Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Ten Years Ago (A Message From My Long Lost Love)

Greetings to you! After many years, I hope you are well. Take care and be safe!

That was the Facebook message I read on June 14, 2011. The last time I’d seen David was on the last day of school in 1972 when he kissed me goodbye and moved 700 miles away. I’d written him four letters. He’s written back twice and did not answer my last letter that summer. Life went on.

On June 14, 2011, I answered David’s FB message as I tried so slow my hopeful heart:

Wow! I knew it was really you when I saw Jethro Tull in your favorite music. What sweet memories. I am well, for 55 anyway. My profile picture is from the reunion we had in Sept with Sally, Terry and Caroline, after many years of no contact. It’s so nice to get your message. Hope you are well and safe too!

My profile picture back then looked like

His profile picture was an airport runway.

So I pictured him from my tenth grade yearbook:

David 1972. I did remember him!

People can change a lot in 39 years. I wondered what he looked like. He tells me now he was very busy in June of 2011. Maybe that’s why he took six whole days to message me back with:

“Would you mind if I called you sometime? I would really like hear from you. A lot of catching up!”

Want to read more about our true love story? Want to know what happened in those 39 years and what it took for us to be ready to find love again? Trust the Timing, a Memoir of Finding Love Again is written from both our perspectives. Find it HERE on my Amazon author page.

This is us in 1972


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Who But You…

Today’s prompt: “start with who/whom” Begin your post with either “who” or “whom” and go from there. Have fun!

“Who but you

could breathe and leave a trail of galaxies

and dream of me?

What kind of love

is writing my story until the end

with mercy’s pen?

That’s how the song starts that I will be singing Sunday morning in church, God willing. The song is “Alive,” as recorded by Natalie Grant. I hope I can do it some kind of justice and not get lost in the feeling, because I love this song. I love the words and the music, the rhythm and how it crescendos and softens.

Tomorrow will be the first time since Christmas that we’ve been inside the church for a regular service. We’ll be wearing masks and keeping safe distance, though I will not be wearing a mask when I sing. I’ve tried, and it’s too hard to get enough air on the inhale. But I’ll be tucked away in a corner behind the altar, at least 10 to 20 feet from anyone, I hope. All the rest of our music will be instrumental on the organ. I am honored, but mostly I hope people can feel the song.

Imagine the deep sadness, the agony Mary Magdalene felt watching Jesus die. Whether you believe Jesus was and is the divine son of God, or just a man who lived and was killed for his revolutionary ideas about love and equality, it was painful for those who loved him to watch him die. Imagine Mary Magdalene going to take care of his body in the tomb, wanting so badly to see him, but knowing he his dead since that dark day, the darkest day she has ever known.

Then, she sees him, and he is alive! I love how this video with the song shows her joy and the awe of the men she goes to tell about this miracle, that Jesus is alive!

I’m sure I’ve shared this song before, but this is where the stream has taken me today. May you feel joy and awe at this story and being alive!

Death has lost and love has won.

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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 3, 2021 | (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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One-Liner Wednesday: Nurture Love

The hair salon where I got my hair trimmed (back in the old days) found their windows broken in late May or early June after a night of protests following the murder of George Floyd. The business reopened quickly, with their “hurricane boards” in place, trying to make up for being closed for so long due to COVID.

After a couple weeks of driving by and seeing the plain plywood, I remembered that I had a lot of light blue paint leftover from renovations and asked if I could paint an angel of the boards. Apparently the building’s insurance would not cover the windows, and the business owners had applied for assistance but had no idea when the glass would be replaced, so they agreed.

The wood grain inspired the “Angel with the Heart Hairdo” who later inspired the words:

Nurture the blossoms of love wherever you find them.

Let them become you.

For more one-liners, visit Linda Hill at:

One-Liner Wednesday – Drive Slowly | (lindaghill.com)


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JusJoJan: The Spell was in His Smell

1972

JoAnna’s brain kept nagging her. Be careful! People are on their best behavior when you first meet them.

But this isn’t the first time we’ve met him, said her heart.

A lot can change in 39 years. Yeah, he was a good guy when you dated in high school, but who knows what he might really be like now. For all we know, he could be a —-

“Don’t go there,” JoAnna intervened before her brain’s imagination ran down the dark road. “Let’s just wait and see. What we do know is that he has been working as a firefighter and EMT for the past 15 years. That should at least count for something. I’m taking it slow.”

I’ve heard that before, said her brain.

Shush! said her heart. Last night was wonderful. He was a perfect gentleman. Our second first date…. And that kiss….. our second first kiss…. it was divine. This was meant to be. You know, there’s the timing. And we’ve had all those phone conversations. He drove all the way down here from Connecticut!

Well, just remember, JoAnna, said her brain, “Follow your heart, but take your brain with you.” The brain really should be in charge anyway. You know how much trouble the heart has gotten you in to. Not to mention the body….

“Enough!” JoAnna said. “I’ve got to get some sleep! Big day tomorrow.”

On their second second date, David and JoAnna went to the beach to watch the summer sunset. She leaned back against his strong chest and felt the comfortable security of his well-muscled arms wrapped around her. She kept both her heart and brain quiet as they watched the golden light spread across the horizon and reflect on the intracoastal waterway. David continued to be a perfect gentleman which the brain and heart both liked, though the body was slightly annoyed.

Sunday was their last day together before David returned to Connecticut. After church, they sat on the couch in JoAnna’s living room. They talked very little and mostly absorbed the weekend and each other’s presence. JoAnna placed her head on his shoulder then lifted her nose to his neck. She inhaled deeply. The result was intoxicating.

“You smell good,” She murmured. “Are you wearing any cologne or anything?”

“No. I guess it’s just me.”

She lifted his hand and smelled the inside of his wrist. It smelled good, too, but not as good as his neck. Her nose lingered just below his ear as she continued to breath deeply falling under the spell of his pheromones. It started to dawn on her. He had been her first boyfriend back in 1972. His smell had been imprinted on her brain.

This could be dangerous, whispered her brain.

Just shut up and enjoy it, her heart said dreamily.

We have to stick together, said her brain. Don’t go anywhere without me.

Yeah, whatever.

___

If you’d like to read more about the romance of JoAnna and David and what it took for them to find each other after 39 years, read Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again, or the short version, From Loneliness to Love. Just click on the books in the right sidebar above.

Today’s Just Jot January prompt was the word, “spell.” For more jottings and info, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

#JusJoJan prompt the 21st – “Spell” | (lindaghill.com)


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A Letter to My Past Self About Reasons to Keep Living

This post is inspired by Eliza at: https://elizajourneythroughlife.home.blog/

I’m sending this back in time to myself whenever it’s needed most, sometime in my late teens or early twenties when I had thoughts about suicide. 

Dear JoAnne, 

It’s me, your future self, writing this to you when I am 65 years old which doesn’t feel as old as I thought it would back then when I was 20. Believe me, there is plenty of life to live. 

I know this is hard time for you. I know you are confused and lost trying to figure out what to do with your life. I know your heart aches and that you’ve had thoughts of giving up. Don’t give up!  It’s very important that you know life will get better. There will be hard times ahead. There will be times when you feel your heart is breaking, but the good times will vastly, surely, and greatly outweigh the bad. When I look back at all the good times over the past 45 years, I am so grateful that I didn’t give up.

You will gradually gain the skills to navigate and overcome the hard times. Things that seem impossible now, will someday be easier or less important. 

There are good times, wonderful times, ahead with the constants in your life: nature, art, writing, dogs, horses, cats, learning, and spirituality. These are the things you need to focus on now – the true loves of your life that always nurture your spirit and feed your soul. There will be love. Love from men, friends, and family. Your parents love you very much, even more than you can realize right now since you haven’t had children, yet, but you will. The love of family and friends is important. For now, don’t worry about the men, especially the ones who act like boys. You deserve love that is kind and caring, mature and strong. It might take a while, but you will have it. For now focus on loving yourself. 

You are valuable! You are worth so much more than you know. You have so much to give to this world with all your gifts, gifts that are still being developed. 

I know you might not want to hear this right now, but God loves you deeply, profoundly and forever. Just trust me on this. Your family is praying for you every day. Let this knowledge strengthen you. I know your ideas about religion are eclectic and nontraditional, and that’s okay. That’s part of who you are. But understand that there is a Higher Power who loves you dearly and has a wonderful plan for you! Trust the timing.

So, forget about men for now.  Remember your dreams. Your dreams may change, but they will always be about helping others and Mother Earth. For now, focus on loving yourself and learning. Cut down on the drinking. Be safe. Go back to college. Feel free to explore different classes, different interests.

There’s a whole world of possibilities waiting for you!

I’m sending big hugs and abundant love across time to you. Be still for a moment and feel it. Then move forward with you wonderful life. I promise your life will be will be interesting, beautiful and full of wonder.  

I love you always, 

JoAnna

Today’s Just Jot January topic was, “Letter.” I’m thankful to E for her nudge and patience on this letter and to Linda, our JusJoJan host for getting me to go through my draft ideas to get it written.

For more on Just Jot January, visit: #JusJoJan prompt the 11th – “Letter” | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: The Lord of the Rings and Letters from Vietnam

Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check,

but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday

deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay…

small acts of kindness and love.”

Gandalf in The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

Today’s prompt is the word, “ring,” to be used in any form and to have fun with.

Fun comes in many forms. One way I have fun is to watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit movies. Being a huge fan, I can watch these movies over and over again, especially the parts with the elves.

LOTR is about heroism, good winning over evil, sacrifice, fellowship, loyalty, natural magic, and more set in a place that allows me to escape the things I want to escape from that I will not mention. But the qualities and messages are still relevant in reality.

There’s a scene toward the end of the trilogy when Sam and Frodo are exhausted and don’t know if they will survive. They reminisce about their sweet home, The Shire. Sam imagines the goldilocks girl, barmaid he would like to marry. The reminiscing starts at 1 minute. Be sure to watch til the end when the Eagles come!

Coincidentally, but not really, I’ve been reading about all these things in my dad’s letters from Vietnam since Veterans Day.

I’m reading them for research for the novel I’m writing for NaNoWriMo. Reading the letters is slowing me down, but it needs to be done this way. So what if I don’t write 50,000 words by Nov. 30? It will be okay.

My dad’s letters show how much he adored my mother. He writes of dreaming of her constantly while asleep and while awake in Vietnam. It almost seems like he puts her on a pedestal. The dreams and images of her keep him going, keep him sane, and give him hope to stay alive to come home to her.

I watched a video about another guy talking about doing this in Vietnam, dreaming about his girlfriend kept him going, sane, alive. Let see if I can find it…. The speaker, Dr. Earhart, was a high school teacher after he got back. Toward the end of the video, at around 13 minutes, he talks about the girlfriend that had sent him a “Dear John” letter. The whole video is eye opening.

My dad’s letters mention that a lot of guys got “Dear John,” letters. Maybe that’s why he expressed so much love for my mom in his letters and always signed them,

All My Love,

Your Husband Forever,

Jim

When things are going badly, when we don’t know what’s going to happen, even when it seems like we might not make it, dreaming of a better future, imagining holding our loved ones in our arms, being with family in our homeland, these are legitimate coping skills. Valuable survival skills. And so we keep on doing those small acts of kindness and love to keep the darkness at bay whenever and wherever we might be.

For more Streams of Consciousness, rules, and such, please visit our host, Linda Hill at:


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An Interview and Review of From Loneliness to Love

Thank you so much to Jane Sturgeon for this interview and review of From Loneliness to Love! Please click on the link to Jane’s blog:

https://janesturgeon.com/joanne-maccos-latest-book-from-loneliness-to-love-five-steps-for-finding-a-healthy-relationship-review-and-interview/

” It is chock full of loving wisdom which is gentle, practical and relatable and her suggestions are fabulous and do-able. ” Jane Sturgeon


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What Flames are You Fanning?

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Today’s SoCS prompt is: “fan.” Use it by itself or find a word that starts or ends with it. Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

 

Fan the flames of peace.

Sing out to bring the dove.

The road might not be straight.

Let me start with my own heart.

 

Fan the flames of justice.

Not with violence, but with strength.

Be persistent.

We can’t always wait for Karma.

 

Fan the flames of love.

Speak your heart’s desire.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Remember we all belong.

 

What do we want to speak into existence? Our thoughts and our words are powerful! Focusing on what we want, not what we don’t want, brings our heart’s desire. Yet, there are times when we must vent to release and make room for something better. Just don’t linger in the darkness. Don’t let the negativity become toxic.

Imagine the best. 

That’s the fifth step in my new book, From Loneliness to Love, Five Steps for Finding a Healthy Relationship. The e-book will be available on Amazon tomorrow! (June 7) I’m still trying to get the cover right for the paperback. It looks good digitally, but the printed proofs….. Oh well.

I will imagine that this book will help people. The principles work not just for finding a healthy relationship, but for many other goals.  Here are the steps:

  1. Clarify Your Heart’s Desire
  2. Request Help from the Divine
  3. Love Yourself Well
  4. Focus on Friendship
  5. Imagine the Best

 

On another note:

Fan blades remind me of flower petals. So I’ve recycled ? upcycled a couple.

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Painted with alcohol ink and soon to be a sunflower

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This one spins in the wind.

 

For more Streams of Consciousness, visit our host, Linda G. Hill at

https://lindaghill.com/2020/06/05/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-6-2020/

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!

 


16 Comments

Desire and Divine Intervention

Here’s something different for a Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt:  The word is, “want.” Make the word “want” the first, second, or third word of your post. Have fun!

72530873-4C03-4E67-80E2-39270B3FC76F

I didn’t want to want a man in my life. 

The divorce had strangled my heart – figuratively, and acid reflux made me think I was having a heart attack. The rebound from hell should have made me swear off romantic relationships. Rebound number 2 was better, but still stressful. I couldn’t relax with him, even after three years. Men were too much stress. The little bit of romance and security was not worth the headaches and stomach aches.

So I asked God to take away the desire for a partner. Then, as an afterthought, I said, “or send me a good one.”

And eventually, when the time was right, God did just that. (God didn’t take away the desire, though I relaxed a bit just turning it over.) God sent me a good one.  Not perfect, but maybe perfect for me – allowing me to work on my issues and him to work on his issues, and the little bit of (normal) stress is totally worth the abundance of security and compatibility.

The long version is my memoir, Trust the Timing. But I’m also working on a short version, called From Loneliness to Love, Five Steps for Finding a Healthy Relationship.  It’s almost ready for publication. Just when I think I’ve got it all lined up, there’s a formatting issue that pops up between the uploading and the proofing. I guess I need to keep plugging away and trust the timing.

I want it to all fall into place, which happens occasionally, though not as often as I want. A friend of mine told me, “If it don’t fit, don’t force it.” If you want something really bad and it’s not happening, don’t force it.  Don’t give up, but try something a little different, take a break, take up a hobby. If it’s meant to happen, it will.

When David was 15 and moved far away,  the lady I babysat for told me, “If you are meant to be together, you will be.”  It stopped my tears and gave me hope. Life went on and on. David became a sweet but distant memory.  Then, 39 years after we said goodbye in 1972, he found me again. Now he is my life partner. The good one. Not forced, but falling into place.

We are all waiting to see what will happen in the world and in our lives. But we are not alone and never were.

Don’t force it. Trust the timing.

I’m still learning that one.

This is for all the lonely people.

For more Streams of Consciousness, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/05/15/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-16-2020/

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!