Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Junk Mail, Acceptance, and Electricity

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We have a different sort of prompt today. Very clever idea, Linda! Our prompt is:

“…the last piece of mail you received.” Talk about the subject of the last piece of physical mail you received, i.e. a gas bill–talk about gas, not the bill itself. Have fun!

Hmmmm. First, I want to say I almost thought about not doing SoCS this week because I’m going to our church yard sale, and since we’re still living an hour away from our regular home and church, I won’t have a lot of time to do the community thing until later. But I just couldn’t NOT do SoCS! It’s not really an addiction. It’s… an obsession? No. Part of my routine. Yes. That’s it. Every Friday, when I go to Linda’s prompt page and look for the prompt, there’s a drum roll in my head. But I guess I should get to the prompt.

The last two pieces of mail I got (at the same time) were the electric bill and some “junk” mail for my father which is the more interesting topic. When my father died, or shortly thereafter which was just over two years ago, I filled out a change of address card to get his mail and started receiving a LOT of mail from organizations he has donated to. My dad’s “junk” mail was more prominent than my regular mail. After a year, I filled out another card to stop his mail. But it just keeps coming. A lot of times, I write a little message on the donation card that he was deceased and please stop sending mail. Very slowly the mail addressed to my dad has decreased but it still comes, even after more than two years. The mail I got yesterday was from one organization I’ve actually written three separate notes to, asking them to PLEASE stop sending mail to my deceased father. It used to really bother me. Now, it’s starting to bother me less. I’m on the verge of just accepting it. With every piece of mail like that, no matter who it’s for, if it comes to my house and I get my hands on it, I magic marker out the name and address before I put it in recycling. So I think I might just give up. Surrender. Black out the name and address and put it in recycling without getting irritated about it. Who knows, that might work! Maybe acceptance is the lesson that will stop the junk mail for my father! We shall see.

Nothing goes away til we learn

The electric bill reminds me of something I will not accept: that electricity is the only power there is. So I will continue to call it electricity and not “power.” Electricity is nice to have – especially in the winter and summer – but when we don’t have it, we still have power. That’s my story, and I’m sticking go it!

If you’d like to learn more about the SoCS and get a drum roll going in your head every Friday, or just read more takes on the prompt, visit Linda G. Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/03/22/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-23-19/

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!


35 Comments

WATWB: A Fatal Birth Defect and a Gift of Love

Welcome to WATWB #21, a monthly celebration of positive news stories that show compassion and the resilience of the human spirit. Sharing these stories increases our awareness of hope.

My offering this month is a story that moved me in powerful ways I cannot explain. It starts with a young couple expecting a baby.  In her 18th week of pregnancy, Krysta Davis found out the baby she was carrying was diagnosed with anencephaly, “a fatal neurological defect that occurs when parts of the brain and skull are missing. In most cases, babies diagnosed with it live between a few minutes and a few days.”

A doctor told Krysta that if she decided to go full term with the pregnancy, they could donate baby Rylei’s organs to help other babies.

In Krysta’s words:

“Derek and I looked at each other and knew what we were going to do. I may have not been able to take my baby home, but I could maybe use her life to give other mothers the chance to.”

Baby Rylei was born on Christmas Eve and lived for one week. She was miraculously stronger than anyone would have imagined.
We Are The World Blogfest in white

You can find more #WATWB stories on the Facebook page.

For more information on #WATWB visit:

 

Our cohosts for this month are:  Inderpreet Uppal Shilpa Garg Sylvia McGrath , Peter Nena, Belinda WitzenHausen. Please link to them in your WATWB posts and go say hi!


29 Comments

Lonely Hearts Healed

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Today’s SoCS prompt from Linda is:

“ends with -ly.” Start your post with any adverb (oops) that ends in “-ly.” Bonus points if you end with an adverb too. Have fun!

I choose lonely. It’s not that I choose to be lonely. I’m not lonely anymore. I like to be alone with the dogs, writing and puttering around the house. But I was lonely for a partner, oh, ten or so years ago. Except that I didn’t want a partner who added stress  to my life, so I waited and learned to trust the timing. I’m still learning that with other things in my life and realizing what a gift it is to have this time to work on my parents’ old house while our house gets finished and we get to paint the walls!

I’ve been reading the letters my mother wrote to my father when he was in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba after having served 13 months in Vietnam. Her letters are very enlightening and sometimes uncomfortable since they are personal. She writes about how lonely she is and how much she misses him and how she (and us girls) can’t take more separations. I’m learning about how she would find me up reading at 2 am on a school night and how my sister and I were, “sassy.” We were 10 and 12. I was a big tomboy 12 year old. I know now that most 12 year old girls are sassy.  Sorry mom.

My mom was sick a lot and so was my little sister. Mom writes about a cough that won’t go away. I’ve gotten through January and part of February 1968, and she’s still coughing to the point of exhaustion. I resented my mother being sick so much with migraines and nervous break downs when dad was in Vietnam and I was 11. These letters are giving me more compassion as I read her inner struggles of taking care of a home and two sassy girls and missing her man. It also dawned on me that the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune/Tarawa Terrace probably didn’t help her get well. There’s a big thing about that now, but I’ve read many claims have been denied. My parent’s died of “natural causes” in their eighties, but I bet that water contributed to some health problems even if it didn’t kill us.

Dad used to talk to me in his later years about Vietnam and GTMO. Awful stuff. Horrible stuff that gave him nightmares for the rest of his life. After Vietnam, he came home for three months, and then they sent him to GTMO for five months. He told me he drank a lot while in Cuba. He had PTSD before they called it that. A chaplain helped him. I wish I knew his name and could thank him if he’s still alive. Thank you anyway, Chaplain who served at GTMO and helped my dad. I think he needed this time in Cuba maybe to begin to process Vietnam – a job that would never be finished. It was so hard on my mom and him. The separations put a lot of pressure on their marriage.  ( I didn’t know this until I started reading mom’s letters.)

And yet they made it through. Their deep love and their strong faith helped them through the maze and mess of PTSD and all the other challenges life threw at them. I did know that they were very much in love. They were married for over 50 years and still got smoochy sometimes. Dad used to sing to mom, “I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.”

Love and faith and time overcome loneliness. When we are lonely, God loves us no matter what. And dogs too. 😉  I’m reminded of one of my favorite poems from Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese.”

“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination….”      Mary Oliver

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

I’ve probably shared the lonely people song at least a couple of times before on this blog, but it means a lot to me, so here it is again with different pictures.

 

 

 

 

PS: I now realize that I didn’t follow the prompt corrrectly since Linda asked for an adverb and lonely is an adjective.  Letting it be is my goal here. This is progress for a recovering rule follower/people pleaser.

To learn more or join in the stream,  visit Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/02/08/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-9-19/

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!


28 Comments

Ain’t No Grave (Gonna Hold This Body Down)

mlk on love driving out hate with sun rise

It’s strange that I don’t consciously recall hearing “Ain’t No Grave” before my friend Elaine shared it in memory of her father. Strange because it’s such a powerful song, especially with Molly Skaggs’ voice and the stunning images in the video below.

I share this song today in celebration of the spirit of Martin Luther King and hope Dr. King wont mind if I also share it in honor my father who left this earth two years ago today. They both loved Jesus dearly. They were men of courage and conviction. Dr. King changed laws and opened the eyes of a nation with determination, love, and peace. My father worked on a smaller scale. After 20 years of military service, my father  (and mother) volunteered at the local soup kitchen, led a boy scout troop, ministered to disabled veterans, and taught Sunday school into his eighties.

Last night, I discovered a new stash of memorabilia in the attic. I thought I was done with the hard part of processing of my parents stuff, but there’s more. There are at least three big trunks in the attic, and I’ve only opened one of them. Inside the first trunk I found maybe 50 letters my mother sent my father in 1968 when he was stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba shortly after Vietnam.

attic trunk letter 1968

After reading just two letters, I’m beginning to realize what a difficult time this was for my parents when I was 12 and clueless, though I must have sensed something. Who knows what I’ll learn through my mother’s letters and what more I’ll find on this fascinating journey where the scent of my father’s old treasures makes me want to fall into a puddle on the floor.  But I don’t fall often. And if I do, I get up. I keep breathing and digging.

attic trunk items jan 2018 (3)

It’s all a process. Some day, I will have gone through all the physical items. The attic will be empty and the house will be sold. But the memories will live on. The spirit does not die.

As my father told me when I was 12, “Nothing is Impossible.”

 

 


18 Comments

SoCS: Art on the Wall

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Today’s prompt is “art.” We are to write about something handing on our wall or in a museum. First let me say a big THANK YOU! to our hostess Linda Hill for picking one of my favorite topics as a prompt and also for all you do in the SoCS world.

I’ve loved art since I was about ten and drew dogs and horses all the time. Didn’t think it had as much value as science so went that way, sort of, in college. But now that I’m retired I can do more art. Except that art is more on the back burner with the house stuff going on. I have a sketch pad sitting on the coffee table and have sketched stuff for the house. That’s going to change.

Normally I have too much art on my walls, if that’s possible which anything is. But since we had to take “everything” out of our house for re-wiring which was supposed to start a few days ago but hasn’t….. Grrrr, the walls in our Wilmington house are bare. I do not like bare walls at all. I do not like them Sam I Am.

I’ve brought a few things from the house that is in renovation to the house that was my parents and hung them on the walls. There’s the painting I did  years ago right in front of me right now as I type.

reaching for horizon w frame

Do you see the two figures reaching for each other? Can you tell what they are? I didn’t plan them, they just appeared, then I enhanced them. I love it when that happens.

Another piece of art on the walls here at the house that was my parents’ is a reproduction my mother loved. It’s not really my style, content wise, etc. But I know she loved it, so I hope I can find a good home for it.

wall art mother and child

I mean, it’s beautiful and sweet, but it’s not something I would normally hang on my wall. I am really working on de-cluttering and have sooooo many family photos, etc. and art to consider hanging when we get back home. I will give this away to someone who loves it. Or I could donate it to the church for the spring yard sale. It’s not a big problem though. It’s a joy.  But it’s one of those things that meant a lot to my mom, so letting it go will be one of those griefy things. There’s another wave. But I can handle it.

ART is such a blessing. Can you imagine… no don’t. I am thankful for art, for color, paint, sculpture, drawing with a stick in the sand, photography…. it just goes on and on with all its possibilities. Infinite possibilities of color combinations, shapes. I could go on about it for hours. Thanks again, Linda.

My sketch pad waits patiently, calling softly.

Wanna  see more of my art? There’s a tab above for that.

For more information on Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit Linda’s blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/11/the-friday-reminder-for-socs-jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-12th/

Here are the rules for SoCS:

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!


33 Comments

One-Liner Wednesday on Writing Goals

Don’t Worry, Just Write!

While reading a newsletter from my Trust the Timing editor, Andi Cumbo Floyd, I realized my writing has gone to the back burner. I’ve worked a few measly hours here and there on the novel based on my parents, but I give way more attention to household issues which are primary.  One thing that has discouraged me from working on the novel is the research it will likely take on Washington DC and Vietnam. But I need to stop worrying about that and just write a first draft. Okay, maybe there’s some anxiety related to thoughts like, I’ve never written a novel before, and this seems like it’s going to be a long one.  Then there’s grief. January 21st will be the second anniversary of my father’s death. I must be processing grief as I write about my parents. Deep sigh. However, my goal is to finish a first draft by the end of this year. There. It’s in writing. But I don’t need to worry. I just need to write the first draft, feel my feelings, and breathe deeply.

one-liner-wednesday-badge-2018-19

One-liner Wednesday is brought to you by Linda G. Hill who has written a bunch of novels! Visit her and read more one-liners.

https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/02/jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-2nd-and-one-liner-wednesday/

 


18 Comments

SoCS: Rejoice! Conditions and All

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Here’s something new! Today’s prompt for Saturday Stream of Consciousness is:

“ask someone else.” Either ask someone for a prompt word or, if you can’t, turn on a TV or a radio and choose a word from the first sentence you hear. 

(Linda Hill)

It’s new to me anyway. Stepping a little outside the box, I decided to ask for prompts on my Facebook author page. It was an experiment since I believe FB suppresses business and author pages so we’ll buy ads which so far have not worked well enough for me… but I did get two prompt suggestions, so I’m happy.

My first prompt for which I am thankful was, “Rejoice.”  It’s the word in one of my favorite Christmas hymns. That word I often/sometimes have trouble hitting the high note on. O Come, O come, Emanuel….. REJOICE! REJOICE! Emanuel shall come to thee o Israel. Emanuel means God is with us. REJOICE!

The second prompt, for which I am also thankful, was “Conditional.” Hmmmm. Interesting. Go ahead and REJOICE, as long as no one gets hurt. Rejoice all you want, but the dishes still need to get done and the trash needs to get put out. But wait! what if we can and do rejoice whilst we are taking out the trash? Like I rejoice when I donate stuff. Rejoice to be lightening the load. Jesus lightens my load. Why not rejoice in the midst of conditions? I rejoice that I know how to be conditional.

I knew that if I ever married again, it would be conditional upon finding a partner who loves dogs. Okay, he loves me, too but that kinda goes without saying. He also had to respect me.  Respect was a big issue when my daughter was a teenager. I would listen to her on the condition that she not yell at me and speak with a respectful tone. My love for her was and is unconditional, but my listening had conditions. My presence had conditions. If someone yells at me or is disrespectful, now I can walk away if only to another room. I can limit my time with people who are toxic depending (conditional?) on how toxic they are. I can love someone from a distance.  Occasional distance if they are a little toxic. Big distance if they are frequently toxic. I rejoice that my daughter is respectful and doesn’t yell at me anymore (not that I can tell) cause she’s grown and out on her own.

One of my goals for 2019 is to buy a house in the mountains so I can visit my son and his family more often. This is somewhat conditional on selling my parent’s house (the house that was my parents’). It’s a flexible condition. An ideal. Some conditions are negotiable and some are not. When I sell the house that was my parents’ I will be a little sad. I will probably cry. But I will also rejoice! When I buy a house in the mountains, I will rejoice!

Feeling how you will feel when you get your heart’s desire worked for me while I was looking/waiting for my soulmate.  I imagined comfort and joy.  Rejoice for all the blessings coming your way – with or without conditions. Rejoice anyway!

 

 

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you by Linda G. Hill. For more information, and more streams, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/28/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-29-18/

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!