Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Good News Tuesday: A Gift for a Friend, Free Labor, Less Plastic, and India’s Elephant Hospital

Teen Works for 2 Years to Buy Friend an Electric Wheelchair

High School Student Tanner Wilson saved money from his part time job for two years to buy his friend Brandon an electric wheel chair. He’d heard that Brandon’s old self-propelled wheel chair tired him out, and Tanner wanted to help the friend who’s been there for him. A teacher helped decorate Brandon’s wheel chair and they recently surprised him with the gift. Here’s the inspiring video.

Veteran Fixes Cars for Free

Former Paratrooper and helicopter pilot Adam Ely provides free labor to fix people’s cars. He helps them find good deals on parts and consults with a professional mechanic when needed. Adam is a disabled veteran who spent three years in Iraq and Afganistan. Now, he’s studying special education. Adam and his wife Toni started Hard Luck Automotive Services in 2017.

“I’ve never turned anyone away. It doesn’t matter about economic status, race, or creed. I don’t even care if people take advantage, I will help them, regardless,” he said.  (bbc.com)

Here’s there story from bbc.com

Earth, The Blue Marble

Trader Joe’s  Joins Other Companies to Reduce Plastic Waste

More businesses are working to reduce single-use plastics. EcoWatch reports that Trader Joe’s has already “stopped offering single-use plastic carryout bags nationwide and is replacing plastic produce bags and Styrofoam meat trays with biodegradable and compostable options.” The move happened after a Greenpeace petition obtained almost 100,000 signatures. Thanks for listening, Trader Joe’s! This article from EcoWatch contains a link to other companies working to reduce plastic waste like ASDA in the UK, McDonalds, Costa Coffee, and Evian.

India’s Hospital for Abused Elephants

India has it’s first hospital for abused elephants. The Good News Network  reports that “Just months after India was given its first ever hospital for rescued elephants, the facility has already treated 26 recovering pachyderms.”  The medical center was started in November by the non-profit group Wildlife SOS which has also rescued bears, leopards, turtles, and other endangered species.

After the elephants are treated they are taken to one of two sanctuaries in India.

You can read more here:

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/india-gets-first-ever-hospital-for-abused-elephants/

Got good news? Please share!

Sunflower w address

Seeking Balance. One Tuesday at a Time.


29 Comments

Lonely Hearts Healed

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Today’s SoCS prompt from Linda is:

“ends with -ly.” Start your post with any adverb (oops) that ends in “-ly.” Bonus points if you end with an adverb too. Have fun!

I choose lonely. It’s not that I choose to be lonely. I’m not lonely anymore. I like to be alone with the dogs, writing and puttering around the house. But I was lonely for a partner, oh, ten or so years ago. Except that I didn’t want a partner who added stress  to my life, so I waited and learned to trust the timing. I’m still learning that with other things in my life and realizing what a gift it is to have this time to work on my parents’ old house while our house gets finished and we get to paint the walls!

I’ve been reading the letters my mother wrote to my father when he was in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba after having served 13 months in Vietnam. Her letters are very enlightening and sometimes uncomfortable since they are personal. She writes about how lonely she is and how much she misses him and how she (and us girls) can’t take more separations. I’m learning about how she would find me up reading at 2 am on a school night and how my sister and I were, “sassy.” We were 10 and 12. I was a big tomboy 12 year old. I know now that most 12 year old girls are sassy.  Sorry mom.

My mom was sick a lot and so was my little sister. Mom writes about a cough that won’t go away. I’ve gotten through January and part of February 1968, and she’s still coughing to the point of exhaustion. I resented my mother being sick so much with migraines and nervous break downs when dad was in Vietnam and I was 11. These letters are giving me more compassion as I read her inner struggles of taking care of a home and two sassy girls and missing her man. It also dawned on me that the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune/Tarawa Terrace probably didn’t help her get well. There’s a big thing about that now, but I’ve read many claims have been denied. My parent’s died of “natural causes” in their eighties, but I bet that water contributed to some health problems even if it didn’t kill us.

Dad used to talk to me in his later years about Vietnam and GTMO. Awful stuff. Horrible stuff that gave him nightmares for the rest of his life. After Vietnam, he came home for three months, and then they sent him to GTMO for five months. He told me he drank a lot while in Cuba. He had PTSD before they called it that. A chaplain helped him. I wish I knew his name and could thank him if he’s still alive. Thank you anyway, Chaplain who served at GTMO and helped my dad. I think he needed this time in Cuba maybe to begin to process Vietnam – a job that would never be finished. It was so hard on my mom and him. The separations put a lot of pressure on their marriage.  ( I didn’t know this until I started reading mom’s letters.)

And yet they made it through. Their deep love and their strong faith helped them through the maze and mess of PTSD and all the other challenges life threw at them. I did know that they were very much in love. They were married for over 50 years and still got smoochy sometimes. Dad used to sing to mom, “I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.”

Love and faith and time overcome loneliness. When we are lonely, God loves us no matter what. And dogs too. 😉  I’m reminded of one of my favorite poems from Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese.”

“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination….”      Mary Oliver

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

I’ve probably shared the lonely people song at least a couple of times before on this blog, but it means a lot to me, so here it is again with different pictures.

 

 

 

 

PS: I now realize that I didn’t follow the prompt corrrectly since Linda asked for an adverb and lonely is an adjective.  Letting it be is my goal here. This is progress for a recovering rule follower/people pleaser.

To learn more or join in the stream,  visit Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2019/02/08/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-9-19/

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!


35 Comments

#ThursdayTreeLove: Revelations from a Hard Decision

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I discovered #ThursdayTreeLove when Chandra’s post led me to it. See below for a link to the Thursday Tree Love host.

It was a hard decision I didn’t want to make and still don’t want to think about, but the revelation it brought is important. My husband told me the mimosa next to the house had to come down so they could add the rain gutters. Water damage is what led to the major renovations that have had us living in my parents’ old house since September. We could almost buy a new house with the money we’re spending on repairs. As the overhang on our house is practically non-existent, rain gutters are needed. It’s been so long, at least 25 years, that I don’t remember if that mimosa sprouted there on it’s own or if I transplanted it from a more obviously wrong spot. It took root at least a foot, maybe two, from the corner of the house. Now I know that is too close. It’s a hard lesson.

As you might know, my love for trees is powerful. I have a particular fondness for the misunderstood mimosa. When David and I reconnected in 2011, I didn’t know that he would become my husband, but one of the first things I told him was that I was a tree-hugger. He said he was too. That was good to hear, though I doubted that he could have the depth of tree love that I did.

After David told me the mimosa next to the house had to go, I asked him if we could just trim some of the branches. He said no because the tree really was right next to the house. I knew that. The main trunk had grown to be just a few inches from the house, touching the house when the wind blows hard, and major branches draped over the roof in the summertime. I asked David to take care of it and said that I don’t want to be there. I don’t want to see any remains. It’s too painful for me. We’re staying an hour away, and David commutes almost daily, so he would have plenty of opportunity to do it.

A few days later, David came “home” after working in the yard at our more permanent address. He said he took down the mimosa. He told me he said a prayer for it first. He got choked up talking about it. There were tears in his eyes. David’s feelings for this tree shocked me. I knew he cared, but he does not show emotion easily, though has shown it in grieving for dogs. David is strong and very practical, almost Vulcan-like at times which can be irritating but is more often comforting in it’s steadiness.

I knew David told me he was a “tree-hugger” back when we reconnected, but I didn’t know he could feel this depth of emotion for a tree. I didn’t know it would be hard for him. I didn’t ask him to say a prayer – that was all his idea. I just asked him to take care of it, and he did. I thanked him for caring so much and gave him a big hug. The gift in the sadness is that I have a new appreciation for the depth of my husband’s compassion. A person can have a big heart even if he doesn’t wear it on his sleeve.

David makes things from reclaimed wood, fallen trees, or trees that have to be cut down. He said the wood from the mimosa is a beautiful and pink. He hopes to make many beautiful things from it in his wood shop. I hope some day I can bear to look at them.

More mimosas live my backyard, thankfully not close to the house. I call them prolific rather than invasive, and have given a few away. I’m sure some of them came from the mimosa that took root too close to the house all those years ago.

mimosa flowers on path

Mimosa flowers in the back yard

 

Thursday Tree love is a photo feature on Happiness and Food, hosted on 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month. The next edition will be live on February 14, 2019. If you would like to play along, post a picture of a tree on your blog and link it back to the post on happiness and food:  https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-56/

 


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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: Rejoice! Conditions and All

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Here’s something new! Today’s prompt for Saturday Stream of Consciousness is:

“ask someone else.” Either ask someone for a prompt word or, if you can’t, turn on a TV or a radio and choose a word from the first sentence you hear. 

(Linda Hill)

It’s new to me anyway. Stepping a little outside the box, I decided to ask for prompts on my Facebook author page. It was an experiment since I believe FB suppresses business and author pages so we’ll buy ads which so far have not worked well enough for me… but I did get two prompt suggestions, so I’m happy.

My first prompt for which I am thankful was, “Rejoice.”  It’s the word in one of my favorite Christmas hymns. That word I often/sometimes have trouble hitting the high note on. O Come, O come, Emanuel….. REJOICE! REJOICE! Emanuel shall come to thee o Israel. Emanuel means God is with us. REJOICE!

The second prompt, for which I am also thankful, was “Conditional.” Hmmmm. Interesting. Go ahead and REJOICE, as long as no one gets hurt. Rejoice all you want, but the dishes still need to get done and the trash needs to get put out. But wait! what if we can and do rejoice whilst we are taking out the trash? Like I rejoice when I donate stuff. Rejoice to be lightening the load. Jesus lightens my load. Why not rejoice in the midst of conditions? I rejoice that I know how to be conditional.

I knew that if I ever married again, it would be conditional upon finding a partner who loves dogs. Okay, he loves me, too but that kinda goes without saying. He also had to respect me.  Respect was a big issue when my daughter was a teenager. I would listen to her on the condition that she not yell at me and speak with a respectful tone. My love for her was and is unconditional, but my listening had conditions. My presence had conditions. If someone yells at me or is disrespectful, now I can walk away if only to another room. I can limit my time with people who are toxic depending (conditional?) on how toxic they are. I can love someone from a distance.  Occasional distance if they are a little toxic. Big distance if they are frequently toxic. I rejoice that my daughter is respectful and doesn’t yell at me anymore (not that I can tell) cause she’s grown and out on her own.

One of my goals for 2019 is to buy a house in the mountains so I can visit my son and his family more often. This is somewhat conditional on selling my parent’s house (the house that was my parents’). It’s a flexible condition. An ideal. Some conditions are negotiable and some are not. When I sell the house that was my parents’ I will be a little sad. I will probably cry. But I will also rejoice! When I buy a house in the mountains, I will rejoice!

Feeling how you will feel when you get your heart’s desire worked for me while I was looking/waiting for my soulmate.  I imagined comfort and joy.  Rejoice for all the blessings coming your way – with or without conditions. Rejoice anyway!

 

 

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you by Linda G. Hill. For more information, and more streams, visit:

https://lindaghill.com/2018/12/28/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-29-18/

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!

 


38 Comments

Marriage, Renovations, & Practice

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Marriage can be a very good thing when two people are compatible. Same with any long term relationship. Compatible doesn’t mean the same, it means a good fit. My husband and I have different personalities. He’s got a lot more energy than I do. He’s a morning person, and I’m a night owl. He gets energized by being around people. I get tired after about an hour – five minutes if there’s a lot of talking, bright lights, and extraneous noise.

But we have similar values. We both love dogs. We’re spiritual. And wonderfully, we are both conservative in our lifestyles, but liberal in our beliefs. Used to be not conservative in lifestyle, and I’m glad we lived to tell about it. He says it would not have worked if we had kept dating and gotten married from that high school romance. Maybe he’s right. We needed to grow up and learn stuff. LOTS of stuff. We learned a lot from out previous marriages.

Guess what! Today is our anniversary! Six years since we said, “I do.” It’s been a good six years, and I am very thankful to have had a solid, dependable partner through the death of my dog and then my father. His dogs and father died, too. Now, we are facing a smaller but more drawn out challenge.

As you may know, our house in Wilmington is getting renovated and we’re staying the the house an hour away that I inherited from my parents. We’ve had to nudge the workers to move along with the bathroom and kitchen floor. The mental roof should be in Monday, so they say, but that’s just the materials. We were hoping to be home by Christmas, but it doesn’t look like it. We found out that the electrician condemned our wiring! So they got another electrician for a second opinion. He condemned our wiring, too. It’s an old house. David says he’s in agreement that we need new wiring on most of the house.

When I first found out, I was frustrated and disappointed. Now, I’m wondering, realizing, that this is God’s way of keeping us safe. I’m very thankful we have another house to stay in and that I can work on clearing out the clutter and stuff my parent’s owned. Sorry Mom and Dad, it’s not all clutter. Plus I get to clear out some of my own clutter in the process of moving everything away from the walls in the Wilmington house. Good thing I don’t have  a job, because this IS my job. And I’m getting better at it with practice. Kinda like marriage.

Bride & Groom framed by doors

December 1, 2012

Our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was “ma.” We were instructed to “use it as a word or find a word with “ma” in it. Bonus points if you start your post with that word. Enjoy!”

Ta da! Bonus points!

To find out more about Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday magic, visit

https://lindaghill.com/2018/11/30/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-1-18/

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!


35 Comments

One-Liner Wednesday: Gratitude Makes Sense of Our Past

woman looking back at rocks

 

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Melody Beattie

I thought I knew all the stages of grief.

But there’s always more to learn.

 I never understood the role of  bargaining in my divorce.

I don’t remember begging, though I did ask “Why?”

wandering around in shock.

The counselor said the marriage could be saved

unless there were other lovers –

then it wouldn’t work.

The other woman had been my friend

before the bottom fell out.

There was no checking in.

No sisterhood.

.

I used to think  guilt was a stage of grief,

guilt the companion of bargaining,

guilt who knows where I live.

Maybe if I’d been more attentive,

 more docile, more playful…

I thought I was doing a good job

for the two decades tossed away.

Why? Why? Why? ad infinitum….,

(until now.)

.

Anger got lost in depression,

the depression I tried to swallow,

but it kept coming back up.

Or I’d stuff it in a drawer and forget about it

until I went looking for that purple scarf

and it grabbed me around the throat

and threw me on the bed.

 I couldn’t get up

but I could roll over and slide down

to put my knees on the floor.

.

All the while I wrestled with depression,

anger lurked nearby growing into a boulder of resentment

blocking my path to happiness.

.

But where was this acceptance I kept hearing about?

I had no idea.

.

It wasn’t until forgiveness

finally got a foot in the door

and started chipping away at resentment,

that acceptance had a chance to work.

It was forgiveness that opened a path for love.

Love of self. Love of family. Love of life.

And finally when the time was right,

Love from another.

.

Now, after all these years, I’ve awakened

to another stage:

Gratitude.

Eighteen years ago I would have never believed it possible

to be grateful for my divorce.

But if the first marriage had not died,

if the other woman had not been there,

I would not have been set free.

Free to fall.

Free to flounder.

Free to fly.

Free to find myself again.

Free to be found.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

one-liner-wednesday-badge-2018-19

 

One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you by Linda G. Hill

at

https://lindaghill.com/2018/11/21/one-liner-wednesday-its-time/

 

Here are the rules that we sometimes follow:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our lovely badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!