Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Compassion at the Gate

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“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “mean(s).” Use it with or without the “s,” any way you’d like. Have fun!”

I like to have that up there as a reference, even if it is stream of consciousness writing that I’m doing. I want to remember that “have fun,” part because this prompt has got me thinking all serious. Maybe I’ll work the fun part in. I don’t know because we’re not supposed to plan. That’s like telling me I’m not supposed to check the stove 3 times, lock the door, and jiggle the door knob before I leave the house.

Anyway, I was thinking about the saying that the end doesn’t always justify the means. That is especially true when the means means being mean. I don’t usually get political here on this blog. In fact, I try real hard not to. But some people are just plain mean.

Moving back to my own little world, I have felt mean when setting healthy boundaries, but that comes from years of being too nice and a people pleaser. I don’t like conflict. I’ve been saying “no” more as I get older to things that feel toxic. If someone wanted to live in my house because they had no where else to go, I’d say no – unless it was a family member who I got along well with. But it’s hard when you don’t know someone how far to let them into your space.

I’m thinking of the caravan of people who are not coming to my house. They might be coming to my country. It’s a big country full of abundance. We have to have some boundaries of course. But I keep thinking, what would Jesus want us to do? What did Jesus try to teach us about feeding the poor and helping the homeless? He and his family were refugees soon after his birth.

I know we can’t accept EVERYBODY into the country. I know we have to have rules. But I don’t want us to be mean. I mean, let’s have some compassion for people who are in trouble and not assume they are all dangerous. Let’s find out.

It’s hard. Okay. I know this is weird for an introvert to say let’s be accepting of people coming in if we can do it through the channels – let’s not close the gates, when sometimes I want to close my own gate. Let’s try to figure out how to not do it mean. Let’s not lock the gate and lose the key.

I’m sending love to all the lost souls and meanie heads out there.

It’s complicated, I know.

Speaking of gates, here are some pictures I took, looking from the outside in, at the Land of Oz which opens twice a year on Beech Mountain, NC. It wasn’t open the day we went exploring.

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There’s a surveillance camera on top. We waved.

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A horse of a different color on the other side of the fence.

It occurs to me now that I would not relish going to Oz on one of the weekends when they open because they have LINES and CROWDS which I don’t like much. But if I was in trouble and had to get out of the country (or my granddaughter really wanted to go) I’d probably go stand in line. It would be nice to go to Oz. Is the US like Oz? I know the movie was symbolic. I think I’m getting in over my head. Gonna close that gate for today.

The Stream of Consciousness Saturday Post is brought to you by Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/11/09/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-nov-10-18/

Go check it out!

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


26 Comments

My Sisters on the Other Side

Yesterday was the birthday of my older sister, Linda. She’s been gone from this world now for almost ten years. Just a year less than Mom. I don’t remember her being in my life when I was very young, but there are pictures that tell a different story.

Infant joanne w Linda and mom

Linda is holding me as Mom plays with her hair.

Little JoAnne and Linda

I remember those wooden shoes hurt my feet. Maybe Linda is trying to comfort me with her hand on my knee.

She was ten years older than me, technically a step sister, but the father who adopted her when he married my mother was much more of a father than the first one.

Linda got married at 16. We saw her now and then, usually during a crisis, like when her son died, then the  few months we stayed with her and her husband and daughter when Dad was in Vietnam, and later when my younger sister died.

After my divorce, Linda and I talked on the phone more. Her love and acceptance reached all the way from California to the Atlantic coast. She was a welcome comfort during that dark time of my life. I kept saying my daughter and I were going to come visit her, but I didn’t realize how sick Linda was, and that sometimes we don’t have as much time as we think we have. Still, I’m grateful beyond words for her love and I know she is in a good place, probably singing hymns with Dad like they did when my parent’s visited her church.

A few days ago, I had all the loose the old family photos laid out on the table so I could add them to the family history album. That’s when I realized how much Linda cared for me when I was young.  I also studied the photos of my younger sister, Mary Kaye.  It’s one thing to die when you’re old – whatever old is… I’m not so sure anymore – But Mary Kaye was young. It was on her 16th birthday, in March of 1975, that Mary Kaye was killed by a drunk driver.

Mary Kaye was not interested in school. She smoked cigarettes and ran away from home once. But she also volunteered with handicapped children and helped with fundraisers for their group home.

Mary Kaye in candy spiper uniform with Lobo

Mary Kaye in her candy striper (volunteer) uniform with Lobo

Mary Kaye at bake sale and with Lobo

Left: MK is putting the hamster on Lobo’s head. Right: she’s wearing the smiley face T shirt and volunteering at the bake sale for the  Carobell children’s home.

We were very different in many ways. She was more of a free spirit. I was more serious about school and had bigger plans for saving the world.  We were just starting to get beyond our sibling rivalry when she died. I often wonder what she would be like today. I wish my kids had been able to know her. These were my thoughts when I started sobbing at the table full of old photos. My husband was there to comfort me and suggested I take a break from the photos since I’d been at it for a while. I picked up my journal and went to the couch to write my feelings. A few minutes later, I felt Mary Kaye’s presence. I have not felt her presence much like I have my parents who died more recently, but it was very much the same feeling of intense JOY. No clear words, like my father gives me, but clear and unmistakable JOY.

dandelion sun through trees (3)

This evening, I stopped writing this to go for a walk with David and Doodle. Breathing in the cool air, I reached out to Linda and felt the gentle joy of her spirit. Then lightening flashed in the distant clouds. Maybe that was Mary Kaye.

If you have sisters or brothers, parents or children, beloved family by blood or by choice, still living in this world, treasure the moments you have with them. And also know this, our loved ones who have passed on are alive in spirit and in love on the other side.


21 Comments

Good News Tuesday: Baby Holding, Rings of Peace, and a Father Confronts Bullying with Compassion

Stranger Holds Baby While Mom Does Paperwork – Photo gets over a Million Likes.

This grandfather asked to hold a stranger’s baby so the mother could fill out paperwork. Mom said yes. The photo shared on Facebook got over a million likes even though no one in the photo is in FB. People want good news,too. Maybe mainstream media is starting to get it?  You can read more of the story here.

Rings of Peace Around Toronto Synagogues

Hundreds of people of different faiths showed support for synagogues in Toronto Saturday by being part of the Rings of Peace.

You can read more about the Rings of Peace here.

Father Confronts Son’s Bully with Compassion

In confronting his son’s bully, this father found out the older boy was being bullied himself for wearing the same clothes. The wise father used empathy, listening, and compassion to turn torment into friendship. Thanks to Good Morning America for covering this story.

Looking for balance one Tuesday at a time.

Sunflower w address

Got good news?

Feel free to share!


33 Comments

Save Your Own Backyard

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This should be interesting. Today’s prompt is: ” is “point.” Open a book on your lap, close your eyes, and put your finger on the page. Whatever you land on, whether it be a word, a phrase, or a sentence, write about it. Enjoy!”

I chose a book sitting in my parents’ living room which is now my living room, called

The Angels’ Little Instruction Book.”

I followed the instructions, book on lap, eyes closed, and opened to a page with these words:

If you can’t save the whole world, at least save your own backyard.

My finger was in the middle of this.

Below is, “You have been trustworthy in a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.” Matthew 25:21. But let’s start with the backyard, please….

Then I had to go let Marigold the mutt outside because she woke up from her long nap. Since she’s 16 years old and sleeps a lot, I have to let her out when she’s up and moving. I gave her a choice between the front yard with steep steps I have to carry her down and the backyard which has a ramp. She chose the ramp. Good.

Backyard. At least save your own backyard. What’s really interesting is that 15 minutes before I stuck my finger in the book, my husband and I were just talking about the work we have to do in our backyard at our permanent address where Hurricane Florence blew our fence over. We’ve done a lot of work on cleaning up the tree limbs and branches, but still have plenty to do when we’re there once a week while living at the house that was my parents.’

I miss my woodsy backyard. It will still be woodsy even after we clear out the limbs and build the new fence. But back to the Angels’ instruction. Who can save the whole world? God? Jesus? If we listen. I used to want to save the world when I was 18 or 22 years old. Then for the next few decades, I always felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I worked with drug addicts and marched for the animals. I carried signs. But it was never enough. Now, I’m settling down and focusing more on my own backyard. Is is because I’m wiser or am I just tired. Maybe both.

I’m reminded of a quote that…Wait, I don’t remember exactly how it goes so I’ll paraphrase: Don’t make the mistake of doing nothing because you can only do a little. Then Mother Teresa said do little things with a lot heart. That’s paraphrased too. Oh, it’s with great love.

But there’s the symbolic meaning of saving your own backyard. Save yourself. Save your family – as best you can – by being a good example. Because who can we really save? I think it’s about taking care of our own backyard. Cleaning up our own back yard. What about the front yard? That’s important too, but the backyard is where the heart is. Save where your heart is. Save what you love. Take care of what you love. Ripples of love will extend to what you like. Maybe even what you don’t like. I don’t have to force it. I can let love flow as it will. Like a river. Or a stream of consciousness.

Here are some pictures from my backyard:

Turkey Tail Mushroom

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Leaves in water

Mary in the backyard 3

Old Marigold gets lost in the backyard sometimes.

For more Streams of Consciousness and to learn more about #SoCS, visit Linda at

https://lindaghill.com/2018/11/02/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-nov-3-18/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

 


6 Comments

One-Liner Wednesday: He Kissed Her and Went to Hide the Head

A new head

“So what do you want for your birthday?” He hoped to cheer her up and distract her from the migraine.

She closed her eyes. “I just want a new head.”

A week later, on her birthday, he got Betty a new head.

“Oh Jim. That’s ugly! That’s what you got me for my birthday?!”

“You said you wanted a new head. Look, it glows in the dark!” He turned off the light and held the thing up.

“Eeew! That’s not not funny,” she said laughing. “My headache’s gone now. Don’t bring it back.” She turned the light back on and noticed he was hiding something behind his back. “What did you really get me for my birthday?”

“I got you what you asked for, a new head.” Then he grinned. “And this.” He brought his other hand around revealing the Whitman’s Sampler.

 

“That’s more like it.” She snatched the box.

“You gonna share?”

“Only if you get rid of that head.”

“Aw, come on. We can save it for Halloween.”

“Alright, but put it away where I won’t see it. I like my head better.”

“Yeah. Me, too.” He kissed her and went to hide the head.

….

I meant to make this a simple one-liner, but it turned into a story about my parents. It’s true that my mom said she wanted a new head when she had a migraine and that dad bought her a new one. I remember it hanging in his garage years ago and found it recently going through his stuff.

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One-liner Wednesday is brought to you by our host, Linda G. Hill.

For more information and more one-liners, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/10/31/one-liner-wednesday-murder-for-dummies/

The rules for #1linerWeds, which we don’t always follow, are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our lovely badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!


5 Comments

Good News Tuesday: Support for The Tree of Life Synagogue, Signing Students, and a 94 Year Old Wise Guy

Tree of Life We are all one

Muslim groups raise over $125,000 to help Pittsburgh synagogue victims

People of many faiths are helping the victims and families of The Tree of Life synagogue where a shooting took the lives of 11 people in Pittsburgh Saturday. It gives me hope to know that among the helpers are two Muslim-American non-profits who have exceeded their fundraising  goal in the campaign, “Muslims Unite For Pittsburgh Synagogue.”
Below are two links for the story. The first is from nbcnews.com and the second is an earlier story from The Times of Israel.

 

https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-muslims-raise-over-100000-for-synagogue-victims/

Kindergarten Class Signs Happy Birthday to Custodian Who is Deaf:

Watch how this beloved custodian reacts to kindergarten students signing the Happy Birthday lyrics especially for him.  Happy Birthday, Mr. James!

 

94 Year Old Veteran Greets Students with Wisdom and Fist Bumps

Wally Richardson meets middle school students every morning with positive wisdom and encouragement. I love his motivational call/response technique. Take a look!

Good News Tuesday seeks to bring some balance to media, one Tuesday at a time.

Sunflower w address

 Feel free to share, YOUR good news in the comments!


26 Comments

SOCS: Bad Bones, Good Bones, and Boneheads

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Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is, “bone.”

Does my husband call his favorite dogs, “bonehead,” because he doesn’t want to get too attached? Too late. It’s an act. If they are ever sick, he worries like a daddy over his baby.

You probably know not to give dogs chicken bones or fish bones. Add pork bones to that list. Years ago, we gave our dogs bones we bought at the grocery store just for dogs. I’d done this before with no problems. A little while later, there were no bones! Then I noticed splinters! OMG! They ate the bones! Turns out they were pork bones and not beef. Pork bones splinter. Thank God they had no noticeable ill effects. It’s probably best not to give dogs bones at all to be safe.

Yesterday, I  took a chance and let someone come look at the house I inherited from my parents. I’ve been pestered with postcards at least once a week saying “I want to buy your house,” for over a year. These companies buy houses as is and flip them. So this guy comes in and looks the house over. He was very nice in a car salesman kind of way. (Sorry if you sell cars.)  He explained the formula and said they would give me 35,000 for my parents house. He said the house has “good bones,” but they would basically gut it and make it look like something from HGTV with state of the art appliances. He mentioned a $3000 refrigerator. What a bone head! I didn’t call him a bone head out loud, but sheesh. I did say I would never spend $3000 on a refrigerator. I didn’t even throw him a bone. If I did, it would be a pork bone.

Surely there are people who would like a nice three bedroom house with a big back yard, a metal roof, reinforced windows, imperfect walls, and regular old appliances that work just fine. (Well, once we fix that burner on the stove.)

I’ll be doing a little more painting and refinishing a couple of the cabinets, then I’ll be calling some realtors.

I’ve been meaning to let you know that the touch lamp in my mother’s room has come on a couple of times by itself. Unless I forgot and left it on, but I don’t think so. It’s  Mom dropping in occasionally to say hello.

Mom's lamp

 

 

To learn more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit Linda’s blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/10/26/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-oct-27-18/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!