dressed all day and spend most of it in the living room. Sure - probably sitting in my comfy chair, and that is a step up from the bed. 

I can feel the energy shift as more and more of it moves from helping me heal to helping me live in the world again. “Listen to your body” has been a mantra for me since I was thirteen. I’m listening, and feeling, and it remains a fascinating journey.