Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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One Liner Wednesday: “… all the honor students were girls.” Mama Bear Stories from the Past

This post is a little longer than the usual 1linerWeds post, but I wanted to honor my mother-in-law Carol who told me these stories during our recent visit. Turns out this sweet, mild mannered lady was quite a “Mama Bear” back in the day. In the 1960s, there was no kindergarten in the small New England town where she was raising three sons. Carol helped create a kindergarten in a model home donated by a new housing development. She took care of a two-year-old so his certified teacher mom could teach the class. A year later, the state mandated schools have kindergartens.

Not long after that, Carol helped create a library for the school so the kids wouldn’t have to use the town library. Carol and her friends researched the standards, got a room in the school, ordered books, and typed up the cards for the card catalog. The all-volunteer library lasted for almost 10 years until a new school was built with a library.

When Carol reported that the school bus was over capacity, the school told her she had to get a police officer to count the kids on the bus for confirmation, before they could get a second bus. Of course she made it happen.

Years later, after having dealt with the challenges of two intelligent sons (including my husband) being bored and restless in middle school, Carol decided she didn’t want that to happen again with her equally intelligent and bored youngest son. She told the school her son was bored and needed to be in the advanced honors class since his grades were good enough. She was told no, because he was a boy and

.…all the honor students were girls.

Carol went to the principle and then to the Board of Edcation and told them she wanted her son in the advanced honors class. She finally got permission. After that more moms with boys got their sons in the honors class.

Here are some old photos of my husband David as a child:

For more one-liners and guidelines, which I bent today, visit our host, Linda Hill


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One-Liner Wednesday on Life and Death

My local writer’s group was discussing (via email) the topic of life and death. It started with one member sharing that her husband gets a daily motivational email with the subject heading: “You’re going to die.” The idea is to make the most of your life. I would not want to get that particular reminder in my face every day. Here are a couple of alternatives for balance:

Of all the days of our lives, there is only one day we’re going to die.

May you live all the days of your life.

One Liner Wednesday is brought to us by Linda Hill who has been living all the days and years of her life.

For more one-liners, visit Linda at: https://lindaghill.com/2021/09/29/one-liner-wednesday-years/


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SoCS: The Pursuit of Happiness

Today’s Stream of Consciousness post is:

“hat/het/hit/hot/hut.” Choose one, choose ’em all, put ’em in your post. Enjoy!

What? I don’t know. Hut is interesting from a Gilligan’s Island frame of mind. They had a good thing on that island. There’s a song in my head that goes, “Gilligan, take my advice. Don’t try so hard to escape paradise.” Maybe I’ll look for it later. Maybe not. In reality, I don’t know that I’d really want to live in a hut. Maybe if there was a nice bed with a good mattress, and a toilet, and toilet paper, and plenty of mosquito netting. A luxury hut. That might work.

I had to look up “het.” Come to find out, it is short for heterosexual. That’s me. I’m a het. I guess. Still, there’s a lot of what they used to call, “tomboy,” in me. When I was looking for a soulmate, while trying to not look and trying to be cynical, I figured that if I found someone who was compatible, someone who brought me comfort and joy and met my criteria, like loving dogs, being respectful, etc., it would not matter if the person was male or female. Logically, I still think that way. But I always imagined myself with a male partner, and that’s what I got. Imagination is powerful.

During the lonely years. I used to watch a lot of NCIS and found Gibbs to be more attractive over time. My husband does look a little like Gibbs, but taller. I’m grateful. So grateful. Step 5 in my short short book, From Loneliness to Love is, “Imagine the Best.” That doesn’t mean perfect, but perfect for what we need to grow and be happy. Reasonably happy.


Reasonably happy. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Pursuit of Happyness is a great movie for Father’s Day. It’s based on a true story of a homeless father, played by Will Smith, who with heartbreaking perseverance, eventually gets a job on wall street.

On June 19th, 1865, years after the Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans in Texas were finally informed they were free. They had the opportunity, knowing they had the right, to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Now, June 19th is a Federal holiday in the US. That’s good news for Good News Tuesday!

Thank you to Linda Hill for our prompt and for hosting, SoCS! For more streams and rules, visit Linda’s blog:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS June 19, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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The Road to Rivendell

Today’s SoCS prompt is to use a word ending in sty. First I thought of the word, fantasy, but that doesn’t work. I had to look up words that end in sty. The first one I liked was, “misty.” That lead me to the Misty Mountains and this story….

What have I gotten myself into? Elya wondered if she should just go back the way she came. But she couldn’t take another day, another night, at the Prancing Pony. She was too old to be working in a pub. If only her husband Dane were still alive, she would never have had to take that job. Her horse seemed to keep plodding along as if knowing something better lay ahead.

Elya had heard stories about a beautiful place called Rivendell. It was east of Bree, somewhere near the misty mountains. It sounded magical, a place with elves. She knew she never really belonged in Bree. If they really knew her mind, they would think her a witch. But she was just different. Swallowing with nothing to swallow, she let her horse lead the way. She had come to trust her beast and companion over the years. Would there be monsters along the road? Would they be there by nightfall? She nudged her friend further.

As darkness fell, she fought back the panic and found a place off the main road, almost a hideaway, under a willow tree for them to stop for the night. She ate the last of her bread and found cool water from a stream, then hummed quietly to herself needing to sleep, but too afraid. Somehow she drifted off.

The sunlight woke her and she gave thanks that she had not perished at some strange sword. She had kept the knife close and was glad she didn’t need it. Onward they went, eastward until they found a path off the road late in the afternoon. She didn’t know why she took it, something told her it was the way. After a time, a view opened up. The misty mountains were to her right. The air smelled different. The path had seemed to disappear, but there was something, a beam of light, directing her left. Just north of the mountains, the path became more twisty with rises and falls. She could barely see a path.

Elya dismounted and walked leading her horse. The sun was behind her now. She stumbled, then stood and took a breath. Light shown through the trees ahead. A few more steps, then she saw it, bathed in golden light. Rivendell! It had to be! Below her was a stream, and across the stream, paths that led up the hills to the beautiful castle doorways set among the waterfalls.

Would they accept her? Would they understand how much she longed to belong in a place of beauty and peace? She patted her horse and headed down to cross the stream.

~~~

You’ve probably heard “Misty Mountains Cold” droned by the dwarves in The Hobbit. Here’s an instrumental version on an ocarina:

~~~

For more info on Stream of Consciousness Saturday, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 27, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS: The End Can Also Be the Beginning

Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “the beginning, the end.” Write about the beginning of something and the end of  something. Bonus points if your first sentence contains “the end” and your last sentence contains “the beginning.” <– Read that again. Have fun!

The end can also be the beginning.

The end of COVID could be the beginning of gratitude and appreciation… that’s redundant. And it was going so well at first.

You can start your day (or Stream of Consciousness post) over at any time.

The end of COVID could be the beginning of gratitude for hugs and freedom to travel. Gratitude for the earth and arts we’ve embraced more fully. Gratitude for teachers, health care, and science.

The end of my first marriage was the beginning of a long grief process which had to come before loving myself again, which had to come before any healthy relationship involving romance.

The end of tenth grade was when my first boyfriend left town to move back to Connecticut. That was the beginning of the summer and there was a second boyfriend by the end of the summer.

The end of my daughter’s high school graduation triggered the Universe (directed by God) to direct my first boyfriend from tenth grade to message me, just out of curiosity.

The end of my first boyfriend’s career in 2011 was the beginning of his move to North Carolina with his three crazy dogs.

The end of my career in 2017 was the beginning of finding myself again, my authentic self, coming back home to art and creative pursuits of the heart.

The end of the Trump administration could mean healing the great political divide if we would just listen to each other and stop watching the news. Except for Good News Tuesday here on this blog. Well, maybe we need to watch a little other news. If we could just have FACTS, like, Joe Biden is president of the US, and when COVID vaccines are really available, and where. But I digress.

The end of the news programs, mainstream ones, usually include a bit of good news, which should also be in the middle and in the beginning. Good news, bad news, Good news, bad news, Good news. Like that. Good news in the beginning.

Did you ever have an ending that turned into the beginning?

Stream of Consciousness Saturday and Just Jot January are hosted by Linda Hill. For more information, visit:

The Friday Reminder for #SoCS & #JusJoJan 2021 Daily Prompt – Jan. 30th | (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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A Vision for a Great America

I want to share a vision written by Mary Melange in her Stream of Consciousness post this past Saturday:

“…Think of what we could be if we became united instead of divided; if we ended systemic racism; if we got a grip on the pandemic so people could go back to work and small businesses could thrive again; if we took care of our planet and loved each and every one of our neighbors; if, by enlightenment, we changed people’s hearts from being selfish and hateful to selfless and loving; if, by education, we formed intelligent, thoughtful opinions that led to great discussion; if we value civilized dialogue instead of hate speech; if we ended poverty and provided health care for everyone. Wouldn’t that truly make America a promised land, one of respect and greatness?”

Mary’s post gives a heartfelt summary of what’s been going on in America as well as the historical roots. You can read Mary full article here: #SoCS: Reaching Past the Sky | Mary J Melange (wordpress.com)

I offer this vision as part of One-Liner Wednesday and Just Jot January. For more jottings, one-liners, and inspiration, visit:

One-Liner Wednesday/JusJoJan the 13th, 2021 – Snow Carolers | (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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SoCS: Bonjour to the Journey

Our prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “jour.” Find a word containing “jour” or use it as is. Bonus points if you start or end your post with that word. Enjoy! (Thanks Linda Hill!)

Bonjour!

I took three years of French in high school and loved it. Thought about majoring in French even. Then, biology, then psychology…. a journey of revelation. Such is life.

Spanish would have been more practical. Maybe someday, I’ll learn Spanish. But the older I get, the more I realize my time is limited and I must prioritize.

This month, I’m prioritizing NaNoWriMo. Not that I’m knocking myself out, but I’m doing it. Writing a novel is work. Incorporating my family history, or rather basing the novel on my parents, requires some research – just to try to get the timelines accurate. At least when I’m done with the first draft, I’ll have a family history for my kids, plus some fiction to fill in the gaps.

Writing a novel is a process. A long one. Like this election in the US is a process, not an event. Like recovery. The process will hopefully prompt ongoing recovery. A healing I hope.

It might take a long time for my country to heal from the damage that has been done, for us to bridge the divide that has grown at the hands of so called leaders, a divide widened by media’s focus on our differences and conflicts. But it is a journey we can decide to take in faith, or at least in hope. Because if you can’t find faith, look for hope, and hope will lead you to faith.

One step at a time.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” LaoTzu

Sometimes we don’t know how many steps the journey will take, but we can start taking them anyway. Maybe it’s better not to know. Just keep moving toward the light at whatever pace works for you.

Rest when you need to, but don’t give up!

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


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Thursday Tree Love: Staying Strong

“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”    A. A. Milne

 

I discovered this tree along the Blue Ridge Parkway in the gentle mountains of North Carolina in the eastern US.

Challenged tree # 2 on the BRParkway

 

It stands strong in spite of graffiti and being partially hollow.

 

Challenged tree #2 by Ayla on BRPW

An elderly couple was sitting in its shade having a snack.

 

This is the view to the left of the tree:

DSC06930

Love-tree-with-heart-shaped-branches-and-birds

Thursday Tree Love is a photo feature hosted by Parul Thakur on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. For more Tree Love, visit:

https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-90/