Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: Trials, Losses, and How Do We Heal?

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “trail/trial.” Use one, use both, use them any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use both. Have fun! ….

There’s a song I like, except maybe for a couple of lines, called “Blessings.” Which lines, I won’t go into. Never mind that. But the chorus goes:

“What if your blessings come through raindrops?

What if your healing comes through tears?

What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near?

What if trials in this life, are your mercies in disguise.”

It’s about how trials, disappointments, and challenges bring us closer to God. The song works well when applied to my divorce which, as I wrote about recently, turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

The problem now is that it does not seem to apply to the loss of a child. My heart and mind go to the parents who lost children to brutal, needless, senseless deaths by an 18-year-old who should never have been able to buy a gun and certainly not a weapon of war, in Texas.

I cannot imagine how those worst of trials can be a blessing. I don’t even know if the death of my sister, killed by a drunk driver on her 16th birthday, could have been a blessing to anyone, even with my parents’ dedicating the family room at the shelter in her memory. I don’t know how the loss of a child could be a blessing. Anything is possible, yes, but I would not say that to someone who has just lost a child. I would imagine the anger and overwhelming grief would be too much to even think of blessings, right now.

The husband of a teacher who was killed died from a heart attack – a broken heart – while preparing for his wife’s funeral. Joe and Irma Garcia had been married for 24 years. They had been high school sweethearts.

It’s so wrong. Wrong upon wrong, upon wrong, as we are finding out in the investigation.

Other countries have done better than the US when it comes to gun control and this type of murder. That’s for sure. There is a sickness in the heart of my country. (I just struck through “the heart of” because we have good hearts. Mostly.) Maybe we can recover from this sickness. Individual states have and can pass sensible gun laws. We can improve mental health services, address school dropout rates, etc., but I believe it’s going to take some kind of bigger shift. It’s complicated. Or maybe not.

I hope the investigations will lead to improvements. My hope is floundering a bit which is not typical. It will come as no surprise to most of my readers that I believe we need more balance between bad news and good news. That’s part of the sickness – a lack of balance.

Healing. How do we heal? Look for the good. Look for the true heroes, like teachers who continue to teach in schools, first responders who do what is necessary, leaders who have the courage to make changes for a more peaceful country, and a more peaceful world, parents who keep going after heartbreaking loss. Look for the heroes. Hold them up. Hold them in your heart. Keep them in your prayers. We can all do our part to nurture peace.

I know this is a rambling rant. Sometimes that’s what you get in the stream of consciousness. I confess I have gone back and edited a little. It was badly needed.

Maybe I should’ve written about hiking trails. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll put some in a gallery. There’s something coming to me about “The Peace of Wild Things” – a poem by Wendell Berry.

Below are some of my most recent photos from the Farm Animal Sanctuary

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For more streams of consciousness and rules, visit our host, Linda Hill by following this trail: https://lindaghill.com/2022/05/27/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-28-2022/


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SoCS: Eyesight Declines as Hindsight Improves with Age

A true fortune

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “clear.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

I like things to be clear. But sometimes we have to wait for the mud to settle. Clarity can take hours, weeks, months, or decades. It took almost 20 years for the clarity that my divorce that happened around the turn of the century turned out to be a good thing. Or maybe God turned it into a good thing. Twenty-two years ago, I was in shock. Devastated. Confused. Now, I am thankful. Everything worked out for the best. Not perfect, but the timing was perfect.

Hindsight is often much clearer than foresight or present sight. Physically, my sight is not very clear at all. Between the floaters and the early cataracts, plus scratches on my glasses, it’s a wonder I can get from point A to point B. But the brain is good at adapting – looking around the cloudy patches.

“All Clear,” is what I want to hear about Ukraine. So, people don’t have to hide, flee, or fear for their lives. I’m just shaking my head and praying for: All Clear all over the world. Anything is possible.

My first decade in the 21st century was a painstaking process of grieving, healing, and learning. Though it sometimes seems like it happened in the blink of an eye, I know that was not the case.

This became my song in the second decade of the 21st Century.

~~~

For more streams of consciousness and all the ruly and unruly things, visit our host, Linda Hill, who is clearly the best, by clicking HERE.


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Get the Damn Shot

This came from the Facebook post of my friend and former supervisor.

On an even more sobering note, my friend Wayne who was in ICU, died on Monday. I am still having trouble believing it. He was ten years younger than me. After years of addiction, Wayne worked hard on recovery then went back to school and got his masters degree in psychology. He led by example and from his heart to help countless numbers of people on the journey from addiction to recovery. During his final weeks in ICU, Wayne posted that his health care team was begging him to tell people to get vaccinated. The vaccine might have saved his life. He leaves behind a loving, grieving family and a huge recovery community who will always remember him.

Rest in peace, Wayne. Enjoy those heavenly beaches!

One Liner Wednesday is brought to us by Linda Hill. For more one-liners and guidelines visit Linda’s blog:


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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)


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Five Spirit Dogs

I started this poem many months ago after Doodle crossed over and updated it last week for Mary Moo. The waves of grief come further apart now. I no longer check Mary’s room every day. David and I reminisce about the pack, their antics, and individual peculiarities. Fond memories are starting to match the sadness. Maybe some day fond memories will prevail.

back cover painting (4)

Mary Moo, Jesse, Doodle, Beep, and Oreo.  (Back cover painting for Trust the Timing.)

 

Must love dogs, she said.

Be careful what you wish for.

My soul mate’s three joined my two

For a crazy blended family.

The five pack struggled to mesh.

Who was in charge?

The humans of course!

So we thought.

 

Little Mary Moo had been the boss.

Doodle, food-obsessed coon hound,

Taught her otherwise.

Possessive Beep and Neurotic Oreo were buds.

Golden Boy Jesse shared guard duty.

The five pack adapted.

Dog love flourished,

With episodic bedlam.

 

My golden boy was the first to leave.

He used to love to run on the beach,

But his old legs wouldn’t work anymore.

Then there were four.

 

Quiet Oreo left us next.

His lovable heart gave out.

No more thunder storms to terrify.

Then there were three.

 

Beep missed Oreo,

But she still had a pack to herd

Until she could walk no more.

Then there were two.

 

We thought Doodle would be last,

Being so loud and full of life.

I bet she took that rainbow bridge in a single bound.

And then there was one.

 

Mary Moo was once a feisty girl.

Almost 18, deaf and blind,

She kept looking for something she lost.

Maybe that squirrel she caught long ago.

 

Our five spirit dogs

Now live on the other side

of the rainbow bridge,

Not waiting idly.

 

Jesse swims in mountain lakes.

Oreo doesn’t have to be scared anymore.

He’s running with his friend, Beep.

Doodle is friends with everyone.

Mary Moo chases squirrels like lightening.

 

Jesse swimming (2)

Jesse

oreo (2)

Oreo

 

Beep

Beep

Doodle w foot on head

Doodle

 

Mary Moo at the Boone Dog park (2)

Mary Moo

 

Rainbow Bridge

 


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SoCS: Joint Efforts/Getting Ready to Say Goodbye

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Today’s SoCS prompt is “joint.” We can use it as a noun, an adjective, or a verb– or any way we like. And of course, Linda says we are to “Enjoy!”

My husband and I are finally getting back to having a backyard garden. It’s a joint effort. So far we have zucchini, pepper, and cherry tomato plants. We’ve planted butternut squash seeds and sunflower seeds. We cleared out some small trees and dead vines to let more light in our jungly backyard. I hope it will be enough light. We plan to also have basil and sweet potatoes. I planted a basil plant that I got from Dollar General for a dollar in the fall which made it through the winter inside. It’s a little puny, but it’s alive!

Another joint effort has been taking care of Mary Moo who is still with us. She’s the oldest dog I’ve ever had coming up on 18 years. We’ve been close to saying goodbye, but since Benadryl has been helping us all sleep through the night, and since she was wagging her tail today (Friday), we’ve decided to save our goodbyes for another day. Mary and I are the ones taking the Benadryl. David doesn’t really need it, though he does take daytime allergy medicine.

Joint efforts are what our country and planet need to fight off COVID 19 and evolve into a healthier human race. We need to find out common grounds. Not coffee grounds, though maybe that would help. Just meet for coffee and get to know each other. But wait, we’d have do to that virtually or on Zoom or something.

I finally Zoomed for church Sunday and Maundy Thursday. We’ll zoom for Good Friday service and Easter. Zooming is a joint effort to maintain meetings and church while social distancing. It’s strange, but it was nice to see these familiar faces on the screen. It’s hard to do music or sing as a group because of the delay, but I did sing and play guitar yesterday for our zoom church and today by myself in my living room. Maybe I’ll see if David can record me for an Easter song. Now that I’ve typed that, I have to try it. That will be a joint effort. I’ve been trying to get him to play a drum while I play guitar. We’ll see……

Here’s an update on my amaryllis:

Amaryllis in Boom 2020

I don’t even fertilize them or anything! It must be the earth worms.

The above was written on Friday night. It’s Saturday morning now at 8:30. The Benadryl didn’t work for Mary Moo last night. She woke up crying at 2am because she had to poop. She’s gotten to the point where she can’t poop without me holding her back legs or she falls down, so it’s time. We have an appointment with the vet at 9:30 to say goodbye. Except we have to say goodbye outside the vet office because they’re not letting any people clients in the building because of #—%–@ COVID 19. Good thing I trust our vet. We’ve been loving on Mary Moo a lot in the past few days. Here’s a picture of her and my Golden Boy Jesse years ago running at a dog park on vacation in the mountains. Mary Moo will be with Jesse soon. Running like the wind.

Jesse and Mary at Boone dog park

Sorry it’s blurry, but you get the idea. 

I’ll try to check back in later. Sorry for the bummer ending, but that’s the circle of life. Mary Moo had a good one.

 

For more streams of consciousness and details, see our host, Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/04/10/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-11-2020/


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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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windmills vertical .jpg

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.

 

 


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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.

IMG_E0458

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!


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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

IMG_E0658 (2)

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!