Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: A Sigh of Relief with a Side of Laughter

Today’s SoCS prompt is: “contains ‘igh.’” Find a word that contains the letters “igh” in that order and use it in your post. Enjoy!

The first thing that came to mind was, sigh. It’s a word that sometimes had a negative connotation, as in an expression of sadness, but it can be much more… healing even, as in a sigh of relief.

There was a sigh of relief when the house was quiet after my beloved grandchild was taken home by her parents. We had loads of fun going to the beach and the aquarium, watching the movie, Bumblebee, who is a VW Beatle who transforms into and autobot with a heart. Still, I am thankful that women have been designed, evolved, or whatever to not be able to have babies after a certain age. I can do a lot in bursts of energy, but my stamina is nothing like it used to be.

What else gives us a sigh of relief? I was writing in the family history about my dad retiring from 20 years in the corps. I bet there was a big sigh with that. And my own retirement after 30 years in the addiction/mental health field. How do I spell relief? RETIREMENT.

I will be relieved when the fire works are over. But how can you really be sure? Fireworks can be beautiful, and I love sparklers, but I worry about all the dogs who shiver in the corner or “escape” in terror and become lost. Then there are the veterans and others with PTSD. I’m sure some of them don’t mind fireworks, but I wonder how many? And people with autism being overstimulated. There is such a thing as silent/quiet fireworks. They’ve been used in other countries. If you an put a man on the moon, you can make quiet fireworks.

In yoga, we are sometimes encouraged to sigh with vocals, to take a deep breath and say, Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh on the exhale. The body hears that release and the relief is enhanced. That’s the theory anyway. I’m trying it now. Seems nice.

Sometimes a sigh is just a sigh, like a kiss is just a kiss. The fundamental things apply as time goes by.

But sometimes, a sigh is a good thing. I sigh when I get a massage. It helps me be mindful and really enjoy the release instead of thinking about my grocery list or some irrelevant imagining.

In most cases, a sigh is better than a scream. What might be even better is starting with a sigh and letting it turn into a laugh, then back into a sigh. Try it!

What brings you a sigh of relief?

There are all kinds of YouTube videos about yoga and sighing. Here’s a really short one by Laura Gentry who has a whole bunch of short videos on laughter yoga for commuters. They’re kinda silly and weird, but they’d keep me from falling asleep for sure. (Sigh.)

~~~

For more streams of consciousness,

plus the ups, downs, ins, and outs of the SoCS rules, please visit out host, Linda Hill at:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS July 3, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)

If you like paranormal romance, check out Linda’s books!


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SoCS: Ups, Downs, and Fancy Sneakers

Our Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is: “up/down.” Use one, use them both, but try to put one in your first sentence. Bonus points if you use the other in your last sentence. Have fun!

Life is full of ups and downs. Mountains and ravines. Peaks and valleys. Slopes would be better. I’ve had enough of the rollercoasters. Gentle waves are fine if you don’t mind mixing metaphors.

You can dive under some waves. Letting them crash into you is not fun. Positioning is crucial to avoid being slammed down. Then there’s surfing which I don’t know much about. I’ve been on a surfboard but never stood up on one. My preference in the ocean is to swim beyond the breakers or to let the swells lift me to a higher perspective of lower gravity, then set me down gently on the sand.

My granddaughter has sneakers that look like they have scales. I think they are really sequins. Brush them up and they’re silvery. Brush them down, and they’re rainbow colors. Like magic! Just what we need for traveling the peaks and valleys.

But I’d rather lay down on a soft grassy slope and gaze up at the clouds.


~~~

For more streams of consciousness,

plus the ups, downs, ins, and outs of the SoCS rules, please visit out host, Linda Hill at:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS June 26, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: It’s Never Too Late to Have a Happy Childhood, featuring Raggedy Ann, Flo and Eddie

The Prompt:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “yarn.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

My mom grew up during the Great Depression. I don’t know if that contributed to her depression as an adult, but she got better after menopause. She told me that when she was a child, she had to put pieces of cardboard in her shoes to cover the holes. As an adult she had a lot of shoes.

“We don’t throw away food,” was her mantra in restaurants. I remember her wrapping leftovers in a napkin and putting the bundle in her purse to take home. Did they not have “doggie bags,” in the 60s?

One of the things my mom wanted as a child was a Raggedy Ann doll. She never got it during her childhood. One year my dad got her one for Christmas. Seems like I was about 9 years old, so that would’ve been in the 60s, too. When she opened the present containing Raggedy Ann, she cried, because she had always wanted one. Maybe she got both Raggedy Ann and Andy from my dad. They both had red yarn for hair and red and white striped legs and Ann wore an apron if I recall correctly. Maybe they had red triangular noses like the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.

Personally, I don’t see the appeal, though my mom and I both had red hair. Mine’s still reddish, blond with a little grey blended in. I’m trying to imagine wanting a doll that badly and not getting it until you were in your 40s. Maybe they were expensive, or maybe they were just that poor and the dolls were an extravagance. When I think about all the toys I had as a child and that my grand daughter has, it makes me wonder if we had/have too much. But I’m glad my mom got her Raggedy Ann doll later in life.

I only wanted a pony as a child, and did have my own horse for a while in my twenties. Horses are a lot of work, but they gave me a little stability during a crazy time of my life. Speaking of horses, my grand dog went to the dog park and met a couple of great Danes. Leilu is a husky, so she’s big, but not as big as the Danes, named Flo and Eddie, or was it Eddie and Flo? – They were named after the leaders of the old rock and roll group, The Turtles back in the 60s?

First I’m going to share some photos of Leilu, my grand dog, with Flo and Eddie who I could not tell apart, though one is bigger than the other. Leilu looks crazy because she has blue eyes and a big smile which is real, not enhanced. She just got her stitches out from being spayed, so we didn’t have to worry about any hankypanky from the boys. She lives with her two sons who are also bigger than her, but that’s another story, or maybe it’s a yarn.

And here’s a video of the Turtles, including Flo and Eddie, from when they were on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1967 singing, “Happy Together,” a song on the playlist for my wedding reception.

~~~

For more streams, yarns and rules for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS June 5, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: Crocs, Gators, and a Birthday Hike

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “roc.” We are to find a word with “roc” in it or use it as a word all by itself, and enjoy!

Crocodiles are different from alligators. We have alligators here in North Carolina. I’ve seen them at the lake and less often in the creek not far from my house. Alligators are not as aggressive as crocodiles. I have to admit that I researched the differences before starting this stream. I was curious! But I’m still writing in SoCS style and did a minimum of planning. I think that’s the rule.

I used to think there were no crocodiles in the US, but read that southern Florida is the only place where gators and crocs coexist. Crocs have pointier snouts. I guess I thought gator snouts were pointy because that’s how they look in the water. Crocs live in South America and Africa. I’m glad gators aren’t that aggressive, at least to people, but you have to be careful not to let small dogs or cats run around gator territory. Don’t want to think too much about that.

How about this sign?

WARNING: Beware of Alligators

Is that sign just weathered, or did the alligators come up and rub those letters so you couldn’t read them? Why would they do that? Why would I even imagine that? Too much imagination. Let’s move on.

Crocs are a brand of functional shoes. I love my crocs sandals with lots of cushioning. The first pair I had lasted at least two years. Then each pair afterward seemed to last less time. It helps if I don’t wear them to do yoga outside. Seems I need more and more cushioning under my old feet. No more going barefoot. Maybe that’s a good thing. My feet will be a little safer from crocs, gators, and snakes when I go on hikes to the creek or my urban forest.

On Tuesday we went on a birthday hike for my daughter’s 28th birthday to a nature preserve across the bridge in the next county. There were places where alligators might have been hiding. No crocs though. We did see a turtle. (It looked like a turtle, but there was no water nearby so maybe it was a tortoise?) We hiked lots of varied terrain – woods, fields, and swamp. Not many rocks though like up north in the mountains. Glad it was too early for the mosquitoes to be out in force. I’ve only seen a few, but it’s been very dry here lately. It won’t be long…. Anyway, here a few photos from my daughter’s birthday hike.

~~~

Today’s prompt is brought to you by our SoCS post, Linda Hill. You can find rules and more streams of consciousness by clicking the link below:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 22, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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M*A*S*H

 Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “mash. Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

The first thing I thought of was mashed potatoes which I really love if they are homemade. Then I thought Of the TV show M.A.S.H.

My dad loved M.A.S.H. and, watching it with him, I came to love it, too. Dad was in something like a MASH unit in Korea after he was wounded in the leg. It wasn’t a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, but something similar. He told me that the doctors there acted crazy just like on M.A.S.H.

Among my dad’s stash of MASH memorabilia is a hat he made to look something like Henry Blake’s hat. Henry was in charge before Col. Potter. Henry was a goofball, but he was a good guy. Here’s my dad’s hat which I don’t think I will ever be able to get rid of.

It was interesting to watch how the TV show MASH changed over the years with the characters growing deeper, yet still using humor. The show had a good mix of humor, drama, and thought provoking messages. The book was okay, but showed the characters as much more…. okay, my stream has been interrupted trying to think of the word to describe the men in the MASH book, because it was a lot more about the doctors who were somewhat lacking in integrity when it came to women more so than the TV docs. But the TV show was on CBS, so….

How many years was MASH on? Wait while I look that up… meandering down a side stream…. The show aired from 1972 to 1983. Eleven Years. I never get tired of watching MASH reruns.

Who was your favorite MASH character? It’s hard for me to pick one. Honeycutt was a nice guy. Hawkeye, was funny and had a good heart, but I have to identify with Margaret Houlihan who was the only female main character, though nurse Kelly was given more of a role over time. And Klinger, well, let’s not go there. Margaret, Hawkeye, and Radar where the only three characters who were in the whole 11 years of the show.

Here’s a scene from later in the series – as it started to mature – with Margaret and Hawkeye.

So as not to further disrupt the stream, I went back and looked for the photo of my dad in Korea. He was in an Able Medical Station around 1952. He’s the guy on the right in the first photo. Looks like he’s wearing PJs. I don’t know who the other guys are, but some must be medical staff.

* * *

SoCS is hosted by Linda G. Hill. For more SoCS posts and rules, visit:

Stream of Consciousness Saturday | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: California Canyon and Other Family Memories

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was: “starts with cal.” Use a word starting with the letters “cal” as your prompt word. Have fun!

We lived in California when I was a kid. For first, second, and third grade, I went to Santa Margarita school at Camp Pendleton. We lived in military housing, an upstairs apartment, on “Wire Mountain,” next to a canyon. My dad used to go hiking in the canyon. I begged him to let me go with him, and one day, he finally agreed. The only part I consciously remember was climbing back up and whining because it was steep, and I was scared and tired. I can understand now, as an adult who likes to hike in wild places, why he didn’t want to take a second grade girl to the canyon. But he did, and I am thankful, because there are probably things I experienced still in my subconscious mind that are like buried treasures.

After California, dad was stationed at the naval base in Philadelphia where he became the brig warden. He said he liked talking to the prisoners, or rather listening to them which was what the training emphasized. Then in 1966, he was sent to Vietnam.

Yesterday, I finished reading Dad’s letters from Vietnam. There are 118 letters that I’ve counted. Some are missing, because there are gaps, but talk about treasures! He wrote about marking the days off the calendar and keeping track of how many days he had left, but sometimes he stopped doing that, because it seemed to make time go slower. He did a lot of different jobs in Vietnam. The first seven months were in Dong Ha near the DMZ which meant combat. He was a gunny and one of the few enlisted /non officer men to lead a platoon. His nightmares lasted the rest of his life. Then after seven months, he managed the staff and officers club in Khe Sanh and went back and forth between there and Phu Bai and Da Nang which he called, “the rear.” He wrote about losing weight and feeling good physically, except for the heat. Maybe the calorie intake was lower, or maybe he burned up a lot of calories being so busy. In addition to the club management, he did night watches, supervised security, and became the re-enlistment staff NCO. Not sure what all that entailed, but I’m glad he didn’t see much more combat after those first seven months.

Maybe you’ve seen these before, but maybe not.
I never get tired of looking old photos, now that I’m older.

The letters were often written by candlelight and are surprisingly sentimental. He wrote about the heat, the mud, and mostly about how much he missed my mom. I’ve typed them up and have been working on incorporating them into what I’m calling a “Fictionalized Family History” for my kids. Next week, I’m going to be listening to some videos I recorded from the many stories he told me.

Sunday will be my mother’s birthday. He sure did love her a lot. Every letter is signed like this:

All My Love

Forever Your Husband

Jimmy.

I’m glad they are together again in heaven.

My favorite photo of my parents with me on the left –
a picnic in Newfoundland, Canada around 1961.

Yesterday a bad storm was in the forecast, but it never materialized here. Instead we had some interesting light just before sunset:

For more streams of consciousness and rules, visit our host, Linda Hill at:


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SoCS: A Year of Challenge and Hope for Healing

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “day/week/month/year.” Linda also invites us to write about the past year of pandemic, “how we have coped or not, to share our common experiences as a way to connect, to feel a little less alone.”

As a citizen of the United States, these past 12 months have been heavy, not just due to the pandemic, but also with the political divide and the racial injustice of the murders of George Floyd, Breaonna Taylor and others. It has been strange and confusing to have stay at home orders, masks and social distancing recommendations along with protests and demonstrations.

My hope is that with the pandemic calming down and someone less inflammatory at the helm, we can move into healing. It’s going to take a lot of work. A lot of compassion, listening, compromise, and seeking common ground… or higher ground.

I find myself feeling tired as I write this. There are bursts of energy when things get done, but maybe it’s a tired that comes with age. Still, my personal life has not been bad. I’m the oldest one in my family – my parents and siblings are deceased. Even Aunt Ruth in Wisconsin crossed over last year after a full life into her 90s. I am thankful not to have to worry about my parents anymore and feel for those who do. I am thankful to have the luxury of time and the freedom to study my father’s letters from Vietnam, and to write and paint.

Staying at home doesn’t bother me, except that I have not seen my granddaughter, son and daughter in law since October. I miss the mountains. It was in October that I last visited the mountains and first brought mama cat home from the church. She has kept me company when David is at his woodshop, and she has become much less feral.

Mama Cat has a plate of food.
She wants attention while I’m trying to write.

Having a cat has been a big change after being a dog person for so long. The pandemic and people not being at church much was one of two factors that led me to bringing her home. The other factor was the abduction of her daughter, Gray, in June. I still go to the church once per week to see if Gray has shone up, but I don’t think this is likely. I talk to Saint Francis and pray my hopes and thanksgivings.

St. Francis with last year’s hydrangeas

Not going to church and choir practice is probably the biggest change in my personal life. We do zoom church and I’ve sung and played a little guitar for that, because music is my favorite part of church. My voice is way out of shape when it comes to singing anything challenging. My friend Anne, who is in her 80s and teaches singing, is helping me with that. I’m thankful to have had both vaccines, in spite of the side effects, I’m glad to have a little more confidence if I do want to go out. I’ll still wear a mask and avoid crowds.

Hopefully we won’t have as much to protest or demonstrate for or against for a while. Maybe things will calm down and justice will grow. Maybe we humans will wake up, bridge the divides, and focus on healing Mother Earth as we celebrate diversity in all it’s beauty and strength.

Thank you to our host, Linda Hill for the consistency of SoCS through the year.

For SoCS rules and more streams, visit:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 13, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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A Hippie Pacifist who Respects the Flag

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is “flag,” to be used any way we want. I like the freedom of that any way we want part.

It still hurts to remember that on January 6, rioters tore down the American flag and threw it on the ground to replace it with one of their TRUMP flags. It hurts that rioters carrying American flags beat other people in their attempted coup of the US government. I don’t often write about such things, preferring to share good news in an attempt to bring balance to the force, as small as this attempt might be, like throwing a pebble in the ocean…. But some things we need to remember, even if they are painful. We need to not forget that this happened. We need to work for peace and also protect our democracy.

My father, being a Marine for 20 years, instilled in me a respect for the American flag. Even as a hippie and a pacifist, I maintained this respect. Never let a flag touch the ground. Fold it properly. If you have to retire it, the flag is to be burned in a ceremony. There are few man-made things that I have this kind of respect for.

When I was a child and we were driving on base when the flag was being lowered as signaled by a loud bugle, my dad would pull over, or everyone stopped in the road, and we all sat at attention. Even as an adult, just a couple of years ago, when David and I were walking along the riverfront and the Coast Guard ship sounded a bugle to lower the flag, it was not unusual for us to stop and stand silently as the flag was lowered. David used to have a flag selling business, plus his dad was in the military too, so he gets that stuff. It’s imbedded in us.

Reading my dad’s letters from Vietnam has gotten me fascinated by studying the Vietnam war. I can honor and appreciate our soldiers even if I disagree with war.

This just goes to show that a hippie pacifist can be patriotic. One of my former co-workers was surprised to learn that I was a democrat. She said, “but you’re so patriotic!” I was surprised to learn she was not a democrat, because she’s such a nature lover. Just goes to show we don’t all fit into neat little boxes. In fact, we have a lot more in common, and more diversity within our groups, than the news media or social media might have us think.

This reminds me of something I have in my drafts….. I didn’t plan this, but it fits here.

“For all of you who aren’t sure, it is possible to be gay and Christian.
It’s also possible to believe in God and science.
It is possible to be pro-choice and anti-abortion.
It is equally possible to be a feminist and love and respect men.
It’s possible to have privilege and be discriminated against, to be poor and have a rich life, to not have a job and still have money.
It is possible to believe in sensible gun control legislation and still believe in one’s right to defend one’s self, family, and property.
It’s possible to be anti-war and pro-military.
It is possible to love thy neighbor and despise his actions.
It is possible to advocate Black Lives Matter and still be pro police.
It is possible to not have an education and be brilliant.
It is possible to be Muslim and also suffer at the hands of terrorists.
It is possible to be a non-American fighting for the American dream.
It is possible to be different and the same.
It is possible to be spiritual and not follow a religion.
We are all walking contradictions of what “normal” looks like.
Let humanity and love win.”

(I found this on Facebook showing  it is possible to find something good on Facebook.)

All or nothing thinking divides us. The world is much more complex than black or white, or even gray. There are many more colors and color combinations. Even more than red, white, and blue. When we recognize, respect, and honor our diversity, the world will become more balanced and more beautiful.

Here’s my Unity Bird in alcohol ink on tile

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to us by our host, Linda G. Hill. For more streams, rules, etc, visit: The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 6, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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Lessons in Perseverance From My Dad

Today’s Just Jot Janury prompt is, “limp.”

My dad walked with a limp. It started Korea when he got shot in the leg. They put a plastic artery in his leg – very innovative for the early 1950s. Then they shipped him around to major military hospitals for doctors to view the leg work.

Once his leg healed, he hardly noticed the old injury. He continued his military career, including a tour in Vietnam, until 1969. The leg didn’t slow him down until he got older. By the time he was 70, he walked with a cane most of the time, but he kept walking.

In 1993 he was in a major car accident which broke two vertebrae in his back and put him in the hospital for several weeks, then a wheelchair for a few months. He also wore a Frankenstein looking “halo.” It looked like this:

They had a ramp built to the back door which he used while he was in the wheelchair, but a year later, he rarely used the ramp.

Both of his legs were worn out by the time he was 80. The plastic artery prevented him from getting a knee replacement. His legs hurt at night, and he heard keeping a bar of ivory soap between his sheets might help. He said it seemed to. He had a walker, but preferred to use the cane. Climbing the three front steps to the front door was like climbing a mountain, but he only used the back ramp if he had groceries. Then he’d pull the groceries up in the big laundry basket on wheels they probably got a yard sale. But most of the time, he climbed the front steps, slowly to focus on balance, one step at a time.

Now, my dad is in heaven with mom. He doesn’t walk with a limp. He flies!

This is Dad in “cardiac rehab.”
He kept going long after his quadruple bypass.
He enjoyed the comraderie. It was like a club.

In case you didn’t know, my dad inspired the title of my blog,

“Anything is possible.”

For more about Just Jot January, visit Linda Hill at:

#JusJoJan prompt the 22nd – “Limp” | (lindaghill.com)


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Feelings From My Eleven Year Old Self

Writing my family history from my parents’ perspective is emotionally hard right now. The idea that it could some day become a novel is distant. I’m writing about the time when my dad was in Vietnam and my mom was trying to cope with her anxiety and depression and what do to with the family dog. That is the gigantic issue for me. Hoppy.

Hoppy 1967

I was 11 years old. Hoppy, a Newfoundland/Shepherd mix was my confidant. We had moved from Philadelphia to Michigan to New York staying with other families while Dad was in Vietnam. That summer we would stay in Quantico until dad finally got stationed at Camp Lejeune again.

Hoppy had been with us through each move. But something happened to him that spring in New York. I don’t know the truth. My mom made up as story about a sick little girl who needed him more than I did. I believed it. I suppose it could be true. Now, at the age of 65, I wade through my dad’s letters from Vietnam with fear as I approach the possibility of more clues. Any day now, I could read a letter that tells me more about what happened to Hoppy. My parents loved each other very much. It was a terribly hard time for them. I’m trying to look at the big picture and have compassion for all. I wrote this note to myself in my work in progress:

Note to self: Step back and look at the big picture with compassion for all. Allow your feelings. The truth is you don’t know what happened You might was well imagine something good.

So I tried to imagine Hoppy being adopted by a loving family. Then the grief broke through from that 11 year old girl who was me.

I LOVED HIM.

The sobs came and I prayed for guidance, for comfort. All I can do right now is reach back across the 54 years to that eleven year old girl whose body was changing in crazy ways, whose father was in Vietnam, whose mother was on the verge of another nervous breakdown, the girl whose dog was gone – and wrap my arms around her and hold her and tell her she is going to get through this.

In 1967, that eleven year old girl learned to shut down her feelings. She focused on school work and escaped into Star Trek. But she still had that pain and confusion buried all those years ago trying to accept the story her mother told her about her dog.

I guess that’s enough writing for today.

Here’s a family photo from happier times. Probably right after Dad got back from Vietnam since he’s pretty thin.

I’m the big girl on the right wearing hushpuppies.

I wrote this before checking the prompt for Just Jot January which is “button.” I guess we never know when we’re going to bump into a button that takes us back to our childhood, for better or worse, offering an opportunity for healing.

Linda’s Just Jot January story looks interesting. Click the following link for details:

#JusJoJan prompt the 15th – “Button” | (lindaghill.com)