Anything is Possible!

With Hope, Faith, and Perseverance


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A Tale of Five Tails

back cover painting (2)

Once upon a time, in a little urban cottage, lived a peri-menopausal woman and her adolescent daughter. The daughter liked to wear black. Her mother liked to wear green, blue, and brown, the colors of the earth. They were both somewhat lonely, though not horribly so, because they had each other and the two tails. (We’ll come back to the tails in a moment.) You see, the woman’s prince charming had turned back to a frog after twenty years of marriage and left to be with a younger woman. (That’s all I’m going to say about that, lest I seem bitter.)

The two tails were attached to two dogs. One was a big golden boy with the heart of a lion. His tail looked like a plume and would often catch things like leaves, twigs, and Christmas tree ornaments. The other was a mongrel of medium size whose tail was brown and long with a white tip at the end. The woman and her daughter both loved the dogs and their tails that wagged easily when the humans came home from a hard day at the office and the classroom.

The woman met other princes who were not princes at all. One was a creepy old toad who briefly appeared confident and smart, but alas, he had way too many demons running around in his head and would not even try to slay them. The other was better, with  a big smile. He seemed like the court jester at first, but sometimes he could be, shall we say, contrary. Too contrary. And he was not a good fit.

The woman decided that maybe she was better off with just the two dogs with their plumey and tippy tails. They were not much trouble and better company than the men who had courted her. But she sometimes still wished for a partner, a knight in shining armor who would not turn out to be a frog. Someone who would be a good fit. At the top of her list was that he MUST LOVE DOGS. 

Well, right around the time her daughter graduated from high school, she got a message  from her old flame, from long, long ago and far, far away. He found her again when the time was perfect. The old flame, as it turned out, loved dogs! He had three dogs each with their own special tail. One was shy and neurotic and shook every time it thundered. His tail was black and shaggy with white on the end. One was a tall hound, obsessed with food. Her tail did not wag much because she had been traumatized at an early age, before the man rescued her. But later, she became a happy tail-wagging hound, especially at dinner time. The other dog was “Beep the Horrible.” She loved the man so much, she would tear things up when he left. She did not want to share him at first. Her tail was short but could wag fiercely.

When the old flame and his dogs came to live with the woman, after an appropriate and romantic courtship, the dogs did not all get along well. But walking together as a pack and vigilance at mealtimes, eventually brought the blended family together. “Beep the Horrible” fell in love with the adolescent daughter. The woman and her old flame, who really was her knight in shining armor, got married and lived happily ever in the little urban cottage with their five dogs with wagging tails.

jesse howling

My Golden Boy, Jesse and Mary Moo

oreo (2)

Oreo the Vibrating Dog

Doodle w foot on head (2)

Doodle the crazy coon hound

Beep

Beep the Horrible

If you’d like to read the full-length version of this story, buy my book! Or enter to win a free Kindle e-book in Goodreads Giveaways Feb. 12 – Feb. 20. Stay tuned for details!

Today’s prompt for the Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness was to tail/tale. For more tales of the Stream of Consciousness kind, visit Linda’s blog at:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/02/09/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-10-18/

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. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on 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 simply a single word to get your 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 everyone’s! 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 right 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!


31 Comments

Motherly Love

(During the month of February, I plan to write about different kinds of love.

Thanks for reading. I look forward to your thoughts.)

 

JoAnne and Ayla baby at the beach (2)

1993

What a surprise to feel that pull on my heart,

Maternal instincts beyond my control.

Men can have those feelings, too.

But my heart, soul, and body,

Were in it for the long haul.

The intoxicating smell

 of soft downy heads

Embedded a bond

Stronger than

Smelly diapers,

Projectile vomiting,

Toddler tantrums,

And adolescent dramas

When I wondered who took my son

And twisted his devotion into gnarly knots?

Who hitched my girl to a marathon ride

On that emotional roller coaster

Without my permission?

Yet they both survived

the bullies and angst

To grow stronger,

To fly solo.

I open my hands

To. Let. Them. Go.

But my heart strings

Stretch across the miles

Through darkness and light,

Because a mother’s love never ends.

 

 

 


11 Comments

Hopi Elder Speaks

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I’ve been holding on to this message from the Hopi elder, waiting for the right time.

This feels like a good time.

“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.  And there are things to be considered . . .

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.”

Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, “This could be a good time!”

“There is a river flowing now very fast.  It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.  They will try to hold on to the shore.   They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly.

“Know the river has its destination.  The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water.   And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.  At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, Least of all ourselves.  For the moment that we do,  our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

“The time for the lone wolf is over.  Gather yourselves!  Banish the word struggle from you attitude and your vocabulary.  All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

— attributed to an unnamed Hopi elder

Hopi Nation, Oraibi, Arizona

The river is moving fast for me this week. I’m getting ready for a trip to see my grandchildren, heading into a bit of weather maybe, so prayers are welcome.  I’ll be driving to the NC mountains to pick up my son, then it’s on to Indianapolis. My son will be doing most of the driving. He reminded me he has ten years of experience driving in snow.

Angels, make our way clear and safe.

Sometimes, I’d rather be the lone wolf, staying close to home. But when I look around and see who is with me on this journey,  I see magic and meaning.  A decade ago, when my son was in his early twenties, he was physically and emotionally distant. For one year, he barely talked to me. Now, we enjoy each other’s company. I look forward to our time together.

Love still flourishes. Love carries the best kind of courage.

I feel a pull that I sometimes resist, but I’m going with it now, to the middle of the river where the water runs deep.  I remember that I’m a good swimmer and at home in the water.  It’s time to celebrate like a breaching whale, to keep my eyes open, my head above water, and let my heart go with the flow.

New River via VA State Parks

All waters – rivers, oceans, rain, and snow – have much in common. Just as we are more alike than different. It is time for each of us to find our sacred way and to see that our rivers connect.

Everyone belongs.


10 Comments

Holiday Whirlwind

IMG_1290 (2)

I’m back in the world of WordPress and playing catch up! At first, I felt a twinge of guilt, a void with my absence here. But that didn’t last long. I’ve been bizzeeee!

After spending five days with my energetic, high spirited, six year old granddaughter, I’m still processing the whirlwind.  She stayed in the room I’ve been fixing up for her for two years (the room that has doubled as my art studio) with plum colored walls, yellow curtains, butterflies, and angels. Earlier this year, due to complicated family matters, I didn’t know if I would ever see her again. So her being able to stay with me was an answer to many prayers.

We had some wonderful times, playing hide and seek in the back yard, making cookies, singing Christmas carols (“Frosty the Snowman” at least 20 times), reading books, and playing make believe as kitty cats, pirates, and characters from the movies, Frozen and Moana. Church went well on Sunday, and later, I got to answer (or attempt to answer) lots of questions about God: Does God live in the sky? How big is God? Does God have parents? Did God make everything? Does God know everything?  How does God know everything? Does God know we are talking right now?

I received an abundance of opportunities to practice setting boundaries, standing my ground, and going with the flow, with many deep breaths and an abundance of hugs. I am extremely thankful for my husband’s support and for help from my daughter (Aunt Ayla) during this whirlwind holiday.

If necessary, I and my support team would be fully capable of taking care of my granddaughter until she is grown. But after five days, I  was happy to return her to the loving care of her father and his partner. There’s a certain wisdom to menopause. God and Mother Nature have been kind to women in not allowing us to have children after a certain age.

There’s always something to be thankful for.

I hope you’ve all been enjoying warm and happy holiday moments and wish you many blessings!

 


9 Comments

No Sides, Only Love

Suicide is the leading cause of death for young people in Utah. Too many young people have died, both in body and in spirit, as a result of being marginalized, hated, and abused. “Encircle” is a resource center, a safe haven, for LGBTQ youth and their parents started by a Mormon mom in Provo, Utah. After watching videos about the program, I feel tremendous admiration for those who had the courage to open its doors with the motto: No sides, Only love.  It’s not always easy to lead with only love. But programs like Encircle and its people give me great hope.

 

Got good news? Please share!

Sunflower w address


19 Comments

Bridges to Forgiveness

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Last month, I watched a video, over at Sue Dreamwalker’s blog, about homelessness. The topic and the video still nudge me to explore further. It’s about a homeless man whose family comes to find him after many years.  I’ve  wondered how the man became homeless, what separated him from his family, and what brought his family back to him. Maybe enough time had gone by. Maybe the daughter, having grown up, wanted to see her father, to take a chance. Maybe the burden of her mother’s resentments had become too heavy, and it was time to open the door to forgiveness.

My experience working with and getting to know homeless people  has made me realize that if I’d encountered more misfortune or taken a couple steps further down certain roads, I could have ended up in their shoes. I’ve also learned that everyone has hopes and dreams even if they’ve been buried under the rubble of  addiction, poverty, or debilitating mental illness. Demons can distance people. Bridges get burned. Yet there is always hope for recovery, always an opportunity to love. Even if a bridge has been burned, it can be re-built.

On a side note, the hard part in writing this is that there must be someone I need to forgive or forgive more deeply. My X perhaps, or someone who’s gotten on my nerves. Resentments with deep roots, come back like weeds.

We’ve all been hurt and forgiveness can be a scary thing. We may need to set boundaries to take care of ourselves. But perhaps there is a door that can be opened just a little or a window that needs cleaning. Maybe we can look through that window and give a smile or a nod of encouragement. Bridges can be built with a handshake or a hug. Peace can begin with a whispered prayer.

God, help me remember that I need forgiveness, too.

Here’s the video, Momentos, by Nuno Rocha : Thanks to Sue Dreamwalker for sharing it.

(You might not cry, but you will be moved.)


21 Comments

A Well Armed Veteran

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is “arm,” brought to you by Linda Hill. You can read all about SoCS at: https://lindaghill.com/2017/11/10/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-nov-11-17/ 

In dress blues (2)

Early 1950’s ?

My dad was well armed. But he wasn’t in the army. He was a marine. For 20 years. He served in Korea and Vietnam and was wounded in both wars. But I’m sure it wasn’t because he was disarmed. My dad was a gunny in Vietnam. They gave him his own platoon to lead, a duty usually assigned to officers.

It’s ironic now that I have two of his guns in my house. Me, who is all into peace and even worked for peace in my younger years. When Dad died in January, his awesomely helpful neighbor secured four guns he found in my dad’s house until I could take them. There was a shotgun, a 22, a 30 caliber rifle like the one Dad used in Vietnam, and a pistol. That’s more than I ever knew about guns before I became the owner of these four.

With help from a friend who knows guns, we sold the shotgun and gave away the good rifle, and still have the 22 and the pistol. I can hardly believe we are planning to keep the pistol and take a class about how to use it. It’s only because it belonged to my father.

When I was in my early 20s, a boyfriend bought a pistol and took me to the target practice place of some kind with him. I thought I might practice shooting it. But when he fired the gun at the target, the noise was so loud, something clicked in me – fear that I had not expected. I couldn’t even bring myself to hold the gun.

But back to my dad. In my later years, I came to respect and admire him. I miss him, but know he is where he wants to be, with Mom, Jesus and the rest, singing and praising and probably doing some kind of volunteer work, cause that’s what my parents did.

Dad in raincoat at rehab (3)

Dad was well armed, but not just with guns and rifles. He was armed with courage, integrity, ingenuity, and perseverance. I could go on and on about him. But I’ll never forget the time when I was in 5th grade and got into a “fight” with a girl on the way home from school. It was right before Dad went to Vietnam. When I got home, he must have seen the tear trails on my face. I wasn’t hurt physically. It wasn’t much of a fight, but it had been scary. Dad pulled me into his lap, and held me in his recliner. I have never felt so safe and loved as that afternoon in my father’s arms.

Dad with Baby mk and me (2)

That’s me on the right and my sister on the left. 7 years before the “fight” in fifth grade.

(You can read more about my dad in my book.)

SOC winner 2017

Here are the rules of Stream of Consciousness Saturday:

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. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on 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 simply a single word to get your 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 everyone’s! 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 right 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!