Monday, July 31, 2023

July 31--Grateful to Be Out of the Van

Patience, patience, patience is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith, One should lie empty, open choiceless as a beach--waiting for a gift from the sea. 
--Anne Morrow Lindbergh

    Driving/riding hundreds of miles teaches one patience also. "Are we there YET?!?!?!" We covered about 620 miles yesterday, with about half that left to get home.
    Below is our last group photo taken at the statues commemorating the founding of Show Low, Arizona. 
    Time to hit the road again,

Sunday, July 30, 2023

July 30--Taking Our Fun on the Road

In the end, in search of useful wisdom, you could only come back to the most hackneyed concepts, like kindness, forbearance, infinite patience. 
--Chad Harbach

    Our last day in Show Low was a laid-back one. We went to the local farmers' market, which was more craft-type stuff than farm stuff, but it was quite cool and expansive nonetheless. I saw a man with a t-shirt that said, "Let's just assume I'm right. It will save time." Our group of seven women had many ideas for that one! We also got a kick out of these wine-themed signs.

    Then we had breakfast a PersNIKKIty's Cafe. The menu had changed since previous visits, and those in our group who were returning were disappointed with the new options. I, however, thoroughly enjoyed my avocado toast. I also enjoyed their many amusing signs:

Excellent life philosophy!!
    The rest of the day we hung out at the house. We watched a couple movies, cleaned up the house for next time, and packed up to head home. 
    So much fun we have had!!!
    Off we go on our two-day trip home,

Saturday, July 29, 2023

July 29--We All Have Time to Be Kind

If it is right, it happens--
The main thing is not to hurry.
Nothing good gets away. 
--John Steinbeck

    Yesterday started with another trek to the Aquatic Center for a lap swim. I swam four times on this trip, an extra bonus. Five of the ladies played golf; two of us stayed behind and had quite an interesting experience in the Safeway parking lot. It was packed. I pulled the large vehicle into a tight (but not impossible) space, and my passenger was very careful with the next vehicle when she opened her door. Before she could get out, the owner of the pickup beside her was standing at the back corner of his vehicle, and he freaked, yelling, calling us nasty names, screaming about his pickup. I was out by then, saw him, and said I would move our vehicle (rather than possibly being shot by an asshole). He stood there behind his pickup, still yelling, making it even harder for me to get out of the space. I finally got around him and moved to another spot. 
    This incident really troubled me. First, it seems that it is perfectly acceptable to be a rude obnoxious asshole to complete strangers. (I believe this is part of Donald Trump's legacy.) Second, I could have just as easily been an asshole back at the guy. I don't like that in myself, and fortunately, wiser action won out. Third, the man could have simply asked us politely to move, and none of this angst would have happened. 
    We did our shopping and returned to home base with no further incident. We enjoyed a lazy afternoon that included prep of a sloppy joe and salad supper. We had brownies and ice cream for dessert. The golfers had a decent day temperature-wise for their last round on this trip. 
    Let us all work a little harder at kindness today,

Our beautiful Mother

Friday, July 28, 2023

July 28--Robot Waiters--CLEVER!

Cleverness is good, patience is better.  --Hermann Hesse

    I found this quote recently from Jim Carrey: "I think everyone should get rich and famous and do everything they dream so they can see that it's not the answer." All that certainly sounds like the answer! It takes much cleverness to accomplish so much. I would suggest, however, that the "answer" is comfort in one's own skin, liking oneself, and absolutely, that takes patience. 
    Yesterday was a no-golf day. I swam at the Aquatic Center, we played a few card games, then around noon headed out to the Wild Woman Saloon for lunch. The food is excellent, and we all saw something never before seen by us--robot waiters. They had three of them. We asked if they had named them. Of course! Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane and Dirty Diane. DD is the one that takes the used dishes back to the kitchen. The waitresses said they don't take away jobs, but make their lives a lot easier. The waitress didn't know how much the robots cost to purchase, but she said they pay $2/hour for each hour any of them is operating. Fascinating!
    The rest of the day, for me, was comfy lazing at home base. My six buds went out to listen to music at a local restaurant. 
    More AZ fun to come!

Thursday, July 27, 2023

July 27--Losing Patience with the Heat

Patience is also a form of action.  --Auguste Rodin

    "Hurry up and wait." Annoying though it can be, sometimes we just have to wait for things to develop. I find that there is significantly more in life that I cannot control, rather than the limited amount that I can control. This leads to "let go and let God"--taking the action of surrender and waiting patiently to see what good is in store. 
    Yesterday was another difficult day of golf. Despite starting at 8:30, it was too hot and sunny with very little breeze. I made it through with drinks, cold towels, and bits of shade, but I played terribly. It simply was not fun. The others will likely play one more time, but I'm not sure if I will. 
    The highlights of my day were two phone calls. One was from my brother, who is recovering from a minor but uncomfortable illness. I had sent him photos of my grandson, and he raved about those. The other call was a lengthy catch-up chat with my niece (the aforementioned brother's daughter). We talked about our travels, our kids and potential future visits. I am interested in spending more time with her dad, and she is all in for that idea. The two live about three miles apart in northeast Ohio. We shall see what develops. 
    I am good for now using patience as my form of action. 

It sure feels closer than 
93 million miles!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

July 26--"The Best Laid Plans"

All human wisdom is summed up in two words--wait and hope. 
--Alexandre Dumas

    Well! Yesterday was one of those days when a person might feel that the Universe is laughing at him/her. (Note that this is the reason for "wait and hope.") Six of our ladies were all set to go golfing, and I was taking a break, looking forward to a few hours of lazing by myself. I did get to swim early, then things went downhill from there. I returned from my lap-swim to find that the bathrooms were STINKY due to sewer backup. So five ladies went golfing and our hostess started the frustrating exercise of finding a repair person. The first part of the process required getting city personnel out to determine if it was a city or homeowner problem. The city came out quickly and (of course) declared it a homeowner problem. While waiting (and hoping) for a repair, I dove into a computer project to enable us to watch the Aftershocks basketball game without having internet service at the house. With a trip to Radio Shack (yes, there is still at least one!) and several calls to my techy husband, I was successful. 
    The sewer/plumbing folks came in the early afternoon and got everything flowing again. The five golfers returned to a much better smelling house. We enjoyed a BLT supper while watching the Aftershocks lose. Bummer. 
    I did make up for several missed naps, and it was a treat to lie around and read, carefree and relaxed. 
    More golf today!
Nature's bounty back home 😃

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

July 25--Our Precious Water

Drop by drop is the pitcher filled.  --Buddha

    Being in the high desert, my mind goes with this quote to water. Yesterday we visited Schoens Dam where the water level was so low, it is unimaginable that water could ever get high enough to flow over it. On top of the levee, however, the wind was flowing with mighty power. One can see for hundreds of miles up there. 
    We also had a great time playing pickleball at a local rec center. We initially waited outside to play, then learned that there were three indoor courts. We bolted for those--much cooler out of the blazing AZ sun. 
    Our roaming took us to Snowflake Smokehouse Bar where our two Barbaras enjoyed "Barbie margaritas" and two others enjoyed "Shark Tank margaritas." The Barbie drinks were pink (duh!). The Shark Tank drinks had shark-shaped gummies in them. What a creative bartender! She was so much fun!
    Our chefs of the evening made us a fabulous steak, baked potato, salad, corn and garlic bread supper. We finished off the day chilling to a movie. 
    I did get to swim this morning!!

We were on top of the dam...
the water is WAY far below.

Monday, July 24, 2023

July 24--Time to Develop

Nothing great is produced suddenly.  --Epictetus

    I think of professional athletes--those take a lifetime to produce. Any profession--doctor, nurse, teacher, electrician, artist, actor--takes time to develop the skills, understanding and personal growth to be great at what they do. 
    I think of a juicy ripe garden tomato--that takes a few months and quite a bit of magic to produce. Consider that tiny seed. How does it know to become a tomato plant? It is true to its nature, I realize. But that tiny seed, with the right loving care from our Mother and sun, turns into a bushy plant with blossoms that become BLT makings. Heavenly!
    I think of my golf game. At this point I am figuring that it will take at least another lifetime for me to be a great golfer. 😉😉 I'm OK with that, as I love the game, and I usually have fun playing.
    Yesterday we golfed again at Bison Ranch. It was a much more pleasant day weather-wise. We had a lot of cloud cover. There was thunder, but the clouds only dropped a slight drizzle for a few minutes. The rest of the day was card-playing, golf-watching and a taco supper. 
    Today is a no-golf day. I have already walked to the Aquatic Center to swim only to find the lap pool closed due to a chlorine issue, i.e., foggy water. It was a lovely cool morning for a walk. 
    May this week bring us all great joys!
A double rainbow--
we don't see those every day!

Sunday, July 23, 2023

July 23--Surviving the Heat

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. 
--Rainer Maria Rilke

    Yesterday's golf at Snowflake required mucho patience. On every other 18-hole course I have ever played, #9 leads you back to the clubhouse, where I would get more ice and water, and I'd use the restroom. This course did not return to the clubhouse, and I did not know that until #9. Also there was no drinking water on the course which is absolutely ridiculous. I ended up short on cold drinks. I finished playing, but I was really sore, and I'm sure it's from dehydration. I will be better prepared when we visit Snowflake again. The course is in decent shape. It roams through very rocky, hilly terrain surrounded by huge homes. 
    We had a late lunch at Long Wong's Two Hippies--yes, that is the restaurant's real name. The catch-phrase is "I like my butt rubbed and my pork pulled." It is, obviously, a BBQ joint, but they make a mighty fine pizza, and they do wings really well. 
    Back at the house, we showered, played some cards, and watched TV. I made guacamole and cooked taco meat for our Sunday post-golf lunch. 
    Today we return to Bison, the shady course through pine forest. 

The Mormon Temple overlooks the Snowflake course,
which is surrounded by spectacular homes.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

July 22--Rest is the Right Thing

So much of this was patience--waiting, and thinking and doing things right. So much of all this, so much of all living was patience and thinking.  --Gary Paulsen

    I started yesterday's golf-free rest day with a 6:00 am walk to the Aquatic Center (about 3/4 mile) for a lap swim. It was heavenly to be in the water after two days of extremely hot golf play. I feel very much like I am living my mantra: "I lead a charmed life especially when traveling." To have a pool that close to our home base, where they charge me (senior-rate) a whopping $2.50 per swim--what a blessing!
    In the afternoon, we went to several thrift stores looking for treasures, several of which were purchased. See below for options we had available. A couple of our group went to a casino, but reported that they have not suddenly become millionaires. The rest of us enjoyed drinks outdoors at a local brew pub (Pinetop Brewing Company, Brewed at 7000'). We also shared three excellent appetizers for our evening meal. We debated going to a movie, but settled instead for game-playing and lazing at our home base. 
    Today we play the third of the local courses. 
    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate,

What more does one need!??!

Friday, July 21, 2023

July 21--Our Wise Mother

Adopt the pace of Nature. Her secret is patience.  --Ralph Waldo Emerson

    I am thrilled once again to enjoy the "pace of Nature" in the growing and ripening of fresh garden tomatoes. We had a tree removed from our backyard. This created enough sunshine for me to once again grow tomatoes. We'd love to pluck a fresh one from the vine in May, but that does not happen. Mother Nature gives us that bounty in July, and it is always worth the wait. 
    Yesterday's golf was as bad as the previous day's golf was good. We played at Birdie Ranch Golf Course and it is a dunes-style course with very few shade trees. There was scruffy brush/weeds/gravel for us to hit over at most holes. I was able to do that, with some fortuitous bounces. But the course was very long, I was hot and tired, and I won't mind if I don't play that course again. I played so poorly that I ended up giving back all the money I won the previous day. 😉😉
    The rest of the day was hanging at our host's house playing games and cards. Some of our ladies fixed a lovely supper of Italian beef sliders and yummy sides. 
    Today is a golf-free rest day. 
A typical hole at Birdie Ranch--seems like
they are all uphill!!

Thursday, July 20, 2023

July 20--Kindness is Heavenly

Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.  --Samuel Johnson

We can participate in heaven by living in harmony and respect with all of creation or in hell by bringing greed, selfishness, and disease upon the whole earth. 
--Carol J. Gallagher

    Seven women are together for two weeks in a lovely three-bedroom home. We have golf and game-playing in common. Personalities are strong, all of us being seniors with plenty of life experience. Some have lost their husbands within the past few years. Let's just say that "fondness" can be tested with us out of our usual environment and routines. Kindness rules, however. 
    We played our first round of golf yesterday at Bison Golf Course. It is a lovely, not-terribly-hard course through a pine forest. The temps were over 90 degrees, so the bountiful shade was extremely welcome. I am this group's worst golfer by far in terms of handicap, but I got lucky and won low net. Now they are all mad at me 😉😉 We enjoyed a beer while our scorekeepers figured out who won what. I don't understand the games, I just hand over quarters and dollars as instructed. I did, however, win $5 for the low net, woohoo.
    We had a lovely post-golf meal at Buffalo Bill's Tavern where I had two life-size bison staring over my shoulder (photo below). 
    More fun and games ahead,

One of the lovely holes at Bison Golf Course

A welcome early supper after a HOT 
day on the course

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

July 19--Let It Be

Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.  --Alan Watts

    WOW, what a day yesterday was. We drove through the Petrified Forest National Park, which is truly amazing. I felt like I was on another planet. The colors, the geological features, the beauty of petrified wood--it is awe-inspiring. 
    We arrived at our host's home in Show Low, Arizona before noon. The two vehicles combined their grocery lists, and three of us went to the store and brought home over $400 worth of stuff. I surely hope that will feed us for more than a couple days! We spent several hours playing cards. Money moved around, but no one went broke. 
    Several of us went for an evening walk, a huge relief after so much sitting. There is a large lovely city park right nearby, and an aquatic center where I can lap-swim is less than a mile walk from where we are staying. BONUS! 
    Today is our first day of golfing.

Petrified wood in the "forest"

Beautiful array of colors in 
the petrified wood

Petroglyphs--prehistoric rock carvings

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

July 18--Learn, See, Feel More

Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. 
--Mother Teresa

    Our adventure yesterday took us from Wichita to Grants, New Mexico. I can't say there was much scenery in Oklahoma or Texas, but New Mexico is quite interesting terrain. This is my first time in New Mexico--another state crossed off the list. We had happy hour at the Junkyard Brewery--literally a working junk yard and brewery in one. There are lots of plateaus here and loads of rock, including coal black lava rock. We hit four states today--Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. 
    Onward to Arizona today,
New Mexico terrain

FINALLY!!!, not just for 
employees anymore!

Monday, July 17, 2023

July 17--Always Learning

Some lessons can't be taught, they simply have to be learned.  --Jodi Picoult

    Just think if our offspring had listened to all our advice!!! Life would have been so much easier for them. NOPE! Operating on "what do those oldsters know!" they had to LEARN all those lessons. And learn them they have; or if they didn't, things have probably not turned out so well. Not learning our lessons is what creates the fun in dysFUNctional. 
    Today I embark on a very new experience for me. I'm driving with six other women to Arizona for a two-week golfing vacation. I'm excited to see new-to-me U.S. territory and three golf courses. I'm looking forward to game-playing and getting to know these women better. There will be loads of laughter, and I expect the adult beverages will flow freely. Then there's my anxious side. Will my body hold up for up to seven rounds of golf? Will my introvert self be able to get enough alone time to stay sane? Can seven women actually get along for two whole weeks in one house? 
    I must continue to chant my mantra, "I lead a charmed life, especially when traveling!" 
    Stay tuned,

Let's play!!!

Sunday, July 16, 2023

July 16--Sweet Finish

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.  --Jean-Jacques Rousseau

    Being an organized person and a (former) card-carrying control freak, I like to get stuff done. You know the type--write things on the to-do list so that they can be immediately crossed off. I want to give my hobby of painting credit for teaching me patience. The completed project shown below, "Unparalleled," took me about a month (and lots of Green Frog tape). Yes, I have done paintings in shorter time periods, but having the patience to watch a painting develop over time is truly sweet. 
    Here is the scoop on this painting. There are five different colors. There is an odd number of spots of each color, though the numbers differ. Every block of color has four sides and no sides are parallel--they are all just quadrilaterals. I guess this is a testament to the fact that geometry was my favorite subject in high school (can you say nerd?). 
    In living color, 
"Unparalleled" by Leta Renee Miller,
July 2023

Saturday, July 15, 2023

July 15--Now, Please

Adventures do occur, but not punctually... Life never gives us what we want at the moment that we consider appropriate.  --E. M. Forster

    Right now, I want some idea of what to write about, and it is not coming. How is that for demonstrating the quote?!?! 😉😉
    I was planning to spend the morning golfing, but heavy rains and course conditions resulted in a cancellation. I say "darn" on the golf, but "yippee!!" on the rain. Instead of golfing I will walk Barney and have extra time to pack for my upcoming trip. I may go swimming. 
    Some days are like this--no idea to run with, so I'm thinking it's time for me to move on...

Friday, July 14, 2023

July 14--The Great Teacher--Experience

Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.  --Randy Pausch

    How many times have we said, "If I knew then what I know now..."? If we know better, we do better. That's experience. 
    One of the things I appreciate about the 12-step programs is that each person creates their own recovery path. We share our "experience, strength and hope," without enforcing rules or giving advice. The members' experience with recovery truly is the most valuable thing we have to offer. Sharing experience lets others know that recovery is possible and there is hope for them, too. 
    Moving into this Friday, I offer this from Joe Davis, All Star Game announcer: "Two of the best things life has to offer--baseball and coffee." 

Thursday, July 13, 2023

July 13--More on Grief

Grief, I've learned, is really just love. It's all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go. 
--Jamie Anderson

    I have been in an extended period of grief. Change of plans, disappointment, my sister-in-law's passing, and aging issues are the major culprits. The quote above says it all for me. I do feel as though I am coming out of the worst of it. 
    Being human, we have to figure out a place for the love to go. Creativity such as painting and writing is essential for me. Gardening connects me to the earth and Mother Nature and soothes my soul. I'm also traveling quite a bit and learning to play pickleball. I am considering ways to spend more time with my older brother who lives 1000 miles away. I am feeling more hope than I have in many months. 

This is the painting that started it all for me,
Jan. 26, 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

July 12--Ease Up

Patience is needed with everyone, but first of all with ourselves. 
--St. Francis de Sales

    How can we have patience with anyone else if we don't first have it with ourselves? If we are expecting too much of ourselves, it is quite likely we are doing that to others. This generally does not make for good relationships. 
    I used to do many things that I don't do anymore. I used to build things like bird (actually squirrel) feeders. I don't care to mess with power tools anymore. I have painted the entire inside of our house twice. I don't care to paint walls anymore. I am being more patient with my aging body and not forcing it to do things that others can do for me. There is that nasty voice in my head full of "should," but I'm learning to patiently ignore it. 
    Gardening has been a huge teacher of patience for me. Due to having a large tree removed from our yard, I am able once again to grow tomatoes. Below is the first bounty. There is a BLT in my future!
Nature's patient creation

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

July 11--Heart Mystery

We do know that no one gets wise enough to really understand the heart of another, though it is the task of our life to try.  --Louise Erdrich

    I marvel at this idea often. Even though we have been together over 40 years, I am sure there is plenty I do not know about my husband, and vice versa. The same is true for my two sons, and I helped to raise them. Such is the magnificence of the human soul!
    It is challenging enough in a lifetime to understand one's own heart. There is infinite wisdom there, yet it is too often an unused source. I have an image of my heart taking in all that I experience, and continuously blending it all together to create more love in me and in the world. It is our heads that are creating all the world's nastiness. Our hearts would never do such a thing. 
    Certainly we need both head and heart, but we each do the world a favor when we focus on our heart wisdom first. 

Monday, July 10, 2023

July 10--Variety is Spicy!

What good is the warmth without cold to give it sweetness?  --John Steinbeck

    I can rephrase this as: what good is the comfort of your own bed without occasionally (not) sleeping on a couch to give it sweetness? After so much fun with my in-laws and family, sleep was not much in the cards for me. I was so worn out by the time we arrived home, I slept for 10 hours. I feel much better, and of course, I am so grateful for my own bed. 😉😉
    I have always lived where there are four seasons--Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Kansas. While I don't care for either extreme heat or extreme cold, I do love the variety the changing seasons offer. Besides the temperature variety, there is also great color variety, which excites me as much as the temperature change. I love the fact that when I am thoroughly fed up with the heat or cold, I know that more moderate temperatures will arrive eventually. 
    Soon I shall head to the garden at 7:00 am to beat the heat of this Kansas day. 

Sunday, July 9, 2023

July 9--Good Family Fun

Think well of all, be patient with all, and try to find the good in all. 
--Muhammad Ali

    We had a fun gathering of my husband's family last evening. It was pretty much chaos with two dogs playing amongst the crowd. One dog is about 43 pounds, Barney, our herding rescue dog, and the other, Albert, a young dachshund, who thinks he is much bigger than he actually is. Add 10 adults and two small children, and you have a lot of fun, conversation, barking, crying, laughing. A great evening!
    Homeward bound,
We had a great supper of 
cabbage rolls, yummy!

Saturday, July 8, 2023

July 8--Patient or Petty?

Just be quiet and patient. Let evil and unpleasantness pass quietly over you. Do not try to avoid them. On the contrary, observe them carefully. Let active understanding take the place of reflex irritation, and you will grow out of your trouble. Men can achieve greatness only by surmounting their own littleness. 
--Franz Kafka

    We are going to visit my husband's family. My husband and I don't fit into the religious and political molds the rest of his family have created for themselves. As a result, we generally avoid talking about such things. Our philosophical differences don't matter, really, as they are family and we love them. We could get little, petty and argumentative, but it would serve no purpose other than to display our littleness. Understanding and patience will make for a much nicer visit. 
    The same is true for my brother. When he goes off on a political rant, I chant to myself, "I love him so much, just listen." For folks at opposite ends of a belief spectrum, there is no possibility of changing minds, and it only displays littleness in attempting to do so. 
    Choosing peace over being right (whatever that is),

Friday, July 7, 2023

July 7--Difficulties Strengthen Us

We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world. 
--Helen Keller

    I daresay we would be quite bored, too. We are creatures who are adverse to change unless something uncomfortable forces change upon us. How many times have we seen grief inspire folks to action to improve the world for all?
    Let's look at surgery, chronic pain and major illness. These are all rampant in our unhealthy society. All require bravery and patience to move through and recover. While the outcome may be joyful, the process of going through any of those is not. 
    Much of the caring that happens in our world is because of circumstances that are not joyful in any way. It certainly takes bravery and patience to be caring with so much violence, divisiveness, racism, ignorance, trauma and self-destructive behaviors surrounding us. 
    What would we do without the "thrill of victory"?
Sometimes life feels like this...

Thursday, July 6, 2023

July 6--It Takes Time

There is nothing stronger than these two: patience and time, they will do it all. 
--Leo Tolstoy

    "Time heals all wounds." 
    "Give me patience, and I want it NOW!"
    "One day at a time."
    Patience gives us the time to know ourselves, what we want to do/be/have, and to hold that in mind for the time it takes to manifest. This is the process of creating. It is really rather simple, but not always easy. The two key ingredients are those stated by Tolstoy. 
    Our society has become one of "instant gratification." It has to be done yesterday. There is little honoring of patience and time, yet living a mature, satisfying life requires copious amounts of both. While we may have to wait, we always have a choice in the attitude we hold toward that waiting time. I would suggest that a good attitude likely shortens the wait!

Nature--our perfect example 
of patience and time

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

July 5--Figuring It Out

Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience; or give it a more fascinating name: call it hope.  --Jane Austin

    "Know your own happiness." For many months now, I have not known it. What I thought I wanted ran full-speed into a rock-solid brick wall. I've been dealing with the rubble from the crash--grief, sadness, depression, feeling stuck. Finally the realization surfaced that I have to answer this question: what DO I want, now that a couple possibilities are no longer options? I am starting to get nudges, other ideas to consider. Working on a painting and gardening have been most helpful as they help to clear my head.
    Patiently doing hopeful internal exploration,

Painting progress... I guess I like
to paint straight lines because 
my life is not one!

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

July 4--Freedom!

I am still in the process of growing up, but I will make no progress if I lose any of myself along the way.  --Madeleine L'Engle

    Happy Freedom Day! Even as we celebrate our forefathers bold Declaration of Independence, we are seeing consistent attacks on the magnificent freedoms on which our country was founded. Governments are working intently on trying to make us "lose ourselves along the way." 
    I am finding that art, some form of creative expression, is essential to both growing up and being myself. Here are words by Ruth King about art as a form of medicine for ourselves and our communities:

To express ourselves artistically is a mindfulness practice in that we are inescapably both creator and that which is being created. As we courageously give ourselves to our artistic expression, we cultivate patience, empathy, discipline, and our capacity to hold energy as it cooks and simmers into an offering of truth to ourselves and a caring offering to our culture….

Art speaks to a truth larger than our suffering, and our job is to make a genuine offer. Whether you are a writer, dancer, healer, sculptor, painter, singer, architect, teacher, gardener, philosopher, or caregiver, your offering is sure to be medicine for collective well-being.

Consider your life a gift. What’s inside? What creative expressions are you warehousing that bring you alive and belong to all of us? Philosopher, theologian, and civil rights leader Howard Thurman encouraged us in this way: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”…

Identify a creative project—something your heart is curious about that you might enjoy. Consider your artistic expression, no matter how large or small, a gesture of affection that cultivates a culture of care. Offer it generously, as ceremony, and without apology. Pay attention to how you and others are impacted.

The offerings of our creativity are noble and emancipating. When practiced, we come out of hiding into light. When shared, it supports love and respect and inspires harmony and hope. It’s a gesture of gratitude, a way of giving back. To say yes to our artistic calling is to say to our culture, Here is my offering of care.

    Let us use and enjoy our freedom to create!

Monday, July 3, 2023

July 3--Grief

Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. 
--Pema Chodron

    This quote makes me cranky, but yes, it's true. 
    My thoughts are lingering this morning on grief, which never seems to go away. We are home from our Colorado trip. It is time for re-entry into "regular" life, and I miss my kids and grandson. Each visit makes me acutely aware of aging. I am generally very healthy, but being a grandma is quite different from being a mother. Grandmothering is a very "outside looking in" position for me. We had a great visit, and the final round of golf with my younger son was a super parting activity. Yet that leaves me wondering when I may get to play golf again with my sons, which is my very favorite thing to do, which makes me miss them and feel even more grief. You can tell from this messy paragraph that my head is spinning.
    Time to get grounded with unpacking, laundry and a swim. 

At a Fort Collins park

Sunday, July 2, 2023

July 2--Healing Patiently

How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?  --William Shakespeare

    Today includes another round of golf with my younger son, so laughter is sure to be a part of this morning. Yesterday I enjoyed pool time with my grandson and his mom and dad. So much joy!
    Patience and healing--I am in need of both of these. A visit with my sons always leaves me with much to ponder and process. No doubt some of that effort will show up here in the next few weeks. 
    Later today, homeward bound,

Copper tree sculptures seen on my
Fort Collins walk yesterday

Saturday, July 1, 2023

July 1--Patience with Myself

Imperfect love must not be condemned and rejected but made perfect. The way is always forward, never back.  --Iris Murdoch

    Oh, joy, the July theme for the "Daily Kindness" quotes is patience. I do not consider that one of my strong characteristics. Thus, I expect it will be good for me to ponder it all month long. 
    The topic came up yesterday of expectations vs. reality. If reality is meeting or exceeding one's expectations, that is a good thing. When the topic came up, my first thought was that my reality is nowhere near my expectations. I believe that is my occasional depression talking. I also note that disappointment has haunted me seemingly forever. I've tried to convince myself to lower my expectations, also seemingly forever. I've had little success with that effort. I note, too, that I am in a transition/limbo/adjustment phase of life, annoyed greatly by uncertainty about the future and lack of control. 
    Overall, life is good, and I must simply take it one day at a time. I'm holding onto the expectation that everything is working out wonderfully for all involved, even though I can't conceive of what that is.

Some fun art in downtown
Fort Collins