Friday, September 30, 2022

September 30--Let This Shipwreck END!!

Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.  --Voltaire

    What a way to end the month that has been a shipwreck. It has certainly been a test of faith (September's theme). But now that I am safely in Ohio, I'm starting to "sing in the lifeboat." 
    I spent last evening with my brother, looking at photos, asking questions, and enjoying stories of his and Sue's early life together. It was fun and enlightening. I was reminded looking through their wedding album that I was the flower girl at their wedding. I was five years old, adorable, and I don't remember one second of it. Needless to say, after Sue's sudden passing, every moment with my brother is extra-double-super precious. 
    More to come,
The flower girl and
the beautiful bride

Thursday, September 29, 2022

September 29--Onward to Ohio

The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next.  --Mignon McLaughlin 

    Or in my case, "one mile to the next."  I spent a lovely evening with my in-laws, and today I make the long, remaining 600-mile journey to northeast Ohio. 
    Yesterday's 400-mile drive gave me plenty of time to think. That's both good and bad. I have been reminded the past few days how draining grief is. Even if I'm not actively crying, I can feel energy draining from me. Unless I'm really occupied with someone or something, my thoughts go straight to Sue and the family and anxiety simmers. I learned "one day at a time" in a 12-Step program; now I'm going with "one mile at a time." That's the only way to get to where I'm going. 😉
    The journey continues...

I'm not sure what "it" is,
but I guess I will find it!

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

September 28--Impossible? NO!

Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.  --Muhammad Ali

    Today I head for parts east and my sister-in-law's memorial service. There could be some challenging family time ahead on top of the 1,000 mile drive. Yes, I am feeling some anxiety. So I truly appreciate Mr. Ali's quote. 
    If you get the chance, visit the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville. It is well worth it. He was an amazing human in addition to being a champion boxer. 
    Angels traveling with me!

Mural at the Muhammad Ali Center, Louisville

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

September 27--Our Precious Water

To believe in something not yet proved and to underwrite it with our lives; it is the only way we can leave the future open.  --Lillian Smith

    I am a big fan of the Astronomy Picture of the Day. This one, from yesterday, is powerful and needs to be shared, so that we recognize how profoundly important it is to protect our precious water supply. I include below the photo the description from the post. 

Explanation: How much of planet Earth is made of water? Very little, actually. Although oceans of water cover about 70 percent of Earth's surface, these oceans are shallow compared to the Earth's radius. The featured illustration shows what would happen if all of the water on or near the surface of the Earth were bunched up into a ball. The radius of this ball would be only about 700 kilometers, less than half the radius of the Earth's Moon, but slightly larger than Saturn's moon Rhea which, like many moons in our outer Solar System, is mostly water ice. The next smallest ball depicts all of Earth's liquid fresh water, while the tiniest ball shows the volume of all of Earth's fresh-water lakes and rivers. How any of this water came to be on the Earth and whether any significant amount is trapped far beneath Earth's surface remain topics of research.

    Loving our Mother is a good plan for the future.

Monday, September 26, 2022

September 26--Could We Just Drop September?

The best way out is always through.  --Robert Frost

    Grief is the first thing that comes to my mind with this quote, as my family mourns the passing of my sister-in-law. I will be heading to Ohio later this week for a memorial service. There will be plenty of tears making for lots of good soul-rinsing. It's best just to let the tears flow. Someone once said that one can't cry forever, that tears eventually run out. I'm not so sure about that. 
     September--I'd like to eliminate you from the calendar. But alas, I must sludge through you. If depression shows up for me, it happens in September. My s-i-l just passed on the 23rd, and both my parents passed on Sept. 24, 21 years apart. I had a bad back injury in the 90s and spent one whole September in bed. And then there's 9-11!! Geez. Only four more days to make it through this wicked month. 

Sunday, September 25, 2022

September 25-Two Completions, Only One Welcome

Above all, don't fear difficult moments. The best comes from them. 
--Rita Levi-Montalcini

    This quote is hard for me to take at the moment. I learned just two days ago of the passing of my dear sister-in-law, Sue. Though she had assorted health problems, this was sudden and very unexpected. I am grateful that I had talked with her just a few days before she transitioned. I'm very concerned for my brother--they were married 61 years. I'm also distressed for their children and grandchildren. 
    Coincidentally, the same day she passed, my husband completed our deck, a five-month project of which he is rightfully quite proud. Alas, the deck celebration was lost in grief and calling other family members with the news about Sue. We will enjoy the deck and fond memories of Sue for many years to come. 
    I will write a tribute to Sue sometime in the next few days, possibly on the new deck enjoying the fall weather.

On an ice cream adventure to Handel's, Stow, OH.
Sue is in the center.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

September 24--Iron No More!

Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sun within us. 
--Sir Thomas Browne

    The photo below is an article written by Christine Fellingham from the AARP magazine. You may be able to enlarge the photo and read the article. The title is "Dear Iron: I'm Breaking Up With You." 
    The article talks about iron sales declining, and how folks are instead using steamers, or wrinkle-release dryer settings, or easy-care fabrics, or just plain going wrinkled. This is decades overdue as far as I'm concerned.
    As a youngster, ironing was one of my jobs. I spent hours every week ironing sheets, shirts, pants, handkerchiefs, dresser scarves--you name it, my mom starched it and wanted it ironed. I HATE ironing. Those of you who know me well know that I have no problem appearing rumpled and wrinkled. I love the pre-wrinkled fabric available these days. When my husband and I moved in together 38 years ago, I announced (probably on day one), "I do not iron." I am pleased to say that he has ironed his shirts all these years (mostly taking them to a dry cleaner), and I have not. I pull out the iron occasionally for a sewing project, but that's it. 
    See, humanity's progress is slow, but it's happening!!!

Friday, September 23, 2022

September 23--A Paradox

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: If we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.  --Anne Bradstreet

    I could continue with this: If we had no long summer stretches of 100 degree days, we would not appreciate cooler weather. Finally in south central Kansas we are getting a break from the oppressive heat. Hallelujah!
    This quote covers one of the many paradoxes of life. Adversity in its many forms certainly helps us expand our sense of gratitude for times when life is running smoothly. I've always lived where there are four seasons, and I like it that way. I don't care to live where it is hot all the time. I do, however, especially enjoy going somewhere warm (Jamaica, 2021 & 2022!) in the depths of winter. Knowing it is frigid at home makes the beach so much more fun. 
    Likewise, if no life events ever challenged us, how would we appreciate "easy street"? Don't we, in hindsight, appreciate all that our children, especially as teenagers, taught us? Didn't health issues cause us to eat, sleep and move in a more rewarding manner? Haven't relationship difficulties helped us learn to interact with others more successfully? 
    Challenges expand us to hold more good.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

September 22--Flying

To have faith is to have wings.  --J. M. Barrie

    Is there any greater expression of faith than to have a child? Gestation is a long period of holding to the knowing that the little one is growing whole and healthy. Pregnancy tends to be an exciting, optimistic and idealistic time--won't it be so wonderful?!?!? "A dream come true!" Yes, that's so, but then labor happens, the baby is born, and "the rubber meets the road." What sustains the new parents through sleepless nights, endless crying, a decades-long crash course in learning other than faith? That faith gives parents the wings to fly through it all. And it does fly by, as any parent of adult children will testify. 
    The wings of faith show up in many other areas of life... choosing and/or changing careers, recovering from illness or addiction, learning a new skill or hobby, caring for a loved one, traveling, buying that dream home, staying in a long-term relationship. 
    There's no flying without faith.

Our sweet Barney has a lot of faith in us!

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

September 21--"Ripening"

Whether you think you can or you can't--you're right.  --Henry Ford

    Amen! And Mr. Ford certainly proved this one. 
    Being what is referred to as a "senior citizen" (even though I do not feel like one), aging is a topic that often drifts to the forefront of my mind and enters discussions with friends. Richard Rohr, in his "Daily Meditations," refers to this as "ripening." He offers these words from Sister Joan Chittister relative to continuing to grow spiritually as we age:
Now is the time to ask ourselves what kind of person we have been becoming all these years. And do we like that person? Did we become more honest, more decent, more caring, more merciful as we went along because of all these things? And if not, what must we be doing about it now? . . .

Can we begin to see ourselves as only part of the universe, just a fragment of it, not its center? Can we give ourselves to accepting the heat and the rain, the pain and the limitations, the inconveniences and discomforts of life, without setting out to passively punish the rest of the human race for the daily exigencies that come with being human?

Can we smile at what we have not smiled at for years? Can we give ourselves away to those who need us? Can we speak our truth without needing to be right and accept the vagaries of life now—without needing the entire rest of the world to swaddle us beyond any human justification for expecting it? Can we talk to people decently and allow them to talk to us? . . .

Now, this period, this aging process, is the last time we’re given to be more than all the small things we have allowed ourselves to be over the years. But first, we must face what the smallness is, and rejoice in the time we have left to turn sweet instead of more sour than ever.
    The choice is ours...

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

September 20--See the Light

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.  --Charles A. Beard

    I've lived in cities most of my adult life. I miss the darkness and stars from my Pennsylvania boondocks upbringing. 
    A few years ago when comet NEOWISE was visible, my husband and I loaded up our lawn chairs and drove west from Wichita to the Lake Cheney area where it was dark enough to see the comet. Due to the lack of mountains, Kansas has BIG skies, and the stars are magnificent away from city lights. I love looking up and noting that a thing that may look like a star is actually a whole galaxy. So much for the astronomical viewpoint of the quote. 
    Considering the quote from the life standpoint--even in our darkest times, it seems there is a glimmer of light (hope). My brother and his wife need a more comfortable and safer living situation due to increasing health and balance challenges. My niece (their daughter) called to say that they had found an assisted living place that meets all their requirements, and a deposit would be paid shortly. This is a 5-star event, answered prayer, and a big relief for my brother, his wife and everyone who loves them.
    Look up!
Galaxy M94 from Hubble,
Astronomy Picture of the Day

Monday, September 19, 2022

September 19--Connection

Faith is the centerpiece of a connected life. It allows us to live by the grace of invisible strands.  --Terry Tempest Williams

    I'm pondering what a "connected life" is. I want to be connected to the people I love. There are many of those whom I don't see often, but my faith tells me that our love is strong despite the distance. We have plenty of technology to help us stay connected. My spouse, probably the most significant connection in my life--faith in each other is a powerful loving, moving and being force in our lives. 
    Certainly I am connected to places, foremost being our house of 37 years. There are many "invisible strands" of love woven through this home. Plenty of faith has been in action over the course of raising a family here and then becoming empty-nesters. I am still strongly connected to my central Pennsylvania upbringing territory. It is beautiful country that has a warm spot in my heart. 
    I would like to say that I am not so connected to things, but if you read last week about my upset over losing one of our white pine trees, you know I am connected to some things. I do like my "stuff." It makes for a comfortable life. Looking around the woman cave, however, I see only a few things that it would be a real challenge to let go. 
    Then there's Barney, our dog. His "invisible strands" of love are woven all around my heart. He's an unending source of laughter and love, and I can't imagine life without that connection. 
    Faith in life being good overall is the grace that keeps me going. 

Sunday, September 18, 2022

September 18--Let's Step Aside

I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship. 
--Louisa May Alcott

    Faith is a lovely topic, but I'm going to "step aside" for today and write a love letter to my two favorite baseball announcers. These are the Cubs pair, Jim "JD" Deshaies and Jon "Boog" Sciambi. They are both so clever and funny, or I might say so goofy and occasionally dumb. They play off of each other in a magical way. JD is tall and in great shape. He's a former major league pitcher, a lefty. Boog is quite round and clearly enjoys eating. His reddish hair is always messy, which he would probably blame on the headset he wears. He announces both radio and TV for a variety of sports in addition to the Cubs gig.
    Here's an example of their play-by-play:

A "rocket" base hit was struck off a pitch in what JD referred to as being in the player's "happy zone." 
Boog said: "JD, generally speaking, what's your happy zone?"
JD instantly replied: "It involves gravy."

    Both the guys are "extreme nerd" knowledgeable about the game. JD comes up with three clever "'Quees" (keys) to each game, often a play on words with an old TV show, movie or song. JD and Boog often state how much they appreciate the other one. There is often some dead silence coming from the broadcast booth because they are laughing so hard. 
    Now understand, the Cubs have sucked this year. They are on a pace to lose 90 games or more. I've watched nearly every game. Even when the Cubs are getting slaughtered, JD and Boog are entertaining. 
    JD is married. But Boog is not. If I were just a little younger and not married myself, I'd ask Boog to marry me. (Just kidding, sort of.) 

Boog (left), JD (right)

Saturday, September 17, 2022

September 17--Forgiveness

In the kingdom of hope, there is no winter.  --Russian Proverb

    These are words about forgiveness from the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho Tutu van Furth:
We are able to forgive because we are able to recognize our shared humanity. We are able to recognize that we are all fragile, vulnerable, flawed human beings capable of thoughtlessness and cruelty. We also recognize that no one is born evil and that we are all more than the worst thing we have done in our lives. A human life is a great mixture of goodness, beauty, cruelty, heartbreak, indifference, love, and so much more. We want to divide the good from the bad, the saints from the sinners, but we cannot. All of us share the core qualities of our human nature, and so sometimes we are generous and sometimes selfish. Sometimes we are thoughtful and other times thoughtless, sometimes we are kind and sometimes cruel. This is not a belief. This is a fact.

If we look at any hurt, we can see a larger context in which the hurt happened. If we look at any perpetrator, we can discover a story that tells us something about what led up to that person causing harm. It doesn’t justify the person’s actions; it does provide some context. . . .

No one is born a liar or a rapist or a terrorist. No one is born full of hatred. No one is born full of violence. No one is born in any less glory or goodness than you or I. But on any given day, in any given situation, in any painful life experience, this glory and goodness can be forgotten, obscured, or lost. We can easily be hurt and broken, and it is good to remember that we can just as easily be the ones who have done the hurting and the breaking.

We are all members of the same human family. . . .

In seeing the many ways we are similar and how our lives are inextricably linked, we can find empathy and compassion. In finding empathy and compassion, we are able to move in the direction of forgiving.
    Forgiving is an excellent way to put faith into action. 

Friday, September 16, 2022

September 16--Already Divine

When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.  --C. S. Lewis

This is the September 14 "Note from the Universe" by Mike Dooley:
Being spiritual means a good many things, and most of them are misunderstood by a good many people. So, to clarify, here's how I see "it" and you:
Being spiritual means seeing yourself as divine, not just of the divine; a creator, not just the created. You needn't be saved, forgiven, or fixed. You've already changed the world, added to its brilliance, and done enough.
You're in time and space today, because in some long-forgotten time, you already earned your wings.

From a longtime super-fan, 
The Universe
    I especially like "You needn't be saved, forgiven, or fixed." That relieves a lot of pressure!

Lilies, my favorite, at the CSU Gardens

Thursday, September 15, 2022

September 15--Happy Endings

People who live in difficult circumstances need to know that happy endings are possible.  --Sonia Sotomayor

I have often suspected that the most profound product of this world is tears. . . . Tears express that vulnerability in which we can endure having our heart broken and go right on loving. --Cynthia Bourgeault

    My beloved white pine tree is gone. When I arrived home after teaching my MELT/yoga class, Tyler, the tree man, was high up in a lift carefully taking off branches. I introduced myself in tears, and said, "Did my husband tell you I would be crying?" He felt bad, and quickly added that white pines are not meant for Kansas. I knew that when I planted the seedlings from PA that my dad sent me in 1990. But 32 years is a heckuva run for a white pine in Kansas. 
    Somewhere recently I read an item about "Swedish Death Cleaning" (it's a thing, there's a book--google it) and disposing of family heirlooms. It is helpful the remember, for example, that those dishes I don't know what to do with are dishes, they are not Aunt Gladys. Likewise, I must remember that the white pine was a tree, not my dad. My tears don't know that, however. 
    Tyler intends to come back today to grind the stump, so that another tree can be planted in that space. I'm not sure I could do that, at least not right now. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

September 14--New Beginnings

All endings are also beginnings, we just don't know it at the time.  --Mitch Albom

    This has been true many times in my life. Often those endings were quite painful at the time. This includes deaths of loved ones, job/career changes, moves, and so on. But all of it has brought me to where I am today, and I am grateful for such a long, rich life of experiences. 
    Won't it be an interesting beginning when we leave this earthly life? I'm sticking with that thought anyway!!
My once-a-year donut treat,
had to take a photo.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

September 13--Grace

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.  --Zora Neale Hurston

    This is Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation from September 2 titled "Everything is a Gift":
Another familiar parable is the story of laborers who arrive at the last hour and get paid as much as the ones that began work at the first hour. Let’s be honest: None of us who are “worker-bees” appreciate this story. All of us would think that if we bore the burden of the day’s heat working then we would deserve more than someone else. Yet this passage makes it clear that the landowner promised them what was fair, they agreed to the deal, and he gave them the usual wage.

We call this reaction a sense of entitlement. Many Americans have it, especially if we grew up rather comfortable. When we grow up comfortable, we think we deserve. We think we have a special right. We would be offended if we didn’t get our bonus or our raise. We all think we deserve just a bit more; this really creates a high degree of unhappiness and anger in our society. Of course, Jesus always turns everything on its head, ending with the punch line: “Those that you think are the last might well be first” (Matthew 20:16). We’d better be ready to be surprised. The way most of us measure things—especially if we are privileged and comfortable—demonstrates that we might in fact not love God at all, but just ourselves.

There’s only one way to get us out of this meritocracy and entitlement. Once in our lives we have to experience undeserved love at a deep, gut level. Where we didn’t merit it, we weren’t worthy of it; in fact we were unworthy of it, and we got it anyway. That’s called mercy. Only the experience of divine mercy breaks down this entire way of counting. And that’s what we do—we’re all counters. We are! We think to ourselves, “You gave this much, so you deserve this much.”

Every such expectation is a resentment waiting to happen. When we expect, we’re soon going to resent it when we don’t get what we think we deserve. So, what the Gospel says is “Stop expecting!” Entitlement is lethal for the soul. Everything is a gift—one hundred percent pure gift. The reason any of us woke up this morning had very little to do with us and everything to do with God. All twenty-four hours today are total gift. And so, the only real prayer is to say “Thank you!” and to keep saying it. When our prayer is constantly “Thank you,” and we know we deserve nothing, and that everything is a gift, we stop counting. Only when we stop counting and figuring out what we deserve, will we move from the world of merit into the wonderful world of grace. And in the world of grace, everything is free.
    Enjoy today!
Volunteer sunflower at our house

Monday, September 12, 2022

September 12--It's GONE!!

Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.  --Babe Ruth

    Extreme lover of baseball that I am, this gives me a new perspective on those troublesome strike-outs. Oh, well! The next homer just got closer. It's a lovely "theory." 
    Think of Edison--every attempt on the light bulb brought him closer to the working model. I really like the idea of "I'm getting closer" rather than "another failure." That makes it easier to keep up the motivation level. 
    Taking life one pitch at a time,
One of my many "died and gone to heaven" 
adventures at Wrigley Field

Sunday, September 11, 2022

September 11--Get Up!

Fall seven times and stand up eight.  --Japanese Proverb

    How interesting that this particular quote lands on the anniversary of a very dark day in U.S. (world) history. This quote speaks to resiliency, which Merriam-Webster defines as "the ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity or change." I am not sure about the "easily" part. We humans are resilient creatures, but it is not always easy. 
     Life surely can knock us around. Change is constant, and most of us eventually experience the big falls of life--death of a loved one, career/job changes, moving, illness/injury, relationships ending, on and on. Yet we keep on plugging away. There is something within us that is stronger than we generally believe, and we naturally tap into that with each "fall" to bring ourselves upright again. 
    Remembering the loss, focusing on our strength,

At the 9-11 Memorial, NYC

Saturday, September 10, 2022

September 10--Yes, You Can!

If you hear a voice within you say, "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.  --Vincent Van Gogh

    I actually took this quote literally. I had that voice, so I started taking painting classes at City Arts here in Wichita. Comically, I still hear "you cannot paint," but I ignore it and do it anyway. Learning and trying different painting techniques brought me this wisdom: what you and I consider "art" may be very different, but your differing opinion does not make my art not art. That's a convoluted way of saying we each have our own valid idea of what constitutes art. My painting journey ultimately brought me to the realization that I really like straight lines. 
    Below are some of my creations. Is finger-painting next!?!?!

From an acrylic pouring workshop

Just for fun

My favorite "11:11"

From the watercolor class--what
a challenging medium!!

Friday, September 9, 2022

September 9--Bless Our Politicians!

Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers.  --Robert Ingersoll

    Rev. Suellen Miller of Oklahoma sends out a weekly inspiration each Wednesday. This week she offered wisdom from "The Gentle Art of Blessing" by Pierre Pradervand. She suggests that we use the politician blessing from the book:
"I bless the politicians of _______________ in their highest sense of integrity, ability to put public service before their personal gain, and aim for lasting long-term solutions rather than immediate political gains. I bless them in their ability to resist undue pressure from lobbies of all sorts, and to manifest courage and moral rectitude rather than bend to expediency."
    If this isn't an act of faith, I don't know what is!! Rev Suellen also suggests blessing the voters. So much is at stake in our political world these days--let's do our part with faith and blessing.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

September 8--Still Ticking

You know, a heart can be broken--but it keeps on beating, just the same. 
--Fannie Flagg

    I think that very few folks who have reached adulthood have escaped some sort of heartbreak. Death of a loved one, relationships ending, dreams gone awry--grief can easily overtake us. 
    Have you ever really paid attention to how your heart feels? We take our hearts and their steadfast beating for granted. Before I had hip replacement surgery, I had two EKG tests that showed up as "abnormal." Neither doctor could tell me what was abnormal about my heart. The cardiologist then did a heart sonogram and pronounced me "normal" enough for surgery. Obviously the surgery didn't do in my heart. 
    The heart has much wisdom to offer if only we would listen.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

September 7--A Piece of My Heart

To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.  --St. Thomas Aquinas

    In 1990, my dad shipped to me from central Pennsylvania seven white pine seedlings. I planted them in various spots around our yard. Given that Kansas is not the best environment for white pines, I figured I'd take a chance and see what they might become. A piece of my heart went into each planting hole due to the seedlings' origin in my beloved home state. It was the best gift ever from my dad. 
    Four seedlings died in fairly short order. Three grew strong and tall, with another dying around 15 years ago. It was still small enough that my son was able to take it down. Now one of the two remaining must go. The Kansas heat has proven too much for it, especially this year. 
    Something tells me that if the last one bites the dust, that will be my definitive sign that it is time to leave this house. Faith will carry me through that challenge, no doubt. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

September 6--Failure is Subjective

Failure is impossible.  --Susan B. Anthony

    That's the theory, but it surely doesn't feel that way sometimes. As I ponder this quote, I realize that failure is subjective. What seems to me to be a failure may appear as great success to someone else. 
    Picking up a cart key for a recent round of golf, the clerk gave me "lucky #7." He said, "Maybe you'll shoot seven under." I replied, "I would be ecstatic to shoot 7 over!" Alas, my score was considerably more than seven over. However, there was no failure as I was so happy to be out there by myself with my "new" clubs on a day with moderate temperatures (we've had a very long HOT spell this summer). 
    "Failure" is a black-white concept, and most of life is shades of gray. What if we drop the word "failure" and simply view life as one interesting experience after another?

Mariana Butte Golf Course, Loveland, CO

Monday, September 5, 2022

September 5--Baseball is Life

We are made to persist. That's how we find out who we are.  --Tobias Wolfe

    I'm thinking of my "every MLB stadium" quest. Once I decided a few years back to actually go for it, I was able to come up with all sorts of creative ways to get to the various stadiums. We extended our eastern Canada tour to include a game in Toronto. I went solo on two organized baseball tours (and met a bunch of cool baseball fans). I did a day trip from Philadelphia to Washington DC by train to catch an afternoon game in the nation's capital. I did three games in three nights in three cities--Atlanta, Tampa, Miami. Persistent? A little crazy? Yes, I am! I've learned that if I set my mind to it, it can be done.
    I'm at 28 teams down, 2 to go. And I've checked... next May the Cubs play in Houston and the Rangers are home at the same time, so I'll be finishing up the quest. It has been SO MUCH FUN!!

At Nationals Park,
Washington, DC

Sunday, September 4, 2022

September 4--Keep Moving

All you have to do is look straight and see the road. And when you see it, don't sit looking at it--walk.  --Ayn Rand

    I wish I could convince my dog Barney to do this! When we head out the door for a two-mile walk, I know I'm going to be saying "Walk!" at least 50 times, because if Barney had his way, he would stop and sniff every blade of grass on the planet. When he sees another dog approaching, Barney lies down awaiting the other dog's arrival to play. We did not teach him to do that. Other dog owners invariably say, "Awwwww, he's so cute!!!" Actually, it is a rather maddening habit, as he will even lie down in the middle of the street. So "Walk, Barney, walk!"
    How often, with a path in front of us, do we hesitate? It may be fear of the unknown, failure, or others' opinions that cause us to "sit looking at it." 
    Walking generally proves to be more beneficial than sitting. 

On a walk at the CSU Gardens, Fort Collins

Saturday, September 3, 2022

September 3--Use It!

Faith is not just something you have, it's something you do.  --Barack Obama

    The author of this quote gave us an extraordinary example of it in action. Former President Obama had great faith in the U.S. and its people and he used it in all he did. 
    Faith keeps us moving, expanding, growing. Trusting in the infinite givingness of Spirit encourages us to be and do more during our limited time on playground Earth. Faith in action enables us to use our talents for the betterment of all. 

At the Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita

Friday, September 2, 2022

September 2--Wings of Faith

Be like the bird that, passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing that she has wings.  --Victor Hugo

    What if we had faith enough to know it would get us out of any jam, difficulty, conflict or distress? I can't claim such a level of faith, but I'm working on it. 
    My dog Barney has stealthily approached bunny rabbits and squirrels on our walks, his nose twitching and muscles tense with excitement. The bunnies and squirrels are unphased because, like the bird in the quote, they can get away much faster than that leashed dog can move. 
    If only it was so easy as to just fly away from threats and danger...

Thursday, September 1, 2022

September 1--Faith

Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible. 
--Mary McLeod Bethune 

    You guessed it--the September theme in "Daily Gratitude" is faith. Faith is defined in several ways according to Merriam-Webster:
  • "Allegiance to duty or a person": as in, I have faith in our Supreme Court justices (actually I don't)
  • "Fidelity to one's promises; sincerity of intentions": as in, I act in good faith by showing up as scheduled to teach my classes
  • "belief and trust in and loyalty to God or the traditional doctrines of a religion": as in, I have faith there is Something Bigger than me that keeps everything in divine order
  • "firm belief in something for which there is no proof": as in, I have faith that there is intelligent life on other planets
  • "complete trust": as in, I have faith that this mile-long bridge will stay upright and get me to the distant shore
  • "something that is believed with strong conviction, especially a system of religious beliefs": as in, she is a good and faithful Catholic (I can't apply this one to me as I no longer adhere to any particular system!)
    We shall see where our September exploration of faith takes us!

I have great faith in human creativity...
Artwork at The Lyric in Fort Collins, CO