Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday: Building Bridges, Wind Power, and Support in El Paso

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

 

Working Together

Over the next 12 weeks, Jewish, Islamic, and Christian volunteers in Greenville, South Carolina will work together to build a Habitat for Humanity house. Starting on August 8th, this “Abraham Build” is the second of Habitat for Humanity’s Bridge Builder series. Their goals are to build a house for a family and to provide a safe opportunity for dialog and understanding across different cultures and religions. Here’s more of their story.

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A wind farm in North Carolina

The Potential of Wind Power

A new study of on-shore wind farm capacity shows that Europe has the potential to supply energy for the whole world for 30 years.

“The study is not a blueprint for development, but a guide for policymakers indicating the potential of how much more can be done and where the prime opportunities exist,” said co-author Benjamin Sovacool, Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Sussex.

They’re not suggesting that wind turbines cover the entire area of capacity. The study does open up the likelihood that if  all countries made it a priority to develop alternative energy sources, we could achieve what Peter Enevoldsen, of the Center for Energy Technologies at Aarhus University calls “…a 100% renewable and fully decarbonized energy system.”

You can read more about the study in this article from The Good News Network.

Becoming Family

Antonio Basco was  worried no one would come to his wife’s funeral. He lost Margie, his wife of 22 years, in the El Paso shooting. When the funeral director sent out a message inviting everyone, hundreds showed up to become family.

Got good news?

Please share in the comments or write your own Good News Tuesday post and link it back here! It can be global, local, or personal.

 

 


44 Comments

Dog Love: It’s Still Worth the Heartache of Goodbyes

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Where, oh where has my little dog gone?

She ‘s still here in body though her mind wanders and takes her body in circles when she’s not sound asleep. Little Mary Moo is the last of the 5 five pack. She’s a medium sized dog really, but the smallest one of the pack that was. She’s almost blind and virtually deaf and at the age of 17, slowly and steadily declining. She used to be a feisty girl, full of life. Her obnoxious bark and enthusiasm for catching little animals suggests a beagle/terrier mix. But she doesn’t bark anymore, and the only thing she catches is her bed which she attacks sometimes still to try to make it into a nest.

Mary and David

David is helping old Mary Moo settle down from her pacing.

The thing I’ve been avoiding writing about (besides politics) is the passing of Doodle Bug. She crossed over the rainbow bridge a few weeks ago. I’ve started two other posts about her passing. Maybe I’ll actually publish this one. Doodle was full of life, too. You might have read about her here on my blog – the crazy coon hound who learned how to open the refrigerator. We still have a lock on the refrigerator so her ghost won’t get in and eat the leftovers.

We found out several months ago that she had kidney disease and a mast cell tumor. The tumor shrank significantly with oral Prednisone pills which made her even crazier. I was still in the mountains taking care of my granddaughter when David called me and told me the tumor had grown to the size of a grapefruit and had opened up. The Prednisone wasn’t helping anymore. David had to say goodbye to Doodle without me. It seems unfair because she was so full of life until the last couple of days. But she was about 13 and a big dog, so maybe it’s more than fair that she went downhill quickly and didn’t suffer long.

Here’s a picture of Doodle being good.

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When Mary crosses over, there will be no dogs in the house for the first time in 30 something years. For most of my adult life, there has been at least one dog in the house, usually two, and for a while there was the 5 pack. It will really feel like an empty nest. Yes, there will be more freedom, but it will be strange. We’ll have to travel more. We’ll get to travel more. Sigh.

One thing I know for sure is that dog love is worth the heartache of saying goodbye. Every single time. It’s worth it. The happy joy, the unconditional love, the unquestionable honesty, the spontaneous antics, the comforting snuggle, these things make the heartache bearable.  I can’t imagine a world without dog love, or a heaven without dog love. So I’m counting on seeing them all again, some time, some how,  some where.

sun dog with dogs

Sun dog and dog shaped clouds. A Rainbow Bridge?

Here’s the prompt that got this post started:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “where.” Start your post with the word “where” and write whatever comes to you. Bonus points if you end your post with “where” too. Enjoy!   __ Linda G. Hill

To learn more about the stream, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/08/09/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-august-10-19/

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!


39 Comments

Saying Goodbye to my Parents’ House

birds on the wire at 312

We closed on my parents’ old house on Monday and got the last of the stuff out. Besides paperclips, I will never have to buy duct tape again, or screwdrivers, T shirts, pencils, blankets, or coffee mugs just to name a few of the things my house is now full of.

At first I thought I might not cry, being so busy with loading the car. But as we approached the end of the process, I found it hard to breathe. Crying is a good thing and healthy at times, so I did.  Intellectually, I knew the house was just a structure, a building, but somehow it felt like I was saying goodbye to my parents and the end of an era. So many important things happened in that house. I lived there through my teen years and into my early twenties. My parent’s were there during the death of my sister in the mid seventies when she was 16.  After Mom died in 2008, Dad insisted on staying there by himself until he joined her in 2017.

My husband David was a big help. As we got ready leave for the last time, he said, “We have to decommission this house!” David spent much of his life on the New England coast where old ships were decommissioned to be removed from active service. I’m sure my parent’s house will go through a lot of changes before it returns to active duty. Standing in the front threshold, David said a prayer of thanksgiving for the vessel that served my family well.

It had been drizzling off and on for most of the morning, but the sky opened some clear patches as we carried the last items to the car. Looking up, I noticed four mourning doves perched on the electrical line out front. They seemed to be watching us.

birds on a wire at 312

All four members of my family of origin – my father, mother, and two sisters – have passed away. I wondered if these four doves could be spiritual representatives of my family in heaven.  As we finished loading the car, the doves flew away one at a time in the direction we would be driving home.

bird flying away

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The last dove to leave seemed like the biggest one. It (he?) lingered for a bit, watching, then finally flew away.

It’s hard to put into words what I felt about the four doves, but I will try. I felt comforted by their presence. I think they were there to tell me that my parents and sisters are no longer confined to that house or this realm. Their spirits are alive, well and flying free! It’s time to move on.

I will carry with me the treasured memories from my parents’ old house and the lessons they taught me into new adventures!

 


42 Comments

Doctors Did Not Expect Her To Live

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Here’s today’s SoCS prompt from our hostess, Linda Hill:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “fab.” Use it as a word or find a word beginning with “fab.” As always, use any way you’d like. Have fun!

I don’t know if I’m going to have fun with this, but I will have … meaning? I have a story I want to tell. I will not fabricate it. It’s a true story about my friend, Fleming. On the day you read this, if you read it Saturday, I’ll be going to Fleming’s funeral. That feels final. And sad. But it’s not really final because she has a spirit that is alive and well.

When Fleming was born, the doctors did not expect her to live more than a few days. She was born with spina bifida. Back in those days, babies with her condition and severity were not expected to live long.  The doctor told her family to leave her at the hospital.

A couple of weeks after she was born, the hospital called her mother and told her that Fleming was still alive and they could take her home. They did not do surgery because she was still not expected to live long. That was the way it was back then in that hospital anyway. So Fleming came home.

She told me that her mother saw her two brothers in her room standing at the crib one day. I think it was late in the day. They were being quiet and her mother did not disturb them but later asked what they were doing. They told her they were saying prayers with their sister and laying their hands on her.

Fleming’s mother did extensive research on her daughter’s condition. She changed the dressing on her back every day.  She wrote a letter to a hospital in… I don’t recall where, another state, maybe it was Pennsylvania or Virginia – where they specialized in helping children with spina bifida. She got a letter back from a doctor there who let her know they had had good success with surgery and that she should make the doctors in Durham do the surgery to close Fleming’s back.

I’m writing this from memory about what Fleming told me, so I hope it’s accurate. I met Fleming about three or four years ago through Cursillo, which is an intensive weekend of classes on Christian leadership and lots of folksy music at Trinity Center.  We met at the closing service which is open to everyone and went to dinner with a group afterward. Over the next year or so we became friends. I saw pictures of Fleming when she was a child on crutches. She had the same bright smile. Later she had to get a wheel chair, but she remained independent. Fleming graduated from high school, went to college, worked as a substitute teacher and volunteered with terminally ill children for many years. She was very active in her church, especially with youth programs. Fleming made a lot of friends, and I am very honored and privileged to have become one of them.

The doctors had told her mother she wouldn’t live long and would be “a vegetable.” What a horrible thing to say. But Fleming lived 51 years. She lived a life full of love and spirit. Fleming and I got closer as we talked about the loss of our parents. She helped me with both of my estate sales. Just to get a visual glimpse of who she was, this was her last Facebook profile picture:

Peace Fleming

Fleming lived a rich life. I will miss her and the things we didn’t get to do and talk about. When I think about her life, I think about it as a rich fabric. That reminds me of the song by Carole King. Tapestry. The first and last stanzas of the song are fitting. The rest of it’s always been enigmatic.  So here’s the first verse.

“My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue
An everlasting vision of the ever-changing view
A wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold.”
                                                                                                   Carole King

Fly free Fleming. Run, dance and be happy.

For more info on SoCS, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/04/05/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-6-19/

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!

 


26 Comments

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!


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!