Two words …

As I look at the year ahead, there are dark clouds looming. There are lots of things I cannot change at this moment, and yet there are things I can influence. So, that is where my focus has been for the past few weeks. What do I want and/or need and how will I prioritize these things in my life. It has taken years to be able to answer that question for myself. What do I want or need? Years ago, I began to ask myself three questions in my journal most mornings. The process of asking and then answering these questions has been life-giving. Continue reading “Two words …”

A look back…

The departure of 2017 has left behind a welcome calm. As I navigate the first weeks of the new year, I have spent quite a few hours tucked under my fuzzy blue blanket in my worn overstuffed chair. Usually, the week between the holidays is mine to reflect, evaluate, and plan. This year, those days were given over to people I adore, as we flew across the country to spend precious time with my Oregon family. So, I’ve redeemed slow Saturdays, a snowstorm, and quiet mornings catching up with my soul after a year of turmoil and transition. Continue reading “A look back…”

Splash of Inspiration- December 2, 2017

The most important relationship in my life is my marriage. We’ve had our ups and downs over the years. We’ve learned a lot about communication and how to tend to each other’s hearts, mostly the hard way. We went to counseling years ago, and she taught us some basic principles of communication that we’ve practiced ever since. We are not experts at marriage, but we practice all the things we know and have found that it makes a difference.  Continue reading “Splash of Inspiration- December 2, 2017”

What made life better in November?

November was a whirlwind! A business trip to Pittsburg coincided with a medical emergency for my dad. I spent tense days alone in a hotel room far from everyone who loves me. The prayers of friends and family buoyed my spirits and helped me regain my focus, but it was a tender and tense time. The tension turned into action as I booked an emergency trip home to be with my people. Seventeen days on the road, torn between work and family, my familiar home and the home of my memories took a toll. I am settling back into my life, trying to find the loose ends and tie myself back into a familiar routine. I feel a bit disconnected… jet lag and worry minus the daily and weekly rituals that connect me to my life have left me off center. Continue reading “What made life better in November?”

Managing energy…

When my kids were growing up, they played a lot of video games. My parents always ensured that the kids had the latest console, and they had games, lots of games. DDR caused the house to shift on its foundations late at night, Madden was constant background noise in our house, and the myriad of games that rolled across the screens in our home seemed endless. Of all the things, I miss about my kids growing up, this isn’t one. Continue reading “Managing energy…”

Grandbabies…

When I was a baby, my dad was stationed on an aircraft carrier somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. My mom moved home, to my grandparent’s house for support. I was the first one, and I was spoiled rotten… or so they’ve told me since I was old enough to understand. My mom tells me that my grandpa Malone hated to hear my cry, so she would lay me down to sleep and when I stopped crying, she assumed I fell asleep. Instead, my grandfather would sneak into my room, scoop me up and take me downstairs to rock me. Maybe, I was a little spoiled! My uncle tells me that Grandpa would take me to the local IGA and tell everyone how wonderful I was. I don’t remember any of this, but I have always been pretty sure that my grandparents thought the world of me. Continue reading “Grandbabies…”

A matter of focus…

I’ve been fascinated by photography since I was a small girl. My grandma and grandpa Malone always had the newest technology which meant they had a super 8 camera when I was a child, were able to snap Polaroid pictures and wave them in the air, and they had every kind of “instant” camera you could imagine. Thin wide cameras with tall flash bars on the top. Thick cameras with color film and a twisting flashbulb, and eventually they had cameras with the flash built in. Even now, one of my favorite things is to look through the boxes and albums full of pictures. It’s like diving into a time machine. Continue reading “A matter of focus…”

What made life better in October?

My grandson- Teddy is the delight of my heart. His grin in the mornings make my heart sing and that wicked little look he gives me from across the room when he knows I will join him in mischief is delightful. This child is a wonder every day, but we recently took him to the apple farm where he picked his first apple, crawled around in the pumpkins, and enjoyed 2 new delicious treats. He destroyed an apple cider donut with two hands nom-nom-noming with gusto, but the look he gave me when I slipped a bit of maple floss (cotton candy) between his lips was priceless. I love watching the wonder of the world unfold from his perspective. It reminds me to slow down, pay attention, and enjoy the sweet bits. Continue reading “What made life better in October?”

A Central Organizing Principle…

“I’ve figured it out,” I declared to Keith. “I know what I need.” He raised an eyebrow at me. It had been months since the kids had left home. I was still rattling around our big old house. Sometimes, I felt like I could still hear their voices echoing off the walls. After they all left in a rush, I had sat quietly. Feeling the sadness, fearing the end. I was listless and avoided many of the things I had once poured myself out for. Evenings when Keith worked, I poured a glass of wine and retreated to my “studio,” which was newly decorated to finally declare it my own. There, I listened to audio books and knitted. Continue reading “A Central Organizing Principle…”

The road ahead…

It’s been 17 years since Mom called to tell us the news. Dad had prostate cancer. It was already metastasized. The doctor said six months to two years. The world spun a little slower that day. There were treatments. Dad responded to these treatments in amazing ways. We prayed for him and the cancer’s growth slowed. Every time there was an uptick in his numbers, there was a new treatment plan. Radiation, hormone therapy, and new drugs that promised time. He has been a true miracle. Continue reading “The road ahead…”