A Fresh Outlook

October 18, 2017 at 6:04 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , , )

 

I have been going through a funk period. You are unhappy about something,but can’t quite put your finger on it. I am there. Some days, I feel like I am walking through a thick fog. Some friends will tell me it is because of the change in weather. The warm sunny days have been replaced with shorter, cooler evenings. I know I enjoy fall. I love the changing leaves,the cool mornings, the first cup of coffee tastes better, fall creamers,layers.

As I was sitting in my living room this morning, a thought came to mind. Sometimes I have to realize I need a change in my daily routine. I need to dead head my hydrangea, trim back my Lavender bushes, trees,and the final mowing of the season. Yes, it will be a routine change. I still need to clean and organize mt closet from summer to fall. Two of my best girlfriends both have full-time jobs, so we do not see each other as often. it is so easy to let our minds get side tract from what is important in our day. We still have the fall clean-up getting ready for winter, clothes need to be changed out so we do not freeze in 20 degree mornings, lunch dates are also important to stay connected with those we value. My thoughts this morning went deeper.

I have kept a morning journal for over thirty years now. I write down my thoughts, dreams that may or may not have come true, concerns I have in my life, my aging mom, finances, my job. As I get older, I see a different perspective than I did while raising my young son as a single mother. My priorities have changed; One income does not go as far as it used to. Home ownership is expensive when replacing a furnace or a roof. Property taxes and car insurance are due the same month. Life can be over whelming sometimes, and we cannot just go to an exotic destination to escape. Instead of focusing on negatives thoughts in my life, I have decided to focus instead of some positives.

I am grateful for the continued support of my family and friends. They have helped me through some of the most difficult times in my life. They are always just a phone call and a cup of coffee away. Loosing my son was devastating, I do not live in a new normal, I learned how to move forward in my life and enjoy life again.

I am grateful I still have my mom and brother. Mom turns 80 years old this weekend. My brother is able to be here to help celebrate. Even if it will be a quiet party with a few friends. She wanted sub sandwiches and carrot cake, so this is what she shall have. This will also give me a chance to see my brother again. (he does not know this yet,but I am enlisting his help with some of my fall clean-up). Lavender can be tricky to shape and cut back. We both enjoy seeing new homes and get ideas.

I am grateful for the changing season ahead.  love the crisp cool mornings like this morning. I even enjoy a foggy day. (It reminds me of when I was a girl visiting my grandparents in Santa Barbara. watching the fog clear up into a sunny day.) The red and golden colors on the tree-lined streets, Pumpkin Mania, school harvest carnivals, a crackling fire in the fireplace on a chilly night. Friends over for home-made chili and corn bread, a good Agatha Christie Movie.

Walks around nice lake front neighborhoods. I live in so many well-kept, gracious homes, I often go on a dream tour and come back to my home feeling blessed. I live in a smaller home than some, but I live a block from the river. We have paved walking paths, nature, the river, deer, birds singing, ducks with their babies swimming in the cove, paddle boards enjoying the mountains and beautiful home along the river. I must say, I do have so much to grateful for. Sometimes we feel over whelmed with commitments, saying no, home repairs, car repairs, we wonder if our paycheck is going to stretch enough.

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Remebering Levi

July 19, 2017 at 4:38 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , , )

 

I will never forget the day my son bought his truck; He took his grandma for a ride, then came back to take his mom for a ride( Grandma was chauffeured around for a couple of months).  Levi was tickled pink that he could afford such a nice vehicle. My son laid carpet and installed granite counter tops so his boss was just as thrilled now there were two trucks to haul daily materials. Levi tired of his truck and bought him his dream car-a Mitsubishi Eclipse. He was proud of his nice new car. He laughed that the color was dark green, his favorite color. His boss frowned because he lost his second truck for materials.

One sunny Sunday morning, Levi and his friends set out to float the river. I remember this particular day was the hottest day of the summer. At eight p.m. I received the call no parent wants-my son was involved in a tragic car accident. I went numb, I could not think of my life without the most important part of my life. My son was placed on life support. After five days and countless prayers later,our lives were forever changed. I often end my posts with the “hug your kids extra tight, tell them how much you love them, and how proud you are of them.” We are not promised tomorrow, only today. Make the most of your day, take the time to have your back yard cook-out,plan your day trip with family and friends.enjoy the beauty of each new day.

Each new day I am given, I am blessed by the love and support of family and friends. I have the best neighbors, live in a great small town where everyone knows each other, when my house needed refreshed, a good friend came over and painted,  another friend helped me turn my house into a beautiful home with Victorian charm. I had to realize even though my life was forever changed with loosing my husband and son, I need to keep moving forward. I turned my sons old bedroom into my dressing room. I love getting dressed in the morning and put on my pajamas at night. I have so many fond memories of the fine young man Levi had become.

Every year, I write a story about my son’s life for hope for other parents going through a similar circumstance. Our lives changed in a way we could not see coming. Every morning you wake up,listen to the birds singing a new song, enjoy the sunshine on your face and  keep moving forward. i am healing more everyday, and I writing helps keep my sons memory alive. thank you all for your support and kind comments. This really helps keep me motivated to keep writing.

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Downsizing

June 8, 2017 at 3:40 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , )

 

The older I get, the more I am realizing I can learn to live with less stuff. I am organizing my summer this year to include editing of stuff I do not need. This fantastic idea did not happen over night mind you, but having lunch yesterday with a dear friend helped me to get started.

My friend and I met yesterday early afternoon for a nice Chinese lunch. We made plans to head into the next town to shop for curtains for our living rooms. As we shopped, we talked about our rooms of horror. My friend having company this weekend was busy trying to get her home ready for company, I found out a high school friend recently moved here after she retired; We made plans to meet at my house and then go hiking. The day we planned on meeting, it was thunder and lightning for the next three days. I spent the time wisely cleaning out my closets,under beds, inside my laundry room. My office is next on my list to do. Someone once asked me if “I felt better now that I have purged in a few rooms?” I told her “no, I had to do it someday anyway.” I am not one who goes out and accumulates more stuff once the old stuff has been given to Goodwill. 

I don’t know what is  when we are having someone stop by our house, but I get in a Merry Maid mode or something. I figure this is as good a time as any to edit my no longer used items. It is amazing how much stuff we are holding onto when we start to clean out say under the bed(we thought the kids rooms were bad). Okay, I do not have dirty dishes from say 1990 under the bed, but my childhood suitcase can go to another little girl. I do not remember buying and storing so many candles under my bed!. Some are hardly burned. I know I used to use them for seasonal display. I am making a plan to have only one bed spread for the year. I would switch out bedding in Spring and fall to have a nice new bedroom to look forward to. I never realized how much you store in bedding,decorative pillows, pictures, etc. you keep in bins. I already cleaned out my garage last year. My friend installed insulation to the walls, and since he had his pickup at my house, we just loaded up the tree branches, lattice, a pile of wood none came to get, and while we were at it, we built a new back fence. 

I am thankful thirty years ago my late husband and I bought our forever home together. The house was turn-key when we bought it. We used to host parties and enjoyed lively conversations and watching the kids play outside. I am still hosting smaller gatherings these days. With everyone having a busy schedule, i like to have a good friend over in the evening for desert and maybe a movie. I enjoy the occasional lunch catching up with my dear friends or meeting at a coffee-house. I am enjoying my life in my middle age. Even though my life was forever changed with the deaths of both my husband and son, I ma moving forward in the good things God has for me. I enjoy sitting outside on my patio listening to the birds chirping and the crickets. sweet music being made for my enjoyment. 

 

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The Big Snow

January 11, 2017 at 10:49 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , , )

images (7)This has been the craziest winter for years. I do not remember a time when we had a bad snow storm, followed by sub-zero temperatures,then six more inches of snow. Fall and Winter are usually the two Seasons I love best. this year, the snow needs to let up, the sub-zero temps need to be above my age, (yes, I know,that is Spring temps.)and people need to slow down for road conditions. I think we had 195 collisions and four being fatal just last week.

Folks talk about the Big Snow of 196-. Kids jumped off the roof tops but landed two feet into the snow drift. Some families could not get out the front door because the snow was so heavy. Neighborhoods had snowman and snow fort contests followed by a chilli cook offs. Families pulled kids around the neighborhoods on ATV’s. I did not live in the area yet,but I have witnessed my fair share of snowy winters. My family used to head up to one of the many ski resorts and we would go sledding down the mountain.Afterwards,we headed to Denny’s to warm up. My parents had a motor home at the time,so we piled as many friends into the thing as we could. So much laughter,telling stories of sking mishaps,and a fun afternoon had by all.

I grew up in california where we had to drive to the snow. The family would take off on saturday and head to Bishop or Wrightwood. My twin brother and I wished we could live in a State where we could just walk outside the front door and see snow(silly me). The family moved to Idaho in 1981 after my dad had an accident at work. We needed to move to a drier climate. We already had family who moved here the year before and found us a house; My mom still lives in the same house in a safe neighborhood. The guy across the street makes sure her driveway is kept clear of snow. He is really appreciated. A few years ago when we had a bad winter, the weatherman asked everyone who could help,dig your elderly and disabled neighbors out. It sparked a community effort to keep everyone clear and safe. It sometimes takes the snow plows a couple of days to get to the side streets and blocks.

I know in six weeks we will be letting go of Winter and welcoming Spring. Trading our snow shovels and de-icer for garden supplies( I hear you out there) for  a moment longer, I want to enjoy not sub-zero temps, but at least 40 degrees. When the sun hits the tree- lined trees and mountains, it is breathtaking. Soon, we will make way longer days, warm sunshine,  watering the grass, planting new flowers,  updating the landscape. Soon we will be enjoying the Annual Garden Tours, B&B Tours, and lake fun activities. Hold on to your swim trunks and swim suits for now,we still have to get through the rest of this Season before we can start planting again.

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I light a Candle For You

December 18, 2016 at 9:54 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

images (8)I light a candle celebrating my son Levi. I look back on how far I have come in my healing,finding inner peace among my struggles, and I am thankful for my many wonderful friends I can count on in times of trouble.

When talking about the incomparable Levi De Gon, many thoughts comes to many minds. He was generous, I love the sparkle in his eyes,his infectious laugh, his compassion for others. When Levi was 19 years old, he and I decided it was time for him to move out. He moved in with his Grandmother to help her after his beloved Grandpa passed away. My mom sure kept Levi honest; The front door locked at 10:00 p.m. Levi’s friends would call my mom at 9:59 asking her to wait another 5 minutes, he was on his way home. My mom was the perfect bank,once you handed her money to put away,well you guessed it-you would not be seeing it for a while. (called a savings account son).

When Levi bought his first truck,he proudly drove his Grandma around in style. He helped her get her weekly groceries,well he was able to suggest items for the next weeks dinner menu if he came along. My mom was helping him save up for his first apartment; not many young adults had the whole place furnished, Levi would have. I raised a good kid. He had made a  few poor choices he had to deal, with but we all got through it.

I went to a candle memorial service in honor of my son. We were all given a dove Christmas decoration. I placed three on my pencil tree. What a great way to remember the love, laughter, life Levi had brought me. I find peace in the midst of my struggles knowing he touched so many lives in his young life. I do not live my life with regrets-yes I am sad he had to leave so young, but I have so many others I help in his honor.Hug your kids extra tight tonight,don’t let a day go by you don’t tell your loved ones how much you love them,how much they mean to you and how proud you are of them. Life can truly change forever in a moment.

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Holidays And Heroes

December 14, 2016 at 1:19 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , )

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Christmas is a time of joy, family celebrations. But for many in our community, families struggle just to get by with food, clothing, gifts under the tree or even a tree. Holidays for Heroes started a few years ago to give families a helping hand. Local law enforcement including Sheriff, City Police Departments,  Fire and Rescue, Tribal Police all come together to help deserving kids. School Counselors,Guidance Counselors, give the Police department names of struggling families in the area for a day of shopping and a visit to see Santa. The day begins with a Policeman picking up the child and shopping at Wal-Mart. While the kids are shopping for mom and dad, a food basket is being put together. After shopping with a Police officer or other volunteers,the kids are taken to visit Santa. the gifts are wrapped by volunteers and then the child is taken back home. One officer said “he likes to participate in the program so kids can see us the good guys too. All to often, I am at the home arresting mom or dad for domestic violence. The kids get to see another side of my job”.

The local malls host The Tree of Sharing. Toys for Tots pick up unwrapped toys to brighten up a child this holiday. The community comes together not only for the holidays but also all winter. The local news team a couple of years ago challenged families to help dig out your neighbor instead of waiting for the plows to come by. What a great way to welcome a new family into your neighborhood. The County Jail is keeping  inmates busy this year shoveling roof tops and walkways of several local businesses. The person has a choice to get out and make a difference instead of just sitting all day. The Union Gospel Mission is one of many warming centers helping those in need of a place to sleep, get a warm meal and companionship for the night. Treats for Troops gives our men and women who can’t come home this year a taste of home. Items we take for granted like tooth paste,baby wipes, coffee, candy, and trail mix just to name a few brings a smile to and lets them know we are thinking about them this holiday season.

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Kindness, Pass It On

November 23, 2016 at 6:13 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , )

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Today,being the day before the Big Thanksgiving gathering of family and friends, life at the super market,on the highway,trying to keep one step ahead of the stress, especially if we have to work today. I know for some,it is a special time of year when we get to wow the family with our scrumptious turkey and all the trimmings, but I have found(gasp) it is okay to have help in the kitchen to prepare some dishes ahead so the host can enjoy the whole day more stress free.

I know what some of you are thinking, “Is she crazy?” No I am not. I remember my parents always threw a great party ;On opening day of hunting, mom and dad might have 50 people show up Early for duck hunting. The rest of the families would come later,mom made a nice dinner for all and had a good time visiting with everyone. My brother and I kept the rest of the kids busy riding our horses(in the coral that day of course) didn’t want to get shot at in the orchard. Later when my dad was hurt on the job and retired,the family moved to Idaho where we reside today. Mom and dad were always hosting a friends and family party. The population 30 years ago was less than is it today so on snowy days, dad pulled everyone around the neighborhood in his ’46 Willies jeep while mom had home-made chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate ready for us to warm up. They hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas at their home I can remember how lively the house was with great food and good conversation.

Now most of mom’s family and friends has moved to other States, my dad and my son have passed away,so it is quieter now. I go over and make a nice meal to share with mom,and we reminisce about her riding her horse up the hill behind the Iverson Ranch movie studio in Chatsworth to watch her favorite tv show being filmed.  It does not matter if you have one guest or a house full, giving a little more grace at the grocery store,giving grace at a stop light when the light turns green, instead of taking that call,chatting a few minutes with your new neighbor, and remembering to pray for our troops this weekend and thanking God for them and our freedoms they are protecting that we can still today celebrate a holiday.

It only takes a moment to smile,say hello,extend a hand, and say a kind word to someone who may be hurting and you not even know it. It is easy to be critical with our words and sometimes especially on this hectic weekend. Let’s give the clerks some grace because you know every one of them wanted to call in sick-they have to be nice in the midst of the madness. images (2)I think Garfield had it right, It is stressful sometimes in life,but with a little planning,it can come off without a hitch. Enjoy your Holiday and God Bless you all.

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Coping With Summer Ending.

September 8, 2014 at 10:19 pm (Creative Non- Fiction) (, , , )

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Go outside. hike,bike, soak up the sun. The days are shorter and cooler. Squeeze every moment you can out of the days.

Plan a fun weekend after classes start. Rent a paddle boat or canoe.

Set up a tent in the backyard on a starry night. See if you can find the big dipper.

Read a book on a  park bench. Enjoy the fresh air.

Visit a farmer’s market. try a new recipe with your fresh produce.

Cook your meal over a back yard fire pit or BBQ. Enjoy roasting marshmallows for desert.

Time for the changing season,leaves begin to change, the cooler evenings. Still so much to enjoy.

There is still time to finish those home improvement projects we have been putting off all summer.

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