Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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SoCS: Brains, Birds, Trees, Electricity, and Singing in the Wire

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

Today’s prompt is “wire.”

It’s interesting how many wire thoughts can run through my brain between the time I read the prompt and the time I start writing. Brains are sometimes said to be “hard wired” for certain things. Maybe like, survival. But we don’t hear much about being soft wired for things, which is more often the case. I believe we can override much, ? some, a lot of the wiring in our brains.

I’m wired to be an introvert, but I can override this to a point. Then, I have to have alone time. I like alone time. I might not mind being quarantined, but I don’t want to be sick. I wasn’t going to write about the virus, but it snuck in here, like trash in the stream of consciousness. Damn news. But we need to know some things. I feel sorry for extroverts who get quarantined. I read about some people in Italy singing, but I’m saving that for Good News Tuesday.

Speaking of GNT, I just wrote about… no wait, that was Thursday Tree Love! In TTL (Thursday 🙂 ) I wrote about trees coexisting with electrical wires in the city and the grotesque, well I actually wrote unnatural, forms the electric company cuts the trees into for the electrical wires to have the right of way.  Notice I don’t write “power lines,” because when we lose electricity, we still have power. I made a meme about that. Let me see if I can find it.

This is not the one. It’s just a photo with wires. I bet I have a lot of those.

snow storm on Beech Mountain

Okay, I’m still going back for the meme in my computer files….  Here it is:

if we lose electricity

And then there are the birds on a wire that I wrote about in the post about letting go of my parents’ house. When we were loading the last boxes on the day the house sold, there were four birds on the wire in front of the house. They represented my four family members in heaven (Mom, Dad, and my two sisters.)  Each one flew away, one at a time, and the last one (my father bird) lingered. It was a powerful experience telling me it was okay to let go, to move along in my own journey, that their spirits were alive and well. Oh, yeah, and we were staying at their house when our house was being re-wired.

Here’s that post in case you missed it.

Finally, I keep thinking about a line from a song that goes, “I hear you singing in the wire.” It was a really pretty old song by Glen Campbell. “Wichita Lineman.”  I’m not normally a country music fan, but this song seemed to cross over into 70s soft rock. It always moved me.  Maybe it’s because of the message of hope and perseverance, a love that lives on, and the soothing music.

 

Stay well, everybody! Take good care of yourself. Keep calm and wash your hands.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to us by:

https://lindaghill.com/2020/03/13/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-14-2020/

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!


13 Comments

Thursday Tree Love: Reaching for Heaven

Tall pine with long arms

You must have a good reason

To reach for heaven

 

tree love with two arms reaching

Linville, North Carolina

Trees have as much individuality as human beings. Not even two spruces are alike. There is always some kink or curve or bend of bough to single each one out from its fellows.

— Lucy Maud Montgomery

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

https://www.happinessandfood.com/thursdaytreelove-79/


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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!

 


16 Comments

No More Chains

dog running

The fence is falling down in the backyard of what used to be my parents’ house.  To be more accurate, it’s pretty much useless in the way back jungly part where the poison ivy has returned.

In trying to decide what to do about the fence, my husband and I discussed options. He’s been great about not telling me what to do since I told him that was a pet peeve of mine when we were dating. So, I asked him what he would do if it was all up to him. First he helped me clarify that my plan A is to eventually sell the house and not to put too much money into it outside of getting the bathroom redone. After that was clarified, he said he would do nothing and leave the dilapidated fence like it was.

This felt like a terrible option for me. As we talked, the reason came to the surface. When I was in elementary school, we had a dog named Hoppy. He was a Newfoundland/German Shepherd mix but looked something like a Gordon Setter.  Since we lived in military housing, Hoppy didn’t have a fenced in yard. He had a chain attached to his dog house. Dad let him run loose at night when we were stationed in California and took him to the canyon on weekends to run.  When we moved to Philadelphia and Dad went to Vietnam, Hoppy didn’t get much exercise. It’s not like I ignored him, but I didn’t walk him much because I was afraid he might get away from me. My biggest wish was that Hoppy could have a fenced in back yard so he wouldn’t have to be on a chain.  He did have a yard for three months when we stayed with my sister in Michigan, but then we moved  to New York and Hoppy went back on the chain.   I’d sit inside his dog house with him for hours and make up stories in my head, including the fenced yard fantasy.

While Dad was still in Vietnam, my mom who suffered from depression, told me a story about a sick little girl who needed Hoppy more than I did. She said they had a big fenced yard for him to run in.  I had to believe her.

Dad retired from the Marine Corps when I was 13. I was excited that we bought a house with a fenced in back yard for our new dog, Lobo, who lived most of his life in that big back yard plus walks around the neighborhood.  I wish Hoppy could have had that kind of life. When I bought a house of my own, having a fenced in back yard was the number one priority. Is it any wonder that the house I live in today has a fence in the back and the front?

Now, I’ve inherited my parents’ house with the fallen fence. When I think about selling that house, I think about a girl (or a boy, or a family) who might have a dog who needs a fenced in yard. And when I think about heaven, I see a lush green meadow with all the dogs I’ve ever loved running to meet me with Hoppy in the lead.

 


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One-Liner Wednesday: Dogs in Heaven

Rainbow Bridge

 

God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he’ll be there.

Rev. Billy Graham

Since I volunteer most Wednesday mornings, I don’t usually participate in One-Liner Wednesday. But every now and then, I find something that floats my boat.  I know Rev. Graham is receiving a grand welcome in heaven, and I bet his dogs are there, too. Mine will be, too. I’m counting on it.
(The rainbow photo is from Pixabay. I thought it looked like the rainbow bridge.)
One liner Weds 2017
For more One-Liners, visit Linda’s blog at:
Rules/Guidelines:


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Time and the Toilet Paper Roll of Life

socsbadge2016-17

This is the busiest time. No, wait. It’s not that busy. Maybe this is the busiest time since I started semi-retirement in June. Was that this past June? No way. I have to check that. Time is so strange. I think this is the fastest time has ever moved. It moves faster and faster the older we get, and also the busier we get. Just like the toilet paper roll goes faster as you get closer to the end. But then someone will hopefully replace that toilet paper roll with a full one. Usually a mom type person does that. Does God replace our roll when we get to the end of our life? Do we get another assignment? I like the idea of taking a rest for a while, in my idea of heaven being a cabin in the woods, running around with all the dogs I’ve ever loved…and then getting an assignment, as an angel or whatever God wants me to do. I just really want a rest for a while and to see my dogs.

I had no idea I was going to go there. That’s what I love about the Stream of Consciousness.

Though theses are the busiest times lately, they are also the best times. So I want to stop complaining and have some gratitude already!  My busyness has been writing, a little art, feeding feral kittens, puttering around the house in the never-ending busyness of things like replacing toilet paper rolls and de-cluttering.

The best things about this busy weekend are:

This afternoon, I get to read one of my two stories which will be published in the public library’s e-book about our coastal county. I should say, I get to read it out loud, in front of people! I’ll send you a link to the e-book when it is unveiled.

Tomorrow afternoon, I get to lead a guided meditation at a coffee house celebration of Recovery Month. That’s right, September is RECOVERY MONTH. We need to celebrate recovery because so many people don’t get how much work it is. We need to applaud people in recovery from addiction and other illnesses.

Both of these events are related to my work. The first, reading my story, is about my new work and my new creative life. Sunday’s event is about my old work as a counselor, which I continue to do one day a week. So this weekend is sort of an affirmation, that for now, I can do both.

Next week could be even busier. It might be the busiest week!

Monday I need to go cut my father’s hedges. And visit him which is more important. And then I need to go the old job on Tuesday as I get ready for a reunion trip with my high school girlfriends in Mississippi!

One thing’s for sure, I’m not bored.

And I am grateful.

 

Linda’ prompt for today’s Stream of Consciousness post was, “-est” to be used as a suffix.

Read more SOC posts, and join in the fun at Linda’s blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2016/09/16/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-sept-1716/

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. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


8 Comments

Answered Prayers

SOC badge with butterfly

“If you could send me a soulmate who’s a good fit before Dad and Jesse die, I’d really appreciate it.”

That was a prayer I said to God somewhere around 2010. It went something like that, anyway.

The second part of the prayer was, “If you want me to stay single, then take away this desire for a partner.

It was five years ago, on July 15, 2011, that I had my second first date with the love of my life, my high school sweetheart who found me after 39 years of no contact.

Jesse, my golden retriever, passed away a couple years ago, and the soulmate who is definitely a good fit, helped me get through that.

Jesse swimming

This is one of the things I imagine Jesse doing in heaven.

Dad is still alive and strong in spirit. His legs are giving him a lot of trouble, and at 85, his body is wearing out as bodies are known to do.

I’m so thankful to God for bringing my partner to me when the time was perfect. I was ready to accept staying single if that was what God wanted. I knew I could accomplish a lot of good things being single, once I finally learned to not fall for anyone who asked me out, once I learned to love and honor myself enough to know I did not need a man to complete me. But God knew my loneliness and did not take away the desire. God brought my husband to me when we were both ready.

JoAnne and David to edit

If I’d known then, what I know now, I would have worried less, but then I would not have grown as much faith – faith that still has some growing to do.

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was: “if/then.” We were to begin our post with the word “If,” and for bonus points, end with a phrase containing the word “then.”

If you want to read more Stream of Consciousness writing, then visit Linda’s blog:

https://lindaghill.com/2016/07/15/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-1616/

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. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


25 Comments

Fifteen Years of Love

Beep

The fluff ball curled up next to the man on the seat of the truck and went to sleep. He hadn’t wanted another dog, but finally agreed. They named her “Beep” because her bark sounded like a car horn. When she was six months old, she snuck up next to the man on the recliner as he pretended to be asleep. They napped together like that often when the man was tired from being gone so long. She loved the man more than anything.

She ran like the wind with her long nimble legs as she chased squirrels, and balls, and anything that moved. She loved to help the man work in the yard by catching the wiggly worms he stirred up with his raking and digging. When they brought home a new puppy, she adopted him as her own. Beep and Oreo were best buddies, even though he grew up stocky and couldn’t quite keep up with her and couldn’t turn around as fast as she could. Beep and Oreo didn’t like the bossy hound dog that came to live with them. The hound wanted all the food. The hound thought she was the queen, but Beep knew she was the favorite, because the man always listened to her. She let him know when she wanted a drink of water, or a snuggle on the couch, and he always gave it to her. She could feel his love, and he could feel hers.

When the household split in two, he wouldn’t let her go. “The dogs stay with me. You can have the cats,” he said. Beep became his most loyal companion. As she got older and couldn’t climb the stairs, he carried her up to bed at night.

When the new woman came, Beep wasn’t happy with being displaced. She grudgingly accepted the mom as the new alpha female and adopted the daughter as her own.

They moved south to live with the new woman and her daughter and shared their new home with two new dogs. But Beep always felt loved.The warmer weather helped her move better and the winters were more bearable. She settled into a comfortable routine with her pack.

After a couple years, one of the new dogs, the old silky-haired one who slept a lot, went away. Then, her friend Oreo became very tired. He didn’t want to move. He went away and didn’t come back. She missed her buddy. The daughter wasn’t there much anymore and only came for short  visits.

Waiting by Ayla

But Beep still knew she was loved by the man and the woman. They both took care of her. They took her for walks and snuggled with her on the couch.

When Beep had lived 15 winters, her back legs got stiffer and didn’t work right. She fell down a lot. The man and the woman helped her up the back steps, and the man gave her shots. They kept loving her, snuggled with her almost every night, and took her to the vet a lot. Then her front shoulder stopped working. It hurt so bad she could hardly get up. She wanted to get up and walk, but she could only hobble. Her body hurt more than she could ever remember. She could feel that the man and woman were worried. She could also feel that they loved her. One day the man took her into the car and held her on his lap while the woman drove the car. She snuggled on his chest with her head on his shoulder just  like when she used to sleep with him in the recliner.

Gently, the man put her on the table. The vet came in and gave her a shot. She was getting used to the vet by now. The man and woman were very sad, but she couldn’t worry about that much because she started to feel sleepy – so sleepy she couldn’t keep her eyes open.

***

She felt strange, like when she woke up from long sleep. She shook her head. Her body felt good! She stood up, and she could walk! It didn’t hurt anymore! Where was she? The soft grass held smells of small animals. In front of her was a bridge of many colors – colors she had never seen before. Another dog appeared on the other side of the bridge. He yipped.   It was Oreo! Her good friend! They ran to each other and met on the middle of the bridge. He licked her face and yipped again, telling her to follow him across the bridge. She could smell wonderful things on the other side.

Suddenly, Beep felt like running!

You can’t catch me, Oreo! She shot a look back as she passed him.

She ran like the wind across the rainbow bridge.

_________________________________________________________________

In 2010, I asked God to send me a soulmate who loved dogs. We started our life together with five dogs. Now we have two left (Doodle and Marigold.) I believe we will be meeting up with quite a pack of dogs in heaven.

Our pack out back

Jesse the golden, Oreo the spaniel, Doodle the hound, Beep, and Marigold

 

All photos in this post are by Ayla Likens


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854. On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it. ~Jules Renard

Natalie has put together some truly beautiful posts over at Sacred Touches. Go see!

Sacred Touches

When we recognize the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection, love is born. You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Screen shot 2015-08-29 at 3.17.52 PM

Sense the blessings of the earth in the perfect arc of a ripe tangerine, the taste of warm, fresh bread, the circling flight of birds, the lavender color of the sky shining in a late afternoon rain puddle, the million times we pass other beings in our cars and shops and out among the trees without crashing, conflict, or harm. ~Jack Kornfield

In the beginning God created the heavens and earth. ~Genesis 1:1 ✝
Then the Lord God formed a man from…

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Heaven on Earth

“Surrounded by Your Glory, What will my heart Feel? Will I dance for You Jesus, or in awe of You be still?” (Mercy Me)

I’ve always loved singing Mercy Me’s song, “I Can Only Imagine.”  The song’s gentle melodies flow into powerful praise. Singing this a couple days ago, with spring finally here, I suddenly became aware of a new perspective: I  am  surrounded by God’s glory here on earth. I have been awed by golden sunsets and stilled by the vastness of the ocean. I’ve and danced with joy in the light of the full moon and fallen to my knees in the forest, breathig the breath of the earth.

It sounds a bit pagan doesn’t it? Yet, I am a Christian who loves Creation- like Saint Francis who praised brother sun and sister moon and preached to the birds and tamed a wolf with love- a bridge if you will, for those of us who love the earth and love Jesus, for those who see and feel God in nature.

If we are to honor God, we are called to care for, respect and nurture all of God’s Creation.

Pearly gates and streets of gold have never excited me. When I imagine meeting Jesus, I imagine a natural setting. Jesus lived outdoors much of the time. He spent a lot of time in simple dwellings close to the earth.  Jesus went alone into the wilderness to be close to God, to restore his spirit.  Heaven, for me, will hopefully be full of wonderful wilderness.  We can imagine heaven, and we can open our eyes and our ears and our hearts to heaven on earth

Creek w david and dogs

What do you imagine heaven to be like?

When or where have you experienced heaven on earth?