Category Archives: love

George Jones’ death …

took me back, in my mind, many years and unearthed several memories that I had suppressed.  As a kid, whether we were driving to church or going on vacation (for my Dad was in charge of choosing stations), there was one of two things on the radio; sports or George Jones.

At the time, I thought that surely, this was the worst thing that could happen to a person.

However, as I got older, and developed my own taste in music (and sports, though that is irrelevant in this post), I found that I listened to quite a bit of George.

Or “Possum”, as he was familiarly known.  It wasn’t the most flattering nickname, but in reality, he really did, somewhat resemble, a possum.

Sorry George, but as my dad is fond of saying, “the truth will stand when the world’s on fire”.

When I look at my LP collection, I find that there are several of his albums there.  When I still had eight-tracks (and for those of you too young to know what that is, look it up) there were many “George Jones” in that collection, too.

My dad was a fan.  I was always trying to impress my dad and win his approval, so I suppose that some of my “George admiration” came from that.  But at some point, I realized that I just plain liked his music.

I also liked Conway Twitty, John Conlee, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Reba McEntire, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Elvis and Lefty Frizzelle (just to name the ones that come easily, without stressing my brain, to mind).

So sue me.

The music today that calls itself country has little to do with what I grew up with.  As a matter of fact, it has little to do with music at all, but then, I may be biased.

OK, I am biased.  But so what?  Even though I have a hard time playing a note of music, I know what it should sound like.  I understand it on a personal level and appreciate it in the very basic way that one understands and appreciates it.

It is a huge, very consuming part of my everyday life.

But I digress.  I was talking about George and the impact his death had on me and I know, without asking, on my Dad.

I don’t consider myself immortal.  I believe with my whole being that, if I died right now, I would go to Heaven and I have no illusions about living forever.  But …

Seeing my idols and the people that I have “known” all my life die … well, that makes me think.

I don’t remember a time in my life that George wasn’t a part of it.  He was popular when I was born (or so I am told, as I don’t remember those first few days) and became moreso in the years to come.  And now he is dead.  His music will live on for decades and generations, but the man himself is gone from this world.  That is a sobering thought.

It hurts my heart nearly as much as when Andy Gibb died.  That was a black day in my life.  I loved him more than life, but he chose drugs over life.  Choices.  It all comes down, once again, to choices, BUT, I digress once again.

I cried like a child when, first Maurice Gibb and then again when Robin Gibb died.  The Brothers Gibb (Bee-Gees) were my favorites and remain so, even though only Barry remains.  Sometimes, when I think about them young and beautiful, singing their songs as only they could, I still cry. (If I keep this up, I will be crying before the night is out).

It was an end of an era for me, as it was when Conway died, as it was … then when Waylon died … then when Johnny died; well, this could go on for pages, but you get the idea.

The same can be said of George.  I’ll miss you, Possum, and will, most likely, cry for you now and again as well because … well, because I loved you, too.

RIP, George … RIP.

Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?  Who, indeed?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi3GgoLtlWk

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I know a trail shoot was succesful …

This gallery contains 25 photos.

when I come home filthy, covered in mud, bleeding from my brush with thorns and other sharp things of nature and smelling of the earth that I was crawling around on.  There are few things in this life that renew … Continue reading

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Being a parent …

has many challenges.  I’m not a new parent.  My daughter is twenty-two years old, but that fact has no bearing what-so-ever on reality.  I look at the people around me who have small children and I, on some level, feel sorry for them.

The only bloody nose I ever gave anyone was my girl’s elementary school principal.  It’s funny, in a sick sort of way, that I will take it and take it, whatever it may be, but when my child is threatened, I become a different human.  Or maybe I become less human and more animal, a mama bear, a she-wolf … whatever works.  What I do know is that I would go to the ends of the earth for her.

I am certain, beyond anything else, that were she to know I speak so of her, she would be mortified.  I don’t care.  Not one whit.  What I do care about is that she is happy.  That she is safe.  That she is where she is supposed to be at this particular moment.  I, in some ways, live vicariously through her.  She is so much of what I wanted to be.  A  musician, a fighter, confident and brainy.  I always hoped, as she grew up, that she would be herself and not like me.  That sounds overdramatic, I’m sure, but it is true.

I was so backward.  Being one who was bullied and too shy to stand up for myself, I spent much of my life alone.  I learned to be alone and, at some point, began to thrive on it.  I decided early on that I didn’t deserve to be loved and when someone said they did, I immediately assumed they were lying.  The sad truth is that they usually were.  It is like a line from a Billy Joel song that says “she’ll ask for the truth but she’ll never believe  you”.

But all of that being said, it doesn’t matter how old our children become, they are still our babies.  My mom said that to me, but until I had my own, I couldn’t understand it.  She is a wise woman, my mom.  A wise woman indeed.

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It’s not easy …

to look over decisions that we’ve made, roads we have taken, choices we have labored over only to find that they weren’t the right decisions, were the wrong turns and were bad choices.  But it is a constant in our lives.  Not every crossroad we come to will have an outcome that is favorable.  Sometimes, the results can be downright devastating.

If the only person such things effected was ourselves, it wouldn’t, I suppose, matter, quite so much.  But our decisions, our outbursts, our tantrums, our misdirects … they, like a long, intricate line of dominoes, fall, one against another, starting a chain reaction that can last for years and through multiple lifetimes.  Purity and innocence can be taken away so quickly that it would seem as though they never existed.

I have a wealth of understanding on making mistakes and living with them; learning from them.  Some of my mistakes have hurt no one but myself, others have touched the people I love the most, causing pain that was never intended, hurt that, though time has surely layered with a cushion, can never, ever, be completely erased.

I understand pain and insecurity.  I have known joy and heartache with equal measure.  I have lain, curled in a ball while sobs wracked my body to the point that I feared my bones would break and didn’t care if they did.  I have known despair and felt the icy fingers of death claw at my mind.  I have thought long and hard about how easy it would be to simply drift away into nothingness where life could no longer kick me senseless.

It is because of these things that I have more understanding than I wish to, that I stand now, with my head up and my spirit intact.  Life did not break me.  It bent me, at times nearly beyond redemption, but it did not break me.  I look around and see others that have been bruised and bent themselves.  They weren’t broken either, but none of us came out of the fire unscathed.  None of us came away from it all whole, but full of holes that left room for the pain and suffering of others to fill.

Because of my broken road, I have found compassion, I have found empathy and I have found beauty that is so stunning that, at times, it nearly breaks my heart.  And along the path strewn with shards of brokenness, I have found others, stumbling along trying to find their way.  And through discouragement, faith and determination, I was encouraged.  We are all, in one way or another, broken and simply knowing that makes me feel less alone.

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Matthew 12:20 ~ A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench

An extra chromosome …

changed my life, as well as the lives of many, many others.  Five years ago, my youngest niece was born with Down’s Syndrome.  She was a tiny, fragile thing who looked as though she would break with the slightest touch.  Her fragility, however, was short lived.  Before we knew what hit us, Gracie was not only growing and thriving, but had managed to wrap everyone who met her around her sweet little finger.  The first time she smiled at me, tears filled my eyes.  The first time she called me Nini, I cried.  The first time she put those precious little arms around my neck and lay her head on my shoulder, I lost it completely.

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The fact that Gracie has Down’s Syndrome is irrelevant to everyone who meets her.  Her charismatic personality and over-the-top laughter make it impossible to see anything but the beautiful spirit she exudes.  She laughs.  She loves.  She thrives.  She plays.  She cries.  She gets mad.  She is everything she’s supposed to be, but because of that little, bitty, extra chromosome, she is so much more.

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Just by being herself, she is an encourager.  It is simply not possible to be in Gracie’s presence and not feel a sense of love and acceptance.  It was evident from the start that she was one of God’s special gifts.  She is blessed in a way that makes her appear larger than life.  Her very being commands attention without ever saying a word and people migrate to her, surround her, find solace in her.  She is, without doubt or reservation, a formidable weapon against everything negative.

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She possesses an innate ability to turn lives around with her genuineness.    She is guileless in everything she does, having no agenda or premeditation.  Her sense of self is unrivaled and her confidence unwavering;  that, in itself, is a testament to the strength and beauty that is part of what makes her who she is.  There are many things I would change in my life were I given the chance to do so.  Gracie is not one of them.

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March 21 is Down’s Syndrome Awareness Day and the purpose of this post is as much to help raise awareness as it is to sing the song of Gracie.    I am more than I was before she came into my life, but not nearly as much as I will be in another five years.  My life changed, for the better, the day she was born and I will never be the same.

To read Watching Gracie Grow, click on the photo below:

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Coughing, sneezing and I’m going to be sick …

seem to be the catchwords these days.  There are, at any given time, several bugs going around that are contagious, HOWEVER, due to the unusually warm weather this winter season, the bugs (and not just the flu ones) are winning the war.  It’s funny how, when someone is sick, all the lessons they learned as a child (such as covering their mouth when they cough) just fly out the window.  I have been coughed on, spit on, puked on and, as of today, hit on (though that is, unfortunately, not contagious hahaha). 

I never really intended on being a nurse, but for some odd reason, I seem to have a knack for it.  I am not a people person.   Might as well admit it.  Through the harsh experiences in my life that God had decided I needed to face, however, I have been given an arsenal of ways to relate to people facing crisis.

I still wake up every morning wishing I could spend the day looking for photographs to take, but that is not the turn my life took.  I went to school and studied things that grossed me out on many, many levels and, got kicked out of the OR by a very irritated surgeon; at some point, though, was able to actually practice (mostly without gagging) what I had learned.  I hate germs, hair and skin cells.  They make me want to run for cover, so I ask myself over and over why I became a nurse.  The answer is one that doesn’t please me, but the truth is often a bitter pill to swallow; I became a nurse because I didn’t have the nerve or courage to be what, in the depths of my soul, I wanted to be.

Ironically,  there is a survey that everyone in the place I work has to fill out.  Thankfully, we don’t have to put our names on it because one of the questions is “do I get to do what I do best every day”.  The answer is no.  I don’t get to photograph nature and life and I do not, on any level, consider making a note in a patient’s chart using medical jargon and words that I am pleased to not only know the meaning to, but know how to spell (such as costochondritis, hyperemisis and macrocytosis), writing.  But even so, I don’t discount the sheer magnitude of the moment when someone who is in need says to me “you have put my mind at ease” or “I am thankful for you”.  Those times almost (not completely, but almost) make me feel guilty for not wanting to be a nurse for the rest of my life.

I have, more than once, as any of my friends can tell you, been in a position where I needed to have my own mind put at ease.  As recently as the last two days, if I am to be honest.  I find that I treat patients the way I want my parents to be treated and often spend more time than I should trying to fix an unfixable problem.  Doing so is like hitting my head against a wall again and again, but I simply don’t have the mindset to do something halfway.  All or nothing, whether I love it or not, is just the way I roll.  It is a blessing to know that, along the way, I can give back what has  been given to me; that I can relate, even in the really bad stuff, and give someone a bit of peace by letting them know that I understand.  And, too often for my own comfort, I do understand.  It is both a blessing and a curse.  A blessing because I can bring some peace to a single, solitary soul, and a curse because I often wish, without guile, that I were anywhere but where I am at the moment.

Knowing that I am relevant in peoples’ lives  doesn’t cure the wanderlust or the need to write or the need to see or the need to photograph.  Those things make me who I am and whether I am face to face with the flu bug or dodging vomit, or squinting my eyes shut as someone coughs directly in my face, it doesn’t change what I want to be.  Just because I am good at what I do to earn a paycheck doesn’t mean that I want to keep doing it.  I’ve been saying that for over twenty-five years and my reality, though sometimes skewed by moments of insanity, hasn’t changed.  In my heart, I am a photographer and writer and that will not, even if those particular desires are never fulfilled, change.  I still have my trail shoots.  I still have my blog.  I still have my dreams.  I still have my faith.  While I will continue to do what I do as long as I must do it, there is so much more I want to experience.  Being an optimist, I have no doubt that the chance will come.  Being a Sagittarius, I am just stubborn enough to wait for it.  Being a follower of Jesus, I have the faith and patience to wait.  Being a nurse, I at least know that, while I am waiting, I am accomplishing something that matters to someone.

So all of that being said, I remind everyone to wash your hands several times a day, change your clothes the minute you get home and for Heaven’s sake, don’t eat or drink after people;  that is nasty even when you are well, even when it is people you love dearly.  Remember, germs don’t care who you are, they are just glad when you are gullible enough to bring them into yourself, so protect yourself and run when necessary. Be well, be safe and follow your dreams, no matter where they may lead.  I certainly intend to.

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Hebrews 11:1 ~ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Friends come and go …

such is one of the intricacies of life.  Sometimes, the best of friends can become separated for one reason or another.   It is difficult to come to terms with such things, but there is no avoiding it.  Not everyone you expect to be there for you will be there for you.  It is best to learn this early in life so that later on, it doesn’t come as a shock when you realize that people fade from your life.

If you give everything you have to a friendship, you should be aware that the possibility of disappointment, betrayal, hurt and denial are viable options.  It happens.  It doesn’t mean that you, or they, have done anything wrong, but have simply drifted apart to the point that there is nothing left in common.  Having a conversation with someone you have nothing in common with is like being skewered by a porcupine.  It hurts everywhere, all at the same time, and the reason often goes unknown.   I would like to say it is not a reflection on ourselves, but sometimes it is.  Sometimes our selfishness and desire to know that our friends understand us gets in the way of understanding that they, too, need validation and understanding.

There are people from my past that I loved dearly, but haven’t spoken to them in years.  It isn’t because I didn’t want to talk to them, but that our lives took different paths and there came a time when there was nothing left to say.  I find that many people distance themselves from me because I am completely different from what they have become accustomed to.  I am about plain speech, brutal honesty and speaking my mind.  I am both weak and strong, both intelligent and ignorant and at times, a seemingly unworkable puzzle.  Often, the filter between my brain and mouth fails.  When someone asks me for an opinion, I give it.  Truthfully.  There are those who don’t want the truth, but an illusion.  I don’t do illusions.

It is enough, for me, to know that there are people who understand that I am not like them, not like their other friends, not like anyone they know.  That doesn’t stop them, though, from being there when I need them.  It doesn’t stop them from loving me when I yell, cry and meltdown right in front of their eyes.  It doesn’t stop them from asking questions that may possibly have an answer they didn’t expect to hear.  It doesn’t change who they are or how they interact.   They take it in stride and see it as no more than what it is.  Me being me.  Those are the people I cling to.  The ones I message in the middle of the night with random thoughts that, quite possibly cross a multitude of boundaries … at times, I get an answer, but, some days feel as though I am no more than a vapor in the wind; conversations deferred until they have the mindset to go one on one with me … They are the ones who hear what I say and accept it, although it may perplex them but they do it without judgement, advise or trying to fix me.  I’m not a broken doll who needs her arms glued back on, but, just someone whose mind sometimes goes faster than what the rest of me can keep up with.  It is a fallacy and unthinkable injustice to think that they, who give of themselves, do  not need the same.

It is an implausible thought to believe that our friends think of us all the time.  Maybe some of them do and just forget to say so.  Maybe they outgrow us and find that there isn’t any common ground left … sometimes, yes, but not always.  Our minds have a way of distorting things and making judgements that are unjust and just plain false and when we do that, we ostracize ourselves because of our imagined ignorance.

While it is true that there are times when I ask more of my friends than they are able to give; the ones who truly want to be in my life say so.  They tell me that I’ve pushed the envelope over the boundaries and need to take a step back.  I need, as much as I give, honesty when it comes to my dearest friends.  I don’t ask for unconditional devotion.  That is an unrealistic expectation and should be met with opposition, but I do expect honesty.

Our friends are not merely there to stroke our ego or soothe ruffled feathers.  If that is all they do, eventually, they will become disillusioned and separate themselves for our lives.  I have caused that a few times.  Been too much work and not, in the grand scheme of things,  important enough to understand on a level that may never be achieved.

I am thankful for my friends.  My dearest friends know who I am and if they don’t, then it is as much my failure as theirs.  It is, indeed, a bitter pill to swallow when you realize that someone has distanced themselves from me simply because I don’t fit the mold they have cast for a friend.  It took me years to find myself, and even now, I am still learning and as long as I live,  if I have my mind, I will continue to learn.

Yes, friends in our lives will continue to come and go, but the ones who are true will be there when you need them.  That is not a supposition, it is a fact.  So for the handful of friends that I have who are not daunted by my mood swings, months of dis-communication,  missed birthdays, forgotten anniversaries and, at times, bombardment of questions, accusations and needs, know this;  I am thankful for you.  And, when the time comes that I can be there when you need me, know without a doubt, that I am on my way.

Thankful for my real friends and, surprisingly to some, my family, and even more thankful that they know not only who they are and what moves them, but find that they, even if they didn’t realize it earlier, know who I am.  Being understood is one of life’s most cherished blessing and while many of us go our entire life without finding that bond, the rest of us realize that the blessing is astronomical.  I am grateful for my friends.  I am thankful that, though I am different, they accept me.  I find it hard, though I may want more, to ask for more.  I am curios in a way that only a Sagittarian can be.  I have wants and desires, but won’t bash my head against a brick wall to get fulfillment.  There will come a time when I will, because it is in my nature, move on.

I think it is safe to say that the “I want it yesterday” world we live in is a hindrance.  Not everyone follows those same rules, the code of immediacy is not their own. It doesn’t make them a bad friend.  It makes them dependable and loyal.  It is hard to wish for more than loyalty, dependability and honesty in our friends.   Asking more is selfish and self-centered and will, in time, result in the disintegration of the friendship.   When you ask for more than someone can give and then hold it against them, the burden is of our own design.  At times, just knowing, whether they say so or not, that my friends think of me on occasion is enough; sometimes it isn’t.  We all need validation on some level, need to know that what we have isn’t one-sided and wasted on those who don’t really understand us and have no desire to.  But there will be ones like that, in those times, who become water under the bridge.  We learn lessons that will help us be better people in the future.  I have friends that I talk to on occasion, but the connection is one that, irregardless of excuses, stand the test of time.  They know more about me than anyone and they are the ones, being honest here, who hurt me most.  It isn’t their fault, but my own unattainable expectations that play tricks on my mind and make me doubt when there is no valid reason to do so.

I am thankful for my  real, honest to goodness friends.  As long as they are in my life, in some capacity, I can deal with nearly anything.  I know their weaknesses and disappointments even as they know mine.  Such intimacy in a friendship is hard to find and should not be taken for granted.  Be a friend, a loyal, trustworthy friend, and inevitably, you will reciprocate the same.  It is the way the world works.

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Proverbs 27:17 ~  Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Anticipation of its wonders…

nearly has me giddy.  It has been over two months since I have been out in the wild with my pentax, hiked a steep and winding mountain trail, sat on my favorite rock or stood in front of the falls.  I find that I am in serious withdrawal from the beauties and bounties of being alone in the midst of nature.  But the waiting is about to end.  After multiple injuries that kept me in a state of suspension on level ground, I am at the cusp of being released to return to my normal, weekend warrior activity.

The bone doc shakes his head at me each time I speak of climbing narrow mountain trails, scaling over rocks, holding onto trees to keep from falling backwards on steep paths and standing inches from the edge of a cliff just to get a vertical shot; he doesn’t understand that those things are as much a part of my life as the air I breathe.  He doesn’t understand that it is part of what sustains me. They make no sense to him and why, after all, should they.  I am part of distinct breed and we know what makes us tick whether anyone else does or not.

I long for it and longing is a very strong emotion.  I find myself thinking of the magnitude of loss that not having the hikes and jaunts every weekend have brought me.  No, it is not like losing a loved one or dear friend.  It is more like losing a cherished lover.  The envelopment of the wonder of nature is so complete that I feel untouchable when I am in the midst of it, held in the beauty and silence and soothed from every negative thought.  The silence of human voice combined with the chatter of nature is so alluring.  Setting up the tripod for long exposure shots, zooming in on a bloom, rock, leaf or whatever may catch my eye, is intoxicating to me; yes, I long for it.

It doesn’t matter what the good doctor has to say tomorrow.  I have been doing my own Physical Therapy and my shoulder is strong and ready to take on whatever comes my way.  I have already waited far longer than I wanted to.  I have exercised to way too many aerobics videos, practiced yoga until I can put my foot around my neck and into the opposite ear, lifted weights and performed hundreds of lunges and squats to keep my body strong.  I hate it.  Every single moment of it.  I don’t want to try to keep up with some bimbo that does things that make no sense and, regardless of how limber I am, I can only stretch so far.  I feel that I am well on my way to being a contortionists and warn my friends that they should not be surprised if they open a box and I am in it.

I have made an executive decision that I don’t really care, one way or the other, what the doc says tomorrow.  I am going into the mountain on Saturday.  I am going on a trail shoot and see what January in the mountains has to offer.  I have missed it more than I have the missed my dearest friends that I have neglected to keep in touch with.  Not great for their egos, but I’ve never lied to them before, why start now.  I think they know anyway; know that they take a back seat to the chance to get into the wilderness and see what waits for me there.  It’s why they are my dearest friends.  They understand me and, inexplicably, like me anyway.  Plain and simple.

While I still have a little soreness, the backpack will be a challenge.  But challenges don’t scare me, they inspire me.  So I’ll fill it up with water, toast-chee crackers, nekot cookies, a first aid kit, a few of my favorite lens filters and deal with it.  I’m already so excited about the adventure that everything else has suddenly become obsolete.  It just proves what I have said all along … I have a selfish bent.  And this Saturday, I’m playing the “me” card.  I have few responsibilities, when it comes to everyday weekend life, so being able to go where I please, when I please, for however long I please, is priceless.

Now to turn a complete 360 and change the subject entirely; I took out my Christmas tree tonight.  It was the first tree I have had in many years and the only one that has ever belonged solely to me.  I was apprehensive about putting one up at all.  I just didn’t want the past to become more a part of my future than it already is.  But I put it up, decorated it with only lights, and enjoyed it for over three weeks.  I now look out the unobstructed window and, with a regret I never imagined, miss my tree.  If I could have found a way to sustain it, I may have kept it up for months.  So soothing and comforting were the fading and blinking lights.  I don’t know for certain that I will have a tree next year as I doubt I will ever be as enamored as I was this year.  Taking back to myself what I had lost to sorrow, disappointment and plain disillusionment was one of the best things I have ever done for myself.  And I owe my dear friend, Missy, along with her young son, for picking out my perfect tree.  Many thanks in this shoutout to her and TAS.

Tomorrow is another day, and if I am blessed to live until then, I will embrace it and take it in as best I can.  My daily work has become a burden to me as I find my thoughts everywhere but where they should be.  It takes an enormous amount of concentration (which I am not know for), dedication, which I can  handle and people skills that though, I have a knack for, can’t find the passion that should be there.  In my heart, I am a photographer and writer; I am a nurse because I have bills to pay.  It didn’t start that way, but it’s how it ended up.  Anxiously awaiting Saturday when I will immerse myself in the beauty of winter.  I can barely sit still thinking about it.  That, in itself, speaks volumes.  That, in itself, defines a huge part of me.  My drummer, my march.  Selfish?  Yes, on some level.  Regretful?  Not a chance.  Bring it on.  I am willing and able.  No other requirements are necessary.  Praising God as I go and thank Him for all that He shows me.  I am blessed beyond anything I ever thought possible.  Yeah.

Little Stoney Falls, Southwest VA

Isaiah :12 ~ For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

When hatefulness spews forth …

I am nearly always sorry afterward.  Nearly.  My closest friends and my sister know my moods and how my mind works.  They understand that there are times when I am not feeling myself and I try, with everything I have, to pick a fight.  If someone decides to fight back, knowing that in the grand scheme, it is irrelevant, but crucial to my psyche, then all is good.  When I am left to my own design, I deal with the the only way I know how.  The way that works best for me.  I throw things.

Yep.  I throw things that shatter and break.  Tonight it was a Bone-China cup.  A wonderful sound does Bone-China make when it shatters into a hundred pieces.  It seems that, as that glass shatters, so does all the hatefulness and stress that is, at the moment, overtaking my body and mind.  When my husband was living, he became adept at dodging flying objects.  I hit him once and, after the first pump-knot, he learned that I aimed to hit.  We laughed about it, even though, at the moment of impact, it wasn’t funny.  Fulfilling and comforting to me, but not funny.  Not at the moment.  I hurt him, physically, and shocked him otherwise.  I was sorry, but not enough to promise to never do it again. I did it again, a few times, but he had learned to gauge my moods and knew when flying objects would be part of his world.  He would never fight back with me though.  And so, the outbursts to my sister and friends continued, escalating after his death, and  now back to normal outburst frequency.  It amazes me sometimes that they don’t just tell me to get lost.  I am so very blessed.

It is a rare thing for me to get so stressed that I resort to that.  If the truth be known, when I stopped at my sisters house last evening, it was to provoke a fight.  She knows better than anyone that sometimes, I just need to have it out with somebody and is, usually, a willing sparring partner.   She wasn’t home, though, and I couldn’t find enough hatefulness in my heart to take it out on my niece and brother.  So I turned to my friends.  They must feel so special to get a message a couple of times a year that tell them just how badly they have pissed me off.  I know, were I to receive such a message, I would just cry; maybe for days.  But they know how my mind works.  They understand the need for release and none of them, so far, have held it against me.  I have, however, had to offer an apology or two when I forgot my boundaries.  I don’t forget my boundaries as much as I ignore them.  But I never, ever want to hurt anyone’s feelings intentionally, although, on occasion, I do without meaning to. For that, I really am sorry.

I used to apologize for myself all the time, but in the last few years, I have decided that I am who I am.  And who I will be is yet to be determined because I haven’t crossed that bridge yet.  My friends know me, my family understands me and I am at peace, for the most part, with myself; what else on earth could anyone ask for?

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Proverbs 27: 5-6 ~ Better is open rebuke than hidden love.  Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Dreams are dreams …

whosoever they belong to.  I have dreams; big ones.  Great big ones.  But that doesn’t make my dreams any more important than someone else’s.  I find that, while of course, I would like to see my most cherished, life-long dreams come to fruition, I don’t mind waiting.  While I’ve waited, I’ve seen the dreams of my family and friends come true.

I once told a friend, truthfully, that I wanted their dreams to come true even moreso than I did my own.  It is as true now as it was when I said it.  I want those I love to have the things they wish for on falling stars.  The things they hope for.  The things they pray for.  I know, in my heart, that the things I long for will be granted to me.  I have never doubted that a moment will come that will open all the locks and change my life forever.  I am known for my optimism, that is true, but I want to be known for my faith.  It isn’t because I’m optimistic that I know my dreams will come true (though a bit of “half-full” doesn’t hurt), it is because I believe the promises made by a faithful God.

There are places I’ve seen so clearly in my mind that even without going there yet, I know what I will find when I do.  The clarity of my sleeping dreams is, at times, disturbing.  They are often more real than I am comfortable with.   But, I digress.

As I get older, I find more things that I really want to know.  I’ve been studying Spanish and the piano, and if nothing happens, I will start art classes next month.  I cannot draw.  At least, not yet.  But there is that hope again.  Hope that I can put onto paper what I see in my head.  I think that being able to do so would help while I’m waiting for my own dreams to come true.  I am certain.  I am thankful.  I am anxious.  I am blessed.  I am rambling.  I am, mostly, an open book.  I speak my mind.  I am true to myself.  I am a Sagittarius.  I am me.

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But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him ~ Jeremiah 17:7