Let civility reign!

Civility ~ Let us consider this, before we speak or act.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

My Column from July 28th, 2015 Found in the Petoskey News Review We Bought a Boat, just not that boat.

When we moved to Petoskey nearly 13 years ago, it wasn't long before I realized we needed a boat.  I started dropping hints about buying a boat with very little reaction from my husband. It was as though he couldn't hear a word I was saying.  One morning while we sat across from one another at the kitchen table, his head buried in the sports page, my eyes scrolled the classifieds for,... you guessed it, a boat.  I found one of interest.  
      "Here's one," I said.  "It's a runabout.  What's a runabout honey?"
Slowly, he lowered his newspaper and peered at me from across the table.  He said nothing at first, I smiled. 
     "Should I,...Google it?" I asked.  
     "A 'runabout,' runs you from here to there," he said.  Then up his paper went and he returned to his reading.  I sipped my coffee.
     "We should go see it.  They're only asking $600."
No response came from the man behind the paper.  
     "I'm going to call on it," I said.
No reaction, no movement, no objections from the man behind the paper.  Okay. Done.
I should probably mention to you, that I know nothing about speed boats.  I grew up on a sailboat, but that is another story for another time.  Regardless, I wasn't as concerned about the boat itself as I was about the cost of the boat.  If it cost too much, then my husband couldn't get too upset with me for buying one.  I told my husband, we're meeting this guy and his boat at the Crooked Lake Launch in an hour.  To which my husband looked at me in complete shock and said, "Seriously!?"

Off we went;  my husband, our 2-year-old daughter and me.  When we pulled into the parking lot at the launch I said, "Oh look honey, it's so cute."  My husband looked at me with the same scrunched up face he gives me when he holds his nose indicating we have a diaper to change.  His entire face looked pained.  "What's wrong?" I said.  "You don't like it?"

As our 2-year-old was strapped into her life preserver, we headed out of the launch and onto the lake.  It was cloudy, windy, and a little cold for June but who cares, we were boating.  This was our dream.  Well, my dream anyway.  My little girl and I fit perfectly in this boat, the two grown men, not so much.  I wasn't worried, I knew after we bought it, this stranger would be gone and then we'd all fit.

Moments into the ride my husband, like a drill sergeant, starts firing off questions at this guy about his boat.  "Holy smokes." I thought.  "Wow!" I thought.  Where's he been hiding all this knowledge?  I was both shocked and pleasantly surprised.  However, the answers coming back were slow and unclear and it turned out the boat belonged to the man's father-in-law who had passed away over a year ago and this poor guy had been saddled with the job of getting rid of it.  He knew nothing about boats.  Not this boat, not any boat.  As my husband was becoming less and less interested, it started to rain.  "Oh no." I thought.  "This isn't good.  My husband, already less than thrilled, is going to hate me if we end up soaked from head to toe," I thought.  

Just as I'm thinking these very thoughts, the boat motor begins to spit, and sputter and sputter and then, just like that, it croaks.  "No!"  I think.  I can't believe it.  Here we are, out in the middle of the lake, no cell phone, no whistle, no traffic going past to pull us in.  My husband and the guy move to the back of the boat to inspect the motor.  "Anyone bring an umbrella?"  I think.  No.  Of course not. Why would we?  My little girl snuggles into me even closer now and my husband, with an irresistible chance for a little humor says, "How about $50 bucks and I take this rig off your hands?"  

The guy looked at him confused.  Then to make things worse, my husband puts out his hand and says sarcastically, "Yeah, you pay ME the $50 bucks."  Now my husband is laughing hardily, obviously trying to make light of the crazy scenario at hand, or he's losing it, I'm not sure which.  I don't even care.  I'm giggling too.  Thankfully, a boater did realize we were just sitting motor-less, bobbing up and down in the rain helpless.  As he approached the boat, he said he would gladly tow us in, just throw him our rope.  What rope?  Nope, the guy doesn't even have a rope on board.  Lucky for us, our rescuer did.  As we're being towed into shore my husband, soaking wet and laughing, looks at my sympathetically and says, "Well honey, what do you think?"  I shrugged my shoulders.  "I think I just want to go home," I said.

Funny enough, we did actually buy a boat, just not that day and not that boat.  No, it seems my husband knew what I wanted more than I did and he found me our boat.  I'm a happy boater now and you know what, surrounded by this much water I was right, we needed a boat. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Reflecting and thinking..... again....

I'm not trying to be depressing, I'm really not, it's just been that kind of day.  You know, the kind of day where you feel hum-drum.  It's gloomy out, it's a Sunday, and for me, Sunday's definitely have a feel. It's a quiet feel.  Some Sundays I feel like a nap is typically on the schedule but I haven't felt tired at all today.  Mostly I've been working around the house lost somewhere inside my head.  Little things pull me out of my head here and there but I've been caught up in memories today.  So much to think about, so much to think about all the time.  The world is one big thought provoking phenomenon. :)

During the holidays one thought came into my mind over and over like someone was hitting a tennis ball at me and I just kept slapping it back.  Here's what it was: Christmas memories are so lovely.  They are soft and fuzzy in your mind and they feel so good and so cozy, until you realize that it's all but gone now.  That was the past and those people, in some cases, are gone as well.  As a child I made wonderful memories.  My brain loves to reflect on the past all during the Christmas season.

The problem is, those memories can make me sad.  They can take me back to a place that is no more. They make me miss the past, they make me miss family that is no longer here and ultimately, I can get depressed.  That's the tennis ball being thrown at me during the holidays.  Then, I tell myself again and again, or rather, my brain tells me again and again that, "That was their time."  They were living in their time, enjoying their time, making memories and living life to the fullest.  While that time was my time too, in a partial kind of way, I was living their time with them and adding to their memories.  Those memories became a part of me, but if I don't stop this reflecting on the past until I'm suffering with depression, I won't be enjoying MY time and that's really all I have isn't it?  My time.  It won't be long and my time will be through, and I shouldn't  be wasting my time missing the past, I should be living in the present and looking forward to the future and thankful for the past!  This is the ball I keep wacking back. :)

Anyway, today has been one of those days.  Living in the past, reminiscing about the old days when life seemed easier. Of course life has never been easy and I know this, and I feel guilty that I know this is not good for me and yet the gloom outside makes it the perfect day to wallow.

My dad was thoughtful enough to make tapes of himself telling stories that I both knew and didn't know.  I have them.  Three cd's.  I played them today and giggled some, missed him a lot and wondered about life like I often do.  I think about age and my age.  I remember when my mom turned 50 years old we had a big party.  50! Wow! That seemed old.  I can't believe I ever thought that,50 was old, seemingly because I'm nearing that number now.  50 seems young.  It's funny because at 75 I've heard my mom say, "Oh 75 is young."  I suppose if I make it to 75 I'll be saying the same thing. I hope I make it to 75.

One final note and I'll conclude this post that seems to be all over the place, one time I talked to my dad about this suggestion or idea.  I used to go up to my dad's office at Ferris and I'd sit across from him at his desk.  He and I would discuss topics that ranged from school to sports, to life in general.  However, one day I said to my dad, "I realize now that you reach an age where you are who you are.  You are not going to change from who you were or are, you're still the kid you were, the high school-er you were, the college kid you were, the young adult you were, the adult you are, it's all you wrapped into one person, YOU.

At some point you just start aging, and that's all that's changing, not you, not who you are, not anything but your body aging.  You start to look older, feel older, walk older.  You have aches and pains, and problems that only happen because you are aging.  The rest of you stays the same.  So when I think of turning 50 in 4 short years I know I'm going to be thinking, my mom was so young, in mindI'm young in mind.  It's just a crappy number system that increases as our bodies wrinkle and our hair turns gray.  LOL  Okay, enough blah, blah, blah-ing.  I'll let you go now. Just remember, you'll always be a kid no matter how old your body is. You'll always be young no matter how old you look in the mirror and you'll always be special to many, many who love you.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

My grandma Velma's letter on Death... brings a warm comfort somehow.

When you are older and have lost someone, you don't have to ask why.  You find yourself praying not so much for them as for yourself because it seems the only way to make contact, and gradually the tone of the prayer changes, at least it did for me.  I found it became less a cry of desperate longing than a prayer of loving release.  A message of blessing, a time to remember those I loved and to rejoice that they were safely in God's gardens.

You get used to anything, even personal loss, and you get used to the more and more frequent departures.  This relative, that relative, a close friend, another friend, a neighbor, a beloved teacher, your boss, ... You even get used to receiving that first shock, No! I can't believe it, ... not him! There seems no rhyme or reason so often, no special order, only that there are always more and more. Until after awhile it dawns on you how many there are. It must be getting crowded in heaven!  When you try to remember them in prayer, you have to call the roll but there is something actually joyful in the thought... they are not alone up there. They have "The blessed company of heaven." And quietly, steadily, all unseen, this procession of departures has been leading you closer to God.  At least so it was with me.  With everyone who leaves, I am being drawn, without knowing it, just a little nearer to the original source who designed their destination and my own.

For as surely as He sent me to this earth, He has given me a return ticket.  I know that one day I too, will be in that same procession.  I will join them, ... and the mere fact that I call their names in prayer, lifting them up, asking for them, peace and joy and all God's blessings, confirms the fact that they are there.  As I too, will one day be there.

Lord, dear Lord, I will hold fast to you and remember, you did not take lives but you received them.  How gently and how generously you received them. You did not will their going, but you accepted their return.

Written by Velma D. Clark at an older age.

My grandma was very close to the Lord. She was faithful to His ways and His words.  She suffered many great losses at this point in her life when she wrote this, but she always remained faithful to the Lord.

My mother gave me this letter recently, she knew I would find comfort in reading it. I typed this out from my grandma's hand written letter, on a double sided piece of paper.  I decided, others might enjoy it as well, so I'd share it with you.  I miss her, but I too know where she resides, and I believe it is in the house of the Lord. I give glory to Him and I too hope one day to reside there.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Trying to walk in the white light of goodness and kindness and acceptance

I'm not perfect.  I don't mind that I'm not perfect because I like to learn from my mistakes.  I also like sharing what I've learned with others, namely my two kids.  I think it's good for them to see me fail sometimes, proves their not alone in their failures.  We all fail, learn, and do things so much better the next time.  I learn something new everyday.  Sometimes I learn what not to do, sometimes I learn a new way of doing things, but learning everyday is how we continue to grow.

Here's the thing, I'm not sure what I learn watching television, or reading Facebook posts, or posts on Twitter are very trustworthy ways to learn new things.  I think the media can be so misleading, so judgmental, so unhealthy.  I'm not always sure what I hear is accurate and therefore I'm cautious.  It is so easy to be swayed these days.  It's almost as if we don't realize we're not thinking for ourselves, we are letting others tell us how to think.  When I catch myself spewing negative things I've read or heard, sometimes after the fact I replay what I said in my mind, in my voice and realize, this doesn't sound like me at all.  This sounds like someone getting sucked into the under-miners of the world.  How easy it is to let someone else's opinions speak for us all.  I think it's unfortunate and I wanna shake us awake.  Stop and think who you really are to your core.  Are you a good person, are you critical or judgmental of others, are you quick to judge.  I believe if you are, you've been swayed by the media and all other forms out there that inform us of what's happening in our world.

While I know we are not all the same, one thing we should all agree on is this, a human is a human.  Every human walking planet earth deserves respect and assistance if needed.  Our world is full of misfortune, hatred and despair.  While it's almost impossible to think that everyone could love their neighbor, everyone could learn to accept one another, I believe there's a large percentage that do or could.  We have to open our minds to the possibility that our attitude is catching.  If we are accepting and voice that acceptance, more will follow in our footsteps.  If we embrace one another, help one another and truly care for the human species, others will see our actions and follow our lead.  It simply takes everyone coming together and expressing so nonchalantly, so mindlessly our feelings of love, acceptance, kindness, helpfulness, to spread this wonderful humanity to all.  I hope our goodness can seep into the minds of those around us simply by being with us.  Simply by example.

Empathy is a wonderful concept and a wonderful thing to teach our children.  I work hard to ignore the hate I see on the news, the desperate who act out on innocence.  I try to find a way in my heart to understand the human species, understand the differences in thinking but I always come back to this, why can't we just open our hearts and find nothing but love, patience, kindness and goodness within ourselves, enough to spread across all we know, and make a difference in the lives of others that they too could possess and pass along as well.  I forgive often, I wipe the slate clean when I could hold a grudge, I don't think of ways to get even, I work hard to be the woman the good Lord made me to be.
Just thinking out loud again I guess.  Wishing so wholeheartedly that our society at large could stop spewing negative, angry, evil, views that turn warm  hearts into stone.  That take an accepting mind and turn it to stone.  I have so much hope for humankind, so many views of peace.  Peace is a good word, a word I often define as the best word that was ever made. Because with peace comes a calm mind, a calm heart, and a content human.  I wish you all peace today.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Because I'm lucky enough to write for the Petoskey News Review in Petoskey Michigan, I've decided to post those same stories here as a way to continue using my blog and providing readers with some new writings by me.

Life is busy and I'm terribly behind when it comes to my blog. I apologize.
Look for a story here soon. ☺️

Friday, February 24, 2017

Another sign my dad is near....

Every so often, I have something happen that makes me feel like I have a better understanding of the after life.  While I believe there is an after life, sometimes the idea of proof really feels good.  While so many may disregard mediums I find them to be soothing.  I especially like watching the show, Long Island Medium.  However, this is not about mediums this is another post about another interesting occurrence that makes me feel my dad is closer than farther away from me. Here is the story, ...

All true....

Near the end of my dad's life, as things began to decline, I became more and more concerned.  The idea of losing my dad was unbearable.  Two weeks after my dad passed away and I felt my heart sink more and more, my sadness growing and my mind spinning I called a girl friend of mine from high school.  While she and I don't talk that often, I know how spiritually connected she is, and just the idea of talking to her brings about feelings of peace within me.  I needed to talk to her to help me calm down.  The idea that I'd never be able to talk to my dad again had me in a mode of panic.  How would I? How could I, survive his absence?  As she and I talked, as we discussed his passing and how I was doing, she interrupted me and said, "What is the connection between your dad and a black bird?"  I was perplexed.  I said, "A black bird?"  She said, "Yes, when I see your dad, I see a black bird beside him.  What's the significance of a black bird to your dad?"

I sat and thought about it for a few minutes and I said, "My dad loved owls, are you sure it's not an owl?"  She said, "No, it's a black bird.  I think it's a crow.  A black crow.  It could be a raven but I think it's a black crow."  I told her I had no idea but had noticed a black crow around my house recently.  I told her that I had even commented on the black crow to my kids.  A black crow in our front maple tree.  I even wondered if it was a sign but I didn't figure it was.  It just seemed strange that a black crow, all alone would be sitting in our tree out front,"  She said, that's a sign your dad is near.  That is his sign to you, your dad is a black bird, probably a crow.  After we hung up I decided I'd pay attention to black birds and see if I thought they were in fact, a sign.  While I did notice the black crow now and again, and I noticed if I drove I'd see a black crow in a tree, two blocks further a black crow in a tree, etc. it seemed that there was a correlation but as time passed and more black crows were around, I wondered if it was just coincidental.  I actually dropped the idea over time.

My dad had been gone for 21 months at Christmas. A family Christmas party was happening at my sisters house so my husband, the kids and I headed down state.  After the party ended and most everyone accept my mom and step dad had left, my sister, her husband and my husband poured ourselves a glass of wine and kicked back in the kitchen around the table to put our feet up, talk, laugh and relax.  It was peaceful.  We started talking about our dad, my sister and I and how long he had been gone.  She got up from the table to bring the wine bottle over to the table and when she set it on the table, she stood there in the kitchen with her hands on the back of her kitchen table chair and she said to me with a serious look, "I'm going to tell you something that I know you are going to think sounds crazy, but I'm going to tell you anyway."

I said, "Okay."  She said, "I think dad is a black bird."  I didn't say anything as she continued but I immediately put my hand over my mouth. I was in shock at what she had just said.  She continued, "I know it sounds strange but I'm pretty sure dads a black crow.  I notice a black crow hanging around a lot.  It sits in our maple tree out front, sometimes a black crow flies along side of my car, one time a black crow flew right across my wind shield while I was driving.  So the other day, when I drove in our driveway with (her son) I said to him, 'I know this is going to sound strange but I think Grandpa is a black crow.'  She said he looked at her with a funny stare.  She said, 'See that black crow right there in the maple tree?  He said, "Yes."  She said, "I think that's grandpa."  She said they got out of the car and she asked the bird, "Dad is that you?" and the bird started shaking its head up and down. Both she and her son saw this happen and looked at each other in disbelief.  She concluded by saying, "So I just wanted to tell you, I think dad is a black crow."

I was literally in shock and amazement at this story.  I had never told her what my girl friend Heather had told me about the black bird.  Like I said, I kind of dropped the idea all together.  I told her I needed to call my girl friend in Colorado.  It was late but I knew with the time change it wasn't that late where she was probably nearing 11:00 p.m.  I called her and she picked right up.  I put her on speaker phone and I said, "Heather, do you remember what you told me about my dad after he died? Do you remember you said when you see my dad, you see something beside him?"  She said, "The black bird?"  I said, "Yes!"  I said, "Do you still see the black bird?"  She said, "Oh yes!" Then I told my sister the story and she was blown away.  She said, "You mean, you thought dad was a black crow too and we didn't know we both thought that?"  I said, "Yes.  That's why when you said, 'I think Dad's a black crow, I put my hand over my mouth in shock.'

She said, "WOW!  Oh my gosh!!!  He is a black crow!"  My girlfriend said, "He's not a black crow, but that is his sign for you to know he is near.  He is around."

After we hung up I said to my sister, "Why would dad pick a black bird?  Why not an owl?"  She said, dad always loved that poem, "The Raven."  I said, "He did?"  She said, "Yeah, he did."  I didn't know that.

Anyway, a black crow all alone in my yard holds special meaning now, more than ever and for my sister too.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Love Month

February 14th.
Love ❤️
I like that word, it's short, easy to spell, you can even replace the letter o with a heart drawn on all by yourself if you want. February is the love month. ❤️ I have my house fully adorned in hearts. Pink ones, red ones, big ones, little ones.  Love is an intense word. If you don't love something you only like it, well that holds a whole new meaning. If you go from loving to liking or vice-versa something has drastically changed.
The other night my little boy said, "How do you know if you really love someone ❤". I told him, "The best way to know is by imagining your life without that person in it. If it's too painful to imagine, it's love. ❤️"
He said, "How do you know when you ask a girl to marry you, she'll say yes?" I giggled at this question from my 11 year old. I said, "Typically you wouldn't ask unless you've talked about marriage before. Little hints she gives should let you know if it's wise to ask."
He shook his head while he mauled over that idea. It was cute.
Love,...we all need it, we search it out, and thank heavens we can usually find it. ❤
Have a wonderful love month❤️ Love Day ❤and a Lovely life. ❤️